Phrases with "less"

It seems I was more or less wrong; but there is nothing further to be said until we know. Tiny Luttrell by E. W. Hornung [1893]

Ford Madox Ford Since he, Mark, had been honoured by his sovereign she had less frequently recited them. Last Post by Ford Madox Ford [1928]

George Gissing Her delicate beauty made strange contrast with the faces on each side and in front of her—faces of rude intelligence, faces of fathomless stupidity, faces degraded into something less than human. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Wilkie Collins Corn-flowers at one side uncle, which is less common than cornflowers in front. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

Jules Verne Accustomed to regulate his proceedings by the height of the sun, calculated with more or less accuracy, he could scarcely be supposed to conduct himself with military precision. Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne [1881]

Where forest trees and wattles guard the bank the water is of a different hue, as if the face of the river had absorbed less of the actualities of the sun. Tropic Days by E. J. Banfield

William Godwin There was no lack of judges, and grand juries, and petty juries, and executioners, and still less of prosecutors and witnesses. Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [1834]

The sword of Eumolpus had inflicted the death-wound upon the less experienced combatant. The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1834]

From a position of great dignity and influence on the Viceroy’s Council he became of less importance than his own negro slaves made free by our glorious revolution. A Set of Six by Joseph Conrad [1908]

N., not the less his dominions swept southwards through a matter of 80 or 90 deg. Autobiographical Sketches by Thomas De Quincey [1853]

A man, named La Chaussée, was hired by Sainte Croix to aid in administering the poisons; and, in less than six weeks time, they had both gone to their long home. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

I gathered from Stein that this man was an unsatisfactory person in more ways than one, all being more or less indefinite and offensive. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

William Godwin An individual scarcely less famous in the dark ages, and who, like Merlin, lived in confidence with successive kings, was St. Dunstan. He was born and died in the tenth century. Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [1834]

He could not look beyond that dreary Australian exile; he could not bring his thoughts to bear upon the time that was to come afterwards, and which need be no less bright because of this delay. Fenton’s Quest by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

G. K. Chesterton His hilarity had almost a kind of hardness about it; no man’s letters, I should think, ever needed less expurgation on the ground of weakness or undue confession. Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton [1911]

Perhaps she regarded banking as safer, if less brilliant work than the most effective description of skeleton riders. Sir Walter Scott by Richard H. Hutton [1878]

Bram Stoker He is in his way a clever fellow — for a nigger; but is none the less dangerous or the less hateful for that. The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker [1911]

Baldwin Spencer The palm-leaf baskets are not often decorated, which may perhaps be due to the fact that they are of a less permanent nature than the others. Native tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia by Baldwin Spencer

Abraham Merri Thus first I saw the Lake of the Ghosts under the night of the mirage, and it was no less beautiful in the mirage day. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

G. K. Chesterton The actual story of the Doctor’s Dilemma itself seems to me less poignant and important than the things with which Shaw had lately been dealing. George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Virginia Woolf Since marriage until the year 1919 — less than twenty years ago — was the only profession open to us, the enormous importance of dress to a woman can hardly be exaggerated. Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf [1938]

Olaf Stapledon If you come in, you will merely be used as a tool by your more powerful and less civilized kinsmen. Collected Stories by Olaf Stapledon

Henry James This was not the sort of tone he thought it right, given the conditions, to take; but then even the circumstances didn’t require him to pretend he liked her less than he did. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

The sons of Rome, the queen of cities, deign to rank me among the amiable band of poets; and now I am less carped at by the tooth of envy. The Works of Horace by translated literally into English prose by Christopher Smar

Anthony Trollope The less of laws and the less of control the better, providing a people can go right with few laws and little control. North America by Anthony Trollope

If he stands these, he may be admitted to stand any less severe. Gibbon by James Cotter Morison [1878]

Caroline Lamb My uncle and the world may scorn me; but I will do for thee, what many have done for those less worthy. Glenarvon by Caroline Lamb [1816]

Arthur Conan Doyle The more formal we made the visit the less information we might obtain. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

Jules Verne Had he been made of pasteboard, with wheels on his paws, he would not have made less noise during his stay. Doctor Ox’s Experiment by Jules Verne [1874]

His tinder-box enabled him to strike a light: it showed him two things that made his heart bound with delight, none the less thrilling for being somewhat vague. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

Edith Wharton Meanwhile the first of the month was at hand, with its usual batch of bills; and there was no time to think of any struggle less pressing than that connected with paying them . The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

Benjamin Disraeli He wakes; he stares with wonder; he sees a female not less fair than Medora. Confused, she tells him her station; she tells him that her pity is as certain as his doom. Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli [1827]

In less than a quarter of an hour it would be alongside, and then —— But he did not like to think of what would happen then. The Red Rat’s Daughter by Guy Boothby [1899]

Edgar Allan Poe The innumerable blossoms, mingling with those of other trees scarcely less beautiful, although infinitely less majestic, filled the valley with more than Arabian perfumes. Tales of Natural Beauty by Edgar Allan Poe

Algernon Blackwood It is a question wholly of the mind, and the less we think about them the better our chance of escape. The Willows by Algernon Blackwood [1907]

Edith Wharton But her smile was no less lovely for its vagueness, and indeed, to Ralph, the loveliness was enhanced by the latent doubt. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton [1913]

H. G. Wells What else is possible? How can we live in the same world with these castor-oil cads and their loaded canes? Still less with their Cockney imitators! . Meanwhile by H. G. Wells [1927]

Arthur Morrison He was himself puffing by this, though much less than his adversary, and, at the cost of a heavy blow (which he took on his forehead), he visited Billy’s ribs once more. A Child of the Jago by Arthur Morrison

But then I had more or less kept my wits. Greenmantle by John Buchan

Aphra Behn And being now retired from her, she whose love and curiosity grew less every day, for the false Philander, opened his letter with a sigh of departed love, and read this. Love-letters between a Nobleman and his sister by Aphra Behn

The floor of the valley can hardly be less than 5000 feet above the sea. Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino by Samuel Butler [1881]

George Meredith Not less than a hundred people were in this field, among them Crickledon and his wife. The House on the Beach by George Meredith [1877]

Wilkie Collins In less than an hour from the time when I had been called in, he was alive and talking in the bed on which he had been laid out to wait for the coroner’s inquest. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

Margaret Oliphant Oona, who stood silent by the fire, with a sense that she was somehow in the secret, though she did not know what it was, had a less easy part. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

According to his conception, the first large series represented the broad base of effects, upon which was superposed the second plane of causes, less numerous and more concentrated. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

The two robbers who had so decisively rid themselves of the postboys acted with no less determination towards the horses. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

Anthony Trollope The Honourable Mrs. Morton was now seventy, but no old lady ever showed less signs of advanced age. The American Senator by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope But he was less ambitious, less desirous of shining in the world, and much less popular with men in general. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

Squares are quieter than the open streets, and the police are less likely to catch you there. The Vengeance of Larose by Arthur Gask [1939]

Behind it, yet struggling to disorganise and alter it, altogether, was a far more essential reality, a self less personal, less individualised, and broader in its references. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

Edith Wharton Capturing Joyce’s attention was less easy. The Children by Edith Wharton [1928]

G. K. Chesterton The pipe of the shepherd is always something rather plainer than the lyre of the poet; and the ideal social life is some more or less subtle form of the simple life. Robert Louis Stevenson by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

Sir Walter Scott The doors of the hall were thrown wide, and no less a person entered than the fiend-born Merlin, dressed in a strange and mystical attire, suited to his ambiguous birth and magical power. Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott [1821]

Charles Dickens In less than an hour from the time when I had been called in, he was alive and talking in the bed on which he had been laid out to wait for the Coroner’s inquest. The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices by Charles Dickens [1857]

Kate Chopin She went in to give directions to the cook, to say that the butcher would have to bring much less meat, that they would require only half their usual quantity of bread, of milk and groceries. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The first will be a strong tendency for city ground values to fall, the other a less marked tendency for agricultural land to rise. Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard

H. G. Wells These things are less like earthly land plants than the things one imagines among the rocks at the bottom of the sea. First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells [1901]

George Gissing An income of less than three or four hundred a year is inconceivable to them; that seems the minimum for an educated man’s support. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

H. G. Wells Based upon it, a series of summaries of greater or less fullness and simplicity, for the homes and studies of ordinary people, for the college and the school, can be continually issued and revised. World Brain by H. G. Wells [1938]

Anthony Trollope So do I.” “Oh, my dearest!” “A secret is always accompanied by more or less of fear, and produces more or less of cowardice. Dr. Wortle’s school by Anthony Trollope

Elizabeth Gaskell He seldom spoke, less than ever; and often when he did speak, they were sharp angry words, such as he had never given her formerly. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

George Gissing For some reason, however, she gave Quarrier a less cordial welcome than he had anticipated. Denzil Quarrier by George Gissing [1891]

Robert Louis Stevenson As for your story, Prestongrange is a Whig like yoursel’, so I’ll say the less of him; and, dod! I believe he was the best friend ye had, if ye could only trust him. Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson

Anthony Trollope But, on the other hand, he did not now love her the less because she opposed his wishes. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

R. D. Blackmore A crow could scarcely make less than fifty miles from York to Scargate, and the factor’s trusty roadster had to make up his mind to seventy. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

Then striking one of the matches upon a stone I lit the grass beneath the sticks, and in less time than it takes to tell had the satisfaction of seeing a fine bonfire blazing before me. The Lust of Hate by Guy Boothby [1898]

Edith Wharton The cold was less sharp than earlier in the day and a thick fleecy sky threatened snow for the morrow. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton [1911]

Watkin Tench And if we turn our eyes to the usage of military tribunals, it no less departs from the customs observed in them. A Narrative of the The Expedition to Botany Bay by Watkin Tench [1788]

Anthony Trollope As a young man, when entering on his profession, he was probably less just than he was now. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope

And acquired qualities are always less puissantly exercised, less effective in the results obtained. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

And yet I was not indifferent; but the tension in the Balkans had become chronic after the acute crisis, and one could not help being less conscious of it. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

E. T. A. Hoffmann I need scarcely add that Salvator was no less renowned as a poet and musician than as a painter. Signor Formica by E. T. A. Hoffmann [1820]

John Galsworthy But you’re talking of less trade and more taxation in the present with a view to a better future. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy

One Bessardus24, a Frenchman, with no less folly notes the pole of the zodiack. On the Magnet by William Gilber

Henry Kingsley The terrible excitement of the day, and the fact that he had eaten nothing since breakfast, made Charles less able to bear up against the news than he would otherwise have been. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

George Gissing Just large enough to allow the grace of order in domestic circumstance; just that superfluity of intramural space, to lack which is to be less than at one’s ease. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing [1902]

George Gissing Presently they entered Paradise Street. The name is less descriptive than it might be. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

The amount came in all to less than a thousand francs, but Heathcote insisted upon making the payment fifteen hundred, an insistence which was infinitely gratifying to fallen genius. Wyllard's Weird by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1885]

John Morley The influence of Burke on the publicists of the generation after the Revolution was much less considerable than might have been expected. Burke by John Morley [1879]

Wilkie Collins In less than an instant the insect was snatched away, when my fingers were within an inch of it. The Guilty River by Wilkie Collins [1886]

Anthony Trollope But not the less did the mother still pray, still struggle, and still hope. John Caldigate by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope They are less shocked by dishonesty when they find it, and are less clear in their intellect as to that which constitutes honesty. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope [1865]

Anthony Trollope He could not think of offering anything less than his best on such an occasion. Tales of all countries by Anthony Trollope

Benjamin Disraeli The eye of the nation rests upon the Lords, few in number, and notable in position; the eye of the nation wanders in vain for the Commons, far more numerous, but far less remarkable. The Spirit of Whiggism by Benjamin Disraeli

Conway had talked less than the two other men, for translating SOS messages into dialects was a mental exercise requiring concentration. Lost Horizon by James Hilton

Henry James I judge that it IS more or less so before you, from what you just now said of him. The Ambassadors by Henry James [1903]

Charles Dickens Indeed, the sense of having gone too far to be forgiven, held the timid together no less than the bold. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

George Gissing But you don’t mean that you thought less well of her because she is living in that way?’ ‘Of course not. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

His amusements were all masculine, and more or less solitary. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

To appreciate the size of the Great Pyramid is less difficult than to apprehend its age. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Virginia Woolf There is a perpetual effort on the one hand to make all these relationships more reasonable, less painful and less servile; on the other, to keep them as they are. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

H. G. Wells Differential type might stamp the more or less important works. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

When they had rung the bell the door was opened to them by an ancient man-servant, whose age could scarcely have been less than four-score. The Childerbridge Mystery by Guy Boothby [1902]

Claude bowed, but then, realizing that everyone was watching him, added a little mock flourish to make himself less ridiculous. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael Wes

Jane Austen That time, however, did gradually come, forwarded by an affection on his side as warm as her own, and much less encumbered by refinement or self-distrust. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [1814]

Last of all, though it was night and they were still not much less than a mile away, the four colossi came out, ghost-like, vague, and shadowy, in the enchanted moonlight. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

George Gissing When we are at Eastbourne and father is well again, we must come to see your library and no less your librarian. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Anthony Trollope You will not love me less because I tell you that I count the minutes till I may be your wife. Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope

Wilkie Collins Arnold went on reading headlong, two lines in advance of the place at which he had left off, with more sound and less sense than ever: “In the beginning how the heavens and earth. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

Andrew Lang This Cathedral tower, thus early and emphatically introduced, is to play a great but more or less mysterious part in the romance: that is certain. The Puzzle of Dickens’s Last Plot by Andrew Lang

Sinclair Lewis She would have made an excellent monkey to have around and smile at, if her face had been thinner and less fair. Gideon Planish by Sinclair Lewis

Henry James It was impossible to be less helpful, less merciful, to an embarrassed young man than I was on that occasion. The Path Of Duty by Henry James [1884]

Wilkie Collins This apartment was furnished with less luxury, but with more bad taste (if possible) than the room we had just left. Basil by Wilkie Collins [1852]

The Son of Liberty was no less ready for the fray, and what is known in Ireland as “the father and mother of a row” was imminent. Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. by Somerville and Ross [1899]

Only this! But he was a King, a crowned and anointed King, and even Angela, who was less frivolous and shallow than most women, stood before him abashed and dazzled. London Pride by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1896]

Jane Austen Julia’s match became a less desperate business than he had considered it at first. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [1814]

Sir Walter Scott Lambourne knocked roundly and boldly at the huge door of the mansion, observing, at the same time, he had seen a less strong one upon a county jail. Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott [1821]

Desertions were not uncommon, for the sanguine men of the equator endure with less philosophy than others that sickness of the heart which comes from love of one’s native land when absent from it. Tropic Days by E. J. Banfield

Arnold Bennett His mind was less occupied by politics than by the fact that in the view of all these men he had already finally and definitely taken the place of his father. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

More or less consciously perceived, a feeling deep and strong ran through the nation that it was vain to seek expedients or delays; a mighty strife had to be fought out, which could not be evaded. The Orphan Heiress by Thomas De Quincey [1835]

Jules Verne They only had the light of the stars to guide them; but the cold was less extreme, and even some snow fell. A Winter Amid the Ice by Jules Verne [1874]

For no man having eyes in his head (still less any woman) could fail to see that the Captain’s imperious daughter had fallen desperately in love with him. The Silent Chimes by Ellen Wood

Sigmund Freud King Oedipus, who slew his father Laius and wedded his mother Jocasta, is nothing more or less than a wish-fulfilment — the fulfilment of the wish of our childhood. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

Gertrude Stein A sweet win and not less noisy than saddle and more ploughing and nearly well painted by little things so. Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein [1914]

In vain he tried to rouse himself and shake it off; he closed his eyes, as if by doing so he could shut out thought, and it did, for in less than five minutes he was fast asleep. Three Hundred Years Hence by Mary Griffith

The deep-lying sentiment, which he took great pains to conceal, was distinctly odd, it was nothing less than this: he was in despair at being out of his prison. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

Walter Scott She answered, that rather than do that she would be torn at horses’ heels, but that she would be conformable to his advice in less matters. Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft by Walter Scott [1831]

Belville, Melville, Treville, Berkeley, Randolph, Byron, St. Clair, and so forth, are among the humblest; and the less imposing titles of Jenkins, Walker, Thomson, Barker, Solomons, &c. Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens [1836]

He was horrified at the expenses which mythology involved; not a wood nymph, nor a dryad, that cost less than a hundred francs a day! The dress alone amounted to three hundred francs. Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Sinclair Lewis But that lasted less than a week. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

They shook hands and embraced with an air as noble as ceremonious, and, in less than a minute, had exchanged all the news that had transpired during the count’s absence. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

George Meredith My Philosopher’s meaning is plain, and, as usual, good; but not even I, who have less reason to laugh at him than anybody, can gravely accept the juxtaposition of suffering and cigars. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

Rudyard Kipling Every one is more or less mad on one point. Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling [1888]

Catherine Helen Spence Their railways became less profitable, and were nationalised sooner than ours. A Week in the Future by Catherine Helen Spence

In less than an hour it would be over; in a few months’ time it would be an unreal memory. The Unbearable Bassington by Saki

George Meredith Their inclination, under the circumstances, is generally base, and no less a counsellor than uncorrupted common sense, when they are in such a hobble, will sometimes advise them to be base. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

In the director’s room I was amused at the means which a poet had hit upon for advertising his works, or rather HIS WORK, and not less at the elaborate notice of it. Domestic Manners of the Americans by Fanny Trollope

Sinclair Lewis He took his figures to Raymond Pearl the biometrician, who thought less of them than did Martin himself. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis [1925]

G. K. Chesterton A great number of his poems are marked by a trait of which by its nature it is more or less impossible to give examples. Robert Browning by G. K. Chesterton [1903]

Ford Madox Ford The path led to Uncle Mark’s wallless thatched hut. Last Post by Ford Madox Ford [1928]

Thomas Carlyle Shall we say, then, Dante’s effect on the world was small in comparison? Not so: his arena is far more restricted; but also it is far nobler, clearer; — perhaps not less but more important. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Anthony Trollope If he was willing to encounter life in London on less than four hundred a year, surely she might be contented to try the same experiment. The Claverings by Anthony Trollope

If he had but a leaping blaze he might yet die in a less gross mockery of comfort. At the Article of Death by John Buchan

D’Artagnan returned to less important affairs, and the three Musketeers repaired to the king’s quarters, where they had to prepare their lodging. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Andrew Lang Nothing can be less scientific than to snatch up any traveller’s tale which makes for our theory, and to ignore evidence, perhaps earlier, or later, or better observed, which makes against it. The Making of Religion by Andrew Lang

Charles Dickens In face she was no less remarkable than in manner. Hard Times by Charles Dickens [1854]

Arnold Bennett Six hundred a year is less than two pounds a day, yet Gerald never paid less than two pounds a day in hotel bills alone. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

George Gissing It was his duty, no less than his pleasure, to call upon certain people for whom he had letters of introduction from friends in Russia, and their doors opened wide to him. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Leslie Stephen But in fact Boswell, though his qualities were too much those of the ordinary “good fellow,” was not without virtues, and still less without remarkable talents. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

George Gissing At a church in Clerkenwell were joined together in holy matrimony Robert Hewett and Penelope (otherwise Pennyloaf) Candy, the former aged nineteen, the latter less than that by nearly three years. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Andrew Lang Mr. Tylor says: ‘The spiritualistic theory specially insists on cases of apparitions, where the person’s death corresponds more or less nearly with the time when some friend perceives his phantom. The Making of Religion by Andrew Lang

The witness of the postilions and of the valet was no less concise; nor could all the ingenuity of Clifford’s counsel shake any part of their evidence in his cross-examination. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

Henry James They were far less interesting than the portrait of Miriam Rooth and, it would have appeared, less significant of ability. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

H. G. Wells As a matter of fact, nothing was ever quite less secret than the ideas and aims and methods of the Bolsheviks, nor anything quite less like a secret society than their organisation. Russia in the Shadows by H. G. Wells

Charles Stur Taking its windings into account, its length cannot be less than from 1300 to 1500 miles. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Nathaniel Hawthorne Somewhat less than you imagined in size, perhaps; a fairy reality, inches for yards; that is the only difference. The Ancestral Footstep by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A bracelet or a locket more or less could not make the slightest difference in her feelings. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

If Eleanore’s beauty had made less of an impression on my fancy, or her frightful situation awakened less anxiety in my breast, I should have been a lost man from that moment. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

Lister himself suffered less in this way than most other surgeons; with some men it was a grave handicap. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

H. Rider Haggard The mass was of the width of a good-sized door, about ten feet high and not less than five feet thick. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

John Galsworthy Ours won’t look at softness in literature, but we’re a deuced sight less hard in life. The White Monkey by John Galsworthy

I am sure amputation would be less melancholy than the despondent state of feeling which you are now suffering. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Bronislaw Malinowski And here it appears that nearly all sides of family life, far from being left to follow their own course, are more or less subject to definite norms of moral, customary or legal character. The Family among the Australian Aborigines by Bronislaw Malinowski [1913]

He lingered a bit; but in less than an hour he was a dead man. Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood

Francis Bacon Secondly, almost all particular virtues act according to the greater or less quantity of the body. The New Organon by Francis Bacon [1620]

Radclyffe Hall Down the street, on trim but belligerent tiptoes, came a very small, snow-white West Highland terrier; perhaps he was looking for trouble, and if so he certainly got it in less than two minutes. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

H. G. Wells After all, they were less human and more remote than our cannibal ancestors of three or four thousand years ago. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells [1896]

Benjamin Disraeli The state of Sheffield was not less severe — and the blast furnaces of Wolverhampton were extinguished. Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli [1880]

Thomas Hardy A person on a heath in raiment of modern cut and colours has more or less an anomalous look. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

Walter Scott But now matters turn worse and worse, and I, as I grow old, am less able to struggle with them. The Monastery by Walter Scott [1820]

Alfred Ainger A second letter followed in less than a week, in a tone somewhat less forlorn. Charles Lamb by Alfred Ainger [1882]

Sir Walter Scott Sometimes the time was passed in a way much less agreeable to Margaret, by her receiving lessons from Pauline in the use of the needle. The Fortunes of Nigel by Sir Walter Scott [1822]

D. H. Lawrence She minded this conniving against the world less than he did. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Henry James Certainly they were less elastic than of yore; they were evidently looking for something they didn’t find. The Pupil by Henry James [1891]

Anthony Trollope They say that there are no less than twenty-seven men on our side of the House who will either vote with Turnbull against us, or will decline to vote at all. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

But what business of theirs was it? Kill old Morrison! Well, it is less criminal, less base—I am not saying it is less difficult—to kill a man than to cheat him in that way. Victory by Joseph Conrad [1914]

H. Rider Haggard The less said of a bad business the better, that’s my maxim. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

Henry Kingsley Lord Hainault, on receiving this report, could do no less than ask him to stay a day or two. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

Richard Burton The distance of the “Hammam Bluffs” prevented my visiting them, which circumstance I regretted the less as they have been described by pens equal to the task. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

Francis Bacon Of ambitions, it is less harmful, the ambition to prevail in great things, than that other, to appear in every thing; for that breeds confusion, and mars business. The Essays by Francis Bacon [1601]

Edith Wharton But Garnett’s assiduity in frequenting the place arose, in the end, less from the excellence of the food than from the enjoyment of his old friend’s conversation. The Hermit and the Wild Woman and other stories by Edith Wharton [1908]

Jules Verne A vacant seat at our table is now very rare; we are beginning to know something about each other, and our daily life, in consequence, is becoming somewhat less monotonous. The Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne [1875]

When I am happier, when I know my own heart, I will have less provocation. Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green

Jules Verne The tarantass is as solid and as easy to repair as the telga, and is, moreover, less addicted to leaving its hinder part in the middle of the road. Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne [1876]

George Gissing A score of more or less ingenious lies rose to her tongue, instinctively; but she remembered that deceit was not called for. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

I often wonder whether, if he had been franker, I should have found him less odd than I supposed, or more odd still. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Arnold Bennett It was newer, less tumbled, but scarcely better. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Algernon Blackwood It bit and scratched and uttered sounds like those squeaks the less swift creatures make when the swifter overtake them. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

Henry James Nothing, Strether had to recognise as he leaned back and smoked, could well less resemble a scene of violence than even the liveliest of these occasions. The Ambassadors by Henry James [1903]

Fortunately for us we saw but little of him, and what little we did see usually had the effect of making us less and less desirous of developing a more intimate acquaintance. The Race of Life by Guy Boothby [1906]

Rafael Sabatini Though, considering my crippled condition, and that I am unable to walk without assistance, I am less vexed at the moment by my incarceration than I might be at another time. Casanova’s Alibi by Rafael Sabatini

G. K. Chesterton Still less would the tall motorist have handed him a similar horrid disguise of wraps and goggles, in a bundle over his arm. The Flying Inn by G. K. Chesterton [1914]

Mr. Sheldon’s theories had been much less strict, and Mr. Sheldon’s practice had been much more careless, prior to Miss Halliday’s engagement. Charlotte’s Inheritance by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

George Gissing Had my friend been a man of less worth, he might have misunderstood me, and then I might indeed have been shamed. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

George Eliot Yet she cried less today than she had done any day since her husband’s death. Adam Bede by George Eliot [1859]

Henry James She was as tall and straight, in her degree, as her companion, and with ten years less to carry. The Real Thing by Henry James [1892]

We knew our business, and in less than twenty minutes were humming down the coast a good ten knots an hour. The Treasure of Sacramento Nick by Guy Boothby

Yet it was strange that in this moment his own misery and his own peril were less upon him than a longing to see once more — and for the last time — the woman for whose sake he suffered this. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

Robert Louis Stevenson The author, for the sake of circumstantiation and because he was himself more or less grown up, admitted character, within certain limits, into his design; but only within certain limits. Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson

Arthur Conan Doyle Nothing less than a miracle could preserve us from defeat, and most of us were of opinion that the days of the miracles were past. Micah Clarke by Arthur Conan Doyle

David Garth’s being locked up half-an-hour more or less went for nothing with Hill, and he stayed to load the truck with some of the remainder of his goods. David Garth’s Night-Watch by Ellen Wood [1869]

Anthony Trollope Perhaps it did savour a little too much of ballet practice; perhaps it was true that with less care there might have been inconveniences. Is He Popenjoy? by Anthony Trollope [1878]

The less fortunate ones munched their bread and lard or morsel of cheese; and the boys with their ends of cold pudding were jokingly bidden not to get ‘that ’ere treacle’ in their ears. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson [1945]

Henry James Very often she was accompanied by the Liberal candidate, but even when she was not the equipage seemed scarce less to represent his easy, friendly confidence. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

Rudyard Kipling Leg it!’ ‘Oh, I can do that,’ the Minor replied and, at the end of the sprint, fetched up a couple of yards ahead of his brother, and much less winded. Debits and Credits by Rudyard Kipling [1926]

Arnold Bennett She had regretted this, less for the pain than because she had just assured Sophia, quite honestly, that she was not suffering; Sophia had been sceptical. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

William Dampier They told us likewise that the horseman which we saw did come to them every morning, and that in less than an hour’s time he could be at the town. A New Voyage Round the World by William Dampier [1697]

Henry Handel Richardson Besides, the warning passed on by Mary left John cold: he waved it aside with a gesture that said: a few thousands more or less signified nothing to him. The Way Home by Henry Handel Richardson

Sir Walter Scott At a less agitating moment, the young man might have been entertained with the singular scene of which he now found himself an auditor and a spectator. Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch Excepting on duty I saw less of Mr. Mackenzie and thought less about him; he might be left now to be shaped by active service. The Laird’s Luck by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch [1901]