Phrases with "useful"

Anthony Trollope There ain’t no useful animal as I kens the name and nature of as he can’t have in Ayrshire — for paying for it, my leddie; horse, pownie, or ass, just whichever you please, my leddie. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

Virginia Woolf What, then, we may ask next, is the proper use of words? Not, so we have said, to make a useful statement; for a useful statement is a statement that can mean only one thing. The Death of the Moth and other essays by Virginia Woolf [1942]

And the horse was preserved in as useful a sense as ever apricots were preserved or strawberries. The Spanish Nun by Thomas De Quincey [1847]

H. G. Wells I’ll say you’re in possession of secrets likely to be useful to the enemy. Babes In The Darkling Woods by H. G. Wells [1940]

Most fabulous stories have been told about the Rio Frio and its inhabitants; stories of great cities, golden ornaments, and light-haired people, and it may be useful to relate what is known about it. The Naturalist in Nicaragua by Thomas Belt [1874]

You know as well as I do that cold blood is not always the most useful accompaniment in assessing evidence. The Three Hostages by John Buchan [1924]

Abraham Merri He will be useful at Sirk, Dwayanu. Not before then — surely. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

John Locke As useful as to confound the sounds that the letters of the alphabet stand for. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke [1690]

You decorated our towns with edifices, you bestowed on us useful establishments, you gifted the soil with abundant fertility. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Victor Hugo What useful trouble Bishop Tillotson gives himself, thundering against excessive drinking. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

H. G. Wells But though some wrote well of their later experiences, none of them has left any useful documents for the history of the war time. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Wilkie Collins Your stick will be useful to me. The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Francis Bacon So much for instances which aid the senses, instances which are chiefly useful for the informative part of our subject. The New Organon by Francis Bacon [1620]

Thomas Paine It is a pacific system, operating to cordialise mankind, by rendering nations, as well as individuals, useful to each other. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine [1791]

George Berkeley Qu. Whether some way might not be found for making criminals useful in public works, instead of sending them either to America, or to the other world? 58. The Querist by George Berkeley [1735]

These glands, however, do not secrete honey, but a dark, resinous, sticky liquid, that probably is useful by being distasteful to both insects and mammals. The Naturalist in Nicaragua by Thomas Belt [1874]

Anthony Trollope And the quarrel between Everett and his father might clearly be useful to him. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Charlotte Perkins Gilman It will certainly be a useful process in my re-education; and relieve the mental tension. Moving the Mountain by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1911]

George Meredith The money is useful to you, so I rejoice at it. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

Steadman was to valet his lordship, the footman to be useful in all emergencies of the journey. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Henry James I am afraid, moreover, that I have no better excuse for him than the one he had touched on in that momentous conversation with his mother which I have thought it useful to reproduce in full. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

Possibly I may be useful —” “I know not how to thank you; but, as yet, I have nothing to confide. A Strange Story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1862]

Maria Edgeworth You may,” added his lordship, lowering his voice, “find this Jew a useful friend some time or other, my lad. The Good Aunt by Maria Edgeworth

Charles Dickens The Phoenicians traded with the Islanders for these metals, and gave the Islanders some other useful things in exchange. A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens [1852]

This knowledge will be useful to those upon whom a similar duty should ever devolve. Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens

Jean-Jacques Rousseau From this it follows that the censorship may be useful for the preservation of morality, but can never be so for its restoration. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Robert Louis Stevenson Indeed, it is not for those who have a true command of the art of words, but for peddling, professional amateurs, that these pointed occasions are most useful and inspiring. Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson

Anthony Trollope He had to seek a home certainly, but more important than his home was the work to which he should give himself; and, as he had once said, he knew nothing useful that he could do except till the land. Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope [1871]

By the way, they very nearly came to blows in the garden, within a few yards of me, and I heard something that might come in useful and make Rosenthall shoot crooked at a critical moment. The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung [1899]

Rudyard Kipling When you find a variation from the normal — this will be useful to you in later life — always meet him in an abnormal way. Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

William Makepeace Thackeray I say I learned little that was useful at Slaughter House, and nothing that was ornamental. The Fitz-Boodle Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1842-43]

Anthony Trollope She was not only portionless, but also from misfortune unfitted to be chosen as the wife of any man who wanted a useful mate. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

The work is one of vast industry, and gives a useful account of an important epoch, but is extremely diffuse and one-sided, and often prosy. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin [1910]

Thomas Paine What is that we have learned from this pretended thing called revealed religion? Nothing that is useful to man, and everything that is dishonorable to his maker. The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

Henry James He was disposed at first to destroy it, but he decided finally to keep it, in the hope that it might strike a spark of useful suggestion from the flint of Cecilia’s good sense. Roderick Hudson by Henry James [1875]

Edith Wharton The worst of it is that she would have been so useful at the right time. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

David Hume So much had martial bravery, in that nation, as well as in many others, destroyed the sentiments of humanity; a virtue surely much more useful and engaging. An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals by David Hume

And now I have said quite enough about myself; let me hear how I can be useful to you. Charlotte’s Inheritance by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Wilkie Collins If it turns out a useful memorial, you shall know what it is. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Isabella Bird She is very useful among the other pupils, and is well informed with regard to various branches of useful knowledge. The Englishwoman in America by Isabella Bird [1856]

Jane Austen There was hardly any one in the house who might not have described, from personal observation, better than herself; not one who was not more useful at times to her son. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [1814]

In lieu of Pastrengo, Petrarch found a respectable old abbot, and several others who were capable of being agreeable, and from their experience, useful companions to him on the road. The Life of Petrarch by Thomas Campbell

Jeremy Bentham The most common and most useful object of a history of jurisprudence, is to exhibit the circumstances that have attended the establishment of laws actually in force. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham

It is useful to observe how these distances are obtained. Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo by Richard F. Burton [1876]

Thomas Hardy Again the dread seized her that something to do with her fierce act in the dream might be revealed, and her character in the eyes of the most useful friend she had ever had be ruined irretrievably. Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy [1888]

Anthony Trollope So he sat all alone, and meditated how he might best reconcile the forty-eight farthings which go to a shilling with that thorough-going useful decimal, fifty. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

Arthur Conan Doyle The irregulars are useful sometimes, you know. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1927]

Andrew Lang So Bramintho was put to death, and the ring had been even more fatal to him than it had been useful in the hands of his brother. The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

I would be doing something useful with my life, something that would — would make it good value for exchange. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

The feck o’ the lads comin’ the night are not the real workingman — they’re just the froth on the pot, but it’s the froth that will be useful to you. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

H. G. Wells Several such Associations have played, or are still playing a useful part in British affairs, but most of them have lost the elasticity of youth. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

Steele Rudd Little things like that pleased Mother. “Anyway,” she would sometimes say to Sal, “he’s a useful old man, and knows how to look after things about the place. On Our Selection by Steele Rudd

T. H. Huxley A tendency of organisms to give rise to useful varieties, and a natural selection, do not exist. Essays by T. H. Huxley

Article. A good and useful word, but used without meaning by shopkeepers; as, “A good article of vinegar,” for a good vinegar. Write it Right by Ambrose Bierce [1909]

Guy de Maupassan I am going to tell you what they are; they may perhaps prove useful to you. Relics of the Past by Guy de Maupassan

Anatole France It would be useful to retake the good way. At the Sign of the Reine Pédauque by Anatole France

Henry Handel Richardson Another worrying thing was that she’d been lured away from the plain, useful one she had gone into the shop meaning to buy, and had taken one set with . Growing Pains by Henry Handel Richardson

Arthur Conan Doyle Here I was most useful to Monsieur Otto on account of my knowledge of the English tongue, and also, if I may say so, on account of my natural capacity. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

Jules Verne Hatteras and his companions were clothed in skins more useful than elegant. The English at the North Pole by Jules Verne

Henry Adams Henry Adams escaped, but he never tried to be useful again. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

Wilkie Collins To keep his companion’s mind in a state of suspense was, in certain emergencies, to exert a useful preparatory influence over a man of Romayne’s character. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Florence Dixie He’s useful to me, Fleecem is, and I suppose I am useful to him. Redeemed in Blood by Florence Dixie [1889]

Sigmund Freud The suppression and inversion of affects is useful even in social life, as is shown by the familiar analogy of the dream-censorship and, above all, hypocrisy. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

This fancy having excited some comment, he pretended that he was cultivating a talent which might be useful to him when he was set at liberty. Monsieur Lecoq by Émile Gaboriau

Anthony Trollope But not on the less on that account do I wish to see you take an active and useful part on that side to which you have attached yourself. The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope

I had sworn to die of hunger rather than part with these precious pledges; but now that this ornament may be useful to him or his defenders, everything must be sacrificed. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas [1845]

William Blades Unlike the destroyer Bagford, he has no useful object in view, but simply follows a senseless kind of classification. The Enemies of Books by William Blades [1880]

Olaf Stapledon Sometimes, for instance, I seemed to see that great companies of men and women had chosen to destroy themselves because they felt that they could no longer play a useful part. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

Rudyard Kipling A woman who had missed these things could still be useful — more useful than a man in certain respects. A Diversity of Creatures by Rudyard Kipling [1917]

Jules Verne All that the town contained, useful or precious, had been carried off in wagons. Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne [1876]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Take my advice—go back to your own country and find some useful occupation there, even if you only rejoin your regiment and wear its uniform. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

Anthony Trollope A close observer, had there been one there, might have seen that his wife had been quite as useful in the matter as himself. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Wilkie Collins But the reserves of strength, on which the useful exercise of his memory depended, began to fail him as the interview proceeded. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

Marie Corelli I am old — old! — and to a certain extent, incapacitated for useful labour. The Master-Christian by Marie Corelli [1900]

Elizabeth Von Arnim Oh, my dear, relations are like drugs — useful sometimes, and even pleasant, if taken in small quantities and seldom, but dreadfully pernicious on the whole, and the truly wise avoid them. Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim [1898]

William Makepeace Thackeray These books were evidently written before the useful had attained its present detestable popularity. The Irish Sketch Book by William Makepeace Thackeray [1843]

F. Scott Fitzgerald That’s the part of me that may be useful somewhere, that’ll last when I’m not beautiful any more. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anne Bronte I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [1847]

Charles Dickens It has pretty good endowments in the way of land, and is a valuable and useful institution. American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens [1842]

Ah, madame, you do not know how much I would sacrifice to be useful to you!” She must have been dull indeed had she failed to perceive the earnestness of his tone. Charlotte’s Inheritance by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Andrew Lang And her Destiny held out to Catherine a ball of silk, saying, ‘Keep this — it may be useful some day;’ then pulled the coverings over her head again. The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

George Gissing Spare no useful expense; I give you a free hand. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Certain branches must be taught in the lecture-room, and will necessarily involve a good deal that is not directly useful to the future practitioner. Medical Essays by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every useful institution, of which some traces still remain amongst them, is due to this excellent prelate; an example of what one good and zealous and well-judging man can effect. Life in Mexico by Frances Calderon de la Barca [1843]

Victor Hugo The ignorant man is in useful darkness, which, suppressing sight, suppresses covetousness: whence innocence. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

But, as a fact, he is so useful and so brave that the lives of many others would be attended with greater risks and be less comfortable and happy if his species were exterminated. Last Leaves from Dunk Island by E. J. Banfield

And I shall be happy,” continued the queen, with some suspicion, “if my presence can in any way be useful to you. Louise de la Valliere by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

George Eliot A small mind trained to useful occupation for the satisfying of private need becomes a representative of genuine class-needs. Impressions of Theophrastus Such by George Eliot [1878]

Jeremy Bentham I do not pretend to know whether it be a mischievous one or not: it may be not a mischievous one: it may be, for aught I know, an useful one. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham

Louisa May Alcott How very kind Mr. Brooke is, and how fortunate that Mr. Laurence’s business detains him near you so long, since he is so useful to you and Father. The girls are all as good as gold. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

The people prize these wretched tikes, because they are ever ready to worry a stranger, and are useful in driving game from the bush. Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo by Richard F. Burton [1876]

The ceremony, I suppose, is adequate; the institution, I dare say, is useful or it would not have endured. Chance by Joseph Conrad [1913]

Sinclair Lewis And she had a useful income of her own. Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis

Thomas Hardy On her arrival below the landlady, who was as kind as she was fat and lazy, saw that Elizabeth-Jane was rather tired, though in her earnestness to be useful she was waiving her own needs altogether. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

R. D. Blackmore For Robin Lyth was a foremost favorite of hers, and most useful to her vocation; and neither fifty guineas nor five hundred should lead her to do him an injury. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

Radclyffe Hall Elizabeth was pretty useful too in a humbler way. The Unlit Lamp by Radclyffe Hall

We can see how useful their production may have been to a social community of ants, on the same principle that the division of labour is useful to civilised man. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Edith Wharton Undoubtedly she was their best typist: mechanically perfect, with a smattering of French and Italian useful in linguistic emergencies. Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton [1927]

They are also useful because they exalt and intensify innate qualities and powers. Essays and Miscellanies by Plutarch

Ralph Waldo Emerson The “Bank-Note Detector” is a useful publication. The Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1860]

Anything to be useful or neighbourly. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

Perhaps there were others who were thinking I might be useful in one way or another. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

M. Sussmann, of the Muski, supplied, for fifty francs, a good and useful microscope magnifying seventy-five times. The Land of Midian by Richard F. Burton [1879]

You would be quite as useful in San Francisco; far happier in Paris; and being (by the wrath of God) at Stallbridge-Minster, the wisest thing is to go quietly to bed. The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

The jury will take cognizance of this fact, which may be useful to them in their future conclusions. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green

You don’t know how useful they began to find me with the little ones. Eleanor's Victory by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1863]

Anthony Trollope The grace and beauty of life will be clean gone when we all become useful men. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

Bram Stoker He was for ever lurking around the turret-rooms on the chance of making some useful discovery. The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker [1911]

Olaf Stapledon Meanwhile, with high confidence in his new explorative technique, man applied the concepts which had proved so useful in the study of lifeless matter to the study of living matter and of mind. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

G. K. Chesterton We feel about it as we should feel about a man who said that the plot of Tristram Shandy was not well constructed, or that the women in Rossetti’s pictures did not look useful and industrious. Robert Browning by G. K. Chesterton [1903]

H. G. Wells I have corrected some of the dating by Ephgrave’s useful calendar. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

Louisa May Alcott She is useful and mild, and does her best, But she is not fair to see, And we cannot give her your place dear, Nor worship her as we worship thee. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

Olaf Stapledon They merely provide us with principles useful for the control of matter — in fact, for industry, medicine, war, and so on. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

Jules Verne Top’s instinct was useful to the hunters, who, thanks to the intelligent animal, were enabled to discover the road by which they had come. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

H. G. Wells There was a Free Indian group and a platform of miscellaneous people pinning their faith to the South Welsh prison scandals as a means of raising a useful indignation. The Holy Terror by H. G. Wells [1939]

Frederick Marryat It would be useful if it were only to take the dung out of the yard on the potato-ground; for I have hitherto carried it out in baskets, and it’s hard work. Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat [1847]

That useful Blue Peter needed no guidance. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

Oscar Wilde Don’t degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Intentions by Oscar Wilde [1891]

Henry James Nick went off at this with a simplified farewell — went off foreseeing exactly what he found the next day, that the useful lady would have received orders not to budge from her hostess’s side. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

Olaf Stapledon Surely Victor had had his share of good fortune — a useful job well done, a splendid wife, and a family that did them both credit. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Whoever rationally means to be useful must have a plan of conduct; and, in the discharge of the simplest duty, we are often obliged to act contrary to the present impulse of tenderness or compassion. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft [1792]

Sir Walter Scott They had even talents and accomplishments, which made them occasionally useful and entertaining. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott [1815]

H. G. Wells In this a small boy could find among the ashes such objects of interest as egg-shells, useful tins and boxes. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

But it was a useful road, for by leaving it before going too far one could reach a place near the headwaters of the Yellowstone, where the National Park is now. Across the Plains by Ambrose Bierce

Andrew Lang She readily let Fairer-than-a-Fairy have the fire, and in return for the stone she gave her another, which, she said, might prove useful some day. The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Wilkie Collins The dream of my life is to make myself useful to others; and to such a man as you — I consider myself honored. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

Margaret Oliphant There was actually such a passage once existing, and connected with a secret room which I have found useful in its time. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

Benjamin Disraeli People must know what their situations are; eh! Vivian?” “Exceedingly useful knowledge; but I do not exactly understand the particular purport of your Lordship’s last observation. Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli [1827]

H. G. Wells We all set about it in our various ways, I the least useful of the three. Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells [1923]

And one could hardly write enough pathology on one’s finger-nails to be of much help; fingernails were useful only for formula. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

Anthony Trollope What a useful member you would have made in government!’ ‘But I should never have had the patience to sit all night upon that bench in the House of Commons. How men can do it! They mustn’t read. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Thomas Paine Education, to be useful to the poor, should be on the spot, and the best method, I believe, to accomplish this is to enable the parents to pay the expenses themselves. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine [1791]

Robert Green Ingersoll Old ideas perished in the retort of the chemist, useful truths took their places. The Gods by Robert Green Ingersoll

But the Academy of the Belles Lettres have a more prudent and more useful object, which is, to present the public with a collection of transactions that abound with curious researches and critiques. Letters on England by Voltaire [1734]

Florence Dixie I resolved to make a collection of their skins, and carry them back to England to be made up into rugs and other useful articles. Across Patagonia by Florence Dixie [1880]

Wilkie Collins Learned to make herself useful in the dairy in a week’s time. The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Anatole France He saved me from Monsieur Garain.” The General, who knew the Annual Register, and stored away all useful information, pricked up his ears. The Red Lily by Anatole France [1894]

Great nuisance; but he’s useful sometimes. Victory by Joseph Conrad [1914]

The Brogue had been variously described in sale catalogues as a light-weight hunter, a lady’s hack, and, more simply, but still with a touch of imagination, as a useful brown gelding, standing 15. Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki

He was — he assured me — considered to be infinitely more useful than dangerous, and so . Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

For she told herself that accomplishments and culture might be useful to her in her married life. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Ivan Turgenev What a lot of useful advice he has given me . Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Sinclair Lewis Providing he can really use me in useful work. Things by Sinclair Lewis

Arnold Bennett I don’t like balls, but they’re useful to me, and my little wife likes ’em, and so we give ’em. The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett [1902]

Wilkie Collins He made himself useful and profitable in fifty different ways. Mr Wray’s Cash Box by Wilkie Collins [1852]

Jules Verne A European is a useful being in these countries. In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne [1873]

The key is man’s power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variations; man adds them up in certain directions useful to him. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Andrew Lang Not that she wants them for herself, but they are sometimes useful to her in punishing her victims. The Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Mr. Watkins Tottle listened attentively, in the hope of picking up some suggestion that might be useful to him in his new undertaking. Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens [1836]

T. H. Huxley The first thing he did was to return it, with the frugal reminder that I should probably find it useful on some other occasion. Autobiography by T. H. Huxley

E. Phillips Oppenheim I thought you might have some ideas on the subject which would have been useful to me. The Man Without Nerves by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

Now what else is there that makes a kind office a benefit, but that the bestower of it is, in some respect, useful to the needy receiver? LAMPRIAS. But let these things pass. Essays and Miscellanies by Plutarch

How he had no higher ambition than to be useful and to do good in this little spot of England which Providence had given him for his inheritance. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

H. Rider Haggard She finds you a charming companion, and in some ways a useful one, and that is all. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

Ralph Waldo Emerson Let it stand, then, in the present state of our knowledge, merely as a useful introductory hypothesis, serving to apprize us of the eternal distinction between the soul and the world. Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1836]

George Meredith He was warned to quit the formal posture of an exhausted act by the thought, that he had come to reflect upon how he might be useful to his boys in a like calamity. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

Jeremy Bentham I do not pretend to know whether it be an useful one or not: it may be, for aught I know, a mischievous one. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham

Sarah Orne Jewett His sister told me she happened to see, the first time, what a pretty choice he made o’ useful things that a woman would feel lost without. The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett [1896]

Washington Irving He gives a casual picture of filial piety, which I cannot but transcribe; for I trust it is as useful as it is delightful, to illustrate the amiable virtues of the sex. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon by Washington Irving

Be candid on that matter yourself; but let him think you a useful rogue. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

George Gissing I shouldn’t wonder if he can be useful to you. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

Robert Louis Stevenson To ride in such a carriage cannot be numbered among the things that appertain to glory; but I have no doubt it may be useful in liver complaint. The Treasure of Franchard by Robert Louis Stevenson

Daisy was a good-natured girl; she liked London, and wanted to make herself useful to her stepmother. The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1913]

He thought that inspiration might be useful to poets or writers of short stories, but personally as a novelist he found it a nuisance. The Ghost Ship by Richard Middleton

It was one of her maxims, that, to bring a good design to a useful issue, the first requisite, in the greater number of instances, is not to let it be discovered. I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni

For business purposes I am far more useful to the firm in South Africa than in Throgmorton Street. I have no relations left except a third cousin, and I have never cared a rush for living in town. The Grove of Ashtaroth by John Buchan [1910]

Arthur Conan Doyle I took my seat beside him, while the lady, a useful little buffer state, was squeezed in between the two men of wrath at the back. The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle [1913]

Walter Scott Clerk; the child, if it lives, has enough to bring it up decently, and set it out in life, and I can teach it an honourable and useful profession. The Surgeon’s Daughter by Walter Scott [1827]

Arthur Conan Doyle It was even useful to him as an historian. Through the Magic Door by Arthur Conan Doyle [1907]

Jane Austen Sometimes Mr. Elton predominated, sometimes the Martins; and each was occasionally useful as a check to the other. Emma by Jane Austen [1816]

We began, of course, with the temperature; for in Egypt, where it never rains and the sun is always shining, the thermometer takes the place of the weather as a useful platitude. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Anthony Trollope But the man was in truth a conscientious and useful pundit, with a large family, and evident capabilities for his business. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Thomas Hardy She felt that she would do well to be useful again — to taste anew sweet independence at any price. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Samuel Johnson In the meantime I shall never cease glorifying God for having endowed you with such useful talents, and giving me so good a son. Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

Everything that was calculated to be useful to him in his profession was to be found in the room. My Strangest Case by Guy Boothby [1901]

True that the mild and useful sheep rather than the stately stag browses on that greensward, and few carriages roll along the winding gravel road that leads to the house. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

Guy de Maupassant Mamma left it to me, telling me to keep it, as it might be useful to me, perhaps, one day — ’ “She hesitated, began to laugh, and went on: “‘I don’t know in what way, upon my word. The Hermit by Guy de Maupassant [1886]

Theodore Dreiser He’s been very nice to me and he’s going to be useful — I can see that. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Jules Verne He was anxious to get to Fort Confidence, on the further side of the Great Bear Lake, where he hoped to obtain some useful information. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

Duty prompted me to go where I could still be useful to my country in the critical circumstances in which it was now situated. The Daughter of the Commandant by Aleksandr Pushkin

G. K. Chesterton Of course he looks magnificent—like a chryselephantine statue of Hercules, and about as useful in time of war. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Elizabeth Gaskell They were her companions, her comforts in the pleasant household labours; most practical, useful young women. My French Master by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Henry Handel Richardson To cobble like that!” They were Mother’s dams, hastily made, late at night, and with all Mother’s genial impatience at useful sewing as opposed to beautiful. The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson

C. was a man of great business capacity, and, though of less literary distinction than his brother, did much for the dissemination of cheap and useful literature. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin [1910]

Andrew Lang A kind of square revolving bookcase, an American invention, manufactured by Messrs. Trubner, is useful to the working man of letters. The Library by Andrew Lang

Ford Madox Ford He met us at Havre, and he proceeded to make himself useful for the next two years, during which he lived in our flat in Paris, whether we were there or not. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

Elizabeth Von Arnim It is a useful conviction for a wife to have; it considerably encourages harmony in the home. Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth Von Arnim [1940]

E. Phillips Oppenheim I thought it might be useful for Garth to join. The Passionate Quest by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1924]

Yet all men esteem, that laying up, keeping, and bestowing are then useful and profitable, when some benefit or profit is recovered by it. Essays and Miscellanies by Plutarch

Joseph Furphy From there I struck across to the sound of Cleopatra’s bell, and brought my two most useful friends to where the most valuable was still chained-up. Such is Life by Joseph Furphy

These useful articles all expect a liberal “bakhshísh” when the journey is done, with the usual Asiatic feeling: they know that they deserve nothing, but my “dignity” obliges me to largess. The Land of Midian by Richard F. Burton [1879]

He continued his career till he became the richest man in France, and so useful to the king that no important enterprise was set on foot until he had been consulted. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

William Morris To recapitulate: In our modern society there are two classes, a useful and a useless class; the useless class is called the upper, the useful the lower class. Signs of Change by William Morris [1888]

It would be a useful though tedious labour to go through the left-wing press and enumerate all the hostile references to Nazism during the years 1935-45. James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution by George Orwell [1946]

Some kinds of scoundrel are useful enough. Greenmantle by John Buchan

Arthur Conan Doyle A useful card, Sir John.” “Where is it, then?” “Little Billy Jakes has It. It’s here”— and he slapped his breast. The End of Devil Hawker by Arthur Conan Doyle

This is, perhaps, the most useful and profitable of all Mexican animals. Life in Mexico by Frances Calderon de la Barca [1843]

They showed some relief when he prepared to leave them, and they gave him a useful bit of news. The Blanket of the Dark by John Buchan [1931]

Anthony Trollope If it’s not very glorious, at any rate it’s a useful kind of life. The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope

We have, on more than one occasion, picked up a useful hint from a most unlikely source. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]