I think I have elsewhere mentioned a certain police officer's prolonged search after a criminal for whose arrest he held a warrant, ending in the discovery because of a misdirected call that the man had been living all the time next door to himself; and I have also told of the other detective inspector, who, being sent in search of a criminal of whom he had but the meagrest and most unsatisfactory particulars, and whom he scarcely hoped ever to run down, actually fell over the man as he was leaving the office where he had received his information, in the doorway of which the fellow had stooped to tie his shoe-lace!
To be sure Sylvia's knowledge of the world was the meagrest, but certainly she could never have imagined any woman as remarkable as Mrs. Owen. The idea that a mule, instead of being a dull beast of burden, had really an educational value struck her as decidedly novel, and she did not know just what to make of it. Mrs. Owen readjusted the pillow at her back, and went on spiritedly:
I have been glad by this means to form the acquaintance of many of the poorer passengers. My health has been very good all the voyage: I have not had a day's sea-sickness. The provisions are not very first- rate, and the day after to-morrow, being Christmas Day, we shall sigh for the roast beef of Old England, as our dinner will be somewhat of the meagrest. Never mind!
In the second half of the last century of the Republic and the first half of the first century B.C., this condition of things changed; Italian wines rose to great fame and demand, and took from the Greek the pre-eminence they so long had held. Finally, this pre-eminence formed one of the spoils of world conquest, and that not one of the meagrest.
All he could do at the piano, hundreds of others could do better; his talents as a conductor were, he had learned, of the meagrest; the pleasing little songs he might compose, of small value. Yet, if this were the price he had to pay for making her his wife, he was content to pay it: no sacrifice was too great for him.
While James Garfield was still very young, the settlers in the neighbourhood decided to import a schoolmaster, whom they "boarded about" between them, after a fashion very common in rural western districts. The school-house was only a log hut; the master was a lad of twenty; and the textbooks were of the very meagrest sort.
There is a great deal more than this; for what is positive and intentional in a truly great book is often little in comparison with what is accidental and suggested. The plot is of the meagrest.
She was always watching for black and shiny and spirited horses watching, hoping, despairing, hoping again; always giving chase and sounding her call, upon the meagrest chance of a response, and breaking her heart over the disappointment; always inquiring, always interested in sales-stables and horse accumulations in general. How she got there must remain a mystery.
He had the aspect of being a young man of high and dignified manner, and walked with the air of one accustomed to a silk umbrella, but when Ning looked more closely, to see by his insignia what amount of reverence he should pay, he discovered that the youth was destitute of the meagrest garment.
The morning dawned blue and cold; but soon the clouds gathered, and the jostling revellers scented with joy the prospect of rain. At the Arch of San Lorenza, in Lucina, in the long narrow street of the Via Corso, where doorways and casements and roofs and footways were agrin with faces, half a dozen Jews or so were assembled pell-mell. They had just been given a hearty meal, but they did not look grateful. Almost naked, save for a white cloak of the meagrest dimensions, comically indecent, covered with tinsel and decorated with laurels, they stood shivering, awaiting the command to "Go!" to run the gauntlet of all this sinister crowd, overwelling with long-repressed venom, seething with taunts and lewdness. At last a mounted officer gave the word, and, amid a colossal shout of glee from the mob, the half-naked, grotesque figures, with their strange Oriental faces of sorrow, started at a wild run down the Corso. The goal was the Castle of St. Angelo. Originally the race-course ended with the Corso, but it had been considerably lengthened to gratify a recent Pope who wished to have the finish under his windows as he sat in his semi-secret Castle chamber amid the frescoed nudes of Giulio Romano. Fast, fast flew the racers, for the sooner the goal was reached the sooner would they find respite from this hail of sarcasm mixed with weightier stones, and these frequent proddings from the lively sticks of the bystanders, or of the fine folk obstructing the course in coaches in defiance of edict. And to accelerate their pace still further, the mounted officer, with a squad of soldiers armed cap-