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  • They are a motley crew.
  • a motley mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other programs
  • The man wore motley.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Cask of Amontillado
  • The male was dressed in motley and grinning rabidly, holding a cane or a stick.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl

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  • …was following my dad into our suspiciously dark living room as he muttered things like "What a shame we didn’t plan anything for your birthday" and "Oh well, there’s always next year," when all the lights flooded on to reveal streamers, balloons, and a motley assortment of aunts, uncles, cousins I rarely spoke to—anyone my mother could cajole into attending—and Ricky, whom I was surprised to see lingering near the punch bowl, looking comically out of place in a studded leather jacket.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Wearing his green and grey jester’s motley, Trip could say just about anything and get away with it.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • Sitting so close to the desk, I could see that the covers of the books, a motley red, were badly worn and that the gray edges of the pages had been marred by pencils, crayons, and ink.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Doubtless because of her proficiency in other tongues, Sophie was far and away the prize student among this motley of striving scholars, a polyglot group but mainly Yiddish-speaking refugees from all the destroyed corners of Europe; her excellence had no doubt attracted Mr. Youngstein to her, although Sophie was hardly so lacking in self-awareness as to be unmindful of the fact that her simple physical presence might have worked upon the young man its plainly troubling effect.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • And a motley crew they were, I reflected.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • …made a joke) or Dave (who chuckled, but awkwardly, and always a beat too late), he liked to laugh, and I loved it when he told me stories of his own life: raucous late-marrying uncles and busybody nuns of his childhood, the third-rate boarding school on the Canadian border where his teachers had all been drunks, the big house upstate that his father kept so cold there was ice on the inside of the windows, gray December afternoons reading Tacitus or Motley’s Rise of the Dutch Republic.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch

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  • They say it was a pretty motley assembly.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • The bus was packed with a motley group of men and women who represented the spectrum of ages, neighborhoods, backstories, and motivations.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • They were a motley assortment of all ages from all over the world.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Throne of Fire
  • The room was soon filled with a motley assemblage, from the old gray-headed patriarch of eighty, to the young girl and lad of fifteen.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Nothing could be more bizarre and at the same time more motley than this troop.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • … CYRANO: Come all—the Doctor, Isabel, Leander, Come, for you shall add, in a motley swarm, The farce Italian to this Spanish drama!
    Edmond Rostand  --  Cyrano de Bergerac
  • It was clear that this motley, disorganized horde—more than forty vampires altogether—was the Volturi’s own kind of witness.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • They were a motley crew of girls and boys, ragged, with wild hairdos and unkempt jackets, hooting and making noise, and only when they were almost upon me did I recognize the faces of my elder siblings and my little sister Kathy who trailed behind them.
    James McBride  --  The Color of Water
  • After that I noticed the black worms with the white spines, the green gelatinous slugs with the primitive limbs, the inch-long, motley-coloured fish with the potbellies, and lastly the crabs, half to three-quarters of an inch across and brown in colour.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • He separated from the group and rode to Lee’s tent and the motley bright cloud remained respectfully distant.
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • On one small table tea things and supper dishes stood in disorder, and in the middle of the night a motley throng of people sat there, not merrymaking, but somberly whispering, and betraying by every word and movement that they none of them forgot what was happening and what was about to happen in the bedroom.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • Tom fishes in his pockets for his door key, removing a motley assortment of articles in the search, including a shower of movie ticket stubs and an empty bottle.
    Tennessee Williams  --  The Glass Menagerie
  • Before we had accomplished one quarter of the distance, we heard the thundering tread of many feet galloping down the avenue, and presently espied our motley troop of steeds being driven furiously towards us.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • It was a motley mixture.
    Booker T. Washington  --  Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
  • Far as my eye could reach, it rested on a motley crowd of soldiers.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • A lovely woman reclined on a low couch surrounded by what must have been her courtiers—a motley assortment of faeries, from tiny sprites to what looked like lovely human girls with long hair …. if you discounted their black, pupil-less eyes.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • There he was before me, in motley, as though he had absconded from a troupe of mimes, enthusiastic, fabulous.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • The response came with such a thundergust from the motley crew that the crazy building vibrated to the sound.
    Mark Twain  --  The Prince and The Pauper
  • Scarlett, though filled with the universal Southern desire to believe only the pleasantest and most reassuring things about the progress of the fighting, felt cold as she watched the motley ranks go by.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • But yonder, quite at the end, what is that sort of trestle work with four motley puppets upon it, and more below?
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • A couple of miles farther, the glacier made a sharp turn to the east, we plodded to the crest of a long slope, and spread before us was a motley city of nylon domes.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • The magistrate, however, had seen quite the parade of motley life from his perch in court and merely wondered if he might not treat himself to a little fried mutton along with his usual wedge of brie and bottle of bordeaux at his favorite cafe, Le Chien Dyspeptique.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • She was so impressed by his enormous motley nakedness that she felt an impulse to retreat.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • —Lady, Cucullus non facit monachum; that’s as much to say, I wear not motley in my brain.
    William Shakespeare  --  Twelfth Night
  • —I met a fool i’ the forest, A motley fool;—a miserable world!
    William Shakespeare  --  As You Like It
  • They were a motley assortment.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • That lord that counsell’d thee To give away thy land, Come place him here by me,— Do thou for him stand: The sweet and bitter fool Will presently appear; The one in motley here, The other found out there.
    William Shakespeare  --  King Lear
  • The motley company had increased to ten.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • Have you seen a motley crowd making a disturbance?
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • A ribald face, sullen as a dean’s, Buck Mulligan came forward, then blithe in motley, towards the greeting of their smiles.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • O brother wearers of motley!
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • For though the harpooneers, with the great body of the crew, were a far more barbaric, heathenish, and motley set than any of the tame merchant-ship companies which my previous experiences had made me acquainted with, still I ascribed this—and rightly ascribed it—to the fierce uniqueness of the very nature of that wild Scandinavian vocation in which I had so abandonedly embarked.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • They were a motley bunch.
    Kenneth Oppel  --  Airborn
  • By the end of eighth grade, 84 percent of the students are performing at or above their grade level, which is to say that this motley group of randomly chosen lower-income kids from dingy apartments in one of the country’s worst neighborhoods, whose parents, in an overwhelming number of cases, never set foot in a college, do as well in mathematics as the privileged eighth graders of American’s wealthy suburbs.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • She sat on the sofa in a passive, phlegmatic stupor, her mouth open and all her clothing crumpled in a corner on the floor, and wondered how much longer they would sit around naked with her and make her say uncle in the elegant hotel suite to which Orr’s old girl friend, giggling uncontrollably at Yossarian’s and Dunbar’s drunken antics, guided Nately and the other members of the motley rescue party.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • "Amen!" answered the Jester; "a broadcloth penitent should have a sackcloth confessor, and your frock may absolve my motley doublet into the bargain."
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • In the private rooms of restaurants, where one sups after midnight by the light of wax candles, laughed the motley crowd of men of letters and actresses.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • Passepartout wandered for several hours in the midst of this motley crowd, looking in at the windows of the rich and curious shops, the jewellery establishments glittering with quaint Japanese ornaments, the restaurants decked with streamers and banners, the tea-houses, where the odorous beverage was being drunk with saki, a liquor concocted from the fermentation of rice, and the comfortable smoking-houses, where they were puffing, not opium, which is almost unknown in Japan, but a…
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • They were a motley collection; a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish gravitating toward a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • They were a motley group: the conservative frat guy types in tuxedos and their dates in fancy prom dresses, the new hippies in Indian paisleys, jeans and sneakers, and maybe for flare, an incongruous bow tie.
    Julia Alvarez  --  How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
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