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- I trust I may be excused for desiring an interval of complete freedom from such distractions as have been hitherto inevitable, and especially from guests whose desultory vivacity makes their presence a fatigue.Book 3 — Waiting for Death (59% in)
- Mr. Casaubon made a dignified though somewhat sad audience; bowed in the right place, and avoided looking at anything documentary as far as possible, without showing disregard or impatience; mindful that this desultoriness was associated with the institutions of the country, and that the man who took him on this severe mental scamper was not only an amiable host, but a landholder and custos rotulorum.Book 1 — Miss Brooke (17% in)
- Mr. Hawley's disgust at the notion of the "Pioneer" being edited by an emissary, and of Brooke becoming actively political—as if a tortoise of desultory pursuits should protrude its small head ambitiously and become rampant—was hardly equal to the annoyance felt by some members of Mr. Brooke's own family.Book 4 — Three Love Problems (34% in)
There are no more uses of "desultory" in Middlemarch.
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