word-rehab
or,
how not to be suckered by
spootels

Earth is a fascinating planet, and one of its chief literary glories is the English language, spoken by several hundred millions of the dominant species.

Unfortunately, homo sapiens sapiens is prone to destructive as well as to creative activity and can inflict wanton damage upon its own vocabulary. 

Physiotherapy treats atrophied limbs; this page, similarly, encourages the reading in proper context of maimed or maligned words.  Crippled though they have been by misuse and impertinent redefinition, they may yet, by this remedy, be restored to healthy use.  Thus the damage inflicted by harmful associations will be alleviated or even cured, by restoring those associations which existed previous to the maiming. 

For those who disagree or who are not sure, I concede that under healthier circumstances there'd be room for debate on the issue.  However, due to the savagery of the culture wars on this planet, for the time being I shan't be entering into any correspondence with regard to this page.  I shall however anticipate one objection:

Objector:  Zendexor, you're reactionary to a paranoid degree.  You ought to accept that language changes with time, stop bemoaning the loss of out-dated meanings as though you were being deliberately robbed, and just move on.

Zendexor:  Of course not all linguistic loss is deliberately inflicted.  Long-term attrition and historical evolution are natural processes, in which losses are likely to be balanced by gains.  But if it happens so fast that the use of a word is ruined within the memory of a single lifetime, that counts as injury due to assault, and requires the equivalent of medical attention. Hence the "verbal physiotherapy" on this page.

In truth, I do regard cultural theft as comparable to pecuniary theft.  Just suppose I were to pinch your wallet, and then, when you demanded it back, I were to say, "Oh, are you still going on about that?  What a boring old stick-in-the-mud you are!  Forget about your wallet; just move on..."

That's what the SPOOTELs (Self-Proclaimed Owners Of The English Language) are expecting us to do while being robbed of our language.  I suggest we don't play their game.



Griselda and Dennis were particularly gay - full of jokes about Dr Stone and Miss Cram - the Local Scandal!  It suddenly came home to me with something of a pang that Dennis is nearer Griselda's age than I am.  He calls me Uncle Len, but her Griselda.  It gave me, somehow, a lonely feeling.

Agatha Christie, The Murder at the Vicarage


As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
        When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.

Milton, Lycidas


That night she made a special effort to be gay.  She drank a lot and when they went upstairs, she led him into her bedroom and made passionate love to him.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale


There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
        To look down to Camelot.

Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott


Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshalling in arms, - the day
Battle's magnificently stern array!

Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto III - the eve of Waterloo


It was twelve noon by the time I got away.  Captain Stonor said I was going to have a lot of trouble from the press, but that he would stave them off for as long as possible.  I could say all I wished about James Bond except what his profession was and where he could be found.  He was just a man who had turned up at the right time and then gone on his way.

I had packed my saddle-bags and the young State Trooper, Lieutenant Morrow, strapped them on for me and wheeled the Vespa out on to the road.  On the way over the lawn he said, "Mind out for the potholes between here and Glens Falls, miss.  Some of them are so deep you better sound your horn before you get to them.  There might be other folks with little machines like this at the bottom of them."  I laughed.  He was clean and gay and young, but tough and adventurous as well by the looks of him and from his job.  Perhaps this was more the type of man I should build dreams about!

Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me


"We must put them off their guard, though," said Scrubb.  "We must pretend we love being here and are longing for this Autumn Feast."

"That's tomorrow night," said Puddleglum.  "I heard one of them say so."

"I see," said Jill.  "We must pretend to be awfully excited about it, and keep on asking questions.  They think we're absolute infants anyway, which will make it easier."

"Gay," said Puddleglum with a deep sigh.  "That's what we've got to be, Gay.  As if we hadn't a care in the world.  Frolicsome.  You youngsters haven't always got very high spirits, I've noticed.  You must watch me, and do as I do.  I'll be gay.  Like this" - and he assumed a ghastly grin...

C S Lewis, The Silver Chair


At the end of August, when all this happened, Zürich was as gay as this sullen city can be.  The clear, glacier water of the lake was bright with sailing-boats and water skiers, the public beaches were thronged with golden bathers and the glum Bahnhofplatz, and the Bahnhofstrasse that is the pride of the town, clattered with rucksacked Jugend who had business with the mountains...

Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me


Number 2, still empty, was to be Carmel Delane, the American film star with alimony from three husbands to burn and, Bond assumed, a call on still more from whoever her present companion at Royale might be.  With her sanguine temperament she would play gaily and with panache and might run into a vein of luck.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale


The bindings were frozen solid, caked, like his boots, with ice.  He got one of his sticks and hacked feebly at the metal and tried again.  At last the latches sprang and the thongs were off.  Where to put the bloody things, hide their brilliant red markings?  He lugged them down the trodden path towards the entrance, gay with fairy lights, shoved the skis and the sticks under a big saloon car, and staggered on.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


"You know Edmund, I suppose, the son who was killed in France?"

"Yes.  He was the best of the bunch I'd say.  Good-hearted, gay, a nice boy."

"Did you ever hear that he was going to marry, or had married, a French girl just before he was killed?"

Dr Morris frowned.  "It seems as though I remember something about it," he said, "but it's a long time ago."

"Quite early on in the war, wasn't it?"

"Yes.  Ah, well, I dare say he'd have lived to regret it if he had married a foreign wife."

"There's some reason to believe that he did do just that," said Craddock...

Agatha Christie, 4.50 From Paddington


Though commentators then and since have made too much of this proposition for its own good, it was really true that the existence of a common goal, to achieve which meant, increasingly, sharing and sharing alike, gave many people, young and old, a proud and even gay motive for existence.  The suicide rate, it might be noted, fell from 12.9 per hundred thousand in 1938 to 8.9 in 1944...

Angus Calder, The People's War: Britain 1939-1945


He settled back.  "What the devil have you been up to?"  The grey eyes regarded Bond keenly.  "Looks as if you haven't been getting much sleep.  Pretty gay these winter sport places, they tell me."

Bond smiled.  He reached into his inside pocket and took out the pinned sheets of paper.  "This one provided plenty of miscellaneous entertainment, sir.  Perhaps you'd like to have a look at my report first.  'Fraid it's only a draft.  There wasn't much time.  But I can fill in anything that isn't clear."

M reached across for the papers, adjusted his spectacles, and began reading.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


I remember a Monet of people rowing on a river, a Pissarro of a quay and a bridge on the Seine, a Tahitian landscape by Gauguin and a charming Renoir of a young girl in profile with long yellow hair hanging down her back.  His house when finished was fresh and gay, unusual and simple with that simplicity that you knew could only have been achieved at great expense.

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


Throughout the south he was received with a great show of welcome, "three at Kilkenny, two very deadly long ones at Clonmel, four not of the shortest here at Limerick."  Limerick was gay with triumphal arches...

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


He heard the door unlock.  The girl came back and slid into the seat opposite him.  She looked fresh and gay.  She examined him carefully.

"You have been wondering about me," she said.  "I felt it.  Don't worry.  There is nothing very bad to know.  I will tell you all about it some day.  When we have time.  Now I want to forget about the past.  I will just tell you my real name.  It is Simone Latrelle, but you can call me what you like.  I am twenty-five.  And now I am happy.  I like this little room.  But I am hungry and sleepy.  Which bed will you have?"

Bond smiled at the question.  He reflected.

"It's not very gallant," he said, "but I think I'd better have the bottom one.  I'd rather be close to the floor - just in case..."

Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die


This afternoon in the broad peasant stripes of gay colour, he seemed to see a new Rosaleen Cloade.  Her Irish origin was more noticeable, the dark curling hair and the lovely blue eyes...

Agatha Christie, Taken at the Flood


There was no one about just at present and she strolled to the far corner and stood by the balustrade.  Soon another evening would begin.  Chattering, talking, drinking, all so gay and carefreee, the sort of life she had longed for and, up to a few days ago, had enjoyed so much.  Now even Tim seemed anxious and worried.  Natural, perhaps, that he should worry a little.  It was important that this venture of theirs should turn out all right.  After all, he had sunk all he had in it.

Agatha Christie, A Caribbean Mystery


Bond loved the place at first sight - the terrace leading almost to the high-tide mark, the low two-storied house with gay brick-red awnings over the windows and the crescent-shaped bay of blue water and golden sands.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale


After passing through the custom-house they went to the hotel and there Lawson was greeted by several of his old friends.  There were a good many rounds of drinks before it seemed possible to get away and when they did go at last to Brevald's house they were both rather gay.  He clasped Ethel in his arms.  He had forgotten all his bitter thoughts in the joy of beholding her once more...

W Somerset Maugham, The Pool


Holland, Hamilton, Cottington, Windebanke and Vane were all, by taste and temperament, schemers who used their influence to get profitable places for themselves, their families and friends.  The Queen, whose busy and gay nature overflowed easily into such petty conspiracies, encouraged them, and they found other willing friends in the many idle courtiers...

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


"Jock is one of our oldest friends.  I've known him ever since I was a child.  He appears to be quite a dour person, but he's really a dear - always the same - always to be relied upon.  He's not gay and amusing but he's a tower of strength - both Arnold and I rely on his judgement a lot."

"And he, also, is doubtless in love with you?"  Poirot's eyes twinkled slightly.

"Oh yes," said Margharita happily.  "He's always been in love with me - but by now it's become a kind of habit."

Agatha Christie, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest


...the party in the kitchen had made their ten o'clock tea.  It was while they sat drinking it that the change occurred.  Up till now they had instinctively been talking in subdued voices, as children talk in a room where their elders are busied about some august incomprehensible matter, a funeral, or the reading of a will.  Now of a sudden they all began talking loudly at once, each, not contentiously but delightedly, interrupting the othersA stranger coming into the kitchen would have thought they were drunk, not soddenly but gaily drunk: would have seen heads bent close together, eyes dancing, an excited wealth of gesture.  What they said, none of the party could ever afterwards remember...  If not plays upon words, yet certainly plays upon thoughts, paradoxes, fancies, anecdotes, theories laughingly advanced, yet, on consideration, well worth taking seriously, had flowed from them and over them with dazzling prodigality...  Mother Dimble always remembered Denniston and her husband as they had stood, one on each side of the fireplace, in a gay intellectual duel, each capping the other, each rising above the other, up and up, like birds or aeroplanes in combat.  If only one could have remembered what they said!  For never in her life had she heard such talk - such eloquence, such melody (song could have added nothing to it), such toppling structures of double meaning, such sky-rockets of metaphor and allusion.

C S Lewis, That Hideous Strength


William Noel Hodgson, who when only twenty was killed on the Somme, similarly lamented this lost youth which we had barely known in one of the saddest little songs that the War  produced.  It brought me near to weeping, I remember, when after four years of hospitals, and last leaves, and farewells, I heard it sung by Topliss Green at the Albert Hall about 1919:

Take my Youth that died to-day,
Lay him on a rose-leaf bed, -
He so gallant was and gay, -
Roses passionate and red
That so swiftly fade away.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


Poirot nodded.

"Oh yes," he said.  "She is dead.  Though not very long dead."

"But how - "

He lifted the corner of the gay scarf bound round the girl's head, so that Mrs Oliver could see the ends of the clothes line...

Agatha Christie, Dead Man's Folly


She gave a quick glance to the right, correctly estimated the trot of the straw-hatted horse in the shafts of the rickety cab with the gay fringe, and swerved out of the side street left-handed.

Ian Fleming, Thunderball


She sighed.

"I was very young when I ran away with him.  I knew very little.  Just a fool of a girl with a head full of romantic notions.  He was a hero to me, mainly because of the way he rode a horse.  He didn't know what fear was.  And he was handsome and gay with an Irishman's tongue!..."

Agatha Christie, At Bertram's Hotel


They sat and drank together until the bottle was finished.  Then she got to her feet.  She knocked against her chair and giggled.

"I do believe I'm tight," she said, "how disgraceful.  Please, James, don't be ashamed of me.  I did so want to be gay.  And I am gay."

She stood behind him and ran her fingers through his black hair.

"Come up quickly," she said.  "I want you badly tonight."

She blew a kiss at him and was gone.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale


She belonged to the generation which was straining to break the old conventions that had kept the Spanish girl of good family hidden away till it was time for her to be married.  I often played tennis with her and I used to dance with her at the Countess de Marbella's parties.  The duchess considered the Frenchwoman's parties, with champagne and a sit-down supper, ostentatious, and when she opened her own great houses to Society, which was only twice a year, it was to give them lemonade and biscuits.  But she bred fighting-bulls, as her husband had done, and on the occasions when the young bulls were tried out, she gave picnic luncheons to which her friends were asked, very gay and informal, but with a sort of feudal state which fascinated my romantic imagination...

W Somerset Maugham, The Romantic Young Lady


The man looked at Bond and his eyes twinkled.  He bowed perfunctorily and led the way inside.  It was cool out of the sun.  There were rows of stalls in which vastly fat brown cows lay chewing the cud.  A gay small dog was licking the muzzle of one of them and being occasionally given a lick in return.  The herdsman lifted a barrier...

Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice


"All along I have felt I shan't be killed.  In fact I may almost say I know it.  I quite think I shall be wounded, but that is all."

And when I recalled how much he had wanted to go to the Dardanelles, where the casualties were so terrible, he rejoined with gay confidence: "Oh, I should have come through even there!"

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


Boyd Carrington looked very concerned.  "Oh, I say, Babs, has it been too much for you?  I am sorry.  What a thoughtless fool I am.  I shouldn't have let you overtire yourself."

Mrs Franklin gave him her angelic martyr's smile.  "I didn't want to say anything.  I do hate being tiresome."

We two men went out of the room, somewhat abashed, and left the two women together.

Boyd Carrington said contritely: "What a damned fool I am.  Barbara seemed so bright and gay I forgot all about tiring her.  Hope she's not knocked herself up."

Agatha Christie, Curtain


What was it that his wife had said when he told her what had happened?  He had wanted her to press him to stay, but, it was plain, she hadn't done that; perhaps he had not dared tell her how frightened he was; to her he had always been gay, bold, adventurous, and devil-may-care; and now, the prisoner of his own lies, he had not found it in him to confess the mean and sneaking coward he was.

W Somerset Maugham, The Traitor


"History does not furnish a year's victories by the armies of any country in any war that will excel these," the National Republican boasted.  "We have a right to be somewhat gay and festive here at the national metropolis.  No one wishes to deny that we have had a rebellious storm, and that the political horizon is still somewhat muggy; but our gallant old ship of State, with Abraham Lincoln at the helm, has weathered the gale."

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
        And while the young lambs bound
                As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
                And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep, -
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng.
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
               And all the earth is gay;
                         Land and sea
        Give themselves up to jollity,
               And with the heart of May
        Doth every beast keep holiday...

William Wordsworth, Ode on Intimations of Immortality


Glowing advertisements of undiminished progress will continue to rain down upon us from official quarters; there will always be well-researched predictions of light at the end of every tunnel. There will be dazzling forecasts of limitless affluence; there will even be much real affluence. But nothing will ever quite work the way the salesmen promised; the abundance will be mired in organizational confusion and bureaucratic malaise, constant environmental emergency, off-schedule policy, a chaos of crossed circuits, clogged pipelines, breakdowns in communication, overburdened social services. The data banks will become a jungle of misinformation, the computers will suffer from chronic electropsychosis. The scene will be indefinably sad and shoddy despite the veneer of orthodox optimism. It will be rather like a world’s fair in its final days, when things start to sag and disintegrate behind the futuristic façades, when the rubble begins to accumulate in the corners, the chromium to grow tarnished, the neon lights to burn out, all the switches and buttons to stop working. Everything will take on that vile tackiness which only plastic can assume, the look of things decaying that were never supposed to grow old, or stop gleaming, never to cease being gay and sleek and perfect.

Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends


"...I've had all the things that make life worth while - they may have been taken from me - but I've had them.  I was pretty and gay as a girl, I married the man I loved, and he never stopped loving me...  My child died, but I had him for two precious years...  I've had a lot of physical pain - but if you have pain, you know how to enjoy the exquisite pleasure of the times when pain stops.  And everyone's been kind to me, always...  I'm a lucky woman, really."

Agatha Christie, A Murder is Announced


"...One does occasionally find a husband and wife who are so all-sufficient to each other, so wrapped up in each other, that the child of the marriage hardly seems very real to either of them.  And in those circumstances I think a child comes to resent that fact, to feel defrauded and left out in the cold.  You understand that I am not speaking of neglect in any way.  Mrs. Crale, for instance, was what is termed an excellent mother, always careful of Carla's welfare, of her health - playing with her at the right times and always kind and gay.  But for all that, Mrs. Crale was really completely wrapped up in her husband.  She existed, one might say, only in him and for him."

Agatha Christie, Five Little Pigs


Presently the enemy came into view, marching the same way "within a coit's cast", with the gay little stream, sliding among willows, between them.

C V Wedgewood, The King's War


The night before Christmas Eve, I found my ward transformed into the gay semblance of a sixpenny bazaar with Union Jacks, paper streamers, crinkled tissue lampshades and Christmas texts and greetings, all carried out in staggering shades of orange and vivid scarlet and brilliant green.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


She was only eighteen.  She'd got into trouble with a boy and had to leave her native village because she was going to have a baby.  The boy was doing his military service.  After she had the baby she put it out to nurse and got a job in the tobacco factory.  I took her home with me.  She was very gay and very sweet, and after a few days I asked her if she'd like to come and live with me.

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


"The Otterbourne girl was there, then?"

"Yes.  Throwing her mother's secret cache of drink overboard."

Colonel Race shook his head sympathetically.

"So that's it!  Tough on a young 'un."

"Yes, her life has not been very gay, cette pauvre petite Rosalie."

Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile


At my first dance, the High Peak Hunt Ball, I appeared modestly attired in the conventional white satin and pearls; this ingenuous uniform entitled me to spend the greater part of the next few weeks gyrating to the strains of "Dreaming" and "The Vision of Salome" in the arms of physically boisterous and conversationally inept young men.  Those dances were by no means the mere gay functions that they seemed; they were supposed to test out the marriageable qualities of the young women on the basis of their popularity as dancing partners, and were therefore attended by numerous competitive chaperones who watched the proceedings with every symptom of apprehension and anxiety.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


There was nothing in her demeanour, as gay, charming, and frank as usual, to suggest that anything troubled her.  She talked as she always talked, lightly but with good sense and a lively perception of the ridiculous, of the various topics which the course of conversation brought forward.  I enjoyed myself.  I came to the conclusion that by some miracle she had no notion of Peter's changed feelings, and I explained this to myself by the supposition that her love for him was so great, she could not conceive that his for her might be less.

W Somerset Maugham, The Promise


The Copper Bazaar fascinated her.  The blow-lamps, the melting metal, the whole business of craftsmanship came like a revelation to the little Cockney used only to finished products stacked up for sale.  She wandered at random through the Suq, passed out of the Copper Bazaar, came to the gay striped horse blankets, and the cotton quilted bedcovers.

Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad


She wondered if Edwin still loved her.  She wondered if he would ever come back.  She often despaired.  Ten years went by, and fifteen, and twenty.  Then Edwin wrote to say that his affairs were settled, and he had made enough money for them to live upon in comfort, and if she were still willing to marry him, he would return at once.  By a merciful interposition of providence, Angelina's mother chose that very moment to abandon a world in which she had made herself a thorough nuisance.  But when after so long a separation they met, Angelina saw with dismay that Edwin was as young as ever.  It's true his hair was grey, but it infinitely became him.  He had always been good-looking, but now he was a very handsome man in the flower of his age.  She felt as old as the hills.  She was conscious of her narrowness, her terrible provincialism, compared with the breadth he had acquired by his long sojourn in foreign countries.  He was gay and breezy as of old, but her spirit was crushed.  The bitterness of life had warped her soul.  It seemed monstrous to bind that alert and active man to her by a promise twenty years old, and she offered him his release.  He went deathly pale.

"Don't you care for me any more?" he cried brokenly.

W Somerset Maugham, The Happy Couple


Well, he would release her.  She would be glad to be rid of him.  Rightly glad.  It would now almost have shocked him to believe otherwise.  Ladies in some noble and spacious room, discoursing in cool ladyhood together, either with exquisite gravity or with silver laughter - how should they not be glad when the intruder had gone? - the loud-voiced or tongue-tied creature, all boots and hands, whose true place was in the stable.  What should he do in such a room - where his very admiration could only be insult, his best attempts to be either grave or gay could only reveal unbridgeable misunderstanding?  What he had called her coldness seemed now to be her patience.  Whereof the memory scalded.  For he loved her now.  But it was all spoiled: too late to mend matters.

C S Lewis, That Hideous Strength


Raymond called out a few gay words after her.

Then he turned towards the bench where the three onlookers were sitting.  The balls dangled in a net in his hand, his racquet was under one arm.  The gay, laughing expression on his face was wiped off as though by a sponge from a slate.  He looked tired and worried.

Agatha Christie, The Body in the Library


She was tough and she had known it have to come some time or other.  She didn't squeal.  For that matter there was no one to squeal to.  She just went and told Lady Burford that she was sorry and that she was now going to be a good wife to Philip Masters, and she started on the house and cleaned it up and got everything shipshape ready for the big reconciliation scene.  The necessity for bringing about this reconciliation was made clear to her by the attitude of her former cronies at the Mid-Ocean.  She had suddenly become bad news there.  You know how these things can happen, even in an open-handed place like a country club in the tropics.  Now not only the Government House set but also the Hamilton merchants clique frowned on her.  She was suddenly shoddy goods, used and discarded.  She tried to be the same gay little flirt, but it didn't work any more.  She got sharply snubbed once or twice and stopped going.  Now it was vital to get back to a secure base and start slowly working her way up again.  She stayed at home and set to with a will, rehearsing over and over again the act she would put on...

Ian Fleming, Quantum of Solace


This was an independent, a girl of authority and character.  She might like the rich, gay life, but so far as Bond was concerned, that was the right kind of girl.

Ian Fleming, Thunderball


Letters from twenty-two-year-old girls, gay and confident and irresponsible less than twelve months ago, telling us of the "awful time" that they were having with rigid, domineering headmistresses in conventional schools, arrived so often that Winifred, who had once thought it her duty to share their fate, was filled with melancholy compunction because she could afford the risk of becoming a writer.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


"Well," she said, "it is all over!  You were too clever for us, Monsieur Poirot."

Poirot sighed.  He spread out his hands.  He seemed strangely dumb.

"All the same," said Jacqueline reflectively, "I can't really see that you had much proof.  You were quite right, of course, but if we'd bluffed you out - "

"In no other way, Mademoiselle, could the thing have happened."

"That's proof enough for a logical mind, but I don't believe it would have convinced a jury.  Oh, well - it can't be helped.  You sprang it all on Simon, and he went down like a ninepin.  He just lost his head utterly, poor lamb, and admitted everything."  She shook his head.  "He's a bad loser."

"But you, Mademoiselle, are a good loser."

She laughed suddenly - a queer, gay, defiant little laugh. 

"Oh, yes, I'm a good loser all right."  She looked at him.

Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile


The thirty or more holiday chalets, which Prof. Hyggens had arranged to be collected nocturnally from fashionable sites on the South Coast, gave an incongruously gay atmosphere to the Liberation Army headquarters, making it look more like a camp of one of the Republic's quasi-religious or athletic fraternities.

Edmund Cooper, The Uncertain Midnight


"Did it ever enter your mind to wonder, Hastings, why Mrs Franklin was willing to come to Styles?  It is not, when you think of it, at all her line of country.  She likes her comfort, good food and above all social contacts.  Styles is not gay; it is not well run; it is in the dead country.  And yet it was Mrs Franklin who insisted on spending the summer there.

"Yes, there was a third angle.  Boyd Carrington.  Mrs Franklin was a disappointed woman..."

Agatha Christie, Curtain


     O born in days when wits were fresh and clear,
          And life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames.....

Matthew Arnold, The Scholar Gypsy


It was a country rich with orchards and green pastures, among which were scattered, in gay abundance, manor houses, cottages, and village spires.  The townsmen had long leaned towards Presbyterian divinity and Whig politics.  In the great civil war Taunton had, through all vicissitudes, adhered to the Parliament...

Macaulay, History of England



From Tips to Look After Your Husband (Home Economics Book 1950):

Prepare Yourself:   Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.  Be a little gay and a little more interesting.  His boring day may need a lift...


"I like, you know, people who can enjoy themselves.  I do not like sour faces.  I like people to be gay and young and charming - like you.  He says to me, that Air Marshal, 'Marcus, you like too much the women...'"

Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad


Isabel was looking very pretty in a red silk dress that suited her dark hair and rich hazel eyes.  She appeared to be in high spirits and no one could have guessed that she had so recently gone through a harassing experience.  She was talking gaily to the two or three young men, Gray among them, who surrounded her...

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


"...One of the nice things about him was his enormous zest for life.  He was so scatter-brained and gay, it was wonderful to be with him; he was so sweet and ridiculous.  What can have happened to change him so much?"

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


Soon after the Restoration, in the gay and dissolute times celebrated by the lively pen of Hamilton, James, young and ardent in the pursuit of pleasure, had been attracted by Arabella Churchill, one of the maids of honour who waited on his first wife.

Macaulay, History of England


The London booksellers and printers, congregated about St. Paul's, had an eager market for their wares, paper volumes displayed on trays before their shops, opened at an interesting page.  There were books and to spare, good, bad, indifferent, grave, gay, useful, pious...

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


"...You must imagine what that moment meant to Marina Gregg.  I think Mr. Rudd understands it very well.  I think she had nursed all those years a kind of hatred for the unknown person who had been the cause of her tragedy.  And here suddenly she meets that person face to face.  And a person who is gay, jolly and well pleased with herself.  It was too much for her.  If she had had time to think, to calm down, to be persuaded to relax - but she gave herself no time..."

Agatha Christie, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side


With his abundant fund of small-talk he was an asset at parties and his cheeriness made things go.  He ought to have been happy and he was wretched.  He wanted so much to be popular, and he had an impression, stronger than ever at this moment, that popularity escaped him.  He wondered whether by any chance the men at Kuala Solor with whom he was so hail-fellow-well-met suspected that he had native blood in him.  He knew very well what to expect if they ever found out.  They wouldn't say he was gay and friendly then, they would say he was damned familiar; and they would say he was inefficient and careless, as the half-castes were, and when he talked of marrying a white woman they would snigger...

W Somerset Maugham, The Yellow Streak


Aunt Kathie shook her head and relaxed her grip on one of the shopping-bags.  A depressed-looking bit of cod slipped out and slithered into the gutter.  Poirot retrieved it and in her agitation Aunt Kathie let a second bag slip, whereupon a tin of golden syrup began a gay career rolling along the High Street.

Agatha Christie, Taken at the Flood


"...I remember now - let me see - she was a relative of yours - an aunt wasn't she? - Ada.  Ada Fanshawe - "

"Aunt Ada?"

"Prettiest girl I ever knew."

Tommy managed to contain the surprise he felt.  That his Aunt Ada could ever have been considered pretty seemed beyond belief.  Old Josh was dithering on.

"Yes, pretty as a picture.  Sprightly, too.  Gay!  Regular tease.  Ah, I remember the last time I saw her..."

Agatha Christie, By the Pricking of my Thumbs


Hutchinson had not been to Kuala Solor for the best part of a year, and had not seen another white man for three months.  He was anxious to make the most of his visitors.  He could give them no wine, but there was plenty of whisky and after dinner he brought out a precious bottle of Benedictine.  They were very gay.  They laughed and talked a great deal...

W Somerset Maugham, The yellow streak


Towards the end of the meal, a whole corps de ballet danced in the moonlight.  The end of the garden was in darkness, and suddenly, with no warning, it became floodlit and a procession of white horses, donkeys, peasants, music[ians] appeared from nowhere and we were led into a Lunar Park especially and secretly built!  It was fantastic, peasants dancing, vast women carrying pretzels and beer, a ship, crowds of gay, laughing people...  The music roared, the staggered guests wandered about dazed by such lavish hospitality...

Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon, Diary, 13 August 1936, describing a ball given in Berlin by Hermann Goering


Here the produce of the West and the East were equally for sale side by side.  Aluminium saucepans, cups and saucers and teapots, hammered copperware, silverwork from Amara, cheap watches, enamel rugs, embroideries and gay patterned rugs from Persia...

Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad


Heavy drinkers veer towards an exaggeration of their basic temperaments, the classic four - Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic.  The Sanguine drunk goes gay to the point of hysteria and idiocy.

Ian Fleming, Octopussy


We were a very popular couple, gay and patriotic.  People used to tell us that we cheered them up, made them want to go on.  And Helga didn't go through the war simply looking decorative, either.  She entertained the troops, often within the sound of enemy guns.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night


"This is going to be pretty frightful for you, I'm afraid.  You'll miss everything so."

For Joanna is very pretty and very gay, and she likes dancing and cocktails, and love affairs and rushing about in high-powered cars.

Joanna laughed and said she didn't mind at all.

"As a matter of fact, I'm glad to get away from it all.  I really was fed up with the whole crowd, and although you won't be sympathetic, I was really very cut up about Paul.  It will take me a long time to get over it."

I was sceptical over this.  Joanna's love affairs always run the same course.  She has a mad infatuation for some completely spineless young man who is a misunderstood genius...

Agatha Christie, The Moving Finger


"I should have thought he worried more than she did."

"No, I don't think so.  I think she's the worrier and he worries because she worries if  you know what I mean."

"That is interesting," said Miss Marple.

"I think Molly wants desperately to try to appear very gay and to be enjoying herself.  She works at it very hard but the effort exhausts her.  Then she has these odd fits of depression.  She's not - well not really well-balanced."

Agatha Christie, A Caribbean Mystery


[re Sir Henry Vane:]  As a child he had been gay and, as he put it, "given to good fellowship", but religion and reformation came upon him at the age of fifteen, and thereafter, to the dismay of his worldly family, he followed the inner light of the spirit into whatever embarrassing scrapes it might, and did, lead him.

C V Wedgewood, The King's War


The girl blushed again.  She looked at him seriously.  "Are you speaking the truth?  I think my mouth is too big.  Am I as beautiful as Western girls?  I was once told I look like Greta Garbo.  Is that so?"

"More beautiful," said Bond.  "There is more light in your face.  And your mouth isn't too big.  It's just the right size.  For me, anyway."

"What is that - 'light in the face'?  What do you mean?"

Bond meant that she didn't look to him like a Russian spy.  She seemed to show none of the reserve of a spy.  None of the coldness, none of the calculation.  She gave the impression of warmth of heart and gaiety.  These things shone out through the eyes.  He searched for a non-committal phrase.  "There is a lot of gaiety and fun in your eyes," he said lamely.

Tatiana looked serious.  "That is curious," she said.  "There is not much fun and gaiety in Russia.  No one speaks of these things.  I have never been told that before."

Gaiety?  She thought, after the last two months?  How could she be looking gay?  And yet, yes, there was a lightness in her heart...

Ian Fleming, From Russia, With Love


If the pale, ringless hand on the railing below was the hand of my Helga, it was the hand of a woman forty-five years old.  It was the hand of a middle-aged woman who had been a prisoner of the Russians for sixteen years, if the hand was Helga's.

It was inconceivable that my Helga could still be lovely and gay.

If Helga had survived the Russian attack on the Crimea, had eluded all the crawling, whistling, buzzing, creeping, clanking, bounding, chattering toys of war that killed quickly, a slower doom, a doom that killed like leprosy, had surely awaited her...

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night


The women's orchestra came trooping down the pavement towards the entrance - twenty laughing, talking girls carrying their instruments - violin and wind instrument cases, satchels with their scores, and four of them with the drums - a gay, happy little crocodile.  Bond was reflecting that some people still seemed to find life fun in the Soviet Sector, when his glasses picked out and stayed on the girl carrying the 'cello.

Ian Fleming, The Living Daylights


The Resident's bungalow, surrounded by a garden in which grew wildly all manner of gay flowers, stood on the top of a low hill.  It was a trifle shabby and the furniture was sparse, but the rooms were cool and of generous size.

W Somerset Maugham, Before the Party


Bond was due back at his London headquarters on the following day to make his report, and the thought of it all depressed him.  Today had been so beautiful - one of those days when you almost believe that Paris is beautiful and gay - and Bond had decided to give the town just one more chance.

Ian Fleming, From a View to a Kill


"With his mind, that cold, logical mind of his, he knew it would be absurd to sacrifice everything for a woman like Alix; he was ambitious, he wanted power; and besides, he could not break the heart of that poor child who loved and trusted him.  She wrote to him once a week.  She was longing to get back, the time seemed endless toher and he, he had a secret wish that something would happen to delay her arrival.  If he could only have a little more time!  Perhaps if he had six months he would have got over his infatuation.  Already sometimes he hated Alix.

"The last day came.  They seemed to have little to say to one another.  They were both sad; but he knew that Alix only regretted the breaking of an agreeable habit, in twenty-four hours she would be as gay and full of spirits with her stray companion as though he had never crossed her path..."

W Somerset Maugham, His Excellency


He was very fond of women and if his stories could be believed they were very fond of him.  He loved good food and good drink.  He knew by their first names the head waiters of every restaurant in London where you ate well.  He belonged to half a dozen clubs.  He had led for years a useless, selfish, worthless life, the sort of life which maybe it will be impossible for anyone to live in the future, but he had lived it without misgiving and he had enjoyed it.  Ashenden asked him once what he would do if he had his time over again and he answered that he would do exactly what he had done.  He was an amusing talker, gay and pleasantly ironic, and he dealt with the surface of things, which was all he knew, with a light, easy, and assured touch...

W Somerset Maugham, Sanatorium


As for my father, I saw little of him.  He used to leave every morning for the Law Courts, carrying a briefcase stuffed with untouchable things called dossiers under his arm.  He sported neither a moustache nor a beard, and his eyes were blue and gay.  When he came back in the evening, he used to bring my mother a bunch of Parma violets, and they would laugh and kiss.

Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (tr. James Kirkup)


He lover her no less because she would shortly be his friend's wife; her smile, a gay word she flung him, the confidence of her affection, never ceased to delight him...

W Somerset Maugham, The Fall of Edward Barnard


On the following day, news went round the village of St Mary Mead that Miss Marple was at home again.  She was seen in the High Street at eleven o'clock.  She called at the Vicarage at ten minutes to twelve.  That afternoon three of the gossipy ladies of the village called upon her and obtained her impressions of the gay Metropolis and, this tribute to politeness over, themselves plunged into details of an approaching battle over the fancywork stall at the Fête and the position of the tea tent...

Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder


I dawdled over my work in Paris.  It was very agreeable in the springtime, with the chestnuts in the Champs Elysées in bloom and the light in the streets so gay.  There was pleasure in the air, a light transitory pleasure, sensual without grossness, that made your step more springy and your intelligence more alert.

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


"...You've told me, you know, that the house felt like home to you as soon as you got inside it.  And that room you chose to sleep in, it was probably your nursery - "

"It was a nursery.  There were bars on the windows."

"You see?  It had this pretty gay paper of cornflowers and poppies.  Children remember their nursery walls very well..."

Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder


The gay lights of the little marina, haven of cross-channel yachtsmen, showed way up on the right bank, and it crossed Bond's mind to wait until they were slightly above it and then plunge his knife into the side and bottom of the rubber Bombard and swim for it.  But he already heard in his mind the boom of the guns and heard the zwip and splash of the bullets round his head until, probably there came the bright burst of light and the final flash of knowledge that he had at last had it.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


Some of the people after an early meal were drinking their coffee, others like myself were toying with a dry Martini; the women in their summer frocks looked gay and charming and the men debonair; but I could see no one whose appearance sufficiently interested me to occupy the quarter of an hour I was expected to wait.

W Somerset Maugham, The Promise


"You know, it tickles me to death to think that we're living like quite rich people when really we're absolutely broke."

"Is it as bad as that?"

She chuckled, and now I remembered the light, gay laugh that I had found so pleasing in her ten years before.

"Gray hasn't a penny and I have almost exactly the income Larry had when he wanted me to marry him and I wouldn't because I thought we couldn't possibly live on it and now I've got two children besides.  It's rather funny, isn't it?"

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


Behind him he felt the guard throw himself at the door, but Bond had his back to it and it held.  The man, ten feet away behind the desk, within easy range for the knife, called out something, an order, a cheerful, gay order in some language Bond had never heard.  The pressure on the door ceased.  The man smiled a wide, a charming smile that cracked his creased walnut of a face in two.  He got to his feet and slowly raised his hands.  "I surrender.  And I am now a much bigger target.  But do not kill me, I beg of you.  At least not until we have had a stiff whisky and soda and a talk.  Then I will give you the choice again.  OK?"

Bond rose to his full height.  He smiled back.  He couldn't help it.  The man had such a delightful face, so lit with humour and mischief and magnetism that, at least in the man's present role, Bond could no more have killed him than he could have killed, well, Tracy.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


In the midst of the agitation over Father Goodman, and the repeated audiences of the two Houses at Whitehall, during the short January days of the least brilliant winter King Charles's Court had yet seen, one gay social evening became memorable.  It happened at a "house with stairs", as Sir John Suckling casually describes it, near Haymarket: the house was that of the younger brother of the Duke of Lennox, the dashing Lord d'Aubigny who had made a runaway match long before with the high-spirited beauty Lady Catherine Howard.  She it was who now provided the marriage feast for her sister's wedding to Lord Broghill, one of the numerous sons of Lord Cork - he a nineteen-year-old gallant with a duel or two to his credit, she one of the prettiest brides in English poetry...

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641



Mary Lincoln's memories of her husband's infectious happiness that day match the recollections of his inner circle.  She had never seen him so "cheerful," she told Francis Carpenter, "his manner was even playful.  At three o'clock, in the afternoon, he drove out with me in the open carriage, in starting, I asked him, if any one, should accompany us, he immediately replied - "No - I prefer to ride by ourselves to day."  During the drive he was so gay, that I said to him, laughingly, "Dear Husband, you almost startle me by your great cheerfulness," he replied, "and well I may feel so, Mary, I consider this day, war war, has come to a close," - and then added, "We must both, be more cheerful in the future..."

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


"So Mr. - no, Captain Marshall is an old friend of yours, Mademoiselle?"

Rosamund sat up.  She said:

"Now, how do you know that?  Oh, I suppose Ken told you."

Poirot shook his head.

"Nobody has told me anything.  After all, Mademoiselle, I am a detective.  It was the obvious conclusion to draw."

Rosamund Darnley said: "I don't see it."

"But consider!"  The little man's hands were eloquent.  "You have been here a week.  You are lively, gay, without a care.  To-day, suddenly, you speak of ghosts, of old times.  What has happened?  For several days there have been no new arrivals until last night when Captain Marshall and his wife and daughter arrive.  To-day the change!  It is obvious!"

Agatha Christie, Evil under the Sun


He opened the porthole.  Outside, the sea was dancing and gay, and the receding coastline, that had been black and mysterious, was now green and beautiful.  A sudden delicious scent of frying bacon came downwind from the galley.  Abruptly Bond pulled the porthole to and dressed and went along to the saloon.

Ian Fleming, Risico


He roused himself.  Smiling at her he lifted his glass.

"We'll drink a toast first - to the young lady whose birthday we're celebrating.  Iris Marle, may her shadow never grow less!"

They drank it, laughing, then they all got up to dance, George and Iris, Stephen and Ruth, Anthony and Sandra.

It was a gay jazz melody.

They all came back together, laughing and talking.  They sat down...

Agatha Christie, Sparkling Cyanide


Mr Satterthwaite thought to himself:  "He's got it badly."

He felt a sudden pity for his host.  At the age of fifty-two, Charles Cartwright, the gay debonair breaker of hearts, had fallen in love.  And, as he himself realised, his case was doomed to disappointment.  Youth turns to youth.

"Girls don't wear their hearts on their sleeves," thought Mr Satterthwaite.  "Egg makes a great parade of her feeling for Sir Charles.  She wouldn't if it really meant anything..."

Agatha Christie, Three Act Tragedy


In the same month that he delivered his temperance address, Lincoln reported to Speed that he was "quite clear of the hypo" and "even better than I was along in the fall."  So long as he remained unsure of his feelings, however, he kept himself apart from Mary.  During the long months of their separation, Mary missed him tremendously.  In a letter to a friend she lamented that she had been "much alone of late," having not seen Lincoln "in the gay world for months."

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


"They were good days," I said sadly.

"You may speak for yourself, Hastings.  For me, my arrival at Styles St Mary was a sad and painful time.  I was a refugee, wounded, exiled from home and country, existing by charity in a foreign land.  No, it was not gay.  I did not know then that England would come to be my home and that I should find happiness here."

Agatha Christie, Curtain


Millicent enjoyed being a married woman, with a house of her own, and she was pleased with the native servants, in their gay sarongs, who went about the bungalow, with bare feet, silent but friendly.  It gave her a pleasant sense of importance to be the wife of the Resident.  Harold impressed her by the fluency with which he spoke the language, by his air of command, and by his dignity.

W Somerset Maugham, Before the Party


Bond said reflectively: "She is, is she?"  He did not need to look.  He had noticed the girl, as soon as he had sat down at the table.  Every man in the restaurant would have noticed her.  She had the gay, bold, forthcoming looks the Viennese are supposed to have and seldom do.  There was a vivacity and a charm about her that lit up her corner of the room.  She had the wildest possible urchin cut in ash blonde, a pert nose, a wide laughing mouth and a black ribbon round her throat...

Ian Fleming, Risico


Before departing, M. Blondin lingered a moment, lowering his voice confidentially.

"You have grave affairs on hand?"

Poirot shook his head.

"I am, alas, a man of leisure," he said softly.  "I have made the economies in my time and I have now the means to enjoy a life of leisure."

"I envy you."

"No, no, you would be unwise to do so.  I can assure you, it is not so gay as it sounds..."

Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile


She said, "Don't be silly.  Now pick up your things.  You've got half an hour's Traction."  She smiled grimly.  "That ought to keep you quiet."

Bond said morosely, "Oh, all right.  But only on condition you let me take you out on your next day off."

"We'll see about that.  It depends how you behave at the next treatment."  She held open the door.  Bond picked up his clothes and went out, almost colliding with a man coming down the passage.  It was Count Lippe, in slacks and a gay windcheater.  He ignored Bond.  With a smile and a slight bow he said to the girl, "Here comes the lamb to the slaughter.  I hope you're not feeling too strong today."  His eyes twinkled charmingly.

Ian Fleming, Thunderball


He was always with some harlot who was obviously getting all she could out of him, and he was now with two painted middle-aged women who treated him with a mockery they didn't trouble to conceal while he, only half understanding what they said, giggled fatuously.  The gay life!  I wondered if he wouldn't have done better to stay at home and take his medicine.  One day his women would have squeezed him dry and then there would be nothing left for him but the river or an overdose of veronal.

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


"It was all so different," said Norma.  "My father isn't at all like I remember him when I was five years old.  He used to play with me, all the time, and be so gay.  He's not gay now.  He's worried and rather fierce and - oh quite different."

Agatha Christie, Third Girl


"You wanted to get in touch with me?  Why?"  Suddenly Mrs. Upjohn rose to her feet.  All traces of the gay traveller had disappeared.  She was all mother, every inch of her.  "Julia?" she said sharply.  "Has something happened to Julia?"

"No, no," Mr. Atkinson reassured her.  "Julia's quite all right.  It's not that at all.  There's been a spot of trouble at Meadowbank and we want to get you home there as soon as possible..."

Agatha Christie, Cat Among the Pigeons


The summer came.  The highland valley was green and fragrant and the hills were gay with the heather.  One sunny day followed another in that sheltered spot, and the shade of the birch trees was grateful after the glare of the high road.  Ethel spoke no more of Samoa and Lawson grew less nervous...

W Somerset Maugham, The Pool


To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.

James Baldwin


"...She was having a wonderful time.  She probably knew it wouldn't last for ever, but it was what she had dreamed about - what the readers of women's magazines dream about, and she was pretty typical of that sort of mentality.  She had everything - the best catch on the island, love on the sands under the palm trees, gay times in the town and at the Mid-Ocean, fast drives in the car and the speedboat - all the trappings of cheap romance.  And, to fall back on, a slave of a husband well out of the way..."

Ian Fleming, Quantum of Solace


The green paths down the hillsides are channels for streams.  The young wheat is streaked by silver lines of water running between the ridges, the sheep are gathered together on the slopes.  After the wet dark days, the country seems more populous.  It peoples itself in the sunbeams.  The garden, mimic of spring, is gay with flowers.

Dorothy Wordsworth, The Alfoxden Journal


Roundhead was an easy word of contempt for the shorn, bullet-headed apprentices, but Cavalier, which so soon acquired its gay and gallant associations, had when it was first angrily hurled at the King's men an ugly sound - "cavaliero", "caballero", Spanish trooper - brutal oppressor of Protestants and national enemy.

C V Wedgewood, The King's War


He slept until Sezana.  The hard-faced Yugoslav plainclothes men came on board.  Then Yugoslavia was gone and Poggioreale came and the first smell of the soft life with the happy jabbering Italian officials and the carefree upturned faces of the station crowd.  The new diesel-electric engine gave a slap-happy whistle, the meadow of brown hands fluttered, and they were loping easily down into Venezia, towards the distant sparkle of Trieste and the gay blue of the Adriatic.

We've made it, thought Bond.  I really think we've made it.  He thrust the memory of the last three days away from him.  Tatiana saw the tense lines in his face relax.  She reached over and took his hand.  He moved and sat close beside her.  They looked out at the gap villas on the Corniche and at the sailing-boats and the people water-skiing...

Ian Fleming, From Russia, With Love


Since the death of Mary two years before, he had loved no one.  He wasn't even sure that he had really loved her, but he knew that, every hour of the day, he missed her love of him and her gay, untidy, chiding and often irritating presence, and though he ate their canapés and drank their martinis, he had nothing but contempt for the international riff-raff with whom he consorted on the North Shore.

Ian Fleming, Octopussy


"...Mrs Protheroe is met at the studio by Mr Redding.  They go in together - and, human nature being what it is, I'm afraid they realize that I shan't leave the garden till they come out again!"

I had never liked Miss Marple better than at this moment, with her humorous perception of her own weakness.

"When they do come out, their demeanour is gay and natural.  And there, in reality, they made a mistake.  Because if they really had said goodbye to each other, as they pretended, they would have looked very different..."

Agatha Christie, The Murder at the Vicarage


The commercial, all about cats and how they loved Pussyfoot Prime Liver Meal, lilted on against the steady roar of the rain, whose tone only altered when a particularly heavy gust of wind hurled the water like grapeshot at the windows and softly shook the building.  Inside, it was just as I had visualized - weatherproof, cosy and gay and glittering with lights and chromium.

Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me


While disaster approached, the King, who had replenished his stables at some expense in the spring, was hunting at Oatlands, from time to time riding in to Whitehall to see what progress his plans were making.  At his pretty country palace early in July the Queen gave birth, with less difficulty than usual, to her eighth child, a healthy boy.  To celebrate the occasion Charles ordered the release of all Catholic priests.  A fortnight later the Archbishop came out from Lambeth to christen Prince Henry, who was carried to the font by a procession of brothers and sisters.  His father created him Duke of Gloucester, but in the old medieval way he came to be known by the place of his birth and to the family he was always "Henry of Oatlands".  Sometime in early childhood, in the palace gardens, he planted a cedar.  The great tree is today the only surviving memorial of the once happy, gay and peaceful Court brought there summer after summer by King Charles and his Queen.

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


Throughout Catholic Europe the secrets of every government and of almost every family of note were in their keeping.  They glided from one Protestant country to another under innumerable disguises, as gay Cavaliers, as simple rustics, as Puritan preachers.

Macaulay, History of England, on the Jesuits


The changes of costume were not difficult - shorts and an open shirt under one of the elaborate dresses that Lady Stubbs was fond of wearing.  Heavy white make-up for Lady Stubs with a big coolie hat to shade her face; a gay peasant scarf, sunburned complexion, and bronze-red curls for the Italian girl.  No one would have dreamed that those two were the same woman...

Agatha Christie, Dead Man's Folly


Scarcely had Charles risen from his bed when his attendants perceived that his utterance was indistinct, and that his thoughts seemed to be wandering.  Several men of rank had, as usual, assembled to see their sovereign shaved and dressed.  He made an effort to converse with them in his usual gay style; but his ghastly look surprised and alarmed them.

Macaulay, History of England , chapter IV, on the death of Charles the Second


It was a small German hotel, of the second class, spotlessly clean, and his bedroom had a nice view; it was furnished with brightly varnished pitch-pine, and though on a cold wet day it would have been wretched, in that warm and sunny weather it was gay and pleasing.

W Somerset Maugham, The Traitor


The men in my ward, too, were recovering; the worst-wounded derelicts from Loos had by now all gone to join their comrades in the damp autumn earth, and the gay impudence of the survivors, as I told Roland, made the whole affair less tragic and more amusing.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


Oliver Cromwell was on the right wing.  Opposite him, on the King's left, he had the gaunt Sir Marmaduke Langdale and his obstinate Northern Horse.  In the centre Philip Skippon commanded the infantry, a plebeian opponent to the gay and gallant band of courtier-soldiers who surrounded the King, riding at the head of his army, all in gilt armour, on his beautiful Flemish horse.

C V Wedgewood, The King's War


...The people who prophesied that Alastair Blunt would spend her money on other women were wrong.  He remained quietly devoted to his wife.  Even after her death, ten years later, when as inheritor of her vast wealth he might have been supposed to cut loose, he did not marry again.  He lived the same quiet and simple life.  His genius for finance had been no less than his wife's.  His judgements and dealings were sound - his integrity above question.  He dominated the vast Arnholt and Rotherstein interests by his sheer ability.

He went very little into society, had a house in Kent and one in Norfolk where he spent week-ends - not with gay parties, but with a few quiet stodgy friends.  He was fond of golf and played moderately well.  He was interested in his garden.

This was the man towards whom Chief Inspector Japp and Hercule Poirot were bouncing along in a somewhat elderly taxi...

Agatha Christie, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe


There was no fear anywhere: the blood inside them flowed as if to a marching-song.  They felt themselves taking their places in the ordered rhythm of the universe, side by side with punctual seasons and patterned atoms and the obeying Seraphim.  Under the immense weight of their obedience their wills stood up straight and untiring like caryatides.  Eased of all fickleness and all protestings they stood: gay, light, nimble, and alert.  They had outlived all anxieties; care was a word without meaning.

C S Lewis, That Hideous Strength


And there would be drink!  Champagne in frosted silver coolers, rum punches, Tom Collinses, whisky sours, and, of course, great beakers of iced water that would only have been poured when the train whistled its approach to the gay little station.  Bond could see it all.  Every detail of it under the shade of the great ficus trees.

Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun


In the afternoon he went down to the hotel again and when he got back he was more than gay, he was drunk.  Ethel and her mother knew that white men got drunk now and then, it was what you expected of them, and they laughed good-naturedly as they helped him to bed.

W Somerset Maugham, The Pool


At home we had a brilliant dinner of 15.  Wallis was gay and amusing.  We discussed her divorce, which she says was at Ernest Simpson's instigation...  Wallis talked of the King, told us that he had wanted to dine with us tonight...

Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon, Diary, 3 November 1936


The five-mile promenade of Royale-les-Eaux, backed by trim lawns emblazoned at intervals with tricolour beds of salvia, alyssum and lobelia, was bright with flags and, on the longest beach in the north of France, the gay bathing tents still marched prettily down to the tide-line in big, money-making battalions.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


Now there was scattered snow and barren trees as they crossed the tiny hillocks of the Vosges, then permanent snow and ice-floes on the Rhine, a short stop at Basle, and then the black cross-cross of Zürich Airport and "fasten your lap-straps" in three languages, and they were planing down, a slight bump, the roar of jet deflection, and then they were taxying up to the apron in front of the imposing, very European-looking buildings decked with the gay flags of the nations.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


The whole area is strange and melancholy and in extraordinary contrast to the gay carnival world of Venice less than an hour away across the lagoons.

Bond was sweating slightly by the time he had walked the half mile across the peninsula to the plage, and he stood for a moment under the last of the acacia trees that had bordered the dusty road to cool off while he got his bearings.

Ian Fleming, Risico


There was a light on my path and a dizzy intoxication in the air; the old buildings in the August sunshine seemed crowned with a golden glory, and I tripped up and down the High Street between St. Hilda's and the Examination Schools on gay feet as airy as my soaring aspirations.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


She was growing younger by the second, gayer, more raucously irreverent.  Her white hair, which had made me think so recently of premature aging, now updated itself, spoke of peroxide and girls who ran away to Hollywood.

Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night


The fashionable part of the restaurant was beside the wide crescent of window built out like the broad stern of a ship over the hotel gardens, but Bond had chosen a table in one of the mirrored alcoves at the back of the great room.  These had survived from the Edwardian days and they were secluded and gay in white and gilt, with the red silk-shaded table and wall lights of the late Empire.

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale


"Maybe she was French," said Inspector Bacon, with dark suspicion.

Bryan was roused to slight animation.  A look of interest came into his blue eyes, and he tugged at his big fair moustache.

"Really?  Gay Paree?"  He shook his head.  "On the whole it seems to make it even more unlikely, doesn't it?  Messing about in the barn, I mean.  You haven't had any other sarcophagus murders, have you?  One of those fellows with an urge - or a complex?  Thinks he's Caligula or something like that?"

Inspector Craddock did not even trouble to reject this speculation.  Instead he asked in a casual manner:

"Nobody in the family got any French connections, or - or - relationships that you know of?"

Bryan said that the Crackenthorpes weren't a very gay lot...

Agatha Christie, 4.50 From Paddington


...But Montrose, for all his European polish, was a believing Calvinist and had a fierce pride in the independence of his nation.  These were the reasons which made him join his fortune with the opposition, not as some preferred to argue, his annoyance at the cold reception accorded him by the King when he had visited London.  He was a valuable recruit to the party because his easy grace and gay good looks make him an attractive leader.

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


She didn't talk to Bond or seem to be aware of him, and this allowed him to continue his inspection without inhibition.  She had a gay, to-hell-with-you face...

Ian Fleming, Thunderball


Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: ... How does it feel to be a problem? ... One ever feels his two-ness, – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder ... He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

W E B Du Bois, Strivings of the Negro People


I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

Martin Luther King Jr, 28th August 1963


On Thursday night, November 10, 1864, an immense crowd, "gay with banners and respendent with lanterns," gathered on the White House lawn to congratulate the president on his re-election.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


Poirot said: "Did you have any conversation with her at all that afternoon?  I mean by that, did you discuss the situation as between her and her husband at all?"

Blake said slowly in a low voice:

"Not directly.  She was looking as I've told  you - very upset.  I said to her at a moment when we were more or less by ourselves:  'Is anything the matter, my dear?'  She said:  'Everything's the matter...'  I wish you could have heard the desperation in her voice.  Those words were the absolute literal truth.  There's no getting away from it - Amyas Crale was Caroline's whole world.  She said:  'Everything's gone - finished.  I'm finished, Meredith.'  And then she laughed and turned to the others and was suddenly wildly and very unnaturally gay."

Agatha Christie, Five Little Pigs


Charles showed his keen displeasure with the entire Scottish nation by appointing only Englishmen to attend his son.  This hurt the feelings of the loyal Scots at Court and still left too few places to satisfy all the English claimants.  Even the Earl of Newcastle, the Prince's new governor, was not content when he found that he had to share his kitchen and table the with Prince's tutor, the amiable but humbly born Bishop of Chichester, Dr. Brian Duppa.  The sallow, lively little Prince alone set a good example by accepting everything and everyone with the gayest good humour.

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


She thought as she had thought once or twice before, how singularly unsuitable it was that she should have fallen in love with Rex Donaldson.  Why did these things, these ludicrous and amazing madnesses, happen to one?  A profitless question.  This had happened to her.

She frowned, wondered at herself.  Her crowd had been so gay - so cynical.  Love affairs were necessary to life, of course, but why take them seriously?  One loved and passed on.

But this feeling of hers for Rex Donaldson was different, it went deeper.  She felt instinctively that here there would be no passing on...

Agatha Christie, Dumb Witness


On one side, set back from the road, was a road of newly built council houses, a strip of green in front of them and a gay note set by each house having been given a different coloured front door.

Agatha Christie, Third Girl


Vera said hoarsely, "I don't understand you."  Her fingers worked spasmodically.  She felt suddenly afraid of this quiet old soldier.

He said musingly, "You see, I loved Leslie.  I loved her very much..."

Vera said questioningly, "Was Leslie your wife?"

"Yes, my wife... I loved her - and I was very proud of her.  She was so pretty - and so gay."  He was silent for a minute or two, then he said, "Yes, I loved Leslie.  That's why I did it."

Vera said, "You mean - " and paused...

Agatha Christie, Ten Little Indians


"...No Sair Hillary" - the box-like smile was switched on and off - "I cannot help you.  But why do you ask?"

"In my profession," said Bond prosily, "the exact meaning of words is vital.  Now, before we met for cocktails, it amused me to look up your surname, Bunt, in my books of reference.  What I found, Fräulein, was most interesting.  Bunt, it seems, is German for 'gay', 'happy'.  In England, the name has almost certainly been corrupted into Bounty, perhaps even into Brontë..."

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


The pink tip of Major Gonzales' tongue came out and slowly licked along his lips.  All the light had gone out of his face and it had become taut and hard.  He said harshly, "So the property is not for sale in your lifetime, Colonel.  Is that your last word?"  His right hand went back behind his back and he clicked his fingers softly, once.  Behind him the gun-hands of the two men slid through the opening of their gay shirts above the waistbands.

Ian Fleming, For Your Eyes Only


For a year Lawson was happy.  He took a bungalow at the point of the bay round which Apia is built, on the borders of a native village.  It nestled charmingly among the coconut trees and faced the passionate blue of the Pacific.  Ethel was lovely as she went about the little house, lithe and graceful like some young animal of the woods, and she was gay.  They laughed a great deal.  They talked nonsense.  Sometimes one or two of the men at the hotel would come over and spend the evening, and often on a Sunday they would go for a day to some planter who had married a native; now and then one or other of the half-caste traders who had a store in Apia would give a party and they went to it.  The half-castes treated Lawson quite differently now.  His marriage had made them one of themselves and they called him Bertie.  They put their arms through his and smacked him on the back.  He liked to see Ethel at these gatherings.  Her eyes shone and she laughed.  It did him good to see her radiant happiness...

W Somerset Maugham, The Pool


It would be difficult to imagine a more striking contrast than that between the Queen and her son, who ascended the throne as Edward VII.  He was neither very bright nor hard-working; he had been wretchedly educated and trained almost not at all for his responsibilities.  He was affable; he had lived (to his mother's great distress) a gay and even raffish life...

R K Webb, Modern England


Sheltered, petted, and constantly entertained by the endless novelty of life, I was a madly gay little girl...

Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (tr. James Kirkup)


Accommodation in wartime London was, as we all knew, by now expensive and difficult to find, but the inescapable supposition that we were not thought good enough to sleep in the empty bedrooms or important enough to wash our cold and weary persons in the unused bathrooms on the upper floors of the great house was not calculated to produce in us that gay, affirmative spirit which causes a young woman to fall in love with her work.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


   But oh! the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone and never must return!
Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves,
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'er-grown,
      And all their echoes, mourn:
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
      Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
      When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear.

John Milton, Lycidas


The Negro has been here in America since 1619, a total of 344 years. He is not going anywhere else; this country is his home. He wants to do his part to help make his city, state, and nation a better place for everyone, regardless of color and race.

Medgar Evers, 1963


The round table at the Luxembourg, the shaded lights, the flowers.  The dance band with its insistent rhythm.  The seven people round the table, herself, Anthony Browne, Rosemary, Stephen Farraday, Ruth Lessing, George, and on George's right, Stephen Farraday's wife, Lady Alexandra Farraday with her pale straight hair and those slightly arched nostrils and her clear arrogant voice.  Such a gay party it had been, or hadn't it?

Agatha christie, Sparkling Cyanide


Manufacturers, Argentines, Chileans, American women separated or divorced from their husbands, inhabited the stately houses of the aristocracy and entertained with splendour, but at their parties Elliott was confounded to meet politicians who spoke French with a vulgar accent, journalists whose table manners were deplorable, and even actors.  The scions of princely families though it no shame to marry the daughters of shopkeepers.  It was true that Paris was gay, but with what a shoddy gaiety!  The young, devoted to the mad pursuit of pleasure, thought nothing more amusing than to go from one stuffy little night club to another, drinking champagne at a hundred francs a bottle and dancing close-packed with the riff-raff of the town till five o'clock in the morning.  The smoke, the heat, the noise made Elliott's head ache.  This was not the Paris that he had accepted thirty years before as his spiritual home.  This was not the Paris that good Americans went to when they died.

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


          Thou bringst (gay creature, as thou art)
         A solemn image to my heart

William Wordsworth, To A Butterfly


Iris Marle was thinking about her sister, Rosemary.

For nearly a year she had deliberately tried to put the thought of Rosemary away from her.  She hadn't wanted to remember.

It was too painful - too horrible!

The blue cyanosed face, the convulsed clutching fingers...

The contrast between that and the gay lovely Rosemary of the day before... Well, perhaps not exactly gay.  She had had 'flu - she had been depressed, run down...  All that had been brought out at the inquest.  Iris herself had laid stress on it.  It accounted, didn't it, for Rosemary's suicide?

Agatha Christie, Sparkling Cyanide


A nursery?  Yes, it would be a nice nursery.  She began furnishing it in her mind.  A big dolls' house there against the wall.  And low cupboards with toys in them.  A fire burning cheerfully in the grate and a tall guard around it with things airing on the rail.  But not this hideous mustard wall.  No, she would have a gay wallpaper.  Something bright and cheerful...

Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder


Though Mr. Lincoln shared the prejudices of his white fellow-countrymen against the Negro, it is hardly necessary to say that in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery...

Frederick Douglass, speech at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial, 14 April 1876


The president "ought to know," Douglass argued, "that negro hatred and prejudice of color are neither original nor invincible vices, but merely the offshoots of that root of all crimes and evils - slavery.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


Bond donned his cowl, went back to his firing position and depressed the Sniperscope to the doorway of the Ministry.  Yes, there they went, not so gay and laughing now.  Tired, perhaps.  And now here she came, less lively but still with that beautiful careless stride.

Ian Fleming, The Living Daylights


One or two over-large wardrobes Gwenda had sold, but the rest fitted in nicely and was in harmony with the house.  There were small gay papier-mâché tables in the drawing-room, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and painted with castles and roses...

Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder


I think she was beginning to have a notion that the Larry who had entered the room a few hours before, though unchanged in appearance and seemingly as open and friendly as he had ever been, was not the same as the Larry, so candid, easy and gay, wilful to her mind but delightful, that she had known in the past.  She had lost him before, and on seeing him again, taking him for the old Larry, she had a feeling that, however altered the circumstances, he was still hers; and now, as though she had sought to catch a sunbeam in her hand and it slipped through her fingers as she grasped it, she was a trifle dismayed...

W Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge


"One remembers oneself - " murmured Miss Marple, her mind going back to the past.  A young man she had met at a croquet party.  He had seemed so nice - rather gay, almost Bohemian in his views.  And then he had been unexpectedly warmly welcomed by her father.  He had been suitable, eligible; he had been asked freely to the house more than once, and Miss Marple had found that, after all, he was dull.  Very dull.

Agatha Christie, A Caribbean Mystery


I was openly hated and persecuted by some of these colored men of the island who did not want to be classified as Negroes but as white.

Marcus Garvey, on how he was received in Jamaica


Spring seemed to revive the spirits of Mary Lincoln, who invariably sank into depression each February, with the anniversary of Willie's death.  "We are having charming weather," she wrote to her friend Abram Wakeman on March 20.  "We went to the Opera on Saturday eve; Mr Sumner accompanied us - we had a very gay little time.  Mr S when he throws off his heavy manner, as he often does, can make himself very agreeable..."

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals


"You got all the dope, I suppose, on that suicide case you were asking about in the flats? I had it sent round to you."

"Yes, thank you. The official facts, at least. A bare record."

"There was something you were talking about just now that brought it back to my mind. I'll think of it in a moment. It was the usual, rather sad story. Gay woman, fond of men, enough money to live upon, no particular worries, drank too much and went down the hill. And then she gets what I call the health bug. You know, they're convinced they have cancer or something in that line. They consult a doctor and he tells them they're all right, and they go home and don't believe him. If you ask me it's usually because they find they're no longer as attractive as they used to be to men. That's what's really depressing them. Yes, it happens all the time. They're lonely, I suppose, poor devils. Mrs Charpentier was just one of them... Oh yes, of course, I remember. You were asking about one of our MPs, Reece-Holland. He's a fairly gay one himself in a discreet way... Louise Charpentier was his mistress at one time..."

Agatha Christie, Third Girl


Bond gazed out of the window for a moment to marshal his thoughts.  M. didn't like haphazard talk.  He liked a fully detailed story with no um-ing and er-ing.  No afterthoughts or hedging.

"Well, sir," said Bond finally.  "For one thing the man's a national hero.  The public have taken to him.  I suppose he's in much the same class as Jack Hobbs or Gordon Richards.  They've got a real feeling for him.  They consider he's one of them, but a glorified version.  A sort of superman.  He's not much to look at, with all those scars from his war injuries, and he's a bit loud-mouthed and ostentatious.  But they rather like that.  Makes him a sort of Lonsdale figure, but more in their class.  They like his friends calling him 'Hugger' Drax.  It makes him a bit of a card and I expect it gives the women a thrill.  And then when you think what he's doing for the country, out of his own pocket and far beyond what any government seems to be able to do, it's really extraordinary that they don't insist on making him Prime Minister."

Bond saw the cold eyes getting chillier, but he was determined not to let his admiration for Drax's achievements be dampened by the older man.  "After all, sir," he continued reasonably, "it looks as if he's made this country safe from war for years.  And he can't be much over forty.  I feel the same as most people about him.  And then there's all this mystery about his real identity.  I'm not surprised people feel rather sorry for him, although he is a multi-millionaire.  He seems to be a lonely sort of man in spite of his gay life."

Ian Fleming, Moonraker


Inigo Jones, responding to the European fashion, denied to his workmen their individual fantasies; he - like the King in another sphere - decreed that the single mind of the master-architect should plan the entire building with all its ornaments.  But outside the capital city medieval freedom of innovation lingered yet; the carved lintels of Worcestershire doorways and the plaster ornamentation of Essex and Suffolk houses displayed the simple, gay imagination of the craftsmen who made them.

C V Wedgewood, The King's Peace 1637-1641


"Voilà," said Poirot as he finished dispensing hospitality.  "Let us forget the occasion on which we first met.  Let us have the party spirit.  Eat, drink and be merry, for to-morrow we die.  Ah, malheur, I have again mentioned death.  Madame," he bowed to Mrs Dacres, "may I be permitted to wish you good luck and congratulate you on your very charming gown."

"Here's to you, Egg," said Sir Charles.

"Cheerio," said Freddie Dacres.

Everybody murmured something.  There was an air of forced gaiety about the proceedings.  Everyone was determined to appear gay and unconcerned.  Only Poirot himself seemed naturally so.  He rambled on happily...

Agatha Christie, Three Act Tragedy


Mr Rafiel had been telling her something that wasn't true.

Miss Marple looked around her.  The night air, the soft fragrance of flowers, the tables with their little lights, the women with their pretty dresses, Evelyn in a dark indigo and white print, Lucky in a white sheath, her golden hair shining.  Everybody seemed gay and full of life to-night.  Even Tim Kendall was smiling.  He passed her table and said:

"Can't thank  you enough for all you've done.  Molly's practically herself again.  The doc says she can get up tomorrow."

Miss Marple smiled at him and said that that was good hearing.  She found it, however, quite an effort to smile...

Agatha Christie, A Caribbean Mystery



The winter passed into spring, and the gardens on the Riviera were ablaze with colour.  The hillsides were primly gay with wild flowers.

W Somerset Maugham, The Lion's Skin


In the early days of my carer as an actor, I shared what was then the prevailing attitude of Negro performers — that the content and form of a play or a film scenario was of little importance to us. What mattered was was the opportunity, which came so seldom to our folks … Later I came to understand that the Negro artist could not view the matter simply in terms of of his individual interests, and that he had a responsibility to his people who rightfully resented the traditional stereotyped portrayals of Negros on stage and screen.

Paul Robeson, Here I Stand


In certain stages of tuberculosis the slight fever that accompanies it excites rather than depresses, so that the patient feels alert and, upborne by hope, faces the future blithely; but for all that the idea of death haunts the subconscious.  It is a sardonic theme song that runs through a sprightly operetta.  Now and again the gay, melodious arias, the dance measures, deviate strangely into tragic strains that throb menacingly down the nerves; the petty interests of every day, the small jealousies and trivial concerns are as nothing; pity and terror make the heart on a sudden stand still...

W Somerset Maugham, Sanatorium


"He seemed in very good spirits - even amused by something - some private joke of his own.  He told me at dinner that night that he was going to spring a surprise on me."

"Oh, he did, did he?"

On his way home, Mr Satterthwaite pondered that statement.

What had been the surprise Sir Bartholemew had intended to spring on his guests?

Would it, when it came, have been as amusing as he pretended?

Or did that gay manner mask a quiet but indomitable purpose?  Would anyone ever know?

Agatha Christie, Three Act Tragedy


The last of the gay, giraffe-like sand-yachts fled down the distant water-line towards its corral among the sand dunes, and the three agents cyclistes in charge of the car-parks pedalled away through the melting ranks of cars towards the police station in the centre of the town.

Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service


An organ was triumphantly playing the first of these tunes in a Macclesfield street one cold spring morning when I noticed that banners and gay streamers were hanging from all the windows.

"It's because of the Relief of Ladysmith," my mother explained in response to my excited questioning; "Now Uncle Frank will be coming home."

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth


"It can't be very gay for you," said Audrey slowly.  "Just living here with Camilla - dear thing though she is.  Reading to her, managing the servants, never going away."

"I'm well fed and  housed," said Mary.  "Thousands of women aren't even that.  And really, Audrey, I am quite contented...."

Agatha Christie, Towards Zero