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On the fence   /ɑn ðə fɛns/   Listen
On the fence

adjective
1.
Characterized by indecision.  Synonym: undecided.  "Too many voters still declare they are undecided"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"On the fence" Quotes from Famous Books



... June was glad, though she had not the slightest idea why. So, while her mistress was safely asleep upstairs, she had stolen out to watch for the wonderful sight,—the mysterious sight that every one was waiting to see. She was standing there on tiptoe on the fence, in her little ragged dress, with the black kitten in her arms, when a great crowd turned a corner, and tossed up a cloud of dust, and swept up the street. There were armed soldiers with glittering uniforms, and there were flags flying, and merry voices ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... piteous screams of wildness and despair. Alarmed by his partner's screams, the male bird soon discovered the cause of her distress, and in a state of equal trepidation flew to the place, uttering loud screams and outcries, sometimes settling on the fence just before the cat, which was unable to make a spring in consequence of the narrowness of its footing. After a little time, seeing that their distress made no impression on their assailant, the male bird flew at the cat, settled on its back, and pecked ...
— Stories about the Instinct of Animals, Their Characters, and Habits • Thomas Bingley

... little garden [you have frequently heard me speak of it]. We were so unfortunate as to make it on the side of the hill, and it is wash't very much. Do you visit our dear pledge, and think of your Lucy? How often do I think with rapture on the happy hours we spent sitting on the fence, singing and looking at the river with the Moon shining on it. Oh, how beautiful it ...
— Journal of a Young Lady of Virginia, 1782 • Lucinda Lee Orr

... On the fence-posts one sees many nests of the casera (housebuilder) bird, made of mud. These have a dome-shaped roof, and are divided by a partition inside into chamber and ante-chamber. By the roadside are hovels of the natives not a twentieth part so well-built or rain- tight. Fleas are so numerous ...
— Through Five Republics on Horseback • G. Whitfield Ray

... lies to get 'erself out of nothin'; 'cos she's so bad that she don't keer whort rows she gets inter. But she tells other sorts. She just sits up on the fence what goes roun' the green, an' mikes up things, an' a lot of the children ain't got no more sense than to sit roun' an' listen to 'er. That just mikes 'er worse. She sits theer, a-tellin' stories, an' sweerin' they're all true. You ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, November 7, 1891 • Various

... valueless; as it is no sign that yesterday's dinner did me no good because I have forgotten what it was. In the latter case, indeed, and perhaps in the former as well, it would seem more reasonable to draw an exactly opposite inference. But, quibbles apart, one thing I do remember: I sat for some time on the fence, in the shade of a tree, with an eye upon the cane-swamp and an ear open for bird-voices. Yes, and it comes to me at this moment that here I heard the first and only bull-frog that I heard anywhere in Florida. It was like a voice from home, and belonged with the fence. Other frogs I had heard ...
— A Florida Sketch-Book • Bradford Torrey

... I on the fence, he down below, And thou the copula, my trouser, I thought he never would let go,— ...
— The Dog's Book of Verse • Various

... the garden digging and smoothing the ground where their summer's potatoes had grown, because he had nothing else to do, he said, and it would be so much done before the spring. Shenac seated herself on the fence, and began pulling, one by one, the brown oak leaves that hung low over it. There was no gate to the garden. It was doubtful whether a gate could have been made with sufficient strength, or fastened with sufficient ingenuity, ...
— Shenac's Work at Home • Margaret Murray Robertson

... was standing in the middle of the road playing away with all his might, and at the end of a long rope was a lively little monkey in a bright red coat and a smart cocked hat. The little creature pulled off his hat, and with one long jump coming on the fence, he made Phronsie a most magnificent bow. Strange to say, the child wasn't in the least frightened, but put out her little fat hand, speaking in gentle tones, "Poor little monkey! come ...
— Five Little Peppers And How They Grew • Margaret Sidney

... than crude notions on murder, marriage, and honesty. 'We've picked up their ways of politics,' he said mournfully. 'That comes of living next door to them; but I don't think we're anxious to mix up with their other messes. They say they don't want us. They keep on saying it. There's a nigger on the fence somewhere, or they wouldn't lie ...
— Letters of Travel (1892-1913) • Rudyard Kipling

... the corral where, soon after, Judith appeared with her milking pail. The tender pink mists rolled slowly away from the yellow wall of Lost Chief range. Judith, with heavy eyes and burning cheeks, looked from the mists to Douglas, who leaned on the fence and watched her. ...
— Judith of the Godless Valley • Honore Willsie

... innate grace of the French, of which we hear so much, we see that the young men among these peasants are not unlike the shy and awkward country lads of Yankee land. Before and between the services they roost on the fence opposite the church, while the young girls—totally oblivious of their proximity, of course—gather in groups on the other side of the road, gossiping. We infer that many have come a long distance to attend service, as we see several ...
— Over the Border: Acadia • Eliza Chase

... the dry leaves like big and heavy drops of a thunder-shower. They were invisible till they hopped. Boys gathering walnuts. Passed an orchard, where two men were gathering the apples. A wagon, with barrels, stood among the trees; the men's coats flung on the fence; the apples lay in heaps, and each of the men was up in a separate tree. They conversed together in loud voices, which the air caused to ring still louder, jeering each other, boasting of their own feats ...
— Passages From The American Notebooks, Volume 1 • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... leaving the pots and pans behind them in the house. Kate thought she must make some use of her new possessions, so, as she had no need of them in the kitchen, she spread them out on the ground, and then stuck them, one after another, for ornament, on the fence which ran round the house. When Fred came home and saw the new decorations, he said, "Kate, ...
— Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm • Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

... after fools shall have property enough," he quoted inaccurately. "I'll have some of your black hides on the fence by morning." ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... came Dickie Chip-Chip, the sparrow boy, and he perched on the fence in front of Bully, put his head on one side—not on one side of the fence, you know, but on one side of his own little feathered neck—and Dickie looked out of his bright little eyes ...
— Bully and Bawly No-Tail • Howard R. Garis

... jeering statement, a youth wearing the uniform and cap of The Western Union Telegraph Company and advancing across the campus at that terrific speed always exhibited by messenger-boys, appeared in the offing. Periscoping the four Seniors on the fence, he navigated his course accordingly and pulling a yellow envelope from his cap, he ...
— T. Haviland Hicks Senior • J. Raymond Elderdice

... across on the other side of the road is the big stone. Well, on the side next the north fence you'll find the ring pebble. The coord is lying kind o' cross the big white stone, so you'll find it easy; and here, take this chalk; if your grit gives out, you mark on the fence how far you did get, but don't you worry about that groaning—it's nothing but a yarn—don't ...
— Two Little Savages • Ernest Thompson Seton

... bushes a few feet from the fence he hid the containers; it saved him the job of having to bury them, and they would be deadweight now, anyway. Then he turned his attention on the fence. ...
— The Happy Man • Gerald Wilburn Page

... you get out of the woods," said Terry, "for you will soon find out her style of bossing. You will find her sitting on the fence somewhere yelling to you to do this and to do that, and be quick about it. I know what it is to work for a girl boss, so I will be sure that we'll get competent help if it can be had. I want to do a little ...
— Fred Fearnot's New Ranch - and How He and Terry Managed It • Hal Standish

... on, there were meetings and caucuses and primaries every night. The Atlas was the only newspaper that came out openly, "the ring" sheet villified the "woman-question," while the others remained discreetly on the fence. But The Atlas had the largest circulation and its editorial policy had considerable weight with ...
— A Woman for Mayor - A Novel of To-day • Helen M. Winslow

... the part of a ole cow which has had her calf took. They goes a-moonin' about the boat that mournful it 'ud make you yell jus' out o' sheer nervousness. First one 'ud up an' hold his head on his hand an' lean on the fence-rail that ran around the boat, and sigh till he'd raise his pants clean outa the top o' his boots. An' then the other 'ud go off in another part o' the boat an' he'd sigh an' moon an' take on ...
— A Deal in Wheat - And Other Stories of the New and Old West • Frank Norris

... and metaphors which have become hackneyed and worn out should be allowed to rest in the oblivion of past usage. Such expressions and phrases as "Sweet sixteen" "the Almighty dollar," "Uncle Sam," "On the fence," "The Glorious Fourth," "Young America," "The lords of creation," "The rising generation," "The weaker sex," "The weaker vessel," "Sweetness long drawn out" and "chief cook and bottle washer," should be put on the shelf as they are utterly worn ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... from the officers and slipped away in the darkness. Silence fell anew around the fire, and Jackson still stood, gazing into the coals. Soon, he turned abruptly, strode away into the darkness, but came back after a while, lay down on the fence rails and ...
— The Scouts of Stonewall • Joseph A. Altsheler

... intellectual game, felt the power and charm of both men. Partisans had each reason enough to cheer. It was afterwards, as the debates were talked over by auditors as they lingered at the country store or were grouped on the fence in the evening, or when they were read in the generous reports which the newspapers of Illinois and even of other States gave, that the thoroughness of Lincoln's argument was understood. Even the first debate at Ottawa ...
— Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday • Various

... and sunshine were gladdening the hearts of the settlers. Patches of green freshened the slopes of the hills; the lilac bushes showed tiny leaves, and the maple-buds were bursting. Yesterday a blue-bird—surest harbinger of spring—had alighted on the fence-post and had sung his plaintive song. A few more days and the blossoms were out mingling their pink and white with the green; the red-bud, the hawthorne, and the dog-wood were ...
— Betty Zane • Zane Grey

... of course, emphasising his address by an easy and not ungraceful clatter of the adjective used so largely by poets in denunciation of war—"we ain't goin' to travel these carrion a mile to the gate, an' most likely fine it locked when we git there. Hold on till I git my internal machine to work on the fence. Dad! Where's that ole morepoke? O, you're there, are you? Fetch the jack off o' your wagon—come! fly roun'! you're (very) slow for a young fellow. Bum," (abbreviation of "bummer," and applied to the red-headed fellow) "you surround them carrion, or we'll ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... meant, Senorita, when I said she never would forgive me. She has forbidden me many times to hang anything to dry on the fence there; and if I had only washed it when she first told me, two days ago, all would have been well. But I forgot it till this afternoon, and there was no sun in the court to dry it, and you know how the sun lies on the artichoke-patch, ...
— Ramona • Helen Hunt Jackson

... back up to the Helen Mar, and found Stevey Todd had a board fence in front of her, and was charging admission, and he had a new advertisement tacked on the fence. ...
— The Belted Seas • Arthur Colton

... Owl alighted on the fence. There was nothing there except a hollowed-out pumpkin, with a few holes cut in it, which someone had left on one of ...
— The Tale of Solomon Owl • Arthur Scott Bailey

... to the pantry window. It is at the side of the house, and there is a green gate labelled 'Tradesmen's Entrance', which is always kept bolted. But if you get one foot on the fence between you and next door, and one on the handle of the gate, you are over before you know where you are. This, at least, was the experience of Cyril and Robert, and even, if the truth must be told, of Anthea and Jane. So in almost no time all four were in the ...
— The Phoenix and the Carpet • E. Nesbit

... turn'd out at Pewse's store, The last one jest inside the village; The Jedge he even chanc'd along, And so did good old Elder Millage. We sot around on kegs and planks, And on the fence we loung'd precarious; The Elder felt to speak a word, And sed his thoughts ...
— Old Spookses' Pass • Isabella Valancy Crawford

... tagging along behind!" Donny complained disgustedly from his post of observation on the fence. "They'll go to the house first thing to gabble—there's old Hagar waddling along like a duck. You can't make that warpath business stick, ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... flowers which ornamented and brightened the grounds near by. We could hear the notes of several birds, and louder than all the rest of their voices was that of the laughing jackass, which has already been described. One of these birds perched on the fence of the yard where the men were catching horses, and Ned and I approached within twenty feet of him before he flew away. Before doing so he treated us to a very jolly laugh, and both of us laughed, too, ...
— The Land of the Kangaroo - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey through the Great Island Continent • Thomas Wallace Knox

... was Uncle Eb? I got up on the fence and looked all about me anxiously. Then I heard a great cheering up the track. Somebody was coming down, at a rapid pace, riding a splendid moving animal, a knee rising to the nose at each powerful stride. His head and flying mane obscured the rider but I could see the end ...
— Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country • Irving Bacheller

... force me to stay on the fence," I told him. He seemed to realize, as he sat there slowly moving his head up and down, that no further advance was to be made along that line. So he took a deep ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... the street; but scarcely had he passed through the gate than he recollected the quarrel, spit, and turned back. Almost the same thing happened at Ivan Nikiforovitch's house. Ivan Ivanovitch saw the woman put her foot on the fence, with the intention of climbing over into his yard, when suddenly Ivan Nikiforovitch's voice was heard crying: "Come back! it won't do!" But Ivan Ivanovitch found it very tiresome. It is quite possible that these worthy men would ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... party. Of course, dear boy, we must both go. I would not disappoint or offend her for the world—nor must you. Buck up, old pal! This is a hard row to hoe, but I guess you'll have to hoe it alone. I can only sit on the fence ...
— The Corner House Girls Growing Up - What Happened First, What Came Next. And How It Ended • Grace Brooks Hill

... she called out, flinging the shawl down on the fence; "here's the very way just that he wint! Go south to the gap; I'll pull the pole out for ye—this is a ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... this should bring Craig into the pastures. He could lean on the fence and pull at his pipe to his heart's content. The brood-mare did not fancy the smoke, but she liked to have him talk to her. There were a number of interests they had in common; the smell of the new grass, the tempting ...
— Stanford Stories - Tales of a Young University • Charles K. Field

... seeedin'; I wuz for layin' low a spell to find out where't wuz leadin', For hevin' South-Carliny try her hand at seprit-nationin', She takin' resks an' findin' funds, an' we cooperationin',— I mean a kin' o' hangin' roun' an' settin' on the fence, Till Prov'dunce pinted how to jump an' save the most expense; I reccollected thet 'ere mine o' lead to Shiraz Centre Thet bust up Jabez Pettibone, an' didn't want to ventur' 'Fore I wuz sartin wut come out ud pay for wut went in, For swappin' silver off for lead ain't the sure way ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... Hardy remained on the fence, watching his favorite, over in the brush. By a stir of the bushes, now here, now there, we could see how busy she was, and every now and then she sent us, as if begging our patience, her eager ...
— The Flower of the Chapdelaines • George W. Cable

... nesting birds find a safety in their shelter, unknown to their kind that home elsewhere. The test is not fair enough to be worth consideration. If these same pupae had been as conspicuously placed as on the fence, on any EDIBLE GROWTH, in the same location as the fence, and then left to the mercy of playing children, grazing stock, field mice, snakes, bats, birds, insects and parasites, the story of what happened to them would have been different. ...
— Moths of the Limberlost • Gene Stratton-Porter

... Cappy. All you old graybeards can do is sit on the fence and decry the efforts of the rising generation. You just croak and knock. Of course I admit that once on a time an opportunity couldn't fly by you so fast you wouldn't get some of the tail feathers; but that ...
— Cappy Ricks Retires • Peter B. Kyne

... ideas as to how all this was to be attained, but he knew he could work hard; he had read how many a poor boy had struggled up to fame, and he meant to try, anyhow. And now, as he sat on the fence whistling, he was considering a plan of action. There was no use in being too tender-hearted. He would have to leave Aunt Maria without asking permission. True, the little red house by the hill was a snug little home, and his aunt toiled hard to make it so; but would he not come home ...
— Harper's Young People, January 13, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... baptise him to-morrow, and I trust it will be to him the beginning of a new and better life. But I don't know if you are aware that his family are all Plungers, and that he is himself tainted with the wicked heresy of that sect. So it is. He is, as one might say in secular metaphor, 'on the fence' between their grievous error and the pure faith of your church. It would be most melancholy if he should get down on the wrong side. Although I confess with shame I have not myself embraced the truth, I hope I am not too blind to see ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 8 - Epigrams, On With the Dance, Negligible Tales • Ambrose Bierce

... Hampshire, Sweet, of Chicago, and others made up the party. We went down the Illinois Central. It was a hot, dusty ride. Reached Springfield early in the evening. Had supper at the hotel and then called on Lincoln. His two youngest boys were on the fence in front of the house, chaffing some Democratic urchins in the street. A Douglas meeting was going on in the State House, addressed, as I learned, by A. McClernand,—afterwards major-general. Lincoln stood in the parlor, ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... ready they sat down. The sun shone, and the wind was blowing, and the water of the mill-race flashed and gurgled as it went by, and a song-sparrow perched himself on the fence close to them and sang, and sang, just as if he knew ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... the Senate Mr. Blaine advocated the Chinese immigration bill, and opposed the electoral commission and Bland silver legislation. Here, as throughout his political career, he was never on the fence on any question. His position has always been clear and he has ...
— Bay State Monthly, Vol. II, No. 1, October, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... on the fence with his list he repeated the names and the number of cattle to which each Indian was entitled, and men inside the corral opened the ...
— Ted Strong in Montana - With Lariat and Spur • Edward C. Taylor

... large sense of brotherhood for all human and animate creatures. She spoke to him as if she had known him all her life. She talked to the grosbeak in exactly the same manner, as she laid strawberries and potato bugs on the fence for his family. She did not swerve an inch from her way when a snake slid past her, while the squirrels came down from the trees and took corn from her fingers. She might as well have been a boy, so lacking was she ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... weaving an idle history of the old fence, when a chickadee twittered in the pine behind me. As I turned, he flew over me and lit on the fence in front. He had something in his beak; so I watched to find his nest; for I wanted very much to see him at work. Chickadee had never seemed afraid of me, and I thought he would trust me now. But he didn't. He would not go near his nest. Instead he began hopping about the old rail, and ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... them up on the fence, and then pound them. It hurts awfully. Robbie Simpson told me about it. They hoisted ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... on, with the car careening back and forth across the road and with much churning and slipping of tires. His shoulders began to ache and he wearied of the effort. It was a useless waste of energy. Spying a huge tree standing on the fence line on up ahead, he drew up to it and stopped in its shade. There was barely room for any one to pass on the other side ...
— Stubble • George Looms

... so tickled him, that he commenced to laugh, and, finding it inconvenient to do so on his legs, he sat down to indulge his humour freely. A laughing jackass perched on the fence at the side of the road heard Mr Villiers' hilarity, and, being of a convivial turn of mind itself, went off into fits of laughter also. On hearing this echo Mr Villiers tried to get up, in order to punish the man ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... bed at that and looking from the window. A small group of children stood in the road outside the house, while Joe and the cook with their arms on the fence were staring hard at his parlour window, occasionally varying the proceedings by a little conversation with the people next door, who were standing in their front garden. In a state of considerable agitation he hurriedly ...
— A Master Of Craft • W. W. Jacobs

... Sam," said Cleary, not long after they had been out of sight of land, "who are you for, Admiral Hercules or Admiral Slewey? We can't keep on the fence, that's evident, and if we get down on different sides we can't be friends, and that might upset all our plans, not to speak of the ...
— Captain Jinks, Hero • Ernest Crosby

... sitting on the fence, holding genial converse with Jim Budd. The waiter was flashing a double row of white teeth in deep laughter at something the deputy had told him. Evidently they were already friends. When she looked again, a few minutes later, she knew Jack had reached the point where ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... for his tea. Says his wife, "Many is the dime it has saved us." There are two goats in Mr. Lennon's yard, one perched on top of a shed surveying the yard, the other engaged in chewing at a buck-saw that hangs on the fence. ...
— Children of the Tenements • Jacob A. Riis

... one or two occasions, informed the boys that they would find a missing cow or horse at the Buckolts' Gate, and they had found it calmly camped at the Lower Sliprails, and after he had made several appointments to meet parties at Buckolts' Gate, and had been found leaning obstinately on the fence by the Lower Sliprails with no explanation to offer other than that he was waiting at Buckolts' Gate, they began to fear that he was ...
— Children of the Bush • Henry Lawson

... many things helped to do it, but I am sure a robin, the first I had seen since leaving home, did his part. He struck the right note, he brought the scene home to me, he supplied the link of association. There he was, running over the grass or perching on the fence, or singing from a tree-top in the old familiar way. Where the robin is at home, there at home am I. But many other things helped to win my heart to the Yosemite—the whole character of the scene, not only its beauty and sublimity, but the air of peace and protection, and of homelike ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... to this boy!" said the engineer. "It was he who stood on the fence and signaled me. We owe ...
— Facing the World • Horatio Alger

... The crow and blue jay belong to the singers, you will be surprised to hear. And what a crowd of these song-birds there are trilling and warbling in the sunshine! Have you ever watched the meadow-lark singing as he sits on guard on the fence, while the rest of his brown-coated yellow-vested flock run along the field picking ...
— Stories of California • Ella M. Sexton

... feet. One of my friends who took my advice said that it didn't work, that he had not only put up the string but had fastened a piece of tin onto the string. That is just where he made a failure. The crows sized up the situation immediately. They sat on the fence and looked it over and made up their minds that those things were not meant for them, and then they went in and destroyed his grain. But a simple string between the poles will keep the crows ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 13th Annual Meeting - Rochester, N.Y. September, 7, 8 and 9, 1922 • Various

... their place I would let him see all there was to see, and let him, as he wished, write to his people of the excellence of the French army and of the inevitable success of the Allies. With Italy balancing on the fence and needing very little urging to cause her to join her fortunes with France, to choose that moment to put Italian journalists in a cow ...
— With the Allies • Richard Harding Davis

... wicked-looking cat on the fence! She'll have one of those dear little rabbits in ...
— After a Shadow, and Other Stories • T. S. Arthur

... had the sense to see that the time was not yet come for such action, and sarcastically refused the crown. "I am no more fit," he said, "to be an Emperor [[Greek: autokrator]]than you to be soldiers." The army now proceeded to "sit on the fence"; some legions, notably the famous Fourteenth, slightly inclined to Otho, others to Vitellius, till their hesitation was ended by their own special hero, Vespasian, fresh from his Judaean victories,[182] coming forward as Pretender. Agricola, now in command of the Twentieth, at once declared ...
— Early Britain—Roman Britain • Edward Conybeare

... but dwelt on the fence So that Counter Vair passed him in galloping thence. Then Stormalong blundered, then bright Muscatel Slipped badly on landing and stumbled ...
— Right Royal • John Masefield

... the way he kep' on, a hurryin' me along, and a talkin' fast to try to get the price of that picture out of my head. Anon, and sometimes oftener, we would come to the word in big letters on signs, or on the fence, or the sides of barns, "Pray." And sometimes it would read, "Pray for my wife!" And Josiah every time he came to the words would stop ...
— Samantha at Saratoga • Marietta Holley

... way off from Nat's yellow bird," said Dodo; "and now I see lots more of Rap's Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, over on the fence. I want to know what they are doing in the potato field. I hope they don't dig up ...
— Citizen Bird • Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliott Coues

... was any old stovepipe hole or other avenue to eye or ear. Then she went, in her excess of caution, to the window. She saw nothing noteworthy except Mr. Gifted Hopkins and the charge he convoyed, large and small, in the distance. The whole living fleet was stationary for the moment, he leaning on the fence with his cheek on his hand, in one of the attitudes of the late Lord Byron; she, very near him, listening, apparently, in the pose of Mignon aspirant au ciel, as rendered ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... of storm in the lifeless air. Zachariah, resting his elbows on the fence, confided this prognostication to an almost invisible Hattie on the opposite side of the barrier between two ...
— Viola Gwyn • George Barr McCutcheon

... of Harvard was on the fence: "After all," he said, "all sort of things float around in space. But I'm not convinced the saucers are ...
— The Flying Saucers are Real • Donald Keyhoe

... him, but it don't make no difference, now." He passed a small phial across the bar. "Fifteen or twenty drops," he said laconically, and laughed. "Nothin' like keepin' yer eyes an' ears open. Doc kicked like a steer first, but he seen I had his hide hung on the fence onless he loosened up. But he sure wouldn't weep none at my demise. If ever I git sick I'll have some other Doc. I'd as soon send fer a rattlesnake." The man glanced at the clock. "It's workin' 'long to'ards noon, I'll jest slip down to the Long Horn ...
— The Texan - A Story of the Cattle Country • James B. Hendryx

... On the fence close by Where the sunbeams lie Doth the kingly Nightshade blow; But the Asters tall That grew by the wall Have ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... a true American," retorted Hilda, hotly. "Here are three or four nations fighting for your future, saving values for your own sons and grandsons. And you're too busy to inform yourself as to the rights of it. You prefer to sit on the fence and pluck the profits. You would just as lief sell to the Germans as to the Allies, if the money lay that way ...
— Young Hilda at the Wars • Arthur Gleason

... Stranger, I was a joggin' along into Windsor on Old Clay, on a sort of butter and eggs' gait (for a fast walk on a journey tires a horse considerable), and who should I see a settin' straddle legs "on the fence, but Squire Gabriel Soogit, with his coat off, a holdin' of a hoe in one hand, and his hat in t'other, and a blowin' like a porpus ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... being tainted with inveterate suspicions concerning you; suspicions which were indebted for their strength to incidents connected with this spot; what wonder that it seized upon my thoughts! "I leaped on the fence; but before I descended on the opposite side, I paused to survey the scene. Leaves dropping with dew, and glistening in the moon's rays, with no moving object to molest the deep repose, filled me with security and hope. ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... my road took me by Brother Bear's house every day—right by the front gate. Sometimes Mrs. Bear would be hanging out clothes on the fence, sometimes she would be sweeping off the front porch, and sometimes she would be working in the garden; but no matter what she was doing I'd cough and catch her eye, and then I'd bow just ...
— Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country • Joel Chandler Harris

... dress caught on the fence when she was climbing over, and spilled some apples or something out of a basket. There, see how she's torn her dress! It's her own fault! I told her to wait until I got through, and I would help her;—but I ...
— By the Roadside • Katherine M. Yates

... along before the War in the Air began that Mr. Smallways made this remark. He was sitting on the fence at the end of his garden and surveying the great Bun Hill gas-works with an eye that neither praised nor blamed. Above the clustering gasometers three unfamiliar shapes appeared, thin, wallowing bladders that flapped and rolled about, and grew bigger and bigger and rounder and rounder—balloons ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... letter-down of bars; such a personification of all manner of anarchy and ill luck, had never before been seen on the estate. His time, while I was gone to the city, was agreeably diversified with roosting on the fence, swinging on the gates, making poplar whistles for the children, hunting eggs, and eating whatever fruit happened to be in season, in which latter accomplishment he was certainly quite distinguished. After about three weeks of this kind of joint gardening, ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... in the evening a field recently cleared by John Waggoner, found him seated on a log, resting himself after the labors of the day. In this company of Indians was the since justly celebrated General Tecumseh, who leaving his companions to make sure of those in the house, placed his gun on the fence and fired deliberately at Waggoner. The leaden messenger of death failed of its errand, and passing through the sleeve of his shirt, left Waggoner uninjured, to try his speed with the Indian. Taking a direction opposite the house, ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... keyhole at them going up-stairs, scuffle away together with that sensation of blended imbecility and irascibility which is equally characteristic of callow youth and inexperienced Thomas Cats when retiring together from the society of female friends who seem to be still on the fence ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 14, July 2, 1870 • Various

... in a hard position for a perfect gentleman, I want to please the ladies, but I don't see how I can, My present wife's a suffragist, and counts on my support, But my mother is an anti, of a rather biting sort; One grandmother is on the fence, the other much opposed, And my sister lives in Oregon, and thinks the question's closed; Each one is counting on my vote to represent her view. Now what should you think proper for ...
— Are Women People? • Alice Duer Miller

... smaller and smaller, but Billy evinced no intention of quitting, and his audience on the fence was deep in conversation. Saxon's questions flew fast and furious, and she was not long in concluding that the old man bore a striking resemblance to the description the lineman had ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... gate and started toward the meadow. Mostyn leaned on the fence. He saw the couple again. They were standing face to face arranging ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... to her bosom, as it were. "Let us sit on the fence and enjoy this spectacle! My dear, you can have no idea what an uproar you are making! The young married women gather in their boudoirs and whisper ghastly secrets to each other; some of them are sure they have it, and some ...
— Sylvia's Marriage • Upton Sinclair

... say his health, I mean the health and strength of his love for you. You must vacillate, Edith. Souvent femme varie. You sit on the fence, n'est-ce-pas? Well, offer the fence to him. But, take it away before ...
— Love at Second Sight • Ada Leverson

... returned Joyce dolefully. (She was sitting on the fence looking decidedly crestfallen.) "I'm afraid ...
— The Luckiest Girl in the School • Angela Brazil

... good water, and that's a lot better than nothing," said Dolly. "Come on! We started for the road. Let's go down and sit on the fence and watch the ...
— The Camp Fire Girls on the Farm - Or, Bessie King's New Chum • Jane L. Stewart

... looked through the stalks, and saw a brown bear with two cubs. She was slashing down the corn with her paws to get at the ears. She smelled me, and getting frightened, began to run. I had a dog with me this time, and shouted and rapped on the fence, and set him on her. He jumped up and snapped at her flanks, and every few instants she'd turn and give him a cuff, that would send him yards away. I followed her up, and just back of the farm she and her cubs took into a tree. I sent my dog home, and my father and some ...
— Beautiful Joe • Marshall Saunders

... cholera, the fifteen years' man vamosed, retreating across the road, and seating himself on the fence under the shadow of the ...
— 'Lena Rivers • Mary J. Holmes

... new era had dawned with five of the largest cities organized and affiliated with the State association. It held its annual convention at Nashville January 10-11. Governor Ben W. Hooper addressed it and stated that he was "on the fence" as to the suffrage question. Mrs. Allen was elected honorary president and Miss Sarah Barnwell Elliott president. Miss Elliott spent two months of this year speaking in the State and she also spoke in Birmingham, in New York and the Mississippi Valley Conference in Chicago. In December a ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... emerged from the house, and smiled when he returned the empty handbag. He went to a small building near a fenced enclosure—the corral, she learned afterward—and came out carrying a saddle, which he hung on the fence while he captured the black horse, which she had already observed. The animal evaded capture, playfully, but in the end it trotted mincingly to Trevison and permitted him to throw the bridle on. Then, shortly afterward he mounted ...
— 'Firebrand' Trevison • Charles Alden Seltzer

... was not very Chipper. It Worried him more than a little, because he did not care to pay any Doctor Bills. He told her she had better go and get some Patent Medicine that he had seen advertised on the Fence coming out from Town. It was only Twenty-Five cents a Bottle, and was warranted to Cure Anything. So she tried it, but it did not seem to restore her Youth and she got Weaker, and at last Henry just had to have the Doctor, Expense or No Expense. The Doctor said ...
— More Fables • George Ade

... the midday meal, which was hurriedly eaten. Lars Gunnarson and the clerk still sat on the fence, laughing and chatting. They reminded Jan of a pair of hawks biding their time to swoop down upon helpless prey. Finally the men got down off the fence, opened the gate, and ...
— The Emperor of Portugalia • Selma Lagerlof

... march in the ranks," he said. "I'm perfectly content to sit on the fence and see ...
— A Daughter of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... you do run on," said the iron-grey giant, rubbing his knuckles together sheepishly. "You don't know Sis ef you go on that away. Many's the time that chile 'ud foller me up an' say, 'Pap, ef you see my shawl a-haugin' out on the fence, Puss'll be asleep, an' don't you come a-lumberin' in an' wake her up, nuther.' An' many's the time she'd come out an' meet me, an' up an' say, 'Pap, Puss has takin' an' bin a-mopin' all day long; yess you an' me go in an' fetch her up.' An' bless your life," Teague continued, ...
— Mingo - And Other Sketches in Black and White • Joel Chandler Harris

... foot of the hill a boy was sitting on the fence in the shadow of the spruces . . . a boy with big, dreamy eyes and a beautiful, sensitive face. He swung down and joined Anne, smiling; but there were traces of tears on ...
— Anne Of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... Some stuffy old codger would holler out,—'Treason! You must keep a sharp eye on a dog thet hez bit you once, An' I aint agoin' to cheat my constitoounts,'— Wen every fool knows thet a man represents Not the fellers thet sent him, but them on the fence,— Impartially ready to jump either side An' make the fust use of a turn o' the tide,— 130 The waiters on Providunce here in the city, Who compose wut they call a State Centerl Committy, Constitoounts air hendy to help a man in, But arterwards ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... They were leaning elbows on the fence below the grand stand, watching desultorily the endless preparatory manoeuvres of three men astride the hind legs of three pacers in sulkies. "This side-wheeling business gives me a pain," Billy remarked, as the pacers ambled by for the fourth or fifth time. "I like caballos that ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... "Sit on the fence and roll a cigarette like a blasted gentleman and damn the eyes of the feller that's catchin' ...
— Trailin'! • Max Brand

... I was attending to my flowers ... several soldiers stopped in front of me, and holding on the fence, commenced to talk about some brave Colonel, and a shooting affair last night. When all had gone except one who was watching me attentively, as he seemed to wish to tell me, I let him go ahead. The story was that Colonel McMillan was shot through the shoulder, breast, and liver, by three guerrillas ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... four o'clock, and Lincoln was tired. His neck ached, his toes were swollen, and his tongue called for a drink of water. He got off the plow, after turning the horses' heads to the faint western breeze, and took a seat on the fence in the shade of a small popple tree on which ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... Ellen, "now the sunshine is on the fence, and the road, and everything. I wonder what is the reason that the sun shines first upon the top of the mountain, and then comes so slowly down the side; why don't it shine on ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... master, Cody, compelled him to assist, threatening his life if he dared to disobey; that he carried the musket to the place at which it was discharged; that his master then received it from him, rested it on the fence, fired and ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... the man, I say," Trampas pursued. "And ain't he there? She leaves Baldy sit on the fence ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... little private things. They want to turn everything into a movement. Miss Trixie says they won't have any eggs from their fowls next winter; all their chickens are roosters, and all they'll do will be to sit in a row on the fence and crow! I think the world is ...
— We Girls: A Home Story • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... any water like that spring on the ridge. Last night I was back there, and the maples were all yellow like sunshine. Once it was spring, and apple-blooms up in the hill orchard. And little Emmy, a-setting on the fence, with her bunnit throwed back on her neck. 'Addy!' she called, way across the lot; 'Addy, come, help me down!' She was a master hand for venturin' up on places, but she didn't ...
— The Desert and The Sown • Mary Hallock Foote

... Dave stood on the fence of one of the shipping pens at the Albuquerque stockyards and used a prod-pole to guide the bawling cattle below. The Fifty-Four Quarter Circle was loading a train of beef steers and cows for Denver. Just how he was going to manage it Dave ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... scraping and what scratching, what bristling and what hustling, The cock stands on the fence, the wind his ruddy plumage rustling. Like a soldier grand he stands, and like a trumpet glorious, Sounds his shout both far and ...
— Graded Memory Selections • Various

... marmalade this year, then. You shall have the quinces to-morrow." And she retired with a softened face. I was told that Abram Handy was a widower anxious to take Temperance for a second helpmeet, and that she could not decide whether to accept or refuse him. She had confessed to mother that she was on the fence, and didn't know which way to jump. He was a poor, witless thing, she knew; but he was as good a man as ever breathed, and stood as good a chance of being saved as the wisest church-member that ever lived! Mother thought her inclined to be mistress of an establishment over which she might have ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... fine hot August weather now, and I hope my tomatoes will mature, and thus save me two dollars per day. My potatoes have, so far, failed; but as they are still green, perhaps they may produce a crop later in the season. The lima beans, trailed on the fence, promise an abundant crop; and the cabbages and peppers look well. Every inch of the ground is in cultivation—even the ash-heap, ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... earth. The path, with its sentinel trees, led straight as a rod to a distant house, long and low, surrounded by a vine-covered veranda. There were strange, sweet smells in the air, which felt soft and warm. The sky was brilliantly blue, and on the fence across the road a gorgeous parrot sat preening ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... Deadwood Gamely sat on the fence still looking, about him and whistling. Then, instead of bursting forth in derisive merriment as Pepsy dreaded he would do, ...
— Pee-wee Harris • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... nominate Pendleton, or some other man of pronounced views, but instead of doing that they nominated Horatio Seymour, who stood on the fence, politically speaking. My friends, Mrs. Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and women who have brains and education, women who are tax-payers, went there and petitioned for the practical application of the fundamental principles of our Government ...
— Debate On Woman Suffrage In The Senate Of The United States, - 2d Session, 49th Congress, December 8, 1886, And January 25, 1887 • Henry W. Blair, J.E. Brown, J.N. Dolph, G.G. Vest, Geo. F. Hoar.



Words linked to "On the fence" :   indecisive



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