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On the spur of the moment   /ɑn ðə spər əv ðə mˈoʊmənt/   Listen
On the spur of the moment

adverb
1.
On impulse; without premeditation.  Synonym: suddenly.  "He made up his mind suddenly"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"On the spur of the moment" Quotes from Famous Books



... and Elsie, and, rather to the astonishment of the girls, the boys also took it up with enthusiasm, and volunteered their assistance. They enlisted the help of the village schoolmistress, and some of the most tuneful among her pupils, and all on the spur of the moment made up their company. ...
— A harum-scarum schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... earth," he affirmed with a stubborn mien. I forbore to point out the one obvious exception which would hold good for the bravest of us; I thought he would find out by himself very soon. He looked at me patiently while I was thinking of something to say, but I could find nothing on the spur of the moment, and he began to walk on. I kept up, and anxious not to lose him, I said hurriedly that I couldn't think of leaving him under a false impression of my—of my—I stammered. The stupidity of the phrase appalled me while I was trying to finish it, but the power ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... safely past before we came up. That furious storm which had broken over us in the mountains, rendering the roads impassable or extremely difficult, had been the agent of Providence to hold us back. However disposed on the spur of the moment and in the vexation of disappointment we may have felt to regard our delay as an unmitigated misfortune, depriving us of a golden opportunity of earning a direct share, however small, in the glories of Gettysburg, still ...
— Our campaign around Gettysburg • John Lockwood

... and frightened to cry, was clinging to her mother. Mr. Stanton, acting on the spur of the moment, rushed to the telephone to try if any ironmonger's shop in the town was still open, and could immediately send up a wire-gauze fire-protector. The fireplaces in all the other rooms were well guarded, but in the drawing-room the hearth was so wide, and the curb so high, that the precaution ...
— For the Sake of the School • Angela Brazil

... pound," and stared helplessly at the cottages opposite, confused by the need to assimilate, on the spur of the moment, ...
— The Admirable Tinker - Child of the World • Edgar Jepson

... so many dances with one evening's partner as with the smitten member, at the assembly given on the spur of the moment in his honour, whereat Sam Winnington, standing with his hat under his arm, and leaning against the carved door, was an observant spectator. He was not sullen as when Will Locke and Dulcie tumbled headlong into the ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... talking and their ease of manner. The material luxury of Paris had alarmed him that morning; at night he saw the same lavish expenditure of intellect. By what mysterious means, he asked himself, did these people make such piquant reflections on the spur of the moment, those repartees which he could only have made after much pondering? And not only were they at ease in their speech, they were at ease in their dress, nothing looked new, nothing looked old, nothing about them ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... real soldier boy!" cried Andy, his eyes sparkling, and then he began to hum a bit of doggerel he had made up on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Rover Boys at Colby Hall - or The Struggles of the Young Cadets • Arthur M. Winfield

... accused, according to this barbarous code, has no means of proving his innocence, or defending his life, beyond the hasty observations on the evidence which his advocate, who is appointed in all cases by the tribunal, may be able to make on the spur of the moment. This tribunal is simply the Inquisition; and yet it is by this tribunal that the Pope, who professes to be the first minister of justice on earth, governs his kingdom. No man is safe at Rome. However ...
— Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber - Or The Influence of Romanism on Trade, Justice, and Knowledge • James Aitken Wylie

... appreciate what you are receiving, and remember what you have received. There are, again, others who either have no influence or are positively disliked by their tribesmen, and have neither the spirit nor the ability to exert themselves on the spur of the moment: be sure you distinguish between such men, that you may not be disappointed in your expectation of support by placing over-much hope ...
— The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... These he never sent away without some bright word, and he rarely sent them away at all. Nowhere could they find such an entertaining playmate as he—one who would tell them such wonderful stories and make up such funny rhymes for them on the spur of the moment, and romp with them like one of themselves. It was in the homely incidents of these visits, and the like intimacy with his own children, that he found the subjects for his poems. He could voice the feelings of a child, because he knew child life ...
— McClure's Magazine, January, 1896, Vol. VI. No. 2 • Various

... honour, over which Lord Dufferin presided, refused to allow what he regarded as a covert sneer against the House of Lords to pass unchallenged. He repelled the insinuation with unusual warmth, and laid stress on his own regard for individual members of that assembly. Then, on the spur of the moment, came an unexpected personal tribute. He declared that 'there was no man in England whom he respected more in his public capacity, loved more in his private capacity, or from whom he had received more remarkable proofs of his honour and love of literature than Lord John Russell.' ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... merely a suggestion made on the spur of the moment. I am sure Miss Affleck will be charmed with the—the scenery, whenever it can ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... to repeat and elaborate the story which he had already told regarding his mythical friend who had at last a commercial wireless "televue," as he called it on the spur of the moment, when Jane, the aged caretaker, announced Dr. Scott. The new doctor was a youthfully dressed man, clean-shaven, but with an undefinable air of being much older than his smooth face led one to suppose. As he had a large practice, he said, he would beg our pardon for ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... an artist to write on the spur of the moment of his work—of the just seen picture which pleases or displeases. For what instantly delights the eye may never win its way into the heart, and what repels at first may steal later on into the understanding, and find its ...
— Imaginations and Reveries • (A.E.) George William Russell

... my sunrise evoked no merry jest at all." Dear Jones was an honest man, and would scorn to invent a merry jest on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Best Ghost Stories • Various

... Jefferson, with an intimation that they required "instant attention." They aroused the president's indignation. "What is to be done in the case of the Little Sarah [the original name of the Petite Democrat] now at Chester?" he asked, in a note written to Mr. Jefferson on the spur of the moment. "Is the minister of the French republic to set the acts of this government at defiance with impunity, and then threaten the executive with an appeal to the people? What must the world think of such conduct, and ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... l'heure [Fr.]; at one jump, in the same breath, per saltum [Lat.], uno saltu [Lat.]; at once, all at once; plump, slap; at one fell swoop; at the same instant &c n.; immediately &c (early) 132; extempore, on the moment, on the spot, on the spur of the moment; no sooner said than done; just then; slap-dash &c (haste) 684. Phr. touch and go; no ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... formations would determine their efficiency in battle. Yet in the Franco-Prussian War, these formations proved utterly unsuited to the heavily wooded terrain of the theater, and new ones had to be devised on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... not reply to this, but laughed absently. He was wondering if Deborah had ever heard her master drop any hint as to his having come from the place where Mrs. Krill resided, and asked the question on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Opal Serpent • Fergus Hume

... weal or mutton cutlet.' You close with either cutlet, any cutlet, anything. He goes, leisurely, behind a door and calls down some unseen shaft. A ventriloquial dialogue ensues, tending finally to the effect that weal only, is available on the spur of the moment. You anxiously call out, 'Veal, then!' Your waiter having settled that point, returns to array your tablecloth, with a table napkin folded cocked-hat-wise (slowly, for something out of window engages his eye), a white wine-glass, a green wine-glass, a blue finger- glass, a tumbler, ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... conversationalist; and the perfect ease and grace and geniality of his manner on such occasions, arose probably far more from his innate human and social qualities than from even his familiar intercourse with the world. But he could not extemporize a speech. He could not on the spur of the moment string together the more or less set phrases which an after-dinner oration demands. All his friends knew this, and spared him the necessity of refusing. He had once a headache all day, because at a dinner, the night before, a ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... hunt of gold was well worth a buck! The prisoner, he said, might attract attention by his cries, a very weak argument, but Ruthven was quite as likely to invent it on the spur of the moment, as James was to attribute it to him falsely, on cool reflection. Finally, if James came at once, Gowrie would then be at the preaching (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays were preaching days), and the Royal proceedings with ...
— James VI and the Gowrie Mystery • Andrew Lang

... Martineau's possible objections to any such modification of their original programme. When they arrived in Salisbury, the doctor did make some slight effort to suggest a different hotel from that in which the two ladies had engaged their rooms, but on the spur of the moment and in their presence he could produce no sufficient reason for refusing the accommodation the Old George had ready for him. He was reduced to a vague: "We don't want to inflict ourselves—" He could not get Sir Richmond aside for any adequate expression of his feelings about Miss Seyffert, ...
— The Secret Places of the Heart • H. G. Wells

... thought as that did not come into her head on the spur of the moment. I knew at once that she had excogitated it, and kept it in reserve for a good opportunity of impressing upon my mind what my money was. And then for days at a time I strove not to employ my money in ways that ran counter to ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... that were bestowed upon him. As the boy became convalescent Ilbrahim contrived games suitable to his situation or amused him by a faculty which he had perhaps breathed in with the air of his barbaric birthplace. It was that of reciting imaginary adventures on the spur of the moment, and apparently in inexhaustible succession. His tales were, of course, monstrous, disjointed and without aim, but they were curious on account of a vein of human tenderness which ran through them all and was like a sweet familiar ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... sir, that the Service had men; but I had no idea that any one man could possibly do, on the spur of the moment, what you have just done—unless that man happened ...
— Triplanetary • Edward Elmer Smith

... of the factory to another that I observed the beautiful steam-engine which gave motion to the tools and machinery of the workshops. The man who attended it was engaged in cleaning out the ashes from under the boiler furnace, in order to wheel them away to their place outside. On the spur of the moment I said to Mr. Maudslay, "If you would only permit me to do such a job as that in your service, I should consider myself most fortunate!" I shall never forget the keen but kindly look that he gave me. "So ," said he, "you are one of that sort, are you?" I was inwardly delighted ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... smiled Dick. As a matter of fact he and his friends had forgotten to name the canoe, but he supplied the name on the spur of the moment. It made a prompt hit ...
— The High School Boys' Canoe Club • H. Irving Hancock

... as they do other people. He is more self-contained, self-controlled and self-sufficient than any other. He is not easily carried off his feet and seldom yields to impulse. It is difficult to get him to do anything on the spur of the moment. He usually has his evenings, Sundays and vacations all planned in advance and won't change ...
— How to Analyze People on Sight - Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types • Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

... at the moment of his panic-terror, that he saw Edmund Woodley fall, and had at once taken flight, without attempting to afford him any assistance. The story of the brains had, of course, been invented on the spur of the moment, by way of excusing his flight, and he was obliged to persist in the falsehood he had once uttered, though he was not by any means certain that it had been his master whom he saw killed, especially after hearing Colonel Enderby's ...
— The Pigeon Pie • Charlotte M. Yonge

... by that horseman, Giovanni drew back quickly. On the spur of the moment, he acted with a subtlety worthy of long premeditation. Antonia and he were by an odd fatality alone together in that chamber of the mezzanine. ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... His name is Hobo," answered Peggy on the spur of the moment, and Priscilla replied with dignity that he looked the part, and returned to ...
— Peggy Raymond's Vacation - or Friendly Terrace Transplanted • Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

... army. For the Persians are able to cross all rivers without the slightest difficulty because when they are on the march they have in readiness hook-shaped irons with which they fasten together long timbers, and with the help of these they improvise a bridge on the spur of the moment wherever they may desire. And as soon as he had reached the land on the opposite side, he sent to Belisarius and said that he, for his part, had bestowed a favour upon the Romans in the withdrawal of the Median army, and that he was expecting the envoys from ...
— History of the Wars, Books I and II (of 8) - The Persian War • Procopius

... Pixie's thoughts irresistibly towards another speaker, whose memory war associated with her own first meeting with Stanor. On the spur of the moment she mentioned ...
— The Love Affairs of Pixie • Mrs George de Horne Vaizey

... be ready to act decisively and firmly at an instant's notice, to solve on the spur of the moment some intricate problem of public order, to know the law, so that he may arrest a person on one occasion, and let him go on another, to act as guide or consultant to the public, to aid at a fire, or capture ...
— Scotland Yard - The methods and organisation of the Metropolitan Police • George Dilnot

... Perhaps he would have given a great deal to know whether they were engaged, to be married; but still Margaret gave no sign. It was far from her thoughts; and the fact had only presented itself in that form to her on the spur of the moment, the preceding evening, as likely to prove a crushing blow at once to Mr. Barker's plotting and Mr. Barker's matrimonial views. But while the Duke talked, she was thinking. And as the situation slowly unfolded its well-known pictures to her mind, she suddenly ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... for a time; then, as he began to ponder upon that point and its consequences his triumph changed to misgiving and doubt. He had had no idea, until that forenoon, of marrying again. His proposal had been made on impulse, on the spur of the moment. He was not sure that he wished to marry Hannah Parker. But he had pleaded and persuaded her into accepting him that very night. Even if he wished to back out, how could he—now? He was conscious of an uneasy feeling that, perhaps, he had ...
— Thankful's Inheritance • Joseph C. Lincoln

... think I can stay,' he said slowly. 'You can't tear love up by the roots and plant it in a pot and call it friendship. If you try, something will happen. Excuse me if the simile sounds lyric, but I don't happen to think of a better one, on the spur of the moment. I'll behave all right before the others, but I had better go away to-morrow morning. The thing will only get worse if ...
— Fair Margaret - A Portrait • Francis Marion Crawford

... young wooer. "Slim's heard about our goin' to get married, and he's sworn to shoot me at sight—" It was a lame, halting explanation, but the best Bud could invent on the spur of the moment. He wanted to get away to have ...
— The Round-up - A Romance of Arizona novelized from Edmund Day's melodrama • John Murray and Marion Mills Miller

... and yet, except for the fact that he had never before sent her flowers, he could not rightly be accused of sentimentalism. He had acted on the spur of the moment, remembering only the sad, wistful smile with which she had bade him good-night when she stood at the door of the pension. Or perhaps he had been prompted by the fact that she was in ...
— The Triflers • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... forward. He acted on the spur of the moment. With clenched fists and blazing eyes he stood between the drover and the bound man. For a moment there was silence except for the moaning of the tortured man. Mick looked at Sax and said, with a cruel smile: "Well, and who ...
— In the Musgrave Ranges • Jim Bushman

... poem," put in Rose Red,—"a few stanzas thrown off on the spur of the moment; like this, ...
— What Katy Did At School • Susan Coolidge

... urgency for a few minutes," was the best reply he could frame on the spur of the moment. "Shall I leave you alone for a little while? Perhaps you would like to consult your maid? Indeed, her services might meet all the requirements of the case. The police would be the first to recognize that a woman who had lost her affianced ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... are angels that have been angels so long that they've had time to grow better and brighter and more beautiful than newer angels," said the Story Girl, who probably made that explanation up on the spur of the moment, just ...
— The Story Girl • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... Torquay, where the threshold is worn by the bodies of beasts dragged across it, and the ground paved with their bones—that first visit was a serious business. Later interviews might be mere frivolities, half-an-hour wasted in looking at new fashions, an order given carelessly on the spur of the moment; but upon this occasion Lady Kirkbank had to arm her young protegee for the coming campaign, and the question was to the ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... mistake. I only asked you if you'd read Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece, and, as I made up the title on the spur of the moment, I should have been rather surprised if you had. He never wrote a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99., August 2, 1890. • Various

... On the spur of the moment and because the same precipitate decision that determined Louis Latz's successes in Wall Street determined him here, they were married the following Thursday in Lakewood, New Jersey, without even allowing Carrie time for the ...
— The Vertical City • Fannie Hurst

... condemn it. Halm is certainly mistaken in saying that a laudatory epithet such as ingeniosissimi is necessary. I believe that the word opiniosissimi (an adj. not elsewhere used by Cic.) was manufactured on the spur of the moment, in order to ridicule these two philosophers, who are playfully described as men full of opinio or [Greek: doxa]—just the imputation which, as Stoics, they would most repel. Hermann's spinosissimi is ...
— Academica • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... was to furnish their quotas under the first call for militia. This was easy enough as to men. It required only a few days to fill the regiments and forward them to the State capitals and principal cities; but to arm and equip them for the field on the spur of the moment was a difficult task which involved much confusion and delay, even though existing armories and foundries pushed their work to the utmost and new ones were established. Under the militia call, the governors appointed all the officers required by their respective ...
— A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - Condensed from Nicolay & Hay's Abraham Lincoln: A History • John G. Nicolay

... the reported arrival some days before the family did so. It was rumoured in Brotherton, and the rumour reached the deanery. But he thought that there was nothing that he could do on the spur of the moment. He perfectly understood the condition of Lord George's mind, and perceived that it would not be expedient for him to interfere quite on the first moment. As soon as the Marquis should have settled himself in the house, of course ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... Mr. Britt did not employ a happy metaphor. "It has been my rule, in the case of bitter medicine, to take it quick and have the agony over with." He put all the appeal he could muster into his gaze at Vona. "That's why I have sprung the thing this evening, on the spur of the moment. I ain't either young or handsome, Vona. I know my shortcomings. But I've got everything to make you happy; all you've got to do is turn around and take me as your husband and make me and ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... said? Just on the spur of the moment—I said, "Madam, I don't want to be unkind, but I really think the reason you are not happy is that you ...
— The University of Hard Knocks • Ralph Parlette

... that a teacher should alter her opinion of her own duty half-way up the stairs, and deliberately go back to her own room again? The bare idea of such a thing was absurd on the face of it. What more rational explanation could ingenuity discover on the spur of the moment? ...
— I Say No • Wilkie Collins

... sit up with wet towels 'round their heads and strong black coffee stewing on the gas-stove, so as not to fall asleep over the job of letting their feelings get the better of their judgment in working up a six-hour speech which will give the country the impression that it just came pouring out on the spur of the moment as a consequence of the Senators' red-hot indignation about ...
— Potash and Perlmutter Settle Things • Montague Glass

... waiting to observe the result of the interview, the young man set out to execute an extraordinary resolution that was formed on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... appeared more clear: this was just what I had dreaded before my departure, and during the journey. It was impossible for me now to escape, as this courier, who it was said was already at the post-house, would necessarily overtake me. I determined on the spur of the moment to leave my carriage, my daughter, and Mr. Schlegel at the inn, and to go alone and on foot into the streets of the town, and take the chance' of entering the first house whose master or mistress had a physiognomy that pleased me. I would obtain of them an asylum for a few days; during this time, ...
— Ten Years' Exile • Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne (Baroness) de Stael-Holstein

... broadest vernacular of the county, and scarcely intelligible to the whole of the company, the dialogue of this part of the piece was so lifelike and natural, that every one recognised its truth; while the situations, arranged with the slightest effort, and on the spur of the moment, were extremely ludicrous. The scene was supposed to take place in a small Lancashire alehouse, where a jovial pedlar was carousing, and where, being visited by his three sweethearts—each of whom he privately declared to be the favourite—he had to reconcile their differences, and keep them ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... of me I couldn't answer. After more than a year in the British service I could not, on the spur of the moment, say exactly why ...
— A Yankee in the Trenches • R. Derby Holmes

... generally knew the very place at which the passage that was being discussed, occurred, and excelled even the famous dog, which at one of these literary breakfast parties—I believe in Hallam's house—was ordered on the spur of the moment to fetch the fifth volume of Gibbon's History, and at once climbed up the ladder and brought down from the shelf the very volume in which the disputed passage occurred. He had been taught this one trick of fetching ...
— My Autobiography - A Fragment • F. Max Mueller

... subject, even to an occasional neglect of the manner. Cut off as he was, he nevertheless merits a high place; such is his facility of speech, his charm in explaining what he has to say; his open, gentle, and specious style, his perfect selection of words, even those which are adopted on the spur of the moment; his vigorous application of analogies extemporaneously suggested. My successors in rhetorical criticism will have a rich field for praising those who are now living. For there are now great talents at work who do credit to the bar, both finished ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... caught suddenly between her teeth. Months ago she had seen an actress use this smile in a play, and it came perfectly to Alice now, without conscious direction, it had been so well acquired; but the pretty hand's little impulse toward the heart was an original bit all her own, on the spur of the moment. ...
— Alice Adams • Booth Tarkington

... the man's helplessness. His sightless eyes struck her like a blow. But there was no time to lose. She was directly in his path: if she stood still he would certainly walk over her, and if she moved he would hear her, so, on the spur of the moment, she gave a nervous cough and said, ...
— The Village Watch-Tower • (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

... interviewers are artists. It might be more difficult for an Englishman to come to the point, particularly the sort of point which American journalists are supposed, with some exaggeration, to aim at. It might be more difficult for an Englishman to ask a total stranger on the spur of the moment for the exact inscription on his mother's grave; but I really think that if an Englishman once got so far as that he would go very much farther, and certainly go on very much longer. The Englishman would approach the churchyard by a rather more wandering woodland path; but if once ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... rush by a large portion of our population to turn bank deposits into currency or gold—a rush so great that the soundest banks could not get enough currency to meet the demand. The reason for this was that on the spur of the moment it was, of course, impossible to sell perfectly sound assets of a bank and convert them into cash except at panic prices far ...
— The Fireside Chats of Franklin Delano Roosevelt • Franklin Delano Roosevelt

... the readiness of the merchantman Valeria and of Commander Stockwell's destroyer to turn happy accidents to the best account on the spur of the moment. The Valeria bumped over a rising submarine at three o 'clock one summer morning off the coast of Ireland. Instantly all hands ran to "action stations," when the gunner saw, to his delight, that the periscope had been broken ...
— Flag and Fleet - How the British Navy Won the Freedom of the Seas • William Wood

... peasant hut of a better sort, sat an elderly officer whom he took for the colonel. The Prince approached respectfully, told his story shortly and stated his desire to enlist; and when asked his name by the officer, who had been looking him over carefully, he gave on the spur of the moment the name of his ...
— Tales Of Hearsay • Joseph Conrad

... returned from a two years' tour in the East, and instead of going to his palace in the capital, or to one of his magnificently appointed castles, always in readiness to receive him, no matter what the season, he had, on the spur of the moment, decided upon this little hunting castle of Rodeck, where he could not be comfortably housed, and where the few retainers who took charge of the place, were ill-prepared for such an honor. But as old Stadinger had said, no one ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... for example, the cook should happen of a morning to have got out of bed "wrong foot first," how often must the attentions of that domestic have taken the form of a pot or a pan, or other domestic utensil, flung at his head. Here, no soft answer would be likely to turn away wrath. On the spur of the moment, when a pot, or an iron spit, has caught one on elbow or shins, it might not be altogether easy to think promptly of the repartee likely to be the most conciliating. And he could not "make himself scarce." The situation ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... 'Indeed, sir,' said I, 'her affairs are so changed, that I wished to ask you whether it would be possible—at a sacrifice on our part of some portion of the premium, of course,' I put in this, on the spur of the moment, warned by the blank expression of his face—'to cancel ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... fortune,—that he, who had in truth taught himself to think that he deserved so much good fortune, should be made the subject of care on behalf of his friend, because of danger between himself and his wife! On the spur of the moment he did not know what answer to make. "He is not a man whom I like ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... despise me, and—and I wished so to retain your respect. It was an accident we were with Delavan that night. We were endeavoring to waylay a courier, and rode suddenly into his party. I had to invent a tale on the spur of the moment. Major Lawrence, now that you know all, tell me the one thing I must know before we join the others—would you wish your own sister to do as ...
— My Lady of Doubt • Randall Parrish

... looked as if they all had been in the lighter together; and for a moment Sotillo thought that he had drowned every prominent Ribierist of Sulaco. The improbability of such a thing threw a doubt upon the whole statement. Hirsch was either mad or playing a part—pretending fear and distraction on the spur of the moment to cover the truth. Sotillo's rapacity, excited to the highest pitch by the prospect of an immense booty, could believe in nothing adverse. This Jew might have been very much frightened by the accident, but ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... dolls of cotton wadding, and dolls of knitting cotton, and peanut dolls, and Brownie dolls, and all sorts of queer and odd dolls which they invented on the spur of the moment. ...
— Marjorie's Maytime • Carolyn Wells

... the other. Professor Granville had on previous occasions been the recipient of similar testimonials, and he had found it convenient to have a set form of acknowledgment. He was wise in this, for it is a hard thing on the spur of the moment suitably to offer thanks for ...
— Brave and Bold • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... of Siam are raised on the spur of the moment, as it were, for any pressing emergency. When troops are to be called out, a royal command, addressed to all viceroys and governors, requires them to raise their respective quotas, and report to a commander-in-chief at a general rendezvous. These recruits are clothed, equipped with arms and ammunition, ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... of the natives are of a very rude and unmeaning character, rarely consisting of more than one or two ideas, which are continually repeated over and over again. They are chiefly made on the spur of the moment, and refer to something that has struck the attention at the time. The measure of the song varies according to circumstances. It is gay and lively, for the dance; slow and solemn for the enchanter; and wild and pathetic for the mourner. The music is sometimes not ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... Lord Marshmoreton looked pop-eyed. On the other hand, one could not assert truthfully that he did not. At any rate, he was manifestly embarrassed. He had made up his mind to a certain course of action on the spur of the moment, taking advantage, as others have done, of the trend of popular enthusiasm: and his state of mind was nervous but resolute, like that of a soldier going over the top. He cleared his throat for the third time, took one swift glance at ...
— A Damsel in Distress • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... and the land is its rulers," Jeremy answered in Arabic, quoting the rudest proverb he could think of on the spur of the moment. ...
— Affair in Araby • Talbot Mundy

... finest men at Big Draw. They worked hard and minded their own business. They were not given to much talk, due, no doubt, to long years in the wilderness. Neither were they carried away by any sudden impulse on the spur of the moment. They never had anything in common with Curly and his gang, although they had often listened to their vapid boastings. So now when they learned of the despicable affair up the narrow creek, they did not take matters into their own hands, and ...
— Glen of the High North • H. A. Cody

... strange and primitive barbarism, was like a sudden return to some forgotten world, so deeply and profoundly did it move and impress him. He grasped the sunburnt Frenchman's rugged hand in his. "Who are you?" he cried, in the very best Parisian he could muster up on the spur of the moment. "And how did ...
— The Great Taboo • Grant Allen

... they've had. Simply cutting out what they didn't want to show us wouldn't have done it. There's too much cross reference to all periods involved. It's a complete phony, but it's not something done on the spur of the moment just for our benefit. It's too good ...
— Cubs of the Wolf • Raymond F. Jones

... entreaty in which the poor fellow uttered those last words, and to feel that he had not a single scrap of comfort to offer; but his task was before him. He had to execute it, and he determined to do it as gently as possible, and to put matters in the most hopeful light he could on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... under his arm and his hands behind his back. He was ill at ease, oppressed, out of heart, as one is after hearing unpleasant tidings. He was not distressed by any definite thought, and he would have been puzzled to account, on the spur of the moment, for this dejection of spirit and heaviness of limb. He was hurt somewhere, without knowing where; somewhere within him there was a pin-point of pain—one of these almost imperceptible wounds which we cannot lay a finger on, but which incommode us, tire us, depress us, irritate us—a slight ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... it on—you and your flunkeys together," said Tom, taking a cigar case out of his pocket and lighting up, the most defiant and exasperating action he could think of on the spur of the moment. "Here's one of them; so I'll leave you to give him his orders, and wait five minutes in the hall, where there's more room." And so, leaving the footman gaping at his lord, he turned on his heel, with the air of Bernardo del Carpio after he had bearded ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... things like that on the spur of the moment. But if you saw a Spanish woman behave that way, it would seem wrong ...
— Caesar or Nothing • Pio Baroja Baroja

... Allan had got some valuable hints. They had discussed (with diagrams to assist them, and with more valuable hints for Allan) the serious impending question of the launch of the yacht. On other occasions they had diverged to other subjects—to more of them than Allan could remember, on the spur of the moment. Had Midwinter said nothing about his relations in the flow of all this friendly talk? Nothing, except that they had not behaved well to him—hang his relations! Was he at all sensitive on the subject of his own odd name? Not the least in the ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... Times, which is full of long leading articles, or the front page of Tit-Bits, which is full of short jokes. If the reader is the fine conscientious fellow I take him for, he will at once reply that he would rather on the spur of the moment write ten Times articles than one Tit-Bits joke. Responsibility, a heavy and cautious responsibility of speech, is the easiest thing in the world; anybody can do it. That is why so many tired, elderly, and wealthy ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... wounded in the heel, and was staying, in 1815, at Mrs. Matthew's boarding house, in Montreal. At the table d'hote there was a raw-boned young English merchant, who remarked that Fawcett, to have been wounded in the heel, must have been running away. Fawcett's Irish blood rose to his forehead, and on the spur of the moment he felled the thoughtless Englishman ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... informal dinner," Di went on, "getting it up almost on the spur of the moment, because the doctor says that Stefan is well enough to go out, and the affair is really for him and Milly. I don't think there'll be many there except ourselves, for the princess is asking every one verbally. That's why she sends you a message instead of a card. It is to ...
— Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... already come. At the corner of Merrion Row I found the same silent groups, who were still looking in the direction of the Green, and addressing each other occasionally with the detached confidence of strangers. Suddenly, and on the spur of the moment, I addressed one ...
— The Insurrection in Dublin • James Stephens

... he. "It is hard to say what makes a person happy." He almost made up his mind to speak to her then; but he had made up his mind before to put it off still for a little time, and he would not allow himself to be changed on the spur of the moment. He had thought of it much, and he had almost taught himself to think that it would be better for herself that she should not accept another man's love so soon. "I shall come and see ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... enter this monastery. On one occasion, when devotees of various countries came to perform their worship at it, the people of those villages said to them, "Why do you not fly? The devotees whom we have seen hereabouts all fly"; and the strangers answered, on the spur of the moment, "Our wings are ...
— Chinese Literature • Anonymous

... my 'poetic career' began. At thirteen I wrote a long poem a la 'Lady of the Lake'—1300 lines in six days. At thirteen I wrote a drama of 2000 lines, a full-fledged passionate thing that I began on the spur of the moment without forethought, just to spite my doctor who said I was very ill and must not touch a book. My health broke down permanently about this time, and my regular studies being stopped I read voraciously. I suppose the greater part of my reading was done between fourteen ...
— The Golden Threshold • Sarojini Naidu

... meet him, whether on the old road at twilight, or on the runway before the hounds, impresses you as an animal of dignity and calculation. He never seems surprised, much less frightened; never loses his head; never does things hurriedly, or on the spur of the moment, as a scatter-brained rabbit or meddling squirrel might do. You meet him, perhaps as he leaves the warm rock on the south slope of the old oak woods, where he has been curled up asleep all the sunny afternoon. (It is easy to find him there in winter.) Now he is off on his nightly hunt; ...
— Ways of Wood Folk • William J. Long

... here asked to imagine that this attack was delivered on the spur of the moment in answer to Piso's attack. I cannot believe that it should have been so, however great may have been the orator's power over thoughts and words. We have had in our own days wonderful instances of ready and indignant reply made instantaneously, but none ...
— The Life of Cicero - Volume II. • Anthony Trollope

... heard voices in the road below and saw Nance and Bernel, he jumped up on the spur of the moment, and pushed through the gorse and bracken, and stood waiting ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... it, and pay for the apples. And you must send all of your spending money for the next month to that woman who is gathering up things for the bad little children in the Reform School,—that will help you remember what happens to boys and girls who get in the habit of taking things on the spur of the moment!" ...
— Prudence of the Parsonage • Ethel Hueston

... to cleave to the very heart of things, of images which lit up a subject with the vividness of a flash of lightning. He launched tracts and pamphlets from the press about almost everything, written for the most part on the spur of the moment, and when the fire burned. His words fell into souls full of the fermenting passion of the times. They drank in with eagerness the thoughts that all men were equal before God, and that there are divine commands about the brotherhood of mankind of more importance than all human ...
— The Church and Modern Life • Washington Gladden

... that it is a very good trick, and never fails to create laughter and bewilderment. It is distinctly an illusion worth trying, and, if you begin it in the manner I have described, quite possibly some way of finishing it up will occur to you on the spur of the moment. By multiplying the two numbers together and passing the hard-boiled egg through the sponge and then taking the ... or is it the—Anyway, I'm certain you have to have a piece of elastic up the sleeve ...
— The Sunny Side • A. A. Milne

... that no ordinary coin would do for such an historic occasion. So he had a goldsmith make him a heavy solid-gold medallion almost twice as big as a twenty-dollar gold piece. He was not very much pleased with the design he sketched out hastily, but on the spur of the moment, he could think of ...
— The Golden Judge • Nathaniel Gordon

... required a complex case to stir his ingenuity and sagacity. That the present was not a complex case he was still convinced, after four days' futile labor upon it. Mr. Shackford had been killed—either with malice prepense or on the spur of the moment—for his money. The killing had likely enough not been premeditated; the old man had probably opposed the robbery. Now, among the exceptionally rough population of the town there were possibly fifty men who would not have hesitated to strike down Mr. Shackford if he had caught them flagrante ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... naturally their own. Hence we see a great, an almost enormous, intellectual activity, and a proportionate aversion to real action consequent upon it, with all its symptoms and accompanying qualities. This character Shakspeare places in circumstances, under which it is obliged to act on the spur of the moment:—Hamlet is brave and careless of death; but he vacillates from sensibility, and procrastinates from thought, and loses the power of action in the energy of resolve. Thus it is that this tragedy presents a direct contrast to that of Macbeth; the one proceeds ...
— Literary Remains, Vol. 2 • Coleridge

... did not people talk about them, and generally follow for three long months a time-table of "enjoyment" which very few of them really enjoy. In the meanwhile, the only affairs which give them pleasure are the little impromptu ones arranged on the spur of the moment ...
— Over the Fireside with Silent Friends • Richard King

... intended to do this; he acted on the spur of the moment, embarrassed as he was, hardly knowing what he was doing. He seized the oars and rowed out again, towards the island. The evening was wondrously calm. Now, when he was alone, he realised how deep was his despair; ...
— Shallow Soil • Knut Hamsun

... course, been very lucky throughout all this adventure; still, I did not wish to attribute my easy escape entirely to luck, for I had, I thought, contributed a good deal towards it by my promptness in acting and in inventing a plausible story on the spur of the moment. ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... It was impossible on the spur of the moment to frame any excuse. Mrs. Joy's eyes were full upon her; Cousin Kate gave no help; there seemed nothing to do but to comply. Candace murmured something about "Certainly,—very kind,—very happy," and went away to put on the red hat, which went very well with the dress of red and white linen that ...
— A Little Country Girl • Susan Coolidge

... never known print, began to coyly unfold their virgin blossoms in the morning's mail. They were accompanied by a few lines stating, casually, that their sender had found them lying forgotten in his desk, or, mendaciously, that they were "thrown off" on the spur of the moment a few hours before. Some of the names appended to them astonished me. Grave, practical business men, sage financiers, fierce speculators, and plodding traders, never before suspected of poetry, or even correct prose, were among the contributors. It seemed as if most of the able-bodied ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... of late years; things but a little way off were blurs to him. The continual menace could not but fill Wahb with uneasiness, for he was not young now, and his teeth and claws were worn and blunted. He was more than ever troubled with pains in his old wounds, and though he could have risen on the spur of the moment to fight any number of Grizzlies of any size, still the continual apprehension, the knowledge that he must hold himself ready at any moment to fight this young monster, weighed on his spirits and began to ...
— The Biography of a Grizzly • Ernest Seton-Thompson

... this view of Mahatmas is one that does not surprise me in the least. I never met, and I scarcely expect to meet, an individual entitled to set "Mahatma" after his name. Certainly I have no right to do so, who only took that title on the spur of the moment when the Hare asked me how I was called, and now make use of it as a nom-de-plume. It is true there is Jorsen, by whose order, for it amounts to that, I publish this history. For aught I know Jorsen may be a Mahatma, but he does ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... fingers getting bitten, for the temperature was -46 deg.. Afterwards we often used this way of getting people out of crevasses, and it was a wonderful piece of presence of mind that it was invented, so far as I know, on the spur of the moment by a frozen ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... Frank to hatch up a clever scheme on the spur of the moment! He's dragging that old wild grave-vine out from the wreck of the tree!" was what Bluff exclaimed in an ecstasy of satisfaction. "Oh! why didn't he tell me to go along with him? What if he can't manage ...
— The Outdoor Chums at Cabin Point - or The Golden Cup Mystery • Quincy Allen

... am unspeakably unhappy. I am mortified, infamously deceived, and yet I have no feeling of hatred or even of thirst for revenge. If I ask myself 'why not?' on the spur of the moment, I am unable to assign any other reason than the intervening years. People are always talking about inexpiable guilt. That is undeniably wrong in the sight of God, but I say it is also in the sight of man. I never should ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... Reef had been made on the spur of the moment. The case of the wrecked trawler was none of their business, and Rick had learned in the past that it was a good idea to keep his nose out of things that didn't concern him. But he could no more resist a mystery than he could resist a piece of Mrs. ...
— Smugglers' Reef • John Blaine

... should have had the courage to question the chaperon, whose daughter she presumably was. It certainly was a "poser" to be told, "But you don't even know my name." Had I not been a bit of a seaman, and often compelled on the spur of the moment to act first and think afterwards, what the consequences might have been I cannot say. Fortunately, I remembered that it was not the matter at issue, and explained, without admitting the impeachment, that ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... of one on the spur of the moment," answered Fletcher; "but if no one else has a better to suggest, I daresay it'll do. We might screw up little Grice's bedroom door so as to get him down late in the morning; his room's right away at the end of the passage. There is a screw-driver ...
— The Triple Alliance • Harold Avery

... Putnam had to turn away to conceal a sudden smile. "And, in one way, let me say I do not blame you for what you did, especially as you acted on the spur of the moment. But fighting must stop. If I dismiss this case against you, will you promise to leave Ritter alone ...
— The Mystery at Putnam Hall - The School Chums' Strange Discovery • Arthur M. Winfield

... say on the spur of the moment. I must know the man first—especially if you are right in supposing he would not enjoy a victory over the presbytery. I should. He wouldn't ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... aisles he slipped like a shadow, and for a time he more than held his own. But his pursuers had the advantage of knowing the ground, while he had to choose his course on the spur of the moment. He lost precious seconds in dodging obstacles, and he could hear the clatter of horses coming nearer and nearer. At any moment a bullet ...
— Bert Wilson in the Rockies • J. W. Duffield

... But I, as I have said, moved by my religious fervour and my desire to know the truth, have learned mysteries of many a kind, rites in great number, and diverse ceremonies. This is no invention on the spur of the moment; nearly three years since, in a public discourse on the greatness of Aesculapius delivered by me during the first days of my residence at Oea, I made the same boast and recounted the number of the mysteries I knew. That discourse was thronged, has been read far and wide, is in all ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... unfounded charge sprung on the spur of the moment, but it silenced Dunnoo, who knew that Kim's clear yell could call up legions of bad bazaar ...
— Kim • Rudyard Kipling

... people who entertain the notion that it is characteristic of Mr. Roosevelt to speak on the spur of the moment, trusting to the occasion to furnish him with both his ideas and his inspiration. Nothing could be more contrary to the facts. It is true that in his European journey he developed a facility in extemporaneous after-dinner speaking or occasional addresses, that was ...
— African and European Addresses • Theodore Roosevelt

... to try on the night of the 11th of December, making up our minds quite suddenly in the morning, for these things are best done on the spur of the moment. I passed the afternoon in positive terror. Nothing, since my schooldays, has ever disturbed me so much as this. There is something appalling in the idea of stealing secretly off in the night like a guilty thief. The fear of detection ...
— London to Ladysmith via Pretoria • Winston Spencer Churchill

... things on the spur of the moment, and for queer reasons," sighed Doris, for the intricacies of the workings of Ruth's mind were too complicated for her simple, straightforward nature to comprehend. She and Ruth were exceptionally good friends; but then Doris Sands was the sort of girl ...
— The Girl Scouts' Good Turn • Edith Lavell

... youth had regretted asking him to keep him company; it may have been done on the spur of the moment, simply because he chanced to resemble someone ...
— Darry the Life Saver - The Heroes of the Coast • Frank V. Webster

... asked me what kinds of seed in particular you ought to plant for perennial flowers just now, I might want many more pages to tell you in. Let me give you a very short list of those that most appeal to me on the spur of the moment. It will be ...
— The Healthy Life, Vol. V, Nos. 24-28 - The Independent Health Magazine • Various

... crosses have been earned by men for carrying in wounded comrades, under a heavy fire; but that is nothing to your case. Those actions were done on the spur of the moment, and there was every probability that the men would get back unhurt. Yours was the facing of a certain death. I can assure you that it will be the occasion of rejoicings, on the part of the whole regiment, when you appear ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... dream was realized: he bought himself an estate. It was in the province of Moscow, near the hamlet of Melihovo. As an estate it had nothing to recommend it but an old, badly laid out homestead, wastes of land, and a forest that had been felled. It had been bought on the spur of the moment, simply because it had happened to turn up. Chekhov had never been to the place before he bought it, and only visited it when all the formalities had been completed. One could hardly turn round near the house for the mass of hurdles and fences. Moreover the Chekhovs moved into it in the winter ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov



Words linked to "On the spur of the moment" :   suddenly



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