characterized by directness in manner or speech
He laughed at that, and his laugh was merry and
The author is having fun punning on his own name, although here, the "he" refers to the fictional character Zeb. L. Frank Baum also wrote in the opening letter to his readers: "It seems the jolly old fellow made hosts of friends in the first Oz book, in spite of the fact that he frankly acknowledged himself 'a humbug.'" This pun is more meaningful, because in many ways, the author is like the Wizard.
tear or be torn violently
Suddenly there was a
rending, tearing sound, and the earth split into another great crack just beneath the spot where the horse was standing.
a deep opening in the earth's surface
But by and by, as she stared ahead into the black
chasm with a beating heart, she began to dimly see the form of the horse Jim--his head up in the air, his ears erect and his long legs sprawling in every direction as he tumbled through space.
take the first step or steps in carrying out an action
Dorothy sighed and
commenced to breathe easier.
more than enough in size or scope or capacity
But they were floating very, very slowly--so slowly that it could no longer be called a fall--and the children had
ample time to take heart and look about them.
having a variety of colors
They saw a landscape with mountains and plains, lakes and rivers, very like those upon the earth's surface; but all the scene was splendidly colored by the
variegated lights from the six suns.
He was not a very large man, but was well formed and had a beautiful face--calm and
serene as the face of a fine portrait.
The man's mood is expressed in two synonyms here and another synonym in a later sentence (see the beginning of the next example sentence). "Calm," "serene," and "tranquil" all mean the same thing. The author emphasizes this man's mood in order to set the reader up for the contrasting mood of Dorothy when she sees the man walk off the edge of the roof, yet keep on walking in the air.
lacking grace in movement or posture
There was no expression of either fear or surprise upon his tranquil face, yet he must have been both astonished and afraid; for after his eyes had rested upon the
ungainly form of the horse for a moment he walked rapidly to the furthest edge of the roof, his head turned back over his shoulder to gaze at the strange animal.
expressing extreme contempt
"Eureka weighs only about half a pound," replied the horse, in a
scornful tone, "while I weigh about half a ton."
"Oh, well; I'm old," said the horse, hanging his head
despondently, "and I've had lots of trouble in my day, little one. For a good many years I drew a public cab in Chicago, and that's enough to make anyone skinny."
Jim, the former cab-horse, is not hanging his head in desperation here. Rather, he is hanging his head because he is embarrassed and sad that Dorothy has noticed that he is "dreadfully skinny." But his response shows that he is trying to defend himself by explaining why he is so skinny.
an act or expression of criticism and censure
"Nothing is more dangerous than being without food," declared the horse, with a sniff at the
rebuke of his young master; "and just at present no one can tell whether there are any oats in this queer country or not.
settle or come to rest
His great weight made him fall faster than the children walked, and he passed them on the way down; but when he came to the glass pavement he
alighted upon it so softly that he was not even jarred.
The word "alight" could've been deliberately chosen to emphasize the lightness that Jim does not actually have (he has a "great weight" of about half a ton), but somehow, the magic of falling inside the earth helps him to alight softly. This pun is not as obvious as a later one when Jim is described shouting something in a "hoarse voice."
a large gathering of people
There was not an ugly person in all the
throng, yet Dorothy was not especially pleased by the appearance of these people because their features had no more expression than the faces of dolls.
several things grouped together or considered as a whole
"I belong to Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows--three rings in one tent and a menagerie on the side. It's a fine
aggregation, I assure you."
"Aggregation" and "menagerie" have similar meanings, except that an aggregation can be a collection of general things for any purpose (in this case, the Wizard is referring to the three rings and the menagerie of the circus), while a menagerie is a collection of animals for display or study.
affectedly shy especially in a playful or provocative way
Jim had refused to leave the field of grass, where he was engaged in busily eating; so the Wizard got out of the buggy and joined Zeb and Dorothy, and the kitten followed demurely at their heels.
completely wanting or lacking
On some of the bushes might be seen a bud, a blossom, a baby, a half-grown person and a ripe one; but even those ready to pluck were
motionless and silent, as if
devoid of life.
marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
On the central stalk stood
poised the figure of a girl so exquisitely formed and colored and so lovely in the expression of her delicate features that Dorothy thought she had never seen so sweet and adorable a creature in all her life.
When she becomes fully ripe I must abandon the
sovereignty of the Mangaboos to her."
declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
"I'm sure the Princess is ready to be picked,"
asserted Dorothy, gazing hard at the beautiful girl on the bush.
of high moral or intellectual value
But while the people in the procession walked upon the ground the Princess walked in the air just above their heads, to show that she was a superior being and more
exalted than her subjects.
impressive in appearance
When he lighted the oil a hundred tongues of flame shot up, and the effect was really
in a rebellious manner
Each of the vegetable folks bore a branch covered with sharp thorns, which was thrust
defiantly toward the horse, the kitten and the piglets.
spread or diffuse through
As the new arrivals gazed upon this exquisite scene they were enraptured by its beauties and the fragrance that
permeated the soft air, which they breathed so gratefully after the confined atmosphere of the tunnel.
Slowly they walked along the path toward the nearest cottage, the piglets racing and
gambolling beside them and Jim pausing at every step for another mouthful of grass.
highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire
In front of each place was a plate bearing one of the delicious dama-fruit, and the perfume that rose from these was so
sweet that they were sorely tempted to eat of them and become invisible.
cause to act in a specified manner
Our greatest Champion, Overman-Anu, once climbed the spiral stairway and fought nine days with the Gargoyles before he could escape them and come back; but he could never be
induced to describe the dreadful creatures, and soon afterward a bear caught him and ate him up."
make less visible or unclear
On peering out all they could see was rolling banks of clouds, so thick that they
obscured all else.
timid by nature or revealing timidity
"It seems we were mistaken," declared a third, looking at the kitten timorously, "no one with such murderous desires should belong to our party, I'm sure."
in a reproving or reproachful manner
"You see, Eureka," remarked Dorothy,
reprovingly, "you are making yourself disliked.
a noisy fight
When the Wizard had fired all of his twelve bullets he had caused no damage to the enemy except to stun a few by the noise, and so he was no nearer to victory than in the beginning of the
walk with great difficulty
Dorothy was a little anxious about the success of their trip, for the way Jim arched his long neck and spread out his bony legs as he fluttered and
floundered through the air was enough to make anybody nervous.
Notice the alliteration in the verbs "fluttered" and "floundered" that emphasizes the difficulty Jim has flying through the air without feeling frightened of falling.
become smaller or lose substance
Their front legs, which grew just back of their heads, were also strong and big; but their bodies were smaller around than their heads, and
dwindled away in a long line until their tails were slim as a shoe-string.
"Dwindle" is not a verb usually used to describe a dragon's body, but what Dorothy had come across are "dragonettes" that might need a hundred more years to grow to the size of their mother. The fact that the dragonettes' tails are tied around rocks in the caves also helps Dorothy's fear dwindle.
fraught with danger
That meant that their world—the real world--was not very far away, and that the succession of
perilous adventures they had encountered had at last brought them near the earth's surface, which meant home to them.
words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another
"To be accused of being a real wizard, when I'm not, is a
slander I will not tamely submit to.
Zeb shook the reins to rouse the cab-horse from his
stupor of amazement, for the people were beginning to gather around and stare at the strangers.
in a hearty manner
The little man looked at her closely and then took both the maiden's hands in his and shook them
cause to be more favorably inclined
mollified Jim a little, and after some thought the green maiden decided to give the cab-horse a room in the palace, such a big building having many rooms that were seldom in use.
unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation
"You have queer friends, seems to me," replied the kitten, in a
a disposition or tendency to yield to the will of others
We have no whole oats," the Steward replied, with much
brought low in spirit
"I couldn't help it," returned the other, rather
crestfallen. "Ozma sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live. I know I'm not much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they treat me with great respect."
make happy or satisfied
"Not only possible, but true," replied Jim, who was
gratified by the impression he had created.
easy to perceive; especially clearly outlined
"I can see the bones all right," replied the Sawhorse, "and they are admirable and
Because the Sawhorse had never seen a real horse before, when he describes Jim's bones as "distinct," he is actually admiring what he sees. But the reason Jim's bones are distinct is that he's "dreadfully skinny."
moving and bending with ease
The other was a great Tiger with purple stripes around his
lithe body, powerful limbs, and eyes that showed through the half closed lids like coals of fire.
especially fine or decorative clothing
In the chariot rode Ozma and Dorothy, the former in splendid
raiment and wearing her royal coronet, while the little Kansas girl wore around her waist the Magic Belt she had once captured from the Nome King.
rich and superior in quality
After the people had been dismissed with this promise our friends joined Princess Ozma at an elaborate luncheon in the palace, where even the Tiger and the Lion were sumptuously fed and Jim the Cab-horse ate his oatmeal out of a golden bowl with seven rows of rubies, sapphires and diamonds set around the rim of it.
improperly forward or bold
impudent, Eureka," admonished Dorothy.
As a pet, Eureka is very different than Toto. While Eureka causes Dorothy to scold her about being impudent, Toto makes Dorothy laugh by playing with her all day long. Additionally, Eureka is a cat while Toto is a dog, Eureka talks while the other just barks, and most importantly, Eureka creates the conflict at the end of the book while Toto is the one who accidentally reveals the Wizard as a humbug.
deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper
And finally she made a wicked plan to satisfy her
depraved appetite for pork.
The "she" here is Eureka. This makes the prosecuting Woggle-Bug's use of the adjectives "wicked" and "depraved" to describe an appetite for pork seem silly, because kittens eat meat. What makes this a criminal case is that Eureka is suspected of having eaten the miniature pet pig of the Princess.
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
"I say I see the criminal, in my mind's eye, creeping stealthily into the room of our Ozma and secreting herself, when no one was looking, until the Princess had gone away and the door was closed.
censure severely or angrily
"Oh, cut it short," said Eureka; "you've talked long enough."
"I'm trying to defend you,"
remonstrated the Tin Woodman.
full and loud and deep
They were all together (except Eureka) in the pretty rooms of the Princess, and the Wizard did some new tricks, and the Scarecrow told stories, and the Tin Woodman sang a love song in a
sonorous, metallic voice, and everybody laughed and had a good time.