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Wool-gathering

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Your wits are gone wool-gathering. As children sent to gather wool from hedges are absent for a trivial purpose, so persons in a “brown study” are absent-minded to no good purpose.

“But, my dear, if my wits are somewhat wool-gathering and unsettled, my heart is as true as a star.”—Harriet B. Stowe.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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