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Asperity   Listen
noun
Asperity  n.  (pl. asperities)  
1.
Roughness of surface; unevenness; opposed to smoothness. "The asperities of dry bodies."
2.
Roughness or harshness of sound; that quality which grates upon the ear; raucity.
3.
Roughness to the taste; sourness; tartness.
4.
Moral roughness; roughness of manner; severity; crabbedness; harshness; opposed to mildness. "Asperity of character." "It is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received."
5.
Sharpness; disagreeableness; difficulty. "The acclivities and asperities of duty."
Synonyms: Acrimony; moroseness; crabbedness; harshness; sourness; tartness. See Acrimony.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Asperity" Quotes from Famous Books



... you?" cried Mr. Verner, with asperity. "Do you mean to deny that anything had occurred to put you in a state of agitation, when you were met ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... Perhaps the result of their efforts was better than it would have been had both possessed the disposition of either one of them. Her firmness and energy atoned for the negligence resulting from his easy temper, and his sunny smile and kind words softened the asperity with which she would have ruled her household. Their son was engaged in mercantile business in a neighboring city, and their home would have been desolate but for the presence of little Clara. She was the sunshine of the old man's heart, and he forgot toil and weariness when he sat down ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848 • Various

... my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed, till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations, where no benefit has been received; or to be unwilling that the publick should consider me as owing that to a patron, which providence has enabled me ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... the province for the king!" retorted Amelie, with all the asperity her gentle but patriotic spirit was capable of. "Some say ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... its influence, and the too natural consequence in a mind unattuned to soft emotions was, that the attentions of Adrian became distasteful to her. She grew capricious; her gentle conduct towards him was exchanged for asperity and repulsive coldness. When she perceived the wild or pathetic appeal of his expressive countenance, she would relent, and for a while resume her ancient kindness. But these fluctuations shook to its depths the soul of the sensitive youth; he no longer deemed the world subject ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... questioned vaguely. There was no asperity in her voice now, only puzzled helplessness. It was the inevitable surrender of the commonplace in the light of a greater understanding—in the realization of an unknown law to the significance of which some never ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... one feels that Maes's master, Rembrandt, could have added nothing. It is even conceivable that he might have injured it by some touch of asperity. From this picture all Newlyn ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... will be disposed to question this extreme sensitiveness, since instances of similar effects on men of genius are by no means rare. Whoever has read Mr. Moore's Life of Byron must have remarked the asperity with which he inveighs against blundering printers in the Letters ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 481, March 19, 1831 • Various

... with asperity. "Your pronoun 'he' stands for your antecedent 'Gilmer.' But what's the English tongue when we have a Jacobin in the house! Women like strange animals, and they are vastly fond of pitying. But you were always a home body, Jacqueline, and left Unity to run after the sea lions and learned pigs! ...
— Lewis Rand • Mary Johnston

... on to remark with asperity that Murillo painted like an ignoramus. But all at once he stopped short in the middle of ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... (with some asperity). "Members are well aware what Home Rule meant. It was a plan—or rather it was a scheme—that is to say, it was an act of parliament, or I should say a bill, in fact, Mr. Speaker, I don't mind confessing that, not having my papers with me, ...
— Moonbeams From the Larger Lunacy • Stephen Leacock

... Jefferson, with asperity. "Of course I'm sure! It's not easy to mistake her, I fancy. I can't think why you didn't catch sight of her. She just looked in as ...
— The Mystery of a Turkish Bath • E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)

... the history of the Embargo we can account for the asperity of feeling towards the Democratic leaders, and the distrust of their measures and men, which pervaded New England from the passage of the Embargo Act until the close ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... of some subtle difference in the spirit of the home. As to Thomas so to his father a change had come. The old man was as silent as ever, indeed more so, but there was no asperity in his silence. His critical, captious manner was gone. His silence was that of a great sorrow, and of a great fear. While there was more cheerful conversation than ever at the table, there was through all a new respect and a certain tender consideration shown toward the silent ...
— Glengarry Schooldays • Ralph Connor

... bade Tancred as usual good-night, his voice was different from its accustomed tones; he had replied to Tancred with asperity several times during the evening; and when he was separated from his companion, he felt relieved. All unconscious of these changes and symptoms was the ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... Americans have retorted with some asperity upon criticisms in which any approach to such insolent insularism is even ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... Martha showed in her dress and manner, all the outward signs of her state and condition. An imperturbable gravity sat upon those harsh features which were never known to relax into a smile, and in whose expression predominated a mixture of religious asperity and pride, vainly disguised under the cloak of humility. However, Martha was far from practising the rigid austerities her whole appearance seemed to indicate. She only assumed this outward demeanor, in the ...
— Gomez Arias - The Moors of the Alpujarras, A Spanish Historical Romance. • Joaquin Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio

... at the asperity with which his friend spoke. He little knew how easily acquaintance who call themselves friends can change when their interest comes in the slightest degree in competition with their friendship. Hurried by ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... this narrative are confirmed by Lord Clarendon.—'Continuation of his Life', p. 33. It is difficult to speak of the persons concerned in this infamous transaction without some degree of asperity, notwithstanding they are, by a strange perversion of language, styled, all men ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... hat from the table, the pastor went down among his flower-beds, followed by Bioern, to whose innate asperity of temper was added the ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... imagination, and I look back over the region I have traveled. Thank God, the same plastic feeling, which used to deck all the future with the hues of fairyland, throws a soft coloring over the past, until the very roughest places, through which I struggled with many a heartache, lose all their asperity in the distance." ...
— Washington Irving • Henry W. Boynton

... divined what was on the Professor's mind; in fact, she had known it for some time, but had assured herself that he would never have the courage to put his hints, and suggestions, and allusions, into an actual declaration. So she replied with some asperity, "What made you think I was looking for a ...
— Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks - A Picture of New England Home Life • Charles Felton Pidgin

... women,' Buckland pursued, with some asperity, throwing away the stump of his cigar. 'It comes, I suppose, of their ridiculous education—their minds are never trained to fixity of purpose. They never understand themselves, and scarcely ever make an effort to understand any one else. Their life ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... to see the world unless we go round it?" exclaimed the Baron, with some asperity in his tone. "That is what I thought ...
— Voyages and Travels of Count Funnibos and Baron Stilkin • William H. G. Kingston

... fine wine. But if there are good wines, there are also very bad ones, and these, I am sorry to say, represent the bulk in every cellar I visited. Some of the wines are cloudy, sweetish, with a good deal of asperity. Others present tartaric, lactic, and ...
— The Art of Living in Australia • Philip E. Muskett (?-1909)

... and undertook to lecture on the Psalms. His eloquence and his imagination, his retentive memory enabling him to illustrate his texts by parallel passages drawn from the books of the Old Testament, and in a certain way his exaggerations, his strength of diction, and his asperity of language towards all with whose views he did not find himself in agreement, made his lectures most popular at the university, and filled his hall with an eager and attentive audience. Amongst the students Luther had no rival, and even the few professors ...
— History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French • Rev. James MacCaffrey

... intensified by the love of God and his cause. Of course the disputants viewed the matter from different angles, and both, we must think, were equally sincere in their convictions. The present writer was not of those who thought upon the whole harm would come of this dispute, though he deeply regretted the asperity with which it was conducted. In our present imperfect state we need, I doubt not, these conflicts to remind us of our frailty, and if only we have grace to profit by them, God will turn them to our good and to His own ...
— Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel - and Selections from his Writings • Frank G. Allen

... think him high-tempered beyond the requisites of manhood," she replied, with something like asperity in her tone. "I cannot endure your meek, mild mannered men, who seem to forget their sex, and almost make me long to change my own with them, that their sweet ...
— Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession • Benjamin Wood

... numerous quarrels and controversies in England were very amusing. Yet, in spite of the personal bitterness growing out of her own irritable temper and professional rivalry, she remained a great artistic favorite with the public. Underneath the asperity and obstinacy of her character there was a vein of deep tenderness and generosity, which she showed in various cases, especially in forwarding the interests of struggling artists. Michael Kelly, the Irish composer, in ...
— Great Singers, First Series - Faustina Bordoni To Henrietta Sontag • George T. Ferris

... passed together out of the room, she turned. "Soulsby," she said with half-playful asperity, "I'm disappointed in you. For a man who's knocked about as much as you have, I must say you've picked up an astonishingly small outfit of gumption. That poor creature in there is no more drunk than I am. He's been drinking—yes, drinking ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... know anything of, but flirting?" said Charlotte with asperity, glancing out into the grounds where Kilian was murmuring softest folly to her under ...
— Richard Vandermarck • Miriam Coles Harris

... pleased to be amusing," said Ginger with more than his usual asperity. "Mr. Archer says seven-pence. Well, I'll say five guineas. Any advance on five guineas, ladies and gentlemen? ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, January 28, 1914 • Various

... evident that there was nothing in the world else she cared so much to do, and though indeed it was equally evident that she was one of the best-natured little creatures in the world, she did not deny herself a certain more or less constant asperity of reference to occupations which kept her on her feet from morning till night, and made her the slave of the whole house, in spite of four big idle daughters. And she with rheumatism too, so bad that she could hardly get up and ...
— Young Lives • Richard Le Gallienne

... awry by the fall, was ever straightened. When I spoke to her of the new law and her removal to a stand near the counter, she said it was a good thing. "No woman of proper feeling," she said with some asperity, "would have borne it as long as I did. I never wanted to stand there and be gazed at by men, it looked so bold. As for those women of brass that like it, it is all very well, but I couldn't stand it. Admiration ...
— Observations of a Retired Veteran • Henry C. Tinsley

... practised it, and as they held action to be the criterion of oratory, made the best actors their models; nor was this a groundless opinion adopted by a few or superficial men; for Demosthenes having remarked with some asperity that the worst orators were heard in the rostrum in preference to him, the celebrated actor SATYRUS, in order to show him how much grace, dignity, and action add to the celebrity of a public man, repeated to him several passages from Sophocles and Euripides, which ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... me so," said the old gentleman, putting on his spectacles, and looking over them at me with asperity, while he folded his paper into a convenient shape. "I wish to read you what must have made me have that instinct. It was this editorial. Listen, and see if it ...
— Editorial Wild Oats • Mark Twain

... and the regimental (particuliers) officers are the first to show a bad example, the punishments are neither sufficiently known nor sufficiently seen. Everything smacks of indiscipline, of disgust at the king's service, and of asperity towards one's self. I see with pain that it will be indispensable to put in practice the most violent and the harshest measures." The king's army, meanwhile, was continuing to fall back; a general outcry arose at Paris against the general's supineness. On the 23d of June he was surprised by Duke ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume VI. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... used his influence to the utmost. Debtors have been let out of the workhouses on condition of voting against the men of the people; clients have been posted to hiss and interrupt the favorite candidates; Appius Claudius Crassus has spoken with more than his usual eloquence and asperity: all has been in vain, Licinius and Sextius have a fifth time carried all the tribes: work is suspended; the booths are closed; the Plebeians bear on their shoulders the two champions of liberty through the Forum. Just at this moment it is announced ...
— Lays of Ancient Rome • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... to fathom the reason for the employment of girls as ushers in the London theatres. Perhaps it is to heighten the glamour of a place whose glamour hardly needs heightening, or more probably it is to soften the asperity of the play-goer who finds himself asked sixpence for that necessary evil, the programme. But, now I come to think of it, most of the play-goers in London are Englishmen who have been always used to paying, ancestrally and personally, sixpence for their programmes ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... Mr. Wilberforce made his motion. He began by expressing a hope, that the present debate, instead of exciting asperity and confirming prejudice, would tend to produce a general conviction of the truth of what in fact was incontrovertible; that the abolition of the Slave Trade was indispensably required of them, not only by morality and religion, but by sound ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... Sarah would have defended her own sex with much asperity; instead, there was something oddly ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... such an arrangement, or want of arrangement, is obvious; and it must have caused much friction in the House. We can imagine the officer in charge of the finances resenting the intrusion of his brother of the library with an asperity not wholly in accordance with fraternal charity. And yet, so strong is the tendency of human nature to put up with whatever exists, rather than be at the trouble of changing it, no effectual steps in the way of remedy were taken until the fifteenth century. In ...
— The Care of Books • John Willis Clark

... travels. He is labeling his trophies, now. I picked up one a while ago, and found it marked "Fragment of a Russian General." I carried it out to get a better light upon it—it was nothing but a couple of teeth and part of the jaw-bone of a horse. I said with some asperity: ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... to read by," Grandmother announced, with considerable asperity, "and you don't need to hunt around for no more lamps, neither. I've got ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... entered, and his grandmother, taking the letter from Bertha, and placing it in his hand, accosted him with no little asperity of tone. ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... thousand to one that they are impostors, but yet we do ourselves a wrong by hardening our hearts against them. At last, without turning round, I told her that I should give her nothing,—with some asperity, doubtless, for the effort to refuse creates a bitterer repulse than is necessary. She still followed us a little farther, but at last gave it up, with a deep groan. I could not have performed this act of heroism on my first ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... interest. He was still more attracted by the controversy that then raged in Edinburgh and elsewhere on the value of Phrenology and Animal Magnetism. Hamilton, as all students of contemporary philosophy are aware, denounced the pretensions of Phrenology with curious vehemence and asperity. It was the only doctrine, his friends said, that he could not even tolerate. On Animal Magnetism he held a very different opinion, and he wrote to Greg encouraging his enthusiasm in that direction. 'There has always,' he said, 'seemed to me a foundation ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 7: A Sketch • John Morley

... congratulations. He made a personal claim on their cordiality, which was not the least of his political resources. Nature had fitted him to public uses; the impression overflowed the ranks of his own supporters and softened asperity among his opponents. Illustration lies, at this moment close to us. They had not been in the same room a quarter of an hour before he was in deep and affectionate converse with Lorne Murchison, whose party we know, and whose political weight was increasing, as this influence often does, with a ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... seldom out of patience with her more tender sister, yet at this moment her love and her patriotism—by which is meant her heart and soul—were violently in conflict. Fearing lest the former might prevail, she replied with greater asperity: ...
— Where the Souls of Men are Calling • Credo Harris

... her mood. I went over all we had said and done together that day, and at last, after perhaps half an hour of unbroken silence, fell back on what seemed the only possible explanation. She was thinking of her father. But why that suspicion of asperity on her face? Was this ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... stimulating the palate. Conversation would become dull and vapid, if negligence were not sometimes roused, and sluggishness quickened, by due severity of reprehension. But acids unmixed will distort the face and torture the palate; and he that has no other qualities than penetration and asperity, he whose constant employment is detection and censure, who looks only to find faults, and speaks only to punish them, will soon ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... sends the immortal war-god whimpering to his father; and innocence, no more than philosophy, can protect us from this sting. As for taste, when we bear in mind the excesses of unmitigated sugar which delight a youthful palate, "it is surely no very cynical asperity" to think taste a character of the maturer growth. Smell and hearing are perhaps more developed; I remember many scents, many voices, and a great deal of spring singing in the woods. But hearing is capable of vast improvement as a means of pleasure; and there is all the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... contradiction is naturally so strong in Lismahago, that I believe in my conscience he has rummaged, and read, and studied with indefatigable attention, in order to qualify himself to refute established maxims, and thus raise trophies for the gratification of polemical pride. — Such is the asperity of his self-conceit, that he will not even acquiesce in a transient compliment made to his own individual in particular, or to his ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... being an edged-tool against neutral nations, a curiously narrow, hide-bound politician, whose language was as insolent as his manners were offensive. The Governor's reference, therefore, had not been too severe, nor had his statement overleaped the truth; yet Jonas Platt attacked it with great asperity, arraigning the national administration and charging that the country had more cause for war with France than with Great Britain. This was both unwise and untenable. The Governor had aimed his criticism at France as well as at England. He spoke of one as controlling the destinies of the European ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... the Catholics pray to images and say the second commandment, I'd like to know?" said Mrs. Thorne, one morning, with some asperity. ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... understanding whereof, we may consider, that there is in mens aptnesse to Society; a diversity of Nature, rising from their diversity of Affections; not unlike to that we see in stones brought together for building of an Aedifice. For as that stone which by the asperity, and irregularity of Figure, takes more room from others, than it selfe fills; and for the hardnesse, cannot be easily made plain, and thereby hindereth the building, is by the builders cast away as unprofitable, ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... sharp, the chin round and sometimes retreating. The body is angular and generally convex in outline, with sharpness at all angles. This temperament is usually accompanied with great activity of mind and vivaciousness of disposition, and sometimes develops great energy and asperity. It is very likely to exhaust ...
— How to Become Rich - A Treatise on Phrenology, Choice of Professions and Matrimony • William Windsor

... wished that," replied the lady, with some asperity, "I would have asked you to do so. As it is, I asked you to ...
— In a Steamer Chair And Other Stories • Robert Barr

... will not prove the testament to be a forgery. The signing and witnessing were done in my presence," said my uncle. He rose from his chair, instinctively locked up his bureau; and, if such stern features could assume an aspect of still greater asperity, it was when the interrogator thus continued:—"You were, as you observe, Mr S——, an eye-witness to the due subscription of this deed. If I am to clear myself from the imputation of unjustifiable curiosity, I must beg leave to examine yourself and the surviving witness apart, merely ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... to leave us here in rags and beggary, while you are amusing yourself in London?" replied Mrs Rainscourt, with asperity. "With your altered circumstances, you will have no want of society, either male or female," continued the lady, with an emphasis upon the last word—"and a wife will ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... here in Paris," said Mrs. Newell, with a note of asperity which seemed to imply that her friend might have taken the trouble to post ...
— The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... conscious that you are naturally rough and austere, that disappointments have soured, or prosperity has elated you, or that habits of command have rendered you quick in expression, and impatient of contradiction; or if, from whatever other cause, you have contracted an unhappy peevishness of temper, or asperity of manners, or harshness and severity of language, (remember that these defects are by no means incompatible with an aptness to perform services of substantial kindness); if nature has been confirmed by habit till ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... the poor soul stranded among the relics of the past cut to his heart, and he was filled with pity. But he spoke with a bitter asperity and seemed to scold, to ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... being acquainted with celebrated men of every description, had made me, much about the same time, obtain an introduction to Dr. Samuel Johnson and to John Wilkes, Esq. Two men more different could perhaps not be selected out of all mankind. They had even attacked one another with some asperity[187] in their writings; yet I lived in habits of friendship with both[188]. I could fully relish the excellence of each; for I have ever delighted in that intellectual chymistry, which can separate good qualities from evil in the ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... M'Combie anticipated a fatal result, and the old gentleman appeared to have no illusion as to his own state. He repeatedly assured me it was 'by' with him now; 'and high time too,' he once added with characteristic asperity. He was not in the least changed on the approach of death: only (what I am sure must be very grateful to your feelings) he seemed to think and speak even more kindly than usual of yourself, referring to you as 'Jeannie's yin,' with strong expressions ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... frivolous tale. She was satisfied with anything that ended happily and had nothing in it that was unpleasant, or difficult, demanding thought. She exalted her preferences into high canons. A novel ought to conform to her requirements. A novelist (she thought of him with some asperity) had no right to be obscure, or depressing, or to add needless unpleasantness to the unpleasantness that had to be. The Great Men didn't ...
— Life and Death of Harriett Frean • May Sinclair

... have expected His Royal Highness to do—I mean 'Lord Denton?'" "Karlbeck" corrected himself hastily. Edestone set his glass down, and looked at the man for a moment. When he finally spoke it was with a touch of asperity. With a ...
— L. P. M. - The End of the Great War • J. Stewart Barney

... ex-President of the United States, then residing in New Hampshire; and another to ex-Attorney-General Cushing, a resident of Massachusetts. He appeared much surprised, and remarked with a sigh, but without the slightest tone of asperity, 'I will have these letters enclosed in official envelopes, and sent to these parties.' When he had finished examining the addresses, he tied up all those addressed to private individuals, saying, 'I won't bother with them; but these look like official letters; I guess I'll go through them now.' ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... out. It hung on the edge of his lips. A moment longer he hugged it deliciously. He loved these little conversations with his wife. Never a shade of asperity entered into them. And this one in particular afforded ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... I have not been entirely deprived of my senses!" Miss Phoebe spoke with some asperity. "Of course we cannot refuse, and of course we must do our utmost for our brother's motherless child; but none the less, it is calamitous, I repeat; and I am positive that Doctor Strong will ...
— Geoffrey Strong • Laura E. Richards

... say it was quite empty?" Miss Bride asked, with some asperity. "To be sure, there are always people. But she'll miss the best of it. She ought to be there for the Patrick's Ball and the command nights at the theatre. The last time I was at the Theatre Royal I was in the Viceregal box. She was a sweet, pretty creature, ...
— The Story of Bawn • Katharine Tynan

... the "Leyden Gazette," instead of English papers; but it soon became the vehicle of calumny against the funding and banking systems; against the duty on home-made spirits, which was denominated an excuse, and against the men who had proposed and supported those measures. With, perhaps, equal asperity, the papers attached to the party which had defended these systems, assailed the motives of the ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... said Melinda with some asperity. "That thing's kept Harry Junior quiet all day. I bought it in good faith, and it's not my fault—say, have you ...
— Teething Ring • James Causey

... that?" Evelyn inquired with a trace of asperity. Though she was not prepared to pose as Vane's advocate, she was conscious of a growing ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... since you have thought it necessary to tell me so, we part." "Very well, sir," said Washington, "if it be your choice," or something to that effect, and the friends separated. Washington immediately opened the way for the Secretary's continuance at his post, but, without any feeling of asperity, the overture was declined. Hamilton, however, proffered his services and counsel. With no other man than Washington, indeed, could the subordinate relation have continued so long, and Hamilton had often thought of renouncing it; but he saw in Washington the ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 • Various

... half over and then pay just the same——" But the woman appreciated this cordiality at its true worth and was unresponsive. "So you've got the job. They'd be sorry to part with Maggie." Then pursing her lips, she placed her season ticket in her purse, and said with condescending asperity: "I want to go ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... the desperate form of a breathless, day-to-day struggle for bare existence it need only exist among railway companies where lines have been built in excess of the needs of the population. With the increase in population and the growth of trade the asperity of the conditions necessarily becomes mitigated, until at last, when the traffic has assumed proportions which will afford all competitors alike a reasonable profit on their shares, the management ceases to be exposed ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... disappointment. His own was slightly marked with annoyance, and, suddenly ceasing to arrange some folded law papers that he held in his hands, and had gathered up from the table at which he was standing, he exclaimed in tones of mingled surprise and asperity: "Still at the old song! still harping, harping, harping! Peace, no more of it. Heaven would be insufferable with but one hymn, hell thrice horrible with but one howl, earth uninhabitable with but one evil. Oh, variety, what ...
— The Advocate • Charles Heavysege

... not been quite so strong, quite so full of unexpressed power, he would have rebelled at the assertion that he had stuck Porter; but he answered, and his voice struggled between asperity and deprecation, "There ain't no call for me to give that stable any pointers; Porter put it to me pretty straight that ...
— Thoroughbreds • W. A. Fraser

... Mr. Adams said," retorted Mrs. Adams, with some asperity, "and I told him that I would rather the dozen policemen were in evidence before I was shot and robbed than after. I had on all my rings, and ...
— By the Light of the Soul - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... getting at my character at last," observed Brook with some asperity. "You've discovered my vanity, now. By-and-by we shall find out ...
— Adam Johnstone's Son • F. Marion Crawford

... wrong? It has gone wrong in the brain. What, is he 'wrong in the head'? Most assuredly, most strictly. He knows—none better—that when his wife employs a particular tone containing ten grains of asperity, and he replies in a particular tone containing eleven grains, the consequences will be explosive. He knows, on the other hand, that if he replies in a tone containing only one little drop of honey, the consequences may not be unworthy of two reasonable beings. He knows this. His brain is fully ...
— The Human Machine • E. Arnold Bennett

... applaud that strict and conscientious devotion to the interests of his employer, and to what he considered the true objects of the enterprise in which he was engaged. He certainly was to blame occasionally for the asperity of his manners, and the arbitrary nature of his measures, yet much that is exceptionable in this part of his conduct may be traced to rigid notions of duty acquired in that tyrannical school, a ship of war, and to the construction ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... 2. That how much asperity of feeling, and how much bitter controversy might be prevented, if those most concerned would converse privately with each other before they entered into the arena of ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... about it?" James answered her with asperity. "It's a pretty mess at this time of night, too!" He lapsed into silence, and his wife and son, as if hypnotised, waited for him to say: 'I can't tell—I don't know; I knew how it would be!' But he did not. The grey eyes ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... of the President, this is the first, the very first duty which the Constitution gravely enjoins upon him. And now, Sir, in no language of taunt or reproach, in no language of party attack, in terms of no asperity or exaggeration, but called upon by the necessity of defending my own vote upon the subject, as a public man, as a member of Congress here in my place, and as a citizen who feels as warm an attachment to the Constitution of the country as any other ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... say," cut in Miss Doolittle with some asperity, "is that Mr. Thomas Faulkenstone Demilt is her brother." She did not add, as extreme candour would have urged, "And I have some hope—remote, alas! but there—of becoming sister to Miss ...
— Red Saunders • Henry Wallace Phillips

... if I were the young gentleman who shared his post chaise. But, without allowing time for an answer, and striking his boot impatiently with a riding whip, he hoped I was ready. "Not until he has gone up to my mistress," replied my old protectress, in a tone of some asperity. Thither I ascended. What counsels and directions I might happen to receive at the maternal toilet, naturally I have forgotten. The most memorable circumstance to me was, that I, who had never till that time possessed the ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... were already Christians have remained without instruction, which I consider a great disadvantage. But, knowing that God moves the hearts of men (a matter that we cannot understand), I will overlook that. The governor took this with more asperity than I wished, for he sent after them, and the person who went thither treated them very rudely; but finally God ordained that they should arrive at this island. The governor ordered a proclamation to be made (its contents ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, Volume V., 1582-1583 • Various

... bar Mr. Paine has always held the friendliest relations, and he has enjoyed their highest esteem. To none, even the humblest of his fellow advocates, has he ever manifested any of the haughtiness of a Pinkney, or any of that ruggedness and asperity which gained for the morose and sullen Thurlow the nickname of the tiger. Amid the fiercest janglings and hottest contentions of the bar, he has never forgotten that courtesy which should mark the collision, not less than the friendly intercourse, of cultivated ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... undiscoverable. Was he performing a series of parts, or was it the ordinary changes of a man's true temperament that you beheld in him? Commonly smooth, quiet, attentive, flattering in social intercourse, he was known in the senate and courts of law for a cold asperity, and a caustic venom,—scarcely rivalled even in those arenas of contention. It seemed as if the bitterer feelings he checked in private life, he delighted to indulge in public. Yet even there he gave not way ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... have asserted with some show of asperity that he was nothing if not American; but Bridge was quick to see a possible loophole for escape for his friend in Pesita's belief that Billy was no gringo, and warned the latter to silence by a ...
— The Mucker • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... with a touch of asperity. "Oh, yes. Pish, sir! Friends, I am learning, have their own hides to consider. And those gentlemen of yours are Gentiles with goods for Salt Lake Mormons. Are they going to throw all business ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... found himself embarrassed with the duties of smoothing a deathbed, and all he had meant was to express a sincere desire that the Sergeant were happily rid of doubt and suffering. A little shocked, therefore, at the interpretation that had been put on his words, he rejoined with some of the asperity of the man, though rebuked by a consciousness of not having done his own wishes justice. "You are too old and too sensible a person, Pathfinder," said he, "to fetch a man up with a surge, when he is paying out his ideas in distress, as it might be. Sergeant Dunham is both my brother-in-law ...
— The Pathfinder - The Inland Sea • James Fenimore Cooper

... smile softened the asperity of this interruption. "The man has yet to be caught and identified. Till that is done I cannot enjoy any one's congratulations. And you will see that all this may not be so easy. If no one happened to meet the desperate ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... about a dish of tea. She wanted to force the boy to drink it according to her own receipt. He said he did not like it, and that it absolutely made him ill. After a good deal of sparring she took up the birch-rod and began to whip him with an uncommon degree of asperity. When the poor lad found that he must either drink the nauseous dish of tea or be flogged to death, he turned upon her in self-defence, showed her to the outside of the nursery- door, and never more allowed her to meddle ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... what you're drivin' at," Bert said with asperity. "An' all I can tell you is, livin' or dead, in a job or out, no matter what happens to me, if you will lead that way, you will, an' there's nothin' else ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... forgetting his own rules that nations act from adequate motives relative to their interests, and not from metaphysical speculation; that we cannot draw an indictment against a whole people; that there is a species of hostile justice which no asperity of war wholly extinguishes in the minds of a civilised people. "Steady independent minds," he had once said, "when they have an object of so serious a concern to mankind as government under their contemplation, ...
— Burke • John Morley

... contradicted Burnet more frequently or with more asperity than Dartmouth. Yet Dartmouth wrote, "I do not think he designedly published anything he believed to be false." At a later period Dartmouth, provoked by some remarks on himself in the second volume of the Bishop's history, retracted ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... nap, and the bagman proposed a game of cards. I remembered in time that I was an elder in the Nethergate U.F. Church and refused with some asperity. After that I shut my eyes again, for I wanted to ...
— Mr. Standfast • John Buchan

... not different from that of the balance of the district in which it is situated, and, although some days in winter are severely cold and some in summer hot, its dry atmosphere softens the asperity of its cold, and its generous crop yields are full compensation for the heat of the summer's sun. Its mean temperature ranges from 30 degrees to 40 degrees in winter and from 50 to 74 degrees in ...
— A Review of the Resources and Industries of the State of Washington, 1909 • Ithamar Howell

... I said with asperity; for I am not a person to inaugurate a dinner hour one day and change it the next. Bates wished to make conversation,—the sure sign of a guilty conscience in a servant,—and I was not disposed to ...
— The House of a Thousand Candles • Meredith Nicholson

... notion than you how long it is to last," Holmes answered with some asperity. "If criminals would always schedule their movements like railway trains, it would certainly be more convenient for all of us. As to what it is we—Well, that's what we ...
— The Valley of Fear • Arthur Conan Doyle

... to say, Miss De Haro," returned the Senator, rising with some asperity, "that you seem to have been unfortunate in your selection of acquaintances, and still more so in your ideas of the derivations of the English tongue. The—er—the—er—expressions you have quoted are not common to Boston, but emanate, I believe, ...
— The Story of a Mine • Bret Harte

... witty thing in his whole life, for only one has been recorded. It was ingeniously said of VAUCANSON, that he was as much an automaton as any which he made. HOGARTH and SWIFT, who looked on the circles of society with eyes of inspiration, were absent in company; but their grossness and asperity did not prevent the one from being the greatest of comic painters, nor the other as much a creator of manners in his way. Genius, even in society, is pursuing its own operations, and it would cease to be itself were it always ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... to sink into oblivion by its own weight, with original essays on the most interesting subjects of the time, religious, or political; in which the titles of the books or pamphlets prefixed furnish only the name and occasion of the disquisition. I do not arraign the keenness, or asperity of its damnatory style, in and for itself, as long as the author is addressed or treated as the mere impersonation of the work then under trial. I have no quarrel with them on this account, as long as no personal allusions ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... Diabelli, he remarked: "Strange that so great a man should have been born in so poor a home!" Beethoven's relations with Haydn, as we shall see later on, were at one time somewhat strained; but the years had softened his asperity, and this indirect tribute to his brother composer may readily be accepted as a set-off to some things that the biographer of the ...
— Haydn • J. Cuthbert Hadden

... Rolleston's annoyance to the culminating point. She thought the faithless damsel had come to announce her engagement, and demand sympathy and congratulations. So, with a view to arrest any aggressive gush, she said, with some asperity,—"I am glad you have come, for I wanted to tell you, Cecil, how bad it looked your walking off in that way ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... Sketches; some of my friends have told me that they evince an asperity of sentiment towards the English people which I ought not to feel, and which it is highly inexpedient to express. The charge surprises me, because, if it be true, I have written from a shallower mood than I supposed. I seldom came into personal relations with an Englishman ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... last, and only husband," she replied, with a touch of asperity, yet not as if she meant it ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... a distant part of the State, was present to give it his personal supervision. In the course of Mr. D.'s argument, he let fall some profane language, for which he was promptly checked and reprimanded by the Judge. Mr. D., accustomed to unrestrained license of tongue, retorted with great asperity, ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... that that's such an awful faux pas," Blue Bonnet said with asperity. "They always have afternoon tea at Oxford. Alec Trent has a friend there and he told ...
— Blue Bonnet in Boston - or, Boarding-School Days at Miss North's • Caroline E. Jacobs

... of that four-eyed teacher, anyway," declared the old lady, with some asperity. "I'm going to see about it. Your father would just let you be driven from pillar to post—he's got no spunk. What you Lockwoods need in this town is a woman ...
— The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna - or, The Crew That Won • Gertrude W. Morrison

... the value of it to a penny," replied his father, with equal asperity, "and I intend it shall belong solely and wholly ...
— Explorers of the Dawn • Mazo de la Roche

... with unabated ardour. But his career was embittered by broils and controversies; while the frequent acts of kindness, and the general warmth of heart, evinced in his conduct, hardly sufficed to soften the asperity, or to mitigate the wrath, of a host of enemies—which assailed him to the very last. But Cadmus-like, he sowed the seeds from which these combatants sprung. Whatever were his defects, as a public character, he is said to have been, ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... critical asperity, the last two volumes of Froude's English in Ireland for Macmillan's Magazine* he referred to Home Rule as a moderate and constitutional movement. His own History was not completed till 1890. But when Gladstone introduced his first Home Rule Bill, in 1886, Lecky opposed it as ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... and Romulus stood in respect to each other, and the feelings which were naturally awakened in their hearts by the circumstances in which they found themselves placed, were such as did not tend to allay any rising asperity which accident might occasion, but rather to irritate and inflame it. In the first place, they were both ardent, impulsive, and imperious. Each was conscious of his strength, and eager to exercise ...
— Romulus, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... have," I interrupted with some asperity, "but I don't belong in that category. Far from persecuting, I have always believed in tolerance. Live and let live, I always say. People can't help the color of their skins or the race ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... grave with fiddlestick!" Mrs. Milliken said with some asperity. "And, as we are going to part, mamma, and as Horace has paid EVERYTHING on the journey as yet, and we have only brought a VERY few circular notes with us, perhaps you will have the kindness to give him your share of the travelling ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... to hear the qualifications of such a celebrated actor in England treated with such freedom and disrespect, answered, with some asperity, that the chevalier was a true critic, more industrious in observing the blemishes than in acknowledging the excellence of those ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... Ronald sat reading in his own rooms, he was much surprised at hearing a well-known voice at the door, inquiring with some asperity whether Mr. Le Breton was at home. He listened to the voice in intense astonishment. It was ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... one more instance of her insolent asperity, which produced an admirable reply of the famous Lady Mary -Wortley Montague. Lady Sundon had received a pair of diamond ear-rings as a bribe for procuring a considerable post in Queen Caroline's family for a certain peer; and, decked with those jewels, paid a visit to the ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... Hal, until the conclusion of the war, would accept no higher rank, believing that in command of a regiment he could be more useful than in charge of a division. Madam Fanny, I say, came back, and it was remarkable after her return how her old asperity towards my mother seemed to be removed, and what an affection she showed for her and all the property. She was great friends with the Governor and some of the most influential gentlemen of the new Assembly:—Madam Esmond was harmless, and for ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... told that he was perfectly acquainted with the French, Italian, Latin, Dutch and Spanish languages. And it is related of him, that by endeavouring to correct the vices of the times with too much asperity, he exposed himself to the resentment of those in power, who signified their displeasure, to the mortification and trouble of the author. Our poet gained more reputation by the translation of Du Bartas, than by any of his own compositions. Besides his Weeks and Works, he translated ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume I. • Theophilus Cibber

... child!" answered her mother, with an asperity that she had never permitted to herself before. "Do not tease me; else I shall shut thee into ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... the fair Bella, with just a soupcon of asperity in her tone,—as much as she ever allows herself when in the society of men. She makes up for this abstinence by bestowing a liberal share of it upon ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... Mrs. Sprague continues, with a smile, and in a tone that has none of the asperity the words might imply. "No reverence, no waiting for the elders, as we ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... driven so near it against one's will, and yet succeed in getting past without touching it," said the curate, with a flavor of asperity. His wife gently pinched his ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... with asperity; "but I think you haven't half searched. Maybe he's hiding somewhere ...
— The New Forest Spy • George Manville Fenn

... son came at last to the chateau: for the Count de Bassompierre that night accompanied Dr. Bretton. I know not which of our trio heard the horses first; the asperity, the violence of the weather warranted our running down into the hall to meet and greet the two riders as they came in; but they warned us to keep our distance: both were white—two mountains of snow; and indeed Mrs. Bretton, seeing their condition, ordered ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... gourdful of water from the pail in the sink, and carried it carefully over to the table. "Horses are the exception," he returned, with dignified asperity. "There always are exceptions. What I was comin' at was—I'd been kind of wrong in my reasonin'. That is, I 'ain't reasoned far enough. I was right so ...
— Pembroke - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... many of the bitters of life, and taste but few of its sweets, would naturally feel attachment and respect for that code of morality, which, regarding the many hardships of their station, strove to alleviate its rigours, and endeavoured to soften its asperity. ...
— Sunday Under Three Heads • Charles Dickens

... orator. Q. Capio too had a great deal of spirit, and was a brave citizen: but the unlucky chance of war was imputed to him as a crime, and the general odium of the people proved his ruin. C. and L. Memmius were likewise indifferent orators, and distinguished by the bitterness and asperity of their accusations: for they prosecuted many, but seldom spoke for the defendant. Sp. Torius, on the other hand, was distinguished by his popular way of speaking; the very same man, who, by his corrupt and frivolous law, diminished ...
— Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker. • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... were alone (the rest having gone on with Fraeulein Schwartze), and there was silence for a moment, during which the lady turned toward her well-appointed carriage; then Margot spoke, with some asperity, though I heard the tears in her ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... not of an undeserved asperity!" I returned, "D'ye think the Marchioness, her flighty head crammed with scraps of idiotic romance, would elope without regard for the canons of romance? Not so; depend upon it, a letter was left upon her pin-cushion announcing her removal with you, and in the most approved ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... be a difficult matter to do that," responds the good wife, with some asperity in look and tone. "It seems hard and old; some lean cow you have killed, to save her from dying of ...
— Life in the Clearings versus the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... it. You may as well as think it!" snapped Mollie, with some asperity. "You were going to say you hadn't ...
— The Outdoor Girls in Florida - Or, Wintering in the Sunny South • Laura Lee Hope

... my dear, I think you ought to realize the responsibility you assume." Mrs. Peyton's voice had acquired an edge of righteous asperity. "If Denis has a fault it is that he is too gentle, too yielding, too readily influenced by those he cares for. Your influence is paramount with him now—but if you turn from him just when he needs your help, who can say ...
— Sanctuary • Edith Wharton

... for Mrs. Minchin, tooth and nail indeed, yet perhaps with more asperity than conviction, and certainly at times upon points which were hardly worth the fighting. Yet, on the Friday afternoon, when her counsel at last played his masterstroke, and, taking advantage of the then new Act, put the prisoner herself in the witness-box, ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... subject was interrupted by the entrance of Mr. Arnold, who looked rather annoyed at finding Hugh in the drawing-room, and ordered Harry off to bed, with some little asperity of tone. The boy rose at once, rang the bell, bade them all good night, and went. A servant met him at the door with ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... retire, my lord," observed the elder Miss Ossulton, with great asperity: "I have been trying to catch the eye of Mrs Lascelles for ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... current state of German nationalism will of course appear biased to anyone who has been in the habit of rating German Culture high in all its bearings, and to whom at the same time the ideals of peace and liberty appeal. Indeed, such a critic, gifted with the due modicum of asperity, might well be provoked to call it all a more or less ingenious diatribe of partisan malice. But it can be so construed only by those who see the question at issue as a point of invidious distinction between this German animus on the one hand and the corresponding frame of mind of ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... Milton was peculiarly distinguished by loftiness of spirit; that of Dante by intensity of feeling. In every line of the Divine Comedy we discern the asperity which is produced by pride struggling with misery. There is perhaps no work in the world so deeply and uniformly sorrowful. The melancholy of Dante was no fantastic caprice. It was not, as far as at this distance of time can be judged, the effect of external circumstances. ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... and he then kissed him tenderly. This and the marks of undisguised pleasure which he evinced surprised me, and I looked at Madame de Lamotte, who then remarked with some asperity...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... sentence, with its opprobrious epithet (coined on the spot), was addressed with sudden asperity to the driver of the clumsy vehicle, who was seated on his box, with mouth expanded ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... the field of battle shows him to have been a man of fearless spirit; and he was universally allowed to be an accomplished disciplinarian. His melancholy end, too, disarms censure of its asperity. Whatever may have been his faults and errors, he, in a manner, expiated them by the hardest lot that can befall a brave soldier, ambitious of renown—an unhonored grave in a strange land; a memory clouded by misfortune, and a name for ever coupled ...
— The Life of George Washington, Volume I • Washington Irving

... by answering with asperity, prompted by a second attack on this subject, 'I can't help it. I could not put her off,—what objection ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... with a startled look. Neenah looked intently into the unsteady, blue-grey eyes and then bent over to kiss the hand of the Princess. The latter laughed almost aloud in her confusion. She caught herself up quickly and said with some asperity: "You foolish child, I am to become a prince's wife. How can I love your sahib? What nonsense! I am to marry a prince and he is not to pay ...
— The Man From Brodney's • George Barr McCutcheon



Words linked to "Asperity" :   rigorousness, severeness, ill nature, sternness, hardship, sharpness, grimness, dullness, difficultness, rigour, rigourousness, rigor, difficulty, severity



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