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Background   Listen
noun
background  n.  
1.
Ground in the rear or behind, or in the distance, as opposed to the foreground, or the ground in front.
2.
(Paint.) The space which is behind and subordinate to a portrait or group of figures. Note: The distance in a picture is usually divided into foreground, middle distance, and background.
3.
Anything behind, serving as a foil; as, the statue had a background of red hangings.
4.
A place in obscurity or retirement, or out of sight. "I fancy there was a background of grinding and waiting before Miss Torry could produce this highly finished... performance." "A husband somewhere in the background."
5.
The set of conditions within which an action takes place, including the social and physical conditions as well as the psychological states of the participants; as, within the background of the massive budget deficits of the 1980's, new spending programs had little chance of passage by the congress.
6.
The set of conditions that precede and affect an action, such as the social and historical precedents for the event, as well as the general background (5); as, against the background of their expulsion by the Serbs, the desire of Kosovars for vengeance is understandable though regrettable.
7.
(Science) The signals that may be detected by a measurement which are not due to the phenomenon being studied, and tend to make the measurement uncertain to a greater or lesser degree. Specifically: (Physics) Electronic noise present in a system using electronic measuring instrument or in a telecommunications system, which may hide and which must be differentiated from the desired signal; also called background noise or noise.
8.
(Journalism) An agreement between a journalist and an interviewee that the name of the interviewee will not be quoted in any publication, although the substance of the remarks may be reported; often used in the phrase "on background". Compare deep background.
To place in the background, to make of little consequence.
To keep in the background, to remain unobtrusive, inconspicuous or out of sight; of people.
deep background, (Journalism) the status of an interview which must not be quoted in a publication, even without attribution. Compare background (8).






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Background" Quotes from Famous Books



... and thrown out its gang plank. A hurried embrace; a struggle with rushing tears; another shriek from the boat whistle; and the Americans, with Carmen standing mute and motionless between them, looked back at the fading group on shore, where Rosendo's tall figure stood silhouetted against the green background of the forest. For a moment he held his arm extended toward them. Carmen knew, as she looked at the great-hearted man for the last time, that his benediction was following her—following her into that new world into which ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... Lilamani had too soon discovered that the ardent declaration, "I love India," was apt to mean merely that the speaker loved riding and dancing and sunshine and vast spaces, with 'the real India' for a dim effective background. And by now, she could almost tell at a glance which were the right and which the wrong kind of Anglo-Indian, so far as she and Nevil were concerned. It was not like Helen to inflict the wrong kind on her; but it had all been Mrs Bradley's doing. She had been tactlessly insistent ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... Italian, and after a minute or two the lady withdrew. It occurred to Lord George afterwards that the interview had certainly been arranged. Had his brother not wished him to see the lady, the lady could have been kept in the background here as well as at Manor Cross. "It's uncommon civil of you to come," said the Marquis as soon as the door was closed. "What can I ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... experience of any tumultuous emotion as this messenger of hope appeared on our horizon, but we knew that we were safe. How easy it is to write this simple word of four letters! but, to realize it, one must have a background of despair. Since that morning, the words "safe," "safety," "salvation," have always come to ...
— Out of the Fog • C. K. Ober

... enough to be still in the memory of persons living. Finding the place of its occurrence was the difficulty. If in the vicinity of Brindisi—well, he would go and ask. The yearning spoken of did not come alone; it had for companion, Conscience, as yet in the background. ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... opposite his patients' doors like a Cape Ann fishing-smack. By the time he was thirty, he would have knocked the social pawns out of his way, and be ready to challenge a wife from the row of great pieces in the background. I would not have a man marry above his level, so as to become the appendage of a powerful family-connection; but I would not have him marry until he knew his level,—that is, again, looking at the matter in a purely worldly point of view, and not taking the sentiments at all into consideration. ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... clerk's eye and held up the camera. The clerk frowned, then motioned him to come inside the rail. Rick did so and snapped a picture of the tribunal. Then he turned and got a photo of Tom Tyler and the men at his table, with the audience in the background. He looked at Jerry. The young reporter nodded, indicating that two pictures ...
— Smugglers' Reef • John Blaine

... noticing—we will say he did no more— the wonderful, the sacredly beautiful, drama which noiselessly displayed itself before him. Over in the east the intense deep blue of the sky softened a little. Then the trees in that quarter began to contrast themselves against the background and reveal their distinguishing shapes. Swiftly, and yet with such even velocity that in no one minute did there seem to be any progress compared with the minute preceding, the darkness was thinned, and resolved itself overhead into pure sapphire, shaded into yellow ...
— The Revolution in Tanner's Lane • Mark Rutherford

... throne are gathered, standing, many native princes, the higher officers of the government and the army, the members of the diplomatic corps and other favored persons, with their wives and daughters, and their costumes furnish a brilliant background to the scene. The rest of the great audience chamber, blazing with electric lights, is entirely empty. The viceroy greets every lady with a graceful bow, and Lady Curzon gives her a smile of welcome. The government band is playing all this ...
— Modern India • William Eleroy Curtis

... Newcastle we knew nothing of the kitchen area and the portico. I was filled with joy when, in passing through the Bloomsbury squares, I recognised, as I thought, the very houses, porticoes, and areas that Leech had made the background for his magnificent flunkeys ...
— Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid 1842-1885 • Stuart J. Reid, ed.

... done by them only to catch the public eye, and they disdained the perspective so much, that though they took the greatest pains with the circlet of a crown, or the rim of a crystal cup, in the heart of their picture, they would twist their capitals of columns and towers of churches about in the background in the most wanton way, wherever they liked the lines to go, provided only they left just perspective enough to please ...
— The Elements of Drawing - In Three Letters to Beginners • John Ruskin

... her into the background and thought over the work he had in hand. It was of great importance and dangerous. When war came he might be shot at any time if his doings were discovered. He was accustomed to dangers; many times had he risked his life; bad though he ...
— The Rider in Khaki - A Novel • Nat Gould

... good citizenship. They were created by people who had a background of self-government. New arrivals should be limited to our capacity to absorb them into the ranks of good citizenship. America must be kept American. For this purpose, it is necessary to continue a policy of restricted immigration. ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... down). He has so grown into our lives. I can't think of him as having gone out of them. He, with his sufferings and his loneliness, was like a cloudy background to our sunlit happiness. Well, perhaps it is best so. For him, anyway. (Standing still.) And perhaps for us too, Nora. We two are thrown quite upon each other now. (Puts his arms around her.) My darling wife, I don't ...
— A Doll's House • Henrik Ibsen

... any word that might fall from the general in reply; and a volunteer company, doing duty as a guard, pricked ruthlessly with their bayonets at any particularly quiet person among the throng. So Ernest, being of an unobtrusive character, was thrust quite into the background, where he could see no more of Old Blood-and-Thunder's physiognomy than if it had been still blazing on the battle-field. To console himself, he turned toward the Great Stone Face, which, like a faithful and long-remembered friend, looked back and smiled upon him through the vista of the forest. ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... Pennsylvania delegation in Congress was well disciplined and could be used with peculiar advantage for purposes of "pressure." Ratcliffe's success in his contest with the new President depended on the amount of "pressure" he could employ. To keep himself in the background, and to fling over the head of the raw Chief Magistrate a web of intertwined influences, any one of which alone would be useless, but which taken together were not to be broken through; to revive the lost art of the Roman retiarius, who from a safe ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... situated in the depth of the valley behind Salisbury Crags, which has for a background the north-western shoulder of the mountain called Arthur's Seat, on whose descent still remain the ruins of what was once a chapel, or hermitage, dedicated to St. Anthony the Eremite. A better site ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... Island Queen. Amidst all the loveliness on which she looked, the fairest spot was that which was washed by the waters of Killany Bay, where the soft sweet vale of Shanganah, with its silver strand, its green bosom, and noble background, stretched away between Bray Head and Kingstown. They were scenes amidst which one of queenly taste might love to linger, and were well calculated to impress her majesty and family with the beauty of the fair but sorrowful land upon which she was ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... hand, and gazing at it with bent head. Her left hand was spread upon her breast. She wore a calico chemise reaching below her knees, and leggings, and moccasins. A heavy robe was thrown over the top of her head, falling on the sides and back to within a foot of the ground. In the middle background was a stream, with four Indians in a canoe. A tiny stone chapel stood on the bank ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... looked at the young girl. She made a pretty picture as she sat leaning forward, the curves of her slim, light-gowned figure showing against the background of blue. Her face was pensive, and she was evidently ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... brigand leader to remain in the background. Miko was no coward. But Coniston could impersonate Wilks, whereas Miko's giant stature at once would reveal his identity. Miko had been engaged in smashing the portes. He had looked up and seen me kill Coniston. He had ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... as truthful and as general as possible. It did not select a dazzling and warlike heroine, as it would have done in the days of old: a Judith, a Lucretia, nor even a Joan of Arc. There was no need of resounding words, of splendid raiment, of tragic attitudes and accessories, of an imposing background. The beauty which we find so touching has grown simpler; it makes less stir and wins closer to our heart. And this is why destiny sought out in obscurity a little hospital nurse, one of many thousands of others. The sight of ...
— The Wrack of the Storm • Maurice Maeterlinck

... beauty! Yes, there is that unchangeable oval cut of face, those features which time will never impair, that graceful and thoughtful brow. The unknown is rich, well-educated, of noble birth: she will always be what she should be, she knows when to shine, when to remain in the background: she appears in all her glory and power, the being you have dreamed of, your wife that should have been, she whom you feel you could love forever. She would always have flattered your little vanities, she would understand and admirably serve your interests. She is tender and gay, ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... with buff cambric, ornamented with gold paper. Oval frames are frequently used, but they are not so easy to arrange and manage as a square frame. Cover the floor of the stage with a dark woollen carpet, drape the ceiling with light blue cambric, the background with black cambric; the sides should be arranged in the same style as the side scenes of a theatrical stage. Stout frames of wood, two feet wide, reaching to the ceiling, and covered with black cambric, should be placed on the extreme edge of ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... early English stage, accounts for the want of prominence and theatrical display in Shakespeare's female characters from the circumstance, that women in those days were not allowed to play the parts of women, which made it necessary to keep them a good deal in the background. Does not this state of manners itself, which prevented their exhibiting themselves in public, and confined them to the relations and charities of domestic life, afford a truer explanation of the matter? His women ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... can expect," she said, in her quiet, sad manner. The sadness was not obtrusive, not on the surface; it was only the background ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... shadow of authority; theft and murder in the streets and on the highways; farms plundered and deserted; agitation, excitement, and utter insecurity everywhere, and the number of troops insufficient to compel peace and order. All this was not the worst, however. Deep in the background stood the sinister apparition of the Atchison cabal. "I find," wrote he, "that I have not simply to contend against bands of armed ruffians and brigands whose sole aim and end is assassination and robbery—infatuated adherents and advocates of conflicting political sentiments ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... her resignation on stormy ones,—all those variations of expression by which character is displayed depend, like the effects in the sky, on unexpected and fugitive circumstances, which have no connection with each other except the background against which they rest, though all are necessarily mingled with the events of this history,—truly a household epic, as great to the eyes of a wise man as a tragedy to the eyes of the crowd, an epic ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... with herself and her white or black horse as the case might be; a rich cloth of gold backdrop carefully suffused with rose. There could be nothing handsomer, for example, than young and graceful trapezists swinging melodically in turquoise blue doublets against a fine peacock background or it might be a rich pale coral—all the artificial and spectacular ornament dispensed with. We are expected to get an exceptional thrill when some dull person appears before a worn velvet curtain to expatiate with inappropriate gesture upon a theme of Chopin or of Beethoven, ideas and attitudes ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... these, covered in ivy, and with the old dim-toned bricks above, make a scheme of colour which is simply enchanting. Some wind-torn trees and the sand-dunes, piled in miniature mountains, form a delicious background ...
— My War Experiences in Two Continents • Sarah Macnaughtan

... might, but could they keep him overpowered while they bound him? A half hour of desperate endeavor convinced them that they could not, and so Mbonga, who, like all good rulers, had circled in the safety of the background, called to one to work his way in and spear the victim. Gradually, through the milling, battling men, the warrior approached the ...
— Jungle Tales of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... moaned through the long aisles, raising strange and ominous echoes, and making the vast folds of sable drapery wave slowly backward and forward, as if agitated by unseen hands. A few spectators, standing in the background, appeared like grim figures on a black tapestry; and the gleam of the wax tapers, oscillating on their countenances, made them seem death-like ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... blue sky; the paling crescent of the moon, resembling a bent thread of silver wire, seemed about to fade mistily away; and, toward the east, in the splendor of the rising sun, the branches of the trees stood out against a background of burnished gold as in a Byzantine painting. The dewy calm and freshness of the early morning enveloped everything as in a bath of purity ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... leap, she seemed to suck the radiance along. It became a great cone of glowing light that, arrow-like, raced away upward. For a long instant the black length of the ship, and the greenish fan of flame, were outlined against the scarlet background of Jupiter. Then the freighter rocket, flinging herself upward at three gravities or better, passed the edge of the planet ...
— The Indulgence of Negu Mah • Robert Andrew Arthur

... the foxglove, may sometimes be used, in a small group, at the end of a bay on the level of the path; but they are best placed behind the rock work, as a background, or as dominating features of the entrance or exit of the garden. At the entrance or exit such bold plants make a good bridge between the rock garden and the outer grounds. Spreading and trailing plants should be ...
— Making A Rock Garden • Henry Sherman Adams

... ear of Mrs. Scrimp, as she hovered in the background, brought a scowl to her brow. "As if she—an ignorant young thing—could do better for the child than I!" she ...
— Grandmother Elsie • Martha Finley

... headed by the two brothers, moved slowly to the gate. Mr Dorrit, yielding to the vast speculation how the poor creatures were to get on without him, was great, and sad, but not absorbed. He patted children on the head like Sir Roger de Coverley going to church, he spoke to people in the background by their Christian names, he condescended to all present, and seemed for their consolation to walk encircled by the legend in golden characters, 'Be comforted, ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... there came upon Howard a strange feeling, partly of intense admiration, partly a sort of half-jealousy that he should know so little of the girl's past, and a half-terror of all other influences and relations in the unknown background of her life. He wanted to know whom and what she cared about, what her hopes were, what her thoughts rested upon and concerned themselves with. He had never felt any such emotion before, and it was not ...
— Watersprings • Arthur Christopher Benson

... them; and while the light of blazing boughs is thrown upon the scene of festivity, the rude music is accompanied by a song. Darkness seems essential to the effect of the whole; and the painted figures coming forward from the obscurity of the background, while the singers and beaters of time are invisible, have a highly theatrical effect. Each dance appears most tastefully progressive; the movement being first slow, and introduced by two persons, displaying graceful motions, both of arms and legs; others, one by one, join in, ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... Christian art, and it represents to fisher-folk what the fruits of the earth do to the field labourer. Both these little twin ports—Isaac and Gaverne—are entirely charming, and much to be commended to all who would know unspoiled Cornwall. Nestling within their tiny coves, they have a varied background of interesting country, pleasant little beaches, beautiful cliffs, and a glorious sea. There is one other resort to be visited before reaching Tintagel, and that is Trebarwith Strand, which similarly reaches the sea by a tiny cove, ...
— The Cornwall Coast • Arthur L. Salmon

... low relief may almost be considered as a branch of the painter's art. But this view seems opposed to the evidence of the facts. For there still exists a continuous series of pedimental groups, first in low relief then in high relief, and finally standing altogether free from the background, and becoming sculpture in the round. Examples in low relief are the Hydra pediment from the Acropolis and the pediment of the Page 35 Megarian Treasury at Olympia, which, on artistic grounds, can be set down as the two earliest ...
— The American Journal of Archaeology, 1893-1 • Various

... background, his sable locks uncovered out of deference to the lady, stood Sir Crispin, his face pale and haggard, his lips parted, and his grey eyes burning as they fell again, after the lapse of years, upon the stones of this his home—the castle to which ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... limbs are eternally knocking your hat off, and the spruce gum ruins your clothes, while ladies, like sheep, are for ever leaving fragments of their dress on every bush. He chooses the skirts of the forest therefore, the background is a glorious wood, and the foreground is diversified by the shipping. The o-heave-o of the sailors, as it rises and falls in the distance, is music to his ears, and suggestive of agreeable reflections, or profitable conversation peculiarly appropriate to the place and ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... of these is to be found in the large head-piece to the above-mentioned Children's Games, the background of which exhibits the great square of Middleburgh, with its old Gothic houses and central clump of trees. This is, moreover, as delightful a picture as any in the gallery. Down the middle of the foreground, which is filled by a crowd of figures, advances a regiment ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... settled precariously for the night. The orchard was silent, except for the murmur of the stream that bounds it. In the mill-house itself lights gleamed in the windows, and I saw a pleasant family-party gathered at their evening meal. The whole scene with its background of sloping meadows and budding woods so tranquil and contented—a scene which William Morris would have loved—for there is a pleasant grace of antiquity about the old house, a sense of homely and solid life, and of all the family associations that have gone ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... and the singers and actors embraced this opportunity of revenge. 2. Music to the melodrama, "Die Rache wartet," (Vengeance waits,) by Willibald Alexis, the scenes of which are laid in Poland at the time of Napoleon's fatal Russian expedition. "This background was the theme of the music, which consisted of little more than the overture and entr'actes, but was held by musicians of note to be both grand and profound. The character of the campaign of 1812, especially, was given in the overture ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... watching your two friends. See what a fine study they make with the red flicker of the fire on their faces and the background of dark pines ...
— Moods • Louisa May Alcott

... the hammer-strokes of Force and Strength, Orestes hounded by his mother's Furies, Cassandra aghast before the palace of Mycenae, pure-souled Hippolytus, ruthful Alcestis, the divine youth of Helen, and Clytemnestra in her queenliness, emerge like faint grey films against the bluish background of Hymettus. The night air seems vocal with echoes of old Greek, more felt than heard, like voices wafted to our sense in sleep, the sound whereof we do not seize, though the burden ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... be rash to affirm that the romantic figure of Balder was nothing but a creation of the mythical fancy, a radiant phantom conjured up as by a wizard's wand to glitter for a time against the gloomy background of the stern Norwegian landscape. It may be so; yet it is also possible that the myth was founded on the tradition of a hero, popular and beloved in his lifetime, who long survived in the memory of the people, gathering more and more of the marvellous about him as he passed ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... here is love and charity and mercy and intelligence; the fair face of childhood, the beautiful face of youth, the clear, strong face of manhood and womanhood, and the calm, benign face of old age, seen, it is true, as against a background of their opposites, but seeming to indicate something above chance and change at the heart of Nature. Here is life in the midst of death; but death forever playing into the hands of life; here is the organic in the midst of the inorganic, ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... and raise my natural spirits, and laugh dull care away. True, there must be ideas, as in all amusements worthy of the name there is a certain seriousness impossible to define; only they must be kept in the background." ...
— Conversation - What to Say and How to Say it • Mary Greer Conklin

... trifle distant at first, but as she saw Quentin elevated to the pedestal of a god for feminine worship she thawed diplomatically, and, with rare tact, assumed a sort of proprietorship. Dorothy remained in the background, but he caught anxious glances at his arm, and, once or twice, a serious contemplation of his ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... us, Linda girl, I am going to be dreadfully disappointed. I could use the material value that prize represents. I could start my life work which I hope to do in Lilac Valley on the prestige and the background that it would give me. I don't know, Linda, whether you ever learned to pray or not, but I have, and it's a thing that helps when the black shadow comes, when you reach the land of "benefits ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... join with the Huguenots in pulling down the Guises, and asserting the power of the nobility. A conspiracy for seizing the person of the king and destroying the Guises at the castle of Amboise was detected in time to make it fruitless. The two Bourbon princes kept in the background, though Conde was universally known to have been the true head and mover in it, and he was actually brought to trial. The discovery only strengthened the ...
— History of France • Charlotte M. Yonge

... In the background was the cathedral, on the towers of which paced to and fro men in armor, with the western sun glittering thereon. In the center, a horse and cart, led by a boy, were carrying a sheaf of arrows, tied with a straw band. ...
— Christie Johnstone • Charles Reade

... sure that Miss Constance Holme has, in The Lonely Plough (Mills and Boon), written a clever and amusing novel. What she has not done is to make herself intelligible. Some of the mist that enwraps the background of her frontispiece has obscured her story and her characters. I know that she is writing about lively and entertaining people because there emerges, now and then, a page of dialogue that is witty and alive; and I know that her story is dramatic because she tells us now that someone ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, June 10, 1914 • Various

... salt solution, and run 1 c.c. into the assay bottle, letting it run down the side so that it forms a layer resting on the assay solution. If any silver remains in solution a cloudy layer will be formed at the junction where the two liquids meet. This is best observed against a black background If a cloudiness is seen, shake, to clear the liquid, and run in another c.c. of salt, and continue this until a cloudiness is no longer visible. Deduct 1.5 c.c. from the amount of the weaker sodium chloride solution run in. Divide the corrected reading ...
— A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. • Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer

... their view, under the glow of the sunset. They could see the two great domes of the Exhibition, and the Law Courts, and also Government House, with its tall tower rising from the midst of the green trees. In the background was a bright crimson sky, barred with masses of black clouds, and over all the great city hung a cloud of smoke like a pall. The flaring red light of the sinking sun glared angrily on the heavy waters, and the steamer seemed to be making its way through a sea of blood. Madge, ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... the water line turned northward at the root of the promontory, six or eight fishing boats were drawn up on the beach in various stages of existence. One was little more than half built, the fresh wood shining against the background of dark rock. Another was newly tarred; its sides glistened with the rich shadowy brown, and filled the air with a comfortable odour. Another wore age long neglect on every plank and seam; half its props had sunk or decayed, and the huge hollow leaned low on one side, disclosing the ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... dark, gloomy pines acted as a noble background, and once again the song of birds was heard, and the gentle tinkle, tinkle ...
— Little Frida - A Tale of the Black Forest • Anonymous

... foliage of the tenderest green. The flower beds are dotted about the lawn, which surrounds the house and slopes away from it, and they are brilliant patches of colour, gay with verbenas, geraniums, and petunias. Here and there clumps of tall trees rise above the shrubs, and as a background there is a thick plantation of red and blue gums, to shelter the garden from the strong N.W. winds. Then, in front, the country stretches away in undulating downs to a chain of high hills in the distance: every now and then there is a deep gap in these, through which ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... of 1870, uttered the words of deliverance to the other German princes, which finally gave us again a dignified and honorable existence as a nation, by creating the German empire. Could German art then remain in the background? Our artist was now all activity—a wonderfully joyous and stirring activity. To the "German army before Paris," he who had always thought and labored for his nation's glory, sang, in January, 1871, the song of triumphant joy ...
— Life of Wagner - Biographies of Musicians • Louis Nohl

... dazzling rise in life, had retained and still possessed a hearty appetite, a perfect digestion, mighty muscles, hard and solid, all over his hulking frame, and the vast strength of his early prime; all these chief actors framed against a background of gaudily caparisoned ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... about three weeks of daily bathing with water from 18 to 24 deg. C., however, the screaming decreased again. The experience that a pleasant feeling of warmth succeeded, may have forced the recollection of the unpleasant feeling into the background. But the screaming can not at all be represented by letters; ae and oe do not suffice. The same is true of the screaming, often prolonged, before falling asleep in the evening, which occurs not seldom also without any assignable ...
— The Mind of the Child, Part II • W. Preyer

... souls never had any priority in the life of them; No background of eternity Over which they had traversed From eon to eon, Sun-system to sun-system, Planets and stars under them, Planets and stars over them; Now dwelling on immeasurable plains of azure Bigger than space, Dazzling with the super-tropical brightness ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... at the back of this desire. Blended with it was an intimate feeling, an obscure background of old beliefs, of which she herself was unaware. She hoped that if he were carried into the church, and sprinkled with holy water, Chevalier would be appeased, would become one of the peaceful dead, and would no longer torment her. She feared, on the other hand, that if he were deprived ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... ceiling; the proprietor at the counter, whereon appear gin and brandy, respectively contained in a tin pint-measure and an earthenware jug, with two or three tumblers beside them, out of which nearly all the party drank; some coming up to the counter frankly, others lingering in the background, waiting to be pressed, two paying for their own liquor and withdrawing. B—— treated them twice round. The pilot, after drinking his brandy, gave a history of our fishing expedition, and how many and how large fish we caught. B—— ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... ran from Betty's curls into her face, but she smiled politely as she followed Aunt Ailsey into the cabin and sat down in a split-bottomed chair upon the hearth. The walls were formed of rough, unpolished logs, and upon them, as against an unfinished background, the firelight threw reddish shadows of the old woman and the child. Overhead, from the uncovered rafters, hung several tattered sheepskins, and around the great fireplace there was a fringe of dead snakes and lizards, long since as dry as dust. Under the blazing logs, ...
— The Battle Ground • Ellen Glasgow

... his dress is as in the last scene, but shows signs of a struggle. Behind come two Attendants, guiding between them a veiled Woman, who seems like one asleep or unconscious. The Woman remains in the background while ...
— Alcestis • Euripides

... two hearers was the most dismayed at the idea which had taken possession of her. Mrs. Kirkpatrick had no fancy for being encumbered with a step-daughter before her time. If Molly came to be an inmate of her house, farewell to many little background economies, and a still more serious farewell to many little indulgences, that were innocent enough in themselves, but which Mrs. Kirkpatrick's former life had caused her to look upon as sins to ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... fainted—so missed the first excited turmoil—but soon revived to find myself lying on the moor, the centre of a kindly group of fellow-travellers, who were proffering essences, and brandy, and all other approved restoratives; while in the background, like distant thunder, were heard the adjurations of the guard and the coachman, who were swearing like troopers at the other—or rather at the male, inside passenger. Struggling into a sitting position, ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... winding ways of the English garden, which in those days had quite thrown into the background the earlier taste for stony, wall-like, rectilinear alleys. A man might now wander helplessly about for hours among densely foliaged trees without being able to find his destination. He would see the beds beside him everywhere thickly planted with flowers ...
— A Hungarian Nabob • Maurus Jokai

... the emotions, and the instincts loosened from the satisfying fixations of primary-group life. The raison d'etre of social work, as well as the fundamental problem of all social institutions in city life must be understood in its relation to this background. ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... buildings. Close by is the market, which the stranger, especially if a naturalist, will do well to visit. The variety of fruits and vegetables is great, that of fish scarcely less so. On the muddy shore in the background, the fishing canoes are drawn up on their arrival to discharge their cargoes, chiefly at this time consisting of a kind of sprat and an anchovy with a broad lateral silvery band. Baskets of land crabs covered with black slimy mud, of handsome Lupeae, and ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... for the port of Tunis, the largest city of Barbary. But the sight of the glittering white town with its background of mountains, set in the gorgeous coloring of the African landscape, brought no gleam of joy or comfort to the sad hearts of the prisoners. Before them lay a life of slavery which might be worse than death; there was small prospect that they would ever see ...
— Life of St. Vincent de Paul • F.A. [Frances Alice] Forbes

... Revolution: secondly—and far more important—the deep, abiding and ineradicable animosity which Japanese of all classes felt for the man who had come out of the contest head and shoulders above everybody else—Yuan Shih-kai. These two remarkable features ended by completely thrusting into the background during the period 1911-1914 every other element in Japanese statesmanship; and of the two the second must be counted the decisive one. Dating back to Korea, when Yuan Shih-kai's extraordinary diplomatic talents constantly allowed him to worst his Japanese ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... Background: Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Syria was administered by the French until independence in 1946. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role ...
— The 2005 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... carriage, ready to start, or rather starting. The interviewing gentlemen, two of whom had their heads jammed through the window, were forcibly drawn away—still asking questions, by the officials—the tall gentleman with the moustache, who was hovering in the background, smiled a soft farewell, in which modesty struggled visibly with hope, the station-master took off his cap, and in another minute they were ...
— Mr. Meeson's Will • H. Rider Haggard

... interrupted by a person who appeared in the background and resembled a judicial official. Voltaire saw who it was, and became furious: "Your Majesty, how can you allow this rag-tag and bob-tail to enter the castle-park? Why do you not enclose it with ...
— Historical Miniatures • August Strindberg

... reply to a dogmatic and comprehensive criticism which it is easy to foresee will be passed on them. It will undoubtedly be asserted that an undue prominence has been given to the religious side of the Irish question, while its many political aspects have been left in the background. This charge will be laid at the door of the clerical and religious character of the writer, and may give rise to the notion that the view here taken of the subject is not the right one, but a ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... needs good nerves to look at it. Forty or fifty figures, perhaps more, in full finish and detail in the mid-ground, with three times that number, or more, through the rest—swarms upon swarms of savage Sioux, in their war-bonnets, frantic, mostly on ponies, driving through the background, through the smoke, like a hurricane of demons. A dozen of the figures are wonderful. Altogether a western, autochthonic phase of America, the frontiers, culminating, typical, deadly, heroic to the uttermost—nothing ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... objects I discharged my musket. With a shriek of pain the object at which I had fired half raised itself to an erect position and then fell heavily forward. At the same moment a loud blood-curdling yell resounded upon the heavy night air, and the foggy background instantly became alive with the forms of the savages who sprang to their feet and came bounding toward the battery, hurling ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... should avoid all unnecessary harshness; we should speak and act with all possible kindness; because love, rather than fear, love both of God and man, is the motive which we particularly wish to awaken. Thus, keeping punishment in the background and, as it were, out of sight, and putting forward encouragement and kindness, we should attract, as it were, the good and noble feelings of those with, whom we are dealing, and invite them to open, and to answer to, a system of confidence and kindness, rather ...
— The Christian Life - Its Course, Its Hindrances, And Its Helps • Thomas Arnold

... leaving him the pallor of ashes, while his mouth twitched and his head rolled slightly from side to side like a palsied old man's. The red of his lips was blanched, leaving two white streaks against a faded, muddy background, through which came strange and frightful oaths in a bastard tongue. Runnion drew back, fearful, and the older man ceased chopping and let his axe hang loosely in his hand. But evidently Poleon meant no violence, for he allowed ...
— The Barrier • Rex Beach

... my ear, I painting proudly with his breath on me, All his court round him, seeing with his eyes, Such frank French eyes, and such a fire of souls Profuse, my hand kept plying by those hearts,— And, best of all, this, this, this face beyond, This in the background, waiting on my work; To crown the issue with a last reward! A good time, was it not, my kingly days? And had you not grown restless... but I know— 'Tis done and past; 'twas right, my instinct said; Too live the life grew, golden and ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 2 (of 4) • Various

... wearin' them," he said weakly, and his eyes wandered about the armed circle, pausing on the ominous forms of Hal Purvis, Bill Kilduff, and especially Jim Silent, a head taller than the rest. He stood somewhat in the background, but the slight sneer with which he watched Whistling Dan dominated the ...
— The Untamed • Max Brand

... plainly visible to us, some at anchor, some under way; and some of them so near to us that we saw, or fancied we saw, with our night glasses, the men on watch on their forecastles; but as we were inside of them all, and invisible against the background of the land, we passed beyond them undiscovered. The roar of the surf breaking upon the beach, prevented the noise of our paddles from being heard. The Lee's head was not pointed seaward, however, until we had ...
— The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner • John Wilkinson

... himself he comes pretty near being boss of every one around him. He sent word to the Higher Lifer by one of the Pillars that he reckoned he was counting on him to preach a farewell sermon the next Sunday, and the young man, who'd been keeping in the background till whatever was going to drop, dropped, came around to welcome him in person. But while the Doc had been doing a heap of praying for grace, he didn't propose to take any chances, and he didn't see him. And he wouldn't talk to any ...
— Old Gorgon Graham - More Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... Jardine had himself made inquiry—the pale girl who kept in the background, with the little scar—was it—on her temple? Joanna quivered under the process, and the witness beneath the light brown hair throbbed painfully. She was glad when Mr. Jardine walked away quickly; but the next moment he came back and ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... whole picture of nature, youth and beauty, as it was set against the pure background of the sky, Walden realised that he was expected to say something,—in fact, he had been called upon to say something every year at this time, but he had never been able to conquer the singular nervousness which always overcame him on such occasions. It is one thing to preach ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... accuracy in Villette and The Professor. That, indeed, from the point of view of local colour, is made sufficiently plain to the casual visitor of to-day who calls in the Rue d'Isabelle. The house, it is true, is dismantled with a view to its incorporation into some city buildings in the background, but one may still eat pears from the 'old and huge fruit-trees' which flourished when Charlotte and Emily walked under them half a century ago; one may still wander through the school-rooms, the long dormitories, and into the 'vine-draped berceau'—little enough ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... was embroidering a bunch of roses in coloured wools. The canvas had once been stretched on a frame, but now, as the delicate labour of the petals and leaves was done, and nothing remained to do but the monotonous background, Constance was content to pin the stuff to her knee. With the long needle and several skeins of mustard-tinted wool, she bent over the canvas and resumed the filling-in of the tiny squares. The whole design was in squares—the gradations of red and greens, the curves of ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... thoroughly; did he give you any sort of a hint that he wished to break off with you? You must tell me all very plainly, and keep nothing back. I am older than you are Gerelda, and know more concerning worldly affairs. I now say this much: there must be a rival in the background. When a man has been in love with one girl, and suddenly cools off, there is a reason for it, depend ...
— Kidnapped at the Altar - or, The Romance of that Saucy Jessie Bain • Laura Jean Libbey

... a few naked figures appeared on the beach. One of them signalled with a branch, and soon others followed, till about fifty men had assembled, and in the background, half-hidden by shrubs, stood half a dozen women. We entered the whale-boats, two boys and a white man in each, and slowly approached the shore. All the natives carried their rifles in their right hands and yams in their left, making signs to show that ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... political developments of religion, which we have lately been examining,—about pontifices, augurs, and Sibylline books; these institutions, which had been so much used in the republican period for political and party purposes, it was rather his interest to keep in the background. But in one way or another he must have grasped the fundamental idea of the old Roman worship, that the prosperity and the fertility of man, and of his flocks and herds and crops on the farm, and the prosperity and fertility of the citizen within the city itself, ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... In the background Andre-Louis, too, had risen, brought to his feet by alarm, by the evil that he saw written on the handsome face of M. de La Tour d'Azyr. He approached, and touched his friend ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... since the despised Birney, in 1844, received only a few thousand votes in the whole United States. Now the Rail-splitter had come! The tocsin of war sounded. The Union was rent. War with its flames of fire and streams of blood devastated the Republic. But the bow of promise was set on the dark background of the receding storm. American slavery was swept into oblivion, and the end of the third quarter of the century saw such a condition established in both the New World and the Old, as made the restoration of human ...
— Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century - Great Deeds of Men and Nations and the Progress of the World • Various

... disappears, or rather retires into the background, when we pass to Beatrix. She also has the Ewigweibliche in her—as much of it as any, or almost any, of Shakespeare's women, and therefore more than anybody else's. But she is very much more than a type—she is Beatrix Esmond in flesh and blood, ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... flash-riding, of course; but flash-riding at its best. And how the boys enjoyed it! Now the little group of "buckeroos," heretofore rather shyly in the background, shone ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... the boy, and waved his sword with hoarse cries to his men. They caught sight of the lonely little figure in the background, and his cry went to their hearts, and a great wave of rage and shame swept the line like a prairie fire. Like a landslide the men of Connecticut swept forward to recapture the ground they had yielded. Back fell the British before a countercharge they could ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... the Irishman, "you've but felt the tickle of the spur; when I drive it in, you'll yell like a whipped kid. Always you play into me hands, McTee. Now when you see Kate, you'll feel me grin in the background ...
— Harrigan • Max Brand

... seemed to open from ear to ear. All had horns growing on their foreheads. The old man was so surprised at what he saw that he lost his balance and fell out of the hollow tree. Fortunately for him the demons did not see him, as the tree was in the background. So he picked himself up and crept back ...
— Japanese Fairy Tales • Yei Theodora Ozaki

... can tell Smorthwaite and the rest of 'em that they can come on again on the old terms, but they'll not get a farthing more. Well, boy," as he noticed Frank standing humbly in the background, "what do ...
— Our Frank - and other stories • Amy Walton

... sunset effects here. At sundown night before last, on the sea near mouth of river, it was absolutely gorgeous with the purple mountains standing clear out against the orange and emerald sky and the dark gray shapes of our ships lying sombrely in the background, talking to each other in flashing Morse. The great mountain, Fernando Po, standing up out of the water to starboard and the Peak of Cameroon (13,760 feet) wreathed in mist to port; Victoria invisible, as also Buea—both hidden behind the clouds as we passed disdainfully by and ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... conditions or problems, to know of the past out of which our modern life has developed. It is also necessary for one who would understand the problems of one community, or of one nation, to know, in so far as it is possible, of the experiences of other peoples. History and geography furnish a background, without which our current problems could not be reasonably attacked. Literature and science, the study of the fine arts, and of our social institutions, all become significant in proportion as they make possible contributions, ...
— How to Teach • George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy

... of Col. Wm. C. Hunter, with his signature, makes a fine pocket piece. It has a hole in the center so you may tack it up on your desk, dresser or on the wall. It is engraved in heavy brass, background with black, baked enamel. This beautiful souvenir sent postpaid to any address for 10c ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... Charge in 1790, complains of this; and in the writings of the early Evangelical party we find, of course, constant complaints of the general ignoring of these doctrines. Now it is probable that the term Socinian was often applied to those who kept these doctrines in the background, and not, indeed, applied altogether improperly; only, if we assume that all those who were termed Socinians disbelieved in the true divinity or personality of the Son and the Holy Ghost, we shall be assuming more than was really ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... and function of removal of secretion of Pangenesis, Darwin's theory of Parathyroids function of secretion of Paulesco Pawlov Permutations, of types of personality, Perry, Caleb Personality, background of combinations of types of determined by the endocrines endocrine eunuchoid types of adrenal combinations of gonad-centric nature's experiments vs. man's permutations of pituitary of Philosophers, prejudices of Physics of the wish Physiologists, attitude of role of Pigment cells and the adrenals ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... that she had not the courage to tell what might befall the little ruler, all the while muttering something about the two little princes who had died in a tower ages and ages ago. Seeing that the boy was frightened, Tullis withdrew him to the background. The Countess Marlanx, who had returned that morning to Edelweiss as mysteriously as she had left, came ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... clockmaking as a pupil of Aaron Willard, Junior. Howard was a boy of only sixteen at the time, and for five years he studied clocks under this excellent tutelage. Do not imagine, however, that this balcony clock of ours was made by Mr. Howard himself. What your father meant was that built into the background of the Howard Company were the ...
— Christopher and the Clockmakers • Sara Ware Bassett

... morning from my Golden Bed to find a stranger quietly smoking a cigarette on my paepae. Against the jungle background he was a strangely incongruous figure; a Frenchman, small, thin, meticulously neat in garments of faded blue denim and shining high boots. His blue eyes twinkled above a carefully trimmed beard, and as he rose to meet me, ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... guns or felt the earth shake under the tread of marching legions. We at home have had our own experiences, our deep anxieties, our doubts, our griefs, and always we have been conscious of the might of forces in grapple and the high issues that hung upon the fate of the armies. In the background of all our thoughts at all times has been the solemn consciousness that the destiny of mankind was at work in mighty throes toward an end hidden to our knowledge if not to our faith and hope. We have none of us passed through this experience without receiving ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... MacBride and I received them the moment they stepped out of the boats, and then Ludwig Wolfen, who was disposed in the background with an accordion, and seated on a gin case, played 'The Star Spangled Banner,' to the accompaniment of several native drums, beaten by his wife and her sister and brothers. Then my boatman—a stalwart Maori half-caste—advanced from out the thronging crowd ...
— Ridan The Devil And Other Stories - 1899 • Louis Becke

... until its removal in 1856. It was then found that enough remained of the original to allow a faithful restoration to be made. But the scheme of colouring—red and green upon white—was not copied. In its stead Owen Jones suggested another—a background of blue plentifully ornamented with ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Carlisle - A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Episcopal See • C. King Eley

... was thus able to breathe again. The war continued, but under better auspices. Sound material could now be collected again for the army. Marius being in the background, the chosen knight of the aristocracy, Lucius Sylla, whose fame in the Cimbrian war had been only second to that of his commander's, came at once ...
— Caesar: A Sketch • James Anthony Froude

... flower-garden and potager in one, the bees were busy among the autumn growths—many-coloured asters, bignonias, scarlet-beans, and the old-fashioned parsonage flowers. The courteous owner readily showed me his tapestries, some of which hung on the walls of his parlour and staircase by way of a background for the display of the other curiosities of which he was a collector. Certainly, those tapestries and the stained glass dealt with the same theme. In both were the same musical instruments—pipes, cymbals, long reed-like trumpets. The story, ...
— Imaginary Portraits • Walter Pater

... Double-Crank, that had always seemed to him a synonym for success? Why must his first and only love affair be hampered by an element so disturbing as Mama Joy? Why, when he had hazed the Pilgrim out of his sight—and as he supposed, out of his life—must the man hover always in the immediate background, threating the peace of mind of Billy, who only wanted to be left alone that he and his friends might live unmolested in the ...
— The Long Shadow • B. M. Bower

... two or three framed coloured prints such as are presented with Christmas numbers of illustrated papers. There was also a photograph of a group of Sunday School girls with their teachers with the church for the background. In the centre of the room was a round deal table about three feet six inches across, with the legs stained red to look like mahogany. Against one wall was an old couch covered with faded cretonne, four chairs to match standing backs to wall in different ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... Background: As Europe's largest economy and most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed the country in two devastating World Wars ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... all was joy, jollity, and goodwill. The old boy shook hands with me, slapped Corky on the back, said that he didn't think he had ever seen such a fine day, and whacked his leg with his stick. Jeeves had projected himself into the background, ...
— My Man Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... this,' she said determinedly, 'I'm not going to be kept in the background serving out beer any longer. If I am worth marrying I am worth acknowledging, and that's just what you've got to ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... He saw to her comfort with unfailing vigilance and consideration, but he never attempted to obtrude himself upon her. He seldom spoke to her unless she addressed him. He never by word or look referred to the compact between them. Her fear of him had sunk away into the background of her thoughts. Furtively she studied him, but he gave her no cause for fear. When she sat on the deck, he never joined her. He did not so much as eat with her till one day, not without much inward trepidation, she invited him to do so. And she ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... attempt to assign limits to the inspiration and uplifting effects of great tone-poetry, it is quite certain that effects and influences of this kind are arrived at in the consciousness of the listener only when purely musical appreciation is active and deep. Without the background of living musical appreciation of this kind, the highest flights of the composer will pass as mere noise and fury, the hearer being in no whit uplifted or inspired. The uplifting which comes from the supposed assistance of a "story" or a poetic idea attached ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... he ejaculated, and for a long minute the spoon was poised while his eyes fairly devoured the scene spread out before him against the background ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... reception committee under cover of a headache, slipped away into the trees. The fringe of the wood was defaced with the litter of picnickers, and smelt of lunch; the din of the agents for new-fangled reapers and ploughs, whose gaudy paint was doubly garish against the sober background, had routed the squirrels and birds; but the remoter paths held only silent lovers, and the camp-ground, where the Widow Weatherwax had mouthed and played the prophet, stripped of its tents, its zealots, its wavering torchlights, was ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... Lady Fa—y K—w," shows Fielding's tall figure, his legs bandaged for gout, the sword of Justice in his hand and her scales hanging out of his pocket, speaking on behalf of his trembling client Elizabeth Canning; while opposed to him are my Lord Mayor, the notorious Dr Hill, and the old gipsy. The background is adorned with pictures of the newly built Mansion House, and of the College ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... women instinctively stepped back and lifted their skirts, and men looked vaguely around for a waiter—at least Ogilvy said so. As for Neville, he had a single study to show—a full length—just the back and head and the soft contour of limbs melting into a luminously sombre background—a masterpiece in technical perfection, which was instantly purchased by a wise and Western millionaire, and which left the ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... where the McAraveys now lived—a spot yet more retired and more lovely than any in the glens properly so called—we must once more return to the great "coast road." Having reached Cushendall, the scenery becomes more imposing, and the high background almost deserves the name of a mountain. Here, at length, the rugged and towering coast-line successfully defies further violation of its lonely majesty. Accordingly the baffled road bends abruptly to the left, and turning its back upon the sea proceeds to climb the long, dreary ...
— A Child of the Glens - or, Elsie's Fortune • Edward Newenham Hoare

... he knew nothing of the great results of his contrivance, and solemnly led the way towards the back of the house. Here there was a patch of turf, beginning to look a little brown, with a background of shrubs. In the middle of the turf, a boy of nine or ten was standing all alone, ...
— The House of Souls • Arthur Machen

... the hidden fires beneath that heat the water. It is the illusion caused by superheated steam escaping through a fissure in the rock and dividing the water. The reflection from the surface thus formed and a black background formed by the sides and bottom of the pool account for ...
— Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania • Jewett Castello Gilson

... road, with nothing more enlivening than the dark hills, half-seen in the light of the rising moon, she settled down. Rupert turned to his silent companion. He had become aware during the evening that something was wrong, and his own sense of injury was frightened into the background. ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... never seen a finer woman, nor one whose features displayed a more heart-rending emotion. This called for respect, and I, for one, endeavored to show it by withdrawing into the background. But I soon stepped forward again. My desire to understand her was too great, the impression made by her bearing too complex, to be passed over lightly by one on the lookout for a key to the remarkable ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... by my door, not thinking I could hear, Vulgar, naked truth, ungarnished for a royal ear; Fit for cooping in the background, ...
— Poems • Christina G. Rossetti

... background, there ensues a sudden and violent movement among the Cuirassiers; they surround him, and carry him off in wild tumult. WALLENSTEIN remains immovable. THEKLA sinks into her mother's arms. The curtain falls. The music becomes loud and overpowering, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... have, not merely a finger, but, all his ten fingers, in the pie. Being only a visitor, however, and ignorant of everybody and everything connected with a floating light, he had modestly held his tongue and kept in the background. But he could no longer withstand the temptation to act. Without uttering a word, he leaped upon the rope-ladder of the lantern, and was half way up it before any one observed him, determined to forestall Jack Shales. Then there was a shouting of "Hallo! what is that ...
— The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands • R.M. Ballantyne

... however, on these details that we desire to dwell, but to use the scenes before us as a background and contrast to magnify certain features in the death, grave, and abiding influence of ...
— John the Baptist • F. B. Meyer

... to recognize that quiet background of superiority. When she dropped an argument he always thought he had silenced her; when she laughed he thought it ...
— Herland • Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman

... Linder had half expected; she slipped quietly and gracefully into their presence. She was dressed in black, in a costume which did not too much conceal the charm of her figure, and the nut-brown lustre of her face and hair played against the sober background of her dress with an effect that was ...
— Dennison Grant - A Novel of To-day • Robert Stead

... treacle on a marble background is scarcely greater than that of printers' ink on newspaper to me. But anything smaller than pica I do not read with comfort, and below long primer I cannot read at all. Hence the secretary. Now the ...
— Four Max Carrados Detective Stories • Ernest Bramah

... had not been told." I was struck dumb with admiration as we threaded our way through a narrow channel between irregular reefs lying off the harbor of Port Royal. The spacious harbor itself was a noble sight, but the background was even more picturesque—the light, two-storied houses with their piazzas painted green and white, the varying hues of the gardens, filled with palms and cocoanut trees, and the lofty minarets of the Blue Mountains, towering to a great height ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... this apocalyptic vision. Mine certainly did so; and I cannot believe that our muscular vigor will ever be a superfluity. Even if the day ever dawns in which it will not be needed for fighting the old heavy battles against Nature, it will still always be needed to furnish the background of sanity, serenity, and cheerfulness to life, to give moral elasticity to our disposition, to round off the wiry edge of our fretfulness, and make us good-humored and easy of approach. Weakness is too apt to be what the doctors call irritable weakness. And that blessed internal ...
— Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals • William James

... of bustle, the light on the cloth, the sheen on the silver, the grace and fragrance of fruit and flowers, and the gracious faces above it, remains a wide and steady luminous vision on the black background of midnight travel, of the train rushing through nothingness. Most charming of all, when after the early evening on the balcony, the traveller leaves the south, to hurtle by night, conscious only of the last impression ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... to the front the question of the Union, and let the question of slavery drop, at first, into the background. He used every exertion to hold the border States by moderate measures, and, in this way, prevented the spread of the rebellion. For this moderation, the antislavery extremists in the North assailed him, but nothing shows more his far-sighted wisdom and strength of purpose than his action at this ...
— Hero Tales From American History • Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt

... powers, after recognising and treating with the Consular Government, might display a different feeling, and entertain scruples with regard to a Government which had resumed its monarchical form. The question regarding the Bourbons was in some measure kept in the background as long as France remained a Republic, but the re-establishment of the throne naturally called to recollection the family which had occupied it for so many ages. Bonaparte fully felt the delicacy of his position, but he knew how to face obstacles, and had been accustomed ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... for Europe all the time. I could have them spend their Sunday afternoons going aboard the different boats, and looking up their accommodations. I could have them sail, in imagination, and discover an imaginary Europe, and give their grotesque misconceptions of it from travels and novels against a background of purely American experience. We needn't go abroad to manage that. I think ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... unless the colors of their costumes harmonize. You find a negress selling oranges or citrons; an Arab boy with red fez and white turban, carrying purple fruit in a basket of leaves—always the right juxtaposition of colors. The sky furnishes them a superb background of deep blue, and the repose of these solemn Orientals, who sit here like bronze statues, save that they smoke incessantly, inspires you with a curious respect. They are men who believe in fate—what need ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... the fruit gardens had the golden-brown in their faces, and their plain features were transfigured. They were walking in the dusty road; there was as background a high, dusty hawthorn hedge which had lost the freshness of spring and was browned by the work of caterpillars; they were in rags and jags, their shoes had split, and their feet looked twice as wide in consequence. Their hands were black; not grimy, but absolutely black, ...
— The Open Air • Richard Jefferies

... hood as she emerged? One might venture into the infernal regions to rescue such a woman; but why take her there? The group of adventurers stopped a moment on the platform, with the opening into the misty cavern for a background, and the artist said that the picture was, beyond all power of the pencil, strange and fantastic. There is nothing, after all, that the human race will not ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... scarlet on yonder dead hemlock, glowing like a live coal against the dark background, seeming almost too brilliant for the severe Northern climate, is his relative, the Scarlet Tanager. I occasionally meet him in the deep hemlocks, and know no stronger contrast in nature. I almost fear he will kindle the dry limb on which he alights. He is quite a solitary ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866 • Various

... happy and cheerful again, anyway," retorted Kitty. "And if she'd fallen in love with Peter, knowing that there was a very much alive Mrs. Peter in the background, she would hardly ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... feathered from base to summit with the richest foliage, were the first objects which attracted our attention. Beyond these rose a range of mountains, running north and south through the island, and broken into the most fantastic shapes. As we sailed along the shore, having the mountains still as the background, here and there appeared the most lovely little caves and bays, fringed with luxuriant cane-fields, and enlivened by the neatly laid-out mansions of the planters; while numerous fishing and passage boats, with their long light masts and lateen sails, ...
— Charley Laurel - A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land • W. H. G. Kingston

... It was a large room. Two windows looked down the avenue, and three into the garden, with its background of timber and park. Mr. Mortimer Fenley could have commanded both views; his son sat with his back to the park; the ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... discharge from Military Service and his "Entschwaebung" (Un-Swabian-ing); such petitions had only for result new sharper rebukes and hard threatening expressions, to which the mournful fate of Schubart in the Castle of Hohenasperg[53] formed a too questionable background. ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle



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