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Perversity   Listen
noun
Perversity  n.  The quality or state of being perverse; perverseness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Perversity" Quotes from Famous Books



... Ideas of right and duty, sentiments of respect and fidelity, were confused and antagonistic in many minds. There were two actual and natural governments in presence of each other; and many, without perversity, might have hesitated which to choose. The King, Louis XVIII. and his advisers might in their turn, without weakness, have taken into consideration this moral confusion, of which Marshal Ney presented the most illustrious example. The greater his offence against the King, with the more ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... vainly he labored to sully with blame The white bust of Penn, in the niche of his fame! Self-will is self-wounding, perversity blind On himself fell the stain for ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... capable of knowing and of enjoying Him who created the suns themselves; and when these starry lustres that now glorify the firmament shall wax dim, and fade away like a wasted taper, the light of the soul shall still remain; nor time, nor cloud, nor any power but its own perversity, shall ever quench its brightness. Again I would say that whenever a human soul is born into the world, God stands over it, and pronounces the same sublime fiat, "Let there be light!" And may the time soon come, when all human governments shall coperate with the divine ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... not help marvelling at the strange perversity that could wilfully exclude every possible alleviation; there must be some sad warp or twist of the mental nature that could be so prolific of unwholesome fancies. As I turned to the bed I thought Phoebe looked even more ghastly in the daylight than she had done last evening; ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... to everyone in Jimmie's unit, and put an alarm bell in the shed, and made everybody practise putting on the masks in a hurry. Jimmie was so scared that he thought seriously of running away; but—such is the perversity of human nature—what he did was to run in the opposite direction! His officer in command came into the shed and demanded, "Can any of you men ride?" And imagine any fellow who worked at repairing motor-cycles admitting that he couldn't ride! "I can!" said Jimmie. "I ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... by the mere strangeness of a thing, which at length we find established among our indispensable conveniences, or by a practice which has now become one of our habits, must be ascribed sometimes to a proud perversity in our nature; sometimes to the crossing of our interests, and to that repugnance to alter what is known for that which has not been sanctioned by our experience. This feeling has, however, within the latter half century considerably abated; but it proves, as in higher matters, ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... and class, and most of all between nation and nation. People reproach this great country and other great countries with being unreasonable or unwilling to make concessions. If you look deeply into it you will find always the same cause. It is not mere perversity; it is fear and fear alone that makes men unreasonable and contentious. It is no new thing; it has existed from the foundation of the world. The Prime Minister the other day said, and said quite truly, that the provisions of the Covenant, however ...
— Essays in Liberalism - Being the Lectures and Papers Which Were Delivered at the - Liberal Summer School at Oxford, 1922 • Various

... no question about it, Tina Lenz was a flirt, as she had a perfect right to be, living as she did on the romantic shores of Como, celebrated in song, story, and drama as the lover's blue lake. Tina had many admirers, and it was just like her perversity to favor the one to whom her father most objected. Pietro, as the father truly said, was a beggarly Italian driver, glad of the few francs he got from the travellers he took over the humble Maloga to the Engadine, ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... form confessing utter weariness and abandonment of hope, he revealed all the national shame of slavery, and its degradation of body and soul. Every American cannot but blush to look upon it, so simple and dignified is its rebuke of the nation's long perversity and guilt. The artist's next important effort was the famous Winifred Dysart, as far removed in purpose from The Quadroon as it could well be, yet akin to it by its added testimony to the painter's constant sympathy with weak and beseeching things, and worthy to stand at an equal height ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume I. No. VI. June, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... may well excite alarm that the children of church-going parents often break away as they grow in intelligence, not only from church-connection but from the whole system of family religion. In some cases this is doubtless due to natural perversity, but in others it certainly arises from the hollowness of the outward forms which pass current in society and at home for vital Christianity. These spurious forms, fortunately or unfortunately, soon betray themselves. How little there is in them ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... always that way with Tessie. She fought first and investigated later. This unfortunate characteristic was responsible for much of her perversity. She set herself against conditions instead of ...
— The Girl Scout Pioneers - or Winning the First B. C. • Lillian C Garis

... me too much honour. I wish indeed I had his genius. However, if you really believe I have his perversity you wouldn't say it. But it's all right," he gaily enough concluded; "I shall always have you to ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... in the annals of crime. He admits that these people had shown him nothing but kindness. He says in so many words, "They were my best friends." They looked upon him as a brother. Yet he did not hesitate to murder them. The island called Smutty-Nose by human perversity (since in old times it bore the pleasanter title of Haley's Island) was selected to be the scene of this disaster. Long ago I lived two years upon it, and know well its whitened ledges and grassy slopes, its low thickets of wild-rose ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... as he trudged up the walk to Alix's door. He knew that the crisis in his affairs was at hand. She had asked him to come. He had not given up hope. He was still confident of his power to win in spite of her amazing perversity. Inconsistency, he called it. Of one thing he was resolved: he would brook no delay. She would have to marry him at once. He wanted to get away from Windomville as soon as possible. He ...
— Quill's Window • George Barr McCutcheon

... he reproached himself for his words, for his tone. All day long he had been saying the wrong things. It was folly, worse than folly. It was weakness; it was this disease of perversity overcoming his will. Was this the way to meet speeches which certainly contained the promise of future confidences from that woman who apparently had a great store of secret knowledge and so much influence? Why give her this puzzling ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... coming up from behind—a freight crew is not notified of trains following, and the brakeman is supposed to protect his train. Ray was so fussy about the punctilious observance of orders that almost any brakeman would take a chance once in a while, from natural perversity. ...
— Song of the Lark • Willa Cather

... see her bow at eve, On lowly bended knee, To pray, and sadly, sweetly grieve, For man's perversity. ...
— Lays of Ancient Virginia, and Other Poems • James Avis Bartley

... wonder what she means by her docility and obedience? No, don't speak a word to her on the subject. Let her believe I am serious regarding this marriage, and she will have some plan of her own to raise the devil. I have been expecting signs of it every day. I had determined not to bear with her perversity, but now that the Leicester possibility has come up we'll leave Doll to work out her own salvation, Malcolm. Don't interfere. No man living can teach that girl a new trick in deviltry. Gods, Malcolm! I am curious to know what she will be doing, for she certainly will be doing something ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... of the same crime, by the law of God, which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature, of which He is Author, is polluted by perversity of lust. But those actions which are offences against the customs of men, are to be avoided according to the customs severally prevailing; so that a thing agreed upon, and confirmed, by custom or law of any city or nation, may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... was positive Evan had committed himself in some manner. As it did not suit her to think so, she at once encouraged an imaginary conversation, in which she took the argument that it was quite impossible Evan could have been so mad, and others instanced his youth, his wrongheaded perversity, his ungenerous disregard for his devoted sister, and his known weakness: she replying, that undoubtedly they were right so far: but that he could not have said he himself was that horrible thing, because he was nothing of the sort: which faith in Evan's stedfast adherence to facts, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... to blow out their brains forthwith, if they refused. It seems strange that men guilty of such crimes should make use of the sign of the cross to confirm their oaths, and call God especially to witness their misdeeds. What extraordinary perversity such is of reason! Yes; but are not those we mix with every day guilty of similar wickedness and madness, when in their common conversation they call on the name of the most high God to witness to some act of folly, if not of vice, of extravagance, ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... her own. Roger, it seemed, might take certain legal steps, once he was aware of her being again on English ground. But, of course, he would not take them. "It was never me he cared for—only Beatty!" she said to herself with a bitter perversity. Still the thought of returning within the range of the old obligations, the old life, affected her curiously. There were hours, especially at night, when she felt shut up with thoughts of Roger and Beatty—her husband and her child—just ...
— Marriage a la mode • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... faith in me," said Craft. "Mere perversity might make you fail to recognize the child. Suppose I show you further proofs of the ...
— Burnham Breaker • Homer Greene

... in mind, every morning, that before night you will meet with some meddlesome, ungrateful and abusive fellow, with some envious or unsociable churl. Remember that their perversity proceeds from ignorance of good and evil; and that since it has fallen to my share to understand the natural beauty of a good action and the deformity of an ill one; since I am satisfied that the disobliging person is of kin to me, our minds being both extracted ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... sad presentiment that some day (so great is the perversity of man) an association will be organized to secure the liberty ...
— Sophisms of the Protectionists • Frederic Bastiat

... criminal, feel a terrible wish for somebody to know of my crimes, and when this requirement is satisfied, my secret has been revealed to a confidant, I shall be tranquil for the future, and be freed from this demon of perversity, which only tempts us once. Well! Now that is accomplished. You shall have my secret; from the day that you recognize me by my eyes, you will try and find out what I am guilty of, and how I was guilty, and you will discover it, being a master of your profession, which, by the by, ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Mystic-Humorous Stories • Various

... intention as the perverse delirium of an unbridled sensuality. It was certainly the gross act of a madman, but there was perhaps more politics in his madness than perversity; for it was an attempt to introduce into Rome the dynastic marriages between brothers and sisters which had been the constant tradition of the Ptolemies and the Pharaohs of Egypt. This oriental custom certainly ...
— The Women of the Caesars • Guglielmo Ferrero

... footless proposition, it is infinitely more so if your argument is with those of less mental calibre than your own, for by the law of compensation, in proportion as a man is ignorant, he makes up in perversity and lack of ...
— Dollars and Sense • Col. Wm. C. Hunter

... cup of tea. The daily lectures for officers, particularly on subjects like "artillery range finding" had an abnormal fascination for the nurses while subjects like "the Geneva Convention" and "Hygiene" which they might have found useful held little attraction for them. Such is the perversity of the nurse when given the rank of an officer and freed from all hospital restraint. At the concerts few officers could obtain seats and a few of us were mean enough to wish that it would get rough ...
— On the Fringe of the Great Fight • George G. Nasmith

... him. The rest of the village disliked and mistrusted him; but she, with a strange perversity, loved him with her whole heart and soul. After a few words, the lovers were whispering in ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume V. • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... vestige of incredulity; of the original emotions, set into a tumult by the discovery, some trace of the first awe alone remained. Not the awe of the man himself—he could blow him up sky-high with six words—rather it was an awestruck indignation at the reckless perversity of avarice (what else could it be?), at the mad and somber resolution that for the sake of a few dollars more seemed to set at naught the common rule of conscience and pretended to struggle against the very ...
— End of the Tether • Joseph Conrad

... is the perversity of the human heart! In vain did I point out to the sitting magistrate the absurdness of their evidence, and the fact that Sub-inspector Carter and Dr. Carr could prove the contradiction. I was so embittered and broken-hearted at the wickedness of so many infuriated mercenary rascals, that had made ...
— The Eureka Stockade • Carboni Raffaello

... has been applied to various difficulties which have been discovered or invented in the text by the care or the perversity of recent commentators, whose principle of explanation is easier to abuse than to use with any likelihood of profit. It is at least simple enough for the simplest of critics to apply or misapply: whenever they see ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... following years; and even after the renewal of war he too scrupulously refrained from overthrowing a Ministry whose weakness had invited foreign aggressions and was powerless to avenge them. Finally, the Grenvilles joined Fox; and thus the King's perversity nullified the efforts of Pitt to form an Administration ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... course, to his being my mother's thirteenth child. At first this offended him grievously, and many were the sound thrashings he inflicted in his endeavours to get rid of the obnoxious title. Finally he succeeded, but scarcely had he done so when, from some strange perversity of character, he adopted as an honourable distinction the very name he had taken ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... tender spot as he spoke. Desmond clenched his teeth and "put up with it" in silence. Free permission to swear had quenched the desire—a common trick of human perversity; and just as he began to feel that one minute more of it would stretch endurance to breaking-point—the thing was done. A sloping bandage encircled his head, eclipsing his right eye; and he discovered that the ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... vindictive, but he was exquisitely vain. He had a good-humored turn for mischief, too; and, notwithstanding the repulse he had experienced, or perhaps, such is human perversity—in consequence of it—he was more than ever resolved to pursue his guilty designs upon the heart ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... has been made for this harmless element of poetry and pretty human perversity in the thing, I shall not hesitate to maintain here that this cult of the future is not only a weakness but a cowardice of the age. It is the peculiar evil of this epoch that even its pugnacity is fundamentally frightened; and ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... for moral evil, it became necessary to devise some new expedient suited both to the piety and self-complacency of the inventor, such as the perversity of woman, or an agent distinct from God, a Typhon or Ahriman, obtained either by dividing the Gods into two classes, or by dethroning the Ancient Divinity, and changing him into a Dev or Dæmon. Through a similar want, the Orientals devised the inherent corruption ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... evidently saw that I was depressed in spirits, and did their best to divert me. Edith especially, I could see, was distressed for me, but according to the usual perversity of lovers, having once been so mad as to dream of receiving something more from her, there was no longer any virtue for me in a kindness that ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... example, realize that the desire on the part of the child to touch, to do—to get into mischief—is a fundamental characteristic of childhood, and not an indication of perversity in her particular Johnny or Mary? How many know that these instincts are the most useful and the most usable traits that the child has; that the checking of these impulses may mean the destruction ...
— Your Child: Today and Tomorrow • Sidonie Matzner Gruenberg

... The driver stopped his chatter, conscious that he had gone too far, and then, with somewhat illogical perversity, he proceeded to express his vexation at himself ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... James said to himself that he had completely resigned her, since with the perversity of a Desdemona she had not affected a proposed match that was clearly suitable and according to nature; he could not yet be quite passive under the idea of her engagement to Mr. Casaubon. On the day when he first saw them together in the light ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... that the civilization of the Middle Ages was fixed and unprogressive is a mere literary superstition, and its origin is to be found in the ignorance and perversity of the men of the Renaissance; and hardly less, it must be added, in the foolishness of many of the ...
— Progress and History • Various

... smouldering to a blaze within him, the lantern flash had revealed to him the face which, for twenty years, he had seen in visions. Often had he rehearsed this meeting, varying his imaginary behavior to suit all conceivable moods and attitudes of his enemy, but never thinking to provide for perversity in himself! So far from veiling his designs with the soft-voiced cunning of his Oriental nature, he had been a wild beast! A misgiving haunted him, moreover, that he had babbled something in the false security of darkness, which might give Helwyse a ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... pretty, though they were blind; and it almost made me laugh to see them grope their way to their mother's side, and turning their sightless eyes toward her, ask, in childish accents,—'Mamma, what made the naughty man put out our eyes?' Well, the woman, with a singular perversity of human nature, liked me, and commenced to place herself under my protection. She could be of service to me; but her children were likely to prove a burden—and so I got rid ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... observed, was far from being of a cruel and hardened disposition, and his acquiescence in the unprincipled actions of his master arose more from dread of his character than perversity of heart. He was now strangely perplexed, anticipating the disastrous results which might spring from the unlooked-for meeting of Gomez Arias and the forsaken victim of his satiated passion. He almost regretted ...
— Gomez Arias - The Moors of the Alpujarras, A Spanish Historical Romance. • Joaquin Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio

... magazines. A few hints of sexual irregularity in certain plays have brought crowded audiences. A scandalous divorce case, reported as freely as the law allows, is a choice morsel for average readers of newspapers. Everywhere it is the sexual abnormality, perversity, and even bestial vulgarity, that seems to attract the most attention. Books and magazines and theaters and preachers who extol the normal and bright side of sex-life are not now extremely popular with the masses of people. ...
— Sex-education - A series of lectures concerning knowledge of sex in its - relation to human life • Maurice Alpheus Bigelow

... exhausted, and been found at morning on the stones in a dying state. But though there was some evidence of cruelty, there was none of murder; and the aunt and her husband had sought to palliate cruelty by alleging the exceeding stubbornness and perversity of the child, who was declared to be half-witted. Be that as it may, at the orphan's death the aunt inherited ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... charge on such a far-fetched comparison as that in which Thoreau declares his preference for "the dry wit of decayed cranberry-vines and the fresh Attic salt of the moss-beds" over the wit of the Greek sages as it comes to us in the "Banquet" of Xenophon—a kind of perversity of comparison all ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... written by men of knowledge so encyclopaedic that (if it go with critical judgment) for these purposes they may be trusted. But to require you, at your stage of reading, to have even the minor names by heart is a perversity of folly. For later studies it seems to me a more pardonable mistake, but yet a mistake, to hope that by the employ of separate specialists you can get even in 15 or 20 volumes a perspective, a proportionate description, of what English Literature really is. But worst of all is that Examiner, ...
— On The Art of Reading • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... the other, and in a perversity born of long restraint, she added: "He is not the man," in a jesting tone with ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... here (since I had my opportunity early in life); I might have put in here all these years. Then everything would have been different enough—and, I dare say, 'funny' enough. But that's another matter. And then the beauty of it—I mean of my perversity, of my refusal to agree to a 'deal'—is just in the total absence of a reason. Don't you see that if I had a reason about the matter at all it would have to be the other way, and would then be inevitably a reason of dollars? ...
— The Jolly Corner • Henry James

... listlessly dismissed the matter from her mind. But there was that in Lady Bassett's manner which roused her antagonism almost instinctively. But vaguely understanding, she yet resented the soft-spoken words. Moreover, a certain perversity, born of her weakness, urged her. What right had Lady Bassett to deny ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... smells still in his nostrils, the buzz of city life still in his ears, and the countless lights twinkling in a frame about the white face of a brown-haired, red-lipped girl, he fell asleep from sheer fatigue. But with unaccountable perversity his dreaming mind dwelt not upon the beautiful vision he had come to love in fifteen seconds, but on the whispering firs and twinkling streams of Mendocino, and on a plodding ten-horse jerkline team hauling tanbark over the mountains ...
— The She Boss - A Western Story • Arthur Preston Hankins

... on the perversity of nature," he exclaimed, "to give the girl such features. If Jennie Burton had them, she would be the ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... a degree of irritation in such troubles which adds a whole armoury of small knife-cuts to intensify the agony of the evil from which we suffer. It is more dreadful to be moaning over our own mistakes than over the inscrutable perversity ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... we might well go to the Paston Letters. There are not a few nations of Europe which might be well pleased if they could show, century by century, as good a record as this. It is only in fact the ill-fortune which placed it midway between Chaucer and Shakespeare, and our own perversity which persists in associating it mainly with Lydgate and Hoccleve, that causes us to contemn ...
— Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse • Various

... it is in writing a story. I cast about in my mind for various models, as a sort of guide; but the only spirits that emerged from the vasty deep were Dr. Blimber and Cornelia. With an inconvenient perversity, they refused to be laid, and kept dancing before me all day. In entering upon my career, I was firmly impressed with two convictions: one was that I didn't know anything, and the other was that my pupils would speedily find ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... all the rest of the world suspicious, angry, jealous, profoundly diseased in a word, with her he was habitually trustful, affectionate, careful, most long-suffering. It sometimes even occurs to us that his constancy to Theresa was only another side of the morbid perversity of his relations with the rest of the world. People of a certain kind not seldom make the most serious and vital sacrifices for bare love of singularity, and a man like Rousseau was not unlikely to feel an eccentric pleasure in proving that he could find merit ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... great deal of generosity in it, mixed with not a little fanciful extravagance. The fancifulness consists chiefly in a superficial notion of evil. The author ignores or pretends to forget the instinct of perversity, the love of evil for evil's sake, which is contained in ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... melodies! Nay, the pang would be scarcely less to believe that a fair intellect like that of Alfred Stevens, or a wild, irregular genius, like that of Margaret Cooper—because of its erring, either through perversity or blindness, is wholly to become defunct, so far as employment is concerned—that they are to be deprived of all privilege of working up to the lost places—regaining the squandered talents—atoning, by industry and humble desire, the errors and deficiencies of the past! We rather ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... present themselves. If there were no other argumentum ad absurdum to demonstrate some fundamental perversity and absurdity in literature, it might be suspected from the fact that Nature herself gives so little encouragement to it. Nobody is born an author. The art of writing, common as it is, is not indigenous in man, but is acquired by a nearly universal martyrdom ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... of Moab; against Israel," by whom they were enslaved eighteen years. After which, Ehud, a Benjamite, became their deliverer, by assassinating the king of Moab, and another peaceful interval of eighty years elapsed: but such was the strange perversity of this extraordinary nation, that they abused their prosperity, and again apostatized from God. Nor will it be difficult or unprofitable to trace in ourselves some striking points of resemblance to them, and in the divine conduct that same character of love and forbearance which marks his dispensations ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... on a sleepless bed, and in my heart bitterly railing against the perversity and incomprehensibility of women, I found myself incessantly repeating to myself, "Am I Giles, or am I not;" the truth flashed upon me that I was the unhappy victim of an optical illusion, that the Cousin Emily I had but a little before left was simply my Cousin ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 4 October 1848 • Various

... are, as you know, all Roman Catholics, and the most superstitious and ignorant Catholics of Germany. The step is but short from superstition to infidelity; and ignorance has furnished in France more sectaries of atheism than perversity. The Illuminati, brothers and friends of Montgelas, have not been idle in that country. Their writings have perverted those who had no opportunity to hear their speeches, or to witness their example; and I am assured by Count von Beust, who travelled ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... Quixote lay there, fearing the vengeance of the law and the Holy Brotherhood for what he had done, he was also reviewing in rage the ingratitude of mankind and the perversity of the ...
— The Story of Don Quixote • Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... wished the men under his command to be taken on in the ships as far as Budge Budge (Bajbaj)—a fortified place about ten miles from Calcutta, which it was necessary to capture; but Watson, with his habitual perversity, insisted upon the troops being landed at Mayapur, some miles farther down, thus obliging them to make a most fatiguing night march through a swampy country covered with jungle. The result was that ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... The next of the cardinal symptoms to be considered is negativism. This term, which is often loosely used, we would define as perversity of behavior which seems to express antagonism to the environment or to the wishes of those about the patient. Naturally it is only in the minor stupors that we see it in well-developed form as active opposition and cantankerousness. For example, Harriett ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... she must allow them—but of such an old-fashioned type as to be gentlemen but by courtesy—not gentlemen in the world's count! She was of the world; they of the north of Scotland! All day Mercy had been on their side and against her! It might be from sheer perversity, but she had never been like that before! She must take care she did not make a fool of herself! It might end in some unhappiness to the young goose! Assuredly neither her father nor mother would countenance the thing! She must throw herself into the breach! But which ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... and this was particularly the case on this day, he seemed to be discovering nothing but the incurable perversity and militancy of human nature. It was a day under an east wind, when a steely-blue sky full of colourless light filled a stiff-necked world with whitish high lights and inky shadows. These bright harsh days ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... smoothed before her; yet, alas! such is the perversity of the human mind, that as the morning dawned, as the minutes ticked themselves away on the clock, as the hour drew near when she should again meet Hanson, after all these months of separation, her spirit grew heavier instead of lighter. There was a return of listlessness ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... find another chance like it, Helen," went on the other, with sledge-hammer remorselessness. "For if you behave in this perfectly insane way and lose this opportunity, I shall simply give you up in despair at your perversity." ...
— King Midas • Upton Sinclair

... the gold is not without alloy, that he has a touch of voluntary affectation, of obscurity, even an occasional perversity, a mannerism, a set of favourite epithets ("windy" and "happy"). There is a momentary echo of Donne, of Crashaw, nay, in his earliest pieces, even a touch of Leigh Hunt. You detect it in pieces like "Lilian" and "Eleanore," and the others of ...
— Letters on Literature • Andrew Lang

... obliquity of vision, what inscrutable perversity possessed him, he asked himself, as he looked up at the slight elegant figure, clad in costly camel's-hair garments, with Russian sables wrapped about her delicate throat, with a long drifting plume casting ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... been whitened for twenty years, and the birds and animals on "hat-pegs," in cases with small panes of glass, etc, were frightfully contrasted by a backing of crude, deep ultramarine-blue! Three primary colours. Could human perversity and bad taste go ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... "An' 'tis your sex's perversity," spoke up a male, "that them it don't suit be apt to wear it longest"—whereat several laughed, for where everybody is good-humoured the feeblest witticism ...
— Hocken and Hunken • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... desperate man had thrown him off his balance. It had not been fatal, but it threatened so much. The better side of his nature seemed to urge him to die rather than to go on fighting or opposing ignorant, unfortunate, savage men. But the perversity of him was so great that it dwarfed reason, conscience. He could not resist it. He felt something dying in him. He suffered. Hope seemed far away. Despair had seized upon him and was driving him into a reckless mood when ...
— The Lone Star Ranger • Zane Grey

... that such a plan very seldom succeeds, perhaps not more than once in a hundred times, since the boy and girl so trained will, through the very perversity of human nature, if from no other cause, fall in love with any other boy or girl whom he or she may happen to meet, rather than ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... with green and red ribbon. Two or three, however, were too large for this treatment, and stood exposed to view. Bobby could not help seeing a sled—a real sled—painted red. He declined, however, to see another larger article quite on the other side the tree. By a perversity of will he thrust it entirely out of his head, as though it did not exist, unwilling to spoil the effect of its ...
— The Adventures of Bobby Orde • Stewart Edward White

... of his own contemporaries an additional word needs to be said. No charge has been repeated more often than that of the inconsistency, perversity, and utter unreliableness of his judgments on the writers of his day. To distinguish between the claims of living poets, particularly in an age of new ideas and changing forms, is a task which might test the powers ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... For, with that perversity of inanimate things which attends every large enterprise to retard in every possible manner, through bad weather, the non-arrival of needed materials, loss, breakage, accident, and the "soldiering" of the workmen, many hindrances ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... occasion, when he would flee forth incontinent and go out to the gardens with the good-for-nothing lads like himself. This, then, was his case, [148] and he would not obey his parents, nor would he learn a craft. His father sickened of his grief and chagrin for his son's perversity and died, whilst Alaeddin abode on that his wise. When his mother saw that her husband had departed this life [149] and that her son was a scapegrace and a good-for-nought, she sold the shop and all she found therein and fell to ...
— Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp • John Payne

... displacency^. disrespect &c 929; procacity^, impudence: barbarism, barbarity; misbehavior, brutality, blackguardism^, conduct unbecoming a gentleman, grossierete, brusquerie^; vulgarity, &c 851. churlishness &c adj.; spinosity^, perversity; moroseness &c (sullenness) 901.1. sternness &c adj.; austerity; moodishness^, captiousness &c 901; cynicism; tartness &c adj.; acrimony, acerbity, virulence, asperity. scowl, black looks, frown; short answer, rebuff; hard words, contumely; unparliamentary language, personality. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... contact with the Muhammedans. Even in Europe, during mediaeval times, maugre the "lady fair" of chivalric romance, it was quite as much the custom to decry women, and to relate stories of their profligacy, levity, and perversity, as ever it has been in the East. But we have changed all that in modern times: it is only to be hoped that we have not gone to the other extreme!—According to an Arabian writer, cited by Lane, "it is desirable, before a man enters upon any ...
— Flowers from a Persian Garden and Other Papers • W. A. Clouston

... the basilar region is broad and deep, with a stout neck, we know the great force and activity of the animal nature, and unless the upper surface of the brain is well developed all over, we may expect some excess in the way of violence, temper, selfishness, perversity, sensuality, dishonesty, avarice, rudeness of manners, moral insensibility, slander, contentiousness, jealousy, envy, revenge, or some other form of wickedness, ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 - Volume 1, Number 6 • Various

... we see the effect of antiquity? Not in language, not in the imitation of something or other, and not in perversity and waywardness, to which uses the French have turned it. Our museums are gradually becoming filled up: I always experience a sensation of disgust when I see naked statues in the Greek style in the presence of this thoughtless philistinism which ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... the passion of Phedre is indeed reasonable, logical, as only a French poet, since the Greeks themselves, could make it. The passion itself is an abnormal, an insane thing, and that passion comes to us with all its force and all its perversity; but the words in which it is expressed are never extravagant, they are always clear, simple, temperate, perfectly precise and explicit. The art is an art exquisitely balanced between the conventional and the realistic, and the art of Sarah Bernhardt, when she plays the part, is balanced ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... "To think o' the perversity o' that Dutchman obstructin' a right o' way, especially on sich a busy day, wi' his muckle unmannerly carcase, as if he had been a Highland cattle beast. Dod! he would make a grand Covenanter for the cursed ...
— Graham of Claverhouse • Ian Maclaren

... citadel that afternoon when Wayne was attacking the army. She gloried in attacks of her own, but let some one else begin one and she found herself running for cover—and to defense. She wondered if that were anything more meaningful than just natural perversity. ...
— The Visioning • Susan Glaspell

... body was as ever thick and self-confident, and the round fur cap that he wore was cocked ever so slightly to one side. I did not want to see him, but I was caught. I fancied that he knew very well that I wanted to escape, and that now, for sheer perversity, he would see that I did not. Indeed, he caught my arm and drew me out of the Market. We passed into the ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... late in life, is not peculiar to the Necrophorus. I have described elsewhere the perversity of the Osmia, so placid in the beginning. Feeling her ovaries exhausted, she smashes her neighbours' cells and even her own; she scatters the dusty honey, rips open the egg, eats it. The Mantis devours the lovers who have played their parts; the mother Decticus willingly nibbles ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... tale, apparently out of sheer perversity, would come to a full stop. To write another word seemed beyond the power of human ingenuity, and for an hour or more Condy would sit scowling at the half-written page, gnawing his nails, scouring his hair, dipping his pen into the ink-well, and squaring ...
— Blix • Frank Norris

... a shrill senile cackle that was really good to hear. As they grow old most men lose that capacity for a hearty laugh, but Cappy's perversity had kept him young at heart. The tears of mirth cascaded down his seamed old countenance now, and he had to sit down and have his ...
— Cappy Ricks • Peter B. Kyne

... near the theatre, where a first performance was taking place that evening. It was a theatre where free farcical pieces were produced, and on its walls were posted huge portraits of its "star," a carroty wench with a long flat figure, destitute of all womanliness, and seemingly symbolical of perversity. Passers-by stopped to gaze at the bills, the vilest remarks were heard, and Mathieu remembered that the Seguins and Santerre were inside the house, laughing at the piece, which was of so filthy a nature that the spectators at the dress rehearsal, ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... never endure, and which only humiliated and fatigued a woman whose apparent superiority was unreal, while her unseen superiority was genuine. This whimsical medley is commoner than people think. Dinah, who was ridiculous from the perversity of her cleverness, had really great qualities of soul, but circumstances did not bring these rarer powers to light, while a provincial life debased the small change of her wit from day to day. Monsieur de la Baudraye, on the contrary, devoid of soul, of strength, ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... permitted to pretend that the passage has another meaning, and was written as it is from some reason unknown to us, this is no less than a complete subversal of the Bible; for every absurd and evil invention of human perversity could thus, without detriment to Scriptural authority, be defended and fostered. Our conclusion is in no wise impious, for though Solomon, Isaiah, Joshua, etc., were prophets, they were none the less men, and as such not exempt from ...
— The Philosophy of Spinoza • Baruch de Spinoza

... If in his misguided perversity he adopts this last-named course, the duty of the State is plain. It is to call him to submission, or to withdraw its protection from him. The person who will not recognize the State's sovereignty, has no claim upon the services of the ...
— Freedom In Service - Six Essays on Matters Concerning Britain's Safety and Good Government • Fossey John Cobb Hearnshaw

... sir—and you ought to know it," I said with severity. He half put out his hand. "Won't you even shake hands with me?" he inquired piteously. When we have most properly administered a reproof to a man, what is the perversity which makes us weakly pity him the minute afterward? I was fool enough to shake hands with this perfect stranger. And, having done it, I completed the total loss of my dignity by running away. Our dear crooked little streets hid ...
— Little Novels • Wilkie Collins

... pause. Six months: conception of the idea to delivery of finished product; six months, working together, fighting men, nature, and the perversity of inanimate objects—all of this ...
— Question of Comfort • Les Collins

... he felt he had learnt St. George's lesson by heart, had tested and proved its doctrine. Nevertheless he did a very inconsistent thing: before crossing the Alps he wrote to Marian Fancourt. He was aware of the perversity of this act, and it was only as a luxury, an amusement, the reward of a strenuous autumn, that he justified it. She had asked of him no such favour when, shortly before he left London, three days after their dinner in Ennismore Gardens, ...
— The Lesson of the Master • Henry James

... courtier continues to weave his dark plots, labours to gratify his ambition, seeks to satisfy his avidity, to indulge his hatred, to wreak his vengeance, to give full swing to all the passions inherent to the perversity of his being: maugre that frightful hell, of which the idea alone makes her tremble, the woman of intrigue persists in her amours; continues her harlotry, revels in her adulteries. Notwithstanding their dissipated conduct, ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 2 • Baron D'Holbach

... both historically and logically with the two which immediately precede it: especially between the guests here invited to the feast and the husbandmen to whom the vineyard was entrusted, there is a close resemblance in privileges enjoyed, in perversity manifested, and in judgment incurred. Yet the lessons, though in some respects parallel, are to a great extent distinct; and though both traverse partially the same ground, the latter carries the argument some steps further forward than ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... herself on her knees and was praying aloud: praying to the Virgin with sighs and sobs and all her soul: wrestling so in prayer with a dead saint as by a strange perversity men cannot or will not wrestle with Him, who alone can hear a million prayers at once from a million different places,—can realize and be touched with a sense of all man's infirmities in a way no single saint ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... will in the world, it was a merely pecuniary assistance which he could give her, half angry with himself the while that his indolent good nature (it appeared to him little else) forbade him to cast back at her what seemed a curious ingratitude almost passing the proverbial feminine perversity, and let her go her own way as she would have it. On two occasions, since that chance meeting in the Park, he had called at the lodging in which he had helped her to install herself; and from the last he had come away with a distinct sense of failure. Something had come between them, ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... Malvey, whose intent was plainly to get drunk, boasted of his doings on either side of the line. He hinted that he had put more than one Mexican out of the way—and he slapped Flores on the back—and Flores laughed. He spoke of raids on the horse-herds of white men, and through some queer perversity inspired in his drink, openly asserted that he was the "slickest hoss-thief in Arizona," turning to ...
— The Ridin' Kid from Powder River • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... in my power to save him. Think whether you can stand to-morrow's horrors without shrinking! Think whether you can endure the after-reflection, that you were the cause of his death, and that merely through a perversity in refusing proffered happiness." ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... over perversity enough in silence. May my tongue wither, if I remain mute to-day. Good God! child, are you out of your senses? Everything has been crammed into your poor head, but to be sure it isn't written in the books, that when ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... exasperated frame of mind, Button had been ready to believe almost any story at the expense of Lanier, and, such is the perversity of human nature, it added to rather than diminished his wrath that his revered senior surgeon should promptly corroborate the statements of both Schuchardt and Ennis, and further assume personal and entire ...
— Lanier of the Cavalry - or, A Week's Arrest • Charles King

... door; her sister held out her arms, her eyes overflowing with tears, but smiling with the strange perversity that possesses some people on these occasions. Cornelia was troubled with no such misplaced self-dental; she threw herself impatiently down by Sophie, and sobbed with all her might. Possibly it was more than one regret that found ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... with a little electric toy she had just bought for Mary Elsmere, a number of infinitesimal little figures dancing fantastically under the stimulus of an electric current, generated by the simplest means. She hung over it absorbed, calling to her brother every now and then, as though by sheer perversity, to come and look whenever the pink or the blue danseuse executed a more surprising ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... constituted barriers and thus dammed up the waters into lakes.): they remain to me as improbable as ever. But the oddest result of your paper on me (and I assure you, as far as I know myself, it is not perversity) is that I am very much staggered in favour of the ice-lake theory of Agassiz and Buckland (521/4. Agassiz and Buckland believed that the lakes which formed the "roads" were confined by glaciers or moraines. See "The Glacial Theory and its Recent Progress," by Louis Agassiz, "Edinb. New Phil. ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... perversity entered into Ted, and merely because he was told not to tease Don he went on doing it, pretending that it was for the dog's good. Don took no heed of his pats, commands, reproaches, or insults, till Ted's patience gave out; and seeing a ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... one of my parishioners. I do not consider her choice of a piece happy. Beethoven is so usually simple and direct in his appeal that it is sheer perversity to choose a thing like that, which, if ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... is anything in life that can compensate for its every-day evils," observed Christine, in a manner of mild regret and perhaps with the perversity of grief, "it must be to have come from those who have always been known and honored among the great and happy! Even virtue and goodness, and great deeds, scarce give a respect like that we feel for the Sire de Blonay, whose family has been seated, as thou hast just said, a thousand ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... accumulated with infinite labour; upon them, and of such materials has the great fabric of science been reared: but to insist that the approaches to science shall be open only to those who will surmount these gratuitous obstacles is mere perversity. Men's minds do not work in that way. How many would discover the grandeur of a Gothic building if they were prevented from seeing one until they could work out stresses and strains, date mouldings, ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... and with shot and steel Abundantly purveyed for their delight, Banners before whose Cross the foe should kneel, His company embarked—how great a light Through men's perversity to stoop and reel Down ...
— Days of the Discoverers • L. Lamprey

... systematic reveries, and on whom M. Volney has lately published some accurate and intelligent observations, inspire less interest since celebrated navigators have made known to us the inhabitants of the South Sea islands, in whose character we find a striking mixture of perversity and meekness. The state of half-civilization existing among those islanders gives a peculiar charm to the description of their manners. A king, followed by a numerous suite, presents the fruits of his orchard; or a funeral is performed amidst the shade of the lofty forest. Such pictures, ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... as his own property, while in such language as he knew, which was not syllabic, he talked and scolded at them, as if, in spite of facts, he meant to charge them with being down there entirely through their own perversity. ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... views. Thus Mounier is obliged to confess that the real design of Illuminism was "to undermine all civil order,"[592] and "Ancien Illumine" asserts in language no less forcible than Barruel's own that Weishaupt "made a code of Machiavellism," that his method was "a profound perversity, flattering everything that was base and rancorous in human nature in order to arrive at his ends," that he was not inspired by "a wise spirit of reform" but by a "fanatical enmity inimical to all authority on earth." The only essential points on which the opposing parties ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... tavern to sty; chief of the devil's nightingales; a raven that, roving to foul roosts, goes beating the bosom of the night; a soul that loves the darkness; a mole, sir, a blind mole; a piece of animated perversity, a creature that persists ...
— The Advocate • Charles Heavysege

... and rides and tennis at the little club; there were agreeable, presentable men and hospitable women; and always there was Fitzhugh Carroll, suave, handsome, gentle, a polished man of the world among men, a courteous attendant to every woman, but always with a first thought for her. Was it sheer perversity of character, that elfin perversity so shrewdly divined by the hermit of the mountain, that put in her mind, in this far corner of the world, among these ...
— The Unspeakable Perk • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... of his accession to title; and in reply to her "Are you not glad?" smiled and said that a mockery could scarcely make him glad; indicating nevertheless how feeble the note of poverty was in his grand scale of sorrow. He came to the house and met them in the gardens frequently. With some perversity he would analyze to herself Emilia's spirit of hope, partly perhaps for the sake of probing to what sort of thing it might be in its nature and defences; and, as against an accomplished disputant she made but a poor battle, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... in mind usually the thought that it is one's own happiness only that is put up as the end by the moralists he opposes. This was pure misunderstanding, however, or perversity. Other men's happiness has intrinsic worth (or IS intrinsic worth, for the word and the phrase are synonymous) as truly as mine; and morality is concerned quite as much with guiding the individual toward the general good as toward his own ultimate welfare. To this point we must return, merely ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... moment caused by a victory won over her Cousin Lisbeth's perversity; she had just wrung from her an avowal she had been hoping for these three years past. However secretive an old maid may be, there is one sentiment which will always avail to make her break her fast from words, and ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... General Cochrane, gave him a shilling on condition that he would pray for King George, which he accordingly did. So you see that Whigs of all ages are made the same way.' It may have been these early signs of perversity that led his father to be strict in dealing with him, for we cannot doubt that Boswell in the London Magazine for 1781, is giving us a picture of domestic life when he writes as follows:—'I knew a father who was a violent Whig, and used to upbraid his son with being ...
— James Boswell - Famous Scots Series • William Keith Leask

... ever. Slender still, but lovelier than before, she had gained no great maturity of aspect; yet there was an amplitude and a brilliancy in her personal arrangements that gave a touch of insolence to her beauty. Poor human-hearted Isabel, what perversity had bitten her? Her light step drew a mass of drapery behind it; her intelligent head sustained a majesty of ornament. The free, keen girl had become quite another person; what he saw was the fine lady who ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 2 (of 2) • Henry James

... behaved unkindly towards her. I now remembered a thousand little contrivances, all of which, in my exalted spirits, I had pertinaciously eluded, that she had put in practice in order to be for a few minutes alone with me. I now bitterly reproached myself for my perversity. What secrets might I not have heard! And then my heart told me in a voice I could not doubt, that it was she who had hovered round my bed the whole night previous to my departure. My schoolfellows had all slept soundly, ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... Sienkiewicz differs greatly from Balzac, for instance, who forced himself to paint the man in his perversity or in his stupidity. According to his views life is the racing after riches. The whole of Balzac's philosophy can be resumed in the deification of the force. All his heroes are "strong men" who disdain humanity and take advantage of it. Sienkiewicz's psychological novels are not lacking ...
— So Runs the World • Henryk Sienkiewicz,

... first there had been the blackboard—the blackboard and all its logical successors. As perversity would have it, it was her father bought her that blackboard. It was to help turn her in the way she should go, for upon this blackboard she was to do her sums. But the sums executed thereon were all performed when some one was standing at her shoulder, while many were ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... my administration. They were afterwards abandoned; not through perversity or viciousness; but through weakness, and inability to understand the need of preparedness in advance, if the emergencies of war are to be properly met, when, ...
— Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... left side, and the button-holes on the right. (The occult reason for this curious distinction, which has long engaged the attention of philosophers, has never yet been discovered, but it is probably to be accounted for by the perversity of women.) Well, if a man tries to put on a woman's waterproof, or a woman to put on a man's ulster, each will find that neither hand is readily able to perform the part of the other. A man, in buttoning, grasps the button in his right hand, pushes it through with his right thumb, holds the button-hole ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... at three years old, had been brought up at first by a relation who turned him out for theft; afterwards by two sisters, his cousins, who were already beginning to take alarm at his abnormal perversity. This pale and fragile being, an incorrigible thief, a consummate hypocrite, and a cold-blooded assassin, was predestined to an immortality of crime, and was to find a place among the most execrable monsters for whom humanity has ever had to blush; ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Such horrible perversity could not be understood by so honest and simple-hearted a man. He could hardly comprehend the dreadful revelation. And, besides, it must be said, that for some moments his reason had deserted him; at each moment his ideas became more obscure; then he fell into that ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... striking character in the play which bears his name. The narrow fanatical republican virtue of Verrina, the mild and venerable wisdom of the old Doria, the unbridled profligacy of his Nephew, even the cold, contented, irreclaimable perversity of the cutthroat Moor, all dwell in our recollections: but what, next to Fiesco, chiefly attracts us, is the character of Leonora his wife. Leonora is of kindred to Amelia in the Robbers, but involved in more complicated ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... a bent towards perversity to say after this that it is more malicious to leave to someone the whole trouble and the whole blame of his destruction. When God does leave it to a man, it has belonged to him since before his existence; it was already in the idea of him as still merely possible, before ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... resolved to send for a cow-doctor, and see if she could be cured; if not, to take care she was not converted after her death into "country sausages," for the benefit of London consumers of those dainties. Our friendly counsellor was very indignant at our perversity in not getting rid of a cow with "the lung disease," and stumped out of the yard in a fit of virtuous indignation. With proper treatment the cow soon ...
— Our Farm of Four Acres and the Money we Made by it • Miss Coulton

... on: "How different the Jews are now, for instance! They fancy themselves the exclusive favorites of the gods, and by so doing incur the contempt of all wise men, and the hatred of the whole world. And then the Egyptians! You have no idea of the perversity of that people. Why, if the priests could have their way entirely, (and they have a great deal of power in their hands) not a foreigner would be left alive in Egypt, nor a single stranger allowed to enter the country. A true Egyptian would rather starve, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... our case is dreadful beyond all description or belief when our obstinacy strikes out against God. We know as well as we know anything, that in doing this and in not doing that we are going every day right in the teeth both of God's law and God's grace; and yet in the sheer obstinacy and perversity of our heart we still go on in what we know quite well to be the suicide of our souls. We are told by our minister to do this and not to do that; to begin to do this at this new year and to break off from doing that; but, partly through obstinacy towards him, reinforced by a deeper ...
— Bunyan Characters - First Series • Alexander Whyte

... I don't believe they are good for anything," said Jasper, "just from the pure perversity of ...
— Five Little Peppers Abroad • Margaret Sidney

... Bessie good-humoredly, for she would not quarrel with Edna for her perversity. "If you mean to be so obdurate, I will sing myself." And Bessie actually walked across the room and addressed Richard, who was moodily ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... guidance, his plans for keeping them out of each other's way must be as complicated as the traffic arrangements of a railway superintendent. When I contrasted the angelic behaviour of our car with the appalling perversity of other people's, Sir S. burst out laughing, and said that evidently I was born with the motor instinct: that he'd seen women who took days or weeks learning these great truths, whereas I came by them naturally. "It's remarkable what a lot of valuable knowledge can be picked up ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... little spirit of perversity had entered into Dinah. She shook her head also. "We will go round in the morning," she said, with a resolute look at her fiance. "I am going to stay with Isabel to-night. You have had quite as much of me as is good for you; now ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell

... understood by the company at the Black Swan to have once struck terror into the hearts of the French, was no longer personally formidable. He had rather a shrunken appearance, and was tremulous in the mornings, not from age, but from the extreme perversity of the King's Lorton boys, which nothing but gin could enable him to sustain with any firmness. Still, he carried himself with martial erectness, had his clothes scrupulously brushed, and his trousers tightly strapped; and on the Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, when he came to Tom, he was ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... child, this little tyrant, full of learning and devoid of sense, enfeebled alike in mind and body, is cast upon the world, he there by his unfitness, by his pride, and by all his vices, makes us deplore human wretchedness and perversity. We deceive ourselves; this is the man our whims have created. Nature makes men by a ...
— Emile - or, Concerning Education; Extracts • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... this perversity, to my mind, is twofold. First, the ancient high estate of Service, now pitifully fallen, yet gasping for breath; secondly, the present low estate of the outcasts of the world, peering with blood-shot eyes at the gates of the ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... Preacher and found him perplexed as to what to do. I don't know yet positively, that he had a hand in it, though I suspect it, but on Monday afternoon Charles Baxter went by my house on his way to town with a broken saw in his buggy. Such is the perversity of rival artists that I don't think Charles Baxter had ever been to Carlstrom with any work. But this morning when I went to town and stopped at Carlstrom's shop I found the gunsmith ...
— Adventures In Friendship • David Grayson

... knew was to be there: her potential rivals were crowding the east-bound steamers. New York was a desert, and Ralph's seeming unconsciousness of the fact increased her resentment. She had had but one chance at Europe since her marriage, and that had been wasted through her husband's unaccountable perversity. She knew now with what packed hours of Paris and London they had paid for ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... have come just when he wanted to work harder than ever? That was how things happened—the perversity of circumstance! She would be at every meal for at least a week; he must needs talk with her, look at her, think about her. His annoyance became so acute that he tramped nervously about the ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... depended on the success of Gorman's mission. And a party never deserved comfort more. The Home Rule Bill was almost passed for the third and last time. Nothing stood between Ireland and the realisation of Gorman's hopes for her except the obstinate perversity of the Ulster men. A few more subscriptions, generous subscriptions, and that ...
— Gossamer - 1915 • George A. Birmingham

... quarters, and Harry was soon embarked for Bombay, as a midshipman in the East India service; in which office he was known as a "guinea-pig," a humorous appellation then bestowed upon the middies of the Company. And considering the perversity of his behavior, his delicate form, and soft complexion, and that gold guineas had been his bane, this appellation was not altogether, in ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... expression. It did not occur to him that what she had done and said might be the outpouring of her despair, and that even a faint hope of ever possessing him as her husband might have operated as a restraint for modesty's sake. Therefore, with unconscious perversity, Hamilton resented what Frances had done in giving him her unmeasured love when she knew that she could not give herself, and he spoke from the ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... more beautiful, or more strange, because she wore something different, or said something unexpected, Ralph's sense of her romance welled up and overcame him either into silence or into inarticulate expressions, which Katharine, with unintentional but invariable perversity, interrupted or contradicted with some severity or assertion of prosaic fact. Then the vision disappeared, and Ralph expressed vehemently in his turn the conviction that he only loved her shadow and cared nothing for her reality. If the lapse was on her side it took the form of gradual ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... met Fullerton. It was long since the Modern and Classic seniors had nodded as they passed, but in the curious perversity of ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... suppose." He went across to the writing-table. With the usual perversity of bedroom stationery, there were innumerable envelopes and no paper. He rang. No one came. Tommy fumed at the delay. Then he remembered that there was a good supply in Julius's sitting-room. The American had announced his immediate departure, ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie



Words linked to "Perversity" :   contrariness, fractiousness, perverse, perverseness, evilness



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