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Piquancy   Listen
noun
Piquancy  n.  The quality or state of being piquant.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Piquancy" Quotes from Famous Books



... aware of any little reserve—fund being made for her while the debts of the bank remained unpaid. Moreover, she had never been told of the way in which her friends were contributing to pay the rent. I should have liked to tell her this, but the mystery of the affair gave a piquancy to their deed of kindness which the ladies were unwilling to give up; and at first Martha had to shirk many a perplexed question as to her ways and means of living in such a house, but by-and-by Miss Matty's prudent uneasiness sank down ...
— Cranford • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... ideal portrait of an elephant from his "inner consciousness" was a commonplace, matter-of fact person compared with the daring visionary who conjures up a complete system of language from the same fertile but untrustworthy source. The piquancy of Senhor Pedro Carolino's New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English is enhanced by the evident bona fides and careful compilation of "the little book," or as Pedro himself gravely expresses it, "for the ...
— English as she is spoke - or, A jest in sober earnest • Jose da Fonseca

... these rest on the nourishing basis of public law and social honor, as well as of personal esteem and avowed identification of interests. Whatever necessitates secrecy, or compromises the fullness and frankness of self respect, even if it give piquancy and fire, takes away moral health, steady integrity; and inserts an insidious element, either of devouring fever or of slow decay. Other things being equal, affection, wedded under every legal and moral sanction, reaches the highest climax and is the most complete ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... pedantry—but that shaft flies furthest which is drawn to the head, and he who desires to be understood in the twenty-fourth century will not be careless of the meanings that his words inherit from the fourteenth. To know them is of service, if only for the piquancy of avoiding them. But many times they cannot wisely be avoided, and the auspices under which a word began its career when first it was imported from the French or Latin overshadow it and haunt it ...
— Style • Walter Raleigh

... experiences of every feeling soul that manifest a sense, imperfect yet animated, of that marvelous sympathy that exists between all phases of life, whether in humanity or in external nature. His natural outbursts of feeling are rare, but delicious as caviare, with a certain quaver of piquancy. 'Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous. The dawn is my Assyria; the sun-set and moon-rise my Paphos and unimaginable realms of faerie; broad noon shall be my England ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol I, Issue I, January 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... I had to say. And now, having made these declarations in all frankness, let us return to work with all speed. My preface will seem a little short, and the curious reader will seek in vain therein the anticipated piquancy. So much the worse for him. Brief as this page may be, it is three times too long for me. Prefaces have this disadvantage, that they prevent ...
— The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alphonse Daudet

... asleep, letting in the moonlight and a little breeze that smelled keenly of pine woods. Now and then a faint bird-note broke the hush, or the mournful quaver of a screech-owl. The situation was not without picturesque piquancy for a collector ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... Paz, his eyes lowered and fixed on Clementine's pretty feet. "You do not know, countess, what charm, what unexpected piquancy of mind she has." Then, feeling his courage fail him, he added hastily, "There is not a woman in society, with her mincing airs, that is worth the honest nature of ...
— Paz - (La Fausse Maitresse) • Honore de Balzac

... For all his phosphorescent heresies, he was what the up-lifters call a right-thinker at heart, and soaked in the national tradition. He was easiest intrigued, not by force and originality, but by a sickly, Ladies' Home Journal sort of piquancy; it was this that made him see a genius in the Philadelphia Zola, W. B. Trites, and that led him to hymn an abusive business letter by Frank A. Munsey, author of "The Boy Broker" and "Afloat in a Great City," as a significant human document. Moreover Howells ran true to type ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... in great part, the moveable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great fete; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders. Be sure they were grotesque. There were much glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm—much of what has been since seen in "Hernani." There were arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... goodwill of some of the disciples, who had noticed his efforts. Judas was an habitual liar, but they became used to this, when they found that his lies were not followed by any evil conduct; nay, they added a special piquancy to his conversation and tales, and made life seem like a comic, and sometimes a ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... the home of peace and joy; but there have been times when its history has been shrouded in tragic mystery, and even to-day there is the Druce claim to give piquancy to ...
— The Portland Peerage Romance • Charles J. Archard

... Perhaps it would have been rash to say then that she was at all exceptional inwardly, or that the unusual in her was more than her rare grace of movement and bearing, and a certain daring which gave piquancy to a very common egoistic ambition, such as exists under many clumsy exteriors and is taken no notice of. For I suppose that the set of the head does not really determine the hunger of the inner self for supremacy: it only makes a difference sometimes ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... attempts to obtain the vegetable I wished, I succeeded, by artificial means frequently employed, in growing a small vegetable, combining the flavour of a delicate cream with the piquancy ...
— Another World - Fragments from the Star City of Montalluyah • Benjamin Lumley (AKA Hermes)

... very little fellow then. One morning my father, lifting me upon his knees, as he was in the habit of doing, smiled at me with that slightly ironical smile which gave a certain piquancy to his perpetual gentleness of manner. As I sat on his knee, playing with his long white hair, he told me something which I did not understand very well, but which interested me very much, for ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... in surprise. It was not like the Phebe McAlister he had known, to speak like this. At Quantuck she had been cocksure, aggressive; now she was gentler, more womanly. He missed something of the piquancy; yet after all he rather liked ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... her gaze, and she drew her brow into a little frown. It gave her a curious piquancy, and interested him. She ...
— A Little Girl in Old Quebec • Amanda Millie Douglas

... Jewish history and biography; and most of the great events of the past, down to the period of the American Revolution, they instinctively attribute to Moses. There is a fine bold confidence in all their citations, however, and the record never loses piquancy in their hands, though strict accuracy may suffer. Thus, one of my captains, last Sunday, heard a colored exhorter at Beaufort proclaim, "Paul may plant, and may polish wid water, but it won't do," in which the sainted Apollos would ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... beauty in Richmond, the newspaper said, one whose graces of face and figure were equaled only by the qualities of her mind. She had relatives of strong Northern tendencies, and she had been known to express such sympathies herself; but they only lent piquancy to her conversation. She had appeared at one of the President's receptions; and further on Prescott saw the name of Mr. Sefton. There was nothing by which he could tell with certainty, but he inferred ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... knife fairly divide the spheroid body, and a somewhat nauseous-looking meat is disclosed; but no more objectionable in appearance than the substance of a fully ripe passion fruit. The flavour! Ah, the flavour! It surpasseth the delectable oyster. It hath more of the savour and piquancy of the ocean. It clingeth to the palate and purgeth it of grosser tastes. It recalleth the clean and marvellous creature, whose life has been spent in cool coral grottoes, among limestone and the salty essences of the pure and sparkling sea, and if you ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... mischief done in seven years, and she was writing simply from a spirit of perversity. There was ample time to do it during her hours of freedom, but the very fact of doing it when she knew full well that she ought to be at work on her German added piquancy to the act. Moreover, the letter was to a boy with whom she had become acquainted while at Miss Carter's, and had kept the acquaintance a most profound secret. Not that she cared specially for the boy, although he was a jolly sort of chap, ...
— Caps and Capers - A Story of Boarding-School Life • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... amused and pleased at Ethel's development—her abruptness softened into piquancy, and her countenance so embellished, that the irregularity only added to the expressiveness. There was no saying what Ethel would come to! She had not said that she would not go to the intended ball, and her grimaces at the mention of it ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... only in the choice of the cacao beans but also in the selection of spices and essences, for, whilst the fundamental flavour of a chocolate is determined by the blend of beans and the method of manufacture, the piquancy and special character are often obtained by the addition of minute quantities of flavourings. The point in the manufacture at which the flavour is added is as late as possible so as to avoid the possible loss of aroma in handling. The flavours used include cardamom, cassia, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ...
— Cocoa and Chocolate - Their History from Plantation to Consumer • Arthur W. Knapp

... that Stephen should know that; Maggie need not have mentioned it. Perhaps there was some pride in the confession,— the pride of poverty that will not be ashamed of itself. But if Maggie had been the queen of coquettes she could hardly have invented a means of giving greater piquancy to her beauty in Stephen's eyes; I am not sure that the quiet admission of plain sewing and poverty would have done alone, but assisted by the beauty, they made Maggie more unlike other women even than she had ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... as well as dinners and suppers, at which much sack and aqua vitae was drunk to king, church, and reigning beauties. And if a quarrel sprung, full armed, from the heated brains of young gallants, crossed rapiers did but add a piquancy, a dash of ...
— Prisoners of Hope - A Tale of Colonial Virginia • Mary Johnston

... to be the author of that strange letter, M. Bourget? Indeed I do not. I believe it to have been surreptitiously inserted by your amanuensis when your back was turned. I think he did it with a good motive, expecting it to add force and piquancy to your article, but it does not reflect your nature, and I know it will grieve you when you see it. I also think he interlarded many other things which you will disapprove of when you see them. I am certain ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... in other forms the writer must rely on his sense of values and the fitness of things. While it is true that some colloquialisms and, with less of license, even some slang, may be sparingly employed in light literature, for point, piquancy or any of the purposes of the skilled writer sensible to the necessity and charm of keeping at least one foot on the ground, to others the virtue of restraint may be commended as distinctly superior to the ...
— Write It Right - A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults • Ambrose Bierce

... many things she said and did were far more irritable at this moment—possibly far less just—than a stranger's would have been. Often and often he would try to recall to himself the old sense of charm, of piquancy. In vain. It was all gone—he could only miserably wonder at the past. Was it that he knew now what charm might mean, and what divinity ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the morning, it was "hasta la tarde;" at night, our last words were "manana por la manana" Lovers have felt, and poets have sung, the pleasures of hope; oft the anticipation of a pleasure rivals in piquancy its ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... charming menage in the world. She looks very graceful and elegant, and keeps him in great order, and is just the wife he wanted—a little sauciness and piquancy to spur him up at one time, and restrain him at another, with the real ballast that both have, makes such a perfect compound, that it is only too delightful to see anything so happy and so good in this world. They both seem to have such vivid ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... her until he was sure that her indifference was not an affectation. He had read of women who used it as a lure. If it were Charlotte's special weapon he was quite willing to be brought to submission by it. After all, there was piquancy in the situation; for to most men, love sought and hardly won is far sweeter than ...
— The Squire of Sandal-Side - A Pastoral Romance • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... like the wild apple, is spicy and high-flavored, but, unlike the apple, it is also mild and delicious. It has the true rustic sweetness and piquancy. What it lacks in size, when compared with the garden berry, it makes up in intensity. It is never dropsical or overgrown, but firm-fleshed and hardy. Its great enemies are the plow, gypsum, and the horse-rake. It dislikes a limestone ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... Although nothing had been consulted but strength and security, the rude, massive logs, covered with their rough bark, the projecting roof, and the form, would contribute to render the building picturesque in almost any situation, while its actual position added novelty and piquancy to its other points ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... dim way to understand. This was the thing which Tissot had not been able to bear; which in the end had driven the young man with the small chin from the house. This was the pleasantry to which his feeble resistance, his outbursts of anger, of jealousy, or of protest had but added piquancy, the ultimate sting of pleasure to the jaded palate of the performers. This was the obsession under which she lay, the trial and persecution which she had warned him he would ...
— The Long Night • Stanley Weyman

... a curate accustomed to sewing meetings), and May Lawton belonged to the type of girl whose demeanour always challenges the masculine in a man. Gazing at her, Lionel was swiftly conscious of several things: the piquancy of her snub nose, the brightness of her smile, at once defiant and wistful, the lingering softness of her gloved hand, and the extraordinary charm of her sunshade, which matched her dress and formed a sort of canopy and frame for that intelligent, tantalizing face. He remembered ...
— Tales of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... even some of the second,) it makes little or no difference who writes them—they are good enough for what they are; nor is it necessary that they should be actual emanations from the personality and life of the writers. The very reverse sometimes gives piquancy. But poems of the first class, (poems of the depth, as distinguished from those of the surface,) are to be sternly tallied with the poets themselves, and tried by them and their lives. Who wants a glorification of courage and manly defiance from a coward or a ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... phial—thrown upon her by one of her own jealous sex, that reached the pretty face it was intended to mar. But when the observer had studied the eyes sufficiently to notice this defect, he was generally incapacitated for criticism; and even the scar on her cheek was thought by some to add piquancy to her smile. The youthful editor of THE FIDDLETOWN AVALANCHE had said privately that it was "an exaggerated dimple." Colonel Starbottle was instantly "reminded of the beautifying patches of the days of Queen Anne, but more particularly, sir, of the blankest beautiful women that, blank ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... pages—replaced it in the drawer, and "then, with a countenance of the utmost weariness, lighted his chamber candle and went upstairs to bed." And here, by the way, is one of the amusing oversights which give such a piquancy to "Pickwick." Before he began to read his paper, we are carefully told that Mr. Pickwick "unfolded it, lighted his bedroom candle that it might burn up to the time he had finished." It was Mr. C. Kent who pointed this out to him, when Boz seized the volume and humorously ...
— Pickwickian Studies • Percy Fitzgerald

... But father's controlling the country half an hour more than usual this evening, and I expect mamma was so angry about it she forgot to telephone you that dinner's moved accordingly. (With piquancy and humour.) I was rather surprised to hear when I got home from my Ministry that you'd sent word you'd like to ...
— The Title - A Comedy in Three Acts • Arnold Bennett

... Shandean here. In all the relations and charities of private life, he is correct, exemplary, generous, just. We never heard a single impropriety laid to his charge; and if he has many enemies, few men can boast more numerous or stauncher friends.—The variety and piquancy of his writings form a striking contrast to the mode in which they are produced. He rises early, and writes or reads till breakfast-time. He writes or reads after breakfast till dinner, after dinner till tea, and from tea ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... curious thing, Harry, that to me a broonette has always more fascination than a blonde. It seems—I may be wrong—as though there's more piquancy, more character." ...
— The Limit • Ada Leverson

... could ever go on living with them. And now—I find myself wondering how I am ever going to live without them. We shall not see their like again. The new lot—present lot—are splendid fellows. They are probably better soldiers. Certainly they are more uniformly trained. But there was a piquancy about our old scamps in 'K(1)' that was unique—priceless—something the ...
— All In It K(1) Carries On - A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand • John Hay Beith (AKA: Ian Hay)

... pineapples, juicy mangoes, bananas, and oranges, with the dew still upon them. The mango is certainly the king of fruit. Its flavour is a combination of apricot and pineapple, with the slightest possible suspicion of turpentine thrown in, to give a piquancy to the whole. I dare say it sounds a strange mixture, but I can only say that the result is delicious. To enjoy mangoes thoroughly you ought not to eat them in company, but leaning over the side of the ship, in the early morning, with your sleeves tucked ...
— A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' • Annie Allnut Brassey

... absolute nature of man; piquancy and charm to that which serves and modifies this. Infinitude and immortality are of the one; the strictest finiteness belongs to the other. In the first you can never be too deep and rich; in the second never too delicate and measured. Yet ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... evening. Edouard was to leave them for a week the next day. They were alone: Rose was determined he should go away quite happy. Everything was in Edouard's favor: he pleaded his cause warmly: she listened tenderly: this happy evening her piquancy and archness seemed to dissolve into tenderness as she and Edouard walked hand in hand under the moon: a tenderness all the more heavenly to her devoted lover, that she was not one of those angels who cloy a man by ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... Germany to-day, and all perfectly well aware that a world war is in progress. That's sport, you know—not the 'image and likeness of war' that Jorrocks called it, but the real red root. And you've got a mystery thrown in to give it piquancy. I haven't found out yet how Yasmini got up the Pass without my knowledge. I thought it was a trick. Didn't believe she'd gone. Yet all my mer swear they know she has gone, and not one of them will own to having seen her go! What d'you think ...
— King—of the Khyber Rifles • Talbot Mundy

... his appearance. He spoke with a grave and silvery pitch that made his words seem to soar lightly over his audience. His accent was that of the genuine society man, but a delicate touch—a mere suspicion—of Scotch gave the cultured tones a certain odd piquancy. A solemn note of deep passion trembled, as it were, amid the floating music, and every word went home. This jolly, rosy missionary is one of the best of living popular speakers, and his passionate simplicity fairly conquers the very rudest of audiences. The man believes every word he ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... interested. A melancholy, mysterious hero in a setting of silver-rimmed sand hills and wide blue sweeps of ocean was something that ought to lend piquancy ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... his times, and nowhere more conspicuous than in France. "Soyez piquant, si vous ne pouvez pas etre vrai," was his advice to a fellow artist, Ducreux; and his own work too often shows evidence of the sacrifice of truth to piquancy. His single figures and heads are not, as a class, so true to nature as his compositions, although they are much better known to the public. Scattered far and wide through all the great art galleries of the world, they have ...
— Child-life in Art • Estelle M. Hurll

... At length, however, she began to grow more and more bold. She became satiated, as one of her historians says of her, with the common and ordinary forms of vice, and wished for something new and unusual to give piquancy and life to her sensations. At length, however, she went one step too far, and brought upon herself in consequence of it a ...
— Nero - Makers of History Series • Jacob Abbott

... of the first great French plays. It is certainly not the resistless movement of the intrigue which makes the "Misanthrope," "Tartufe," the "Precieuses Ridicules," masterpieces of comedy as well as of literature. Their dramatic value lies in their piquancy of confrontation. The tug-of-war between Alceste and Celimene, between Rodrigue and Chimene in "Le Cid," is what we think of as dramatic; and it is this same element which is found as well in the complicated and overflowing English plays. And in ...
— The Psychology of Beauty • Ethel D. Puffer

... past than about her future. The point we are aiming at is to bring about a reversal of our system of manners. If we did so we should end, perhaps, by giving to faithful married life all the flavor and the piquancy which women of to-day ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part I. • Honore de Balzac

... the afternoon the piebald horses and dark brown chariot of the Amadors drew up before the gateway. The young people were delighted with Dona Felipa, and thought her blue eyes and tawny hair gave an added piquancy to her colorless satin skin and otherwise distinctively Spanish face and figure. Aunt Viney, who entertained Donna Maria, was nevertheless watchful of the others; but failed to detect in Dick's effusive ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... have very little effect. There is a certain piquancy in showing up an author who is in contradiction with himself, in showing how he refutes his own paradoxes. But these are striking paradoxes which are not readily forgotten. What I want to show is that in these first novels by George Sand we have about the ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... on, and wrote letters. He showed me one of these, addressed to a friend of Margaret's. In it he extolled Flora's beauty, piquancy, and supremacy; related how she made all the women jealous and all the men mad; and hinted at my triumph. I knew that that letter would meet Margaret's eyes, and was vain ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... native country gives him, we think, an advantage over any English translator, which more than counterbalances the trifling inaccuracies of phraseology that here and there betray the foreigner, and amount to nothing more than an accent, which is not without its merit of piquancy. In one respect we think he has acted with great discretion, namely, in now and then curtailing the reflections which Guerrazzi has interpolated upon the story to the manifest detriment of its interest and consecutiveness. If Signor Guerrazzi should profit by these silent ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... replied, closing the case with a sudden snap, which endangered my fingers, but softening the brusquerie of the proceeding by one of his enthralling smiles; then he added, using one of the odd idioms which gave his speech a peculiar piquancy, "I don't palm off upon my friends what I have of second best." He re-opened the case and held it out to me. To have refused would have been to confess that I did not appreciate his "gems" as he called them. I smoked another, in which I still failed to find any unusual ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... embowered in clipped box or yew, should have been its setting, and not this wild and tangled growth, this license of bird and beast and growing things. And yet the incongruous riot, the contrast of profuse, untended beauty, enhanced the value of the picture, gave it piquancy ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... time. The second movement, the Larghetto, is interesting on account of the introduction of conversation among the groups of instruments, an innovation which he exploited to a much greater extent in subsequent works. In the Larghetto one group occasionally interrupts the other, giving it piquancy. There is a rhythm and swing to it which makes it the most enjoyable of the four movements. The critics hacked it again as might have been expected, the result being that the next one diverged still more from their idea of what a good ...
— Beethoven • George Alexander Fischer

... an exaggerated form of statement, and is used to magnify or diminish an object. It is quite natural, under the impulse of strong emotion or imagination, to use exaggerated statements, and frequently it serves to lend piquancy and force to style. But this tendency is dangerous, and should be kept under restraint. As a rule it is best to see and describe things as they are. The following from "Julius Caesar" will serve ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... wounds, had not given much hope of her recovery. It was not that de Jars was capable of a lasting love, but Charlotte was young and possessed great beauty, and the romance and mystery surrounding their connection gave it piquancy. Charlotte's disguise, too, which enabled de Jars to conceal his success and yet flaunt it in the face, as it were, of public morality and curiosity, charmed him by its audacity, and above all he was carried away by the bold and uncommon character of the girl, who, not content with ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... maids-in-waiting, of shepherds, of deities, etc., which are so characteristic of Lyly's plays. There is no real distinction between page and page, and between nymph and nymph; but their merry conversations give a piquancy and colour to the drama which make up for, and in part conceal, the absence of character. All that was necessary for the creation of character was to fit these pieces of the moral type together again in ...
— John Lyly • John Dover Wilson

... handy it may be substituted for the flour, and should be added with one ounce of butter to the sauce five minutes before it is strained. A teaspoonful of lemon juice added the last thing will give additional piquancy to the sauce. ...
— New Vegetarian Dishes • Mrs. Bowdich

... they were in their box at Covent Garden listening to the sensuous music of "Carmen," and comparing the sauciness of the charming little devil who sang the habanera, with the piquancy of the last Carmen but three, and with the refinement of the one who had made so great a success at Munich. They agreed that the savagery of the newest was very fascinating,—Stephen Linton called it womanly,—but they thought they should ...
— Phyllis of Philistia • Frank Frankfort Moore

... tenants, all the gossip of the house and the street; and this habit of narration, of talking with her mistress like a sort of companion, of describing people and drawing silhouettes of them, had eventually developed in her a facility of animated description, of happy, unconscious characterization, a piquancy and sometimes an acrimony in her remarks that were most remarkable in the mouth of a servant. She had progressed so far that she often surprised Mademoiselle de Varandeuil by her quickness of comprehension, ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... ascribed the long-lived popularity of the "Roman de la Rose"; and thus a work, of which already the theme and first conception imply a great step forwards from the previous range of mediaeval poetry, became a favourite with all classes by reason of the piquancy of its flavour, and the quotable applicability of many of its passages. Out of a chivalrous allegory Jean de Meung had made a popular satire; and though in its completed form it could look for no welcome in many a court or castle,—though Petrarch despised it, and Gerson in the name of the Church ...
— Chaucer • Adolphus William Ward

... strode in, and after the preliminary greetings Diana asked with charming piquancy, "O! are you really and ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... are many pleasant people, drawn together from all parts of the world. A resident here would find great piquancy in the associations,—those he met having such dissimilar histories and topics. And several persons I saw evidently transplanted from the most refined circles to be met in this country. There are lures enough in the West for people of all ...
— Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 • S.M. Fuller

... him. There were sparks between the sweep of her lashes, but she managed to carry herself with the air of being as cool as a cucumber, which gave spice to the effort to "upset" her. If she did not prove suitably amenable, there would be piquancy in getting the better of her—in stirring up unpleasant little things, which would make it easier for her to go away than remain on the spot—if one should end by choosing to get rid of her. But, ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... exception of those of the 1st and 2nd Sonatas, which have somewhat of a dramatic character) and Finales are satisfactory, per se, as music: the former have charm, refinement; the latter, elegance, piquancy, brilliancy. Now, in these sonatas, the opening movements seem like the commencement of some tragedy: in No. 2 there is nobility mixed with pathos; in No. 3, fierce passion; and in No. 4, still passion, albeit of a tenderer, more melancholy kind. But in the Finales it is as ...
— The Pianoforte Sonata - Its Origin and Development • J.S. Shedlock

... a Phaeton, A Princess of Thule and Macleod of Dar deepened, one by one, the witchery the first threw over us. The author's power was especially shown in investing his maidens with glamour and piquancy: Coquette and Sheila led their captives away from the suffocating dusts and the burning heats of life. Then his backgrounds were so well chosen—those mysterious reaches of the far northern seas, the slow twilights over the heaving ocean, the swift dawns, the storms and the lightnings, and the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880. • Various

... student's knife he'll make, won't he?" To add to the comical appearance of the reverend gentleman, Marston, rising from his seat, approached him, drew the spectacles from his pocket, and placed them on the tip of his nose, adding piquancy to ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... and then had been frightened back by clamour. His reply was the single word "infirmus," accompanied by that peculiar sniff which every one who ever conversed with him must remember as adding so much to the piquancy of his terse judgments. When he was asked his opinion of a famous biography in which a son had disclosed, with too absolute frankness, his father's innermost thoughts and feelings, the Cardinal replied, "I think that —— has committed ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... views should be carried into effect.[180] Goethe, as he himself tells us, had as little sympathy with the gospel of Basedow as with that of Lavater, but, always attracted to originals, Basedow's personality amused and interested him. What gave point to his curiosity was the piquancy of the contrast between the two prophets. Lavater was all grace, purity, and refinement; "in his presence one shrank like a maiden from hurting his feelings." In appearance, voice, manner, on the other hand, Basedow was the incarnation of a hectoring ...
— The Youth of Goethe • Peter Hume Brown

... works in 1754. For though few persons will be inclined to agree with Horace Walpole's opinion that Bolingbroke's 'metaphysical divinity was the best of his writings,' yet the eminence of the writer, the purity and piquancy of his style, the real and extensive learning which he displayed, would, one might have imagined, have awakened a far greater interest in his writings than was actually shown. Very few replies were written to this, the last, and in some respects, the most important—certainly ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... were admirably easy and simple—too simple, indeed, for the complicated phenomena which they professed to explain. His style was clear, animated, showy, and even its faults were of an exciting kind. It was his habit to give piquancy to his writing by putting things concretely. Thus, instead of saying, in general terms—as Hume or Gibbon might have done—that the Normans and Saxons began to mingle about 1200, he says: "The great grandsons of those who had ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... blood, and heinous crimes added piquancy to Mrs. Haywood's love stories, but were not the normal material of her romances. Her talent was chiefly for "soft things." She preferred the novel of intrigue and passion in which the characters could be run through a breathless maze of amatory adventures, with ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... first in the world. In France the player is not only born—he must be made. Before the embryo performer achieves the honors of a public debut he has been trained in the classes of the Conservatoire to declaim the verse of Racine and to lend due point and piquancy to the prose of Moliere. He is taught to tread in the well-beaten path of French dramatic art, fenced in and hedged around with sacred traditions. If he attempts to embody any one of the characters of the classic drama, every tone, every gesture, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... On this occasion the joke of the evening was an English traveller. The ideal Englishman on the Continent is a never-failing source of merriment. The presence of five Americans gave additional piquancy to the show. The corpulent, double-chinned, red-nosed Englishman, with knee-breeches, shoe-buckles, and absurd coat, stamped, swore, frowned, doubled up his fists, knocked down waiters, scattered gold right and left, was arrested, was tried, was fined; but came forth unterrified ...
— The Dodge Club - or, Italy in 1859 • James De Mille

... second volume, needs some familiarity with the first for its full enjoyment. Not that anyone even meeting Sylvia for the first time in mid-course could fail to be intrigued by the astounding things that are continually happening to her. The variety and piquancy of these events and the general brilliance of Mr. MACKENZIE'S colouring must keep the reader alert, curious, scandalized (perhaps), but always expectant. His scheme starts with an invigorating plunge (as one might say, off the deep end) into the cabaret society ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 156, April 9, 1919 • Various

... as brilliantly as ever. Oscar's spirits could not be depressed for long: he took a child's joy in living and in every incident of life. When I left him in Paris a week or so later, in midsummer, he was full of gaiety and humour, talking as delightfully as ever with a touch of cynicism that added piquancy to his wit. Shortly after I arrived in London he wrote saying he was ill, and that I really ought to send him some money. I had already paid him more than the amount we had agreed upon at first ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 2 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... give the piquancy to the sauce. How many very wantonly pleasant sports spring from the most decent and modest language of the works on love? Pleasure itself seeks to be heightened with pain; it is much sweeter when it smarts and has the skin rippled. The courtesan Flora said she never lay with Pompey but that she ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... N. pungency, piquance, piquancy, poignancy haut- gout, strong taste, twang, race. sharpness &c. adj.; acrimony; roughness &c. (sour) 392; unsavoriness &c. 395. mustard, cayenne, caviare; seasoning &c. (condiment) 393; niter, saltpeter, brine (saltiness) 392a; carbonate of ammonia; sal ammoniac[obs3], sal volatile, smelling ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... one of the best-informed men I know, and, in a 'tete-a-tete', is one of the most agreeable companions. He has great originality, and, being 'tres distrait', it adds to the piquancy of his observations, which are sometimes somewhat 'trop naive', though always amusing. This 'naivete' of his is the more piquant from his being really a good-natured man, who unconsciously thinks aloud. Interest Ward on a subject, ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... a casual ward, they too are free! The nimble footman is free, the crushed porter between the trucks is free, the woman in the mill, the child in the mine. Ask them! They will tell you how free they are. They have happened to choose these ways of living—that is all. No doubt the piquancy of the life attracts them in ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... sherry and a cold chicken. He tells us which passage he read and what was the view before his bodily eyes. His first reading of 'Paul and Virginia' is associated with an inn at Bridgewater; and at another old-fashioned inn he tells how the rustic fare and the quaint architecture gave additional piquancy to Congreve's wit. He remembers, too, the spot at which he first read Mrs. Inchbald's 'Simple Story;' how he walked out to escape from one of the tenderest parts, in order to ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... with her, but that he had no intention of doing so; he would accompany her to the station, he said, and then at the last moment, just as the train was starting, slip away and let her go on her journey alone. To the boy, who knew enough of the inner history of the household to enjoy the piquancy of the situation, such a trick seemed quite amusing. He went away picturing in his mind the scene at the railway station and its ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... did enjoy it, for a very pleasant little performance it was. The songs had a thrill of either pathos or piquancy in every word and note, and the audience found they were ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... little he discovered that she was more than merely pretty and interesting-looking. Her face, with all its piquancy, was a serious face, a strenuous face. Under its humour and vivacity, he discovered a glow . . . a glow . . . could it be the glow of a soul? Her eyes were lustrous, but they were deep, as well. A quality shone ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... the contents of the letter she was reading. It was from a niece at a boarding-school, who proposed, in a brief and direct way, to visit this aunt during her coming vacation. The tableau was acted so well, and with such piquancy, that claps and peals of laughter from the audience, and finally calls for "Kate Underwood," who demurely makes her appearance from behind the curtain, drops a stage courtesy, and disappears. The poem had been ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... get the Northern type. If we make the original pyramid somewhat steeper, and instead of lightly incising, cut it through, so as to have the leaves held only by their points to the base, we shall have the English dogtooth; somewhat vulgar in its piquancy, when compared with French mouldings of a similar kind.[75] It occurs, I think, on one house in Venice, in the Campo St. Polo; but the ordinary moulding, with light incisions, is frequent in archivolts and architraves, as well as in the ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... have put a sentence together, examine each word separately, and unless it can satisfactorily account for its position there, by proving appositeness and either originality or indispensability, then cast it aside. The conscientious performance of this rite will soon give a wonderful freshness and piquancy to ...
— Journalism for Women - A Practical Guide • E.A. Bennett

... down upon the golden ship which was built for a 'South American Republic.' That tale I never believed, for the man's face marked it as a lie as he gave it to me; but the mere telling of it added piquancy to the dish I had tasted of, and I resolved in that hour to devote myself heart and soul to the work of unravelling the slender threads, even if I lost my common employment in the business. The reverie held me long. I was roused from ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... 1929 the illness of Bishop Reese necessitated his resignation, the Diocese spontaneously turned to Frank Nelson as his successor. There is a certain piquancy in the contemplation of the change that by this time had come over the Diocese. A man who at one time had been distrusted, and branded as radical if not reckless, had so won the respect and affection of his associates that they desired to express their trust and belief in him ...
— Frank H. Nelson of Cincinnati • Warren C. Herrick

... courtyard to see the hanging. In those days there were hangings so many after assizes that an execution could hardly be said to possess the interest of novelty. But there were circumstances enough attending the forthcoming show to give it quite a piquancy of its own in the eyes of the worthy Lancastrian burghers, who hurried with wives and children to the place of doom, anxious to secure sitting or standing room with a good view of ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... the shack she was still bareheaded. She loved the feel of the sun, and the few freckles it brought only added a piquancy ...
— The Desert Fiddler • William H. Hamby

... child to and from school. Whether or not he had been induced to this display by the excitement did not transpire. Enough that the effect was a success. The riding skirt and her mustang's fripperies had added to Concha's piquancy, and if her origin was still doubted by some, the child herself was accepted with enthusiasm. The parents who were spectators were proud of this distinguished accession to their children's playmates, and when she dismounted amid the acclaim of her little companions, it was with the aplomb ...
— Trent's Trust and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... happiness are steadily raised and largely satisfied by hope and even by some degree of present fruition. Even vice would be in many ways sauceless and insipid in the absence of faith. Who does not remember the old cynic's testimony (in the "New Republic") to the piquancy lent by Christianity to many a sin, otherwise pointless. If the moralist distinguishes between actions that are evil because they are forbidden, and those that are forbidden because they are evil, the libertine has a counter-distinction ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... writers; some, misapplications that weaken and disfigure the style of him who adopts them; and some, downright vulgarisms—that is, phrases that come from below, and are thrust into clean company with the odors of slang about them. These last are often a device for giving piquancy to style. Against such abuses we should be the more heedful, because, from the convenience of some of them, they get so incorporated into daily speech as not to be readily distinguishable from their healthy neighbors, clinging for generations to tongues and pens. Of this tenacity ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... friends. She had observed, assimilated, and translated her new ideas through her own personality as far as her means permitted. If her mother and father had looked carefully at their daughter, they would have seen how much more effectively her hair was arranged; what piquancy of mode had been observed in the making of her new dresses; what careful pride had dictated the fashion and fit of her high-heeled shoes; what trouble was systematically taken to preserve her delicate skin and to restore ...
— A Singer from the Sea • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... occurred to me,—and, to say the truth, it added an indefinable piquancy to the scene,—what proportion of all these people, whether soldiers or civilians, were true at heart to the Union, and what part were tainted, more or less, with treasonable sympathies and wishes, even if such had never blossomed into purpose. Traitors ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... Galbraith had not the advantage of knowing Evadne's early history when they first became acquainted adds a certain piquancy to the flavour of his impressions, and the reader, better informed than himself with regard to the antecedents of his "subject," will find it interesting to note both the accuracy of his insight and the curious mistakes which it is possible even for a trained observer like himself to make by the ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... more stockily built, his flannel shirt was laced up in front, and had a full, broad collar turned over a red necktie with long ends. His slouch-hat was set on the back of his head. The gleaming butts of two pistols that peeped out of his waistband gave a touch of piquancy to his appearance. His black eyes were restless and sparkling with excitement. He wavered slightly in his gait, and his speech was just thick enough to confirm what his appearance suggested, and what he was careful to declare somewhat ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... the Chaldean sages I saw that it was neither from arrow-heads or wedges which gave the letters to the old Assyrians. When thou art at this point, then Nature is equal in all her types, and the city, as the forest, full of endless beauty and piquancy,—in ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... has just enough dash and piquancy about it to cause a smile to wreathe your face? A book that tells in an extremely humorous way of the doings of some smart theatrical folk? Life is many ...
— The Blunders of a Bashful Man • Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

... the eclipse parties not only described the scientific observations in great detail, but also the travels and experiences, and were sometimes marked by a piquancy not common in official documents. These reports, others pertaining to longitude, and investigations of various kinds were published in full and distributed with great liberality. All this activity grew out of the stimulating power and careful attention ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... enjoyed these last two years more than any of the ten since he built "Charmleigh" and settled down to semi-rural domesticity with his young wife. There had been a certain piquancy, a savour added to existence, by the country's peril, and all the public service and sacrifice it demanded. His chauffeur was gone, and one gardener did the work of three. He enjoyed-positively enjoyed, his committee work; even the serious ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... easy-minded, unambitious a woman, that she would not make life a solitude for fastidious reasons. More than all, she had good ground for thinking that the miller secretly admired her, and this added a piquancy to the situation. ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... from "The Keepsake" and "The Book of Beauty" exceeded one thousand pounds a year. Her novels, too, were a source of some profit. For "Strathern" she received about three thousand dollars. These romances were weak in character and plot, but were fair pictures of society portrayed with much piquancy. In one, "Grace Cassidy," she describes interestingly scenes of her youth in Ireland. But interest in her work waned, and as she seems not to have thought of retrenchment of her expenditure, disaster rapidly descended. In 1849, she had perforce to sell out, and then moved to Paris, where she ...
— Some Old Time Beauties - After Portraits by the English Masters, with Embellishment and Comment • Thomson Willing

... his marriage, the Count de Witt obtained leave of absence, and, accompanied by his wife, he visited the different courts of Europe. Sophia's beauty, which derived piquancy from a certain Oriental languishment of manner, was every where the theme of admiration. The Prince de Ligne, who saw her at the Court of France, mentions her in his Memoirs, in terms of eulogy, which I cannot think exaggerated; for when I ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 14, No. 379, Saturday, July 4, 1829. • Various

... intellect weakened the self-imposed guard on his lips. There is excellent authority for the belief that Desdemona loved Othello for the dangers he had passed, and did with greedy ear devour his discourse, yet it may well be conceded that an explanatory piquancy would have been ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... bosom by strings of alternate red and white beads. Others limited the decoration to two rats' tails depending from the temples, where phrenologists localize our "causality." Many had faces of sufficient piquancy; the figures, though full, wanted firmness, and I noticed only one well-formed bosom. The men wore red feathers, but ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... doubts about her future interviews had affected him but little; still less, I fear, did he think of the other changes in her character and disposition, for he was of that age when they added only a piquancy and fascination to her—as of one who, in spite of her weakness of nature, was still devoted to him! But he was painfully conscious that this meeting had revived in him all the fears, vague uneasiness, and sense of wrong that had haunted ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... matter altogether. There is a thing, and a generation finds a name for it. The delicacy which prompts a later generation to reject that name is by no means necessarily a result of stricter habits, is far more often due to the flatness which comes of untiring repetition and to the greater piquancy of litotes. I am told that there are, or were, people in America who reject the word 'leg' as a gross word, but they must have found a synonym. So there is not a word in Congreve for which there is not some equivalent ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... we can warmly commend. There is a delightful piquancy in the experiences and trials of a young English girl who studies ...
— The Dash for Khartoum - A Tale of Nile Expedition • George Alfred Henty

... imaginative; the most profound and beautiful thoughts drop from them as things too common and familiar to be spoken with the least emphasis: they are strong, tender, and sweet, yet never without a sufficient infusion of brisk natural acid and piquancy to keep their sweetness from palling on the taste: they are full of fresh, healthy sentiment, but never at all touched with sentimentality: the soul of romance works mightily within them, yet never betrays them ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... I was in a peaceful frame of mind when I left her, I was filled with a sense of cosy comfort which gained all the more piquancy because flavored with an infinitely delicate bitterness that I could not understand. In a revery I strolled along through the streets which, because the diminutive houses cast so little shadow, became hotter every minute, and passed slowly ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... marriage. But a further and worse difficulty is waiting for him when he comes to deal with the incompatibility of the sexes in the matter of moral standards. The thing, of course, has been done once for all by LOUIS STEVENSON in Virginibus Puerisque. But he did it in essay form; here we have the piquancy of personal narrative and dialogue. Husband and wife in turn are responsible for the story, each assuming a partial attitude towards facts and opinions; or else it is one of his old friends (a source of foolish jealousy to the wife) who takes up ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, September 16, 1914 • Various

... bitterly—than does Lord Shelburne in this short sketch of his. But just as an English House of Commons loves nothing so well as a "personal explanation," so the personalities of literature have a way of attracting us in the direct ratio of their piquancy and severity. Lord Shelburne has quite a gift of killing two birds with one stone in his trenchant criticisms. He cannot crush George III.'s father without demolishing poor Lord Melcombe en passant. "The prince's life (he says) may be judged in some degree from the account ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... as yet unconquered, and when we look in their faces, we are disconcerted. Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it; so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it. So God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm, and made it enviable and gracious and its claims not to be put by, if it will stand by itself....The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner and would disdain, as much as a lord, to do or say aught to conciliate ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... bee-bread these days, as patent hives furnish all the honey found in city stores and no bee-bread is sold. In remote country places, however, where the honey is removed en masse from the hive, there will be plenty of bee-bread to give piquancy to the children's bread and honey. Moreover, where bees are kept, the bee-keeper can usually be persuaded to take out a little bee-bread for the children to see and taste; for it is always present no matter ...
— The Renewal of Life; How and When to Tell the Story to the Young • Margaret Warner Morley

... in imperfect English, a circumstance that rendered the sweet round tones of the speaker very agreeable to the ear, and lent the charm of piquancy to what she said. I could not distinguish countenances from the drawer, but I fancied young Shoreham to be a handsome youth, the governess to be pale and slightly ugly, though very agreeable in manner, and Julia ...
— Autobiography of a Pocket-Hankerchief • James Fenimore Cooper

... the result has been satisfactory. In Alsace-Lorraine no one can help being struck with the fine appearance of the people. The men are tall, handsome, and well made, the women graceful and often exceedingly lovely, French piquancy and symmetrical proportions combined with Teutonic fairness of complexion, blonde hair, and ...
— In the Heart of the Vosges - And Other Sketches by a "Devious Traveller" • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... within two feet of him bent in seeming innocence over the tray. With a mischievous laugh he reached over and flipped the hot ashes from his cigar upon her neck. She screamed affectedly and danced about shaking off the ashes. Then with feigned maidenly piquancy and many reproachful glances, she ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... said of the raconteur. Oral tradition, or even his own writings, may preserve his precise words; but his peculiarities of voice or action, his tricks of utterance and intonation,—all the collateral details which serve to lend distinction or piquancy to the performance—perish irrecoverably. The glorified gramophone of the future may perhaps rectify this for a new generation; and give us, without mechanical drawback, the authentic accents of ...
— De Libris: Prose and Verse • Austin Dobson

... pale and demure star. Now that she had come their interest in her was keen. Her peculiar reputation for ingeniously tricking Mrs. Bowdler, secretary to Mrs. Grundy, rendered her very piquant, and this piquancy was increased by her ostentatiously ...
— The Woman With The Fan • Robert Hichens

... young American womanhood was studying him. Thanks to a national System, she had had an apprenticeship; the heart-blood of Algernon Cartwright and many others had not been shed in vain. And the fact that she was playing with real fire, that this was a duel with the buttons off, lent a piquancy and zest to the pastime which ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... moment, you will see that, while it is easy to choose what virtues we would have our wife possess, it is all but impossible to imagine those faults we would desire in her, which I think most lovers would admit add piquancy to the loved one, that fascinating wayward imperfection which paradoxically ...
— The Quest of the Golden Girl • Richard le Gallienne

... that there was not as much rurality about this girl as he had thought at first. There was a piquancy about the conversation which he liked. That she shared his enjoyment was doubtful, for a slight line of resentment was noticeable on ...
— In the Midst of Alarms • Robert Barr

... the superior success of the former in flirtation. The latter were not consoled by their experience that no flirtation lasted beyond the period of rustication. Dr. Price usually had several young men fitting for college also, which fact added more piquancy to the provincial society. In the summer riding parties were fashionable, and in the winter county balls and cotillion parties; a professor came down from Boston at this season to set up a dancing school, which was ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... beauty which her excitement called forth, added piquancy to her natural charms, and inflamed Santa Anna's wicked passions all the more. But more than any of them revenge. For now he knew how much the fair petitioner was interested in the man whose suit she had preferred. ...
— The Free Lances - A Romance of the Mexican Valley • Mayne Reid

... a certain sentiment which they shared towards the limitations of London (they were both persons strikingly without prejudice) lent a certain piquancy to their old-established relations, an allusive flavour to their conversation—it was always highly seasoned with badinage—that puzzled many of their common ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... fascination. In them, as in his regular 'writings,' we find the simplest incident narrated always without exaggeration—always as briefly as possible, yet told so quaintly and humorously withal, that we wonder at the piquancy which it assumes. It is the trouble with great men that they are, for lack of authentic anecdotes and details of their daily life, apt to retire into myths. Such will not be the case with Irving. The reality, the life-likeness of these letters, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... and sweet, but it had none of the humour which gave piquancy to Betty's. It might soothe, caress, even reprimand, but it could never jest; for life to Mrs. Ambler was soft, yet serious, like a continued prayer to ...
— The Battle Ground • Ellen Glasgow

... lorette or drab—put her before an artist in letters, and, lo and behold ye! such is the strange allure emanating from the hussy, that the resultant portrait is either that of a martyred Magdalene, or, at the very least, has all the enigmatic piquancy of a Monna Lisa... Not a slut, but what is a hetaera; and not a hetaera, but what is well-nigh Kypris herself! I know of but one depiction in all literature that possesses the splendour of implacable veracity as well as undiminished artistry; where the portrait is ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... very earliest time. The margins of ancient manuscripts are often enriched with whimsical compositions, as well as with flowing designs of much grace and beauty. Occasionally the two styles are very happily combined, and a humorous adjunct gives piquancy to a scholastic composition. The early printed books often adopted a similar style in art, and we give two curious specimens. The letter F, whimsically composed of two figures of minstrels (Fig. 68), ...
— Rambles of an Archaeologist Among Old Books and in Old Places • Frederick William Fairholt

... all French encroachments, and the imbecility of geographers in general, as his glance chanced to fall upon a young woman of fresh and striking beauty, and delightful piquancy of ways and expression, who with a clumsy club was pounding fragments of pottery—urns, vases, and goglets—for the foundation of the watt. Very artless and happy she seemed, and free as she was lovely; but the instant she perceived ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... The piquancy about natural or other forms thus reduced to angularity argues, of course, no affectation of quaintness on the part of the worker, but was the unavoidable outcome of her way of work. There is a pronounced and early ...
— Art in Needlework - A Book about Embroidery • Lewis F. Day

... fairer, and younger in her graceful gown, and her broad hat—which was in sharpest contrast to the sunbonnet which had so long been her disguise—lent a girlish piquancy to her glance. Mrs. Brinkley expressed in one short phrase the change of sentiment which swept almost instantly over the room. "Why, she's a ...
— They of the High Trails • Hamlin Garland

... Tempest, who in the hardships of his escape has lost memory of his own identity, never ceases to protest that he is at least not the other John for whom the members of the Seneschal family persist in taking him—a twist that makes for piquancy if hardly for added probability. However, the inevitable solution of the problem provides a story entertaining enough, though not, I think, one that will obliterate your memory of others, incomparable, from hands to which we all owe a debt ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, November 17, 1920 • Various

... the tithymals, will allow itself to starve in front of a cabbage leaf which makes a peerless meal for the Pieris. Its stomach, burned by pungent spices, will find the Crucifera insipid and uneatable, though its piquancy is enhanced by essence of sulphur. The Pieris, on its part, takes good care not to touch the tithymals: they would endanger its life. The caterpillar of the Death's-head Hawk-moth requires the solanaceous narcotics, ...
— More Hunting Wasps • J. Henri Fabre

... arrested his wandering thoughts. He was not exactly amused at the interpretation, but he could not help detecting in it a certain piquancy. He owned to himself that, had he known of that suicide before leaving Russia, he would have been incapable of making such excellent use of it for his own purposes. He ought to be infinitely obliged to the fellow with the red nose for his patience and ingenuity, "A wonderful psychologist ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... gave a special piquancy to the affair and added immensely to the enjoyment of the friends of the family was the duke's well-known character: his pride and the uncompromising nature of his ideas and principles. Duc Jean was the last descendant of the Barons de Sarzeau, the most ancient family in Brittany; he was the lineal ...
— The Confessions of Arsene Lupin • Maurice Leblanc

... a little in the miscellany called (not without a touch of piquancy) La Tyrannie des Fees Detruite, by a Mme. d'Auneuil, whom persons of a sceptical turn might imagine to be a sort of factitious rival to Mme. d'Aulnoy.[231] It returns to the Greek or pseudo-Greek names of the heroic romance, and to its questionable device of ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... of fear that had come to him when beneath the menhir's shadow he had watched the opening of her eyes, returned to him. It was not an unpleasant sensation. Rather it added a piquancy to their relationship. But it was distinctly real. She watched the feeding of the monster; and then he came again and stood beside ...
— Malvina of Brittany • Jerome K. Jerome

... voice, which aimed at charming piquancy and realised only an airy affectation, attracted his attention, and revamped her upon his mind as one of the party of star-gazers. Her personality was acrid and insistent, and he imagined that the friendship between the two women was of her own making ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... love is set off by the sensuality and selfishness of her more fortunate rivals. A new note of absolutely tragic dignity seems to be struck in the Sweep and the Noble Lady (vol. iv. 125), showing the piquancy of sentiment which can be evolved from the common and the unclean. The pretty conceit of the Lute (vol. v. 244) is afterwards carried out in the Song (vol. viii. 281), which is a masterpiece of originality[FN294] and (in the Arabic) of exquisite tenderness and poetic melancholy, the wail ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... welcomed by older readers as gladly as its predecessor was greeted by girls and boys. The lavish use the publishers have made of colored plates, woodcuts and photographic reproductions, gives an unwonted piquancy to the printed page, catching the eye as surely as the text ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... Brooks took up again her life at her father's home. To the little girl she had carried on her flight to Michigan and to the boy whose hair had the copper-red of the father, she devoted herself. The girl had been named Mary, and she inherited the piquancy and wit that had made her mother the belle of the valley, and as she grew to womanhood the mountaineers saw again the Nancy Brooks they had loved before war had come with its cold blighting ...
— Sergeant York And His People • Sam Cowan

... shone blue; her skin was clear and healthy, and her white dress—happy coincidence!—had been laundered that very morning. Her half-suppressed excitement at the sudden duty of welcoming the great aristocrat of the county, gave a piquancy to ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... sacrificed without detriment to the music and at only a trifling cost to the comedy (even when it is looked upon from the viewpoint which prevailed in Europe at the period of its creation) is that which Beaumarchais relied on chiefly to add piquancy to the conduct of the Count. Almaviva, we are given to understand, on his marriage with Rosina had voluntarily abandoned an ancient seignorial right, described by Susanna as "certe mezz' ore che il diritto feudale," but is desirous ...
— A Book of Operas - Their Histories, Their Plots, and Their Music • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... give an idea, in writing, of the pleasant manner he has of relating these things—a manner that receives additional piquancy from his English, which, though good, is necessarily broken. He usually prefers the ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... in eschewing hair dyes and cosmetics. Her face was full of little irregularities; a hardly perceptible cast in one eye; the nose drawn a bit to one side, and the mouth twitched decidedly to the other when she talked or laughed. It was this misproportion which gave a piquancy to her expression and which in charming people, no doubt made them believe ...
— At Fault • Kate Chopin

... any of these pleasant questioning-eyed young people again. The most reckless part of the adventure would be over with this day—and she was rather sorry. After all, she did not much regret the wave of fate which had swept her and her maid-chaperon temporarily apart. There was a certain piquancy in travelling alone with ...
— The Port of Adventure • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... found in Mr. Pattison a biographer whose narrative is throughout extremely pleasant, interesting and piquant, the piquancy being enhanced for those who have the key to certain sly hits, such as that at "the peculiar form of credulity which makes perverts (to Roman Catholicism) think that everyone is about to follow their example," which carries ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... consecrate ourselves to the queen of the Camelias, and revel in the warm stream of sympathy that flows from her altar? In the liquid amber within the ivory-porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius, the piquancy of Laotse, and the ...
— The Book of Tea • Kakuzo Okakura

... body of the building, they had trooped in; some even coming from the shore of the Atlantic, a mile beyond, across the downs, whence other upland square church-towers could be viewed on the sky-line against the grey January heavens. The occasion was in a sense unique, and its piquancy strengthened by that rivalry which ...
— Tatterdemalion • John Galsworthy

... however, be wholly silent on the general impressions left by the little I have seen of the society of Paris; and, occasionally, when it is characteristic, an anecdote may be introduced, for such things sometimes give distinctness, as well as piquancy, to ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... bitterness of her mother's outlook. Her ambition had apparently died of starvation long since, but her resentment remained. Her hand was against practically all the world, including her daughter, whose fairy-like daintiness and piquancy were so obvious a contrast to the somewhat coarse and flashy beauty that had once been hers. For all that Dinah inherited from her mother was her gipsy darkness. Mrs. Bathurst was not flashy now, and any attempt at personal ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell



Words linked to "Piquancy" :   spice, tang, nip, spicery, quality



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