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Unbend   Listen
verb
Unbend  v. t.  (past & past part. unbent; pres. part. unbending)  
1.
To free from flexure; to make, or allow to become, straight; to loosen; as, to unbend a bow.
2.
A remit from a strain or from exertion; to set at ease for a time; to relax; as, to unbend the mind from study or care. "You do unbend your noble strength."
3.
(Naut.)
(a)
To unfasten, as sails, from the spars or stays to which they are attached for use.
(b)
To cast loose or untie, as a rope.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Unbend" Quotes from Famous Books



... nature, craving ever friendship, as well as the presence of kindred blood, diffused itself through all his private life, gave sincerity to all his hospitalities, kindness to his eye, warmth to the pressure of his hand, made his greatness and genius unbend themselves to the playfulness of childhood, flowed out in graceful memories indulged of the past or the dead, of incidents when life was young and promised to be happy,—gave generous sketches of his rivals,—the high contention ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... a kind brother, was sternness itself so far as the great race was concerned. Not one of the juvenile Danbys dared to allude to it in his august presence. Only on one occasion did he unbend, and that was when little Fandy ventured to observe that he ought to have heard what one of the girls had said about him in the race. This remark rankled even in that stony bosom. The more Ben Buster ...
— Donald and Dorothy • Mary Mapes Dodge

... do bring you news from far, False was the Fontanlee in war! —Unbend your bright swords from my breast, I that do speak do know it best." Wide he flung his mantle free; Lo, ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... enough, though but a few weeks before she had been drinking penny ale with a relish, and that as sour as verjuice. And, indeed, she did carry it mighty high and artificial, wherever respect and humility were to be commanded. But it was pretty to see how she would unbend and become her natural self where her heart was touched by some tender sentiment. How she would empty her pockets to give to any one with a piteous tale, how she would get from her horse to pluck wild-flowers by the roadside, and how, ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... to unbend its dignity and enter into fellowship with its so-called inferiors. To this end Arnold set the example of playing ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... village will be all together. The cantine of Mendrisio, for example, can be seen from the railroad, all in a row, a little before one gets into the town; they form a place of reunion where the village or town unites to unbend itself on feste or after business hours. I do not know exactly how they manage it, but from the innermost chamber of each cantina they run a small gallery as far as they can into the mountain, and from this gallery, which may be a foot square, there ...
— Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino • Samuel Butler

... chickens, and wished you had them in our place. Mr. L.'s mother is a sweet, calm old lady, with whom I wanted to have a talk about Christian perfection, in which she believes; but there was no time. It was a great rest to unbend the bow strung so high here at Newport, where there is so much of receiving and paying visits. I have been reading a delightful French book, the history of a saintly Catholic family of great talent and culture, six of whom, in the course of seven years, died ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... that noble heart; Ill suits gay youth the stern heroic part. Indulge the genial hour, unbend thy soul, Leave thought to age, and drain the flowing bowl. Studious to ease thy grief, our care provides The bark, to waft thee o'er ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer, translated by Alexander Pope

... her superior abilities and strength of mind, and all that, to be the wife of a great political leader, yet in some respects she is the most unfit person upon earth for the situation; for, though she feels the necessity of conciliating, she cannot unbend with her inferiors, that is, with half the world. As Catalani said of singing, it is much more difficult to descend than to ascend well. Shockingly mamma shows in her manner sometimes how tired she is of the stupid, and how she despises the mean; ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... is noisily hated of all small dogs by reason of his size, remonstrates not, even when they cling in froth and fury to his chest, but carries them along tolerantly until they drop off from fatigue. Again, David will not unbend when in the company of babies, expecting them unreasonably to rise to his level, but contrariwise Porthos, though terrible to tramps, suffers all things of babies, even to an exploration of his mouth in an ...
— The Little White Bird - or Adventures In Kensington Gardens • J. M. Barrie

... them look alive with the women and children; get up a light if you can." There were others in the lifeboat who recognised these voices, but life and death were trembling in the balance at that moment; they dared not unbend their attention from the one main object for ...
— The Lifeboat • R.M. Ballantyne

... preferred to work an evaporator under a pressure instead of a vacuum. There might possibly be some reason for this which he, the Examiner, had overlooked, and he would appreciate it if the author could so far unbend as to outline his experience in this business. Whereupon the Head Examiner proceeded with his writing and left the author, in a state of coma, facing an expectant assistant examiner, who resembled some predatory bird only waiting ...
— An Ocean Tramp • William McFee

... down before him and laid her hands upon his and looked up in his face to bring all her plea; the plea of most winning sweetness of entreaty in features yet flushed and trembling. His own did not unbend as he gazed at her, but he gave her a silent answer in a pressure of the hands that went straight from his heart to hers. Fleda's ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... formal, slightly rigid, decidedly cold, it suggested to the visitor that he would receive the courtesy to which his social position entitled him, and nothing more. It was the result of an exact and logical mind, and could no more unbend into a little comfortable disorder than the lady herself. She bestowed upon its costly appointments the scrupulous care which she gave to her children, and her manner was much the same in each instance. She was justly called a strong character, but she made ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... or Roman page At stated hours, his freakish thoughts engage, Even in his pastimes he requires a friend To warn and teach him safely to unbend, O'er all his pleasures gently to preside, Watch his emotions, ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... not only a profound scholar, but he had likewise a striking personality which shone through his features. Full of fire as he was in his public life, he could also unbend graciously so as to talk on the most difficult subjects to a stripling like myself without any trace of a patronising tone. I even took advantage of his condescension to the extent of getting a contribution, Yama's ...
— My Reminiscences • Rabindranath Tagore

... "You unbend your forehead at last," said Mr. Rivers. "I thought Medusa had looked at you, and that you were turning to stone. Perhaps now you will ask how much ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... mind with more than ordinary attention to my studies, it is my usual custom to relax and unbend it in the conversation of such as are rather easy than shining companions. This I find particularly necessary for me before I retire, to rest, in order to draw my slumbers upon me by degrees, and fall asleep insensibly. This is ...
— Isaac Bickerstaff • Richard Steele

... manners; of cheerful temper, of good humor, and of good sense. He should know when and where to yield, to retreat, or to advance; when to press his suit strongly, or when merely gently to insinuate it indirectly, and, as it were, by inuendo. He should know how to unbend and how to uphold his dignity, or rather the dignity of his sovereign; for it his business, in whatever quarter of the world he may be placed, to maintain the rights and dignities of his sovereign with vigor and effect. It is the union of these diverse, and yet not repugnant qualities, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... preoccupied with his work, vouchsafed, I could only know him superficially. It may have been the spectacle of youthful enthusiasm, or the modest though dignified recognition of the reverence with which I approached him, that made this grave man unbend; but it is certain that the few times when I was permitted to enter the rudely built studio at Barbizon have remained red-letter days in my life, and on each occasion I left Millet with an impression so strong and vital that now, after a lapse of twenty years, the work which he showed ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. VI., No. 6, May, 1896 • Various

... recognizable. There is the small stir, the rising of the curtain, and some one steps upon the stage, "tall and sunburnt, with a moustache,"—'tis he! Alonzo!—"with easy self-possession and a genial air,"—the very man,—"habitual manners slightly touched with reserve, but no man could unbend more easily,"—who but he, our old acquaintance?—"a rich baritone voice," "strung with true masculine fibre," striking in among the sharps and flats and bringing them all into harmony,—that is the invariable way. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... was on the Glee Club at Princeton, and of course to have him come to the party at all was a compliment. He helped Miss Priscilla and me unpack the suppers out on Tilting Rock, and acted only a little more grown-up than Tony and Pink, I don't know whether I quite liked to have him unbend so far as to throw a biscuit back at Tony. He is too great a man for that, and I was relieved when he took the Colonel's horse and started back to town, because he said he had something to attend to. It ...
— Phyllis • Maria Thompson Daviess

... a paladin character. But he could unbend, and the memory of such hours with him—hours that can never be again—hurts more keenly than the memory of ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... line, right line, direct line; short cut. V. be straight &c. adj.; have no turning; not incline to either side, not bend to either side, not turn to either side, not deviate to either side; go straight; steer for &c. (directions) 278. render straight, straighten, rectify; set straight, put straight; unbend, unfold, uncurl &c. 248, unravel &c. 219, unwrap. Adj. straight; rectilinear, rectilineal[obs3]; direct, even, right, true, in a line; unbent, virgate &c. v[obs3].; undeviating, unturned, undistorted, unswerving; straight ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... found it necessary to unbend a little more. He unbuttoned, so to speak, the two bottom buttons of the waistcoat of pomposity which ...
— The Island Mystery • George A. Birmingham

... his misused body stiffen, that when he was called it required another ten minutes and a second glass of whisky to unbend his joints and ...
— Lost Face • Jack London

... speak, did not unbend. He went to the sink and began washing his hands. He turned to wipe them on the roller towel—whirled it for ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... appear; Diverging still, beneath their roofs of gold, Three cities gay their mural towers unfold. So, led by visions of his guiding God, The seer of Patmos o'er the welkin trod, Saw the new heaven its flamy cope unbend, And walls and gates and spiry domes descend; His well known sacred city grows, and gains Her new built towers, her renovated fanes; With golden skies and suns and rainbows crown'd, Jerusalem looks forth and lights ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... altar. This was a serious matter and laid everyone present under the most formal obligations to commit no breach of divine etiquette; it even forbade the most innocent remarks and expressions of emotion. But when the performers, wearied of the strait-jacket, determined to unbend and indulge in social amenities, to lounge, gossip, and sing informal songs, to quaff a social bowl of awa, or to indulge in an informal dance, they secured the opportunity for this interlude, by suspending the tabu. This was accomplished by the utterance of a pule hoo-noa, a tabu-lifting ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... the first to bring a footstool; a couple of their seniors were standing by, rubbing their hands and smiling blandly, to keep their minds in a fit state for the perpetration of a compliment on the first possible occasion; while even the grim old major was trying very hard to unbend: not that it was a part of his principles to be particularly gallant to the ladies, but as he was going to a place where he might not have the advantage of seeing any of them for some years, and would thus run the chance of growing ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... or of waving back a timid junior who had plucked his gown to draw his attention to some suggestion with a brusque 'Not now—I can't hear that now!' which suggested immeasurable gulfs between himself and them. But at home he unbent, a little consciously, perhaps, but he did unbend—being proud and fond of his children, who at least stood in no fear of him. Long years of successful practice had had a certain narrowing effect upon him; the things of his profession were almost foremost in ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... of the learned father was, at the end of every second hour, to twirl his chair for five minutes. After protracted studies Spinosa would mix with the family-party where he lodged, and join in the most trivial conversations, or unbend his mind by setting spiders to fight each other; he observed their combats with so much interest, that he was often seized with immoderate fits of laughter. A continuity of labour deadens the soul, observes Seneca, in closing his treatise ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... condescend A little with their subjects to unbend! An instance take:—A king of this great land, In days of yore, we understand, Did visit Salisbury's old church so fair: An Earl of Pembroke was the Monarch's guide; Incog. they traveled, shuffling side by side; And into ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... life, as a flash of lightning paints upon the blackness of the night miles on miles of landscape. That look of Mrs. Ellersly's—stern disapproval at her daughter, stern command that she be more civil, that she unbend—showed me the old woman's soul. And I say that no old harpy presiding over a dive is more full of the venom of the hideous calculations of the market for flesh and blood than is a woman whose life is wrapped up in wealth ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... personal appearance and manner were calculated to excite respect and deference from pupils. The general cast of her countenance was serious, to a degree bordering upon severity; but when she did unbend, the cheerfulness that beamed in her features, and the benevolent expression of her dark and pleasing eyes, invited confidence and regard from every beholder. She had been a widow several years, and was ...
— The Boarding School • Unknown

... would joy in your joy: let me have a friend's part In the warmth of your welcome of hand and of heart,— On your play-ground of boyhood unbend the brow's care, And shift the old ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... and make yourselves comfortable," was the summary way in which the club was released from its sterner duties and permitted to unbend its mighty mind for a social half-hour, chiefly devoted to whist, with an Indian war-dance ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... greatest writers who are the most mirth provoking, but how much we owe to them. The man must have no mirth in him if he fail to be tickled by the best of Labiche's comedies, aye and the worst too, if such a term can be applied to any of the enchanting series; if he refuse to unbend over "A Day's Journey and a Life's Romance," if he cannot let himself go and enjoy himself over Gilbert Gurney's river adventure. If the revival of the Whartons' book were to serve no other purpose than to send some laughter loving souls to the heady well-spring of Theodore ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... life escaped our observation, but at last a few paragraphs, if not a chapter of it, have been secured, and we find that this shy creature, in ill odour among cattlemen as noted, is a rare and lovely character when permitted to unbend in a congenial group. Sturdy, strong and dogged, and brave to the last ditch, the more we know of the Badger ...
— Wild Animals at Home • Ernest Thompson Seton

... man took such pains to discourse thus at length to enemies upon the genesis of life Barsoomian. It seemed a strangely inopportune moment for a proud member of a proud race to unbend in casual conversation with a captor. Especially in view of the fact that the black still lay securely ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... did not unbend much before the tumult, permitted a gleam of satisfaction to show itself in his ...
— Uncle Sam's Boys with Pershing's Troops - Dick Prescott at Grips with the Boche • H. Irving Hancock

... and interesting monuments of it in India. They are of great extent, and the main temple is in good preservation. Doctor Livingstone's almost boyish enjoyment of the whole thing impressed me greatly. The stern, almost impassive, man seemed to unbend, and enter most thoroughly into the spirit of a day in which pleasure and instruction, under circumstances of no little interest, ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... Dr. Brownlee. The young doctor was now a frequent guest at the superintendent's house, where he had quickly become popular with them all, even to Mrs. Pennypoker, who never failed to array herself in her best gown and unbend her majesty whenever he was expected to appear. The acquaintance started during their camping expedition had rapidly ripened into a mutual liking, and it was surprising to see how often the younger man found time to drop in at Mr. Everett's office, late in ...
— In Blue Creek Canon • Anna Chapin Ray

... the cheaper qualifications of politeness and good sense are of more useful currency in the commerce of life. By many, conversation is esteemed as a theatre or a school: but, after the morning has been occupied by the labours of the library, I wish to unbend rather than to exercise my mind; and in the interval between tea and supper I am far from disdaining the innocent amusement of a game at cards. Lausanne is peopled by a numerous gentry, whose companionable idleness is seldom disturbed by the pursuits of avarice ...
— Memoirs of My Life and Writings • Edward Gibbon

... few minutes I arrived with the whisky; and Mrs. Greiffenhagen was constrained to unbend. It was decided to put the men to bed, pending the arrival of the Professor. Two vaqueros were galloping after him in the hope of overtaking him before he had gone too far. Dan was undressed and placed in Miss Willing's ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... weight. In this position we had to keep standing till the command was given for the second pace. At that moment we had to shift to our left leg, and quickly bend the right leg at the knee-joint at a right angle. Thus we had to stand till the command was given for the third pace, when we had to unbend the right leg and bring it forward. On that day we were kept at the first pace unusually long. My muscles began to twitch, and I felt as if needles were pricking me from under the skin. Suddenly I felt ...
— In Those Days - The Story of an Old Man • Jehudah Steinberg

... arrived that afternoon. He was delighted at being free of the ship. At the house of Colonel Vega he had dined well, and at sight of familiar faces he was inclined to unbend. He approached the employees of the company as one conferring a favor and assured of a welcome. He appreciated that since his arrival he was the man of the moment. In the crowded restaurant every one knew him as the representative of that great ...
— The White Mice • Richard Harding Davis

... warmth of feeling for Donald. He met him almost every evening either at the Hamiltons' or down at the corner and, while he could find no fault in the young man's conduct, he never quite forgave the prank he had played and did not unbend to him as he did to the others. Donald's honest heart was filled with remorse for the mischief he had unwittingly caused and in his straightforward fashion he went to the minister to make an explanation and, if need be, offer an apology. But ...
— Duncan Polite - The Watchman of Glenoro • Marian Keith

... her head in silence. "There is a Judge above who knows the circumstances, gives me now His hand, and will judge me in the balance of truth and mercy, when my enemies are at my feet," flashes through her thoughts, and strengthens the inner nature. But her tongue has lost its power; her feelings unbend to the thought that she is in a criminal court, arraigned before a Judge. She has no answer to make to the Judge's questions, but gives way to her emotions, and breaks out into loud sobs. Several minutes, during which a sympathizing silence ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... unwilling to engage in controversy with the gentlemen you mention; for, I am informed, his infirmities have obliged him, for some time past, to desist from his serious studies, and only employ himself in lighter things, which serve to amuse and unbend the mind." ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... (letting the Assistant out of the pillory, with the air of a man who does not often unbend to these frivolities). Now, Gentlemen, I am sure all those whom I see around me have heard of those marvellous beings—the Mahatmas—and how they can travel through space in astral bodies, and produce matter out of nothing at all. (Here the group endeavour to look ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, August 27, 1892 • Various

... at these times to pass for a good-humoured fellow; and good-will is all I ask in return to make good company. I do not desire to be always posing myself or others with the questions of fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute, etc. I must unbend sometimes. I must occasionally lie fallow. The kind of conversation that I affect most is what sort of a day it is, and whether it is likely to rain or hold up fine for to-morrow. This I consider as enjoying ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... whom the fellow fascinated. Who can forget the scene when Tom Davies brought him into the company of Dr. Johnson, who hated Wilkes' Radicalism, and would never willingly have consented to meet him? For a time Johnson refused to unbend, but at last he could hold out no longer, and fell a victim to the charm ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... here because, poor souls, they think the rent is low. Ye gods, the place is not fit for dogs to live in, and yet he charges all the way from five dollars up for these filthy, worm-eaten, rotten holes. And yet the old decrepit inhabitants of this rich man's house unbend their stiff knees in profound ...
— An Anarchist Woman • Hutchins Hapgood

... was all spoofing, the way we talked. I am certain he knew it as well as I did, and I am sure we both enjoyed it. I am not one of those who think it shows a lack of dignity to unbend in this manner on occasion. True, it is not with every one I could afford to do so, but Cousin Egbert seemed to be an exception to almost every rule ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... had only seen him in his leisure moments, when he might naturally be expected to unbend and be full of the milk of human kindness. Probably in business hours he was quite different. After all, pleasure is one thing and ...
— Mike • P. G. Wodehouse

... 'Oh, mither, mither, mak my bed, And, gentle ladie, lay me down; Oh, brither, brither, unbend my bow, 'Twill never be bent by ...
— Ballads of Mystery and Miracle and Fyttes of Mirth - Popular Ballads of the Olden Times - Second Series • Frank Sidgwick

... It touched me a little, after my lonely journey, to find him so glad to see me; though I had never done him a greater benefit than sometimes to unbend with him and borrow his money. 'You look surprised, little man!' I continued, as he made way for me to enter. 'I'll be sworn that you have been pawning my goods and letting my room, you knave!' 'Never, your Excellency!' ...
— Under the Red Robe • Stanley Weyman

... and a word of entreaty from the young man would have induced him to recall the sentence of his doom; but as that word was not spoken, he could not quite unbend enough to voluntarily ask his nephew to remain. Charles left on the morning after the interview, for the west, having, after due reflection, arrived at the conclusion that a competence could be secured ...
— Eveline Mandeville - The Horse Thief Rival • Alvin Addison

... seemed to come to him. He left them for the time being. The others stood sheltered from the wind, to talk and shiver, Endo[u] joined them from his garden stroll. Seeing Kondo[u] on his return, said Abe Shiro[u]goro[u]—"Eh! Naruhodo! The smile of pain relieved! Kondo[u] Uji, has he found means to unbend, to thaw out those fingers? Ha! The rascally fellow knows the way about. There is hot water at hand. Deign to give the hint, Kondo[u] Dono." Kondo[u] leaked a smile, then snickered—"It was but an idea. Hot water in this yashiki ...
— Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 2 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... that this deportment made the back of his jacket hang quite far away from his legs; and so small and sloping were his shoulders that the jacket seemed ever so likely to slip right off. I became aware, too, that when he bowed he did not unbend his back, but only his neck—the length of the neck accounting for the depth of the bow. His hands were tiny, even for his size, and they fluttered ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... stiff as a poker). If I pass an opinion, I must have an increase of salary; I never unbend on ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... help wishing more than once that evening, that Mr. Jaggers had had an Aged in Gerrard Street, or a Stinger, or a Something, or a Somebody, to unbend his brows a little. It was an uncomfortable consideration on a twenty-first birthday, that coming of age at all seemed hardly worth while in such a guarded and suspicious world as he made of it. He was a thousand times better informed and cleverer than Wemmick, and yet I would a thousand times rather ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... "Unbend the rope from his neck, my padre, and hitch it on to that Manilla chair. There—all right! you may return this way and ...
— Captain Brand of the "Centipede" • H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

... smiling and did not unbend even when the station master, who had known him from his boyhood, felt at liberty to ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... Unbend thy bow and rest with us awhile; Thy active mind requires a healthy brain; Death's shadow has gone back upon the dial, And thou art left a higher goal to gain; The future will eclipse the brilliant past; Fear not; thy ideal will be ...
— Gleams of Sunshine - Optimistic Poems • Joseph Horatio Chant

... are always in training, and wear short cloaks; for they imagine that these are the practices which have enabled the Lacedaemonians to conquer the other Hellenes. Now when the Lacedaemonians want to unbend and hold free conversation with their wise men, and are no longer satisfied with mere secret intercourse, they drive out all these laconizers, and any other foreigners who may happen to be in their country, and they hold a philosophical seance ...
— Protagoras • Plato

... unbent as to drink champagne, which appeared mysteriously in tubs of ice from the rear of the ivy-covered cottage, with the mayor, with the wives of the professors, with the students, with the bandmaster. Indeed, so often did he unbend that when the perfectly new automobile conveyed him back to the Touraine, he was sleeping happily and smiling in ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... most intimate of smiles. Wherever we went we were accompanied by a retinue straight out of the Arabian Nights, patiently awaiting the moment when we should tire; should seek out the table of a sidewalk cafe; and should, in our relaxed mood, be ready to unbend ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... polished periods for use in public. In conversation with his immortal soul, he was wont to unbend somewhat. ...
— The Intrusion of Jimmy • P. G. Wodehouse

... she did not lower her thoughts. The noise of resulting merrymakings sufficiently sought out and annoyed her ear. But the wedding of the guest to a man of consequence in the Dutch colony was something to which she might unbend herself. ...
— The Lady of Fort St. John • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... carpets, amid the lustrous piles of silks and velvets which covered the white and gold tables, they appeared to float through an atmosphere of eternal enchantment. Watching them, Gabriella wondered idly if they could ever unbend at the waist, if they could ever let down those elaborate and intricate piles of hair. Then she overheard the tallest and most arrogant of them remark, "I'm just crazy about him, but he's dead broke," and she realized that they ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... execution, her husband, Lord Guildford, desired permission to see her; but she refused her consent, and informed him by a message, that the tenderness of their parting would overcome the fortitude of both, and would too much unbend their minds from that constancy which their approaching end required of them: their separation, she said, would be only for a moment; and they would soon rejoin each other in a scene where their affections ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... that made you feel it was a duty to, stand in his presence, uncovered, and respectfully silent. I have heard this sternness attributed to his habit of command; not so—it was natural, and he was unconscious of it. Most men, however stern, will unbend to woman. There is in woman's presence a divinity which thaws the rigor of the heart and warms the soul, which manifests itself in the softening of the eye, in the glow upon the cheek, and the relaxation of manner. It was not so with Washington. In his reception-rooms he was easily polite ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... concierge passed through the room bearing the various necessaries the doctor had demanded, but her mouth was grimly shut and he did not ask for information that she did not seem inclined to vouchsafe. She did unbend so far at last as to light a fire in the stove, but she let it be clearly understood that it was not for his benefit. "It will help to warm the other room, and it has been empty long enough," she said, with a glance and a shrug that were full of meaning. But as she saw the misery of his face ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... are mingled with the wonderful history of love. How surely it marks its objects. It seeks its most precious captive in the strongest and bravest of hearts. Love has dethroned kings, built up empires, set great nations at war, and made statesmen weep with sorrow. Yea, it has made the mightiest to unbend, and brought them bowing before its altar. It holds its capricious empire in every heart, prompts our ambition, guides and governs our actions, makes us heroes or cowards, and carries ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... for the fifth time. "We will drink to it, this Monte Carlo. It is here that they come from all quarters of the world—the ladies who charm away our hearts," he added, bowing to mademoiselle, "the financiers whose word can shake the money-markets of the world, and the politicians who unbend, perhaps, just a little in the sunshine here, however cold and inflexible they may be under their own austere skies. For the last time, then—to Monte Carlo! To Monte Carlo, ...
— Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... or twice to tease Diana, in a boy's offhand manner. That small person, however, had become conscious of the fact that Enoch was not interested in her, and she had withdrawn into herself with a pride and self-control that was highly amusing to her father. Nor did she unbend ...
— The Enchanted Canyon • Honore Willsie Morrow

... throne, And plays her idiot antics, like a queen. A thousand garbs she wears; a thousand ways She wheels her giddy empire.—Lo! thus far 70 With bold adventure, to the Mantuan lyre I sing of Nature's charms, and touch well pleased A stricter note: now haply must my song Unbend her serious measure, and reveal In lighter strains, how Folly's awkward arts [Endnote Y] Excite impetuous Laughter's gay rebuke; The sportive province ...
— Poetical Works of Akenside - [Edited by George Gilfillan] • Mark Akenside

... meal a long grace was said. To their dismay and horror the new boarder sat bolt upright while the others at table reverently bowed their heads. When the second day passed and the young man evinced no disposition to unbend, the good lady of the house could endure the ...
— Good Stories from The Ladies Home Journal • Various

... would fain tickle his long ears with ribald rhyme, and hearken to the barbarous braying forth of his asinine reflections! Lysia! what, Lysia! ... dost thou frown at me? Frown not, sweet queen, but rather laugh! ... thy laughter kills, 'tis true, but thy frown doth torture spirits after death! Unbend thy brows! Night looms between them like a chaos! ... we will have no more night, I say, but only noon! ... a long, languorous, lovely noon, flower-girdled ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... years, Andre, who has become our cure, insists upon treating me with distance. He won't waive the fact that I am the lord of the manor, and calls me relentlessly Monsieur. I've done everything to entice him to unbend, but his backbone is of granite. From the merriest of mischief-loving youngsters, he has hardened into the solemnest of square-toes, with such a long upper-lip, and manners as stiff as the stuff of his awful ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... awaiting him, and no place for a bride in the humble Dutch house at New Windsor where Washington had gone into winter quarters. But the distance was not great, and he could hope for flying leaves of absence. Washington was not unsympathetic to lovers; he had been known to unbend and advise his aides when complications threatened or a siege seemed hopeless; and he had given Hamilton the longest leave possible. Nevertheless, the bridegroom set forth, one harsh January morning, on ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... Ohio, and an intimate associate of President Garfield, was elected to succeed him. Under Professor Hinsdale's strong and vigorous guidance, the department rapidly advanced to a recognized place in the curriculum. Though his bearing was somewhat austere and overwhelming, he could unbend, as was proved on one occasion in the Library when his booming voice brought an admonition from an official. Just then an influential member of the Library Committee chanced to appear. He proved a greater disturber of the peace than Professor Hinsdale, who, nudging his companion, ...
— The University of Michigan • Wilfred Shaw

... the Satires, heightening our interest in Horace's picture by its adaptation to familiar English characters. Great Scipio and Laelius, says Horace (Sat. II, i, 72), could unbend their dignity to trifle and even to romp with Lucilius. Says Pope ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... he unbend. Estelle had become all in all to him. He felt he could not do enough for her. He must be both father and mother to the little motherless child, and to him she must look for everything. Except when she was at her lessons, he loved to ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... manifestations, was Solomon. He ran and barked and wheeled about, jumping against his master as if to impart some of his own enthusiasm. His joy, while less contagious than he himself desired, produced one good result in causing the lady to unbend a little. At first she merely watched him with amusement, then talked and played with him, but not freely and with abandon, only so far as was proper with a dog whose master had become a suspicious character. As the life-boat ...
— The Pines of Lory • John Ames Mitchell

... went to breakfast; and when the men again turned to, upon the conclusion of their meal, their first act was to swarm aloft and unbend the whole of the canvas, from the royals down—a proceeding which seemed to confirm my previous surmise that they intended their sojourn upon the island to be of some duration. This task occupied them the entire morning; but when they knocked off at eight bells for dinner, the brig's spars and ...
— The Castaways • Harry Collingwood

... surgeon, accompanied by Dyer, had gone ashore and very carefully inspected the place, it was decided at once to unbend the ship's sails, carry them ashore, and temporarily convert them into tents for the accommodation of all hands, which would afford the sick an opportunity to recover their health and strength while the operation of careening and scraping the ship ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... received his fleeting suffrages; and with the aid of pen and ink and a shilling box of watercolours, he had soon turned one of the rooms into a picture-gallery. My more immediate duty towards the gallery was to be showman; but I would sometimes unbend a little, join the artist (so to speak) at the easel, and pass the afternoon with him in a generous emulation, making coloured drawings. On one of these occasions, I made the map of an island; it was elaborately and (I thought) beautifully coloured; the shape of it took my fancy beyond expression; ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... her brother unbend his brows, for he longed to get at his books again, and the idea of being tutor to his "man-servant" did not ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, July 1878, No. 9 • Various

... have consented. The delegates, therefore, carried things with a high hand, and, convinced that our crew were loyal to their king and country, they ordered us to take up a berth between the Inflexible and Director, to unbend our sails, and to send our powder on board the Sandwich, at the mast-head of which ship the flag of the so-called Admiral Parker was then flying. That man, Richard Parker, had been shipmate with a considerable number of the crew of the San Fiorenzo, as acting lieutenant, but ...
— Tales of the Sea - And of our Jack Tars • W.H.G. Kingston

... He was very agreeable about it. He said a speech wasn't necessary. He seemed to be a most kind-hearted emperor, with a great deal of plain, good, attractive human nature about him. Necessarily he must have or he couldn't have unbent to me as he did. I couldn't unbend if I were an emperor. I should feel the stiffness of the position. Franz Josef doesn't feel it. He is just a natural man, although an emperor. I was greatly impressed by him, and I liked him exceedingly. His face is always the ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... these peculiarities were developed the first or second day of our acquaintance. About the third he seemed to grow impatient, hummed over a few gems from unknown operas, and was less disposed than usual to unbend himself. There was evidently a coolness growing up between us. I suspected it originated in my hat, which was really very shabby; and fancied I detected a supercilious expression in his eye as it ranged over my coat and down ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... interrupted Guido. "An absolute gentleman, who by his manner seems to challenge the universe to disprove his dignity! Can he unbend so far as to partake of food in public? My dear conte, you should have asked him ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli

... it will only spoil his dinner," said Mrs. Payton. "Dancing does give you an appetite, though, doesn't it?" she added, at which Lucile smiled to herself, for it was very, very long since she had seen her mother unbend so far. ...
— Lucile Triumphant • Elizabeth M. Duffield

... prevail, and, thundering from the stocks, They seize, they bind, they circumcise Charles Fox. Fair Schwellenbergen smiles the sport to see, And all the maids of honour cry 'Te! He!' Be these the rural pastimes that attend Great Brunswick's leisure: these shall best unbend His royal mind, whene'er from state withdrawn, He treads the velvet of his Richmond lawn; These shall prolong his Asiatic dream, Though Europe's balance trembles on its beam. And thou, Sir William! while thy plastic hand Creates each wonder which thy bard has planned, While, as thy art ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... to unbend my mind, I'll roam Amid the cloister's silent gloom; Or, where ranged oaks their shades diffuse, Hold dalliance with my darling Muse, Recalling oft some heaven-born strain That warbled in Augustan reign; ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... this evening, but that did not interfere with her comeliness or her pleasant manners. I found her warmth gratifying, and prepared to unbend ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... the evening, or more generally towards the still small hours of the morning, in which we so far unbend as to take a single glass of hot whisky and water. We will neither defend the practice nor excuse it. We state it as a fact which must be borne in mind by the readers of this article; for we know not how, whether it be the inspiration of the ...
— Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces • Samuel Butler

... the nature of a triumphal progress. Many people who had hesitated about bowing to them hitherto took this morning to unbend, and Mart observed, with a good deal of satisfaction: "The town seems powerful cordial. I think I'll launch ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... them: In which you will not only find Pleasure, and keep up a Healthful Constitution in moderately pursuing them, but in most or all of them find considerable Profit and Advantage, when you can spare leisure Hours from your Devotions, or to unbend your Cares after the tiresome Drudgery of weighty Temporal Matters; Not that I think it is proper so eagerly to pursue them, as if you made them rather a Business than a Recreation; for though in themselves they are harmless, ...
— The School of Recreation (1696 edition) • Robert Howlett

... came to greet my return with an increasing fervour that came nigh to overmaster me. These friendly offers I must barbarously cast back; and my rejection sometimes wounded her so cruelly that I must unbend and seek to make it up to her in kindness. So that our time passed in ups and downs, tiffs and disappointments, upon the which I could almost say (if it may be said with reverence) ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 11 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... with excusable reserve, as befits those who are embarked on unusual enterprises, who behold but speak not, silently glided past the firm lands of Concord, both peopled cape and lonely summer meadow, with steady sweeps. And yet we did unbend so far as to let our guns speak for us, when at length we had swept out of sight, and thus left the woods to ring again with their echoes; and it may be many russet-clad children, lurking in those broad meadows, with the bittern and the woodcock and the rail, though wholly concealed ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... a radical difference between relaxation and recreation. To relax is to unbend the bow, to diminish the tension, to lie fallow, to open the nature on all sides. Relaxation involves passivity; it is a negative condition so far as activity is concerned, although it is often a positive condition so far as growth is concerned. Recreation, on the other hand, involves ...
— Essays On Work And Culture • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... young people had been invited for the evening, and there she met the young schoolmistress. As a rule, the lady of The Dale mingled very little in these social gatherings. The country folk were kind and neighborly, no doubt; and, living amongst them, one must unbend a little, but she felt entirely out of her social element at a tea-party of farmers' wives—she who had drunk tea in Edinburgh with Lady Gordon. But Auntie Jinit McKerracher had asked her on this occasion, ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... not well that youth should study over long," said the old man. "Thou hast aided us well, but do thou now unbend the bow. Peace be ...
— The Armourer's Prentices • Charlotte M. Yonge

... your sword, unbend your bow, And give me kisses three; For though I am a poisonous worm, No harm I'll ...
— English Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... victorious onsweep with exultant crows, while at the announcement of any temporary set-back he would mutter gloomily and go and scratch under the shrubbery. On Armistice day he quite let himself go, cackling and mafficking round the yard in a manner almost absurd. But who did not unbend a little on that ...
— Punch, Volume 156, January 22, 1919. • Various

... famous actor was permitted a license not granted to the ordinary individual,—as indeed most actors are. Even princes, who hedge themselves round with impassable barriers to certain of their subjects who are in all ways great and worthy of notice, unbend to the Mime who today takes the place of the Court-jester, and allow him to enter the royal presence, often bringing his newest wanton with him. And there was not the slightest reason for the Marquis Fontenelle to be at all particular ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... sufficiently well when she came down the next morning. The colour on her cheek was raised yet, and rich; and Eleanor's beautiful lips did not unbend to their brilliant mischievous smile. She was somewhat quick and nervous too about her household arrangements and orders, which yet Eleanor did not neglect. It was time then to dress for her ride; and Eleanor dressed, not hurriedly but carefully, between pleasure ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume I • Susan Warner

... and salaamed profoundly, then straightened himself, posing magnificently until a curt word from the Sheik recalled him to his errand and his swagger changed swiftly to a deference of which the significance was not lost on Diana. The Arab might unbend to his people if it so pleased him, but he kept them well in hand. She looked at the lieutenant as he stood before his chief. He was tall and slender as a girl, with an air of languid indolence that ...
— The Sheik - A Novel • E. M. Hull

... though the one too early left his wine, The other still exclaim'd—"My boy will shine: Yes, I perceive that he will soon improve, And I shall form the very guide I love; Decent abroad, he will my name defend, And when at home, be social and unbend." The plan was specious, for the mind of James Accorded duly with his uncle's schemes; He then aspired not to a higher name Than sober clerks of moderate talents claim; Gravely to pray, and rev'rendly to preach, Was all ...
— Tales • George Crabbe

... At night, at night, she would unbend, she would be tender and passionate, she would touch him with quick, hurrying caresses, she would put her arms round him and draw him to her, kissing and kissing. And with her young, beautiful body pressed tight to him, with her mouth on his and her eyes shining close and ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... you judge how ridiculous they are," said David; and he told about the sick boy and Mrs. Binn's six foot apartment. Norton's face would not unbend. ...
— Trading • Susan Warner

... fair curls dances once more. My friend, I think, would like to see her. And we must have music. Let the band never cease playing. Ah! it is here, dear Albert, that one learns to forget how strenuous life really is. It is here that one may unbend. ...
— The Mischief Maker • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Curves" are all very well in their way, but a seamanlike job aloft, on a bright morning, is something stirring to begin the day with. A clear head to find one's way, and a sharp hand to unbend the gear and get the yard canted for lowering; then, with a glance at the fore (where fumblers are in difficulties with their lifts), the prideful hail to the deck, "All clear, aloft! ...
— The Brassbounder - A Tale of the Sea • David W. Bone

... here upon my heart and close thine eyes and dream—dream, Kate, of what we must be to each other, and then wake and find me bending over thee. Come, Sweet, come!" He sought her elusive fingers and tried to draw her to him with a tenderness she could hardly withstand; but she would not unbend, drawing from him, sinking further into ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... word's as good as a Government bond. His majesty is in a gracious mood to-night. Watch him unbend and chat ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... once to Dickson's, and found him at home, busy swinging the poker, in deep thought, before the fireplace in his inner office. He was a small man, with an impenetrable, expressionless face, who never was known to unbend himself to a human being. Only two facts were known about him. One was that he was the best swimmer in Exeter, and had saved several lives from drowning, and the other was, that he gave away (for him) large sums ...
— The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn • Henry Kingsley

... thy sword, unbend thy brow, And give me kisses three; For though I be a laidly worm No harm I'll do ...
— Northumberland Yesterday and To-day • Jean F. Terry

... following his lead in break-neck forest gallops after rabbits or in gloriously exhilarating swims in the fire-blue lake at the foot of the lawn. To the pityingly on-looking Mistress and Master, he seemed like some general or statesman seeking to unbend in the games and chatter of a party of high ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... and wide-open beak jerked from side to side in a measured, mechanical way. I had a side view of the bird, but every three seconds the head would be jerked towards me, showing the bright yellow colour of the open mouth. The reeling would last about three minutes, then the bird would unbend or unstiffen and take a few hops about the bush, then stiffen and begin again. While thus gazing and listening I, by chance, met with an experience of that rare kind which invariably strikes the observer of birds as strange and almost incredible—an example of the most ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... precipitately into the maternal pouch, and all the troop decamped in file. Nothing could be more astonishing than the enormous bounds of the kangaroo. The hind legs of the animal are twice as long as the front ones, and unbend like a spring. At the head of the flying troop was a male five feet high, a magnificent specimen of the macropus giganteus, an "old man," as the ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... leans To gayer scenes, And serious life void moments spares, The sylvan chase My sinews brace! Or song unbend ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... assembly of learned men, who met at stated times to unbend their minds and compare their opinions. Their manners were somewhat coarse, but their conversation was instructive, and their disputations acute, though sometimes too violent, and often continued till neither controvertist remembered upon what question he began. Some faults ...
— Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia • Samuel Johnson

... English garden's shadiest spot, A structure stands, and welcomes many a breeze; Lonely, and simple as a Ploughman's cot, Where Monarchs may unbend, who ...
— Broad Grins • George Colman, the Younger

... asked with assumed surprise. "That is delightful! I adore the 'twinkle in the eye,' but I was afraid you would never unbend far enough so ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... ingratiate himself. Now Stonor, under his stern port as an officer of the law, was intensely curious about the fellow. With his good looks, his impudent assurance, his command of English, he was a notable figure in that remote district. The policeman permitted himself to unbend ...
— The Woman from Outside - [on Swan River] • Hulbert Footner

... have I seene our Charles, when great affaires Give leave to slacken, and unbend his cares, Chacing the royall Stagge, the gallant beast, Rowz'd with the noyse 'twixt hope and feare distrest, Resolv's 'tis better to avoyd, than meet His danger, trusting ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... morning I was sent aloft by the sailmaker to help unbend the foretopsail, which was to be repaired, and looking down saw the decks were rapidly filling with natives. Mr. Brown had already gone ashore with the chief Vaka-ta-Bula, Mr. Mariner was in the cabin writing, and the rest of the officers were engaged in various work on ...
— Rodman The Boatsteerer And Other Stories - 1898 • Louis Becke

... strength being great, and especially that of his fore-legs, it is very difficult to unroll him. An attempt being made to force his coil, he sticks his fore-claws into the scales of his head, and holds on with a death-like grip. At night, however, or when all is quiet, he vouchsafes to unbend himself, and waddles awkwardly about on his short legs, in pursuit of cockroaches, weevils and spiders. [Footnote: The above-described ant-eater is properly the long-tailed Manis, being an African species of the Pangolin. His scaly armor will turn a musket-ball. This animal, with a few other ...
— Journal of an African Cruiser • Horatio Bridge

... unbend thy brow, Nor stamp nor rave. The princess is my wife, And frowns unbind not whom the church hath bound. The javelin's thrown, and cannot be recalled; Thine be the second prize the first is won, And all thy grief and rage that tis another's ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... Tour of Seven Pages. In what remains, I beg leave to offer my compliments, and those of ma tres chere femme, to you and Mrs. Boswell. Pray unbend the busy brow, and frolick a little ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... Cares, hence anxious Application, (His fav'rite Work) to bless a happy Nation: His lofty Mind permit him to unbend, And to a short Diversion condescend; The Morn shall see him with redoubled Force, Resume the Burthen and pursue his Course, Give Force to Laws, his Royal Bounties share, Wisely prevent our Wishes with his Care. Contending Lands to Union firm dispose, And lose his own to fix the World's ...
— The Bores • Moliere

... nervousness. Poor little me! His parents are reserved and undemonstrative, like most North-country people, he says, but are very tender-hearted at bottom. That means, I suppose, that they would be stiff and polite all the time I was there, and begin slowly to unbend just as I was coming away. Frederica, the girl, goes in for higher education, and doesn't care a bit about going about with other girls. I know they will be disappointed with me. Ned is so silly, and he is sure ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... "Unbend that brow, sir! nor dare to address your parent in that insolent tone! And now, sir, once for all, let us come to the point, and understand each other perfectly. Should you persist in your addresses to Alice, should you finally marry ...
— The Rector of St. Mark's • Mary J. Holmes

... of this day but half a dozen natives were on board; they, with the five "boys" (probably lads under eighteen years of age), and the dwarf sailor before mentioned, were "spelling" for an hour or so before beginning to unbend the topsails, when, noticing that their captors were off their guard, the brave little man determined to retake the ship. In a few minutes he gained over his youthful shipmates to the attempt; they promised to stand by him to the last. Quietly arming themselves with ...
— The Adventure Of Elizabeth Morey, of New York - 1901 • Louis Becke



Words linked to "Unbend" :   bend, take it easy, slow down, unstrain, change posture, unlax, straighten, unbrace, vege out, make relaxed, unwind, decompress, loosen



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