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Atrocity   /ətrˈɑsəti/   Listen
Atrocity

noun
(pl. atrocities)
1.
The quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane.  Synonyms: atrociousness, barbarity, barbarousness, heinousness.
2.
An act of atrocious cruelty.  Synonym: inhumanity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Atrocity" Quotes from Famous Books



... but only civilians, men, women and children, twenty thousand of them, penned like rats in a trap, without possibility of escape. Says one correspondent, describing that horror: "Words cannot depict the plight of the unhappy victims of this crowning German atrocity. Incendiary shells fired the hospital, and by the glare of a hundred fires the wounded were carried to a shelter of cellars where ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... deplored this coincidence, which put a stop to "Attila." "But have you never yourself been the victim of these odd coincidences, and, just as you had fixed upon a subject or a title, found yourself superseded—a thing next in atrocity to the ancients' stealing all one's fine thoughts. My comedy of 'Tears and Smiles' was to be called 'Name it Yourself,' when out comes a 'Name it Yourself,' in England, and out comes too a 'Smiles and Tears,' with a widow, an Irishman, and almost all my dramat. pers. I wrote the 'Indian Princess,' ...
— The Indian Princess - La Belle Sauvage • James Nelson Barker

... and palliate his conduct toward Scotland. They have glossed over his crimes and tried to explain away the records of his deeds of savage atrocity, and to show that his claims to that kingdom, which had not a shadow of foundation save from the submission of her Anglo-Norman nobles, almost all of whom were his own vassals and owned estates in England, were just and righteous. ...
— In Freedom's Cause • G. A. Henty

... subjected a second time to the torment of sleeplessness, under the bayonets of the Egyptian soldiers. But it is indeed too unreasonable and unjust to lay on the Pasha of Damascus the whole blame of these proceedings, unequalled in atrocity since the days of the fourth Antiochus. The guilt must be equally shared by those who delivered up an innocent people into his hands; indeed, their share is greater. He may plead that he was obliged to do these things by the nature of his office. The persecutors of the Jews cannot ...
— Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Volume I • Sir Moses Montefiore

... been spirited away. Storri programmed a crime, the black audacity of which went far beyond that dark-lantern enterprise of Treasury gold upon which London Bill was so patiently employed. The design possessed the simplicity, too, which is a ruling feature of your staggering atrocity. The gold would be going aboard the Zulu Queen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. With the first blue streaks of dawn on Monday, May thirtieth, say at four o'clock, the Zulu Queen, thinking on escape, must up anchor and go steaming down the Potomac. Now what should be less complex than ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... to feel that it became his station as a ruling monarch to have a foreign house with foreign furniture. Of course he never intended to live in it, but other kings had useless palaces and why shouldn't he? Therefore, a Russian atrocity of red brick was erected a half mile or so from his other dwellings. The furnishing became a matter of moment, and Mr. Lucander, who was temporarily in the employ of the Mongolian Government, was ...
— Across Mongolian Plains - A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' • Roy Chapman Andrews

... one but a parent, and I will add, an affectionate parent, can possibly form an idea of, I address you on the subject of the act of atrocity committed by that perjured villain, Mannion. You will find that I and my innocent daughter have been, like you, victims of the most devilish deceit that ever was practised on ...
— Basil • Wilkie Collins

... the atmosphere O.K., bringin' most of it back on his breath and the Kid asked him to stick out his tongue so he could see was they any revenue stamps on it. In the mornin' he grabbed a container of ice water and a pen and dashed off a atrocity in five reels based on what atmosphere of Montana Joe's that was still with him. He called the thing "The End of the World!" Potts says the title alone sounded good enough to him to remove the bumpers from his bankroll without lookin' further, addin', in a loud aside, ...
— Kid Scanlan • H. C. Witwer

... found no evidence of German acts deserving to be called "atrocities." The word "atrocity" has been so carelessly used that it will be useful to re-define what that word means in relation to war. It should be limited to instances where unnecessary violence is used toward the enemy's soldiers and civilians. It has a meaning distinct from the inevitable ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... had earnestly desired, during two terms of service in the Levant, to visit Egypt, but some untoward event had always prevented us from doing so. A threatened massacre at Damascus, some consul's squabble at Sidon or Haiffa, or some fresh atrocity reported in the course of the Cretan insurrection, or the desire on the part of our minister to have "the flag shown" at Constantinople, had invariably barred us from getting to the south. But here we were at last within sight of Pompey's Pillar, and we felt sure that we should not leave the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... these hostile tribes had thus ended more amicably than King George and his party could have expected, it was easily to be perceived that the Ngapuhis were determined on executing some atrocity or depredations before their return; they accordingly pretended to recollect some old offence committed by the English settlers at the other end of the beach. They proceeded thither, and first attacked and broke open the house of a blacksmith, ...
— A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 • Augustus Earle

... pernicious liquid that it bursts. In either of these catastrophes all his family are sold for slaves. Some survive these diabolical expedients of injustice, but the issue is uniformly slavery. When chiefs of influence, guilty of atrocity and fraud, become objects of accusation, the ingredient is of course qualified so as to remove its fatal tendency. Hence justice seldom or ever in this country can punish powerful offenders, or shield the innocence of the weak ...
— Observations Upon The Windward Coast Of Africa • Joseph Corry

... the leader, turning toward the sullen man, whose greater atrocity had gained for him the name of ...
— Hidden Hand • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... on so small and arid a desert as that over which they were said to have wandered during forty years, nor water from a single well; and that the butchery of two hundred thousand Midianites by twelve thousand Israelites, "exceeding infinitely in atrocity the tragedy at Cawnpore, had happily only been carried out on paper." There was nothing of the scoffer in him. While preserving his own independence, he had kept in touch with the most earnest thought both among European scholars and in the little flock intrusted to his care. He evidently ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... proselytizing, but simply for not believing in transubstantiation; racked again and again, and at last adjudged to receive publicly, on Good Friday, 1575, some three hundred, some one hundred stripes, and to serve in the galleys for six or ten years each; while, as the crowning atrocity of the Moloch sacrifice, three of them were burnt alive in the market-place of Mexico; a story no less hideous than true, the details whereof whoso list may read in Hakluyt's third volume, as told by Philip Miles, one of that hapless crew; as ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... faintly silver. There was not a sound in the world except the ring of our horses' hoofs upon the road. And yet this sinister excitement hammered, from somewhere, at me as I had never felt it before. It was as though the lovely evening were a painted scene lowered to hide some atrocity. ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole

... were lost to posterity, or that they failed, in their time and season, to give flavor to the domestic felicity of the period. Beyond this, the story perhaps has little value, except as an offset to the usual anecdotes of Hessian atrocity. ...
— Tales of the Argonauts • Bret Harte

... singular sect, whose object is robbery and murder, and who, like the Italian banditti, are prepared to undertake any atrocity for which they are paid. They must not, however, in any case shed blood, and dare only make away with their victim by strangling. The act is not considered as very criminal, and the murderer absolves himself by a small present, which he gives ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... is a peculiar atrocity in the circumstances which gave rise to the following poem, that stirs even the Dead Sea of our sensibilities. The lady appears to have carried on a furious flirtation with the bard—a cousin of her own—which she, naturally perhaps, but certainly cruelly, terminated by ...
— The Bon Gaultier Ballads • William Edmonstoune Aytoun

... retorted, "for I shall decline to be present. Nothing shall induce me to countenance by my presence such a scene of cold-blooded atrocity!" ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... made up his mind that justice should no longer be delayed. The chateau had borne an ill reputation for generations. From time immemorial Ivan Baranoff's ancestors had been suspected of lycanthropy, and this last deed of the family was their crowning atrocity. ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... the wine and spirits they had swallowed; else a casual quarrel between two young men, at tennis, could not have driven them to such extremes. But certain it is that, from one at first arising to address the party on the atrocity of the offence, both in a moral and political point of view, on a sudden there were six on their feet, at the same time, expatiating on it; and, in a very short time thereafter, everyone in the room was up talking with the ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... a Christian it is better not talked about, because people at home would not understand it; when a Christian kills a Moslem it is a holy and righteous act. When a Moslem kills a Christian it is an atrocity and should be telegraphed to ...
— Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle • Durham M. Edith

... the magnanimity was not met by those who led the South after Lee's retirement, and before reconstruction set in, and that the Fifteenth Amendment was brought on by their own doings: when have two wrongs made a right? And to place the negro above these people was an atrocity. You cannot expect them to inquire very industriously how magnanimous this North meant to be, when they have suffered at her hands worse, far worse, than France ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... of us, Athenians, that, when we ought to oppose an ambitious power by deeds and actions, not by words, we men of the hustings [Footnote: Auger has: "nous qui montons a la tribune."] shrink from our duty of moving and advising, for fear of your displeasure, and only declaim on the heinousness and atrocity of Philip's conduct; you of the assembly, though better instructed than Philip to argue justly, or comprehend the argument of another, to check him in the execution of his designs are totally unprepared. ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... majors in the army, and royal dukes, and that sort of people; the mere walking is bad enough, but embarrassing one's arms moreover, with a gun, and one's legs with turnip tops, exposing oneself to the mercy of bad shots and the atrocity of good, seems to me only a state of painful fatigue, enlivened by the probability of ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... myself to Providence. I will not dwell long on this journey of three hundred miles. We were in the midst of the fire, yet, strange to say, escaped without a hair being singed; robberies, murders, and all kinds of atrocity were perpetrated before, behind, and on both sides of us, but not so much as a dog barked at us, though in one instance a plan had been laid to intercept us. About four leagues from Santander, whilst we were baiting our horses ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... theorist. He speaks from experience—dark and bitter experience. The things he has seen he tells; the words he has heard he speaks again. Some of these scenes curdle the blood in the veins, even when remembered; some of these words, whenever whispered, recall incidents of singular atrocity, and thrill the bosom ...
— Secret Band of Brothers • Jonathan Harrington Green

... of the old church remains, and the famous Solesmes sculpture, dating from the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, there are some quite disastrous windows in the apse: the Virgin between Saint Peter and Saint Paul; modern glass in its most piercing atrocity. But, then, where is decent glass ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... Minister an opportunity of disapproving of them: he hoped he should not hear the principle avowed. Crowned heads, he thought, were at present led by some fatal infatuation to degrade themselves and injure mankind. But some, it seems, regard any atrocity in monarchs as if it had lost its nature by not being committed by low and vulgar agents. A head with a crown, and a head with a nightcap, totally altered the moral quality of actions—robbery was no ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... the crevices come foaming down, And turned to rest me in the herdsmen's cots,[51] Where I was host and guest, until I gain'd The cheerful homes and social haunts of men. Already through these distant vales had spread The rumor of this last atrocity; And wheresoe'er I went, at every door, Kind words saluted me and gentle looks. I found these simple spirits all in arms Against our rulers' tyrannous encroachments. For as their Alps through each succeeding year Yield the ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. III • Kuno Francke (Editor-in-Chief)

... dismay to their hearts. Had the man been shot, according to the expectation of those who resist arrest, this would be merely the logical sequence of events. But to be hurled from, a crag into a cataract savored of atrocity, and they dreaded ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... to thee. Be proud of having lived a moment when thy atrocity was so great that it almost made the deeds of the devils themselves forgotten. I speak of that moment when thou didst command me to withdraw the veil which concealed the Eternal from thy sight. The angel whose charge it was to register thy ...
— Faustus - his Life, Death, and Doom • Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger

... it. Fact surely of a rather horrible sort;—yet better, I must say, than was suspected: not quite so bad in the state of fact as in that of rumor. Crime enough is in it, sin and folly on both sides; there is killing too, but NOT assassination (as it turns out); on the whole there is nothing of atrocity, or nothing that was not accidental, unavoidable;—and there is a certain greatness of DECORUM on the part of those Hanover Princes and official gentlemen, a depth of silence, of polite stoicism, which deserves more praise than it will get in our times. ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... friends that he was in a fair way to be overcome. Not that he had begun to make love to Beatrice, or committed himself by the utterance of any opinion as to the propriety of clerical marriages; but he daily became looser about his peculiar tenets, raved less immoderately than heretofore as to the atrocity of the Greshamsbury church pews, and was observed to take some opportunities of conversing alone with Beatrice. Beatrice had always denied the imputation—this had usually been made by Mary in their happy days—with vehement asseverations of anger; and Miss Gushing ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... Ormond was so perfectly stupefied by drink, as well as the atrocity, that he simply burst into a maudlin laugh, when I looked at him for an explanation of the charge. I, surely, was not implicated in it; yet, when I demanded the cause of the assault upon my person, ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... news of the atrocity committed by the Grimaldi, in firing the house and leaving their enemy to perish in the ruins, the kinsmen of Orso Paolo assemble and rush to Monte d'Olmo, threatening vengeance on the perpetrators. The Grimaldi rally round Ruggero to shield him from his exasperated enemies. Just then, ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... energies quickened by the evidence of this latest Hunnish atrocity, set off at a gallop across the comparatively open country betwixt the Kiwa and the base of the Karewenda Hills. Woe betide von Gobendorff should he be spotted by one ...
— Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force • Percy F. Westerman

... entirely popular; and, therefore, we constantly see all the power which ought to execute the law, employed to counteract the law. Thus, for example, with a criminal code which carries its rigour to the length of atrocity, we have a criminal judicature which often carries its lenity to the length of perjury. Our law of libel is the most absurdly severe that ever existed, so absurdly severe that, if it were carried into full effect, it would be much more oppressive than a censorship. And yet, with this ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... heard was that window which possibly hasn't been opened for a century or two, groaning in pain at being forced into action again! Can't sleep in this beastly room—haven't closed my eyes yet—and when I did get out of that Victorian atrocity over there and take to the sofa by the window, why, the first thing I saw were those flames flickering out across the horizon like signal-fires, or something! I've been watching them for the past twenty minutes and they've got on my nerves. ...
— The Riddle of the Frozen Flame • Mary E. Hanshew

... I refer now to those remorseless men who came first and tore up the beautiful lawn and cut away the roots of trees and digged a deep, long pit in which to lay sewer pipes; who came again and committed another similar atrocity under plea of laying a water-pipe; who came still again and for the third time abused and seared and seamed and blighted that lawn for the alleged purpose of laying a gas-pipe! O civilization! what crimes ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... seemed to seer Keith's brain with fire, and he sprang to his feet, hands clinched and eyes blazing. He could have believed this of Indians, it was according to their nature, their method of warfare; but the cowardliness of it, the atrocity of the act, as perpetrated by men of his own race, instantly aroused within him a desire for vengeance. He wanted to run the fellows down, to discover their identity. Without thinking of personal danger, he ran forward on their ...
— Keith of the Border • Randall Parrish

... the fortunes of a great number of people, making his path through manifold slaughter and destruction, loading the bodies of free-born men with chains, and crushing some with fetters, while patching up all kinds of accusations far removed from the truth. And to this man is owing one especial atrocity which has branded the time ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... rob me of your friendship—your love. You do not deem me an assassin. No; nor am I one. I have been an avenger, but no assassin. You shall know all—the fearful plot of which I and mine have been the victims. It is scarce credible—so great is its atrocity! I am indeed its victim. I can no more show myself in the settlement. I am henceforth to be hunted like the wolf, and treated as one, if captured. I care not for that, so long as I know that you are not among ...
— The White Chief - A Legend of Northern Mexico • Mayne Reid

... this, too, in a city thronged with churches, whose tall spires look like so many signals pointing to heaven, and whose ministers preach that slavery is a God-ordained institution! What words can tell the inhumanity, the atrocity, and the immorality of that doctrine which, from exalted office, commends such a crime to the favour of enlightened and Christian people? What indignation from all the world is not due to the government and people who put forth all their strength and power to keep in existence such an ...
— Clotel; or, The President's Daughter • William Wells Brown

... a fresh rebellion had been in agitation so late as 1752. LOCKHART. He was executed on June 7, 1753. Gent. Mag. xxiii. 292. Lord Campbell (Lives of the Chancellors, v. 109) says:—'I regard his execution as a wanton atrocity.' Horace Walpole, however, inclined to the belief that Cameron was engaged in a new scheme of rebellion. Walpole's Memoirs of ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... Linzee at Tunis, where he had been sent to expostulate with the dey upon the impolicy of his supporting the revolutionary government of France. Nelson represented to him the atrocity of that government. Such arguments were of little avail in Barbary; and when the Dey was told that the French had put their sovereign to death, he drily replied, that "Nothing could be more heinous; and yet, if historians told the truth, the English had once ...
— The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson • Robert Southey

... Street has been the boiling point of all this infectious train of outrages against a patient people—one that presumes to rate itself really democratic, and to sneer at countries over seas in which to-day a Credit Mobilier, a Pacific Railroad atrocity, a Manhattan Railroad brigandage, would make Trafalgar Square or the Place de la ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... of the punishment of death presented to Adrien Duport an opportunity to pronounce in favour of the abolition one of those orations which survive time, and which protest, in the name of reason and philosophy, against the blindness and atrocity of criminal legislation. He demonstrated with the most profound logic that society, by reserving to itself the right of homicide, justifies it to a certain extent in the murderer, and that the means most efficacious for ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... propose such laws in person from the throne. His commands were obeyed. A statute framed by his ministers was promptly passed, a statute which stands forth even among the statutes of that unhappy country at that unhappy period, preeminent in atrocity. It was enacted, in few but emphatic words, that whoever should preach in a conventicle under a roof, or should attend, either as preacher or as hearer, a conventicle in the open air, should be punished with death and confiscation of ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... in the empire where atrocities of the most repulsive kind were not perpetrated on innocent and helpless people. In Asia Minor the fanatical spirit raged with more ferocity than in European Turkey. At Smyrna a general massacre of the Christians took place under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, and fifteen thousand were obliged to flee to the islands of the Archipelago to save their lives. The Island of Cyprus, which once had a population of more than a million, reduced at the breaking out of the insurrection to seventy thousand, was nearly depopulated; the archbishop and five other ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IX • John Lord

... useless, and that he, a chief's son, was only losing dignity by talking to the man, whom he recognised now as being the sultan's most unscrupulous follower, the scoundrel who did any piece of dirty work or atrocity. This was the man who, at his master's wish, dragged away any poor girl from her home to be the sultan's slave; who seized without scruple on gold, tin, rice, or any other produce of the country, in his master's ...
— Middy and Ensign • G. Manville Fenn

... past atrocities than for this atrocity should we make piety responsible. At most we may blame piety for not availing to check our natural passions, and sometimes for supplying them with hypocritical pretexts. But hypocrisy also imposes obligations, and with the pretext usually couples some restriction; ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... too Diderot is always ready to turn from his subject for a moral aside. Even the modern reader will forgive the discursive apostrophe addressed to the judges of the unfortunate Calas, the almost lyric denunciation of an atrocity that struck such deep dismay into the hearts of all the brethren of the Encyclopaedia.[44] But Diderot's asides are usually in less tragic matter. A picture of Michael Van Loo's reminds him that Van Loo had once a friend in Spain. This friend took it into his ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... girl in the world chattering incessantly. So runs the world away. You think I live in Epicurean ease; but this happens to be a jolly day: one isn't always well, or tolerably good, the weather is not always clear, nor nightingales singing, nor Tacitus full of pleasant atrocity. But such as life is, I believe I have got hold of a ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... the matter. And no one knew who was responsible for the atrocity. And no one knew what had become of the severed hand! I wasted not a moment in linking up the story. The pressman within me ...
— The Quest of the Sacred Slipper • Sax Rohmer

... to note the utterly urbane and cheerful countenance with which Mr. Vanringham disclosed the meditated atrocity. This unprincipled young man was about to run me through with no more compunction than a naturalist in the act of pinning a new beetle among his collection may ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... suffering and expiring in nearly all parts of Europe. England began her battle against it even before the beginning of the century. The work of the philanthropists, begun as far back as 1786-87, when the Quakers, under the leadership of Clarkson and Sharpe, began to cry out against the atrocity of human bondage, now reached the public authorities, and ministers found it necessary to take heed of what the people were saying and doing. Both Pitt and Fox became abolitionists before the close of ...
— Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century - Great Deeds of Men and Nations and the Progress of the World • Various

... they threw themselves on the ground, crying aloud, and praying that their property and their country might be restored to them; and that if the Signory could not give them back their honor, they would, at least, restore husbands to their wives, and children to their fathers. The atrocity of the affair having already been made known, and now by the living words of the sufferers presented before them, excited the compassion of the magistracy. They ordered the immediate return of Astorre, who being tried, was found guilty, and admonished. ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... of Medea almost too revolting for record even of a sorceress, a class of persons to whom both ancient and modern poets have been accustomed to attribute every degree of atrocity. In her flight from Colchis she had taken her young brother Absyrtus with her. Finding the pursuing vessels of AEETES gaining upon the Argonauts, she caused the lad to be killed and his limbs to be strewn ...
— TITLE • AUTHOR

... ate to satiety, and quit with plenty left. From the very first they treated South Carolina as her acts of treason and atrocity deserved. Nearly every house all over the country was fed on the flames of Yankee vengeance. When their houses were burnt, the proud chivalry were obliged to seek refuge in negro shanties—an awful condescension, but scores of them have ...
— History of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during its term of service • John R. Kinnear

... Pepin must go with Bastien to where Dorothy was kept a prisoner and see what could be done. They also wisely decided that it was no use notifying or trying to lead the Imperial troops to the spot, for that might only force the Indians to some atrocity. ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... and sacrifice duly performed in his name. Two women, who had the initiatory ordinance enjoined by the Mosaical law performed on their children, were hanged to a conspicuous part of the city with their infants suspended round their necks; and many other cruelties were perpetrated, the very atrocity of which precludes them at once from popular belief and from the pages of history. Neither age, nor sex, nor profession saved the proscribed Jew from the horrors of a violent death. From Jerusalem, too, the persecution spread over the whole country; in every ...
— Palestine or the Holy Land - From the Earliest Period to the Present Time • Michael Russell

... exclaimed aloud, "nothing short of it." Why, such glaring wholesale hypocrisy had not been committed since Satan first introduced the vice into Paradise. What atrocity, what barefaced blasphemy! It was the part of a Christian and a friend to attribute the extravagant proceedings of the baron to absolute insanity, and to nothing else; and I did so accordingly, alarmed for the safety of the unfortunate ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... single passage in a letter of Mary of Hungary,[613] there is no hint in the correspondence, either in Paris, Simancas, or Brussels, that there was a suspicion of foul play. If Charles or Francis had believed Henry really capable of so deep atrocity, no political temptation would have induced either of them to commit their cousins or nieces to the embrace of a monster, yet no sooner was Jane Seymour dead, than we shall find them competing eagerly with each other to secure ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... Masino, as he was returning with his brother and eight or nine servants, late one night from supper. Both the brothers and the greater part of their suite were killed: but Don Pietro was caught. He revealed the atrocity of his mistress; and she was sent to prison. Incapable of proving her innocence, and prevented from escaping, in spite of 15,000 golden crowns with which she hoped to bribe her jailors, she was finally beheaded. Thus did a vulgar and infamous Messalina, distinguished ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... the whole range of his voluminous contributions to imaginative literature. The passages selected to this end from his famous story of Oliver Twist were those relating more particularly to the Murder of Nancy by Bill Sikes. A ghastlier atrocity than that murder could hardly be imagined. In the book itself, as will be remembered, the crime is painted as with a brush dipped in blood rather than pigment. The infamous deed is there described in language ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... ruined by a neglected education, carried off by violence, and dishonored the wife of his eldest brother Charles, together with her widowed sister,—princesses of unsullied fame, and nearly related to Sweno III., at that time, king of Denmark. This atrocity naturally excited a deep resentment against its author, at home and abroad: and roused Sweno to resolve on invading Sweden and Gothland with all his forces, in revenge of so insulting an outrage; ...
— Pope Adrian IV - An Historical Sketch • Richard Raby

... triumphantly. "Throwing away all that perfectly good time amounts simply to murdering 163 harmless old men of seventy, or 326 able-bodied men of thirty-five, or 1,630 innocent little children of seven. If that isn't atrocity, what is? I think Mr. Hoover or Admiral Grayson, or somebody, ought ...
— Mince Pie • Christopher Darlington Morley

... difficult, and presently there rolled upon the scene a policeman, large, Irish and chivalrous. It took Patrolman McDonogh but a second, but one glance at the tableaux and one whisper from the crowd to understand that a kidnapping atrocity was in progress. ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... missionaries to whom Mr. Lindsay was hastening. Deeply interested in the condition of a people whose welfare was so dear to his heart, she had eagerly read all the mission reports, and thus imbibed a keen aversion to the Sepoys, who had become synonymous with treachery and ingenious atrocity. ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... is almost superfluous to relate, experienced the fate of Bagnorea. Nothing comparable in point of atrocity had occurred since the invasion of Italy by the barbarians. In justice to Garibaldi, it must be said that he rebuked publicly by an order of the day, dated 28th October, the "shameful excess" of his fellow-adventurers, and proceeded ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... emphasis imposed by the necessity of roaring out his immutable opinions in an exceeding loud voice, retorted that so far as he was informed the "cow-drivers" on the Keowee were not certain who it was that had committed this atrocity, unless perhaps their messenger during his sojourn at Blue Lick Station had learned the name from "X." But this uncertainty, Mivane argued, was the very point of difficulty. It was the maddest folly to dispatch to angry men, smarting under a grievous injury, ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... wreaked havoc on the people—even on women and children kneeling in the act of prayer; the priests were tracked night and day from one hiding-place, where they still offered up worship, to another, and were killed as soon as overtaken—every atrocity was committed in every district; but the Christian religion still spread wider than the widest bloodshed; still sprang up with ever-renewed vitality from under the very feet of the men whose vain fury was powerless to trample it down. Everywhere the people remained true to their Faith; everywhere ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... prophecy Attila saw predicted the death of Aetius, his most formidable enemy; and the struggle commenced. There is no precise information about the date; but "it was," says Jornandes, "a battle which for atrocity, multitude, horror, and stubbornness has not the like in ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... pay them, under ordinary circumstances, certain sums monthly, to prevent their inventing or exaggerating cases of abuse of power or neglect of duty on their part; but, when they happen to be really guilty of great acts of atrocity, or great neglect of duty, they are required to pay extraordinary sums, not only to the news-writers, who are especially accredited to them, but to all others who happen to be in the neighbourhood at the time. There are six hundred and sixty news- writers of this ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... limbs, the ground bloody! Ay, and virgins, ravished and hideously abused, breathed their last miserably; and old men and persons labouring under illness were committed to the flames; and some infants were dashed against the rocks, and the brains of others were cooked and eaten. Atrocity horrible and before unheard of, savagery such that, good God, were all the Neros of all times and ages to come to life again, what a shame they would feel at having contrived nothing equally inhuman! Verily, ...
— The Life of John Milton, Volume 5 (of 7), 1654-1660 • David Masson

... (whom we will now report in the first person), "the man who stands here charged, and, in the minds of nine out of ten of all present, I fearlessly affirm, justly charged, with a murder, to the deliberate atrocity of which scarce a parallel can be found in the world's black catalogue of crime,—this man, I say, is a felon-refugee ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... of the United States, on the other hand, is a true Constitution—concerned only with fundamentals, and guarded against change in a manner suited to the preservation of fundamentals. To put into it a regulation of personal habits, to buttress such a regulation by its safeguards, is an atrocity for which no characterization can be too severe. And it is something more than an atrocity; the Eighteenth Amendment is not only a perversion but also a degradation of the Constitution. In what precedes, the emphasis has been ...
— What Prohibition Has Done to America • Fabian Franklin

... None of his contemporaries, even the most hostile to Louis XI., and even amongst those who, at the states- general held in 1484, one of them after his death, raised their voices against the trial of the Duke of Nemours, and in favor of his children, has made any mention of this pretended atrocity. Amongst the men who have reigned and governed ably, Louis XI. is one of those who could be most justly taxed with cruel indifference when cruelty might be useful to him; but the more ground there is for severe judgment upon the chieftains of nations, the stronger is the interdict against ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume III. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... "What an atrocity!" cried Hulot, who in his fury would have given his wife's diamonds to stand in the Duc ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... have a partiality for filthy dungeons, placed the two young sons of the Duke de Nemours (beheaded in 1477), ordering, besides, that they should be taken out twice a week and beaten with birch rods, and, as a supreme measure of atrocity, he had one of their teeth extracted every three months. It was Louis XI., too, who, in 1476, ordered the famous iron cage, to be erected in one of the towers of the Bastille, in which Guillaume, Bishop of Verdun, was incarcerated for ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... creatures. Nobody could say that any form of spider is precisely what our Italian friends prettily describe in their liquid way as simpatico. At times, indeed, the conduct of Lucy and Eliza was so peculiarly horrible and blood-curdling in its atrocity, that even I, their best friend, who had so often interceded for their lives and saved them from the devastating duster of the aggressive housemaid—even I myself, I say, more than once debated in my own mind whether I was justified in letting them go ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... courage that kept him above his fate. It was all very vivid, and the more incredible therefore that such a devilish thing as the death-punishment should still be, and that governments should keep on surpassing in the anguish they inflict the atrocity of the cruelest murderers. If the Salem-born Hawthorne ever visited that church in remembrance of the fact that his people came from the same parish; if he saw the mortal relic which held me in such fascination that I could scarcely ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... to its centre, and sent a thrill of horror to the heart of that empire, followed by a fierce thirst for vengeance. For the Indian mutiny had broken out, the horrors of Cawnpore had been enacted, the stories of sepoy atrocity had been told by every English fireside, and the whole nation had roused itself to send forth armies for vengeance and for punishment. Dread stories were these for the quiet circle at Chetwynde Castle; yet they had been spared its worst pains. ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... rode up in broad daylight, covered with red dust, to confer with Morton or one of the other resident blackguards. Mysteriously every desperado in the place began to lay fifty-dollar octagonal slugs on the gaming tables, product of some lower country atrocity. ...
— Gold • Stewart White

... dear boy,' protested Zero. 'There is now no call for me to leave. My character is now reinstated; my fame brightens; this is the best thing I have done yet; and I see from here the ovations that await the author of the Golden Square Atrocity.' ...
— The Dynamiter • Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

... considerable hubbub on the roof. Amongst other ominous sounds, the guard was heard to click his long horse-pistols. "Stop the York four-day stage!" said he, forcing his smoky voice through a world of throat-embracing shawl; "the fastest coach in the kingdom: vos ever such atrocity heard of? I say, Joe, keep them ere leaders steady; we shall all be in the ditch. Don't you see where the hind wheels are? Who—whoop, ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... They carried short, heavy rifles, slung over their shoulders by leather bands, and behind their saddles were their ponchos, which did duty both as overcoats and beds. Taken altogether, they were a hard-looking set, and seemed capable of any atrocity. The man who had charge of Frank was particularly noticeable in this respect, and our hero thought that all he needed were the leggins, and high-pointed hat, to make him a first-class brigand. This man kept a sharp eye upon his prisoner, and scowled at him, ...
— Frank Among The Rancheros • Harry Castlemon

... revenge, and after she had revealed the scandalous facts, she plunged a dagger in her own bosom and died, invoking revenge. Her relatives and friends carried her corpse to the market-place, revealed the atrocity of the crime of Sextus, and demanded vengeance. The people rallied in the Forum at Rome, and the assembled Curiae deprived Tarquin of his throne, and decreed the banishment of his accursed family. On the news ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... dreadful character in Klosterheim, which might have decayed a little of late, in all its original strength and freshness of novelty; or, as though he wished to send immediately before him an act of atrocity that should form an appropriate herald or harbinger of his own entrance ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... characters, of whom we always talk with sycophantic admiration. Sometimes we loathe them, but we never say so. There has been a sporadic revival of one or two of these "old comedies" this season, accomplished with that "bargain-counter" atrocity—a sop for vulgar minds—known mischievously as the "all-star-cast." It has been amusing to watch the cold, dispiriting and almost clammy reception accorded to these "classics," compared with the cordiality extended to Miss Alice Fischer in ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... America. It is always thus in the long run:—Time, the Avenger. You have seen every trampler down, in turn, from Buonaparte to the simplest individuals. You saw how some were avenged even upon my insignificance, and how in turn * * * paid for his atrocity. It is an odd world; but the watch has ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... gone before. We planned a little what was to be our future course; but even for that we did not look forward long; how could we, when every day we scarcely knew if we should see the sun go down? For Amante knew or conjectured far more than I did of the atrocity of the gang to which M. de la Tourelle belonged; and every now and then, just as we seemed to be sinking into the calm of security, we fell upon traces of a pursuit after us in all directions. Once I remember—we must ...
— The Grey Woman and other Tales • Mrs. (Elizabeth) Gaskell

... were apprehended as smugglers, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, and committed to the gaol at . A few days after, a young girl, of bad character, who has much influence at the club, made a motion, that the people, in a body, should demand the release of the prisoners. The motion was carried, and the Hotel ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... delight in setting at defiance all laws of God and man, and, among many other acts of atrocity, he was strongly suspected of the murder of a revenue officer. The officer had, it appears, been the means of taking a valuable cargo of goods belonging to Johnson, who some time after encountered him, when in discharge of his duty, near this place. It is supposed that the smuggler ...
— Captain Mugford - Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors • W.H.G. Kingston

... the Doctrine of Blood and Iron," "Infantile Mortality and its Promotion," "Philosophic Doubts regarding the Value of Mercy," illustrated by photographs taken in Louvain; and a course of lectures on "The Debt of Art to Atrocity" will be delivered by Professor Blutwurst, who occupies the ATTILA Chair of Anatomy in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, September 16, 1914 • Various

... But our inability to outline the future cannot blind us to the unmistakable trend of the evolutionary forces at work. One thing that is clear is that our boasted Christian civilization is the theater in which has been staged the most un-Christian war of recorded history and in which human atrocity has reached a point that leaves us vaguely groping for a rational explanation of it. Another obvious fact is that the more than twenty nations involved have been forced into measures and methods before unknown and which wholly transform the recognized ...
— Elementary Theosophy • L. W. Rogers

... this did not succeed, she pulled some pieces of cane off the chair upon which she was sitting, and shoved them down the child's throat. She was, as my wife described her, a pretty, innocent, timid-looking creature, to whom no one would ever have dreamt of attributing such an atrocity. The boy was made extremely delicate for several months by this misadventure, as his digestion had been ruined for the time being, but eventually he completely recovered ...
— Forty-one years in India - From Subaltern To Commander-In-Chief • Frederick Sleigh Roberts

... not think well of his subject that he conceals every attribute of our common humanity, and gives us a being almost devoid of eyes, ears, organs, dimensions, passions. Next to Weems, in point of literary atrocity, comes John S. C. Abbott, whose life of Napoleon is a ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... the gates. The whole Macedonian force were soon in full possession of the now defenseless houses, and for many hours screams, and wailings, and cries of horror and despair testified to the awful atrocity of the crimes attendant on the sacking of a city. At length the soldiery were restrained. Order was restored. The army retired to the posts assigned them, and Alexander began to deliberate what he should ...
— Alexander the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... poor English such an account of the dangers of that awful road up the hill that I feel no Fort would repay me for its terrors. Do say what you feel, Miss Loring. Mr. Clifden can lunch with the officers at Nowshera and come any time. I know I am an atrocity." ...
— The Ninth Vibration And Other Stories • L. Adams Beck

... without reason did the Church at that time consider as martyrs the priests and monks who were slain by the pagan Scandinavians. Their sanguinary and hideous idolatry showed its hatred of truth and holiness in always manifesting a peculiar atrocity when coming in contact with the Church of Christ and her ministers. And, our chief object in speaking of the stand made by the Irish against the pagan Danes is, to show how the clan-system became in ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... he can do nothing, and his insolence to strangers eclipses the best performances of the finest and tallest Belgravian flunkeys. He is alive, and in his youth he may doubtless have been comic and engaging; but in his obese, waddling, ill-conditioned old age he is such an atrocity that one wishes a wandering Chinaman might pick him up and use him instantly after the sensible thrifty ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... race. Stoning a woman to death in the east because she has ventured to marry again after being deserted by her husband may be more merciful than allowing her to be mobbed to death; but the official stoning or burning of an adulteress in the west would be an atrocity because few of us hate an adulteress to the extent of desiring such a penalty, or of being prepared to take the law into our own hands if it were withheld. Now what applies to this extreme case applies also ...
— Overruled • George Bernard Shaw

... There the deepest tragedy and the broadest farce are represented in the career of the murderer and the thief, and are applauded in proportion to their depth and their breadth. There, whenever a crime of unusual atrocity is committed, it is brought out afresh, with all its disgusting incidents copied from the life, for the amusement of those who will one ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... this dismal story, we must remember Brown's situation was that of an avowed and determined rebel, liable as such to military execution; so that the atrocity was more that of the times than of Claverhouse. That general's gallant adherence to his master, the misguided James VII., and his glorious death on the field of victory, at Killicrankie, have tended to preserve and gild ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. II (of 3) • Walter Scott

... sweet scene in the Winter's Tale between Hermione and her son; nay, even in honest Evans's examination of Mrs. Page's schoolboy. To the objection that Shakespeare wounds the moral sense by the unsubdued, undisguised description of the most hateful atrocity—that he tears the feelings without mercy, and even outrages the eye itself with scenes of insupportable horror—I, omitting Titus Andronicus, as not genuine, and excepting the scene of Gloster's blinding in Lear, answer boldly in the name ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... to China," cried the lad further, "but there's no child labor there; they try to reform the 'unspeakable Turk' but there's no atrocity upon the children there; they call the heathen lost, though in the worst an' wildes' tribes the children have a home an' lovin', if savage care; Russia cries shame on what goes on in our fact'ries here, an' even an Indian chief that they were showin' the sights ...
— The Boy With the U.S. Census • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... S., who joined me at the fire, states that he believed himself to be tied in knots, and that he should return afoot to Washington. Our horses looked no worse, for that would have been manifestly impossible. We were made the butts of much jesting at breakfast; and S. said, in a spirit of atrocity, that camp wit was quite as bad as camp "wittles." I bade him adieu at five o'clock A. M., when he had secured passage to the city in a sutler's wagon. Remounting my own fiery courser, I bade the Colonel a temporary farewell, ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... for the thief, as a warning. This is to cut off the joints of his fingers, more or fewer according to the crime. That perhaps obliges them to pass from the hands to the toes, the penalty being proportioned to the misdeeds of greater atrocity. But that penalty can also be redeemed, as can the others, ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 40 of 55 • Francisco Colin

... to death in a drunken fit by Theodore the day he heard of the approach of the British. It was, in truth, a fearful sight, and increased the desire of the soldiers and sailors to inflict condign punishment on the author of the atrocity. ...
— The Three Admirals • W.H.G. Kingston

... your personal friends. We have your welfare at heart. We desire to see you prosper. And it is upon these accounts, and upon these only, that we urge you to desist from the new atrocity ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... its necessary features. A relation founded purely on force can be maintained only by terror. And where the proportion of whites is very small, as in most of the West Indies, they must compensate by the atrocity of their inflictions for the weakness of their numbers. On the 20th of April, 1856, there fell a rain of uncommon violence in the parish of St. Andrew, in which I was then residing. For six hours it seemed as if Niagara were rushing ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... stone, obduracy; cruelty; cruelness &c. adj.; brutality, savagery; ferity[obs3], ferocity; barbarity, inhumanity, immanity|, truculence, ruffianism; evil eye, cloven foot; torture, vivisection. ill turn, bad turn; affront &c. (disrespect) 929; outrage, atrocity; ill usage; intolerance, persecution; tender mercies [ironical]; " unkindest cut of all" [Julius Caesar]. V. be malevolent &c. adj.; bear spleen, harbor spleen, bear a grudge, harbor a grudge, bear malice; betray the cloven foot, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... the introduction of wild and furious disorders among the supporters of public virtue. His intimacy with men who have long since disowned all regard to decency and have become the daring advocates of every species of atrocity; his indissoluble connection with those, who, by their lives, have become the finished examples of profligacy and corruption; who have sworn enmity, severe and eternal, to the altar of our religion and the prosperity of our ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander



Words linked to "Atrocity" :   inhumanity, brutality, heinousness, barbarism, barbarousness, atrociousness, savagery, atrocious, inhuman treatment, inhumaneness, enormity, cruelty, outrage



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