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Background   /bˈækgrˌaʊnd/   Listen
Background

noun
1.
A person's social heritage: previous experience or training.
2.
The part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground.  Synonym: ground.
3.
Information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem.  Synonym: background knowledge.
4.
Extraneous signals that can be confused with the phenomenon to be observed or measured.  Synonym: background signal.
5.
Relatively unimportant or inconspicuous accompanying situation.
6.
The state of the environment in which a situation exists.  Synonyms: scope, setting.
7.
(computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear.  Synonyms: desktop, screen background.
8.
Scenery hung at back of stage.  Synonyms: backcloth, backdrop.



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"Background" Quotes from Famous Books



... was long now in speaking, Caius did not know it. Upon his brain crowded thoughts and imaginations: wild plans for saving the woman he loved; wild, unholy desires of revenge; and a wild vision of misery in the background as yet—a foreboding that the end might be submission to the worst ...
— The Mermaid - A Love Tale • Lily Dougall

... that the old lady was guided back to consciousness and comfort by the steady head and generous hand in the background; while the fledgeling physician reaped ...
— Some Personal Recollections of Dr. Janeway • James Bayard Clark

... to the great variety of scenes depicted. It must be remembered, however, that these are used for the most part to illustrate some action that is going forward, for which a library would be a singularly inappropriate background. Single figures, on the other hand, are frequently shewn with their books about them, either reading or writing. Such illustrations most frequently occur in Books of Hours, in representations of the Evangelists; or ...
— The Care of Books • John Willis Clark

... of Germany is completed and with it Kaiser and Reich." Up to this time he had taken no open steps towards the proclamation of the Empire; but it was unanimously demanded by almost the whole nation and especially by the South Germans. But here he kept himself in the background; he refused to make it appear as though he were to make the Emperor or found the Empire. He allowed the natural wish of the people to work itself out spontaneously. There was indeed some reluctance to assume the title at the Prussian Court; the King himself was not anxious for a new ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... fruit gardens had the golden-brown in their faces, and their plain features were transfigured. They were walking in the dusty road; there was as background a high, dusty hawthorn hedge which had lost the freshness of spring and was browned by the work of caterpillars; they were in rags and jags, their shoes had split, and their feet looked twice as wide in consequence. ...
— The Open Air • Richard Jefferies

... remember the effect of her splendor against the snow sifting down in a steady stream behind her. The pink velvet—the soft green of the curtains on either side—her brilliants—and the snow for a background! Yes, the murderer came in that way. Her figure would be plain to any one outside, and if she moved and the diamond shone—Don't you see what a probable theory it is? There must be ways by which a desperate man might reach that balcony. ...
— The Woman in the Alcove • Anna Katharine Green

... credited with being the first to write in the Wild-West genre. This book, with its background of the sea, is out of his usual line, but it is nevertheless a quite brilliant book. You will enjoy the part of the story that takes place on the sea-front of San Francisco ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... martial music flying on invisible wings, in thousand forms, throughout every corridor. As this second summons for the masterpiece to be set in motion died away in turn, two bands of men detached themselves from the distant throng massed in the farthest background, and came slowly forward with bowed heads and deferential tread. At the same instant a hundred brilliant officers of the household stepped out of the corridors behind the King with drawn swords, and other hundreds crowded behind them prepared to ...
— The Arena - Volume 18, No. 92, July, 1897 • Various

... horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red superimposed with the Slovak cross in a shield centered on the hoist side; the cross is white centered on a background of red and blue ...
— The 1995 CIA World Factbook • United States Central Intelligence Agency

... which she had of the woman as she went by; for the outlines of the figure and dress of the woman and of the basket and child were very simple. Mrs. Holiday afterwards put in some of the scenery for a background. ...
— Rollo in Geneva • Jacob Abbott

... Brown's personal aides, stayed after school at noon to decorate the room for the entertainment to be given at a quarter of two. Her desk was backed against the wall, and the cornstalks used by the drawing class as models for their efforts, were grouped against it to form a background for the impassioned actors. A supply of pumpkins, gourds, and other autumnal fruits of the earth, borrowed by the teacher from the grocer with whom her mother traded, gave still greater festivity to ...
— A Son of the City - A Story of Boy Life • Herman Gastrell Seely

... covered with trailing vines and blooming flowers. The air is rich with song of birds, sweet with perfume, and the blossoms gaily shower their petals on the passer-by. Overhead, white, billowy clouds float lazily over their background of ethereal blue. Cool June breezes fan the cheek. Distant knolls are dotted with flocks of sheep whose bells tinkle dreamily; and drowsy hum of beetle makes the bass, while lark song forms the air of the sweet symphony that Nature plays. Such was ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... the consequences announced by M. Prohibant: the only thing was, it produced others which he had not foreseen. To do him justice, his reasoning was not false, but only incomplete. In endeavouring to obtain a privilege, he had taken cognizance of the effects which are seen, leaving in the background those which are not seen. He had pointed out only two personages, whereas there are three concerned in the affair. It is for us to supply this involuntary or ...
— Essays on Political Economy • Frederic Bastiat

... to Annapolis he had tried to keep his temper in the background. But now, quivering in his righteous wrath, Darrin was once more the hot-headed, impulsive, generous Dave of old—a doer of deeds, and a ...
— Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis • H. Irving Hancock

... Against the blue background of the sky, it could be perceived that these men carried coils of rope, pieces of wood, and other implements that might be ...
— The Cliff Climbers - A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters" • Captain Mayne Reid

... some time, the two leaders agreed that it was too late in the day to retrace their steps across the narrow isthmus by which they had arrived and seek some other route; the camp was therefore pitched on the south-westerly slope of the peninsula, quite close to a little strip of sandy beach, with a background consisting of a hummock some fifteen feet high crowned by an extensive clump of strange-looking shrubs, the nature of which Earle ...
— In Search of El Dorado • Harry Collingwood

... their way up the steep road through the hills until, passing through Bethany, they came out on the crest of the hill looking down upon the Valley of Jehoshaphat; with the Temple rising immediately opposite to them, and the palace of Agrippa, and the crowded houses of the city, in the background. ...
— For the Temple - A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem • G. A. Henty

... he saw the Beresina itself. The mimic Russia was so startlingly real, that several of his old comrades recognized the scene of their past sufferings. M. de Sucy kept the secret of the drama to be enacted with this tragical background, but it was looked upon as a mad freak in several circles of ...
— Farewell • Honore de Balzac

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

... things but, standing aft by the useless wheel and looking forward, every detail of the ship's hull, spars, sails, and rigging stood out clearly and sharply, like a silhouette cut out of black paper, against a background of shining oil- smooth water and dense masses of twisting and writhing cloud-shapes all reflecting the weird, mysterious ruddy light. It was an awe-inspiring phenomenon, strongly suggestive of the supernatural, and from the uneasy glances that were directed aft from the forecastle ...
— The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn • Harry Collingwood

... in the mind of the average citizen with the idea of Pyramids and flesh pots. For the first, symbolic pictures were largely to blame. There never was a design representing "Britain's far flung battle line," which did not show a comfortable man in a sun helmet with a Pyramid in the background. Pyramids are so easy to draw. The artists were beaten by the flesh pot—because they had no very clear conception of what a flesh pot looks like. But the old Biblical phrase rose irresistibly to the mind ...
— The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918 • F.L. Morrison

... motive for his death, it was as romantic as his heart desired. He adored "La Belle Lucerce," the fascinating Snake Charmer, and somewhere in the background the artiste had a husband. Little the audience suspected the passion that devoured their grotesque comedian while he cut his capers and turned love to ridicule; little they divined the pathos of a situation ...
— A Chair on The Boulevard • Leonard Merrick

... water; and its lofty walls, whitewashed and picketed, with the large bastions at the angles, gave it quite an imposing appearance in the uncertain light of evening. A cluster of lodges, which the language told us belonged to Sioux Indians, was pitched under the walls; and, with the fine background of the Black hills and the prominent peak of Laramie mountain, strongly drawn in the clear light of the western sky, where the sun had already set, the whole formed at the moment a strikingly beautiful picture. From the company at St. Louis I had letters for Mr. Boudeau, the gentleman ...
— The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California • Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont

... possible to make appeal to the principles of sociability, fraternity, and solidarity, when society itself rejects every solidary and fraternal transaction? At the beginning of each industry, at the first gleam of a discovery, the man who invents is isolated; society abandons him and remains in the background. To put it better, this man, relatively to the idea which he has conceived and the realization of which he pursues, becomes in himself alone entire society. He has no longer any associates, no longer any collaborators, no longer any ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... protecting its nectar from rain and marauding butterflies that are not adapted to its needs. But he is a powerful fellow. Watch him alight on a cluster of blossoms, select the younger, nectar-bearing ones, that are distinctly marked white against a light-blue background at the mouth of the corolla for his special guidance. Old flowers from which the nectar has been removed turn deep reddish purple, and the white pathfinders become indistinct. With some difficulty, it is true, the bumblebee (B. Americanorum) thrusts his tongue through the valve ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... on at this little pantomime with great satisfaction for some time, when, to our unspeakable astonishment, we perceived that the whole of the characters, including a numerous corps de ballet of boots and shoes in the background, into which we had been hastily thrusting as many feet as we could press into the service, were arranging themselves in order for dancing; and some music striking up at the moment, to it they went ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... is next drawn to a charming view on the north shore—a delicious little inlet, beautifully wooded, and surrounded by a background of hills, rising gradually to their highest height behind the centre of the little bay. There, right in amongst the bright green trees, I observe a gem of a house, with a broad terrace in front, ...
— A Boy's Voyage Round the World • The Son of Samuel Smiles

... army—infantry, cavalry, artillery—was drawn up in the immense piazza, each regiment carrying two flags—the banner of the Church, on which were depicted the keys of heaven, and the red, white, and green flag of Italian freedom. The background to this scene was furnished by the cathedral itself, a vast throng of spectators crowded the foreground, and the whole united to produce an effect of pomp and grandeur that ...
— Manasseh - A Romance of Transylvania • Maurus Jokai

... volcanoes to a traveller ignorant of volcanic facts. The villages which lie at the foot of these rocky hills are built of stones taken from the beds of the streams, and are so completely of one colour with the background of rock, that in many instances it is difficult to determine whether a distant mass of grey is a village or not. Ruined castles and towers abound; and these, and still more the walls which surround many of the villages, ...
— Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland • George Forrest Browne

... horizon. The northern edge of this expanse was ragged and broken, so firmly wedged together as to be utterly impassible, and extending about a mile to the southward. Behind it the frozen surface was comparatively smooth for some distance, until terminated in the extreme background by gigantic ranges of ice mountains, the one towering above the other. Captain Cook concluded that this vast field reached the southern pole or was joined to a continent. Mr. J. N. Reynolds, whose great exertions and perseverance have at length succeeded in getting ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... here the organization of Labour and the strike-weapon proved a highly convenient method for getting level with the money-printing press. Labour has been more fortunate than the professional and clerical classes, who, not being organized, have been left badly in the background. There are now many professors at the University of Vienna earning less than one-third of the wages of skilled artisans. There are teachers, clerks, doctors, journalists, and the like, in a most pitiable plight because ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... of the West Branch Valley was basically agrarian—a farmers' frontier. The "new order of Americanism"[1] which arose on this frontier was in part due to the cultural background of its inhabitants, the knowledge and traditional values which they had brought with them. It was further influenced by the frontier status of the region itself—an area of virgin land in the earliest stages of development. And finally, it was affected by the physical characteristics ...
— The Fair Play Settlers of the West Branch Valley, 1769-1784 - A Study of Frontier Ethnography • George D. Wolf

... background of history; he absolutely sullies its foreground. Europe smiled when, glancing at Haiti, she saw this white Soulouque appear. But there is now in Europe, in every intelligent mind, abroad as at home, a profound stupor, a feeling, as it were, of personal insult; for ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... surprise that was also meant as a call to wake her sleeping sisters. She stepped out on to a wooden balcony, and found herself poised high above the flooded river that was roaring down its channel, while in front of her was the most vivid and brilliant of pictures, the background formed by a vast semicircle of hills. She had it all to herself on this lovely morning—the fresh air and sunlight; the plunging river below; the terraced gardens on the opposite bank; over that again, the tumbled-about collection of gleaming white houses, and green casements, ...
— The Beautiful Wretch; The Pupil of Aurelius; and The Four Macnicols • William Black

... sculling at once. But once while Dick was sculling and looking for sponges he saw gliding beneath the dingy, a whip-ray, the most beautiful member of the ray family. Shaped like a butterfly, its back is covered with small, light rings on a black background. Its long, slim tail is like the lash of a coach-whip and at its base is a row of little spears with many barbs, which are capable of inflicting exceedingly painful wounds. The roof of the mouth and the tongue of the fish are hard as ivory and shell-fish are ...
— Dick in the Everglades • A. W. Dimock

... him, but still no one raised a revolver against the slender figure that opposed them. Only, after a moment, a cur in the background picked up a stone and flung it. It struck the doorpost, narrowly missing her shoulder. Dot did not flinch, but immediately, with tightened lips, she raised the revolver and fired ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... opposing mass, and crumble his adversary's host to pieces. With this design he prepared to throw the brunt of the fighting on the strongest half of his army, while he kept the weaker portion of it in the background, knowing certainly that if worsted it would only cause discouragement to his own division and add force to the foe. The cavalry on the side of his opponents were disposed like an ordinary phalanx of heavy infantry, regular in depth and ...
— Hellenica • Xenophon

... though," she decided. And having so determined, she gave her conscience a shove to the remotest background, yielding herself to the full ...
— Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley • Belle K. Maniates

... main path of the first terrace, Lanstron followed it past the rear of the house to the old tower. Long ago the moat that surrounded the castle had been filled in. The green of rows of grape-vines lay against the background of a mat of ivy on the ancient stone walls, which had been cut away from the loopholes set with window-glass. The door was open, showing a room that had been closed in by a ceiling of boards from the walls to the circular stairway that ran aloft from the dungeons. On ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... now. He was picturing himself walking long the shore, with the stormy ocean in the background. Ahead of him I saw the white body lying face downward in the pool. I saw him run up to the pool and lift the slim, pale figure in ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, March 1930 • Various

... grey officers bursting in with revolvers, and finding her there before them, in the big vaulted vestibule, "alone with my old men and my Sisters." Soeur Gabrielle Rosnet is a small round active woman, with a shrewd and ruddy face of the type that looks out calmly from the dark background of certain Flemish pictures. Her blue eyes are full of warmth and humour, and she puts as much gaiety as wrath into her tale. She does not spare epithets in talking of "ces satanes Allemands"—these Sisters and nurses of the front have seen sights to dry up ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... petted guest of our court, at the great soiree of the queen. Oh, my friend, my stupid German heart trembled with anger when I saw the kind and flattering attentions that were paid to this Frenchman, while German gentlemen of genius, merit, and ability were kept in the background, neither the king nor the queen seeming to take any notice of their presence! There were Count Hardenberg. and the noble President of Westphalia, Baron Stein; they stood neglected in a bay window, and looked sadly at the royal couple, who ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

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

... the pieces move find a parallel in the topography of the theatre of war, in that the various battle-fields are more or less easy of access. But it is quite unjustifiable to assign to the Knights the functions of scouts, and to say that Rooks should stay in the background, as heavy artillery, and so on. Such pronouncements would not have the slightest practical value. What we take from the science of warfare is merely the definition. In each game the strategy of chess ...
— Chess Strategy • Edward Lasker

... silent, in the shadowy chamber, listening, each absorbed in his own thoughts. The thunderous drumming was continuous; sometimes it faded into a background for clattering storms as of thousands of machine guns, thousands of riveters at work at once upon a thousand metal frameworks; sometimes it was nearly submerged beneath splitting crashes as of meeting meteors of ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... not going to destruction, Lady Augusta to the contrary, and the family luck must assert itself some time, since it has kept itself so long in the background. And in the mean time—well," with a little parting wave of her hand, "Vagabondia ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... had not one evil thought about, nor intent towards her, and who, having pushed the mandates of his religion into the background for this one night, was living in the intoxication ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... through his mind—a shape, perhaps, and a color. He felt no curiosity, and let the impression drift. As a sunbather drowsing on a crowded beach, hearing the background hum of the crowd and now and then a more clearly spoken phrase, so he caught the edge of this communication. It was not for him. A second mind entered ... was it a mind? Yes, and yet very different. It was ...
— The Short Life • Francis Donovan

... moment, Custard, who considered that he had been kept in the background quite long enough, came upstairs on his own account. As Sarah said, he seemed "ter sense the situation," for he trotted about making friends, lapping the tears from Tommy's face, and standing up on his hind legs to let Totty ...
— Patricia • Emilia Elliott

... am not inaccessible. I may now and then get an opportunity to talk again, and in a new background. Who knows? I am counting on nothing but the facts about me. So come on, Future. I've my back against the past. Anyway, as you see, it is too late to argue. I've crossed the Rubicon, and can return only when I have built a ...
— A Hilltop on the Marne • Mildred Aldrich

... to a pause in their walk, Gervase stopping to light a fresh cigarette. The rays of the rising moon fell upon him as he stood, a tall and stately figure, against a background of palms, and shone on his dark features with a touch of grayish- green luminance that gave him for the moment an almost spectral appearance. Dr. Dean glanced ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... in arriving, but at last it came. All morning the boys kept close under cover of the training-house. Some one sent them a package of placards. These were round, in the shape of baseballs. They were in the college colors, the background of which was a bright red, and across this had been printed in white the words: ...
— The Young Pitcher • Zane Grey

... the later sepulchral stele appears in monuments which show just such urns projected in relief upon a plane surface. The relief is sometimes bounded by the outlines of the urn itself,[61] sometimes a surrounding background is indicated. In many cases this background assumes the form of the ordinary sepulchral stele. The Central Museum at Athens is especially rich in examples of this kind. On two steles which I have noticed there, three urns are ...
— The American Journal of Archaeology, 1893-1 • Various

... General received me in a dainty Louis Quinze room done in rose and French gray, and filled incongruously with delicate chairs and heavy brocaded curtains, a background which instantly you felt precisely suited his Excellency. In the English newspapers, which, by the way, are not barred from Berlin cafes, I had read of his Excellency as the "Iron Fist," or the "Heavy Heel," and I rather expected to see a heavy, domineering ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... whole character of a life seems to undergo solemn transformation. The hard will becomes gentle, the proud meek, the frivolous earnest. That awful moment when the things of earth pass away like dissolving scenes, leaving death visible on the background by the glare that shoots up in the ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... from Manila were the people of the United States, and it was as if everything else was relegated to the background until information could be had regarding that American fleet which sailed from Mirs Bay, in the China Sea, on the afternoon of ...
— The Boys of '98 • James Otis

... of Queen Anne, and when we read it we feel as if the days of Addison and Steele lived again. But with Thackeray the historical novel is very different from the historical novel of Scott. With Thackeray his imaginary people hold the chief place, the real people only form a background, while in many of Scott's novels the real ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... In the background among the trees were ranges of stables and kennels, and on the grass-plat in front of the windows was a row of beehives. A tame doe lay on the little green sward, not far from a large rough deer-hound, both close friends who could be trusted at large. There was a mournful dispirited look ...
— The Armourer's Prentices • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... my brother?" asked Maccabeus, pointing to a pillar on the way to Shen, which was clearly visible against the background of the deep blue sky. "Yonder is Ebenezer, the stone of help, which Samuel set up in remembrance of victory over the Philistines, when God thundered from heaven, and discomfited the ...
— Hebrew Heroes - A Tale Founded on Jewish History • AKA A.L.O.E. A.L.O.E., Charlotte Maria Tucker

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

... that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes—and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... return to England from this tour of conquest she found a reception almost equally regal awaiting her. She was reinstated as chief favourite of the King, all his other mistresses—even the Queen herself being relegated to the background; and high statesmen and Ambassadors did their homage to her before they sought audience with Charles himself. She was, in fact, as Louis's deputy, Vice-Queen of England—plus roi que ...
— Love Romances of the Aristocracy • Thornton Hall

... that the art of the old Roman pantomimi was then revived, to add to the attractions of court-dances. Under the Roman empire the pantomimi had represented either a mythological story, or perhaps a scene from a Greek tragedy, by mute gestures, while a chorus, placed in the background, sang cantica to narrate the fable, or to describe the action of the scene. The question is whether mute pantomimic action, which is the essence of modern ballet, was carried through those court entertainments, in which kings, queens, princes and princesses, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... foot-ball all my life, nor would the heavy bass voice, so effective in the glee club, support a family, and deep in my heart I admitted the possibilities of a family. I might strive to keep that thought in the background, but it would rise when I dreamed of a home. That home was not a plain stone farm-house, hidden among giant trees. My view had broadened. I dreamed of a Queen Anne cottage, with many gables, and ...
— David Malcolm • Nelson Lloyd

... the best rooms in the house, and all goes as merrily as it can, while the horrors which they have left behind them hang, like a black background, to all their thoughts. However, both Scoutbush and Campbell send as cheerful reports as they honestly can; and gradually the exceeding beauty of the scenery, and the amusing bustle of the village, make them forget, perhaps, a good deal which they ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... the reason why the sacrifice combined with a meal, formerly by far the chief, now falls completely into the background. One could eat flesh at home, but in Jerusalem one's business was to do worship. Accordingly, those sacrifices were preferred in which the religious character came to the front with the utmost possible purity and without any admixture ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... is the other possibility, all too often realized, that lies in the background of every such married woman's consciousness. She may be an ideally domestic woman, spending her time and strength on her home and for the Welfare of her husband and children, yet through no fault of hers, her home may be lost to her, or if not lost, at least kept together only ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... Center operator said. There were a few clicks in the background. "Here's your party," she continued. ...
— The Lani People • J. F. Bone

... from the overcast sky flutter as they drop, now one side higher and then the other, as the leaves did in the still hours of autumn. The delicacy of the outer boughs of the great trees visible against the dark background of cloud is as beautiful in its own way as the massed foliage of summer. Each slender bough is drawn out to a line; line follows line as shade grows under the pencil, but each of these lines is separate. Great boles of beech, heavy timber at the foot, ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... unity of worship MUST have arisen as soon as Solomon's temple was built. Over against the splendid sanctuary with its imageless worship at the centre of the kingdom of Judah, the older holy places MUST ever have shrunk farther into the background, and that not merely in the eyes of the people, but quite specially also in those of the better classes and of those whose spiritual advancement was greatest (compare Amos iv. 4,viii.14). If even Hezekiah carried out the unification in Judah with tolerable ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... twenty-five views of the bird in motion could be taken. This brings us to the time of the early eighties. Marey remained indefatigable in improving the means for quick successive snapshots with the same camera. Human beings were photographed by him in white clothes on a black background. When ten pictures were taken in a second the subtlest motions in their jumping or running could be disentangled. The leading aim was still decidedly a scientific understanding of the motions, and the combination of the pictures into a unified ...
— The Photoplay - A Psychological Study • Hugo Muensterberg

... long windows, very unlike the twelfth- century pendants to the western rose. These five windows blaze with red, and their splendour throws the Virgin above quite into the background. The artists, who felt that the twelfth-century glass was too fine and too delicate for the new scale of the church, have not only enlarged their scale and coarsened their design, but have coarsened their colour-scheme also, discarding ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... of love, and needlessly religious zeal served the future Kindergartner a dark background on which to paint a joyous picture. Froebel was educated by antithesis. His home was the type etched so unforgetably by Colonel Ed. Howe in his "Story of a Country Town," which isn't bad enough to be one ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... of Unionists has always been to fight their opponents on the clear unmistakable issue of Home Rule. The policy of Separatists has been to keep Home Rule in the background whilst making its meaning indefinite, and to mix up all the multifarious issues raised by the Newcastle programme, as well as many others, with the one essential question whether we should or should not repeal or modify ...
— A Leap in the Dark - A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the - Bill of 1893 • A.V. Dicey

... realized anew his physical and mental fatigue, and a certain confused clamour of thought, strangely persistent behind the more external experience alike of body and mind; like the murmur of a distant sea heard from far inland, as the bond and background of all ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... your real skies The actor's short-lived triumph dies: On that broad stage of empire won, Whose footlights were the setting sun, Whose flats a distant background rose In trackless peaks of endless snows; Here genius bows, and talent waits To copy that but ...
— Complete Poetical Works of Bret Harte • Bret Harte

... that probably it was an "8." She hesitated, came down the steps, and walked on. It was impossible to see the names of the streets and squares. But presently she would come across a policeman. She went on and on, but no policeman bulked shadowy against the background of night and of the fog which at last ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... everywhere, and her azaleas and great lilies seemed to have a secret of perpetual flowering; a bright fire cast rosy lights and shadows over it all; and John would declare, as he sank into his easy-chair in the half twilight and surveyed the warm place, which seemed only a ruddy background for Lilian's fairness, that he never wanted anything better than this as long as he lived. It hurt him sometimes, though, to remember that Lilian never made any response to such words. "Well, well," he would say to himself in a way he had, "why should ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 87, March, 1875 • Various

... conceived it, without money and without price, and more especially without hope, is rare. Nevertheless there are Mennevals to be found, more perhaps in Paris than elsewhere, men who value a life in the background with its peaceful toil; these are the wandering Benedictines of our social world, which offers them no other monastery. These brave, meek hearts live, by their actions and in their hidden lives, the poetry that poets utter. They are poets themselves in soul, in tenderness, in their lonely vigils ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... ail ultimately intercepted by a plane (the retina of the eye, a focussing screen of a camera, &c.), they cause a confusion, named chromatic aberration; for instance, instead of a white margin on a dark background, there is perceived a coloured margin, or narrow spectrum. The absence of this error is termed achromatism, and an optical system so corrected is termed achromatic. A system is said to be "chromatically under-corrected'' when it shows the same kind of chromatic error as a thin positive ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... thoroughly dry atmosphere in these climates being perfectly transparent, there was no aerial perspective in this place of desolation. Every detail, sharp, accurate, bare, stood out, even in the background, with pitiless dryness, and the distance could only be guessed at by the smaller dimensions of objects. It seemed as though cruel nature had resolved not to conceal any wretchedness, any sadness of this bare ...
— The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5 - The Romance of a Mummy and Egypt • Theophile Gautier

... of winter had unfolded the spathes of the vadgiai palm-tree, the leaves of which rise straight toward the sky. The eye is never wearied of the view of those scenes, where the trees and rocks give the landscape that grand and severe character which we admire in the background of the pictures of Salvator Rosa. We landed before sunset on the eastern bank of the Orinoco, at the Puerto de la Expedicion, in order to visit the cavern of Ataruipe, which is the place of sepulchre of a whole nation destroyed. I shall attempt to ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... book, Maud Diver proves that she needs no Indian background against which to work a powerful and emotional drama. This novel is called by the author, "an episode of 1914," and is the story of a vigorous out-of-doors man who, severely wounded, is brought home in the ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... was our last stage. We had halted the night before at a short distance from the Imperial camp. The black and white tents of Theodore, pitched on a high conical hill, stood out in bold relief as the setting sun made the dark background darker still. A faint, distant hum, such as one hears on approaching a large city, came now and then to us, carried by the soft evening breeze, and the smoke that arose for miles around the dark hill crowned by its silent tents, left us no, doubt that we should before ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... him, and little Eileen, very intent and serious, held Toby's hand and looked on from the background. Captain Larpent was on the bridge, looking very forbidding, even contemptuous. He had never had any liking for the gay crowds with which it was Saltash's pleasure to surround himself. He had the air of a magnificent Viking, above the frivolities with which ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... long time Myra had ceased to trouble him with the irritating uncertainty of their first meetings. She apparently accepted him and his mutilated face as part of Doris Hollister's background and gave him no more thought or attention. Always in the little gatherings at his house Hollister contrived to keep in the shadow, to be an onlooker rather than a participant,—just as Charlie Mills did. Hollister was still sensitive about his face. He was doubly sensitive ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... livery, with a cockade in his hat, who had been standing reverently in the background, waddled forward, ...
— Four Days - The Story of a War Marriage • Hetty Hemenway

... the second cast set him for the campaign, and he worked down-stream, crouching behind the reed and meadowsweet; creeping between a hornbeam hedge and a foot-wide strip of bank, where he could see the trout, but where they could not distinguish him from the background; lying almost on his stomach to switch the blue-upright sidewise through the checkered shadows of a gravelly ripple under overarching trees. But he had known every inch of the water since he was four feet high. The aged and astute between sunk ...
— The Day's Work, Volume 1 • Rudyard Kipling

... had raised his eyes from the ground, and they fixed themselves on the wonderful features of the greatest man of the age, while his voice forgot to chant and his lips remained parted in wonder. Upon the bright green grass against the background of hewn stone walls, in the glorious autumn sunshine, Bernard of Clairvaux moved like the supernal vision of a heavenly dream. His head thrown back, the delicate silver-fair beard scarcely shadowing the spiritual outlines of an almost ...
— Via Crucis • F. Marion Crawford

... all in shimmering white with a background of small pine trees in large wooden pots. The floor was covered with white muslin and scattered with leaves, pine ...
— The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays • Walter Ben Hare

... of conscious hatred of this vast panoramic beauty which had become the background of his tragedy, Ford pulled the curtain into place again and turned once more to the interior of the room. It began to seem more strange to him the more it grew familiar. Why was he here? How long was he to stay? How was ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... impressionable minds was great indeed. The spirit of her art exactly harmonised with the new thoughts that were shaking the world of her contemporaries. Other artists had drawn their pictures with a strong ethical background, but she gave a finer colour and a more spacious air to her ethics by showing the individual passions and emotions of her characters, their adventures and their fortunes, as evolving themselves from long series of antecedent causes, and bound up with many widely operating forces ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 3 of 3) - The Life of George Eliot • John Morley

... half-dream. The gray days followed each other without change, without adventure. But the brilliant throng of kings and queens, of knights and ladies, of pilgrims and lovers, and all the make- believe people of storyland stood out all the brighter for the grayness of the background. And perhaps to the Prince in his quiet tower the storied people were more real than the living, who only now and again came to visit him. For the storied people were with him always, while the living came and went again and were lost ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... scars of building had not all healed yet, but close to the house waved green grass and blooming flowers that might have been there always. Neither did the house itself look new. The soft, gray stucco had taken on a tone that melted into the sky and foliage of its background. At the entrance his domestic staff waited to greet him, and then he stepped across the threshold into the wide hall and stood in his own home for the first time in seventeen years. It was an anxious moment, and no one spoke immediately. But presently his ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... apostles present him as a mere man. They present his humanity as the background for his deity. His humanity in its most literal revelation is always declared by them to be the revelation and the manifestation of God. Never do the apostles attempt to reason about the incarnation, with ...
— Christ, Christianity and the Bible • I. M. Haldeman

... his stand and his attitude; and then the pretty business of the parade. All under that July sky; all under that flicker of cloud and sun, and the soft sweet breath of air that sometimes stole to us to relieve the hot stillness; and all with that setting and background of cedars and young foliage and bordering hills over which the cloud shadows swept. Then came the mounting-guard business. By and by Preston came ...
— Daisy • Elizabeth Wetherell

... All those circumstances had, of course, been talked over between Harry and Linda, and it was understood that Harry was now to resign his situation at the Weights and Measures. But Alaric's condition, Gertrude's misery, and Katie's illness, threw all such matters into the background. Katie became no better; but then the doctors said that she did not become any worse, and gave it as their opinion that she ought to recover. She had youth, they said, on her side; and then her lungs were not affected. This was the great question which they were all asking of each other continually. ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... cold season thousands of foreigners, especially the English, visit this winter paradise. On the high background are Roman ruins and an old castle enclosed by bastioned walls; leading to two squares, one of which is surrounded with porticoes, are streets embellished with theater, public library, baths, and handsome homes that are frescoed externally. ...
— The Harris-Ingram Experiment • Charles E. Bolton

... with the eye of a devout seer, or even critic, but through a pair of mere anti-Catholic spectacles. It is not a mighty drama, enacted on the theatre of infinitude, with suns for lamps and eternity as a background, whose author is God and whose purport leads to the throne of God, but a poor, wearisome debating-club dispute, spun through ten centuries, between ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... a box below, because my family-box had changed hands, hangings and keys at least five times in ten years, and seated myself in the background to avoid recognition, and leave undisturbed friends who would feel in duty bound to pay fashionable court to a traveller due ten years. I was not familiar with La Favorita, and my ear took in the new music ...
— The Cross of Berny • Emile de Girardin

... the apostles in both the other evangelists and in Acts, shows. Its use here may be a trace of a touching desire to make sure that readers, who only knew him as Matthew, should understand who this publican was. It is like the little likenesses of themselves, in some corner of a background, that early painters used to slip into a picture of Madonna and angels. There was no vanity in the wish, for he says nothing about his sacrifices, leaving it to Luke to tell that 'he left all,' but he does crave that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... the integrity of the appearance of supremacy, are sustained by the assumption of the forms of empire or the imperialistic attitude. Empire is indeed what is dramatized in the forms which nations assume, and this dramatization of imperial form is the background of all the ideas of honor. The maintenance of the integrity of the imperial form, as an ideal realization of the supremacy a nation assumes, becomes more important than even the securing of material possessions, for the imperial form ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... perfectly needless extreme, of political foreboding that marked the advent of Jackson furnished a background of lurid solemnity for all this light comedy. Samuel Breck records in his diary that he conversed with Daniel Webster in Philadelphia, March 24, 1827, upon the prospects of the government. "Sir," said Mr. ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 • Various

... usually enter into the color scheme as the low note in the scale. It is the background for the furniture, and should be deeper than the dado or wainscoting. The wood trims—baseboard, doors, plate-rails, and everything of that character, except the picture molding—should be like the woodwork of the furniture. This brings the woodwork into ...
— Color Value • C. R. Clifford

... slightest regret; he thought no more about the father, who had loved ten generations in his son, nor of the aunt, and her almost insane devotion. He was looking forward to Paris with vehement ill-starred longings; in thought he had lived in that fairyland, it had been the background of his brightest dreams. He imagined that he would be first in Paris, as he had been in the town and the department where his father's name was potent; but it was vanity, not pride, that filled his soul, and in his dreams his pleasures were to be magnified ...
— The Collection of Antiquities • Honore de Balzac

... confess to a lingering liking for the old ambrotype, the likeness taken on a glazed plate, on which the lights are represented in silver, and the shades are produced by a dark background. I like, too, the respectful privacy of the little inclosing case which you opened to gaze on the face of your friend. Best of all, I like its great durability and fadelessness. The name itself is a passport to favor in a picture, from ambrotos, immortal, and tupos, type, or impression: the ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... loose in the world, with no guide but her own rashness and no protection but her vanity, made Leonora feel sick. Nevertheless, Millicent would soon be loose in the world, and at the best Leonora could only stand in the background, ...
— Leonora • Arnold Bennett

... before you were a great man, Phineas. It must necessarily be different now. You know so many people now, and people of such a different sort, that of course I fall a little into the background." ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... sure that he acted on impulse, not realizing. You can't judge him by ordinary standards. It isn't fair," pleaded Juliet. "There was probably some extenuating circumstance in the background—something we don't know about. I hope you haven't been very severe. You haven't, ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... with books, documents, etc. Behind it stands the chair of the justice. By the middle window, small table and chair for the clerk of the court. In the foreground, right, a book case of soft wood, and on the left wall, shelves for documents and records. A small door in the background. ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume I • Gerhart Hauptmann

... aspirations of man, made in the image of his God, are always directed toward that wondrous background from which all life projects—the Infinite, we now propose to make a few remarks upon the manifestation of some of the remaining attributes revealed to him, and which he is forever striving to incarnate in ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... forth if they were taken away. We are told of the obscure rays of the spectrum, rays which have their proof and their effect, only not the same proof and effect as the visible ones which they accompany; and the background and latent suppositions of a great argument are as essential to it as its more prominent and elaborate constructions. And they show their importance sometimes in a remarkable and embarrassing way, when, after a long debate, their presence at the bottom of everything, unnoticed and ...
— Occasional Papers - Selected from The Guardian, The Times, and The Saturday Review, - 1846-1890 • R.W. Church

... can hardly be understood, Deerfoot stood in the background and watched the antics of the warrior who had wrapped the bear-skin about his shoulders and body. He could not avoid a feeling of admiration for the cleverness with which the front was arranged, so as to resemble that of the beast, but ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... his feet. In a moment he had thrust his own happiness into the background at sight of the poor child's obvious suffering. He went quickly towards her, and would have spoken to her, but she run past him up to Madame Deroulede, as if she were beside herself with ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... whatever other bearings they may have. The ten pages thus in some way definitely have to do with the lapse of 72,000 days, or not quite 200 solar years, and the extension of the series to a full cycle of 20 katuns is quite likely. The background of this section e is ...
— Commentary Upon the Maya-Tzental Perez Codex - with a Concluding Note Upon the Linguistic Problem of the Maya Glyphs • William E. Gates

... Milwaukee was only one of many people from strange walks of life who entered that lottery. There were others whose background was equally alien to life in a homestead cabin, who came to see the West while it was still unchanged, drawn for reasons of personal adventure, or because the romantic legends of the West attracted them. People drawn by the intangibles, the freedom of ...
— Land of the Burnt Thigh • Edith Eudora Kohl



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