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Bolster   /bˈoʊlstər/   Listen
Bolster

verb
(past & past part. bolstered; pres. part. bolstering)
1.
Support and strengthen.  Synonym: bolster up.
2.
Prop up with a pillow or bolster.
3.
Add padding to.  Synonym: pad.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bolster" Quotes from Famous Books



... II, but the French continued to rule until 1954 when they were defeated by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH, who took control of the North. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South. Economic reconstruction of the reunited country has ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... are to be entrusted, with a list, the same as is done with plate. Tickets of parchment with the family name, numbered, and specifying what bed it belongs to, should be sewed on each feather bed, bolster, pillow, and blanket. Knives, forks, and house cloths are often deficient: these accidents might be obviated, if an article at the head of every list required the former to be produced whole or broken, and the marked part of the linen, though all the others should be ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... do so. She lay for a minute in his arms, her head bent down, and her face hidden, while he looked not so much at her as above her. His eyes wandered over the mass of her dark-brown wavy hair that Mrs Flint said was not wavy by nature, but crimped to make her look like a Blandamer, and so bolster up her father's nonsensical pretensions. His eyes took full account of that wave and the silken fineness of her dark-brown hair, and then looked vaguely out beyond till they fell on the great flower-picture that ...
— The Nebuly Coat • John Meade Falkner

... offers which he was making. He knew that the German peace offers were merely an attempt on the part of the civil government of Germany to avert a resumption of ruthlessness at sea; that they were mere gestures on the part of the German Government made to bolster up the morale of the German people and that these German offers did not indicate the real desire for peace on equitable terms, as subsequent events showed, but that they were the terms of peace of a nation which thought itself the victor, and, therefore, in a position ruthlessly ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... to my knowledge, that's taken up by three lodgers already. (After a pause, in which the rest seem disconcerted.) I have hit it. Don't you think, Stingo, our landlady could accommodate the gentlemen by the fire-side, with——three chairs and a bolster? ...
— She Stoops to Conquer - or, The Mistakes of a Night. A Comedy. • Oliver Goldsmith

... first of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make a brilliant contrast with a group I know who had to bolster themselves up for days to get courage to say something of the same kind, and they were thinking of their own skins, not mine. Now I want to ...
— The Rapids • Alan Sullivan

... in value. He put up more margins and still more, but it continued to decline. Finally under the spur of another "tip," the last of his own savings having gone to the insatiate brokers, he sent, to bolster his account and to save him from utter ruin, some bonds belonging ...
— The Rise of Roscoe Paine • Joseph C. Lincoln

... mother's principles. His income, as he observed to his widowed sister and solitary companion almost daily in their privacy, was respectable. The descent from an altitude of fifty to five per cent. cannot but be felt. Nevertheless it was a comforting midnight bolster reflection for a man, turning over to the other side between a dream and a wink, that he was making no bad debts, and one must pay to be addressed as esquire. Once an esquire, you are off the ground ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... descending and ascending through the gloom, I say that you also would have been surprised at the sight of those nice clean sheets. Rodriguez noted the fact and continued his preparations. He took the bolster from underneath the pillow and laid it down the middle of the bed and put the sheets back over it; then he stood back and looked at it, much as a sculptor might stand back from his marble, then he returned to it and bent it a little in the ...
— Don Rodriguez - Chronicles of Shadow Valley • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, Dunsany

... way to its capital. Schwarzenberg, with his own and the remnants of two other corps,—those of Reynier and Poniatowski,—could easily have checked the foe; but the convention of Tauroggen had quickened the Austrian memory of Russia's friendly lukewarmness in 1809, Francis was in no humor to bolster the falling cause of his terrible son-in-law, and after some show of negotiation a temporary neutrality was arranged. When a few Cossacks appeared before Warsaw, on February sixth, the Austrian general evacuated the city as if yielding to superior force, and withdrew across the Vistula ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... some very wide windows, and three windows were filled with galleons of cloud—fat, bolster, swelling vessels, white, save where, in their curving sails, they had caught a faint radiance from the hidden sun. In fine procession, against the blue, they passed along. Very faint and muffled there came up from the Square ...
— The Golden Scarecrow • Hugh Walpole

... daughter, and this is my sister." There was another girl beside her, whom I had not seen, as her head was under the bolster. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... believes a thing first, and then searches for proof to bolster his opinion. Every observer must have noticed the tenuous, cobweb quality of reasons that are deemed sufficient to the person who thinks he knows, or whose interests lie in a certain direction. The limitations of men seem to make it necessary that pure truth should come ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... extensions, and depending on his faithful and well-satisfied stockholders for such further accessions of capital as the business might in his judgment need. About the time General Electric was most anxious to bolster up its jerry-built structure with the solid Westinghouse concern, the latter institution had begun the erection of some big new plants which required immediately several millions additional capital. Westinghouse prepared to apply to his ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... her dully. Her perspicacity disconcerted him. He had expected to bolster up the ruins of his honor by her delighted acquiescence. He had not known till now how much he had been counting on the justification of her relief. It was a proof, however, of the degree to which his own initiative had failed him that he cowered before ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... even better argument to bolster the case he was developing. "Christmas mail is to and from Christians, isn't it? Sure! Egypt is a Moslem country. Moslems don't send Christmas cards or presents, and they don't get them, either. The Christians in Egypt are Coptic—anyway, they don't celebrate Christmas the same way. So ...
— The Egyptian Cat Mystery • Harold Leland Goodwin

... saying, "Well,—well,—well,—so you shall,—hold your tongue (to the girl), he won't hurt you,—look his cock is not big." She pulled the girl on to the edge of the bed again, and brought her cunt up to the proper level with the bolster and pillows. Then said the woman, "Let me hold your cock, you must not put it far in, she is so young." I promised I would only sheath the tip; but she declared I should not unless she held it. "Wrap your handkerchief round it," ...
— My Secret Life, Volumes I. to III. - 1888 Edition • Anonymous

... day by one of these infuriated Apelleses. At this I, who had partly agreed with Stone that ridicule, though true, needs not always to be spoken, began to laugh: and told him two could play at that game. These painters cling together, and bolster each other up, to such a degree, that they really have persuaded themselves that any one who ventures to laugh at one of their drawings, exhibited publickly for the express purpose of criticism, insults the whole corps. In the mean while old Thackeray ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald - in two volumes, Vol. 1 • Edward FitzGerald

... upshot on it wor, at when at last he did fall asleep, it wor to dream at he'd wed an angel just like her, an he wakkened to find th' bolster cuddled up in his arms. Sundy passed someway, but nawther schooil nor sarmon did him onny gooid. Unconsciously he'd set up an idol an wor worshippin it wi all th' strength ov ...
— Yorkshire Tales. Third Series - Amusing sketches of Yorkshire Life in the Yorkshire Dialect • John Hartley

... bit of rising ground a figure rose on to its hands and knees. I pointed my revolver at it, and pulled the trigger. The figure collapsed, and rolled forwards till its progress was arrested by a rocky projection, over which it finally lay, doubled up like a bolster. As it fell my heart gave a sickening leap, either of excitement or ...
— Tell England - A Study in a Generation • Ernest Raymond

... porter sleeping in his arm-chair: she glides up the staircase, and lies down between the king and queen in their bed-royal: this very night I daresay she will perch upon poor old Goody Twoshoes' meagre bolster, and whisper, "Will the gentleman and those ladies ask me again! No, no; they will forget poor old Twoshoes." Goody! For shame of yourself! Do not be cynical. Do not mistrust your fellow-creatures. What? Has the Christmas morning dawned upon thee ninety times? ...
— Some Roundabout Papers • W. M. Thackeray

... readers, and whom we should mistrust as having an ulterior aim on which he is more intent than on the furthering of our better understanding. We want to know who is doing his best to help us, and who is only trying to make us help him, or to bolster up the system in which his interests are vested. There is nothing that will throw more light upon these points than the way in which a man behaves towards those who have worked in the same field with himself, and, again, than his ...
— The Humour of Homer and Other Essays • Samuel Butler

... stands at the pianola on which sprawl his hat and ashplant. With two fingers he repeats once more the series of empty fifths. Florry Talbot, a blond feeble goosefat whore in a tatterdemalion gown of mildewed strawberry, lolls spreadeagle in the sofacorner, her limp forearm pendent over the bolster, listening. A heavy stye droops over ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... room, or from some other cause—he dropped the knife in the bed, and was not able to find it again. The wounds upon the hand of the dead man indicated his having caught and struggled to hold the blade of the weapon with which he was assailed. The impression of a bloody hand thrust under the bolster, where it was Sir Wynston's habit to place his purse and watch, when making his arrangements for the night, supplied the motive of this otherwise ...
— The Evil Guest • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... historical materials is to adopt an apologetic tone. It is somewhat curious that such should be the case, for newspapers satisfy so many canons of historical evidence. They are contemporary, and, being written without knowledge of the end, cannot bolster any cause without making a plain showing of their intent. Their object is the relation of daily events; and if their relation is colored by honest or dishonest partisanship, this is easily discernible by the ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... are so absurd, that they might well provoke a smile, did they not excite a deeper feeling. The last of the charges was the only one of moment in such a trial; and the weakness of this may be inferred from the care taken to bolster it up with the others. The mere specification of the articles must have been sufficient to show that the doom of the Inca ...
— The History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William H. Prescott

... the doctrine of Original Sin and the necessity for an Atonement, or for a crucified savior, who would take upon himself the sins of poor, weak human nature. By simply believing on this crucified redeemer, man would be saved, not from sin itself, but from the penalty of sin. To bolster up the belief in original sin and the necessity for an atonement, the allegory of the fruit tree and the serpent in Genesis ...
— The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion • Eliza Burt Gamble

... made their intimate toilet and inevitably put on clean underthings, even as dressy as possible. The windows toward the street were closed with shutters, while at one of those windows, which gave out upon the yard, was put a table with a hard bolster to ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... along the very low large window, with two rugs and cushions, and a holdall for a bolster, is as comfortable as any bed, and you don't miss sheets after a day or two. There is one bathroom for 120 or more people, but I get a cold bath every morning early. S—— gets our early morning tea, and M. sweeps our ...
— Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915 • Anonymous

... extract its contents—these and other details of that eventful day I shall not weary the reader with now. Enough, that when Dick Sylvester returned, I was pretty well fagged out, and the baby was rolled up, an immense bolster at the foot of ...
— Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools • Emilie Kip Baker

... Theridamas; her time is past: The pillars, that have bolster'd up those terms, Are faln in ...
— Tamburlaine the Great, Part I. • Christopher Marlowe

... fear I dared not refuse. And when I had handed it in by a chink in the open door, first there was a sound like drinking, then an awful cry, "Potash again!" and then a heavy soft thud, as if you had knocked over a bolster ...
— HE • Andrew Lang

... Bernard, "this is a serious matter you suggest. The man may be honest, and yet it may be of no use trying to help him. I don't want to bolster him up for a few months in order to see my money go after his. That's not what I've got to do with it. No doubt I could lose as much as you mention, without being crippled by it, for I hope it's no disgrace in me ...
— The Vicar's Daughter • George MacDonald

... easy to understand their plight. If we know ourselves we are strengthened that much, because we can bolster up our weaknesses. We will know enough to combat timidity. We can then know what we are capable of, and thus become conscious of our innate powers that only need to be called into action in order to become useful. We cannot ...
— Laugh and Live • Douglas Fairbanks

... there now appeared, amid palms and chrysanthemums, a long, rotund man like a bolster. He held a paper in his hand and wore a platform smile. His attitude was that of one who hesitated to demand silence from so well-bred a throng. His high, narrow forehead shone in the light of the candelabra. This was Lord Ferriby—a man whose best friend did his best for him in describing him ...
— Roden's Corner • Henry Seton Merriman

... her jewels. When I saw her she wore a thin gold chain round her neck, and on it a tiny gold heart. I believe she has sacrificed everything else. Royal jewels have been pawned before this—to support extravagant mistresses or to bolster a crumbling throne; but Elisabeth of Belgium has pawned her jewels to buy supplies for wounded soldiers. Battle-scarred old Belgium has not always had a clean slate; but certainly this act of a generous and devoted queen should mark ...
— Kings, Queens And Pawns - An American Woman at the Front • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... King's son Hafbur, "And whatten a bed for me?" "O thou shalt sleep in the bower aloft, And blue shall thy bolster be." ...
— Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough • William Morris

... would persuade Landy to round up those yearlings in a group with the rest of the cattle; second, on the basis that a general picture of the enterprise was sorely needed to bolster his financial standing, he would have a photographer present, taking views of all phases of the adventure; thirdly, and most important, he, Davy, would be astride Peaches, mingling with the several cow hands against a background ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... man's liberty, but more than once he had had to stand for a frame-up against a guilty one. According to his cop-psychology, if his side partner saw something it was practically the same as if he had seen it himself. That phantasmagorical scintilla of evidence needed to bolster up a weak or doubtful case could always be counted on if Delany was the officer who had made the arrest. None of his cases were ever thrown out of court for lack of evidence, but then, Delany never arrested anybody ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... So we twain a night-tide Shall forgo the sword, if he dare yet to seek The war without weapons. Sithence the wise God, The Lord that is holy, on which hand soever The glory may doom as due to him seemeth. Bowed down then the war-deer, the cheek-bolster took The face of the earl; and about him a many Of sea-warriors bold to their hall-slumber bow'd them; 690 No one of them thought that thence away should he Seek ever again to his home the beloved, His folk or his free burg, where erst he was ...
— The Tale of Beowulf - Sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats • Anonymous

... England have often been to me. It is true, however, that tall people do find the old-fashioned German bedsteads short; and it is true that the big square downy pillows are supported by a wedge-shaped bolster called a Keilkissen. But the Plumeau is what the German loves, and the Briton hates above all things: the mountain of down or feathers that tumbles off on cold nights and stays on on hot ones. You hate it all the year round, because in winter it is too short and in summer it is ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... argue this position with him, however, since he has not deigned to give any reasons for it, but chosen to let it rest upon his assertion merely. We shall, therefore, have to argue the point with Mr. Albert Barnes, and other abolitionists, who have been pleased to attempt to bolster up so novel, so original, and so bold an interpretation of Scripture ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... There she is, supported by her old father, decked out in his old-fashioned brown coat, with a wig of the same colour, beautifully relieving the burning redness of his huge projecting ears; and the mother, puffed up like an overgrown bolster, encouraging the trembling girl, and joining her maiden aunts of full fifty years, in telling her to take courage, for it is what they must all come to. Bride's-maids and mutual friends make up the company; and there, standing ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 326, August 9, 1828 • Various

... came incipient madness and fever—tearing everything to pieces that came in his way—or he would weep and moan, declaring that no one loved him, that he was a burden to his wife. One evening when his wife and daughter came in he was not in his bed; in his place lay the bolster carefully tucked in. They found him at last crouched on the floor under the bed, with his teeth chattering with cold and fear. He told them he had ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... with similar care, and after one is the thoughtful observation: "Excellent to make Lizzie look less like a bolster." ...
— More Tish • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... dog like Ship be gwaine to faace the fiery sunshine on furrin gawld diggings, I caan't answer. Here goes again: '1 sofa; 1 armchair; 4 fine chairs with green cloth seats; 1 bedstead; 2 cots; 1 cradle; feather beds and palliasses and bolster pillows to match; wash-stands and sets of crockery, mostly complete; 2 swing glasses; 3 bedroom chairs; 1 ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... A poor kind of country, New York is, even though they do call it the 'Empire State' and try to bolster up its failin's with a lot of fine talk. Now our Province o' Novy Scoshy, and this Ya'mouth, don't need to do no talkin'. All's necessary for us and them is just to—BE! Once a feller comes and gets a good square look at us—no water-front way—" ...
— Dorothy's Travels • Evelyn Raymond

... night between Wednesday and Thursday last (exactly a month since the first shock), the earth had a shivering fit between one and two; but so slight that, if no more had followed, I don't believe it would have been noticed. I had been awake, and had scarce dozed again—on a sudden I felt my bolster lift up my head; I thought somebody was getting from under my bed, but soon found it was a strong earthquake, that lasted near half a minute, with a violent vibration and great roaring. I rang my bell; my servant came in, frightened ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume I • Horace Walpole

... intention of robbing anybody—that is, directly. In the usual Wall Street high finance style he was robbing Peter to pay Paul, that is, he was using the monies of one corporation which he controlled to bolster up any of the others which he controlled, and was "washing one hand with the other," a proceeding so common in finance that to really radically and truly oppose it, or do away with it, would mean to bring down the whole fabric of finance in one ...
— Twelve Men • Theodore Dreiser

... the treaty shows us, on the one hand, how thoroughly fictitious and illegitimate was this Theodoric's claim to kinship; since assuredly neither Alaric, nor Ataulfus, nor Theudemir, nor any of the genuine kings of the Goths, ever needed to bolster up their authority over their subjects by any such figment of an Imperial concession; and on the other hand, as it coincides in date with the time of Theudemir's and his Theodoric's entrance into the Empire, it shows us ...
— Theodoric the Goth - Barbarian Champion of Civilisation • Thomas Hodgkin

... you dear old boy!" said Bessie, laughing and blushing, "though I sha'n't scold you, Charlie, for that!" in a whisper in my ear. "It's Dr. Bolster of Lee. Hiram has been riding all over the country ...
— On the Church Steps • Sarah C. Hallowell

... been vexed by the women in question, who "did violently draw her by the haire of the head, and layd her on the toppe of a Hay-mowe." This delightfully absurd charge was coupled with some testimony about the appearances of the accused in animal form. Three men attempted to bolster up the story; but no "matter of witchcraft" was proved, says the for once incredulous Mr. Potts. The women seized the decisive moment. They kneeled before the judge and requested him to examine Grace Sowerbutts as to who set her on. The judge—who ...
— A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 • Wallace Notestein

... students. After leaving school he became first a teacher, then an editor. In the early sixties he brought out the Laieikawai, first as a serial in the Hawaiian newspaper, the Kuokoa, then, in 1863, in book form.[2] Later, in 1885, two part-Hawaiian editors, Bolster and Meheula, revised and reprinted the story, this time in pamphlet form, together with several other romances culled from Hawaiian journals, as the initial volumes of a series of Hawaiian reprints, a venture which ended in financial failure.[3] The romance ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... calumny, therefore, in the monarchists, to associate General Washington with their principles. But that may have happened in this case which has been often seen in ordinary cases, that, by often repeating an untruth, men come to believe it themselves. It is a mere artifice in this party, to bolster themselves up on the revered name of that first of our worthies. If I have dwelt longer on this subject than was necessary, it proves the estimation in which I hold your ultimate opinions, and my desire of placing the subject truly before them. In ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... To bolster up his case, Maeterlinck urges that "the capacity for folly so great in itself argues intelligence," which amounts to saying that the more fool you ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs

... and ends of repairing have occupied the attention of the assistant during the time of waiting for the drying of the before-mentioned upper table of the Stainer. This latter being of full model, although not resembling the swollen or bolster-like form of many imitations of the master, requires special attention with regard to fitting in of the fresh wood ...
— The Repairing & Restoration of Violins - 'The Strad' Library, No. XII. • Horace Petherick

... procure it for him and began to ask how he was feeling. Prince Andrew answered all his questions reluctantly but reasonably, and then said he wanted a bolster placed under him as he was uncomfortable and in great pain. The doctor and valet lifted the cloak with which he was covered and, making wry faces at the noisome smell of mortifying flesh that came from the wound, began examining that dreadful place. The doctor ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... house," said Jim Blaisdell, "is, are we justified in playing politics to bolster up a young man we're afraid can't stand on his merits? I don't fancy pulling wires—in church ...
— The House of Toys • Henry Russell Miller

... for her after some time, and I think his servant was evilly entreated,"—such are Aubrey's brief notes of the facts; after which come his own reflections on the rupture: "Two opinions do not well on the same bolster;" and "What man, especially contemplative, would like to have a young wife environed and stormed by the sons of Mars, and those of the enemy party?" Finally Wood, in his Fasti, does little more than repeat Aubrey: "Though he sent divers pressing invitations, yet he could not prevail upon her ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... for a few minutes, and Sam readily fell in with his brother's ideas. Reaching the houseboat, the pair went to one of the staterooms and procured a sheet and a bolster. ...
— The Rover Boys on the Plains - The Mystery of Red Rock Ranch • Arthur Winfield

... part of the country at least. He says "it is now danced with a handkerchief instead of a cushion," whereas the fact is I have never seen it danced but with a pillow, as its name "Bab in the Bowster (Anglice bolster)" would seem to denote. The manner of dancing it is, the company having formed itself into a circle, one, either male or female, goes into the centre, carrying a pillow, and dances round the circle with a sort of shuffling quick step, while the ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 64, January 18, 1851 • Various

... instance, comes out of ritual, has ritual as its subject, is embodied ritual. The reader perhaps at this point may suspect that he is being juggled with, that, out of the thousands of Greek reliefs that remain to us, just this one instance has been selected to bolster up the writer's art and ritual theory. He has only to walk through any museum to be convinced at once that the author is playing quite fair. Practically the whole of the reliefs that remain to us from the archaic period, and a very large ...
— Ancient Art and Ritual • Jane Ellen Harrison

... have given most trouble. One German officer who was sent to Austria to help bolster up her army told me that he didn't worry over the desertion of Bohemians singly and in small groups. He expected that. But he did take serious exception to the increasingly popular custom of whole battalions with their ...
— The Land of Deepening Shadow - Germany-at-War • D. Thomas Curtin

... was now as a bedlam; trunks and chests were locked and tied round with ropes; and a general washing and rinsing of faces and hands was beheld. While this was going on, forth came an order from the quarter-deck, for every bed, blanket, bolster, and bundle of straw in the steerage to be committed to the deep.—A command that was received by the emigrants with dismay, and then with wrath. But they were assured, that this was indispensable to ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... Douglas's violent denunciation of "abolitionists" and "abolitionismn" appealed with singular power to Whigs from slave States. The party was without a national leader; Clay had died two years before, and Douglas made skillful quotations from the great statesman's speeches to bolster up his new propagandism. In Congress only a little handful of Southern Whigs opposed the repeal, and even these did not dare place their opposition on antislavery grounds. And especially the familiar voice and example of the neighboring Missouri Whigs ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... Mott. You needn't be alarmed. I'm not going to bite a hole in the ship and scuttle her. Moreover, I am a very meek and lowly individual on board this ship. There's a lot of difference between being in supreme command with all kinds of authority to bolster you up and being a rat in a trap as I am now. Up in Copperhead Camp I was a nabob, here I'm a nobody. Up there I was the absolute boss of five or six hundred men,—I won't say I could boss the women,—and I made 'em all walk chalk without once losing step. There were murderers and crooks, ...
— West Wind Drift • George Barr McCutcheon

... by I suppose you'll enlighten me as to what 'it' means?" hinted Jack, trying hard to bolster up a courage that, none the less, would ooze ...
— The Submarine Boys for the Flag - Deeding Their Lives to Uncle Sam • Victor G. Durham

... neglects an important piece of proof through gross carelessness. All he has to do is to solve a problem and to place his answer before a magistrate, and then a judge and jury to decide whether he's right or wrong. No one but a fool would attempt to bolster up a wrong answer. In this case, too, you must remember that there are finger-prints. They cannot lie. If we get the right man—Grell or any one else—there will be ...
— The Grell Mystery • Frank Froest

... or nine Times, I know not which; but I was so disturb'd at it, that I began to wake, and with my Eyes but half open was preparing to rise; when I fancy'd I felt a cold Hand take me by the Hand, and force me on my hard Bolster again, with these Words, take thy Rest, Miles! This I confess did somewhat surprize me; but I concluded, 'twas the Effect of my Melancholy, which, indeed, has held me ever since I last left England: I ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume V • Aphra Behn

... smothering in bed, "Heaven have mercy upon me!" as poor Desdemona says. If that foolish creature wouldn't persist in talking long after she has been smothered and stabbed to death, one might escape by the off side of the bed, and leave the bolster to be questioned by Emilia, and apostrophized by Othello; but she will uplift her testimony after death to her husband's amiable treatment of her, and even the bolster wouldn't be stupid ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... there was a scramble for the beds, which were nothing better than wooden boards, with canvas bags laid on them, and a second piece of canvas placed for covering. But bad and comfortless as these beds looked, without either pillow or bolster, they were all eagerly coveted, and all soon full. Two and even three got into each, and those who could not get accommodation in that way were glad to throw themselves on the floor, as near to a great stove, which burned hot and ...
— The Children's Pilgrimage • L. T. Meade

... fashions of spelling in England and America. The rage excited in otherwise rational human beings by the dropping of the "u" in "favor," or the final "me" in "program," is one of the strangest of psychological phenomena. The baselessness of the reasonings used to bolster up the British clinging to superfluous letters is very ably shown in Professor Matthews' Americanisms and Briticisms. Let me only put in a plea for the retention of such abnormal spellings as serve to distinguish two ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... garbs, and with their halberts in their hands; but the abominable and irreverent creature was so drunk, that he wamblet to and fro over the drum, as if there had not been a bane in his body. He was seemingly as soople and as senseless as a bolster.—Still, as this was no new thing with him, it might have passed; for James Hound, the senior officer, was in the practice, when Robin was in that state, of reading the proclamations himself.—On this occasion, however, James happened to be absent on some ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... my feet at that. His derision cut me like a whip. If what I did was the act of a braggart, yet it almost seems I could do no less to bolster up my former boasting—or what into ...
— Bardelys the Magnificent • Rafael Sabatini

... boys, please. Tell me if you can see a small tin box anywhere. Of course I must have dropped it when I fell in that faint," Mr. Clausin was saying; but Paul fancied it was more to bolster up his own courage, than because he really ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts on a Tour - The Mystery of Rattlesnake Mountain • George A. Warren

... had turned many things over in his mind to bolster up this conclusion, he was still not at ease. Against his will he recalled certain unpleasant things which had happened within his knowledge under sudden and unexpected stress of emotion. He tried to laugh the absurd stuff out of his thoughts ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... he's built like a glass-house—when they part, you wonder to see the steeple separate from the chancel, and were they to embrace, he must hang round her neck like a skein of thread on a lace-maker's bolster—to sing her praise you should choose a rondeau, and to celebrate him ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... The members of the Southern Jazz-band Union met yesterday way down in Tennessee, and passed a resolution demanding the elimination of Othello from the educational curriculum. The proposer declared with some heat that "no coloured gentleman would spifflicate his missus wid a bolster on de word of a mean white thief like dat Iago." The mere suggestion was dam foolishness and an insult to the most prominent section of the freeborn citizens of the U.S.A. "If dey gwine whitewash de Scotchman, why not ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, January 21st, 1920 • Various

... created something still greater—a nation[778]. The chronology of shifts in opinion would, at first glance, indicate that Gladstone made this speech with the intention of forcing Palmerston and Russell to continue in the line earlier adopted, thus hoping to bolster up a cause now losing ground. His declaration, coming from a leading member of of the Cabinet, was certain to be accepted by the public as a foreshadowing of governmental action. If Jefferson Davis had in truth created a nation then early recognition must be given it. But this surmise ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... intervening sea to the Japanese islands. Another theory, which has found many supporters, is that the Japanese are descended from the Ainos, the hairy race still to be found in the island of Yesso. An advocate of this view seeks to bolster up his faith by the evidences of an aboriginal race still to be found in the relics of the Stone Age in Japan. "Flint arrows and spear-heads," he remarks, "hammers, chisels, scrapers, kitchen refuse, ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... this age do we permit the crowding of children in their sleeping quarters." So this is the slavery that capitalism has driven us to; we are forced to give our children more comforts than we had ourselves. When I was sleeping five in a bed with my brothers, there was one long bolster for five hot little faces. The bolster got feverish and a boy sang out: "Raise up." We lifted our tired heads. "Turn over." Two boys turned the bolster. "Lie down." And we put our faces on the cool ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... was gone everything seemed mighty gloomy an' damp an' lonesome, an' I entered into the social festivities most enthusiastic. The' was somethin' about both these two Maggies that kept bringin' Barbie before me, an' what I felt most like doin' was to bolster up my forgetfulness. It wasn't very long, however, before I noticed that my quiet an' simple life hadn't in nowise fitted me for refined society, an' I made my plans to bid it a fond farewell. I'm just as ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... went upstairs trembling all over. I took the bolster and pillow and put them under the covers, to look as like me as I could, and I put the old sheepskin coat at the top of all; and as you come into the room any one would have thought it was me lying there with the toothache. Then I took my hat and shawl and I went out, quiet as a mouse, ...
— In Homespun • Edith Nesbit

... pillows are much rumpled, are they not? But look under the bolster—it is all smooth, and you find none of those wrinkles which are made by the weight of the head and the moving about of the arms. That's not all; look at the bed from the middle to the foot. The sheets being laid ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... that the natives do not use tables and chairs in their houses. Neither do they, as a general thing, use bedsteads. They have no beds. They sleep on mats, which are spread down on the floor. Sometimes they use a cotton bolster for their heads. More generally their pillows are hard boards, which they put under the mat. In addition to cooking, the females have to prepare the rice for this purpose, by taking it out of the husk. This ...
— Dr. Scudder's Tales for Little Readers, About the Heathen. • Dr. John Scudder

... were coming to Oakland right along. Movements were already beginning in real estate. He was dickering even then to sell over a thousand of his suburban acres. Of course it was at a sacrifice, but it would ease the strain on all of them and bolster up the faint-hearted. That was the trouble—the faint-hearts. Had there been no faint-hearts there would have been no panic. There was that Eastern syndicate, negotiating with him now to take the majority of the stock in the Sierra and Salvador Power Company off his hands. That showed confidence ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... teams at football, or to run a big paper-chase across country, or get up a grand concert of an evening; and not too many of us to crowd into the long dormitory, where, for all we were interfered with, we might have prolonged our bolster matches ...
— Boycotted - And Other Stories • Talbot Baines Reed

... washhand-stand. The fire smoked all day; but this vice in the apartment was neutralised by a broken window. Yet he should be quite happy, he said, if he could get a glazier and a sweep (like smoke and draught, one would not do without the other), a bolster, an occasional clean towel, and a little ...
— Uppingham by the Sea - a Narrative of the Year at Borth • John Henry Skrine

... like a pistol half out of its holster, Or rather indeed like an obstinate bolster, Which I think I have seen you attempting, my dear, In vain to cram into a ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... with demure faces were sipping Benedictine and talking among themselves, and Polly's pug dog was coiled up on the bare bolster and ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... that, and then thou wilt come hopping with all thy speed, like unto old Jacob, when he saw the angels ascending and descending, then he ran fast, albeit he was tired, and had got a hard bed, and a far harder bolster the night before, yet he got a glorious sight, and his legs were soupled with consolation, which made him run. Lord blink upon thy lazy soul with His amiable countenance, and then thou shalt rise and run, ...
— The Covenants And The Covenanters - Covenants, Sermons, and Documents of the Covenanted Reformation • Various

... enlightenment, from the few who have educated themselves in social science, who are convinced that the time has come when it is not only practicable but right, who realize that a new era has dawned; to others who still believe in the old system, who are trying to bolster it up by granting concessions, by establishing committees of conference, by giving a voice and often a financial interest, but not a vote, in the conduct of the corporation concerned. These are the counterpart, ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... that precious golden box, whose brilliant colors and blazing jewels fascinated her very soul; but where could she securely hide it from her husband's search? At that moment it was with the watch and the diamond ring under the bolster of her bed. But there it was in danger of being discovered, should a ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... going to march up to the guns like good soldiers to-night, and I'm going to do the talking for them. Sarah, sensibly enough, wants to get it over before dinner, so I've promised to come over right after lunch and sit on your porch so I'll be here no matter how early Hugh gets home. You and I have to bolster up the ...
— Rosemary • Josephine Lawrence

... over which is spread the straw, and when this scaffolding has been raised some feet, a paillasse is placed over it, then the feather-bed, so that it literally requires a ladder to ascend to the top of this mountain of bedding, and then it is difficult to crawl into it. There were a bolster and two pillows covered with velvet, which, with the sheets, were all trimmed with a kind of lace ...
— Brittany & Its Byways • Fanny Bury Palliser

... with her head buried in Aunt Cordelia's new bolster sham; for how could she confess to Hattie and to Rosalie that it was a parlour and ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... greatly surprised. His long black hair scattered over the straw bolster contrasted with the olive pallor of his face. It occurred to me he might be a Basque. It didn't necessarily follow that he should understand Spanish; but I tried him with the few words I know, and also with some ...
— Amy Foster • Joseph Conrad

... this the more readily because of the narrow way in which most professional Taxidermists bolster up their art in a secret and entirely unnecessary manner—unnecessary because amateur can, but by the severest application, possibly compete with the experience of the technical or professional worker. No pictorial artist ever pretends ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... you! get out, you graceless, hopeless fellow!" said Bateman, discharging the sofa-bolster at his head. Meanwhile Sheffield ran to the door, and quickly found himself with Charles in ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... Doctor, uttering a peculiar growling sound, and, to the astonishment of mother and son, he caught up the pillow and gave Vince a bang with it which knocked him back on the bolster. "Cold pudding!" he cried. "Here! try a shoe-sole to-morrow night, and see if you can digest that. Come to bed, my dear. Look here, Vince: tell Mr Deane to give you some lessons in natural history, and then you'll learn that you are not an ...
— Cormorant Crag - A Tale of the Smuggling Days • George Manville Fenn

... to prevent perspiration by closing the pores of the skin."[50] Baumann says of the African Bakongo that many of their peculiar ways of arranging the hair "seem to be intended less as ornamental head-dresses than as a bolster for the burdens they carry on their heads;"[51] and Squier says that the reason given by the Nicaraguans for flattening the heads of their children is that they may be better fitted in ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... furnished—being, in fact, the chamber of Mrs. Wilcox, the mother of the little fellow who occupied the wide bed. He lay there in lugubrious state, the rosy face stained with much crying, just showing above the edge of the counterpane; his tangle of yellow curls crushed upon the bolster. Below these was a white mound, stretched along the middle of the bed, just the length of Robby, aged seven and a half, the youngling of the Wilcox family. Two big blue eyes, glazed with tears, wandered from one to another of the two faces ...
— Choice Readings for the Home Circle • Anonymous

... spite of this assistance, a horrible combat with the said Succubus, whose claws still clutched my heart, causing me infinite pains; still, while reanimated by the voice of my servitors, relations, and friends, I tried to make the sacred sign of the cross; the Succubus perched on my bed, on the bolster, at the foot, everywhere, occupying herself in distracting my nerves, laughing, grimacing, putting before my eyes a thousand obscene images, and causing me a thousand wicked desires. Nevertheless, taking pity on me, my lord the Archbishop caused the relics of St. ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... bolster my flagging courage, I found myself thinking of all the ways it might have been worse. I had heard of a shegrin exposed to the bite of poisonous—not fatal, but painfully poisonous—insects, and to the worrying of the small gnawing ...
— The Door Through Space • Marion Zimmer Bradley

... really great poet of the old Homer or Dante breed, he would have outshot his age, till he "dwindled in the distance;" but in lieu of immediate fame, and of elaborate lectures in the next century, to bolster it unduly up, all generations would have ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... the door, and saw a bare feather-bed and bolster, the usual materiel in an unoccupied college chamber. "Seeing's ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various

... clothes-bag with a black skull-cap on the top of it, does not present a very animated appearance until he has undergone the two operations at the hands of his granddaughter of being shaken up like a great bottle and poked and punched like a great bolster. Some indication of a neck being developed in him by these means, he and the sharer of his life's evening again fronting one another in their two porter's chairs, like a couple of sentinels long forgotten on their post by the ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... he sent for the serjeant, who was his first acquaintance among these military gentlemen. Unluckily that worthy officer having, in a literal sense, taken his fill of liquor, had been some time retired to his bolster, where he was snoring so loud that it was not easy to convey a noise in at his ears capable of drowning that which issued ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... shouts of congratulation, and the embraces of the crowd. I perceived an elderly gentleman come forward; I knew it was my father, and I threw myself into his arms. I awoke, and found myself rolling on the floor, embracing the bolster with all my might. Such was the vivid impression of this dream, that I could not turn my thoughts away from it, and at last I considered that it was a divine interposition. All my scruples vanished, and before the day had dawned I determined that I would follow ...
— Japhet, In Search Of A Father • Frederick Marryat

... for himself the same authority which the false apostles attributed to the true apostles. Paul simply inverts their argument. "to bolster their evil cause," says he, "the false apostles quote the authority of the great apostles against me. I can quote the same authority against them, for the apostles are on my side. They gave me the right hand of fellowship. They approved my ministry. O my Galatians, do not ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... it would, but Russia will make no separate peace, and nothing will happen. Russia's as safe as houses, and as steady as a rock. Don't talk nonsense, old man, and don't conjure up impossible contingencies to bolster ...
— "The Pomp of Yesterday" • Joseph Hocking

... sees the lines of pain in it. We hear Romeo wish to be "a glove upon that hand that he might touch that cheek:" three minutes afterwards he beholds Romeo refresh himself with a pot of porter. We see the Moor, who "loved not wisely, but too well," smother Desdemona with the nuptial bolster: he sees them sit down to a hot supper. We always think of the actor as on the stage: he always thinks of us as in the boxes. In justice to the poets of the present day, it may be noticed that they have improved on their brethren in Johnson's time, who were, according to Lord Macaulay, hunted ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... entirely crushed; the sooner it is so altogether the better, for no good can be expected from it, and it would be far better to erect a Conservative party upon a new and broader basis than to try and bolster up this worn-out, prejudiced, obstinate faction. But the times are difficult and men are wanting; the middle classes are pressing on, and there are men enough there of fortune, energy, activity, zeal, and ambition—no Cannings perhaps or Broughams, but a host of fellows of the calibre of ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... we turned in early. W Unfortunately, our rooms were immediately over the billiard room, where a bibulous and cosmopolitan lot were earnestly endeavouring to bolster up by further proof the fiction that a white man cannot retain his health in the tropics. The process was pretty rackety, and while it could not keep us awake, it prevented us from falling thoroughly asleep. At length, and suddenly, the props of noise fell away from me, and I sank ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... that he was not fit to keep the prison,—it required a man of more nerve than he had. The dread of the place which his poor wife had entertained seemed to have taken possession of him since her death. All the arguments which he once used, in the endeavor to bolster her courage, he had now forgotten. He was very cautious when he began to speak of the prisoner, and tried to divert Adolphus from the point by saying that he would much prefer a house full of convicts to one so empty as this. There was at least something ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various



Words linked to "Bolster" :   pillow, fill, prop, reenforce, bolster up, shore up, reinforce, prop up, make full, long pillow, fill up, shore, pad



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