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Formality   /fɔrmˈæləti/   Listen
Formality

noun
(pl. formalities)
1.
A requirement of etiquette or custom.  Synonym: formalities.
2.
A manner that strictly observes all forms and ceremonies.  Synonym: formalness.
3.
Compliance with formal rules.



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"Formality" Quotes from Famous Books



... delight and self-complacency the greater part of his fraternity. What object in nature is more pitiable than a London old bachelor, of moderate fortune and moderate parts? whose conversational powers do not secure him invitations to dinners, when stiffness of limb and a growing formality have obliged him to retreat from quadrilles. The rich, we know, thrive everywhere, and at all seasons, safe from neglect, secure from ridicule. I speak of those less strongly fortified against the effects of time; ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 13, Issue 353, January 24, 1829 • Various

... and conjurors do, explicite and implicite, by compact, band and obligation (a desperate, a fearful case) to satisfy thy lust, or to be revenged of thine enemies, thou didst never pray, come to church, hear, read, or do any divine duties with any devotion, but for formality and fashion's sake, with a kind of reluctance, 'twas troublesome and painful to thee to perform any such thing, praeter voluntatem, against thy will. Thou never mad'st any conscience of lying, swearing, bearing false witness, murder, adultery, bribery, oppression, theft, drunkenness, idolatry, ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... been averted; and, in the bedchamber crisis, he knew that he had allowed his judgment to be overruled and his conduct to be swayed by private feelings and the impetuosity of Victoria. But he was not one to suffer too acutely from the pangs of conscience. In spite of the dullness and the formality of the Court, his relationship with the Queen had come to be the dominating interest in his life; to have been deprived of it would have been heartrending; that dread eventuality had been—somehow—avoided; he was installed once more, in a kind of triumph; let him enjoy ...
— Queen Victoria • Lytton Strachey

... flagship lined up at attention. The officers, including the Commander, also waited stiffly at attention while the fisherman tied his panga to the ship's ladder. As Kubayama clambered on board, the officers saluted. With a great show of formality they escorted him to the Commander's quarters, the junior officer following behind at a respectful distance. Two hours later Kubayama was escorted to the ladder again, the trumpet sounded its salute, and the ragged fisherman rowed away—all ...
— Secret Armies - The New Technique of Nazi Warfare • John L. Spivak

... door opened into a large room without the formality of an entry or hall. In one corner of the apartment stood a bed. At one side was a large fireplace, in which half a dozen sticks of green wood were hissing and sizzling in a vain attempt to make the contents of an iron pot, which hung over them, reach the boiling point. No person was ...
— The Soldier Boy; or, Tom Somers in the Army - A Story of the Great Rebellion • Oliver Optic

... Miss McLeish, the stenographer and telephone operator; Throckinorton, the dairy-man; Scott, the stockman; John Butts, the handy-man; Melissa, Watson and Hughes. The four nurses escaped official announcement because they had been clever enough to anticipate the formality. ...
— Mr. Bingle • George Barr McCutcheon

... for the occasion, but not such, or so placed, as to interfere with the camp of 'Abdul 'Azeez. However, the well-known emblems of the Shaikh's presence were observed—namely, his tent being placed at the west end of the line, and his spear at its entrance. Here took place the formality of returning his visit to us yesterday; and here, after coffee and pipes, our presents were produced and given. The travellers were collected in a very long black tent, together with Deab, his son and friends. A screen ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... home and venture on board Captain L—-n's vessel with her lover; for, though this counsellor, according to a very good picture of him drawn by a famous master, has more of the wanton roguish smiles of a boy in his countenance, than the formality, wisdom, and gravity of those counsellors whom thou hast perhaps seen in Westminster-hall; and never wore one of those ponderous perukes which are so essential to the knowledge, wisdom, and eloquence of those gentlemen; yet we are assured none of them ever equalled ...
— The Surprising Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew • Unknown

... ruler is possessed of supreme power and authority, and controls absolutely, without limitation or interference, all the powers of government. His word is law and requires not the sanction of the people. His commands are absolute and require not the formality of judicial procedure, and are not necessarily in conformity with existing laws. Implicit obedience to his commands, however arbitrary, may be demanded, and there is no appeal. These are, theoretically, the powers ...
— Government and Administration of the United States • Westel W. Willoughby and William F. Willoughby

... great Transgression; but indeed, all the Unreformed among us, may justly be cry'd out upon, as having too much of an hand in letting of the Devils into our Borders; 'tis our Worldliness, our Formality, our Sensuality, and our Iniquity that has help'd this letting of the Devils in. O let us then at last, consider our ways. 'Tis a strange passage recorded by Mr. Clark in the Life of his Father, ...
— The Wonders of the Invisible World • Cotton Mather

... was well satisfied with the fact and manner of the American answer, and regarded the incident as closed, but that it could not agree with portions of Seward's argument and would answer these later. This was done on January 23, but the reply was mainly a mere formality and is of interest only as revealing a further shift in the opinion of the legal advisers, with emphasis on the question of what constitutes contraband[480]. Possibly the British Government was embarrassed by the fact that while ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... not be said that such directions are undevotional—for doubtless they were piously meant; but it must be said that they are inartistic (if the word may be allowed), at variance with the fitness of things and counter to the instinct of purity. Formality and informality are two things that cannot be mingled to advantage. There is place and time for each. The secret of the power of liturgical worship is wrapped up with the principle of order. A certain majesty lies in the movement which is without ...
— A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer • William Reed Huntington

... kissed her. It was done in surprise and embarrassed formality. He knew, when the moment was past that his parents had perceived that Susannah needed more decorous training. He concurred in believing this to be desirable, for the manners that had surrounded him were very stiff. Yet the memory of the greeting remained with him, a thing to be wondered at while ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... which we had hoped to bring about seems no nearer its conclusion than when first he came. Of late I have watched him and I have watched Yvonne; they are certainly good friends, yet not even the frail barrier of formality appears overcome betwixt them, and I am beginning to fear that Andrea is not only lukewarm in this matter, but is forgetful of his uncle's wishes and selfishly indifferent to Monseigneur's projects and mine, which, as he well knows, are the reason of his sojourn at my chateau. ...
— The Suitors of Yvonne • Raphael Sabatini

... under my own eye nearly all the time; and sometimes, in emergencies, I even gave orders directly to the subordinate commanders, without the formality of sending them through the corps commander. Hence I have spoken of that corps with the same freedom as of my own Twenty-third; and I hope I have not failed to give, so far as the very restricted scope of my account would permit, full ...
— Forty-Six Years in the Army • John M. Schofield

... Ireland" is the following description of an Irish fair held during the fourth century—long before the advent of St. Patrick and Christianity: "The people of Leinster every three years during the first week of August held the 'Fair of Carman.' Great ceremony and formality attended this event, the King of Leinster and his court officiating. Music formed a prominent part of the amusement. One day was set apart for recitation of poems and romantic tales, another for horse and chariot racing. In another part of the ...
— Quilts - Their Story and How to Make Them • Marie D. Webster

... those of the sacred messengers of the gods. These demands, showing that the plebeians did not seek political power, were agreed to, the Valerian laws were reaffirmed, and a solemn treaty was concluded, each party swearing for itself and its posterity, with all the formality of representatives of foreign nations. The two leaders of the commons, Caius Licinius and Lucius Albinius, were elected the first Tribunes of the People, as the new officers were called, with two diles to aid them. [Footnote: The duties of the diles were various, ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... one point. The girls did not treat Miss O'Day with that studied formality which is more galling than open neglect as they had on former occasions. Mary, in particular, was quite agreeable, and Nora ...
— Elizabeth Hobart at Exeter Hall • Jean K. Baird

... indeed, for some years before, Mr Hirple had been a member, but, from some secret and unexpressed understanding among us, he was never made a bailie; for he was not liked; having none of that furthy and jocose spirit so becoming in a magistrate of that degree, and to which the gifts of gravity and formality make but an unsubstantial substitute. He was, on the contrary, a queer and quistical man, of a small stature of body, with an outshot breast, the which, I am inclined to think, was one of the main causes of our never promoting ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... the room without the formality of knocking—a formality she had never observed where Cecilia was concerned. The afternoon post had just come, and she carried some letters ...
— Back To Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... is at your service," said Cleggett, for he understood that she wished to dress for dinner. He conducted her, with a touch of formality, to his own room in the cabin, which he put at her disposal, ordering her steamer trunks to be placed in it. Then, taking with him some necessaries of his own, he withdrew to the forecastle to make ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... in the past, and his presentiments were not agreeable. It seemed like the fluctuations of a dream—as if the action begun by that loud bloated stranger were being carried on by this pale-eyed sickly looking piece of respectability, whose subdued tone and glib formality of speech were at this moment almost as repulsive to him as their remembered contrast. He answered, with a ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... cannot pleasure him better than to deprehend him: yet he hears you not till the third knock, and then comes out very angry as interrupted. You find him in his slippers[71] and a pen in his ear, in which formality he was asleep. His table is spread wide with some classick folio, which is as constant to it as the carpet, and hath laid open in the same page this half year. His candle is always a longer sitter up than himself, and the boast[72] of his window at midnight. He walks ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... be, and there are, things which energetic modern minds would really wish, with the reasonable modification, to restore. Dr. Clifford would probably be glad to see again the great Puritan idealism that forced the Bible into an antique and almost frozen formality. Dr. Horton probably really regrets the old passion that excommunicated Rome. In the same way Mr. Belloc would really prefer the Middle Ages; as Lord Rosebery would prefer the Erastian oligarchy of the eighteenth century. The Dark Ages would probably be disputed (from widely ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... approved young man, that she might have a child by him, who might inherit the good qualities of the father, and be a son to himself. On the other side, an honest man who had love for a married woman upon account of her modesty and the wellfavoredness of her children, might, without formality, beg her company of her husband, that he might raise, as it were, from this plot of good ground, worthy and well-allied children for himself. And, indeed, Lycurgus was of a persuasion that children were not so much the property of their parents as of the whole commonwealth, ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... friendships formed have been many and close. We formerly celebrated our annual meetings and invited men of note. Our guests included Generals Howard, Gibbons, and Miles, the LeContes, Edward Rowland Sill, and Luther Burbank. We enjoyed meeting celebrities, but our regular meetings, with no formality, proved on the whole more to our taste and celebrations were given up. When I think of the delight and benefit that I have derived from this association of clubbable men I feel moved to urge that similar groups be developed wherever even a very few ...
— A Backward Glance at Eighty • Charles A. Murdock

... not at home to await his return. The gentleman, added the note, should present a receipt in the handwriting of the lady herself. All this seemed mighty mysterious, and Harry was above all astonished at the omission of the name and the formality of the receipt. He had thought little of this last when he heard it dropped in conversation; but reading it in cold blood, and taking it in connection with the other strange particulars, he became convinced that he ...
— The Boy Scouts Book of Stories • Various

... had read the surface signs of the murderous fury that altered his own visage to a mask set with a pair of blazing eyes. And suddenly, as he dropped to the ground beside her, his question had swept aside formality, leaving them on the very edge of an intimacy which she had accepted, unconsciously, with her ...
— A Young Man in a Hurry - and Other Short Stories • Robert W. Chambers

... periodicals of that period, the materials for which were furnished by these men, it may be sufficient to state that the "NOTES AND QUERIES" is conceived in the exact spirit of those works. The chief difference, besides the usual subject-matter, consists in the greater formality and "stiffness" of those than of this; arising, however, of necessity out of the specific and rigid character of mathematical research in itself, and the more limited range of subjects that ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 57, November 30, 1850 • Various

... butler entered the hall with some degree of bustle: he was attended by a servant on each side with a large wax-light, and bore a silver dish on which was an enormous pig's head decorated with rosemary, with a lemon in its mouth, which was placed with great formality at the head of the table. The moment this pageant made its appearance the harper struck up a flourish; at the conclusion of which the young Oxonian, on receiving a hint from the squire, gave, with an air of the most comic gravity, an old carol, ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... miss her and our little home. Really, I don't believe I will know how to act if I become the wife of the mayor of Los Angeles. I have grown to detest formality, dances and dinners and receptions and things. If there is one thing Reggie and I will quarrel about that will be it. He has always been invited everywhere and he enjoys the niceness ...
— Spring Street - A Story of Los Angeles • James H. Richardson

... the note of intense personal expression—the so-called subjective element, prominent in Beethoven—had come to the fore. The time just prior to Haydn had been called the "Pig-tail period" (Zopf-Periode) in reference to the stiff and precise dress and manners which had their counterpart in formality of artistic expression. Only towards the end of his career do we feel that breath of freedom in life and art which was generated by the French Revolution (beginning in 1791) and by the many political and social changes of that stirring period. From Haydn on, much more attention should ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... Mademoiselle, of the solemn union between man and woman? In this sense, marriage is a sacrament. But sometimes, alas! it is almost a sacrilege. As for civil marriage, it is a formality. The importance given to it in our society is an idiotic thing which would have made the women of other times laugh. We owe this prejudice, like many others, to the bourgeois, to the mad performances of a lot of financiers which have been called the Revolution, and which seem admirable to those ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... awaiting trial. She was quite friendless. To the world, she was only a thief in duress. At the last, the trial was very short. Her lawyer was merely an unfledged practitioner assigned to her defense as a formality of the court. This novice in his profession was so grateful for the first recognition ever afforded him that he rather assisted than otherwise the District Attorney in the ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... said Mr. Tibbetts; "an' now all this beastly formality is over we'll have a bottle to celebrate things." And a bottle ...
— Bones - Being Further Adventures in Mr. Commissioner Sanders' Country • Edgar Wallace

... above all, clearly impressed on it, that Moretto had attained full intelligence of all the pictorial powers of white. In the clearness, the cleanliness, the hieratic distinction, of this earnest and deeply-felt composition, there is something "pre-Raphaelite"; as also in a certain liturgical formality in the grouping of the virgins—the [104] looks, "all one way," of the closely-ranged faces; while in the long folds of the drapery we may see something of the severe grace of early Tuscan sculpture—something of severity in the long, thin, emphatic shadows. For the light is ...
— Miscellaneous Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... apple pies, pudding, etc.; then iced creams, jellies, etc.; then water-melons, musk-melons, apples, peaches, nuts. It was the most solemn dinner I ever was at. Not a health drank; scarce a word was said until the cloth was taken away. Then the President filling a glass of wine, with great formality drank to the health of every individual by name round the table. Everybody imitated him, charged glasses, and such a buzz of 'health, sir,' and 'health, madam,' and 'thank you, sir,' and 'thank you, madam,' never had I heard before.... The ladies sat a good while, and the bottles ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... pleasant. She thought her a stiff, solemn-looking, elderly woman, in widow's garb. The Lady Elizabeth received her royal guest with the lowest of courtesies, and taking her hand, conducted her with great formality to a state chair on the dais, the Lord Le Despenser standing, bare-headed, on ...
— The White Rose of Langley - A Story of the Olden Time • Emily Sarah Holt

... garden; a dozen drives here radiated from one another like the spokes of a wheel, and here four mighty avenues made a St. Andrew's cross in the very centre—but the area was so immense, and the stature of the trees so great, that nothing of this formality could be observed in the park itself. Not only were the oaks and beeches of large, and often of giant proportions, but the very ferns grew so tall that whole herds of fallow deer were hidden in it, and could only be traced by their sounds. There were red deer also, almost as numerous, ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... with a little bow, the Jew pressed the catch and discovered its contents. But the richness of the treasure thus disclosed did not seem to surprise him; and, indeed, he had more than once been introduced with no more formality to plunder of far greater value. Fitting a jeweller's glass to his eye, he took up one after another of the pieces and examined them under the lamplight. Presently he replaced the last, shut down the cover of the box, turned a thoughtful countenance to Lanyard, ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... much difficulty in explaining to her the parliamentary formality of testing the validity of elections. She listened with only one ear, ...
— The Nabob, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alphonse Daudet

... fond. Had it been so, goodness of heart, and gentleness of manners, great assiduity, and inviolable and modest love, would not of themselves have been supposed sufficient recommendations. He would not have been allowed the least share of preciseness or formality, although those defects might have been imputed to his reverence for the object of his passion; but in his character it was designed to show, that the same man could not be every thing; and to intimate to ladies, that in choosing companions for life, they should ...
— Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... bequest to his brother in the event of its not being carried out. Obviously, he had not entertained the possibility of this contingency at all. He assumed, as a matter of course, that the conditions of clause two would be fulfilled, and regarded the conditions themselves as a mere formality." ...
— The Vanishing Man • R. Austin Freeman

... effected his purpose. He borrowed from different parties seven or eight guineas, and when the masters of merchant vessels came on board for their instructions, he desired them to be shown down into his cabin, where he received them with great formality and very nicely dressed. The guineas were spread upon the desk, so that they ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... him while he went his last errand, offering his services at saloons and wherever, as he thought, an opening offered. In fact, he thought but little about it any more. The whole thing had become an empty, hopeless formality with him. He knew at last that he was looking for the thing he would never find; that in a cityful where every man had his place he was a misfit with none. With his dull brain dimly conscious of that one idea, ...
— Children of the Tenements • Jacob A. Riis

... procession through the streets of Florence and Siena, mid music and the pealing of bells—had given the new impulse to painting which brought them immortal fame. They were the heralds of the time when poetry of sentiment, beauty of color, animation and individuality of form should replace Mediaeval formality and ugliness; a time when the spirit of art should be revived with an impulse prophetic of ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... in which the great world was flitting and flirting at the same hour in the closes of Hyde Park, and if the young fellows with these poor girls had not the distinction of the swells in the prouder parade they at least equalled them in their aberrations from formality. ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... shoulder in the fierce press, and there rang again in his ears the cheer with which the Guards greeted the act of valour by the performance of which the baronet won the Victoria Cross. There is a feeling deeper than a mere formality in the half-dozen words that pass between Sir William Codrington and the old soldier of the 7th Royal Fusiliers, to whom the gallant general showed the way up to the Russian front, through the shot-torn vineyards ...
— Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places • Archibald Forbes

... shore of the river, breakfast was a function, luncheon a mild festivity, and dinner an affair of high state. Madame herself always appeared at dinner suitably clad, and, moreover, insisted upon evening clothes for her son. Once, years ago, he had protested at the formality. ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... crimes, as to justify them, to fall upon others, and to blaspheme God, and commit a new Treason: For your having of counsel, this is the reason for allowing of counsel: When a man would plead any thing, because he would plead it in formality, counsel is allowed. But you must first say in what the matter shall be, and then you shall ...
— State Trials, Political and Social - Volume 1 (of 2) • Various

... my daughters do not discover that I have injured some more than vital organ, I shall call to proffer my thanks with the most immense formality. I shall get out of the carriage in the manner customary in respectable neighborhoods, not roll out at your feet. Afterward you will, I hope, come and dine with us. I am devoured by a desire to become more familiar ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... Deacon Skinner was early at the Hartman place, stalking angrily up to the low, green house, and, striding into the kitchen without the formality of knocking, demanded fiercely, "What do you mean by plastering your fence all over with red rags? Your pasture fence? I'll sue you for damages! My bull has lost one horn and is all battered to pieces, the rails are splintered, and it's a wonder he didn't get loose. ...
— At the Little Brown House • Ruth Alberta Brown

... has something touching in its grave reserve; toward his nephews he displays the fondness of a father. Yet even there something lies between them that lends to their whole intercourse something of considerate formality. ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... became a roar, blind passion was changed into purposeful fury. Who were these white men to march so boldly into the presence of the King without even the formality of sending an envoy ahead? For the King of Bekwando, drunk or sober, was a stickler for etiquette. It pleased him to keep white men waiting. For days sometimes a visitor was kept waiting his pleasure, not altogether ...
— A Millionaire of Yesterday • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... borderland letters begin, whether the frontier is between acquaintanceship and friendship, or between friendship and love. For there are moments in life when if you can't say "My own Blessed," you can say nothing—omission is the substitute for the absolute. Only with her, formality was a flavouring of intimacy, a curious fragrance like a faint clinging of unseen pot-pourri. And so, for a long time after he had sent her his first endless, beginningless out-pouring, her letters had begun, "Dear Mr. ...
— Balloons • Elizabeth Bibesco

... despised all religion which was not of the heart. The vain practices of the devotees,[1] the exterior strictness, which trusted to formality for salvation, had in him a mortal enemy. He cared little for fasting.[2] He preferred forgiveness to sacrifice.[3] The love of God, charity and mutual forgiveness, were his whole law.[4] Nothing ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... step and a high head he walked straight into Sir Robert's room, without even going through the formality of knocking, to find Mr. Champers-Haswell seated at the ebony desk by his partner's side examining some document through a reading-glass, which on his appearance, was folded over and presently thrust away into a drawer. It seemed, Alan ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... the emigrant as the high privilege to which he is admitted can or should permit. I do not propose any additional requirements to those which the law now demands; but the very simplicity and the want of unnecessary formality in our law have made fraudulent naturalization not infrequent, to the discredit and injury of all honest citizens, whether native or naturalized. Cases of this character are continually being brought to the notice of ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Ulysses S. Grant • Ulysses S. Grant

... seemed to me," observed Septimius, "that it is not the prevailing mood, the most common one, that is to be trusted. This is habit, formality, the shallow covering which we close over what is real, and seldom suffer to be blown aside. But it is the snake-like doubt that thrusts out its head, which gives us a glimpse of reality. Surely such moments are a hundred times as real as the dull, ...
— Septimius Felton - or, The Elixir of Life • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... consequently is too correct. This may not be understood-but the old Goths of Germany would have understood it, who used to debate matters of importance to their State twice, once when drunk, and once when sober-sober that they might not be deficient in formality—drunk lest they ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... many doubts and disturbances arose within Chang Tao's mind. It was not in this manner that men of weight and dignity sought wives. Even if Shen Yi graciously overlooked the absence of polite formality, would not the romantic imagination of Melodious Vision be distressed when she learned that she had been approached with so indelicate an absence of ceremony? "Here, again," said Chang Tao's self-reproach accusingly, "you have, as usual, gone on in advance of both your feet and of ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... looks upon this institution as a good, as a protection by the Government, or as an imposition, a despotism whose excesses do more harm than the violence of the criminals. Communication between people is paralyzed, for they fear to be maltreated for trifling causes. More importance is attached to the formality of the law than to the basal principle of it,—the first symptom of incapacity in government. The heads of the organization consider it their first duty to make people salute them, either of their own will or by force, even in the darkness of night. In this, their inferior officers ...
— Friars and Filipinos - An Abridged Translation of Dr. Jose Rizal's Tagalog Novel, - 'Noli Me Tangere.' • Jose Rizal

... that worthy gentleman was escorted with all due formality to the old Schmittheimer place in Clarendon Avenue. Recognizing the fact that first impressions are lasting, we determined that Mr. Black's first impressions of our purchase should be favorable. So we ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... formality long enough to present my most respectful compliments to Miss Corson, even walking right past you, Governor North, to do so!" explained Stewart, marching toward Lana, smiling ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... deliberation was in the Bureaux. The Assembly was divided into thirty groups or committees, of nearly forty members each, who met separately, the Assembly in the morning, the Bureaux in the evening. This plan ensured thorough and sincere discussion, for men spoke their genuine thoughts, where there was no formality, no reporter, no stranger in the gallery. The Bureaux were disliked and suspected by the excluded public. The electorate, experiencing for the first time the sensation of having deputies at work ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... presenting the supplications and remonstrances of the colonists, Gonzalo was appointed general of the army which was to defend him against the Inca. As is usual in such matters, these resolutions were all extended with much formality, to give a colour of regularity to their proceedings. The remonstrants then proceeded to levy an army, for the payment of which they took possession of the royal treasure, and availed themselves of the property belonging ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV. • Robert Kerr

... of things, (that is, in the case of a divided kingdom,) by the law of nations,[30] Great Britain, like every other power, is free to take any part she pleases. She may decline, with more or less formality, according to her discretion, to acknowledge this new system; or she may recognize it as a government de facto, setting aside all discussion of its original legality, and considering the ancient monarchy ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... Page 80. "The formality of laying hand over head on a man." A pun; but an old one. I remember, when Swan[16] made that pun first, he was ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... moments, then rose abruptly and disappeared down the aisle toward the sleeping cars without the formality of ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... a great rushing to and fro in preparation. Men bowed to each other with burlesque dancing school formality, offered arms, or accepted them with bearlike coyness. We stood for a moment rather bewildered, not knowing precisely what ...
— Gold • Stewart White

... surrounded by a circle of friends. By this touch of domesticity a great appearance of truth and naturalness was given, though really the attitude was at first more difficult to maintain satisfactorily than any one wherein stricter formality should be observed. She gently began her subject, as if scarcely knowing whether a throng were near her or not, and, in her fear of seeming artificial, spoke too low. This defect, however, she soon corrected, and ultimately went on in a charmingly colloquial manner. What Ethelberta relied upon ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... yielded with more gusto than usual to the meal, and even said that if Florrie 'continued to shape' they would have hot toast again. Hot toast had long since been dropped from the menu, as an item too troublesome. As a rule the meals were taken hurriedly and negligently, like a religious formality which has lost its meaning but ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... Murray wanted the energy, the courage, the all- grasping and all-risking ambition, which make men great in stirring times. His heart was a little cold, his temper cautious even to timidity, his manners decorous even to formality. He never exposed his fortunes or his fame to any risk which he could avoid. At one time he might, in all probability, have been Prime Minister. But the object of his wishes was the judicial bench. The situation of Chief ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... told, Mr. Secretary,' said the woman, in tremulous tones, 'that my papers were all right, and that your assent was a mere formality. I have three other sons in the service, and this boy ...
— Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals - As Seen From the Ranks During a Campaign in the Army of the Potomac • William H. Armstrong

... Somerset and Seymour, quarreled. Each was very ambitious, and very jealous of the other. Somerset, in addition to being appointed protector by the council, got a grant of power from the young king called a patent. This commission was executed with great formality, and was sealed with the great seal of state, and it made Somerset, in some measure independent of the other nobles whom King Henry had associated with him in the government. By this patent he was placed in supreme command of all the forces by land and sea. ...
— Queen Elizabeth - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... Council could be only a formality. The king, the young queen, the Grand-master, and the cardinal returned to it, taking with them the vanquished Catherine, who said no word except to approve the measures proposed by the Guises. In spite of a slight opposition from the Chancelier ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... became in time purely symbolic. The bride was delivered to the husband, who as a formality gave a few pieces of silver as payment; but the ceremony proves how completely the woman was regarded as the ...
— The Truth About Woman • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... with more than her ordinary gravity and formality: "I did not know where to send for him. He left London some days ago. Perhaps you ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... Scorpions were pleasingly devoid of formality, and untrammeled by parliamentary conventions. There were no minutes, and the only officer was a secretary who sent out postal cards each week, reminding the members of the time and place of the ...
— Kathleen • Christopher Morley

... its master's cane on the back of the unfortunate poodle, till she howled and growled again. Poodle perceived the meaning of these unkind chastisements, and instead of becoming sulky, showed every disposition to howl on the instant a false note was uttered, without waiting for the formality of a blow. By and by, a mere glance of Mr. S——'s eye was sufficient to make the animal howl to admiration. In the end, Poodle became so thoroughly acquainted with, and attentive to, false notes and other musical barbarisms, ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... buildings was finally completed and dedicated with much formality. The city government ...
— The Harris-Ingram Experiment • Charles E. Bolton

... way to the Federal wounded again. While agreeably to her wishes there was no formality in her reception, it was evident that the poor fellows had now learned to regard ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... and as he became king only by a divine decree, he had publicly to express, at the moment of his elevation, his debt of gratitude to, and his boundless respect for, the deity, who had made him what he was. In this case, however, the protocol embodied something more than the traditional formality, and its hackneyed phrases borrowed a special meaning from the circumstances of the moment. Amon, who had been insulted and proscribed by Khuniatonu, had not fully recovered his prestige under the rule of the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... we are likely to remain together for some time longer in fairly intimate association, each of us the sole companion of the other. Do you not think that, under the circumstances, we might as well drop the formality of 'Mr' and 'Miss?' My name is Richard; but my friends call me Dick, and I should be glad if ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... of a marching platoon the two young men halted before the ladies. Yet there was nothing of stiff formality about either Prescott or Anstey. They stood before their friends, ...
— Dick Prescott's Second Year at West Point - Finding the Glory of the Soldier's Life • H. Irving Hancock

... formality of a martinet, Sergeant Breyman now posted his guard, leaving a corporal and two men with the young surgeon, for Atwater only lived now to see Braun dragged back to his punishment. There was no mistake, for McNerney had whispered, "It's the ...
— The Midnight Passenger • Richard Henry Savage

... pardon, Captain Courtney, but if we could get a couple of guns run out abaft on the main-deck, we could silence that fellow pretty quickly," he said, touching his hat with all due formality. ...
— Ronald Morton, or the Fire Ships - A Story of the Last Naval War • W.H.G. Kingston

... evidently been used for meetings of directors or political caucuses, and was roughly furnished with notched and whittled armchairs and a single long deal table, on which were ink and pens. The men sat down around it with a half-embarrassed, half-contemptuous attitude of formality, their bent brows and isolated looks showing little community of sentiment and scarcely an attempt to veil that individual selfishness that was prominent. Still less was there any essay of companionship or sympathy in the manner of Steptoe ...
— The Three Partners • Bret Harte

... With this formality his responsibility ceases, and the responsibility for the extraordinary act falls solely on the general who gives the order. The officers and agents charged with supplies are placed under the orders of the general in command ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... but every person in his employ carried one everywhere. No matter how trivial the purchase, the person who received a dollar of Brewster's money signed a receipt for the amount. Newsboys and bootblacks were the only beings who escaped the formality; tips to waiters, porters, cabbies, etc., were recorded and afterward put into a class by themselves. Receipts for the few dollars remaining in his possession were to be turned over on the morning of the 23d and the general report ...
— Brewster's Millions • George Barr McCutcheon

... tent, and every one entered who pleased. Mahmoud made Ricardo go in along with him, for being Hassan's slave his entrance was not opposed. Several Greek Christians and some Turks appeared as appellants, but all upon such trifling matters, that the cadi despatched most of them without the formality of written declarations, rejoinders, and replications. It is, in fact, the custom of the Turks that all causes, except those which relate to marriage, shall be immediately and summarily decided, rather by the rules of common sense ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... at from 4 to 7 years of age. The act of circumcision, called "sig-i-at'," occurs privately without feasting or rite. The only formality is the payment of a few leaves of tobacco to the man who performs the operation. There are one or two old men in each ato who understand circumcision, but there is no cult ...
— The Bontoc Igorot • Albert Ernest Jenks

... deposited as soon as possible. Should you receive a check for a considerable amount and have no convenient bank account, you should go to the bank on which the check is drawn and have the cashier certify it by stamping "Accepted" or "Certified" across the face over his signature. That formality makes the paper as good as money so long as the bank accepting it ...
— The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing - A Manual of Ready Reference • Joseph Triemens

... ruler), what obliges is only the intellectual nature of him that is commanded, in that he recognizes the lawful authority of him that commands, and so far determines and modifies his general duty of obedience as to do an action immaterial in itself for the sake of the formality of yielding obedience to lawfully constituted authority. So, in like manner, a specific promise, in itself immaterial and not enjoined by natural justice, is to be kept for the sake of the formality of ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... of dangerous and delusive first principles obliges us to have recourse to the true ones. In the intercourse between nations, we are apt to rely too much on the instrumental part. We lay too much weight upon the formality of treaties and compacts. We do not act much more wisely when we trust to the interests of men as guarantees of their engagements. The interests frequently tear to pieces the engagements; and the ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... I suppose not, but what I said was of no consequence," I replied; then, wishing to make a fresh start, I added: "But I am so glad to hear you call me Smith. It makes it so much more pleasant and homelike to be treated without formality. It is very kind ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... and grammar, and numbered among his pupils Aulus Gellius. He and ARRUNTIUS CELSUS devoted their talents for the most part to subjects of archaic interest. Erudition of a certain kind had now become universal, and was discussed with all the formality and exuberance of public debate. The disputations of the mediaeval universities seem to have found their germ in these animated discussions on trivial subjects, such as are described in chapters of Gellius to which the reader has already ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... I like to see folks familiar and friendly. Familiarity is the life of company, while stiffness and formality give it a chill which is quite disagreeable ...
— Summerfield - or, Life on a Farm • Day Kellogg Lee

... without delays, without even changing carriages (when you travel by express). More than that: a parcel deposited at a station will find its addressee anywhere, in Turkey or in Central Asia, without more formality needed for sending it than writing its destination on a bit ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

... this it suddenly occurred to her that some legal steps ought probably to be taken in order that Little John might be secure against all demands. She went to Edward in alarm, and felt no peace again until he reported compliance with every necessary formality. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, Old Series, Vol. 36—New Series, Vol. 10, July 1885 • Various

... formality of counting, though it was patent to all that the fighting was done. Afterward he turned to Sam and ...
— The Huntress • Hulbert Footner

... his matter, which is sometimes valuable, by his manner, in which he carries a certain flaunting, flowery, figurative, flirting style of amicable condescension to the reader, to an excess more tantalising than the most starched and ridiculous formality of the age of James I. There is nothing so tormenting as the affectation of ease ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... Hungary I grew to like and admire the Hungarians. Natural in manners, hospitable, polite, there is something in them that wins Americans. How different the open hospitality and friendliness in Budapest from the stern, cold formality of ...
— Face to Face with Kaiserism • James W. Gerard

... "statute." I was "citified," Horace said; and "citified" with us here in the country is nearly the limit of invective, though not violent enough to discourage such a gift of sociability as his. The Scotch Preacher, the rarest, kindest man I know, called once or twice, wearing the air of formality which so ill becomes him. I saw nothing in him: it was my fault, not his, that I missed so many weeks of his friendship. Once in that time the Professor crossed my fields with his tin box slung from his shoulder; and the only feeling I had, born of crowded cities, was ...
— Adventures In Contentment • David Grayson

... materials. He blames the sculptors of the last age, who thought they were improving by borrowing from the ornamental, incompatible with its essential character. Contrasts, and the littlenesses of picturesque effects, are injurious to the formality its austere character requires. As in painting, so more particularly in sculpture, that imitation of nature which we call illusion, is in no respect its excellence, nor indeed its aim. Were it so, the Venus di Medici would ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... indeed, even when the woman was in no sense culpable, they reserved to the man the right of undoing it at any time he wished, solely because that particular marriage did not suit his political interests. And the marriage could be dissolved by the most expeditious means, without formality—by a mere letter! Nor was that enough. Fearing that love might outweigh reason and calculation in the young, the law granted to the father the right to give notice of divorce to the daughter-in-law, instead of ...
— The Women of the Caesars • Guglielmo Ferrero

... could claim them. They had no ecclesiastical connections; they stood aloof from the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Herodians and Essenes. They attracted similar attention, gathered the same crowds, and protested against the same sins. Rearing the same standard, they summoned men from formality and hypocrisy to righteousness and reality. They incurred the same hatred on the part of the religious leaders of their nation, and suffered violent deaths—the one beneath the headsman's blade in the dungeons of ...
— John the Baptist • F. B. Meyer

... Attila and Italia from some opera unknown to me, which Antonio and Piero performed with incomparable spirit. It was noticeable how, descending to the people, sung by them for love at sea, or on excursions to the villages round Mestre, these operatic reminiscences had lost something of their theatrical formality, and assumed instead the serious gravity, the quaint movement, and marked emphasis which belong to popular music in Northern and Central Italy. An antique character was communicated even to the ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... ago. My hopes seemed likely to end in smoke—my great coincidence to prove valueless. I was so convinced of this, that I started to go; then I remembered you, and remained. I even took a room, registering myself for the second time that day,—which formality over, I sat down in the office ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... comrades, being cut off from social sympathy, is a familiar form of group pressure. Ridicule and derision are a kind of evanescent ostracism, a temporary exclusion from the comradeship. There are many degrees in the lowering of the social temperature: coolness, formality of intercourse, averted looks, "cutting dead," "sending to Coventry," form a progressive series. Economic pressure is more and more a resort of modern groups. Loss of employment, trade, or professional practice brings many a rebel ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... Goldsmith, Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Jones[710], and the company with whom I had dined. Upon my entrance, Johnson placed himself behind a chair, on which he leaned as on a desk or pulpit, and with humorous formality gave me a Charge, pointing out the conduct expected from me as a good member of ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... Mr. Robert Randall, the agent of the people to England, against the alien bill, and who was, therefore, one of the proscribed, out of his ample estates on the Niagara frontier, and out of his valuable mill privileges on the Ottawa, by the formality of law, so that he was left bankrupt and penniless, and died in sorrow. Indeed anything in the semblance of a liberal was in those days proscribed in a country possessed of the image and transcript ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... there is certainly none where the life of man is held so sacred as in the laws of China. A murder is never overlooked, except in the horrid practice of exposing infants: nor dares the Emperor himself, all-powerful as he is, to take away the life of the meanest subject, without the formality at least of a regular process, though, as will be seen in the case of the late prime minister of Kien-Long, the chance of escaping must be very slender, where he himself becomes the accuser. So tenaciously however ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... in a manner not quite so gracious. In passing, it is well to state that all of Addison's relations with women seem to have occupied a lofty plane of chivalry. His respect for the good name of woman was profound, and whether any woman ever broke through that fine reserve and exquisite formality is a question. He was intensely admired by women, of course, but it was from the other side of the drawing-room. He kept gush at bay, and never tempted ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... often kissed by my grandfather, William I"). Next Prince Henry goes to seek the blessing of General Waldersee; then he has himself blessed by his mother, and by his aunt, and later he will go and get blessed by his grandmother, Queen Victoria. Slowly and solemnly each act and formality is accomplished in accordance with the rites prescribed by William. The Imperial missionary, the sailor transformed into a sort of bishop, sets forth. The quest of the pirate-knight is to conquer all China, to become ...
— The Schemes of the Kaiser • Juliette Adam

... About them were people of the world of which neither had before had any but a distant glimpse. They heard English, American, French, Italian. They saw men and women with that air which no one can define yet everyone knows on sight—the assurance without impertinence, the politeness without formality, the simplicity that is more complex than the most elaborate ornamentation of dress or speech or manner. Susan and Freddie lingered until the departure of the last couple—a plainly dressed man whose clothes on inspection revealed marvels of fineness and harmonious color; a quietly dressed woman ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... infelicitous distinction was Tretherick. He had been divorced from an excellent wife to marry this Fiddletown enchantress. She, also, had been divorced; but it was hinted that some previous experiences of hers in that legal formality had made it perhaps less novel, and probably less sacrificial. I would not have it inferred from this that she was deficient in sentiment, or devoid of its highest moral expression. Her intimate friend had written (on the occasion of her second divorce), "The cold world does not understand ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... official will not use his authority to establish moral standards." Furthermore, "in New York and most Northern and Western states, even the slight check of the occupation tax is absent and there is no formality to be observed in entering our profession by any person, no matter how unreliable, irresponsible, or incapable, and whatever ...
— A Stake in the Land • Peter Alexander Speek

... in. Harry greeted him with exceeding cordiality and a fine blush. Armorer explained that he had come to speak to him about the proposed street-car ordinances; he (Armorer) always liked to deal with principals and without formality; now, couldn't they come, representing the city and the company, to some satisfactory compromise? Thereupon he plunged into the statistics of the earnings and expenses of the road (with the aid of his note-book), and made the absolute necessity ...
— Stories of a Western Town • Octave Thanet

... The earnestness of the youngster had touched me. Beneath the formality and the "sirs" there was a real ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931 • Various

... your highness that my lord begs you to await him; for he will meet you here in a few minutes," replied Princess Amelia's maid of honor, with respectful formality. ...
— Mysteries of Paris, V3 • Eugene Sue

... this prisoner—whose identity was not yet ascertained—pointed to clouds on the horizon in the event of Lucien's being examined, the more necessary did the interrogatory seem to Camusot. Even if this formality had not been required by the Code and by common practice, it was indispensable as bearing on the identification of the Abbe Carlos. There is in every walk of life the business conscience. In default of curiosity Camusot would have examined Lucien as he had examined ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... of Sir Walter's parents. The eager curiosity of the active-minded woman, whom "the honourable Mrs. Ogilvie" had been able to keep upright in her chair for life, but not to cure of the desire to unravel the little mysteries of which she had a passing glimpse; the grave formality of the husband, fretting under his wife's personal attention to a dishonoured man, and making her pay the penalty by dashing to pieces the cup which the king's evidence had used,—again, the visitor himself, perfectly conscious no doubt that the Hanoverian lawyer ...
— Sir Walter Scott - (English Men of Letters Series) • Richard H. Hutton

... that there is needed still a formality. The queen will not be admitted into the Tower without the king's written and ...
— Henry VIII And His Court • Louise Muhlbach

... in addition to that the accused was not ashamed to convict himself out of his own mouth. The sentence upon a traitor as upon a mutinous soldier is unalterable. It is death! No doubt, gentlemen, we are unanimously agreed upon that, and the formality of the ballot is all that ...
— A Modern Mercenary • Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard

... gently, as he puffed at a little brier which he had substituted for the adorable cob on account of the formality of Sue's dance, which we could hear going on comfortably without us, beyond the privet hedge whose buds were just beginning to give forth a delicious tang, "Peter is a great, queer kind of sensitive ...
— Over Paradise Ridge - A Romance • Maria Thompson Daviess

... petition were reserved for one; and with him she now joined the name of his child. But how pray for the son without the mother? It was positively a struggle; for Theodora had a horror of mockery and formality; but the duty was too clear, the evil which made it distasteful, too evident, not to be battled with; she remembered that she ought to pray for all mankind, even those who had injured her, and, on these terms, she added her brother's wife. It ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... interposed, "Miss Harlowe is evidently very much agitated over something, therefore do not waste time over useless formality. I knew you, my dear, from the picture I saw of you at Mrs. Gray's," she added, turning to Grace, with a winning smile, that caused the young girl to ...
— Grace Harlowe's Senior Year at High School - or The Parting of the Ways • Jessie Graham Flower

... went through the formality of greeting Kate next morning when she came down to breakfast. He was evidently ill at ease, and turned away his eyes when she looked at him, though he glanced at her furtively from time to time. His father chatted with him upon ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... was a colored man, standing before his log-house in the evening of a day in June. His wife was the only listener to the monologue. He had been examining a paper which was sealed and stamped with official formality, and which had started him upon the train of thought he had pursued. The question he was trying in vain to answer was only the simplest and easiest of the thousand strange queries which freedom had so recently propounded ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... insisted upon seeing her safely home and as it was so logically the thing to do, she accepted his escort with what grace she could. Throughout the short walk, however, her manner toward him was one of cold formality, and although Phil was by no means an uninteresting conversationalist on occasion, his best efforts failed to break down ...
— Every Man for Himself • Hopkins Moorhouse



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