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Self-command   /sɛlf-kəmˈænd/   Listen
Self-command

noun
1.
The trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior.  Synonyms: possession, self-control, self-possession, self-will, will power, willpower.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Self-command" Quotes from Famous Books



... heresy. Except in that one phrase above quoted he never complained of his social oppressors, so far as I remember, in his writings. His perfect amiability was one of his most striking characteristics, and in a nature fastidious as was his in its whole organization, it implied a self-command worthy of admiration. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... the prey all at once, and, as it were, without a struggle, fluttering to his lure, and practically within his grasp. There was an evening when Daphne's sudden softness, the look in her eyes, the inflection in her voice had fairly thrown him off his balance. For the first time he had shown a lack of self-command and self-possession. Whereupon, in a flash, a new and strange Daphne had developed—imperious, difficult, incalculable. The more he gave, the more she claimed. Nor was it mere girlish caprice. The young Englishman, invited to a game that he ...
— Marriage a la mode • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... to become a union. And in this negotiation the agent and secretary was Knox.[78] He corresponded with the Queen's great minister Cecil (Elizabeth herself would not hear Knox's name). And it says not a little for the self-command and honesty of the English statesman, that he trusted so fully a man whose first letter, written several years before—a letter, too, asking a favour—commenced by Knox's 'discharging his ...
— John Knox • A. Taylor Innes

... wrestling with a fierce inward agony. The veins on her forehead were swollen, and her eyes flashed with singular light. It was not clear whether she were trying to say something to conceal something, or simply to recover her self-command. It was a terrible spectacle, and Lawrence Newt felt as if he must veil his eyes, as if he had no right to look upon this ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... young man, supporting himself on his two elbows, drew close to Aramis' face, with such an expression of dignity, of self-command, and of defiance even, that the bishop felt the electricity of enthusiasm strike in devouring flashes from that seared heart of his, into ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... Netherglen had already taken place. Hugo was not sorry that she was gone. Her gentle words and ways were a restraint upon him: he felt obliged to command himself in her presence. And self-command was becoming more and more a difficult task. What he wanted to say or to do presented itself to him with overmastering force: it seemed foolishly weak to give up, for the sake of a mere scruple of conscience, any design on which he had set his heart. And above ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... dreams and the companionship of Bluebell, who gave no further offence, now that she had learnt self-command and the necessity of keeping her feelings to herself, the spring advanced apace, and the first bluebird, alighting on the garden rails, was descried with a ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... chair and waited. She waited impatiently, for she knew that she had almost reached the limits of her self-command, and needed the presence of others to keep her from breaking down. But her native courage came to her aid, and in half an hour she heard the steps of her father and his guests in the passage. She noticed that her father looked anxiously toward her ...
— Running Water • A. E. W. Mason

... Passionately fond of the few books he could obtain, he was called Beauclerc, or the fine scholar; and whilst as little restrained by real principle as his brothers, he was able to preserve a decorum and self-command that kept him in ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... much puzzled, her helper perceived that she still had a dread of him which was sufficient to hinder her complete recovery of self-command. She spoke in a quick and nervous way to the shopkeeper, asking him to ...
— A Changed Man and Other Tales • Thomas Hardy

... liberty of American girls occasionally leads to improprieties. But, except in certain great cities, such instances are rare. The safeguards of virtue are knowledge and self-command, not duennas and jalousies. Let mothers properly instruct their daughters, and they need have no apprehension ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... after the departure of those charming princesses arrived, and had I but retained so much self-command as I ought to have had, I should have been this day the happiest of all mankind, whereas now I am the most unfortunate. But through my weakness, which I shall ever repent, and the temptations of an evil spirit, I opened that fatal door! But before I had moved my foot ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments • Anonymous

... the education of a gentleman (I do not mean a person born to wealth or station, but any man who has trained himself in morals or religion, in letters, and in the world) disciplines the impulses, and leaves the good manner to grow naturally out of habits of self-command and consequent ...
— Venetian Life • W. D. Howells

... the promise fulfilled in her experience, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." She felt deeply the stroke which had made her a widow; but, possessing an uncommon degree of self-command, it was a comfort to her children to observe her great calmness of spirit, and to hear the expressions of her confidence in God. Her natural fortitude was sustained by divine grace, and her whole carriage under this bereavement afforded an edifying instance of the manner in which a Christian ...
— The Baptist Magazine, Vol. 27, January, 1835 • Various

... lived in an enchanted world, where to utter a certain fatal word would be to break the spell; and whatever momentary impulse or passionate longing, engendered by a look, a smile, the light touch of a hand, the mere sense of proximity, might move him to speak of his love, he had sufficient self-command to keep the fatal words unspoken. He meant to wait till the last hour of his visit. Only when separation was imminent would he plead his cause again. Thus at the worst he would have lost no happy hours of her company. And, in the mean time, since ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... boldness of his falsity. She saw the face of Grant Herman, nobly instinct with truth in every line, and, as he turned at her husband's word, everything blurred before her vision. She believed she was going to faint, and she rallied all her self-command to hold herself steady. The lights danced, and the sound of voices faded as into the distance. Then, with a supreme effort of will, she rallied, and the voices rolled back upon her ear with a noise like the roar of ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... visits during the few hours which each day the husband and wife spent together. In the presence of the two beings whom Joam so dearly loved his heart nearly failed him. But the husband—the father—retained his self-command. It was he who comforted the two poor women and inspired them with a little of the hope of which so little now remained to him. They had come with the intention of cheering the prisoner. Alas! far more than he they themselves were in want of cheering! But ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... me—to me, your lover, who had never a thought that was false to you!—to me, your mate of many years!—to me, your almost husband!" cried the youth, losing all self-command in the sharpness of his pain, and bursting into a tempest of grief and rage, and launching fierce reproaches ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... the poor should be taught to read, and is very clear that everyone should be made to know his station; but still he talks with sense and moderation, and even gets so far as to suggest the necessity of reformatories. He is not very romantic, and displays an amount of self-command in judicially settling the claims of the various ladies who are anxious to marry him, which is almost comic; he is perfectly ready to marry the Italian lady, if she can surmount her religious scruples, though he is in love with Miss Byron; and his mind is evidently in a pleasing state of ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... as he opened the north-parlor door. Dorothy Fair sat with her embroidery-work at the mahogany table, whereon a whole branch of candles burned in silver sticks. She was working a muslin collar for her own adornment, and she set a fine stitch in a sprig before she rose up, either to prove her self-command to herself or to Burr Gordon. She had also held herself quiet during ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... excuse for compliments; I warn you, you will repent it if you do," he said warmly; and then, after a little hesitation which might well have been mistaken for an effort at self-command in a moment of emotion, he added ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... dare not speak of my feelings to you now, lest I should lose the strength and self-command I need ...
— Evenings at Donaldson Manor - Or, The Christmas Guest • Maria J. McIntosh

... he had recovered his self-command a little in the presence of the agglomeration, comforted himself by calling the bric-a-brac Jamescracks, as if ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... &c. adj.; gravity, sobriety, Quakerism[obs3]; philosophy, equanimity, stoicism, command of temper; self-possession, self-control, self-command, self-restraint, ice water in one's veins; presence of mind. submission &c. 725; resignation; sufferance, supportance[obs3], endurance, longsufferance[obs3], forbearance; longanimity[obs3]; fortitude; patience of Job, patience "on a monument" [Twelfth Night], patience ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... woman can be debased, for you hope you can then jump over me easier. But you have suffered unspeakably yourself from everything you just said to me. I see it in you. Already you are near the end of your self-command. Go! For your innocent fiancee's sake, leave me alone! One minute more, your mood will change around and you'll make a scene with me of another kind, that you can't answer ...
— Erdgeist (Earth-Spirit) - A Tragedy in Four Acts • Frank Wedekind

... earned.[39] The friend who seems most to have affected him in the deepest things was Anstice, whom he describes to his father (June 4, 1830) as 'a very clever man, and more than a clever man, a man of excellent principle and of perfect self-command, and of great industry. If any circumstances could confer upon me the inestimable blessing of fixed habits and unremitting industry, these [the example of such a man] will be they.' The diary tells how, in August (1830), Mr. Gladstone conversed ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... that the Prince was very much disappointed indeed. The vision had not prepared him for Edna's pince-nez, among other matters, and altogether he felt that his Godmother had exaggerated the Princess's personal attractions to a most unscrupulous degree. But this he had sufficient self-command to conceal. In fact, he rather overdid it, though it was only to himself that his courtly greeting sounded ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... itself, or from an unusual gift of Divine grace poured into our hearts, but so it is; let our temptation be to sloth, or irresolution, or worldly anxiety, or pride, or to other more base and miserable sins, we may suddenly find ourselves possessed of a power of self-command which we had not before. Or again, we may have a resolution grow on us to serve God more strictly in His house and in private than heretofore. This is a call to higher things; let us beware lest we receive the grace ...
— Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII (of 8) • John Henry Newman

... caprice, but himself; everyone saw that in reality she doted on him; but Eugene alone suspected the sincerity of her affection. For some time he bore this coquetry with secret impatience and distrust; but his feelings grew sore and irritable, and overcame his self-command. A slight misunderstanding took place; a quarrel ensued. Annette, unaccustomed to be thwarted and contradicted, and full of the insolence of youthful beauty, assumed an air of disdain. She refused all explanations to her lover, and they ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... my own ears, yet could scarce credit my shocked senses to hear her; and I had sat there, now hot with anger, now in cold amazement; not touching food save with an effort that cost me all my self-command. ...
— The Maid-At-Arms • Robert W. Chambers

... distinctly heard, and he coloured as much as it is in the power of man to do. The lady happily observed how much he was annoyed, and changed the conversation. Hazlehurst was not in a mood to pay a long visit: he soon rose to take leave. Elinor, in the mean time, made a great effort for self-command. She knew that she was the injured party, and yet she felt superior to all the littleness of resentment—she acquitted Harry and Jane of all intentional trifling with her feelings. The gentle, quiet dignity of her manner gradually expressed what was ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... water. Lisbeth took off her cap, unfastened her black hair, and plunged her head into the basin her new friend held for her. She dipped her forehead into it several times, and checked the incipient inflammation. After this douche she completely recovered her self-command. ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... Self-approbation. Love of Praise and of Praiseworthiness. Influence and authority of Conscience. Self-partiality; corrected by the use of General Rules. Connexion of Utility with Moral Approbation. Influence of Custom on the Moral Sentiments. Character of Virtue. Self-command. Opinion regarding the theory of the ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... clear candor of his voice reassured her. "Don't be afraid. I mean what I said. You need have no fear that I—that my offence will be repeated;" then, with intent to demonstrate his self-command, he abruptly changed the subject. "The Congdons sent their love to you, and Miss Franklin commissioned me to tell you that she will give you all her time next summer—if you wish ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... recovered, remained gazing in speechless agony at March, who, having made several fruitless efforts to seize hold of the sunken rock, was evidently growing weaker. Bounce also remained to gaze, as if he had lost all his wonted self-command. ...
— The Wild Man of the West - A Tale of the Rocky Mountains • R.M. Ballantyne

... intelligence. There he sat, as above the common passions of humanity, surveying its doings with a mind unobscured by prejudice, as wide in its grasp as it was masculine it capability. His clearness of apprehension, his perspicuity of statement, his perfect self-command, his vast knowledge of every kind, were amongst the least of his qualifications for his high station. More preeminently than all was his heroic and almost chivalric devotion to the judicial office; his stern and unflinching love of justice, as ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... superstition, not because the first were in themselves good or the second evil, but because they were respectively helpers or hinderers of pleasure. He is the master and possessor of pleasure not who abstains from it, but who uses it and keeps his self-command in the using. Moderate indulgence—this ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... undisturbed tranquillity; when her agitated feelings become calmed; when there seems speaking to her, through the hushed air of midnight, the voice of a merciful providence-her soul quickens, and she counsels her self-command, which has not yet deserted her. Woman's nature is indeed strung in delicate threads, but her power of endurance not unfrequently puts the sterner sex to the blush. "Slander has truly left my heart diseased, but I am innocent, and to-morrow, perhaps, ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... no selfish emotion, Philip," said the Constable, resuming self-command. "I grieve less that she has left me, than that she has misjudged me—that she has treated me as the pawnbroker does his wretched creditor, who arrests the pledge as the very moment elapses within which it might have been relieved. Did she then think ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... sympathy, and she longed for the power of helping her, marvelling how a being so nervously restless and devoid of self-command could pass through a scene likely to be so trying. The bell sounded, and the loud hearty tones of a manly voice were heard. Albinia looked to see whether her help were needed, but Miss Meadows's whole face was brightened, and moving across the room with unusually even steps, she leant ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... itself rightful possession of the ground which it held. There was nothing effeminate about it, as there was nothing fanatical; there was nothing extreme or foolish about it; it was a manly school, distrustful of high-wrought feelings and professions, cultivating self-command and shy of display, and setting up as its mark, in contrast to what seemed to it sentimental weakness, a reasonable and serious idea of duty. The divinity which it propounded, though it rested on learning, was rather that ...
— The Oxford Movement - Twelve Years, 1833-1845 • R.W. Church

... with me to-night?' Well, do you know, his face got quite white again; and he said—I remember the very words, all as cold as ice—'Madam,' says he, 'I am glad to find that your hurried trip to Scotland has impaired neither your good looks nor your self-command.' Wasn't it cruel of him?—but then, poor fellow! he had been badly used, I admit that. Poor young fellow! he never did marry; and I don't believe he ever forgot me to his dying day. Many a time I'd like to have told him all about it, and how there was no use in my marrying ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... unhappy life. His wants were few, and his half-pay more than adequate to supply them. A happy contemplative indolence, arising from a well-cultivated mind, feeding rather upon its previous acquirements than adding to its store—an equanimity of disposition, and a habit of rigid self-command—were the characteristics of Edward Forster; whom I shall now awaken, that we ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... Francesco a sensuous man or a libertine like his father. His devotionally-affected mother, Eleanora de Toledo, had trained him in moral ways, and had called forth in him regard for religion and sympathy for charitable objects. Possessed of great self-command and reticence, he never betrayed himself in any way; passionate he was beyond the ordinary, but never revengeful. He loved one woman, and only one, and to her he proved himself faithful until death took them away together; but she was not Giovanna, his political wife, she was Bianca, the ...
— The Tragedies of the Medici • Edgcumbe Staley

... at him, and the frown roused him to brave her. He lost his self-command, already shaken by her strange behavior. "You know that I love you, Miss Lindsay," he said. "It may not be a perfect love, but, humanly speaking, it is a true one. I almost told you so that day when we were in the billiard room together; and I did a very dishonorable thing the same ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... happened to come close up to the artist, and he was struck by the earnest gaze which the old man fixed on him. Some strange magnetic influence was in the glance, for it thrilled him from head to foot. He was seized with an unaccountable desire to hear the old man speak, but all his natural self-command forsook him. He could not find the courage to utter a word. Those dark, earnest eyes seemed to have taken away ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... breath, as if trying to retain her self-command. Her grey eyes flashed ominously, ...
— A Patriotic Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... him with microscopic power, and, with all his self-command, she saw him wince and change color, and give other signs that this shaft had ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... distinct, only forms and visages were distorted and voices piercing. He drew himself up, calm, grave, for the moment master of himself, but very drunk. He knew he was drunk, and was as guarded and alert, as keenly suspicious of himself as he would have been of a thief at his elbow. His self-command enabled Clifford to hold his head safely under some running water, and repair to the street considerably the worse for wear, but never suspecting that his companion was drunk. For a time he kept his self-command. His face was only a bit paler, a bit tighter than usual; ...
— The King In Yellow • Robert W. Chambers

... says Froude, "I never walked with him without his recurring to a subject which was never absent from his mind." Doubtless his remorse was exaggerated. His letters, and his wife's, show that he was a most affectionate husband when nothing had occurred to deprive him of his self-command. But he had at times been cruelly inconsiderate, and he wished to do penance for his misdeeds. A practical Christian would have asked God to pardon him, and made amends by active kindness to his surviving fellow- creatures. Carlyle took another course. In 1871, five years after ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... to throw the dinner out the window, when her master at last appeared, followed by his guests. They had not exchanged a word after they left the mayor's. Aside from the fatigues of the evening, they wished to reflect, and to resume their self-command. Mme. Petit found it useless to question their faces —they told her nothing. But she did not agree with Baptiste about M. Lecoq: she thought him good-humored, and rather silly. Though the party was less silent at the dinner-table, all avoided, as if by tacit consent, any allusion to the ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... in his face, losing her self-command the while, as Heston led her from the room, and closed the door, while as she heard it locked on the inside and the sound of the rings passing over the rod, she sank down sobbing on the lion-skin rug, burying her face in her hands, ...
— The Dark House - A Knot Unravelled • George Manville Fenn

... boys taught by myself. They were the noisy element of the school, ranging from ten to fifteen years of age —too large to show the docility of the little lads, but not old enough to have attained the self-command and self-respect that come later in life. Though he was much older than any of them, and heavier than his teacher, this class suited Jack. The white boys all liked him, and he liked me. We had grand times with that class. The only way to keep them in order was to keep them very busy. ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... by. Richard did not present himself. Sir Austin's pitch of self-command was to await the youth without signs ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... She would have given worlds to have possessed at the moment sufficient self-command to have enabled her to express in her tone and manner unqualified satisfaction at the tidings. But she had not such self-command, and was painfully aware of ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... which any sudden impression was liable to produce when she was in her half-hysteric state of mind and body. She turned to the new-comer, who found himself unexpectedly submitted to a test which he would never have risked of his own will. He must go through it, cruel as it was, with the easy self-command which belongs to a gentleman in the most trying social exigencies. He addressed her, therefore, in the usual terms of courtesy, and then turned and greeted Mr. Bradshaw, whom he had never met since their coming together ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... interest and affections. I was much surprised to see in the half-light of the alcove the reclining figure of the count leaning upon his elbow and observing me with profound attention. I was so little prepared for this examination that I stood rather dispossessed of self-command. ...
— The Man-Wolf and Other Tales • Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

... crack of a cabin door. Awful thought. And that door was in that part of the saloon remaining in the shadow of the other half of the curtain. I pointed at it and I suppose that old man inside saw me pointing. The captain had a wonderful self-command. You couldn't have guessed anything from his face. Well, it was perhaps more thoughtful than usual. And indeed this was something to think about. But I couldn't think steadily. My brain would give a sort of jerk and then go dead again. I had lost all notion of ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... circumstances, the pleasures of this hour fill them with vanity, the devotion of the next with enthusiasm, or perhaps terror. Charmed by worldly follies because they are ignorant or idle, and without resistance to vice because they have never learned self-command, they seek to extirpate all the natural emotions and desires which they do not know how to regulate, and so give up the world. But they deceive themselves; their moral defects are not lessened; they have only changed their objects. The frivolity which formerly made trifles absorb ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... the little circle, then at the Duke of Crowborough, who had gravely given her his hand. The suppressed excitement already in the room clearly communicated itself to her. She did not lose her self-command for an instant, but her ...
— Lady Rose's Daughter • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... girl met Oliver with no incoherence, but with brave quiet. All her self-command had returned. She asked him in, and showed a tender forethought for Marylyn by sending her out into the sunshine and the garden before she listened to what he had to tell. When he was done, she began her story with ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... instance of self-command had a wonderful and inspiriting effect on the rest; and as he replaced the pale and palsied prisoner in his former position, giving him a vindictive shake and vicious kick with his royal boots as he did so, everybody began to feel themselves ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... doctrinal morality of Pythagoras is admirable; but it is vitiated by the ceremonial quackery connected with it. Humanity to all things—gentleness—friendship—love—and, above all the rest, SELF-COMMAND—form the principal recommendations of his mild and patriarchal ethics. But, perhaps, from his desire to establish a political fraternity—perhaps from his doubt of the capacity of mankind to embrace Truth unadorned, enamoured only of her ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... given Mr. Hardy a piece of its mind to fight with. One curious result of this divergence in the two types of sceptic is this: that when these two brilliant novelists break down or blow up or otherwise lose for a moment their artistic self-command, they are both equally wild, but wild in opposite directions. Meredith shows an extravagance in comedy which, if it were not so complicated, every one would call broad farce. But Mr. Hardy has the honour ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... integrity, his private virtues, his abilities, and patriotism. These exalted traits were no more doubted than the same in Washington. But if he had more brain-power than Washington he had not that great leader's prudence, nor good sense, nor patience, nor self-command, nor unerring instinct in judging men and power ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... address to Bonaparte, announcing the votes of the troops under him respecting the consulate for life and the elevation to the Imperial throne, contain such mean and abject flattery that, for a true soldier, it must have required more self-command and more courage to pronounce them than to brave the fire of a hundred cannons; but these very addresses, contemptible as their contents are, procured him the Field-marshal's staff. Mortier well knew his man, and that ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... female, that anything they find in the library may be used to light a fire with. One chilly day Gumbo lighted the fire with the newly purchased Indian birch scroll. My father, when he heard of this performance, lost all self-command. In his ordinary temper the most humane of men, he simply raged at Gumbo. He would teach him, he said, to destroy his papers. And it appeared, from what we could piece together (for old Tom was very reticent and my father very incoherent), ...
— In the Wrong Paradise • Andrew Lang

... up his hand with one of his fatalistic Latin gestures, drawing the attention of the passers-by to the man and woman talking so earnestly. For this reason, and because she was losing her self-command, she hastened ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... entrance, under an excitement of thought and feeling which in one of his powerfully organised nature must end and that soon in an outburst of mysterious passion which would carry everything before it. But he did not mean that it should happen here. He was too accustomed to self-command to forget himself in this presence. He would hold these rampant dogs in leash till the hour of solitude; then—a glittering smile twisted his lips as he continued to gaze, first at the girl who had just entered his life, ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... of the sort of people with whom he had principally to deal was perfect. His quickness of perception and self-command were also remarkable. These qualifications gave him an extraordinary power in the examinations just ...
— A Visit To The United States In 1841 • Joseph Sturge

... the audience, they perceived this inroad before the latter and, as by a signal, ceased playing. The startled dancer, for all her aristocratic self-command, stopped immediately for explanation, and, riveting her glances on the female head of the intruders, whom she recognized—that was ...
— The Son of Clemenceau • Alexandre (fils) Dumas

... Bradley, as I have said, was very fond of betting. Moreover, he prided himself not a little upon his self-command, and as he had not any mistress to be jealous of, as soon as the gentleman had finished his story he came at once ...
— Monsieur Violet • Frederick Marryat

... the heart too well to refuse a favor in which the poor old man's mind was comforting itself. He had the self-command to abstain from any extraordinary expressions of gratitude, but took it kindly, ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... wondrous self-command which for long years she had exercised with such amazing success:—then vanished from her mind all the strong motives which had induced her to undertake so terrible a martyrdom as that of simulating the loss of two faculties most dear and most valuable ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... the second regiment to step forward, upon which an elderly man, armed with a heavy dragoon sabre, stepped out of the ranks. When he discovered by our dress that we were English, this redoubtable warrior lost all self-command; he resigned his sword to me without a murmur, and consented at once to believe that his battalion was surrounded, and that to offer any resistance would but occasion a needless loss of blood. Nor was he singular in these respects: his followers, placing implicit reliance ...
— The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans 1814-1815 • G. R. Gleig

... Jack!" Having breathlessly gone that far, she was able to finish with greater self-command. "Ther linin's in sheer rags. I kin be mendin' thet wust place by the sleeve ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... he lost his self-command, and it might be so with the Bunkers. This rafting is dangerous business, and I advise you never to engage in it;" and Captain Sedley walked off towards ...
— The Boat Club - or, The Bunkers of Rippleton • Oliver Optic

... enlarged sufficiently upon such topics. What I have to note is that, in any case, the change supposes the necessity of a corresponding morality in the growth of the instincts, the public spirit, the hatred of indolence, the temperance and self-command which would be requisite to work it efficiently. The organisation into which we are born presupposes certain moral instincts, and, moreover, necessarily implies a vast system of moral discipline. Our hopes and aspirations, our ...
— Social Rights and Duties, Volume I (of 2) - Addresses to Ethical Societies • Sir Leslie Stephen

... supporting Grace, passed me on their way to the cabin. My poor sister was pale as death, and I could see that she trembled so much she could hardly walk. A significant glance from Lucy bade me not to interfere, and I hid sufficient self-command to obey. I turned to look at the neighbouring sloop, and found at once an explanation of my sister's agitation. The Mertons and Rupert were on her quarter-deck, and so near as to render it impossible to avoid speaking, at least to the former. At this embarrassing instant Lucy returned to ...
— Miles Wallingford - Sequel to "Afloat and Ashore" • James Fenimore Cooper

... as the hero's mother was at the Peace Ball given in Fredericksburg during the visit of Washington to that town. With all her majestic self-command, she did not disguise the pleasure with which she received the special request of the managers that she would honor the occasion with her presence. There was even a happy flutter in the playful rejoinder that "her dancing days were pretty well over, but that if her coming would contribute to the ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... appreciate the nobleness of Ellen's self-command and the obedience which was the security of future happiness, but was hurt at what he thought weak alienation. One note of sympathy would have done much for Griff just then. I have often thought it over ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... name of Hugh, Rachel winced. Lady Newhaven had mentioned no name in the earlier stages of her story while she had some vestige of self-command; but now at last the Christian name slipped ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... applause, and the lights of the auditorium were resuming. The lighting-up pierced the obscurity of the box, and Ramage stopped his urgent flow of words abruptly and sat back. This helped to restore Ann Veronica's self-command. ...
— Ann Veronica • H. G. Wells

... self-command but her knees remained weak and her lips tremulous, and she rested her forehead on both hands which had fallen, tightly clasped, on the table in front of her. After a few moments she felt better and she rang up her D. C., Mr. Vaux, ...
— In Secret • Robert W. Chambers

... them in the "Diary." They were, we doubt not, most amiable women. But "the sweet queen," as she is constantly called in these volumes, is not by any means an object of admiration to us. She had, undoubtedly, sense enough to know what kind of deportment suited her high station, and self-command enough to maintain that deportment invariably. She was, in her intercourse. with Miss Burney, generally gracious and affable, sometimes, when displeased, cold and reserved, but never, under any circumstances, rude, peevish or violent. She knew how to dispense, ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... in a low tone, Morok had evidently pointed to Dagobert. The latter, notwithstanding his self-command, felt that the restraint he had imposed upon himself, since his arrival at this unlucky inn, and above all wince the commencement of the conversation between Morok and the burgomaster, was becoming no longer bearable; besides, ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... eloquence of the disappearance and the long search, and gave a history of Endicott's life in nice detail, pleased with the unaffected interest of this severe but elegant woman. As he spoke his eye took in every mark of feeling, every gesture, every expression. Her self-command, if she knew Horace Endicott, remained perfect; if she knew him not, her manner ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... Minor Canon, with a smooth motion of his hand: 'nothing unsteady, nothing forced, nothing avoided; all thoroughly done in a masterly manner, with perfect self-command.' ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... little man's voice was as sharp as the crack of a whip; 'I forbid it. Do you hear me? I forbid it. Some self-command; my dear good fellow, remember, remember it's only the will, the will that ...
— The Return • Walter de la Mare

... blow your brains out, I do not know. Boy, if you have any wish to live out your days, never taunt me with cowardice again! There, go below, and do not let me see you again until I have recovered my self-command, or even yet I shall ...
— The Pirate Slaver - A Story of the West African Coast • Harry Collingwood

... believe," Miss Brandon said, "that it was quite involuntarily I became a spy on your actions. I did not overhear one word; and my partner had that moment left me, when I saw—" Not all her self-command could check the shudder that ran through every limb, and the choking in her ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... by this strange, self-conscious, frank, contemptuous, and vain creature, by this young man who, even in his weaknesses, has a certain heroic air about him. It was necessary to break through the bonds of unworthy love. Unable to trust any longer to his often baffled resolution and self-command, Alfieri devised a primitive and theatrical remedy too much in harmony with his whole nature to be otherwise than efficacious. The lady occupied a house in the great rococo square of San Carlo, opposite to the one which he rented; she could not go in or out of her door without ...
— The Countess of Albany • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... invariably appear, and no organ will be more seriously affected, and possibly impaired, than the brain. This is shown in the inebriate by a weakened intellect, a general debility of the mental faculties, a partial or total loss of self-respect, and a departure of the power of self-command; all of which, acting together, place the victim at the mercy of a depraved and morbid appetite, and make him utterly powerless, by his own unaided efforts, to secure his recovery from the disease which is destroying him." And he adds: "I am of ...
— Grappling with the Monster • T. S. Arthur

... defence Of weakness, fraud, and hypocrisy, have always been most disreputable. On the other hand, the excesses of haughty and daring spirits have been treated with indulgence, and even with respect. The Italians regarded with corresponding lenity those crimes which require self-command, address, quick observation, fertile invention, and profound knowledge ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... gravely wondering. He kissed her, and, after a momentary hesitation, gave her to her mother. The horror of the situation overpowered him: he turned his face away from us. I understood what he felt; he almost overthrew my own self-command. ...
— The Legacy of Cain • Wilkie Collins

... not have started? "Page" is my Christian name. And I was to call her "Margery"? For just the briefest moment I wondered if my first impression of my companion could have been amiss. But I rallied my self-command and such shreds of gallantry as my life and my convictions had left. Undeniably she was a pretty girl, despite ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... nights such as fell to her lot. But she belonged to that class of natures which, although delicate and fragile, rejoice in difficulty. Her grief for her father was exquisite, but it was controlled by a sense of her responsibility. The greater the peril, the more complete was her self-command. ...
— The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... it right out to the end first," she said. "No; please don't interrupt! Mr. Jack, give me the letter ... oh! I've got it." (She drew it out and began to unfold it, talking all the while with astonishing smoothness and self-command.) "And I'll read you all the important part. It's written to Mr. Kirkby. He got it this morning and very kindly brought it straight ...
— None Other Gods • Robert Hugh Benson

... the boy, hardened and inured to danger, in the twinkling of an eye understood that if he did not regain self-command, if he did not muster courage, if he shot badly and only wounded the assailant, even though heavily, the little maid must perish. But he could master himself to that degree that under the influence of these thoughts his hands and limbs suddenly became calm like steel springs. ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... a bomb-shell the Inspector could not have looked more astounded. The detective, who was a man of greater self-command, did not betray his feelings so plainly, though he was not entirely without them, for, as I made this statement, he turned and looked at me; Mr. ...
— That Affair Next Door • Anna Katharine Green

... had no hindrances like yours—only the most fearful burden of dullness and sloth, that had crept upon me and mastered me, during all the weeks that I had let myself be so upset and delayed. I cannot picture what I go through when I lose my self-command in that way, but it is like one who is tied down upon a railroad track and hears a train coming. He gets just as desperate as he pleases, and suffers anything you can imagine—but he does not get free. And always the book would be hanging ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... my mind from them, it is a great comfort to tell you of my troubles. Up there I feel in despair, and have to exert all my self-command to suppress my anger. I do not wish my servants to understand, for they are quite capable of laughing at me, neither do I wish poor Visitacion to know anything. I cannot dissimulate. I cannot feign happiness when I am so irritated! What a hell ...
— The Shadow of the Cathedral • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... somewhat desiccated matron appeared to offer him no practical relief. He thought her a humbug, and he judged of humbugs with a good deal of confidence. He had listened and made himself agreeable to her at first, in order to get a footing in Washington Square; and at present he needed all his self-command to be decently civil. It would have gratified him to tell her that she was a fantastic old woman, and that he should like to put her into an omnibus and send her home. We know, however, that Morris possessed the virtue of self-control, and he had, moreover, the constant habit of seeking ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... antecedent training, was eminently capable of the sustained intellectual efforts which strategical conceptions involve. Such was his self-command that under the most adverse conditions, the fatigues and anxieties of a campaign, the fierce excitement of battle, his brain, to use the words of a great Confederate general, "worked with the precision of the most perfect machinery."* (* General G. B. Gordon. Introduction to Memoirs of Stonewall ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... heard grumbling in private over certain aspects of his bearing in the House. He had come into damaging collision with the Speaker on one or two occasions, and had made here and there a blunder in tactics which seemed to show a weakening of self-command. Tressady, indeed, knew enough to wonder that the man's nerve and coolness had maintained themselves ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... had had a sharp dispute with her father. She came one day into the office, and desired him to give her some employment in the business. Consul Garman never lost his self-command, but on this occasion he was on the very point of doing so. The dispute was short, it is true, and soon ended, like every other conflict that was carried on against the father's principles, in a decided victory for his side; but from that time the daughter became ...
— Garman and Worse - A Norwegian Novel • Alexander Lange Kielland

... regret to see that Mr. Bancroft's investigations and conclusions lead him to exalt Washington in comparison with the soldiers and civilians who stood around him; and the reader of his pages will have fresh cause to admire, not merely the firmness and self-command of that illustrious man, but his abilities as a commander and a statesman. We have especially to thank Mr. Bancroft for the distinctness with which he shows how much the success of the Northern army was due to Washington's disinterested advice. His high praise of the commander-in-chief ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 110, December, 1866 - A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics • Various

... her mother's receipt of each of these letters, thought she saw a cloud on her brow, Zosephine explained, with a revival of that old look of sweet self-command which the daughter so loved to see, that they contained matters of business not at all to be called troubles. But the little mother did not show the letters. She could not; Marguerite did not even know their writer had changed his business. ...
— Bonaventure - A Prose Pastoral of Acadian Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... under these tremulous comedy airs. So that, instead of laughing too, he took her hand and, there being no spectators anywhere to be seen in the damp November garden, he raised it to his lips with a few broken words of affection and gratitude which very nearly overcame the self-command of both of them. She dashed wildly into another subject, and then suddenly it occurred to her impulsive mind that the moment had come to make him acquainted with those dying intentions of his great-uncle which we ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... was resumed by Critobulus, and on this wise. He said: I think I take your meaning fully, Socrates, about these matters; and for myself, examining my heart, I am further satisfied, I have sufficient continence and self-command in those respects. So that if you will only advise me on what I am to do to improve my estate, I flatter myself I shall not be hindered by those despotic dames, as you call them. Come, do not hesitate; only tender me what good advice you can, and trust me I will ...
— The Economist • Xenophon

... had come to herself, and the two helpless women, bending over the children in wild efforts to restore them, and the triplet of little corpses, formed a sight which overthrew his self-command. The nearest surgeon came in, but, as Jude had inferred, his presence was superfluous. The children were past saving, for though their bodies were still barely cold it was conjectured that they had been hanging more than an hour. ...
— Jude the Obscure • Thomas Hardy

... eyes upon her. It seemed to him as if all that he could suppress in himself he had suppressed, as if all that he could restrain in himself he had restrained, and the time had come—in a rush, in a moment—when the power of self-command had departed from him. Love at first sight is a trite expression quite sufficiently discussed; enough that in certain smouldering natures like this man's, that passion leaps into a blaze, and makes such head as fire does in a rage of wind, when other passions, ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... that I happened to have that thick shawl in my hand," said I; "in another minute her whole dress would have been in a blaze, and it would have been next to impossible to save her. What courage and self-command she showed! she never attempted to move after I threw the shawl around her, till I told ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... life and vigor. By the force of this reaction he was roused from his stony lethargy, his paralysis of horror, and his presence of mind was restored. Then there came those tears which fell upon his face. This completed the recovery of his self-command. It did more. It assured him that he was an object, not of murderous fury, but of tender love, and that the one whom he had feared had come, not with purposes of cruelty, but with yearnings of affection. ...
— Among the Brigands • James de Mille

... showed his speech to the Chancellor, that wise minister forgot for a moment his habitual self-command. "This is extravagance, Sir," he said: "this is madness. I implore your Majesty, for the sake of your own honour, not to say to anybody else what you have said to me." He argued the matter during two hours, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... her hands, as if to shade them from the light, and Esther herself, less accustomed to self-command, was getting too much agitated ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... grant of yesterday, she was so much in earnest in her purpose to remain technically virtuous, that she felt that there was not the slightest danger for her in preliminaries fraught with peril for a woman less sure of her self-command. After all, the Duchess was practically separated from her husband; a marriage long since annulled was no great sacrifice ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... apartments of one whom he had deprived of a kingdom. Had this trait been related of a great man, and a hero, it would irresistibly excite our admiration; but the character of this prince leaves us in doubt whether such moderation ought to be ascribed to a noble self-command or to the littleness of a weak mind which even good fortune could not embolden and liberty itself could not strip ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. III • Kuno Francke (Editor-in-Chief)

... an occurrence in our unfortunate family affairs had decided me to break off all intercourse with my relations. The second reason, and the chief one, why I have distinguished you above all the rest is this: I have a good opinion of your disposition and self-command. I have, several times and in divers ways, made inquiries about you, both of friends and strangers, and the information I have received has always been such as to lead me to believe you the most fitting ...
— Major Frank • A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint

... recrimination, was easily collected from the tone; and in the next minute the parties separated with little ceremony (as was sufficiently evident) on either side, and with mutual wrath. The Landgrave reentered the banqueting-room; his features discomposed and inflated with passion; but such was his self-command, and so habitual his dissimulation, that, by the time he reached his seat, all traces of agitation had disappeared; his countenance had resumed its usual expression of stern serenity, and his manners their usual air of ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... Lord Treherne's letter, which at length she impatiently crushed together. I heard a half-smothered hysterical sob, as, with a faltering voice, she bade our guest "Good-evening." Ah! when the heart is aching and throbbing with agony, concealed and suppressed, it requires heroic self-command to descend to the commonplaces of this workaday world; but women early learn to conceal and subdue their feelings, when premature sorrows have divided them ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various



Words linked to "Self-command" :   nerves, resoluteness, firmness of purpose, firmness, presence of mind, resolution, resolve



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