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Self-possessed   /sɛlf-pəzˈɛst/   Listen
Self-possessed

adjective
1.
In full control of your faculties.  Synonyms: collected, equanimous, poised, self-collected, self-contained.  "Perfectly poised and sure of himself" , "More self-contained and more dependable than many of the early frontiersmen" , "Strong and self-possessed in the face of trouble"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Self-possessed" Quotes from Famous Books



... too late to save herself—but the girl might still be told. The hansom rattled up Fifth Avenue; she sat with her eyes fixed, avoiding recognition. At the Van Siderens' door she sprang out and rang the bell. Action had cleared her brain, and she felt calm and self-possessed. She knew now exactly what ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... full of blanched faces, rendered doubly ghastly by the faint glimmer of the lanterns and candles. Samuel was there, taciturn as usual, and the most self-possessed person present. He came direct from his room when the alarm was given. Miss Blake was led by Mrs. Schultz into the house. Then hands, tremulous with terror and pity, lifted tenderly what had so recently been a human being brimming with youthful, healthy life, and exalted ...
— Kafir Stories - Seven Short Stories • William Charles Scully

... They have generally the greatest possible tact; never by any chance wandering out of their depth, or betraying by word or sign that they are not well informed of the subject under discussion. Though seldom graceful, they are never awkward, and always self-possessed. They have plenty of natural talent, and where it has been thoroughly cultivated, no women can surpass them. Of what is called literary society, there is of ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... Self-possessed, masterful, Mr. Brassfield moved through the assembly like a conqueror. Those who, a short time ago, found him dull and moody, rejoiced now in his confident persiflage pitched safely in the restful key of ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... carrying the enemy's position and capturing his guns, but after remaining there twenty minutes, it had been forced to retire, on the retreat of Heth and Pettigrew on its left. No person could have been more calm or self-possessed than General Longstreet under these trying circumstances, aggravated as they now were by the movements of the enemy, who began to show a strong disposition to advance. I could now thoroughly appreciate the term bulldog, which I had heard applied to him by the soldiers. Difficulties ...
— Three Months in the Southern States, April-June 1863 • Arthur J. L. (Lieut.-Col.) Fremantle

... imposing either in manner or looks. Her face was sensible, with a mixture of the sweet and the practical which was at least peculiar; and the same mixture was in her manner. This was calm and gentle in the utmost degree; also cool and self-possessed equally; and it gave Esther the impression of one who always knew her own mind and was accustomed to make it the rule for all around her. A long talk with this lady was the introduction to Esther's school ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... more self-possessed now. He had talked to the Cardinal freely and strongly, had described the effect that Felsenburgh had had upon London, and even the paralysis that had seized upon himself. He had stated his belief that they were on the edge of a movement unparalleled in history: he related little ...
— Lord of the World • Robert Hugh Benson

... to nobody else there was a chance for him. Though they could see with sharp and envious eyes the change that was coming over her, transforming her from the simple, untaught country girl into an educated and self-possessed woman, marking out her own path in life, yet the sweetness and the frankness of ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... third person entered the room. He was a tall, well-built man of six or seven and twenty. He had light-brown hair, closely cropped, but still inclined to curl, and a thick beard and moustache of the same colour. He had blue eyes, and a pleasant smile, and the easy, self-possessed manner of one who had seen "the world of men and things." His ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 4, April, 1891 • Various

... self-possessed, as horsemen are, but he seemed constrained with the girl. They had no conversation, no topics in common. He kept his place beside her, often watching her in silence, but he did not obtrude himself. She ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... passages towards the end are very precious. A certain bridegroom (I abridge a little) is "perfectly healthy, perfectly self-possessed, a great talker, a successful man of business, with some knowledge of physics, chemistry, jurisprudence, politics, statistics, and phrenology; enjoying all the requirements of a deputy; and for the rest, a liberal, ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... sanglier! yes, that is also noble game. I do not deny it." Monsieur talked on evenly and quietly in his self-possessed, reasonable voice, about the habits and the hunt of the ...
— In the Quarter • Robert W. Chambers

... the American sector; especially when darkness and moonlight returned, and again and again as we passed through wrecked villages where a few chinks of light here and there showed a scattered billet or two, the American military policeman on duty would emerge from the shadows, tall, courteous, self-possessed, to answer a question, or show the way, and we left him behind, apparently the only human being under the French night, in sole possession ...
— Fields of Victory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... not been drinking; he was undeniably sober and self-possessed. As he entered the door of the office there was a sudden surge on the part of the crowd—several of the men tried to force their way in behind Dunlavey. But he halted on the threshold, scowling ...
— The Coming of the Law • Charles Alden Seltzer

... America came one disciple, afterwards to be known as the famous author Ralph Waldo Emerson; and he has left us in his English Traits a vivid record of his impression of two or three famous men of letters whom he saw. He describes Carlyle as 'tall and gaunt, with a cliff-like brow, self-possessed, and holding his extraordinary powers of conversation in easy command; clinging to his northern accent with evident relish; full of lively anecdote, and with a streaming humour, which ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... usually very elaborate, the materials being of the rarest and finest qualities and profusely embroidered, and their jewels are usually costly. Their manners are gentle, refined and modest; they are perfectly self-possessed under all circumstances, and, while their dancing would not be attractive to the average American taste, it is not immodest, and consists of a succession of graceful gestures and posturing which is supposed ...
— Modern India • William Eleroy Curtis

... know now as San Francisco. Masterful man that he is, he feels that here some great thing awaits him. The Spaniards are wary of him. They will not trade with him, but they receive him courteously and they are fascinated by his self-possessed, well-poised but withal so gracious personality. The life there at the time is a sort of lotus-eating existence. It is a piece of Spain translated to a more luscious, a lovelier land, overlooking beautiful seas and perilous. Into the dolce far niente ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... like one distracted. Marianne, who motioned to Uncle Kayser to disappear, reappeared in the studio, entirely self-possessed. ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... sorry that the outflow of paternal pride was checked. He wanted to get on. A girl of about twenty came forward with the mate. She was very self-possessed, ...
— Round the World in Seven Days • Herbert Strang

... self-possessed, the cat had again risen to his feet, and having advanced to the door, was now ushering some one slowly into the room. Nothing could have been more evident. He paced from side to side, bowing his little head with great empressement ...
— Three John Silence Stories • Algernon Blackwood

... old lady in amazement at the sight of the housekeeper in full uniform, calm and self-possessed, as one having been years in this ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... moments she had recourse to her kitchen, where she had time to recover her equilibrium. But Fouchette was a more than ordinarily self-possessed young woman. She had been educated in a severe school, though one in which the emotions were permitted free range. It was love now ...
— Mlle. Fouchette - A Novel of French Life • Charles Theodore Murray

... They loped. They postured. She paid no attention. To her they were nonexistent. To the American skipper's conversation she replied only with a flicker of the eyelids, a fleeting smile of her lips. Shane she seemed to ignore. She was so clean, so cool, so damnably self-possessed. ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... relations, and deal with it as if he were besieging a fortress. When he was intent upon a subject, he was exceedingly impatient of anything that interrupted the current of his thought. So he was a hard person for young advocates, or for any other unless he were strong, self-possessed, and had the respect of the Judge. My old friend and partner, Judge Washburn, once told me that he dreaded the Law term of the Court as it approached, and sometimes felt that he would rather lay his head down on the rail, and let a train of cars pass over it, than argue a case before Shaw. The ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... of medicine, fifty years of age, enjoying a good position and self-possessed, Charles's colleague did not refrain from laughing disdainfully when he had uncovered the leg, mortified to the knee. Then having flatly declared that it must be amputated, he went off to the chemist's to rail at the asses who could ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... coffee-colour, teeth perfectly white and symmetrical, cap and jacket of the most delicate finish, silk shoes and white socks, and baggy trousers, all as if split new and of perfection of workmanship, and he totted up his accounts and did all the business with a polished self-possessed manner! I must say my first impression of the heathen Chinee at Bhamo was tremendously in his favour; in many ways even the coolies, or Chinese porters, struck me favourably, by their simple kit, blue tunic and shorts, ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... content themselves with something more modest and more shabby. But Vanka is usually good-natured, patient, and quite unconscious of his shabbiness, at least in the light of a grievance or as affecting his dignity. It was one of these shabby, but democratic and self-possessed fellows who furnished us with a fine illustration of the peasant qualities. We encountered one of the Emperor's cousins on his way to his regimental barracks; the Grand Duke mistook us for acquaintances, and saluted. Our izvostchik returned ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... Martindale (calling him Arthur), and telling curious things he has seen in Ireland. He is very amusing, bluff, and odd, but as if he was a distinguished person. Now I see that Violet is altered, and grown older—he seems to have such respect for, and confidence in her; and she so womanly and self-possessed, entering into his clever talk as Matilda would, yet in the simple way she always had. You would be proud to see her now—her manners must be perfection, I should think; so graceful and dignified, so engaging and quiet. I wish Louisa had ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to detail), vacillating, dilatory, and lacking enterprise. It maintained, however, that during the battle itself, despite the Brooklyn's famous "loop," which it seemed to condemn, his conduct was self-possessed, and that he inspired his officers and men to courageous fighting. Admiral Dewey, president of the court, held in part a dissenting opinion, which carried great weight with the country. He considered Schley the actual fleet commander in the battle, thus giving him the main ...
— History of the United States, Volume 5 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... the commanding officer on the porch of his quarters, very grave and quiet now, perfectly calm and self-possessed. The dago had squatted at the edge of the steps, his face bowed in his hands, shivering as though from cold. Munoz slouched near by, eying him in aggressive contempt. Several sergeants, with many of the men, were ...
— Tonio, Son of the Sierras - A Story of the Apache War • Charles King

... further to say against the arrangement, although such a drive seemed to him a somewhat wild and reckless proceeding. Mr. Steadman's grave, self-possessed manner answered all doubts. Mr. Evans filled in the certificate for the undertaker, drank a glass of hot brandy and water, and remounted his nag, in nowise relishing his midnight ride, but consoling himself with the reflection that he would ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... shaded by a great beech with drooping branches that rose behind the group, was sharply unhappy, and filled with a burning jealousy of Elizabeth, who queened it there in the middle of them—so self-possessed, agreeable, and competent. How well Arthur had been getting on with her! What a tiresome, tactless idiot she, Pamela, must seem in comparison! The memory of her talk with him made her cheeks hot. So few chances of seeing him!—and when they came, she ...
— Elizabeth's Campaign • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... was there, brazening out the morning's affair, which it almost seemed he must have forgotten, so self-possessed and mightily at his ease was he. He was of the kind with whom shame strikes never very deeply, and he ruffled it gaily there, among the women, rolling his fierce eyes to ogle them seductively, tossing his gaudy new cloak with a high-born ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... young Hotspur, that we must wait for the signal. Still! still! do not stamp so impatiently with your feet; you need not shake yourself like a young lion. He who goes upon such adventures must, above all things, be self-possessed, cautious, and cool. Believe me, I have had a long range of experience, and in this species of love adventure I think I might possibly rival the famous King Charles ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... James Greenfield, confident, self-possessed, with the air of one whose position and future are secure, jovially greeted one of the New York party, who came up on Holmes's departure, and the two stood laughing and ...
— The Winning of Barbara Worth • Harold B Wright

... a single candle, could be only partly seen by her as she stood with her hand on the lock, although she herself was plainly visible. There was a pause, and then a quiet, self-possessed, yet ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... shrank from her acquaintance, why then, Phoebe said to herself, "I shall be no worse than before." So she sent a smile and a bow across the road and said, "How do you do?" in a pause of her conversation. Ursula was too shy to feel on equal terms with the young lady in black, who was so much more self-possessed than she was. She blushed and smiled, answered, "Quite well, thank you," across the lane like a child, and notwithstanding a great many pokes from Janey's energetic elbow, went on ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... out to the "Starlight," lying trimly at anchor like a capable, self-possessed hostess awaiting the arrival of a week-end guest at a country-house. Olive waved greeting to her husband as he came near. By her side was Larssen's little son, holding her hand. He might have almost been posed there by the shipowner to inspire confidence in the peaceful intentions of the ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... but one triple movement all at once. In rage it would fain get at God to seize Him, dethrone Him, murder Him, and destroy Him; in agony it would fain suffocate its own interior thirst for God, which parches and burns it with all the frantic horrors of a perfectly self-possessed frenzy; and in fury it would fain break its tight fetters of gnawing fire which pin down its radical love of the beautiful Sovereign Good, and drag it ever back with cruel wrench from its desperate propension to its uncreated Centre. In the mingling of these ...
— The Education of Catholic Girls • Janet Erskine Stuart

... tall, well-made girl, graceful in her movements, and very self-possessed in manner. Her face was full of intelligence, but was rather plain than otherwise, for her mouth was too wide and her nose the reverse of classical. She had bright intelligent brown eyes, however, a nice voice, and ...
— The Rebel of the School • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... enthusiasts, are seized by the frenzy like the rest. The second set of messengers whom Saul sends, and the third, fare no better; and Saul has at last to come himself. But he also is drawn into the vortex, tears off his clothes and dances before Samuel and David, the only self-possessed spectators of the bacchantic company, till he falls down; and he lies naked as he is a whole day and a whole night upon the ground—whence the proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" But that David ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... the one work he had set before him. However small or uncongenial or drumdrudgery-like his occupation, however hard, or dangerous, or difficult, it seemed to be always met in the same calm, gentle, self-possessed spirit of love and duty, which I should fancy that those who well knew his good and large-minded, large-hearted father, and his mother, whom I have always heard spoken of as saintly, could best understand. Perhaps the most marked feature ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... James Harrington, self-possessed as he was, to answer that question. The woman had taken him by surprise. Her appearance was so completely that of a common-place servant, that he was silenced by the very surprise she had given him. But for her dress, ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... struck me that the spider is invariably male and the fly invariably female." Even, therefore, when sexual intercourse takes place between a girl and a youth somewhat older than herself, she is likely to be the more mature, the more self-possessed, and the more responsible of the two, and often the one who has taken the more active part in initiating the act. (This point has been discussed in "The Sexual Impulse in Women" in vol. iii of these Studies.) It must also be remembered that when a girl has once ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... of clapping was renewed and died away when it was perceived that Lady Alice was about to speak. She was a little flushed, but perfectly self-possessed, and her clear silvery voice could be heard in ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... that he possessed. He was reputed to be the "meanest man in Southern Illinois." He was certainly the hardest in driving a bargain, the most merciless in its enforcement. He was cordially hated and very greatly feared. Cold, self-possessed, shrewd, and utterly selfish, his attitude toward his fellow men, and toward himself, was altogether different from that of his greater competitor, Hallam. He felt none of Hallam's "sporting interest," as Duncan called it, in playing ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... prospects than he had three years ago. To his infinite amazement, the color fled from Teresa's cheek, and covering her face with her hands, she sank upon a lounge with a wild burst of grief. Geraldi, quite at a loss to interpret the nature of this emotion, surprised at its excess in one so generally self-possessed, hesitated what course to pursue, but at length said, in a ...
— The Duke's Prize - A Story of Art and Heart in Florence • Maturin Murray

... worshippers an agreeable and legitimate excitement of curiosity; for the plate usually entrusted to Meshach Myatt was passed from pew to pew, and afterwards carried to the communion rails, by a complete stranger, a man extremely self-possessed and well-attired, with a heavy moustache, a curious dimple in his chin, and melancholy eyes, a man obviously of considerable importance somewhere. 'Oh, mamma,' whispered Milly to her mother, who was alone with her in the Stanway pew, 'do look; that's Mr. Twemlow.' Several ...
— Leonora • Arnold Bennett

... affectionately and kissed Isobel, who had entered the room with her cousin, on both cheeks. Then she took her by the hand and presented her to the Prince of Cleves and several others of the company. Isobel was a little pale, but her manner was perfectly easy and self-possessed. She was dressed, somewhat to my surprise, in the deepest mourning, and she even wore a band of black ...
— The Master Mummer • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... that encompasses an American girl as a garment. It is a contradictory state of affairs, I must admit, for this same American girl is a self-reliant creature, accustomed to the widest range of action and liberty, while the matter-of-fact, self-possessed Filipina has been reared to find it impossible to step across the street without attendance. But the free, liberty-loving American yields shyly to her captor, while the sedateness of the prospective matron has already taken ...
— A Woman's Impression of the Philippines • Mary Helen Fee

... sobbing and clinging to their shrieking mother's dress, she and they were hurried out of court The clerk, after a painful pause, repeated the solemn formula. By a strong effort the doomed man mastered his agitation; his pale countenance lighted up with indignant fire, and firm and self-possessed, he thus replied ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... are shy, diffident, self-conscious, and painfully embarassed in the presence of strangers. They feel these deficiencies keenly. They long, perhaps with an intensity which the naturally self-possessed person will never know, for that social ease which they so greatly admire. Their self-consciousness, diffidence and timidity in the presence of others is very largely the result, first, of a lack of knowledge of themselves and how to make the most of their own ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... to be a little more astonished, a little more pleased, or in some form or other a little more interested in such a great event. But he was perfectly self-possessed; and falling into his favourite solace of whistling, took another turn at the grammar-school, as if nothing at all ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... When awake under ordinary circumstances, any momentary illusion is at once set right by a new act of orientation. The superior vividness of the external impression cannot leave us in any doubt, when calm and self-possessed, whether our mental images answer to present realities or not. On the other hand, when asleep, this reference to a fixed objective standard is clearly impossible. Secondly, we may fairly argue that the mental images of sleep approximate in character ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... disturb Abdulla's peace of mind. The Syed of Goghari street has earned well-merited fame among the poorer Musulman inhabitants of that quarter; Abdulla has cast off his ill temper as it were a garment; Afiza the possessed has become Afiza the self-possessed, helping Abdulla to earn his livelihood and obtain the approval of his masters; and the child, unharmed by the Evil Eye and beloved of his parents, is daily waxing in favour with God and man. According to Abdulla the only spirit which occasionally attacks him is a spirit of ...
— By-Ways of Bombay • S. M. Edwardes, C.V.O.

... the horses bolted from some unfamiliar smell in the thicket, he was quick to round them up. The animals were swift in obedience when he spoke to them, but they were only terrified by Lounsbury's shrill shouts. He was cool of nerve, self-possessed, wholly self-reliant. She listened with an eager gladness to his soft whistling: simple classics that she herself loved but which came strangely from the lips of this son ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... now. He had left deep marks of his front teeth in his nether lip; and those tokens of the agitation he had lately undergone improved his looks as little as the heavy corrugations in his forehead. But he was self-possessed now; unnaturally self-possessed, indeed, as men quite otherwise than brave are known to be in desperate extremities; and when the carriage stopped, he waited for no invitation, but leapt ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... leaning on her hand and mocking them as Puck mocked mortals. A man could not doubt her. Colonel and adjutant, both men who had seen grim service and both self-possessed as a rule, knew that she could read clean through them, and that from the bottom of her deep, wise soul she ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... shining upon this interview, and I knew none of those sensations which had unnerved me the night before. I was simply on my guard, and saw him seat himself in my own chair, without any other feeling than that of curiosity as to the nature of his errand. He likewise was extremely self-possessed, and looked at me calmly for ...
— The Mill Mystery • Anna Katharine Green

... words to her which caused her to smile. Quincy then approached Lindy, opened her music at the proper place and passed it to her. Next he took her hand and led her to the front of the platform. These little acts of courtesy and politeness, performed in an easy, graceful, and self-possessed manner, were seen by all and ...
— Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks - A Picture of New England Home Life • Charles Felton Pidgin

... Heartlessly self-possessed as he was, the public reception of his last reply had shaken his nerve. He now spoke in low tones, turning his back on the spectators, and fixing his eyes again on the green baize of the table ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... civil formalities and the religious ceremony the wedding party went to Anna's house. Among those whom the Tailles had brought was a cousin of a certain age, a M. Sauvetanin, a man given to philosophical reflections, serious, and always very self-possessed, and Mme. ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8) - Boule de Suif and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... amused with the animals round the ranch. The most thoroughly independent and self-possessed of them is a large white pig which we have christened Maude. She goes everywhere at her own will; she picks up scraps from the dogs, who bay dismally at her, but know they have no right to kill her; and then she eats the green alfalfa hay from the two milch cows who live in the ...
— Letters to His Children • Theodore Roosevelt

... The latter seemed perfectly calm and undisturbed by his threat, though it was of the most serious nature. He had expected to see him humbled, and to hear him entreat a reversal of the sentence; but his tenant was thoroughly self-possessed, and appeared to care nothing for the ...
— Making His Way - Frank Courtney's Struggle Upward • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... self-possessed, but a little interrogative. He had a lightning-like impression of her beautiful shoulders rising from her plain black gown, her delightfully easy walk, the slimness and comeliness and ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... of sensation that enabled Mucius, while he was roasting his hand in the fire, to gaze upon the foe with the Roman look of proud repose, but the thought of great Rome in admiration of his deed. This it was that ruled in his soul, and kept it grandly self-possessed, so that the terrible provocation of the animal pain was too slight to disturb the equal balance of his nature. But not on this account was the pain the Roman suffered less than it would have been in the ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... circumstances which she had not known how to turn to good account. Such a fresh stage in middle life comes to some few, like the midsummer shoot to repair the foliage that has suffered a spring blight; but it cannot be reckoned on, and Mrs. Pringle would have been a more effective and self-possessed woman, a better companion to her husband, and with more root in herself, had Maria Meadows learnt to tune her nerves and her temper in the overthrow of ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... is all ours," said Maud, who was always self-possessed when she saw men stammering. "It's a great privilege to get so near to the truth as ...
— The Bread-winners - A Social Study • John Hay

... over here and meet her. I'm a married man now. I married Miss Em'ly last night." The colonel couldn't have known how apt was his reply when he said, "I'm glad for you, Bishey. You've done well." I peeked between the curtains, and saw Bishey's wagon piled high with boxes, with Miss Em'ly, self-possessed and happy, greeting the colonel. Soon I heard the rattle of wheels, and the dear old happy pair were on their way to the cabin home they had waited twenty-five years for. Bless the kind old hearts of them! I'm sure they've ...
— Letters of a Woman Homesteader • Elinore Pruitt Stewart

... tears of tenderness suffused her eyes. She longed to speak some word of pardon to her son; but before all things, Maria Theresa honored court ceremony. She would not, for the world, that her subjects had seen her otherwise than self-possessed and ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... being wakeful, he explained, what with worrying all night whether we'd ever get this line of steel laid before our contract run out on us! Now wasn't that interestin'—wasn't it, especially coming from him? Neatly put and self-possessed, I call it. He was worried because he's dreadful superstitions. [Transcriber's note: superstitious?] He claims when them birds gets to hedgin' in on each other's solos like they did last night it's a sign of bad luck or an accident for somebody, sure. ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... stir at the door. All heads swung in that direction—all but Mr. Pepper's, that is. The minister and Grace were coming up the aisle and behind them came Captain Nat Hammond and Keziah Coffin. Nat was smiling and self-possessed. Never before in his life had he entered the Regular meeting house as a worshiper, but he seemed to be bearing the ordeal bravely. It was Grace's first visit to the church, also, and she was plainly ...
— Keziah Coffin • Joseph C. Lincoln

... served at a table strewn with red carnations close to an open window, was a gay one, despite Artois. It could hardly have been otherwise with a host so complacent, so attentive, so self-possessed, so hilarious as the Marchesino. And the Padrone of the restaurant warmly seconded the efforts of the giver of the feast. He hovered perpetually, but always discreetly, near, watchfully directing the middle-aged waiters in their duties, smiling to show his teeth, stained with tobacco juice, ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... leaned back, crossing his stout legs, joining the tips of his thick fingers. In this attitude he was always self-possessed. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... will be grand guardians of your powder-magazines," said Augustine,—"so cool and self-possessed! The proverb says, 'They that cannot govern themselves ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... young heads rested upon the upraised right hand; but it is to be feared that authorized devotional attitude was sadly infringed upon, for, when he pronounced "Amen" sooner than was anticipated, he encountered so many bright admiring eyes that a less self-possessed person than Philip might have been abashed. As our hero had studied his speech, however, he was able to commence and go through without the slightest embarrassment. His keen eye swept the array of youth and beauty before him, and so quick was he in ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... miraculous to be seen; nothing—except the trifles previously noticed—to confirm the idea of a supernatural peril, environing the pretty Polly. The stranger, it is true, was evidently a thorough and practised man of the world, systematic and self-possessed, and therefore the sort of person to whom a parent ought not to confide a simple young girl, without due watchfulness for the result. The worthy magistrate, who had been conversant with all degrees ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852 • Various

... on the way before Mrs. Dolan fully finished. She went to the priest's residence and asked his housekeeper to inquire if he would see her. He would, and Mary entered his presence strangely calm and self-possessed. This was the last fight she knew of that she could make for happiness, and if she lost, happiness was over for her. She had need of all her wit and she knew it. Father Michael began ...
— At the Foot of the Rainbow • Gene Stratton-Porter

... much upset?" queried Flora de Barral, meaning, of course, Mrs. Fyne. And I admitted that she was less so than her husband—and even less than myself. Mrs. Fyne was a very self-possessed person which nothing could startle out of her extreme theoretical position. She did not seem startled when Fyne and I ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... are in a very pronounced manner correlated with menstruation. A woman who may experience almost overmastering sexual desire just before, during, or after the monthly period may remain perfectly calm and self-possessed during the rest of the month. In men such irregularities of the sexual impulse are far less marked. Thus it is that a woman may often appear capricious, unaccountable, or cold, merely because her moments of ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... are talking about her and feels a little self-consciousness. The Americans are not so self-possessed ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... again. The appearance of his rustic companion likewise attracted attention. Certainly, Mr. Montgomery (it makes little difference what we call him) did not exhibit the slightest appearance of apprehension, but his manner was quite cool and self-possessed. He made his way to that part of the counter attended by the clerk with whom he had before spoken. He observed with pleasure and relief that the man who had questioned his identity with any of the ministers of Hayfield ...
— Paul the Peddler - The Fortunes of a Young Street Merchant • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... far one's judgments fall below the mark sometimes," he went on. "Not till this afternoon did I get a true perspective of the man, when I saw him standing there, perfectly self-possessed and powerful, reading ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... as calm and self-possessed as if nothing unusual had occurred, whilst the eyes of the men were fixed upon him, and they were ready to obey every command with the same promptitude as when performing the usual routine ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... under the eye of Napoleon, in gloomy silence: wherever he was not present, they set every rule of discipline at nought, and were guilty of the most frightful excesses. The Emperor conducted himself as became a great mind amidst great misfortunes. He appeared at all times calm and self-possessed; receiving, every day that he ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... middle-aged man of business, but with his son she felt wonderfully shy. It seemed hardly possible that the handsome young man with the dark moustache and manly bearing could be her cousin. She had expected to see a boy two or three years older than Will, but still a boy, not a polite and self-possessed young man, who by his way of speaking to her made her feel a ...
— Ruth Arnold - or, the Country Cousin • Lucy Byerley

... was, she had to be cheerful, to affect an interest in her husband's late expedition, and pleasure at his unexpected return. Mrs. Basil was here invaluable; you would never have imagined that it was the same woman—so stricken and full of anguish but a few minutes before, and now so self-possessed and cheerful. But she had been used to playing parts throughout her life, and acting was easy to her. She dreaded silence, lest with it should come observation and remark upon the agitation and distress only too visible in Harry's ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... man had no suspicion that his visitor was not a member of the staff of the paper he had been negotiating with. She was so thoroughly self-possessed, and showed herself so familiar with all details which had been discussed by Alder and himself that not the slightest doubt ...
— Jennie Baxter, Journalist • Robert Barr

... had spent the evening with Ethelwynn at their house I had watched her narrowly, yet neither by look nor by action did she betray any sign of a guilty secret. Her manner had during those weeks changed entirely; for she seemed perfectly calm and self-possessed, and although she alluded but seldom to our love, she treated me with that same sweet tenderness as before the fatal night of her ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... a word with Wilson, and then stole off to rally the company. But Fabens began to shudder in his sentry-box. He had grown to be quite a backwoodsman; he had taken the strength and courage of the wild forest life; he was usually calm and self-possessed; but here was a new venture entirely, and while beat, beat, went his heart in rising alarm, the loud and louder rattle of the corn informed him of the closer coming of the animals. Now he hears them tear off an ear! Now they craunch it, and crowd snuffling along ...
— Summerfield - or, Life on a Farm • Day Kellogg Lee

... Margaret on his way downstairs. He had walked up and down the passages above, in the dim light, with a view to bringing himself back into a state of control, with so much success that, when he comes face to face with Miss Knollys, he seems to her as self-possessed as usual. He had seen her talking to Tita in the hall below, in a somewhat earnest manner, and had taken it for granted that Tita had told ...
— The Hoyden • Mrs. Hungerford

... looking back, he saw that it was Ben hurrying after him. As he approached, Douglas saw that his manner was altogether changed, and he seemed quite affable. He was dressed in a white tennis-suit, and he looked cool and self-possessed. ...
— The Unknown Wrestler • H. A. (Hiram Alfred) Cody

... from her forehead in a fashion then antiquated, contrasted finely with the flush of pink in her cheeks. This flush did not suggest youth, but rather ripeness, the tone that comes with the lines made in the face by gentle acceptance of the inevitable in life. In her quiet and self-possessed manner there was a little note of graceful timidity, not perhaps noticeable in itself, but in contrast with that unmistakable air of confidence which a woman married always has, and which in the unrefined becomes assertive, an exaggerated notion ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... martyrdom of long delays and bitter disappointments, he never faltered in his lofty purpose; in the hour of triumph he was self-possessed and unassuming; under cruel persecution he was patient and forgiving. For almost unexampled services he certainly received ...
— Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia • Various

... a perfectly straightforward way of meeting his eyes, though her own were bewildering even so, without any coquetry in her use of them. She was not blushing and shy, she was self-possessed and radiant. King could understand, as he looked at her now, how she had felt over that affair of the tragedy suddenly precipitated into her life, and what strength of character it must have taken to send her out from this secluded and perfect home into a ...
— Red Pepper's Patients - With an Account of Anne Linton's Case in Particular • Grace S. Richmond

... and saw that a Silchester man whom he remembered seeing once at the Mission was preparing to sit down beside him. He was a tall youth, fair and freckled and clear cut, perfectly self-possessed, but lacking any hint of ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... the case, a look of languor suited her; and he thought she had grown decidedly better-looking in the last year. At Redsands Miss Brabazon had been a little too buxom, a little too self-possessed, also, for his taste. And yet—and yet how wonderfully good she had been to poor Mrs. Varick! With what tender patience had she put up with the invalid's querulous bad temper, never even mentioning it to him, the doctor, who so often received ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... appurtenances of manhood. Quest was dark, with no sign of greyness in his closely-trimmed black hair. His face was an epitome of forcefulness, his lips hard, his eyes brilliant. He was dressed with the utmost care. His manner was self-possessed almost to a fault. The Professor, on the other hand, though his shoulders were broad, lost much of his height and presence through a very pronounced stoop. His face was pale, his mouth sensitive, his smile almost womanly in its sweetness. ...
— The Black Box • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... one feature of her face is disturbed, or seems ever to have been subject to emotion. The Italian Aphrodite looks up, her face all quivering and burning with passion and wasting anxiety. The Greek one is quiet, self-possessed, and self-satisfied; the Italian incapable of rest, she has had no thought nor care for herself; her hair has been bound by a fillet like the Greeks; but it is now all fallen loose, and clotted with ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... The life of The Hollow was claiming her as it had her uncle before her. As she looked in the cabin and saw the composed figure of the mistress a gleam of humour lighted her face and she secretly rebelled at the sensation of lack of ease which often overcame her in the presence of these calm, self-possessed "poor whites." ...
— A Son of the Hills • Harriet T. Comstock

... but to my thinking the style of Charles Lamb, in his "Elia," and in the letters written by him in the later (the last twenty) years of his life, is full of grace; not antiquated, but having a touch of antiquity. It is self-possessed, choice, delicate, penetrating, his words running into the innermost sense of things. It is not, indeed, adapted to the meanest capacity, but is racy, and chaste, after his fashion. Perhaps it is sometimes scriptural: at all events it is always earnest and sincere. He was painfully in ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... the human heart thoroughly. It may be said of him, as Arnold said of Sophocles, he was one "who saw life steadily, and saw it whole." On the other hand, there is not the slightest trace of cynical acerbity in his writings. He has passed through the world in the independence of a self-possessed soul, and has found it all good, saving for the folly of fools and the wretchedness and degradation of the depraved. There is no bitter fountain in the "Rose Garden," and the old man's heart is as fresh as when he left Shiraz, ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... been present, closely to observe the meeting of these two young people, he would have seen that the one to whom it was unexpected and a surprise was outwardly as calm and self-possessed as if the other had come there to ...
— The Talleyrand Maxim • J. S. Fletcher

... happens that the stimulus of vanity, acting on minds of inferior calibre, produces for a time an industry surpassing the tranquil and self-possessed exertion of real power, that it may be questioned whether the custom of bestowing prizes at all may not ultimately cease in our higher Schools of Art, unless in the form of substantial assistance given to deserving students ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... gaze from the boy and turned with lightning-like swiftness upon his adversary, while the latter, as cool and self-possessed as if he were about to slice up an antelope or buffalo, continued approaching with his hunting knife firmly clasped in his right hand. The Indian, perceiving the character of the fight, flung his rifle several yards from him, where it was beyond the reach of both, ...
— Through Apache Lands • R. H. Jayne

... with perplexity. He began to despair of any help from Carolina. His provisions were bad and scarce, and, while the enemy commanded the river and the harbor, no supplies could be expected. Of all this, however, he gave no intimation, but, firm and self-possessed, submitted to the same fare with the meanest soldier, exposed himself to as great fatigue, and often underwent greater privations. At the same time his fixed resolution and irrepressible zeal in the defence and protection ...
— Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe • Thaddeus Mason Harris

... the twinkling eyes, and his heart swelled within him. There must be close upon a hundred people here, drawn hither, held fast, by his little Polly. There she stood, in her sulphur shawl, unrecognisable, to be sure, but natural and self-possessed as if she had been singing ...
— A Venetian June • Anna Fuller

... recesses. Something of a weird aspect was on every thing; and I could not but gaze at the two strangers in that strange place to them, under such peculiar circumstances, and wonder to see them so calm, dignified, and self-possessed. We sat down by the table on which the lamp was standing, the elder of the two opposite, and the younger a little turned away, so that ...
— The Allen House - or Twenty Years Ago and Now • T. S. Arthur

... Rise higher; Take fire; When most impressed Be self-possessed; To spirit wed form; Sit down ...
— The Preacher and His Models - The Yale Lectures on Preaching 1891 • James Stalker

... old life behind her. Keen and self-possessed, with quiet dignity she queens it on the voyage. When the French coast is reached, her perfect mastery of herself proves she has grown ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... despatched to another firm of publishers, taken at random from the advertisement columns of the Times. An hour or two afterwards Alfred arrived, with no label around his neck, but a veritable truant. Of the two he was the more self-possessed as he ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... splendid," he declared enthusiastically; "and het was delightfully calm and self-possessed. He'll soon get another ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... bewildered, like one suddenly awakened from sleep. The unusual excitement in one generally so self-possessed and indifferent as my companion made me wonder sufficiently; but these allusions to my greatness, my prospects, completely astounded me. What had I done,—I who had been chosen, and led step by step, with little interference of my own, to this end? What did this talk of noise ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... seated in a small rude arbour, appeared to be sunk in the extremity of his affliction. He lifted his eyes somewhat sternly as Butler approached, as if offended at the interruption; but as the young man hesitated whether he ought to retreat or advance, he arose, and came forward to meet him with a self-possessed, and ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... in the Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens as soon as in the hamlet of this remarkably self-possessed little maid. Her manner was exceptional; but, if we must lose the curtsey, and the rural little ones cease to mimic that pretty drooping motion of the nightingale, the kitty wren, and wheatear, cannot our village pastors and masters teach them some less startling and offensive form of salutation ...
— A Traveller in Little Things • W. H. Hudson

... was as self-possessed as if he were awaiting a friendly wrestling bout with Otto Relstaub, though he knew that the assault meant death to one, and the chances were ...
— Footprints in the Forest • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... now in that. It matters not through what ice-crystals it is seen, now a fountain, now the ocean stream running under ground. It is in Shakespeare, Alpheus, in Burns, Arethuse; but ever the same. The other is self-possessed and wise. It is reverent of genius, and greedy of inspiration. It is conscious in the highest and the least degree. It consists with the most perfect command of the faculties. It dwells in a repose as of the desert, and objects are as distinct in it as oases or palms ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... time when she was hurt, Mary had not seen William for more than two years and a half and now when she met him, she was so much embarrassed that she greeted him with a reserve, amounting almost to coldness. He on the contrary, was perfectly self-possessed, but after a few commonplace remarks, he seated himself on the opposite side of the room, and entered into conversation with Mrs. Mason concerning Chicopee and its inhabitants. Frequently Mary's eyes ...
— The English Orphans • Mary Jane Holmes

... and for his untiring devotion in her last illness. The sister had wasted away very slowly, and wild and terrible fantasies had come over her toward the end, but he had never been impatient with her, or at a loss; had always been gentle, watchful, and self-possessed. The sister had known him, as she had known him, to be the best of men, the kindest of men, and yet a man of such admirable strength of character, as to be a very tower for the support of their weak natures ...
— Hunted Down • Charles Dickens

... they certainly reminded Harry of Mr. Stanley's portrait. The sailor's dress was that which might have been worn by a mate, or skipper, on shore; he appeared not in the least daunted, on the contrary he was quite self-possessed, with an air of determination about him which rather ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... passage down through the streets of the city to his home. The bland business smile is gone. The wheedling subserviency of the day is over. The cunning eye opens largely. He is calm, dignified, and self-possessed. He mentions no more the state of the weather. What's Hecuba to him, at this free moment of his return? It is the large style in which all this is done that convinces me that Beppo was a "Signore in paese suo." He has a bank, and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... arose within her. Nicky Viner was not alone in there! A figure had come into her line of vision in that other room, not Nicky Viner, not any of the gang—and she stared now in incredulous amazement, scarcely able to believe her eyes. And then, suddenly cool and self-possessed again, relieved in a curious way because the element of personal danger was as a consequence eliminated, she began to understand why she had been forestalled in her efforts at Perlmer's office when she ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... In spite of her mirth, Noemi reproaches Jeanne for saying such intensely foolish things without stopping to reflect. For Noemi knows her friend, and knows that the Jeanne of this hour is not the true Jeanne, self-possessed and mistress of herself; or rather perhaps it is the true Jeanne, but certainly not she who will stand before Piero Maironi, if, by ...
— The Saint • Antonio Fogazzaro

... not proceeded fifty yards when Casey yelled and brought him back at a run. Casey was rummaging in the car, throwing things about with a recklessness which ill-became an agent of the self-possessed Mack Nolan. ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower



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