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Self-possession   /sɛlf-pəzˈɛʃən/   Listen
Self-possession

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






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Self-possession" Quotes from Famous Books



... self-possession, her air of being a public character, her mixture of the girlish and the comprehensive, startled and confounded her visitor, who felt that if he had come to gratify his curiosity he should be in danger of ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. II (of II) • Henry James

... before he could have depicted the fierce hatreds of Beaufort and Gloster, the never-subdued ambition of Margaret and York, the patient suffering, amidst taunting friends and reviling enemies, of Henry, and, above all, the courage, the activity, the tenacity, the self-possession, the intellectual supremacy and the passionless ferocity ...
— The Critics Versus Shakspere - A Brief for the Defendant • Francis A. Smith

... young girls, filled with divided wonder at their self-possession and their extreme decolletage, Ri-Ri gazed at the glass timidly, determinedly, fatefully, as one approaches an oracle, and out from the glittering surface was flung back to her a radiant image of reassurance—a vision of a slim figure in filmiest ...
— The Innocent Adventuress • Mary Hastings Bradley

... beautiful eyes upon him. It seemed to Sir Wilfrid that he perceived in them a passing tremor of nervous defiance, as though she were in some way bracing herself against him. But her self-possession was complete. ...
— Lady Rose's Daughter • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... gone, when the last of her guests had bobbed before her the prescribed curtsey, to which she had invariably responded with the same air of easy self-possession, now at last she felt free to give rein to her thoughts, to indulge in the luxury of looking her own anxiety straight in the face and to let the ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... which he had been so providentially snatched, and, covering his face with his hands, as the revulsion of feeling came upon him, he shook and quivered like an aspen-leaf. A minute or two more and this dreadful feeling also passed away, his calmness and self-possession returned to him, and, placing himself upon his knees, there on that narrow ledge of rock he humbly returned his hearty thanks to God for his preservation, and prayed for help and deliverance for himself and his ...
— The Voyage of the Aurora • Harry Collingwood

... too well of the subject of his conversation with Junot. I saw that Junot had been drawn into a culpable indiscretion; and that, if Josephine had committed any faults, he had cruelly exaggerated them. My situation was one of extreme delicacy. However, I had the good fortune to retain my self-possession, and as soon as some degree of calmness succeeded to this first burst, I replied that I knew nothing of the reports which Junot might have communicated to him; that even if such reports, often the offspring of calumny, had reached my ear, and if I had considered it ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... mad!" he stammered, his self-possession deserting him; "you don't know—you have no right to speak to me like this. You don't understand these things; you must let me judge ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... to reply; but Ruth Fielding often before had shown remarkable courage and self-possession in times of emergency. No more than the excited Tom did she lose ...
— Ruth Fielding in Moving Pictures - Or Helping The Dormitory Fund • Alice Emerson

... lamentable deficiency of self-possession, I got through the service without any distressing error—I ought not to have read the Absolution, that being restricted to priests, nor should I have upset the cushion on which I was kneeling, for, not having sufficient confidence to replace ...
— Confessions of an Etonian • I. E. M.

... exclaimed Helen, and felt as if she had suddenly discovered a doorway leading from a prison. She found it easy to forget the recent events after that, and Mr. Harrison grew more tolerable to her every moment now that the other was gone; her self-possession came back to her quickly as she read his admiration in his eyes. Besides that, it was impossible to forget for very long that Mr. Harrison was a multi-millionaire, and the object of the envious glances of every other girl in the room; and so when Aunt Polly returned ...
— King Midas • Upton Sinclair

... kept my self-possession perfectly, but at the same time I was excited, and didn't understand what they were saying. I presume they were demanding food and money and I kept declaring that I would give them nothing. At last they gave up and went off in the direction of Mrs. Snooks, ...
— Peggy Raymond's Vacation - or Friendly Terrace Transplanted • Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

... then on that. It was like a ragged storm-cloud sweeping out the stars. Now and then one returned for a minute, and was lost again. I was now almost frantic with the horror of the coming darkness, and my self-possession deserted me. I leaped panting and dishevelled from candle to candle, in a vain struggle against ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... sir," said the good little woman, her courage and self-possession returning under the emergency. "She had better come up ...
— Adrien Leroy • Charles Garvice

... stood in the street outside the theatre, too much maddened to determine on any course of action; and, ere he had recovered his self-possession, the crowd began to pour from every outlet, and filling the street, swept him away ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... the lady or gentleman to entertain the same opinion of your qualifications, or to remain seated beside you unless it pleases them to do so." With these words I rose up and left the independent gentleman evidently a little confounded at the manoeuvre: however, he soon recovered his self-possession, and continued swinging the axe he held in his hand, and said, "It is no crime, I guess, being born a ...
— The Backwoods of Canada • Catharine Parr Traill

... widespread impression in England that American women as a rule are not womanly. The average American girl acquires when young a self-possession and an ability to converse in company which Englishwomen only, and then not always, acquire much later in life. Therefore the American girl appears, to English eyes, to be "forward," and she is assumed ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... awaiting them; but the abbot, though sometimes quite under the water, and bruised by the rough stones and gravel with which he came in contact, still retained his self-possession, and encouraged his companion to hope for succour. In this way they were borne down to the foot of the hill, the monks, the herdsmen, and the men-at-arms having given them up as lost. But they yet lived—yet floated—though greatly ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... of his prey. His eyes, ferociously insolent, dwelt on Justin, who, fine and keen and smiling a little, sat opposite him. Brute anger never had any effect on Justin but to give him a contemptuous, chill self-possession. ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... as I was, and with wind-disordered hair, I presented in front of that grim barbican a sufficiently sinister appearance. Certain it is they took me for a bandit and their faces blanched. The man retained some vestiges of self-possession, however, and, doffing his hat, ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... and pleasant in her ways, endowed with native self-possession and address, lively and chatty, having a mind and a will of her own, yet good-humored withal, Miss Grace was a universal favorite. It would have puzzled a city lady to understand how Grace, who never was out of ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... paper and was taken up at once by a servant into the gallery where the minister and the King were walking together. They were at the further end from that at which he entered, and he stood, a little nervous at his heart, but with his usual appearance of self-possession, watching the two great backs turned to him, and waiting to ...
— The King's Achievement • Robert Hugh Benson

... and hardened with the rigidity of self-control. Sally peered out at her through lowered lashes, and judged that it was time for her to remove herself. She had known Beatrix from their childhood, and this was the first time she had seen her jarred from her self-possession. She fastened the last hook with a jerk. Then she rose and ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... his own sword, a smart slap on the shoulder, all the while muttering between his teeth as if he was saying his prayers. Having done this, he directed one of the ladies to gird on his sword, which she did with great self-possession and gravity, and not a little was required to prevent a burst of laughter at each stage of the ceremony; but what they had already seen of the novice knight's prowess kept their laughter within bounds. On girding him with the sword the worthy lady said to him, "May God make ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... ain't," said Tom, almost reeling. His weakness and the fear of collapsing before he could speak gave him courage, but he forgot the little speech which he had prepared, and poured out a torrent which completely swept away any little advantage of self-possession that Roscoe ...
— Tom Slade with the Colors • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... nails in the suppression of his rage. She languidly corrected the folds of her dress, leant back in a charming attitude, and waited with unassailable self-possession. ...
— The Crooked House • Brandon Fleming

... endured in their retreat across the desert were very great, and afforded constant exercise for the self-possession and equanimity of their leader. "A fearful journey," says one of their number, "was yet before us. Some of the wounded were carried in litters, and the rest on camels and mules. A devouring thirst, ...
— Palestine or the Holy Land - From the Earliest Period to the Present Time • Michael Russell

... therefore, to escape from the Karma, the moral retribution which works inexorably in one life the result stored up in previous lives, is that of a careful and unintermitted self-discipline, which does not run to extremes, but practices, with perfectly clear purpose and self-possession, the needful virtues mentioned in the fourth of the Noble Truths. What are these? There ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... first show of annoyance Ruth seemed to recover her self-possession. She listened more quietly to the explanation of the excited hotel man. Then she demanded to be ...
— Ruth Fielding at the War Front - or, The Hunt for the Lost Soldier • Alice B. Emerson

... thirty cents; jest about enough to go back on. Tickets is fifty-five dollars, goin' an' comin'. That leaves twenty dollars for other expenses, not countin' what I've already spent, which is six-fifty," said she, recovering her self-possession. ...
— Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... seigneurs, ministers, and ambassadors. He dined habitually with all the members of the diplomatic body. He fought duels, and had killed two or three men in his life; in fact, he had half murdered them, for his coolness and self-possession were unparalleled. No young man could compare with him in dress, in the distinction of his manners, the elegance of his witty speech, the grace of his easy carriage,—in short, what was called in those days "the grand air." In his capacity of page to the Emperor, trained from ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... the supper-table gave Emily time for reflection and self-possession. No more pointed questions were asked her during the meal; and after it was completed, she said to the woman that she felt much fatigued, and, if she would permit her to do so, would retire ...
— The Last Penny and Other Stories • T. S. Arthur

... us in?" said Betty with perfect self-possession. "That was very kind. I have often wished to see you, to tell you how much obliged I am for all your kindness in the Spring. I was only a child then, and I didn't understand, but now I quite see how good it ...
— The Incomplete Amorist • E. Nesbit

... fifty, but looking younger, with a face remarkable for placid cheerfulness, and a manner no less remarkable for its quiet expression of equability of temper. Nothing in her dress could have been changed to her advantage. Nothing in the noiseless self-possession of her manner could have been changed to her advantage. Nothing could have been in better unison with both, than her voice when she answered the question: "What name shall I have the pleasure of noting down?" with the words, "My name is Sarah Goldstraw. Mrs. ...
— No Thoroughfare • Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins

... worrying a dainty handkerchief in his teeth, and so engaged was he in this destructive purpose that he ran straight into my hands. I rescued the bedraggled piece of cambric and stood upright to find mademoiselle standing before me with mirth and a certain dignified self-possession in ...
— Dross • Henry Seton Merriman

... Annie for a good-by kiss, place her on the saddle before him, gallop her round the house once or twice, and then give her back to her nurse's arms again. She was perfectly fearless, and such boisterous attentions never frightened her, nor did they ever interfere with her sweet, infantine self-possession. ...
— Our Young Folks—Vol. I, No. II, February 1865 - An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... manner, full of self-possession, and his tone, remarkable at his age, took us so completely by surprise—to say nothing of the late hour and the deserted street, which gave these things their full effect—that for a moment neither of us answered. Then the King spoke. "Indeed, M. l'Empereur," he said gravely; ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... with arms is to make only a temporary conquest; to conquer the world by earning its esteem is to make permanent conquest. I am confident that the nations that have learned the discipline of freedom and that have settled with self-possession to its ordered practice are now about to make conquest of the world by the sheer power of example and of ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... smile playing soberly on his lips. There was nothing of effort indeed, or impatience, any more than pride or levity, in his demeanour; and there was a finer expression of reposing strength, and mild self-possession in his manner, than we ever recollect to have met with in any other person. He had in his character the utmost abhorrence for all sorts of forwardness, parade and pretensions; and, indeed, never failed to put all such impostures out of countenance, by the manly plainness and honest intrepidity ...
— James Watt • Andrew Carnegie

... stamped by a sinister cast that was not to be mistaken. His manner was easy, but rather audacious than well-bred. Indeed, while a visage which might otherwise be described as handsome was spoilt by a dishonest glance, so a demeanour that was by no means deficient in self-possession and facility, was tainted by an innate vulgarity, which in the long run, though ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... of terror roll back to us?" Our ears have developed an abnormal acuteness, so that almost a pin falling will make taut nerves scream, though in reality nobody moves—a glance is enough to both ask and answer a question. A marvelous new self-possession seems to have come to everybody which bridges over a natural despair and forms, at least, a skeleton framework by which we ...
— Lige on the Line of March - An American Girl's Experiences When the Germans Came Through Belgium • Glenna Lindsley Bigelow

... away and the blushing rescuer of beauty in distress and old age vanquished, had, stammering in embarrassment before the thanks of his two beneficiaries, gone back to his own part of the ship. He might have wholly lost his self-possession had not the vicious glance of the Italian and a shouted curse come to him while the man was struggling viciously with his unwilling captors. It cheered him unto laughter to hear Moresco laying claim to that mysterious importance which he had so often boasted, and note that he was threatening him ...
— The Old Flute-Player - A Romance of To-day • Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey

... of affairs. His practice was always large and paid him well. He amassed a handsome fortune. His opinions were often sought in courts of justice on professional points, where his dignity, self-possession, and dry wit (which he seems to have suppressed at the lecturer's desk), commanded the respect of judge, juror, and advocate, while it made him the terror of the pettifogger. Once, while giving expert testimony in a case involving a wound ...
— Pioneer Surgery in Kentucky - A Sketch • David W. Yandell

... took occasion to speak rather apologetically of the deficiencies in his little army, suggesting that Lafayette must feel the difference between these untrained soldiers and those he was accustomed to see, Lafayette had the self-possession and tact to answer that he had come to America to learn, not to teach. This answer charmed Washington and endeared the young French officer to ...
— Lafayette • Martha Foote Crow

... the lively manner in which la Peyrade made these inquiries that his cure though sudden was complete; but this surface of indifference and cool self-possession was only the stillness of the atmosphere that precedes a storm. On leaving Madame Louchard, la Peyrade flung himself into a street-cab and there gave way to a passion of tears like that Madame Colleville had witnessed on the day he believed that Cerizet had got the better of him in ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... thrown open; and with an air of calm self-possession he walked to the head of the table about which his ministers stood waiting. "Be seated, gentlemen," he said, embracing in a single bow the obeisances of all; and like slow waves they closed in on him, subsiding in large curves and soft fawning ripples of hand-rubbing ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... a quiet, taciturn individual by the name of Samuel Adams. This man he had long known in a casual way, but had never been able really to make his acquaintance. He was fifteen years older than Hancock, and by his quiet dignity and self-possession made quite an impression on the ...
— Little Journeys To the Homes of the Great, Volume 3 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... not be neglected," said he who, more by his self-possession and air of authority, than by any known right to command, had insensibly assumed so much authority in the important business of that night. "One like this, within our walls, may quickly bring destruction on the garrison. The postern may be opened to ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... him. He received the notice to proceed to the scaffold in the same composed manner he had shown the preceding night on receiving warning of his fate. His face was full of colour, and he appeared to have complete self-possession, still responding to the service in a clear tone. The prisoner decided only a moment before starting for the scaffold not to make a speech. This was owing to the earnest solicitations of both the priests attending him. He displayed an inclination ...
— The Story of Louis Riel: The Rebel Chief • Joseph Edmund Collins

... Philippines. How better, in this time of anxious questioning and perplexed policy, could we show our confidence in the principles of liberty, as the source as well as the expression of life, how better could we demonstrate our own self-possession and steadfastness in the courses of justice and disinterestedness than by thus going calmly forward to fulfill our promises to a dependent people, who will now look more anxiously than ever to see whether we have indeed ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Woodrow Wilson • Woodrow Wilson

... forward anxiously to Luther's appearance before the Diet, and with deep emotion he listened to his speech. With joy and pride he witnessed the doctor's courage, firmness, and self-possession, and determined to stand more firmly in his defense. He contrasted the parties in contest, and saw that the wisdom of popes, kings, and prelates had been brought to naught by the power of truth. The papacy had ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... first often imparted information which you did not previously possess; the other suggested ideas which were often before in your own mind, but lay tranquil and unobserved, till called into life and notice by her fanciful and vivacious tongue. Both of them were endowed with a very remarkable self-possession; but Lady Joan wanted softness, and Lady ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... hand, Madame Heurtebise appeared to us, after two years of married life, exactly the same as we had beheld her in the vestry on her wedding day. She wore the same calm and simpering smile, she had as much as ever the air of a shopwoman in her Sunday clothes, only she had gained self-possession. She talked now. In the midst of artistic discussions into which Heurtebise passionately threw himself, with arbitrary assertions, brutal contempt, or blind enthusiasm, the false and honeyed voice of his wife would suddenly ...
— Artists' Wives • Alphonse Daudet

... near to where the three horsemen stood that more than once Ned started with a fear that they would be overwhelmed; but the hunters showed such calmness and self-possession that he was reassured. All at once a furious trampling was heard, and two of the animals that had become separated from the others in some way, dashed directly by the horsemen and ...
— Through Apache Lands • R. H. Jayne

... or even a greater vice, only reversed, if we were now to despair of ourselves. Moderation was what we needed then; what we need now is vigorous and conscious self-possession. To-day it is no easy and attractive business to bring our strong qualities to the surface; it implies an amount of conviction which it is hard to attain, and self-depreciation means a pitiful faint-heartedness. But all sham goods offered by babblers, ...
— The New Society • Walther Rathenau

... faster than Miss Peckham was wont to talk. But her volubility gave Janice a chance to recover her self-possession. She saw quite clearly that her errand had come to naught. Even if the Lathams positively knew the missing Olga had been named Cedarstrom before her marriage they probably did not know ...
— Janice Day, The Young Homemaker • Helen Beecher Long

... so, his self-possession and quiet dignity never deserting him for an instant. This angered the crabbed old uncle ...
— The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... side, so gaily, regardless of all that had been urged against him; so superior in his sallies and self-possession to the gloomy constraint of her suitor and the selfish petulance of her brother; so faithful to her, as it seemed, when her own stock was faithless; what an immense advantage, what an overpowering influence, were his that night! Add ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... moored near the boom, and was pulling towards the stranded raft. He first examined its position, and assured himself that very little labor would be necessary to float it; then he stepped aboard, and very nearly lost his customary self-possession upon the receipt of Winn's warm greeting. He was on the point of returning it in a manner that would have proved most unpleasant for poor Winn, when he discovered that his supposed assailant was only a boy, and that the act was ...
— Raftmates - A Story of the Great River • Kirk Munroe

... be more marked than the difference between Carrie's and 'Lena's manner toward Mrs. Graham. Even Durward noticed it, and while he could not sufficiently admire the quiet self-possession of the latter, who in her simple morning wrapper and linen collar had met his mother on perfectly equal terms, he for the first time in his life felt a kind of contempt (pity he called it,) for Carrie, who, in an elegantly ...
— 'Lena Rivers • Mary J. Holmes

... forecastle; the little humpbacked steward rushed frantically out of the galley with his hands all dough, and climbed up on the bulwarks; the sailors ran into the rigging, and only the man at the wheel retained his self-possession. Away ahead, drawn in faint luminous outlines above the horizon, appeared two high conical peaks, so distant that nothing but the white snow in their deep ravines could be seen, and so faint that they could hardly be distinguished from the blue sky beyond. They were the mountains ...
— Tent Life in Siberia • George Kennan

... for the capture or slaughter of the monstrous visitant; and he was now, according to Lualamba, impatiently awaiting in his palace, a few miles distant, the intelligence that his order had been executed. The chief, during the conversation which elicited these facts, had so far recovered his self-possession and equanimity as to be able to make the best possible use of his eyes; and, being a very shrewd fellow, he was not long in arriving at the conclusion that the gigantic monster on whose back he stood was, after all, nothing more nor less ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... help with gladness. Forthwith came into the family circle a tall, well-dressed young person, grave, unobtrusive, self-respecting, yet not in the least presuming, who sat at the family table and observed all its decorums with the modest self-possession of a lady. The newcomer took a survey of the labors of a family of ten members, including four or five young children, and, looking, seemed at once to throw them into system, matured her plans, arranged her hours of washing, ironing, baking, cleaning, rose early, moved deftly, and in a single day ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... as the maid enters the doorway. Recognition shows in both faces. Then the maiden recovers her self-possession and starts ...
— Poems of Experience • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... inefficient matron in their youth. The mother can oversee half a dozen children with a nurse; but she needs all her strength, all her mind, her own eyes, and ears, and quick perceptions, and delicate intuition, and calm self-possession, when her sturdy boys and wild young girls are leaping and bounding and careering into their lusty life. All manner of novel temptations beset them,—perils by night and perils by day,—perils in the house and by the way. Their fierce and hungry young souls, rioting in ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... looked as though they held in their depths the possibility of tenderness. He walked as an athlete, there was no spare flesh about him anywhere, and in his carriage there was a dignity that had in it pride of birth, complete self-possession, and above ...
— The Prelude to Adventure • Hugh Walpole

... either the self-command or the requisite energy and foresight to keep the affairs of the home and of the farm in motion. It was not until many days after the disasters that had befallen the family that Willy Ray recovered enough self-possession to engage once more in his ordinary occupations. He had spent the first few days in the room with his stricken mother, almost as unconscious as herself of what was going on about him; and indeed his nature had experienced a ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... Bench:—OLD MORALITY huddled up against GEORGIE HAMILTON, who was nervously tearing sheet of paper into measured strips; JOKIM shaking in every limb, and white to the lips; Prince ARTHUR most successful of the group in maintaining his self-possession, though evidently not liking the reference to STRAFFORD. The Commodore, looking in his tarpaulins considerably more than six foot high, stormed and raged what time the snow and sleet beat a wild accompaniment on ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, March 21, 1891 • Various

... relation between God and death dimly struggled to evolve itself from the dreadful antagonism between them; shadowy meanings even yet continued to exercise and torment, in dreams, the deciphering oracle within me. I slept—for how long I cannot say: slowly I recovered my self-possession; and, when I woke, found myself standing as before, close to my sister's bed."[2] Somewhat similar in effect were the fancies that came to this dreamy boy on Sunday mornings during service in the fine old English church. Through the wide central field of uncolored glass, set in a rich framework ...
— De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars • Thomas De Quincey

... changed. There are few attempts to exploit the emotions by describing the palpitations of injured beauty or the expostulations and vows of love-sick cavaliers. Instead Aminta is praised for enduring with unusual self-possession the treachery of her lover and her most intimate friend. Sophronia encourages Palmira to persist in her resolution of living apart from her husband until she is convinced of the reformation of his manners, and Isabinda ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... in one moment all the long months of doubt and pride were wiped out. Michael's eyes had banished them. Her characteristic courage and her self-possession returned. She put her hand on the top of Michael's, the one which held his rifle. Her touch thrilled the soldier home from the Front; it travelled through his veins like an electric current. Margaret's eyes had dropped; now they met ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... seemed left for the beleaguered boat to dash through. At it they went, but a schooner filled with troops suddenly appeared blockading this last exit. It looked as though all was up, and those in the boat saw before them the cheerful prospect of execution as spies. But Cushing's pluck and self-possession, which had never yet failed, still stood by him. He resorted to strategy, and, like the hunted fox, threw his pursuers off the track by doubling. He made a dash so rapid and determined towards the western bar, that all the boats of the enemy rushed to block that point. For an instant his own ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... hurriedly leaving the cabin, for her marvellous self-possession was beginning to arouse unpleasant suspicions even in ...
— His Lordship's Leopard - A Truthful Narration of Some Impossible Facts • David Dwight Wells

... Berkley!" I exclaimed, startled out of all self-possession by his impertinence. "What on earth do you mean? You are completely ignorant of what you are talking about. I have hardly any gray hairs, and some excellent constitutions are gray at thirty. You are partly bald yourself: I know it from the way you turn up your love-locks. And it was not ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... growing alarming'—reasoned Mr. Pickwick with himself. 'I can't allow things to go on in this way. By the self-possession of that lady, it's clear to me that I must have come into the wrong room. If I call out, she'll alarm the house, but if I remain here, the consequences will ...
— Bardell v. Pickwick • Percy Fitzgerald

... dark girl, not handsome, but noticeably well dressed. She looked politely at her questioner when spoken to, but seemed as far in spirit as the distant trees toward which she directed her attention when not particularly addressed. She seemed to have a certain personality, a self-possession, a source of interest other than collegiate; and this held her apart from the others in the mind of the woman ...
— A Reversion To Type • Josephine Daskam

... Emperor Alexander alone preserved perfect self-possession; and, turning to the Duke of Wellington, exclaimed "Eh bien, Wellington, c'est a vous encore une ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... had the children of the day-laborer Valois called," continued the president, with his imperturbable self-possession. "The oldest daughter, a girl of twelve years, pleased her in consequence of her lively nature and her attractive exterior. She took her to herself, she gave her an excellent education, she was resolved ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... laughter. "Who are you?" said the Judge, looking suddenly up, but with imperturbable gravity. The court was convulsed; the titter broke out into a laugh, and it was several minutes before silence and decorum could be restored. When the Ushers recovered their self-possession, they made diligent search for the profane transgressor; but he was not to be found. Nobody knew him; nobody had seen him. After a while the business of the court again proceeded. The next prisoner brought up for trial augured favourably of his prospects when he learned that the solemn ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... grates. Dim argand lamps bathed in soft light the rich furniture, carved cornices, and rare statuary which decorated the mantels. The elite of Wimbledon were assembling, and young Mrs. Edson moved lightly to and fro, receiving her numerous guests with graceful self-possession, and welcoming them to her home and heart with warm, earnest cordiality. They were nearly all strangers to her, as she had been but a few months installed mistress of Mr. Edson's splendid mansion; but she ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... than the first appearance of Thorneycroft Huxtable, M.A., Ph.D., etc. His card, which seemed too small to carry the weight of his academic distinctions, preceded him by a few seconds, and then he entered himself—so large, so pompous, and so dignified that he was the very embodiment of self-possession and solidity. And yet his first action when the door had closed behind him was to stagger against the table, whence he slipped down upon the floor, and there was that majestic figure prostrate and insensible ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... was a happy one for me. I was at last left alone in my own house, and I regained an absolute self-possession, and a sense of occupation I had long been a stranger to. My ownership oppressed me, almost, there was so ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... the door, the singer turned to his pupil and sat down in his accustomed seat, with great apparent self-possession. Ortensia watched him, and her new-born resentment ...
— Stradella • F(rancis) Marion Crawford

... accustomed to hold the warrior in such veneration, that he felt considerably hurt and mortified at the want of welcome which contrasted with the kindness of the rest; and he could hardly recover his self-possession sufficiently to inquire the pleasure of the Prince with regard ...
— The Lances of Lynwood • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to their different dances, Pretty picked up the knife he had knocked from the hand of the third, and sauntered homeward, adjusting his somewhat ruffled collar and tie as he went, with magnificent self-possession. ...
— The Dozen from Lakerim • Rupert Hughes

... was, however, he passed slowly up the centre aisle without hindrance, followed by Manuel and Angela, and watched by a good many inquisitive persons, who wondered as they looked, who the boy was that walked after His Eminence with such easy self-possession,—with such a noble and modest bearing, and with such a strangely thoughtful face. A few whispered and nudged each other as "the Sovrani" passed them, dressed in her usual quiet black, her head slightly ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... to do so. St Cyran warned him that he could not fly from the duties of such a position without incurring the guilt of disobedience. De Saci seems to have been especially remarkable for his quiet self-possession and cautious insight into character. His brother, Le Maitre, brings out in a curious manner the contrast between his own impetuous character and the leisurely efficiency of De Saci’s temper. As they sat at their ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... concealing his mouth, and a ruddy complexion. He was extremely well dressed, and, though one might detect some awkwardness in his movements, his manner had that composure which comes from a great knowledge of the world, and from a natural self-possession and independence of character. ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... Chiltern was more alive to that necessity than she had been to the other, and felt that the gentleman, if not warned of what was to take place, would be much more likely than the lady to be awkward at the trying moment. Madame Goesler would in any circumstances be sure to recover her self-possession very quickly, even were she to lose it for a moment; but so much could hardly be said for the social powers of Phineas Finn. Lady Chiltern therefore contrived to see him alone for a moment on his arrival. "Who do you think ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... cost her her self-possession. Instantly she was ill at ease. The reestablishment of their old relation could only come gradually: although she had not anticipated it, the six years of separation had wrought their changes. She felt that she needed time to become adjusted to him—just as a man who has been blind needs ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... Granger for a fisher of men; greed had sent him into the South Florida land business. His bland self-possession, his impressive physique, his confidence-winning voice and bearing constituted a profitable stock in trade. In the slang of his craft—shall we say "graft"?—he "played the church game strong." Under the sway of his hypnotic personality ...
— The Plunderer • Henry Oyen

... phrensy is the gift of God. The prophetess of Delphi, and the priestess of Dodona, many are the benefits which in their phrensies (moments of inspiration) they have bestowed upon Greece; but in their hours of self-possession, few or none. And too long were it to speak of the Sibyl, and others, who, inspired and prophetic, have delivered utterances beneficial to the hearers. Indeed, this word phrenetic or maniac is no reproach; it ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... in sitting, in standing, and in walking," says one of the Japanese Zenists. Lin Tsi (Rin-Zai) also says: "To concentrate one's mind, or to dislike noisy places, and seek only for stillness, is the characteristic of heterodox Dhyana." It is easy to keep self-possession in a place of tranquillity, yet it is by no means easy to keep mind undisturbed amid the bivouac of actual life. It is true Dhyana that makes our mind sunny while the storms of strife rage around us. It is ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... was short; but even this was a hard pull in such a violent sea. Pelham was cool and steady, and his self-possession encouraged the crew to their best efforts. The boat ran up under the lee of the wreck, and made fast to one of the masts. As soon as it was secured, both of the men on the rail began to jabber ...
— Dikes and Ditches - Young America in Holland and Belguim • Oliver Optic

... water covering his feet. It was a moment of physical mastery without conscious thought. To each the personality of the other was so perturbing, that without words or touch, the heart beats of both grew harder, and their glances held in a gaze fixed and gleaming. The woman gained her self-possession first, and with it an animal instinct to fly from him, ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... coat—but she contrived, somehow, to remain altogether feminine. She stood for a moment looking about her, as though wondering whether there were anything else to be done, a capable figure, attractive because of her earnest self-possession. ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... a supper, because the officers who took part in them must be fortified for immediate service, and even in Paris might be called upon to leave the ballroom for the battlefield. This arrangement had gone out of fashion under the Monarchy, and Eugene had so far only been asked to dances. The self-possession which pre-eminently distinguished him in later life already stood him in good stead, and he did not betray his amazement. Yet as he saw for the first time the finely wrought silver plate, the completeness of every detail, the sumptuous dinner, noiselessly served, it was difficult ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... lady, and no one would have thought of doubting the fact. Fat, awkwardly dressed, of no imposing stature, with unmanageable hair and prominent teeth, she was not a person to be laughed at. She had what many a beautiful woman lacks and envies—natural dignity of character and manner, combined with a self-possession which is not always found in exalted personages. That repose of manner which is commonly believed to be the heirloom of noble birth is seen quite as often in the low-born adventurer, who regards it as part of his stock-in-trade; and there are many women, and men too, whose position might be ...
— Sant' Ilario • F. Marion Crawford

... history, despite the scornful self-possession of which I knew her capable, she was an unprotected girl—in years, I believe, a mere child—whom Fate had cast in my way. At her request, we had booked passages for her brother and herself to Egypt. The boat sailed in three days. But Karamaneh's beautiful ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... practical costume, something between the garb of a sailor and the garb of a fireman, and as their life—like the life of a fireman or a sailor—is lived a good deal apart from the lives of other men, and has a constant spice in it of possible danger, they acquire a certain self-reliance and self-possession which give them a natural ease and even dignity of carriage. In talking with more than one of them I thought I detected a slight tone of contempt towards other workmen and especially towards the peasants, such as tinges the talk of a sailor about land-lubbers. ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... you got here," said Mr Latter, recovering a measure of self-possession. "Pretty profitable little ...
— Nicky-Nan, Reservist • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... hand out of the window, but Orlando suddenly reared and started. The rider with perfect self-possession gave it a cut with the whip across the neck, and keeping a tight grip with his legs forced it in spite of its opposition, to stand still ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... position. Still, he was perchance mistaken. The Professors perhaps regarded him as a sort of charity-boy, and Twybridge possibly saw him in the same light. The doubt flashed upon his mind while he was trying to eat and converse with becoming self-possession. He dug his heel into the carpet and silently cursed ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... that tea for me?" returns she, calmly, with great self-possession, seeing that sundry eyes are ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... the least idea of what happens when a small boat jibes. He intended to ask for information, but was not given any opportunity. The boom, which had hitherto behaved with dignity and self-possession, suddenly swung across the boat with such swiftness that he had no time to duck his head to avoid it. His straw hat, struck on the brim, was swept over the side of the boat. He found himself thrown down against the gunwale, while a quantity of cold water poured ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... in the habit of carrying on intrigues with my models," he replied, haughtily. "Or," he added, regaining self-possession, "of discussing my ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... an Overlander in the bush is one of great excitement which constantly calls every energy into action, is full of romantic and novel situations, and habituates the mind to self-possession and command. The large and stately herd of cattle is at least a fine if not even an imposing sight. The fierce and deadly contests which at times take place with the natives, when two or three hardy ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 2 (of 2) • George Grey

... as a braver man than he might have been under such circumstances; but the steward did not permit him to recover his self-possession. With an oak stick he carried in his hand, he dealt a heavy blow upon the head of the villain. But his cranium seemed to be made of more solid material than his African assailant's, for he attempted to rise, ...
— Freaks of Fortune - or, Half Round the World • Oliver Optic

... quite suddenly, the professional manner gone and the vehemence of a strong mind in distress breaking through all conventionality. Rose drew herself up and looked at him coldly. In that moment she completely regained her self-possession. ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... young man, recovering some of his self-possession tho his tone was apologetic, "since I have been on the road I saw what happened once when the police came with their clubs and revolvers. There was a free fight and two men were killed. I thought I saw a chance for one man to arbitrate a little difficulty—and arbitration is pretty ...
— The Rainy Day Railroad War • Holman Day

... features of the hero are instantly recognizable. There is the small stir, the rising of the curtain, and some one steps upon the stage, "tall and sunburnt, with a moustache,"—'tis he! Alonzo!—"with easy self-possession and a genial air,"—the very man,—"habitual manners slightly touched with reserve, but no man could unbend more easily,"—who but he, our old acquaintance?—"a rich baritone voice," "strung with true masculine fibre," striking in among the sharps and flats and bringing ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... a shot between wind and water to Paddy. His self-possession was nearly altogether lost, and he could do no more than turn it off by a faint laugh. But it jarred most unpleasantly on Andy's nerves. After looking at Paddy for some time with a very ominous look, he said, "Yirroo Pandhrig ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 20, No. 562, Saturday, August 18, 1832. • Various

... hypocrite had now recovered her self-possession, and would have denied all knowledge of Appelmann, saying that he forced himself in when she chanced to open the door; but he, interrupting her, cried, "Does the girl dare to lay all the blame on me? Did you not press ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V1 • William Mienhold

... lesson in reading, Charming turned pale and trembled; the blood mounted to his cheeks, his eyes filled with tears, and he gazed at his young teacher with a look that made her start; then all at once, with a great effort, he regained his self-possession, and said, in a tremulous voice, "Pazza, that is A." And the same day and at one sitting he learned all the letters of the alphabet; at the end of the week he spelled readily, and before the month was ended ...
— Laboulaye's Fairy Book • Various

... second time I saw the baron enter the church—assist devoutly at the celebration of mass at the chapel of the Virgin Mary—repeat his prayers, and offer up his alms. There was the same solemnity of bearing during the ceremony, the same cheerful self-possession at its completion. A more methodical madness there could not be! I was determined this time not to lose sight of my gentleman, without obtaining at least a clue to his extraordinary behaviour. As soon as the service as over, he prepared for his departure. Before he could quit the church, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... He emphasized his words with angry sweeps of his arms. He clenched his fists, and his face grew red. He was not like the old, shrewd, indomitable Brokaw, completely master of himself, never revealing himself beyond the unruffled veil of his self-possession, and Philip was surprised. He had expected that Brokaw's wily brain would bring with it half a dozen schemes for the quiet undoing of their enemies. And now here was Brokaw, the man who always hedged himself in with legal breast-works—who never revealed himself ...
— Flower of the North • James Oliver Curwood

... all of his self-possession about him. He was just returning to sit by his chum when the nattiest, sprucest- looking soldier imaginable, wearing the olive-drab fatigue uniform of the Army and overcoat to match, ...
— Dick Prescott's First Year at West Point • H. Irving Hancock

... attention of Robert d'Este, who became her patron and placed her in the care of the Duchess of Carrara. This early association with a circle of cultured and elegant men and women was doubtless the origin of the self-possession and modest dignity which characterized Angelica Kauffman through life and enabled her becomingly to accept the honors ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... to recover his self-possession. "But let's get right down to business now. If you'll appear in this play I'll not merely give you two hundred pounds a week, but I'll explain to you how to get arrested and still arrive in triumph in London ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... it!" remarked Mr Rokens, who had just concluded Number 6, and felt his self-possession somewhat restored. "Yes, miss, it is; but it ain't equal to whale's-brain ...
— The Red Eric • R.M. Ballantyne

... manner which, to one less expert, would have been attended with the utmost danger. He would sometimes go out in a boat, and overset her by carrying a press of sail. Acts of daring like these must find their excuse in the spirit of a fearless youth. But he often found the advantage of that power and self-possession in the water which he derived from his early habits, in saving men who had fallen overboard, and especially in the happiest of all his services, his conduct at the Dutton. More than once, however, he nearly perished. In Portsmouth harbour, ...
— The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth • Edward Osler

... come to the newel-post of the staircase and, when she looked into Daniel's face, blushed like the red, red rose, losing her self-possession ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)



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



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