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Seriousness   /sˈɪriəsnəs/   Listen
Seriousness

noun
1.
An earnest and sincere feeling.  Synonyms: earnestness, sincerity.
2.
The quality of arousing fear or distress.  Synonym: distressfulness.
3.
The trait of being serious.  Synonyms: earnestness, serious-mindedness, sincerity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Seriousness" Quotes from Famous Books



... time of Charles II the skill and seriousness of French cookery as compared with our own was recognised. The high reputation of Scotch cooks at the present day seems to be due to an inheritance of traditions from the days of close association of the Scotch and French Courts. Up to nearly 100 years ...
— More Science From an Easy Chair • Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

... and botany. The ensuing four years at Cambridge were very happy ones. While fortunate in being able to follow his various mental and scientific pursuits with the freedom which a good social and financial position secured for him, he found himself by a natural seriousness of manner, balanced by a cheerful temperament and love of sport, the friend and companion of men many years his seniors and holding positions of authority in the world of science. Amongst these the name of Professor Henslow will always take precedence. "This friendship," says ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... substantially better off than other segments of the population, often approaching European standards, whereas indigenous groups suffer the poverty and unemployment typical of the poorer nations of the African continent. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrates the seriousness of socioeconomic tensions. The economic well-being of Reunion depends heavily on continued financial assistance from France. GDP: exchange rate conversion - $3.37 billion, per capita $6,000 (1987 est.); real growth rate 9% (1987 ...
— The 1992 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... sort of sweet absurdity, she talked in great agitation of the depravity of hearts, of the sin of light-mindedness, of the self-deception which leads men astray—a confused but purposeful jumble, in which occasional allusions to the errors of Rome, and to the want of seriousness in the upper classes, put in ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... experiences, and dozens of other things on that order. And I had such a good time listening to them, though they didn't talk directly to me, that I'd forget at times and nearly screech out loud at the tones of voice in which they did me up, and then I would remember and try to look serious. But seriousness doesn't seem to fit my face—that is, seriousness over sillinesses—and it wouldn't stay on ...
— Kitty Canary • Kate Langley Bosher

... negotiations the war could now be brought to an end before our nation was involved. Two statements issued to the press by our Secretary of State, upon the day the note was dispatched, threw a clear light on the seriousness with which our ...
— World's War Events, Vol. II • Various

... effects of his liquor. A full pint in his hip pocket, Sandy, finally, broke away from his companions and started up the railroad tracks for the Silent City. Staggering a little, he meditated with drunken seriousness what he had done ...
— The Secret of the Storm Country • Grace Miller White

... there was anything of the sort is the fact that laws were promulgated looking to the restraint of illicit intercourse. These laws seem to have accomplished little or nothing and the existence of the laws argues rather a growing sense of the seriousness of the evil than any sudden increase in the prevalence of the evil itself. There can be no question, however, of the wide diffusion of concubinage in this period. Not morals nor repute nor public opinion, but the wealth and wishes of each man limited him in his amours of this sort. The ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... think of it," said Constance, with a precocious gesture of seriousness. In that gesture, and in her tone, was something which conveyed to Sophia: "Sophia, how can you be so utterly blind to the gravity of our fleeting existence as to ask me to go and strum the piano with you?" Yet a moment before she had ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... any seriousness about your toast; it says: "The Press—right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be set right." Gentlemen, this is your affair. A stream will not rise higher than its fountain. The Hudson River will not flow backward over the Adirondacks. ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... the elders to celebrate the rites of marriage, and he wooed Thyra, the daughter of Ethelred, the king of the English, for his wife. She surpassed other women in seriousness and shrewdness, and laid the condition on her suitor that she would not marry him till she had received Denmark as a dowry. This compact was made between them, and she was betrothed to Gorm. But on the first night that she went up on to the marriage-bed, she prayed her husband ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... not coming yesterday, as I assured my brother I would. An epidemic of something or other has broken out at my kennels and I spent a disheartening and doggy afternoon." She laughed, adding with sudden seriousness: "My brother has told me so many interesting things of you, Miss Murdaugh, that I have wanted to really know you, but I suppose you have been submerged in a sea of festivity with your cousins. I am ...
— The Fifth Ace • Douglas Grant

... on my shoulder, and speaking with the sudden seriousness that comes so readily to shallow natures, he said, "God has heard my prayer, old friend. He knows I am weak. He has sent down an angel out of Heaven ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... does the wind blow now?" muttered Fuller, the leer of self-satisfaction that had hitherto played in his eye rapidly giving place to an air of seriousness and surprise; an expression that was not at all diminished by an ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... half-an-hour more events than would probably happen in real life in a similar space of time, but not such a train of occurrences as to transcend the limits of possibility. It must be remembered, however, that the standard of verisimilitude naturally and properly varies with the seriousness of the theme under treatment. Improbabilities are admissible in light comedy, and still more in farce, which would wreck the fortunes of a drama purporting to present a sober and faithful ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... in the Senate Chamber stirred every one profoundly. That it was brilliant and magnificent goes without saying, but there was a seriousness, an intense feeling of expectancy, pervading both those who looked on and those who were to do the work for which these magnates of the earth had assembled, which produced an ineradicable impression. The President of the United ...
— Edison's Conquest of Mars • Garrett Putman Serviss

... figures of the saints on the simulated pilasters, and at the corners of each side of the chapel, might be classed among Fra Angelico's best. Who does not remember above the rest the fine and noble figure of St. Bonaventure, with his flowing white beard, thoughtful eyes, and an aspect of goodness and seriousness combined that is quite enchanting? What other figure, however beautiful, can show such just proportions, solid form, and majestic design, such a strong character and expression as this? The saint's thoughtful gaze is turned to the left, his mouth lightly indicating a smile, or rather the ...
— Fra Angelico • J. B. Supino

... Neil Bonner came back from the Arctic. The fires were lighted and the fleshpots slung, and he took of it all and called it good. Not only was he bronzed and creased, but he was a new man under his skin, with a grip on things and a seriousness and control. His old companions were amazed when he declined to hit up the pace in the good old way, while his father's crony rubbed hands gleefully, and became an authority upon the reclamation of ...
— The Faith of Men • Jack London

... were put into this venture by men who believed the ocean cable could not be laid. The work was stopped midway by the success of Field's wonderful plan, and all along the roadway the rusted and twisted wire lay in testimony of the seriousness ...
— The Trail of the Goldseekers - A Record of Travel in Prose and Verse • Hamlin Garland

... game. She forgot to ask after his baby; but she asked whether it would not be possible to get his leave extended. When he said "No"—he had had more than his share already—she commended him for his sense of duty, and in her seriousness was more ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... Barton returned to her mending, after a long talk with her husband, her jolly face wore an expression of seriousness that was unusual, and she failed to notice that Amy's hands were idle and her work was lying untouched in her lap as she sat looking wistfully far away across the sunlit ...
— That Printer of Udell's • Harold Bell Wright

... hellenised to the most extreme extent, but, as time went on, it was forced to admit into this religion an ever greater measure of secularisation. In the interests of its world-wide mission it did not indeed directly disguise the terrible seriousness of religion, but, by tolerating a less strict ideal of life, it made it possible for those less in earnest to be considered Christians, and to regard themselves as such. It permitted the genesis of a Church, which was no longer ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... contemplated him with the irritation usually produced by the display of ostentatious virtue, but found no comment. Emily gazed at the table, her red mouth curving in spite of all effort at seriousness. ...
— The Flying Mercury • Eleanor M. Ingram

... assumed that, on receiving the emphatic messages sent through Major Heany and Captain Holden, Dr. Jameson would realize the seriousness of the position, and would, in fact, abide by the arrangements made with him. Nor was this all. It was also clear that the telegram of Mr. Rhodes to which it was inferred reference was made in the concluding words of Messrs. Hamilton's ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... no game we were embarked on. If you had seen the seriousness of our faces as we inspected the parlour and reconnoitred the Henniker's future prison, that Saturday; if you had heard the seriousness of our voices as we solemnly deliberated whether nails or screws would be best to use in fastening up the doors—you would have found ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... such a review as this, sir, you will, I am quite sure, see the need of seriousness. I assure you that the thought of meeting you in eternity, and before the dread tribunal of God, with a complaint in my mouth against you, is to me of most weighty and solemn character. And you will see that the circumstances from which ...
— The Fugitive Blacksmith - or, Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington • James W. C. Pennington

... matter with you, feller?" inquired Tubbs crossly. Though he now recollected the circumstances under which they were found, Ralston's presence robbed the situation of any seriousness for him. It did not occur to Tubbs that any one who knew him could ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... her grandfather were alone in the darkening twilight with the blazing wood fire; he in his usual place at the side, and she on the hearth directly before it; both silent, both thinking, for some time. At length Mr. Ringgan spoke, breaking as it were the silence and his seriousness ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... she went home. Instead of going to Bloomsbury Place at once, she stopped at Griffith's lodgings on her way, and rather scandalized his landlady by requesting to be shown into his parlor. Only the grave simplicity of the small, slight figure in its gray cloak, and the steadfast seriousness in the pretty face reconciled the worthy matron to the idea of admitting her without investigation. But Aimee bore her scrutiny very calmly. The whole family of them had taken tea in the little sitting-room with Griffith, upon one or two occasions, so she was not at all ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... retorted Kitty. "How many weeks ago is it that I came out here by your contrivance to marry your cousin? Is that the way a man shows his seriousness? You sacrificed more to marry me to Micky than some men would to win ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... sudden desire to break through a certain seriousness which had come over his own thoughts and which was reflected in the other's tone. He shrugged his shoulders slightly and filled ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... July." This had always been the greatest day of the farmer's year, for it meant opportunity for social and intellectual enjoyment in the picnics and celebrations which brought neighbors together in hilarious good-fellowship. In 1873, however, the gatherings took on unwonted seriousness. The accustomed spread-eagle oratory gave place to impassioned denunciation of corporations and to the solemn reading of a Farmers' Declaration of Independence. "When, in the course of human events," this document begins in words familiar to every schoolboy orator, ...
— The Agrarian Crusade - A Chronicle of the Farmer in Politics • Solon J. Buck

... moving frame back in his swivel chair. His hands were clasped behind his head, and he turned a little to look the examiner in the face. The examiner was surprised to see a smile creep about the rugged mouth of the banker, and a kindly twinkle in his light-blue eyes. If he saw the seriousness of the affair, it did not show ...
— Heart of the West • O. Henry

... deplored poor Mr. Posterley's infatuation; and one besides who belonged to Nesta's musical choir in London: seemed a safe companion for the child. The grand organ of Mr. Barmby's voice, too, assured them of a devout seriousness in him, that arrested any scrupulous little questions. They could not conceive his uttering the nonsensical empty stuff, compliments to their beauty and what not, which girls hear sometimes from inconsiderate gentlemen, to the having of their ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... her joking tone turning to seriousness, her blue eyes to earnestness, "I and Lionel have ever been good friends, fond of each other, I believe, in a sober kind of way: but—any closer relationship, we should both have run apart from, as wide as the two poles. I can ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... Milton communicate so intense a conviction of religious earnestness that their Latinisms, even though incongruous, are recognized as the mere clothing of profoundly felt ideas. The sublimity, the seriousness, the spiritual dignity is in their thought, not in its expression; whereas Tasso too frequently leaves us with the certainty that he has sought by ceremonious language to realize more than he could grasp with the imagination. In his council of the powers of hell, for ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... others—he half disarms disgust by the lightness of his touch. And he could tell a tale, one of the most difficult of literary tasks. When he deals with graver actions, if he does not always rise to the occasion, he never fails to give the due impression of seriousness and dignity. It is not for nothing that the Decamerone has been the storehouse of poetic inspiration for nearly five centuries. In this country alone, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dryden, Keats, Tennyson, have each in turn gone to Boccaccio ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... between the latter and Charlotte, it had not unfrequently formed a topic of conversation. Albert was so opposed to the very idea of such an action, that, with a degree of irritation unusual in him, he had more than once given Werther to understand that he doubted the seriousness of his threats, and not only turned them into ridicule, but caused Charlotte to share his feelings of incredulity. Her heart was thus tranquillised when she felt disposed to view the melancholy subject in a serious point ...
— The Sorrows of Young Werther • J.W. von Goethe

... Mdlle. Prud'homme is desirous of doing Chicago a distinct good; and why, we ask in all seriousness, should this gifted and amiable French scholar not entertain for Chicago somewhat more than a friendly spirit, merely? The first settlers of Chicago were Frenchmen; and, likely as not, some of Mdlle. Prud'homme's ancestors were of the number of those Spartan ...
— Second Book of Tales • Eugene Field

... party, who had been reading law for some time, not imagining the seriousness of her anguish, went to her, and in a bantering way threatened her with a legal prosecution before an impaneled jury in case she refused to return to her place at the table, and submit to the regulations ...
— Stories Worth Rereading • Various

... of this task, there is no man who would not find it an arduous effort either to behold with moderation, or to treat with seriousness, the devices, not less weak than wicked, which have been contrived to pervert the public opinion in relation to the subject. They so far exceed the usual though unjustifiable licenses of party artifice, that even in a disposition the most candid ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... again. It was odd that, although I never fancied it of the sun, I thought I could make the moon follow me as I pleased. I remember once my eldest brother giving me great offence by bursting into laughter, when I offered, in all seriousness, to bring her to the other side of the house where they wanted light to go on with something they were about. But I must return to my dream; for the most remarkable thing in it I have not yet told you. In one corner of ...
— Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood • George MacDonald

... dear, not in peril, but I fear that you will never grow to look upon your position in the world with sufficient seriousness, for, I assure ...
— Caps and Capers - A Story of Boarding-School Life • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... reveal the seriousness of this mistake. It was far more important to strike at Paris through Brittany than to occupy even the richest of the French West Indies. For a triumphant advance of the Bretons and Vendeans must not only have lessened ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... of Savonarola, however great or little that may have been, is attributed the seriousness of his latest work. Professor Muther characterises Botticelli as "the Jeremiah of the Renaissance," but whether or not this is a rhetorical overstatement, the "tendency to impassioned and feverish action, so evident in the famous Calumny of Apelles, ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... vexation. Truesdale (who had not come home to treat local society with too great a degree of seriousness, and who, indeed, was like enough to take his pleasures beyond any bounds that society might set) looked on and listened with a kind of indulgent curiosity—like an explorer listening to the excited pow-wow of some flock of natives in some ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... surprised to see his King so altered in the interim past: "bent now, sunk into himself, grown old; to whom these five years of war-tumult and anxiety, of sorrow and hard toil, had given a dash of gloomy seriousness and melancholy, which was in strong contrast with his former vividly bright expression, and was not natural to his years." [Zelter's Life of Fasch (cited in ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... judiciously-minded; yet of every one but myself the business in being abroad was sober and reasonable, while mine was utterly ridiculous and silly. And the girl whose banter had driven me to it—perhaps she had attached no seriousness whatever to my petulant vow and had even now forgotten it. With these reflections were mingled the pangs of parting from my home and family; and for a time ...
— The Bright Face of Danger • Robert Neilson Stephens

... of conversation, she said, with the utmost seriousness, that her genius had advised her that not even I had power to give her speech with the spirits, since she was a woman, and the genii only communicated with men, whose nature is more perfect. Nevertheless, ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... of a beloved wife had given a pensive cast to his features, and a seriousness to his deportment, which many people imagined proceeded from haughtiness of disposition, yet nothing could be further from Mr. Darnley's character, for he was affable, gentle, benevolent, ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... a bag of silver for his master. If Parish didn't win the prize, he was hard to get along with for several days, but gradually he would accept his defeat with resolution. Prizes in less important races ranged from a pair of fighting cocks to a slave, depending upon the seriousness of the betting. ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - Florida Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... own son Horace; but then Horace's existence and his activity were not a tribute but a menace, a standing danger, not only to his power but to his fascination, his sense of himself as a still young, still brilliant and effective personality. (Horace inherited his mother's deplorable lack of seriousness.) And it was in Mrs. Levitt's society that Mr. Waddington was most conscious of his youth, his brilliance and effect. With an agreeable sense of anticipation he climbed up the slopes of Sheep Street and Park Street, and so ...
— Mr. Waddington of Wyck • May Sinclair

... the minister's wife, rising suddenly and speaking with a mock seriousness that her husband fully understood, "I don't see why you called me up here to decide what you had evidently settled before you called me. Do you consider that fair treatment, sir? It will serve you right if those biscuits I put in the oven when you called me are fallen as completely as Babylon. ...
— The Crucifixion of Philip Strong • Charles M. Sheldon

... the Old" is fittingly dedicated to the Autocrat of all the Breakfast-Tables, than whom no man has done more to demonstrate that wit and mirth are not incompatible with seriousness of purpose ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859 • Various

... Overland girl snatched up a stick and stood her ground with set lips and a face from which most of the color had fled, realizing fully the seriousness of the situation. ...
— Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders in the Great North Woods • Jessie Graham Flower

... smiling manner must have been an irritation to him. A German official, especially a petty one, takes everything with such deadly seriousness that he can't understand us taking things so debonairly, especially when it is his ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... Britishers to get into our minds is this, that Germany, not simply the Kaiser and the governing classes, but the whole body of the German people, take themselves and their empire and their destiny with most amazing seriousness. Listen to this, for instance. This will give you, I say, the psychological condition out of which war may easily and naturally arise." He turned the leaves of the book ...
— The Major • Ralph Connor

... wildly melodramatic play. Seward expressed an opinion that there was nothing in the action of the brother and sister deserving such severe retribution. To him Mason retorted, with somewhat childish seriousness, that, the characters being supposed pagan, the speech of the princess must be held a sacrilegious blasphemy. So Sidney no doubt intended it, and so Beaumont, who was evidently the author of the scene in question, intended ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... at the French Legation had retired when these two panic- stricken men reached there, but after a time the secretary consented to see them, and, on learning the seriousness of the case, he undertook to arouse his Excellency, and learn if anything ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... harder than I have done to convince himself of the deadly seriousness of existence; and surely before the feet of no man has Destiny cast such stumbling-blocks to faith. I might be an ancient dweller in the Thebaid struggling towards dreams of celestial habitations, and ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... Napoleon. But though every dame may think her own the prettiest child alive, it seems to us not altogether agreeable to good taste for her to anticipate the judgment of the future in naming it after that celebrity that he or she is destined to rival or eclipse. In seriousness, the habit which prevails so generally of bestowing illustrious names in baptism, is ridiculous and disgraceful, and is continually productive of misfortunes to the victims, if they happen to be possessed of parts to elevate ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... dreamed her light nature capable. Still, willing or unwilling, something must be done. Aunt Amy, too, was becoming more of an anxiety. Once or twice lately she had spoken of "Them," a sign of mental distress which Dr. Coombe had always treated with the utmost seriousness. Perhaps if a doctor were called in for Aunt Amy, Mrs. Coombe would lose her foolish dread of doctors and allow him to prescribe for her also. And if the new doctor were half as clever as Mrs. Sykes said he was—Esther's heart began to ...
— Up the Hill and Over • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... termination approach without anxiety. This is a true picture of my mind; and it must be true, because drawn for you, whom I would not deceive, and could not, if I would. Your question on my being writing drew it forth, though with more seriousness than the report deserved—yet talking to one's dearest friend is neither wrong nor out of season. Nay, you are my best apology. I have always contented myself with your being perfect, or, if your modesty demands a mitigated term, ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... latter, in which he had demonstrated its unreasonableness and untenableness. In addition to this, he has written a great number of books, in all of which Reason shines forth in all its peculiar excellence, and as the poor Doctor meant what he said in all seriousness, he was, so far, deserving of respect. But the great joke consisted precisely in this, that the Doctor invariably cut such a seriously absurd figure when he could not comprehend what every child comprehends, simply because it is a child. I visited the Doctor of ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... tender caress, a few very lover-like words, and resuming his gravity and seriousness, Mr. Dinsmore went on: "But you forget the odious character of the man. If I had objected to him from mere prejudice or whim, it would have been ...
— Elsie's Girlhood • Martha Finley

... the moustache and pushing Mr. Hicks's face, which face seemed able to stand any amount of rough usage. When finally his every move produced such paroxysms of laughter that she could stand it no longer, Susan squirmed out of his arms. Then, with sudden seriousness, she picked up the doll's pancake which had fallen from her hand. Their visit thus brought to an end, Jonas did not try to renew it; he was growing hungry. He gave her the pan of honey and placed her hands so that she ...
— The Wrong Woman • Charles D. Stewart

... hands a blunt, square appearance. His gray eyes were wide apart, having a sly and merry cast in them, while crow lines in their corners gave them a laughing expression. His firm mouth and square chin showed that he could mingle seriousness with mirth. He was considerably under the average height, but thickset ...
— The Kentucky Ranger • Edward T. Curnick

... need of. He found the old lady, who was scarcely handsome, and was decidedly wrinkled, and upon presenting the paper "she blushed very much." It turned out that the missionary had been the unconscious bearer of a message asking the old lady to kiss him, "which," Dr. Moffat added, with a seriousness that appeared to indicate a sense of the awkwardness of the position still present in his mind, "I did not want ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... mention of his name, but at the moment I was so absorbed in my own feelings that I did not observe her emotion. She answered my passionate declaration, as nearly as I can remember, in the following words, pronounced with a sweet seriousness which was very impressive: ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... I enter the body of your book, give me leave a little to discourse you about your preamble to the same, wherein are two miscarriages unworthy your pretended seriousness, because void of love and humility. The first is, In that you closely disdain my person because of my low descent among men, stigmatising me for a person of THAT rank, that need not to be ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... because he could raise a hundred-weight with his little finger; and I dare say that the "champion bill-poster," whose name is advertised on the walls of this metropolis, thinks excellence in bill-posting the highest virtue of a citizen. So some men may be silly enough to brag in all seriousness about mountain exploits. However, most lads of twenty learn that it is silly to give themselves airs about mere muscular eminence; and especially is this true of Alpine exploits—first, because they require less physical prowess than almost any other ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... new church was marked by very great solemnity. There were few new members, but among the older men who had hitherto kept "back from the table" there was a manifest anxiety, and among the younger people a very great seriousness. The "coming forward" of Macdonald Dubh was an event so remarkable as to make a great impression not only upon all the Macdonald men who had been associated with him so many years in the lumbering, but also upon the whole congregation, ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... forbear smiling, even more than Lady Annaly had done, when he was made to understand that the emergency and crisis meant nothing but this child's being admitted or not admitted into a charity school. While Ormond was incapable of speaking in reply with becoming seriousness, Florence, who saw his condition, had the kindness to draw off Mrs. M'Crule's attention, by asking her to partake of some excellent goose-pie, which just then made its entrance. This promised, for a time, to suspend the discussion, and to unite ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... satirical, and delighting to turn even matters of seriousness into ridicule, was immeasurably captivated by the true burlesque of those disputes, the childish virulence, the extravagant pretensions, and the still more extravagant impostures fabricated in support of the rival ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... ambitions I have in the world," the nobleman went on, sitting upright now, and speaking with a confidential seriousness, "centre round Hadlow. That is the part of me that I'm keen about. The Plowdens are things of yesterday. My grandfather, the Chancellor, began in a very small way, and was never anything more than a clever ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... followed. On suggesting this Sorrento theory to the driver, that worthy shook his head, and thought that there might be something in it. He evidently began to look upon David's absence as something very serious, and his seriousness over it only added to the anxiety of Uncle ...
— Among the Brigands • James de Mille

... to conclude, for the present, I close with the other charge of my noble friend, and here I am more serious, and I may be allowed perhaps to express my seriousness in half a dozen plain words. When I first took literature as my profession in England, I calmly resolved within myself that, whether I succeeded or whether I failed, literature should be my sole profession. It appeared to me at that ...
— Speeches: Literary and Social • Charles Dickens

... lifted her eyes to him, a second after her confession, they were full of a sweet seriousness, and she had no thought of withdrawing the hands which Richard had taken, and was holding lightly, that she might withdraw them if she willed. She felt no impulse to do so, though as Margaret looked up she saw her father standing a few paces ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... those admiring mentions of each individual act of courage which so intensely endeared him to his troops. Once an accidental opportunity offered itself for a successful storm, but Caesar was not on the spot. The officer in command shrank from responsibility; and, notwithstanding the seriousness of the consequences, Caesar said that ...
— Caesar: A Sketch • James Anthony Froude

... Sunday night Katharine lay in bed, not asleep, but in that twilight region where a detached and humorous view of our own lot is possible; or if we must be serious, our seriousness is tempered by the swift oncome of slumber and oblivion. She saw the forms of Ralph, William, Cassandra, and herself, as if they were all equally unsubstantial, and, in putting off reality, had gained a kind of dignity which rested upon ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... to take us both," continued Aziz still speaking in that soft, melodious manner, but with deep seriousness. "I escaped, I, who am swift of foot, hoping to bring help."—He shook his head sadly—"But, except the All Powerful, who is so powerful as the Hakim Fu-Manchu? I hid, my gentlemen, and watched and waited, one—two—three weeks. At last I saw her ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... spiritual endowments. Parents and guardians, looking forward to sources of honourable maintenance for their children and wards, often direct their thoughts early towards the Church, being determined partly by outward circumstances, and partly by indications of seriousness, or intellectual fitness. It is natural that a boy or youth, with such a prospect before him, should turn his attention to those studies, and be led into those habits of reflection, which will in some degree tend to prepare him for the duties he is hereafter to undertake. As he draws ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... towards religion, his inclination to be a preacher, and his association with missionary and philanthropic efforts. She believed in him as an excellent man whose piety carried a peculiar eminence in belonging to a layman, whose influence had turned her own mind toward seriousness, and whose share of perishable good had been the means of raising her own position. But she also liked to think that it was well in every sense for Mr. Bulstrode to have won the hand of Harriet Vincy; whose family was undeniable in a Middlemarch light—a better light surely than any thrown ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... abstinence organization was effected and some regarded it as a menace to the local illicit manufacture of intoxicating liquors, the ill feeling was manifested by the complete destruction and loss of their home. Her parents were so distressed over this destructive work of the "white caps" and the seriousness of the loss sustained that both died a few months ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... loved no one but her parents, poor child! Her mother, on being questioned, told the same story—adding, however, that about seventeen months before, she had fancied that Lieschen was a little disposed to favor Franz Kerkel, their shopman; but on being spoken to on the subject with some seriousness, and warned of the distance between them, she had laughed heartily at the idea, and since then had treated Franz with so much indifference that only a week ago she had drawn from her mother a ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... realized that the man was in earnest. Her eyes flashed over the swarthy, villainous faces of the scowmen, and the seriousness of the situation dawned upon her. She knew, now, that the separating of the scows was the first move in a deep-laid scheme. Her brain worked rapidly. It was evident that the men on the other scows were not party to the plot, or Vermilion would not have risked running the Chute in the darkness. ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... like to have got to see her and kinder asked her a few questions," continued the stranger, with the same reflective seriousness. "You see, it wasn't just the rhymin' o' them verses,—and they kinder sing themselves to ye, don't they?—it wasn't the chyce o' words,—and I reckon they allus hit the idee in the centre shot every ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... aisle to their pew in the center of the church. The building was warm and crowded. The pastor was reading the Bible lesson for the evening. In the choir, behind him, David Bell saw Mollie's girlish face, tinged with a troubled seriousness. His own wind-ruddy face and bushy gray eyebrows worked convulsively with his inward throes. A sigh that was almost a groan ...
— Further Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... were left alone, Pleyel's countenance assumed an air of seriousness, and even consternation, which I had never before beheld in him. The steps with which he measured the floor betokened the trouble of his thoughts. My inquiries were suspended by the hope that he would ...
— Wieland; or The Transformation - An American Tale • Charles Brockden Brown

... are still living in city apartments, and especially to those who are contemplating flat life I would in all seriousness ...
— The Van Dwellers - A Strenuous Quest for a Home • Albert Bigelow Paine

... always began at breakfast, over some trivial matter, and they often continued all day and even until the following day. Their simple, common, limited life imparted seriousness to the most unimportant matters, and every topic of conversation became a subject of dispute. This had not been so in the days when business occupied their minds, drew their hearts together, and gave ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... loving. She shows a touching dependence on those she loves, and an inveterate habit of idealising them, which leads to frequent disillusion. She is extremely eager and intense about little things as well as great; hers is a truly feminine seriousness over the detail of living. She is keenly and humanly interested in life on this earth, differing in this respect from some canonized persons who seem always to be enduring it faute de mieux. And, as happens ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... very surely, the seriousness, even the severity of, his own training, had been among the very conditions needed to make him what he some day hoped to be, though they had seemed so purposely inimical. Had James Mesurier's religion been more free and easy, a matter less personally assured and ...
— Young Lives • Richard Le Gallienne

... men of letters in the last century'; and Hood says of him: 'As he was in spirit an Old Author, so was he in faith an Ancient Christian.' He himself tells Coleridge that he has 'a taste for religion rather than a strong religious habit,' and, later in life, writes to a friend: 'Much of my seriousness has gone off.' On this, as on other subjects, he grew shyer, withdrew more into himself; but to me it seems that a mood of religion was permanent with him. 'Such religion as I have,' he said, 'has always acted on me more by way of sentiment than argumentative ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... surrender of the German spirit to the spirit of our present opponent in the war. The idea of world domination, imperialism in the true sense of the word, is not a product grown on German soil; it is imported from abroad. To maintain that view in all seriousness is treachery to the inmost spirit of the ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... railway is a remarkable undertaking, and shows the seriousness with which the French are attacking the problems of Far Eastern colonization. The lower half of the line, which here follows up the Red River valley, presented few serious engineering difficulties, although calling ...
— A Wayfarer in China - Impressions of a trip across West China and Mongolia • Elizabeth Kendall

... tears and even with the sublimities of the imagination, and which, in its most exquisite motives, is one with pity—the laughter of the comedies of Shakespeare, hardly less expressive than his moods of seriousness or solemnity, of that deeply stirred soul of sympathy in him, as flowing from which both tears and laughter are alike genuine ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... my son[1]. She was in the stern of a birch canoe, all dressed in white with roses in her hair. I raised my hat and she threw a kiss at me. Old Kate sat in the bow waving her handkerchief. They stopped and Sally asked in a tone of playful seriousness: ...
— The Light in the Clearing • Irving Bacheller

... astonished him; then he seemed greatly pleased, and, growing still more confidential and generous than on the previous day, he said that I would soon be a most important personage among them, and greatly distinguish myself. He did not like it when I laughed at all this, and went on with great seriousness to speak of the unmade blowpipe that would be mine—speaking of it as if it had been something very great, equal to the gift of a large tract of land, or the governorship of a province, north of the Orinoco. And by and by he spoke of something else more wonderful even ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... she said, her tone altering from gayety to seriousness. "Don't worry about me. I've always been able to take care of myself, though I've never been confronted with this kind of a situation before. Frankly, I don't like it. But I suspect that your father will have more respect for us if we laugh at him. Has ...
— The Pagan Madonna • Harold MacGrath

... and told her the names of several letters and had her try to make them with a lead pencil, which she did with such uncanny seriousness and quickness that the pity of it, that in his own State such intelligence should be going to such broadcast waste for the want of such elemental opportunities, struck him deeply. The general movement to save that waste was only just beginning, and in that movement he meant to play his ...
— The Heart Of The Hills • John Fox, Jr.

... such uncommon seriousness on the adjutant's face that the prince understood, moreover not for the first time, that there was concealed in that riotous exquisite a valiant man, on whose sword and understanding he could ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... enervate the minds of his disciples, that the vigor of their intellect, so requisite for penitential reflections, should become relaxed when surrounded by objects so pleasant to the senses; and lest that which inspired gladsomeness should make them lose the seriousness necessary in prayer, and deprive them of the spiritual delight which is felt therein. Thus, as a skilful general who was the leader of the soldiers of Jesus Christ, and only followed His intentions, he made his little band raise their camp at the end of a fortnight, and resume ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... culminated in the Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478 and the murder of Giuliano. Looking at the history of Florence from our present vantage-point we can see that although under Lorenzo the Magnificent she was the centre of the world's culture and distinction, there was behind this dazzling front no seriousness of purpose. She was in short enjoying the fruits of her labours as though the time of rest had come; and this when strenuousness was more than ever important. Lorenzo carried on every good work of his father and grandfather (he spent L65,000 a year in books alone) and was as jealous of ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... with sweet seriousness to the lady, with grave courtesy to the gentleman. While the lower half of this Centaur was apparently quivering with fury, and stamping the ground in his evident desire to charge upon the pair, the upper half, with natural dignity, looked from the one ...
— A Millionaire of Rough-and-Ready • Bret Harte

... and works pernicious results, transforming a Christian into an indolent, self-secure hypocrite; a hypocrite into a heretic and factionist; and a heretic into an open enemy. So the apostle here teaches that in all seriousness if we would secure ourselves against the craft and power of the devil we must be vigilant; we must be careful how we walk. In Satan we have an enemy bent on hindering us; on ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. III - Trinity Sunday to Advent • Martin Luther

... walking in the valley and met one of the farmers, a young good-humoured man, who had always been friendly with the boy, and had often been to fish with him; Roderick walked beside him, and told him that he had followed the stream nearly to the pool, when the young farmer, with some seriousness, asked him how near he had been to the water. Roderick was surprised at the same question that his father had asked him being asked again, and told him that he had but seen it from a hill-top near, adding, "But what is amiss with the ...
— Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories - Reprinted from The Hill of Trouble and The Isles of Sunset • Arthur Christopher Benson

... part and create disturbance and confusion in the well-regulated life of mankind?" But to the earnest investigator the spirit of truth gradually unfolds the answer: it is not a trifle one is dealing with; the importance of love is absolutely in keeping with the seriousness and zeal with which it is prosecuted. The ultimate aim of all love-affairs, whether they be of a tragic or comic nature, is really more important than all other aims in human life, and therefore is perfectly deserving of that profound seriousness ...
— Essays of Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... suppressed laughter of a few boys. And he slowly continued. He condemned abortion as disagreeable to God from a religious and socio-political point of view. In conclusion, he said: "We are modern. We don't shrink from treating offensive questions with moral seriousness." ...
— The Prose of Alfred Lichtenstein • Alfred Lichtenstein

... "Stool Pigeon", as a "Spotter" and whatever other venomous attribute their black souls could hurl at him, in an attempt to damage his well earned reputation as a benefactor to humanity, who in spite of many threats of bodily injury, by pointing to the seriousness of the road kid evil, proved to the world its intimate connection with the never lessening, nay, ever increasing, numbers of thieving and ...
— The Trail of the Tramp • A-No. 1 (AKA Leon Ray Livingston)

... to you?" he went on presently, with tender seriousness. "You first set me upon thinking. Do you recollect your earliest talk to me here in this room once, a good ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... better claim than our English version to be considered the original. Strict adherence to propriety of form was not a characteristic of the dramatic literature of this period, and had the play been of native origin its uniform seriousness of tone would almost assuredly have been broken by some humorous, or semi-humorous, episodes. While the two plays, with the exception of the Prologue, which is not found in the Dutch, agree speech by speech from beginning to end, ...
— Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse • Various

... all Russia." Gogol declared that he did not write a single line of these early chapters without thinking how Pushkin would judge it, at what he would laugh, at what he would applaud. When he read aloud from the manuscript, Pushkin, who had listened with growing seriousness, cried, "God! what a sad country is Russia!" and later be added, "Gogol invents nothing; it is the simple truth, ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... this with more than usual seriousness, because such is the state of my mind, which I am accustomed to open to you without reserve, and such as it is at the moment of my writing ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... very little of what has to follow courtship and marriage. They think little of the seriousness of the step. They forget that when the pledge has once been given, there is no turning back, The knot cannot be untied. If a thoughtless mistake has been made, the inevitable results will nevertheless follow. The maxim is current, that ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... speaker turned dramatically—with the deepest sense of seriousness; without a trace of a smile on his face, without a glimmer of consciousness of the fact that the Americans at that banquet were biting their teeth to keep from bursting into laughter; and with a grand flourish, ...
— Flash-lights from the Seven Seas • William L. Stidger

... speeches, both political and judicial, we see him continually trying to show his learning by the way. And one may discover the different temper of each of them in their speeches. For Demosthenes's oratory was without all embellishment and jesting, wholly composed for real effect and seriousness; not smelling of the lamp, as Pytheas scoffingly said, but of the temperance, thoughtfulness, austerity, and grave earnestness of his temper. Whereas Cicero's love of mockery often ran him into scurrility; and in his love of laughing away serious ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... because it was a test of character. We had to put ourselves to the test. We knew that for some time England had not been at her best. Her great heart was beating true all the time, but there had crept into England a sort of national coldness and selfishness, and a great deal too much seriousness in the matter of money and money-getting. Although this was discounted in great measure by her generosity, we appeared to the world at large as a greedy and ...
— My War Experiences in Two Continents • Sarah Macnaughtan

... one thing," the Count spoke with extraordinary seriousness. "Every tradesman in Paris, without a single exception, has signed a petition imploring the Government to suspend the ...
— The Chink in the Armour • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... since I have had the honour of a seat in this House, and the noble Viscount will excuse me if I state the reason why I have often opposed him. The reason is, that the noble Viscount treats all these questions, and the House itself, with such a want of seriousness that it has appeared to me that he has no serious, or sufficiently serious, conviction of the important business that so constantly comes before this House. I regard the noble Viscount as a man who has experience, but who with experience has not ...
— Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, Volume 1 • John Bright

... Puritan severity. They were those of the helmed Minerva, and not of the cestus-girdled Venus." We do not mention this in order to justify a strain of captious criticism, but to ask Mr. Randall, in all seriousness, how it was possible for him to associate a staid and sensible New England matron with Venus and Minerva? What would he say of a writer who should gravely tell us that Washington's features were those of the cloud-compelling ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II., November, 1858., No. XIII. • Various

... implication—at least, so the Dauphin explained the matter, and I never heard that he said otherwise. People pretended to despise these stories of origin unknown, but they were struck by them nevertheless, and in the midst of the amusements and occupations of the Court, seriousness, ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... importunate fashion. When the Bishop of Hereford, compelled by Robin Hood, in merry Barnsdale, danced in his boots ("and glad he could so get away"), he was hardly in worse heart or trim than a seventeenth century author here and there whose original seriousness or work-a-day piety would have been content to go plodding flat-foot or halting, as the muse might naturally incline with him, but whom the tune, the grace, and gallantry of the time beckoned to tread a perpetual measure. Lovelace was a dancer of genius; nay, he danced to ...
— Flower of the Mind • Alice Meynell

... first few years of this sanguinary period was beneficial. There were indications of more seriousness in common life, and a deeper love of truth among the thinking circles. The people manifested a disposition to trust in the Divine arm for deliverance from their sorrows; and this new confidence developed itself particularly in benefactions for the impoverished and young. ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... hesitated before we sat down to the piano at all. Last night Jane almost fought with Peter for the larger portion of the keyboard of the piano; and they played music without any tune in it, to my way of thinking, and there is no seriousness at all about any ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... is a confidence dans les regles! And in return for it, Signor Ludovico, do you know—speaking in all seriousness—that- -if we really do put this wild scheme into execution—I have a confidence to give you, and may take that opportunity of making it— a confidence, not which may or may not be made, like yours, but which I ought to make to you, the necessity of making which furnishes, ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope



Words linked to "Seriousness" :   badness, graveness, commitment, committedness, severity, earnestness, sedateness, solemnity, sincerity, serious-mindedness, staidness, distressfulness, soberness, gravity, trait, sobriety, serious, sombreness, severeness, solemness, somberness, frivolous, frivolity



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