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Softening   /sˈɔfənɪŋ/  /sˈɔfnɪŋ/   Listen
Softening

adjective
1.
Having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin.  Synonyms: demulcent, emollient, salving.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Softening" Quotes from Famous Books



... their most judicious representatives, their superiority to petty economies, their strength to resist the natural opposition of heavy tax-payers to expensive public works, their gentleness and amenableness to just authority in the pursuit of their pleasures, of their susceptibility to the softening influences of elegance and beauty, of their honest pride and rejoicing in their own splendor, of their superior fondness for what is innocent and elevating over what is base and degrading, when brought within ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 42, April, 1861 • Various

... when the thing's done, don't you see, can one possibly cast her off? Even supposing one parts from her, so as not to break up one's family life, still, can one help feeling for her, setting her on her feet, softening ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... else do you suppose? A man, perhaps? Why, there isn't a man in the world would have had the sense—'less it was Peter or Paul," she added, with a sudden softening of voice, "and they're women in everything but strength. And now," she went on, "as I am going that way, I suppose you'll want me to see you home. Will you walk in front or behind, for doubtless you're above ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... straw cushion, a cup in her strong white hand, a bunch of adoring young girls at her feet, sat Mrs. Dud. Rosy and firm-cheeked, crisp in stiff white duck, deliriously contrasted with her fluffy Parisian parasol, she scorned the softening ruffles of her presumable contemporaries; her delicately squared chin, for the most part held high, showed a straight white collar under a throat only a little fuller than the girlish ones ...
— Mrs. Dud's Sister • Josephine Daskam

... (i.e. Obadiah), and was the most determined poacher of a neighbouring district—a notorious fighting man—hardened against shame, an Ishmaelite openly contemning authority and yet not insensible to kindness. I give his history in his own language—softening only the pronunciation, that would otherwise ...
— The Amateur Poacher • Richard Jefferies

... three months eight hundred and thirty-seven persons; seven hundred and five of these were adults, and ninety-two children. At first, the men encountered great difficulty in putting away their many wives; but finally the divine Majesty made the outcome propitious, softening the hearts of those pagans, and they brought their undertaking to ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, - Volume XIII., 1604-1605 • Ed. by Blair and Robertson

... is believed in—so far as the false can be believed in—by many who think they have left it behind, when they have merely omitted the truest, most offensive modes of expressing its doctrines. It is humiliating to find how many comparatively honest people think they get rid of a falsehood by softening the statement of it, by giving it the shape and placing it in the light in which it will least assert itself, and so have a good chance of passing both with such as hold it thoroughly, and such as might revolt against it more ...
— Unspoken Sermons - Series I., II., and II. • George MacDonald

... ambition, apparently, to extend their linguistic acquirements. It is, indeed, a lonely life for the trader, who but once a year, when his ship arrives, has any communication with the great world which he has left behind him. No white woman is here with her softening influence, no physician or surgeon to treat the sick and injured, and never until the advent of Mr. Stewart any ...
— The Long Labrador Trail • Dillon Wallace

... passed. The bitterness of the first hours was softening; each day brought additional tranquillity and calm; life resumed its course with weary languidness, and with the monotonous intellectual insensibility which follows great shocks. At the commencement, Laurent ...
— Therese Raquin • Emile Zola

... was nothing about Aunt Kate Sherwood suggesting a softening of her hard lines. Her plain, ugly print dress was cut low at the throat, and had no collar or ruff to hide the scar. Nan's gaze was fastened on that blemish before she was half way to the door, and she could see ...
— Nan Sherwood at Pine Camp - or, The Old Lumberman's Secret • Annie Roe Carr

... terrify at another; eyes that could set people laughing or crying almost at will. In action and in repose they were irresistible alike. When they first descried Mercy running to the door, they brightened gayly with the merriment of a child. When she turned and faced him, they changed instantly, softening and glowing as they mutely owned the interest and the admiration which the first sight of her had roused in him. His tone and manner altered at the same time. He addressed her with the deepest respect when he ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... slow, with strong emotion deepening and softening his voice, the lover at her side ...
— A Modern Cinderella - or The Little Old Show and Other Stories • Louisa May Alcott

... themselves most in the tournament. They were the arbiters of the sport; and, indeed, the jousts were usually held in honour of the ladies, who received as their right the respect and devotion of all true knights. This respect for women had a softening and ennobling influence, which was of great value in times when such influences were rare. It was probably derived (according to a French writer) from our ancestors, the Germans, "who attributed somewhat of divinity to the fair sex." It is the sign of a corrupt age and degraded manners when ...
— Old English Sports • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... those days these distinctions were yet more marked, and the feuds of Orange and Ribbon-man, Scotch and Irish, Englishman and French Acadian, had not then given way before the softening and concealing hand of 'Time, the great leveler;' and so some twenty years ago, during a close contest between the then rising liberal party and the conservatives, a riot took place near the polling-booth in the Highland Scotch settlement ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... shows the front room of the telegraph station crude and rough and bare, just the ticker on the table, another table and three chairs, yet there is a pathetic attempt at softening the ugliness,—a bunch of dried grasses, magazine covers pinned to the wall, gay cushions in the chairs, a work ...
— Jane Journeys On • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... apart from it; and in a life of care and excitement, that home which is not the seat of love cannot be a place of repose; rest for the brain, and peace for the spirit, being only to be had through the softening of the affections. He should look for a clear understanding, cheerfulness, and alacrity of mind, rather than gaiety and brilliancy, and for a gentle tenderness of disposition in preference to an impassioned ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... A softening came about her young mouth at thought of her, a shadow flickered in her blue eyes for a moment. Then it was gone and she laughed, a whooping gale of joy, there alone in the green stretches between the earth and sky, with the note of El Rey's speed ...
— Tharon of Lost Valley • Vingie E. Roe

... of humorous satire, which is the chief beauty of his compositions, will admit; for, as satire requires strong ideas, the language will sometimes be less polished. But the delicacy so much demanded, by softening the colours weakens the drawing. Mr. Brown has been charged with inequality in his writings: which is inseparable ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. III • Theophilus Cibber

... with a pathetic smile lighting her handsome features, and softening them to an almost maternal tenderness, "I'm fonder of Charlie than any creature in the world—except Helen. Don't make any mistake. I'm not in love with him. He's just a dear, dear, erring, ailing brother to me. He can't, or won't help himself. What can we do to save him? Oh, ...
— The Law-Breakers • Ridgwell Cullum

... November 15, 1837, at the old Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia. Presented to his friends, his wife at once made a deep and lasting impression. Her native delicacy of mind and refinement of manners enchanted those who hoped for some such influence to be exerted in softening the rough vigor and democratic downrightness of the man. Domestic discord came too soon, however, and in an evil hour for himself, in an evil hour for his art and for the struggling drama in America, Edwin ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... it was time to think of redeeming her pledge to cousin Ward; and, to Mistress Betty's honour, the period came while Master Rowland was still too lame to leave Larks' Hall, except in his old coach, and while it yet wanted weeks to the softening, gladdening, ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... Councillor Thomas Batchgrew in hatred, that she had never pardoned him for the insult which he had put upon her in the Imperial Cinema de Luxe; and that, indeed, she could never pardon him for simply being Thomas Batchgrew. Nevertheless, there was that evening in her heart a little softening towards him. The fact was that the councillor had been flattering her. She would have denied warmly that she was susceptible to flattery; even if authoritatively informed that no human being whatever is unsusceptible to flattery, she would still have protested that she at any rate was, for, like ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... angrily, "I wouldn't ask you to do anything wrong." Then softening, he pleaded accusingly, "You don't love me well enough to be ...
— The Secret of the Storm Country • Grace Miller White

... a little bit musty," said the girl, softening a little. "I, should think that I saw the ghosts of dead and gone players sitting round the table. I remember reading a story ...
— Dialstone Lane, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... to-night. So, refusing a horse or carriage, I walk down, not unwilling to be a little early, that I may pace up and down the beach, looking off to the islands and the points, and watching the roaring, tumbling billows. How softening is the effect of time! It touches us through the affections. I almost feel as if I were lamenting the passing away of something loved and dear,— the boats, the Kanakas, the hides, my old shipmates! ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... was a coloured man, and the principal person of that congregation. A. Jones complied with my request, and appointed a meeting for me on first day evening, which was a solid time where many were deeply affected with the softening power of the Lord, who unloosed my tongue to proclaim of his love and goodness to the children of men, without respect to person or nation. There was a respectable number of coloured people, well dressed and very orderly, who conducted themselves as if they were desirous of knowing the mind of the ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... changes are caused in the prostate gland, an organ situated near the intestine and the functions of which are to dilute the semen. A hardening is often the first sign, this is followed by increase in size and then softening. ...
— Prof. Koch's Method to Cure Tuberculosis Popularly Treated • Max Birnbaum

... myself; this ending seemed rather too sarcastic, but Madame de Thianges was most anxious to let it stand. There was no way of softening or glossing it over; so the letter went off, just ...
— The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete • Madame La Marquise De Montespan

... may be none other—just the struggle: the marshalling to the front of rightful forces—will, effort, endurance, devotion; the putting resolutely back of forces wrongful; the hardening of all that is soft within, the softening of all that is hard: until out of the hardening and the softening results the better tempering of the soul's metal, and higher development of those two qualities which are best in man and best in his ideal of his Maker—strength ...
— The Reign of Law - A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields • James Lane Allen

... the first blush be an object of abhorrence—a thing to be put out of her life as completely and as expeditiously as possible—he fully realised; yet, at bottom, he was conscious of a hope that Time—even so little as had passed—might lend a softening influence that should lead eventually to Pity, and from that to a day when the ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... she sighed, her rugged face softening as she gazed. "It's a bonny spot, and it would be a sore thing ...
— The Doctor - A Tale Of The Rockies • Ralph Connor

... fact that at the onset there had been a diffuse inflammation of the peritoneum, and that later, by the adhesions to the appendix which were found at the autopsy an early encapsulation of pus had taken place in the ileo-cecal region; this produced a purulent softening in the wall of the cecum and led to the favorable rupture of pus into the intestine and to an immediate amelioration of the acute peritonitis. The point of rupture, however, then closed, and partly perhaps to the action of fresh infectious and toxic material, ...
— Appendicitis: The Etiology, Hygenic and Dietetic Treatment • John H. Tilden, M.D.

... oxygen gas from black oxyd of manganese or nitrat of potash, by exposing them to a red heat in the apparatus already described for operating upon red oxyd of mercury; only, as it requires such a heat as is at least capable of softening glass, we must employ retorts of stone or of porcelain. But the purest and best oxygen gas is what is disengaged from oxygenated muriat of potash by simple heat. This operation is performed in a glass retort, and the gas obtained is perfectly pure, provided that the first portions, ...
— Elements of Chemistry, - In a New Systematic Order, Containing all the Modern Discoveries • Antoine Lavoisier

... had its softening influence, or any other considerations lent their soothing aid, we shall see presently; for the bailiff added, in a tone ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... Carrick had broken in upon it. He was a man made for the Sabbath; he breathed its atmosphere of a day consecrated to observances with a pleasure that was almost sensuous. For him, piety was that manner of life which gave the quality of Sunday to each other of the seven days of the week, softening them and rendering them august with the sense of a great adorable Presence presiding over ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... dazed look on his rugged face. Then he reached up and drew the slim, tremulous hand from his forehead and snuggled it against his stubbly cheek, and still he could not speak. Janet slowly backed away into the darkness of the dining room. The situation had softening tendencies and Janet's nature revolted at sentiment. It was Graham's voice ...
— An Apache Princess - A Tale of the Indian Frontier • Charles King

... the empress, whose heart was already softening. "You are right, reverend father, but La Riccardo shall ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... of delirium she was first wildly indignant and then coldly despairing; at first she thought he was cruel; then she realized, with a softening to pity, that he was only mad. He won back the pity by telling her that his mouth and throat were now in an advanced state of decomposition, having been dead many months; maggots were crawling over them, choking ...
— Captivity • M. Leonora Eyles

... already building their summer homes. Life is one throughout the world, and the stirring of spring in the roots of the grass and in the trunks of the trees touches also human hearts and wakes them from their winter. The season of hope, which was softening the clods of the field, and gentling the rough massive walls of the castle, were also making tender the austere face of a Covenanting minister standing in one of the deep window recesses of what was called in Scots ...
— Graham of Claverhouse • Ian Maclaren

... "Dear Dunwoodie," said Frances, softening nearly to tears, and again extending her hand to him, as the richness of her color gradually returned, "you know my sentiments—this war once ended, and you may take that hand forever—but I can never consent to tie myself to you by any ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... know that in progressive mental failure the loss of the powers of the mind takes place in an order which is the reverse of that of their original acquisition. The most complex functions, which are acquired last, are the first to show impairment. In cases of general degeneration, softening of the brain, etc., the intelligence and moral nature are first affected, then memory, association, and acquired actions of all sorts, while there remain, latest of all, actions of the imitative kind, most of the deep-set habits, and the instinctive, reflex, and automatic functions, ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... neither doctor nor parson; nor would she hear of sending for her daughter. The only sign of softening that she gave was that once she folded her granddaughter in her arms and wept long and bitterly. Perhaps the thought of her dying child came back upon her, along with the reflection that the only friend she had was the child of that marriage which ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... chatter, a trifle too noisy to seem fully natural; and her smile, in the beginning mistrusting, wary, was softening and brightening. But she did not get on with the tea especially well. At home, in the backwoods village, where this beverage was still held a rarity, the dainty luxury of well-to-do families, to be brewed only for honored ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... aware of were six small men who were seated on low roots. They were all dressed in tight green clothes and little leathern aprons, and they wore tall green hats which wobbled when they moved. They were all busily engaged making shoes. One was drawing out wax ends on his knee, another was softening pieces of leather in a bucket of water, another was polishing the instep of a shoe with a piece of curved bone, another was paring down a heel with a short broad-bladed knife, and another was hammering wooden pegs into a sole. He had all the pegs in his mouth, which gave ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... must be guided by circumstances, since it may be far better to risk the chances of recurrent haemorrhage, or the development of an aneurism or varix, all of which are amenable to successful treatment later, than those of gangrene of a limb or softening of the brain. As a general rule, therefore, on the field or in a Field hospital, primary ligature of the great vessels is best reserved for those cases only in which haemorrhage persists, while in those in which spontaneous cessation has occurred, ...
— Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900 • George Henry Makins

... are what God asks in return. Think of it, young women, as it really is. See God clothing your forms with Beauty, rich and ravishing in its charms; see that Beauty winning for you flowery paths of life, softening all hearts that approach you, making it easy, ay, almost a necessity, for them to love and esteem you; think how much you prize it, and how pleasant it is to your friends; and then think what God asks in return for this lovely gift. It is that you should be beautiful inwardly as He has made ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... relief; deliverance; refreshment &c. 689; easement, softening, alleviation, mitigation, palliation, soothing, lullaby. solace, consolation, comfort, encouragement. lenitive, restorative &c. (remedy) 662; cushion &c. 215; crumb of comfort, balm in Gilead. V. relieve, ease, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... of woman means her degradation from her position at the side of man as his counsellor and his friend to that of his plaything, the instrument of his pleasure; that again means the enthronement of licence and licentiousness; that, the softening of the brain power of the manhood of the race, leading to degeneracy, imbecility, and ultimate extinction. We need no ecclesiastical organisation to tell us these things, nor threaten us with direst penalties here or ...
— Morality as a Religion - An exposition of some first principles • W. R. Washington Sullivan

... the Merrimac, Midway between me and the river's mouth, I see thy home, set like an eagle's nest Among Deer Island's immemorial pines, Crowning the crag on which the sunset breaks Its last red arrow. Many a tale and song, Which thou bast told or sung, I call to mind, Softening with silvery mist the woods and hills, The out-thrust headlands and inreaching bays Of our northeastern coast-line, trending where The Gulf, midsummer, feels the chill blockade Of icebergs stranded at ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... that indirectly, through their example, others are affected by those influences who do not so consciously yield to them; at any rate a softening of manners seems to be in progress in the village. It is not much, perhaps; it is certainly very indefinite, and no doubt there are other causes helping to further it; but, such as it is, the chief credit for it is due to the lead ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... scraped off, and the hair removed, generally by the use of lime. After another washing, they are put into alum and salt for a few minutes; and after washing this off, they are dried, stretched, and then are ready for the softening. Nothing has been found that will soften the skins so perfectly as a mixture of flour, salt, and the yolk of eggs—"custard," as the workmen call it. The custard and the skins are tumbled together into a great iron drum which revolves till the custard ...
— Makers of Many Things • Eva March Tappan

... contributed most to the softening and elegance of the feudal class, we must cite that of sending into the service of the sovereign for some years all the youths of both sexes, under the names of varlets, pages, squires, and maids of honour. No noble, of whatever wealth or power, ever thought of depriving ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... for me. I don't care for anything so long as you love me. I shall resist, of course. As for my father, I am going to marry Julia to Percy Fitzroy, and so end my governor's nonsense. As for your father, I do not despair of softening him. It is only a check; it is not a defeat. Who on earth can part us if we are true to each other? God bless you, dearest! I did not think you loved me so much. Your letter gives me comfort forever, and only disappointment for a time. Don't fret, sweet love. It ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... softening, learning, rising; see life lengthen with the possession of herds, and widen in rich prosperity with agriculture. Then industry, blossoming, fruiting, spreading wide; art, giving light and joy; the intellect developing with ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... will be strictly maintained in probity, honesty, austerity, morality, sobriety, and submissiveness. All arts, except military music and war dances, will be eliminated from the city. She needs neither poets nor painters not yet musicians, who corrupt morals by softening them, and by making all feel the secret pang of voluptuousness. All theories, whether aristocratic or tending more or less to communism, are derived from the politics of Plato either by being evolved from them or ...
— Initiation into Philosophy • Emile Faguet

... and nowhere else, puzzling many painters. The explanation of this is the same as before—soft paint at these spots, caused by accident or sluggish workmen having saturated the wood with coal oil, wax, tar, grease, or any other paint-softening material before the wood was painted, which reacts on the paint to give way to air ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 443, June 28, 1884 • Various

... one's troubles represent themselves as increased a hundredfold if one wakes in the night, and begins to think about them. A muscular pain becomes the certainty of an incurable internal disease; and a headache suggests incipient softening of the brain. But all these horrors are dissipated with the morning light, and the after-glow of a cold bath turns them into jokes. So it was with me on the morning after my arrival at The Shallows. I accounted most satisfactorily ...
— A Stable for Nightmares - or Weird Tales • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... strikingly, in the above quotation, the softening effect of affliction on the human heart There was a widow in the neighborhood, a very worthy woman, who had lost her husband in the war. She had two children, a son and a daughter, both quite young. She owned a snug little farm, and being a very ...
— David Crockett: His Life and Adventures • John S. C. Abbott

... about it, except that Mr. Jack came to my room to tell me he was going, with a face as white as a sheet. He had some property of his own, though not much, for his grandfather made way with almost everything before he died—no one knew how. He had softening of the brain, brought ...
— The Spectacle Man - A Story of the Missing Bridge • Mary F. Leonard

... rather, had taken on a dirty, deep, nankeen colour, those that had been first floated being decidedly the worst. I had previously thought that the papers must be left at least two and a half to three hours, a longer period having no other effect than that of softening the papers, or, at most, of allowing some slight portion of the iodide to fall off from their surface, whereas, from the above-described discoloration, an evident decomposition must have commenced, which I am quite ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 190, June 18, 1853 • Various

... but cannot hide it; I still am dear! Each look, each feature speaks it, Speaks to a softening heart—Oh! hear its pleading, And bid me stay! I'll only stay to love thee! Look on me! mark my altered form! observe The strong convulsions of my gasping bosom! See my wan cheeks, eyes swoln, lips trembling! feel How scalding are the tears with which I dew This ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... Lady Catherine, softening her tone, "you know you have it in your power to be of ...
— Tales And Novels, Volume 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... room to the nurses, and when he slept stretched himself out on the couch in the dining-room. He was watching anxiously for his friend's moment of softening when Desmond would need and ask for a priest. By a special arrangement the Archbishop had granted to Father Healy the permission to attend Desmond, if he desired a confessor. Then, day or night, as soon ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... lustrous gray and silver with lichens. Below, near the foot of the moor, ran a straight dark line of firs, the one coldly-somber streak in the scene; but beyond it the rolling, sunlit plain ran back, fading through ever varying and softening colors to the hazy ...
— The Long Portage • Harold Bindloss

... forehead was still drawn together in the heavy frown and there was no softening in his eyes. The cruel lines about his mouth were accentuated and the tiger-look in his face was more marked than ever. He was not threatening idly; he meant what ...
— The Sheik - A Novel • E. M. Hull

... his mother had an old reason she well knew for softening to this poor girl! What if the prisoner now sleeping quietly—Heaven grant it!—by the light of the great Day of judgment should trace back his fall to her. What if any act of hers and of his father's, should have even remotely brought the grey heads of those ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... of him who would ever be the greatest one of earth to them. And through the coffin-lid, that calm, still face seemed hourly to grow more holy and more radiant; the light of battle faded out from its softening lines and the seal of the God of Peace rested in plain token upon the ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... begin to slur, or change, or sketch, or try this way and that with your colour, it is all over with it and with you. You will continually see bad copyists trying to imitate the Venetians, by daubing their colours about, and retouching, and finishing, and softening: when every touch and every added hue only lead them farther into chaos. There is a dog between two children in a Veronese in the Louvre, which gives the copyist much employment. He has a dark ground behind him, which Veronese has painted first, and then when it was dry, or nearly so, struck the ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... had chiefly induced Pericles to request that Amphiaraus might be consulted. In the interval, his emissaries had been busy in softening the minds of the people; and it became universally known that in case Aspasia's sentence were reversed, she intended to offer sacrifices to Aphrodite, Poseidon, and Demeter; during the continuance of which, the citizens would be publicly ...
— Philothea - A Grecian Romance • Lydia Maria Child

... cheers of the audience rewarded the largest bid ever made for any book. As if he had not done enough, the Stranger now impelled Blinton to contend with Mr. — for every expensive work that appeared. The audience naturally fancied that Blinton was in the earlier stage of softening of the brain, when a man conceives himself to have inherited boundless wealth, and is determined to live up to it. The hammer fell for the last time. Blinton owed some fifty thousand pounds, and exclaimed audibly, ...
— Books and Bookmen • Andrew Lang

... young people is 'contraire aux bienseances', and they should seldom seem to assert, and always use some softening mitigating expression; such as, 's'il m'est permis de le dire, je croirais plutot, si j'ose m'expliquer', which soften the manner, without giving up or even weakening the thing. People of more age and experience expect, and are entitled to, that ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... their old associates. If our example causes others to rise up and make efforts for reaching and reforming these classes, who would not rejoice? At present it is a sad fact that throughout India the native criminals are debarred from all opportunities of being reached by the softening influences of religion. The Europeans have their Chaplains,—the Natives are allowed to have no one to minister to their souls' needs, or to bring to bear upon them those moral influences which might, and we ...
— Darkest India - A Supplement to General Booth's "In Darkest England, and the Way Out" • Commissioner Booth-Tucker

... men, which was the greatest glory among them. Consequently, no boats dared to go to their lands, unless with great risk of the occupants losing their lives. With such brutality, the mountains of difficulties which father Fray Rodrigo had to conquer in softening the harshness of those beasts; and the sweat and labor that it would cost him to make them comprehend the dictates of reason (from which they were very far), while he was suffering extreme penury in all things necessary to life, can be ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXI, 1624 • Various

... It is not uncommon to see one woman suckling the child of another, while the latter happens to be employed in her other domestic occupations. They are in the habit also of feeding their younger children from their own mouths, softening the food by mastication, and then turning their heads round, so that the infant in the hood may put its lips to theirs. The chill is taken from water for them in the same manner, and some fathers are very fond of taking their children ...
— Journal of the Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage • William Edward Parry

... in Egypt, for woman, by asserting her moral and spiritual equality with the man, there seems to have been no suspicion that she was the true complement of the man, not merely by softening him, but by strengthening him; that true manhood can be no more developed without the influence of the woman, than true womanhood without the influence of the man. There is no trace among the Egyptian ...
— Alexandria and her Schools • Charles Kingsley

... to him. He was also in agonies of suspense; the news announced by M. Jules required confirmation, and he had received no letters of any kind. He returned to the town and spent an evening at the Kalitins'. He could easily see that Marya Dmitrievna had to been set against him; but he succeeded in softening her a little, by losing fifteen roubles to her at picquet, and he spent nearly half an hour almost alone with Lisa in spite of the fact that her mother had advised her the previous evening not to be too ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... I know!" She thought of Susette. She went at once to the nursery, kissed the wee girl and sat down on the floor. And as they built a house of blocks, Ethel could feel herself softening, the strained tight sensation going. Suddenly in her hot dry eyes she felt in a moment the ...
— His Second Wife • Ernest Poole

... poor child's funeral from a distance. Ah, that Distance! What a magician for conjuring up scenes of joy or sorrow, smoothing all asperities, reconciling all incongruities, veiling all absurdness, softening every coarseness, doubling every effect by the influence of the imagination. A Scottish wedding should be seen at a distance; the gay band of the dancers just distinguished amid the elderly group of the spectators,—the glass held high, and the distant cheers as it ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... had just stated was quite true. She tried hard to feed the fire of her wrath, by forcing into her thoughts every aggravating topic against Titmouse that she could think of; but it became every moment harder and harder to do so, for she was consciously softening rapidly towards the weeping and miserable little object, on whom she had been heaping such violent and bitter abuse. He was a great fool, to be sure—he was very fond of fine clothes—- he knew no better—he had, however, paid his rent well enough till lately—he was a very quiet, ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... angular handwriting, in fact, was not at all unlike a thicket of twigs stripped from root to branch of every possible softening leaf. ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... said Mrs. Webster, softening; "but a girl like you ought to marry. You won't make a good ...
— The Village by the River • H. Louisa Bedford

... she met him with the hope that he would be able to spend the evening with her,—a thing which had not happened for a week. Her arms were about his neck as she put the question, and he looked down into her face with again a slight softening of his austere expression. She had seen at the first glance that he was not only still unhappy, he was ...
— Mrs. Red Pepper • Grace S. Richmond

... of my metal," returned Dr. Syx, almost fiercely, "but so long as I alone possess the knowledge how to extract it, is it of any more worth than common dirt? But come," he added, after a pause and softening his manner, "I have other schemes. Will you, as representatives of the leading nations, undertake the introduction of artemisium as a substitute for gold, ...
— The Moon Metal • Garrett P. Serviss

... differentiates between various waters, takes them up from industrial and hygienic standpoints, considers softening, filtering, purifying ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... baby seemed less fretful than before; and the lengthening, softening days went by in a quiet that left Sara many hours for ...
— Sara, a Princess • Fannie E. Newberry

... in an out-of-the-way place, and a good distance off; they were some time in reaching it. The barest-looking and dingiest of houses, set plump in a green field, without one softening or home-like touch from any home-feeling within; not a flower, not a shrub, not an out- house, not a tree near. One would have thought it a deserted house, but that a thin wreath of smoke lazily stole up from one of the brown chimneys; and graceful as that was, it took nothing from the hard, ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... pursued them, making life a continual struggle and death a violent ending, the fatal thread which has run through their history for so many generations comes here into the most tragic prominence, the beginning of a long series of tragedies. It adds a softening touch to the record of David's unhappy fate that the death of his mother is recorded as one of the great misfortunes of his life. In the same year in which these public incidents occurred the Queen died, carrying with her the chief influence ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... treated kindly and kept in restraint far from the locality of their former reservation; they should be subjected to efforts calculated to lead to their improvement and the softening of their savage and cruel instincts, but their return to their old home should ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... do as I told you," he said, softening his words with a smile, and with a brief explanation of his view of the matter he turned away from the papers, and said: "So do it that way, if ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... in as much stern state as the Old Red Lion of Brentford. Yes, he is my Lord Chief Justice Nevergrin! He cannot qualify, he! He is prime tinker to Madam Virtue, and carries no softening epithets in his budget. Folly is folly, and vice vice in his Good Friday vocabulary—Titles too are gilt gingerbread, dutch dolls, punch's puppet show. A duke or a scavenger with him are exactly the same—Saving and excepting the aforesaid exceptions, ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... to describe a glorious summer sunset, with all the softening splendor that it sheds around; but to describe the setting of my dumb boy's sun of mortal life is impossible. He declined like the orb of day, gently, silently, gradually, yet swiftly, and gathered new beauties as he approached the horizon. His sufferings ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... second violin fell daintily, caressing those which wrought out the melody enveloping but never overwhelming them. As the music ceased, the leader, turning to the second violin, met her reluctant eyes with a softening in his own keen ones. The hint of a laugh curved the corners of her lips as his smiled broadly. It was all the truce necessary. Charlotte's sulks never lasted ...
— The Second Violin • Grace S. Richmond

... there is a minimum of those trials inseparable from human existence. The gratification of this migratory impulse has in many instances proved disastrous, the yielding to which should be only indulged after every possible effort has been made to remove local obstacles by uprightness, softening animosities, and by industry accumulate wealth. But emigrants have been illustrious as nation builders, their indomitable spirit blessing mankind and leaving impress on the scroll of time. The bump on the head of the Negro ...
— Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

... was afterwards asked if he had left the Athenians the best laws that could be given, he replied, "The best they could receive." The way which, the moderns say, the Athenians have of softening the badness of a thing, by ingeniously giving it some pretty and innocent appellation, calling harlots, for example, mistresses, tributes customs, a garrison a guard, and the jail the chamber, seems originally to have been Solon's contrivance, who called canceling debts Seisacthea, ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... man! Mr. Myghail!" said the Judge, softening the asperities of the name as much as possible. "Consider the inhospitality of refusing shelter from the inclemency of the weather to helpless females. Really, my dear sir—" But a succession of "Miggles," ending in a burst ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... ever-honour'd day So left her living image on my heart Beyond or lover's wit or poet's art, That oft to it will doting memory stray. A gentle pity softening her bright mien, Her sorrow there so sweet and sad was heard, Doubt in the gazer's bosom almost stirr'd Goddess or mortal, which made heaven serene. Fine gold her hair, her face as sunlit snow, Her brows and lashes jet, twin stars her eyne, Whence the young ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... fixed. This machine forged forty millimetre rivets with the calm ease of a giant. Nothing could be simpler. The stoker took the iron shank from the furnace; the striker put it into the socket, where a continuous stream of water cooled it to prevent softening of the steel. The press descended and the bolt flew out onto the ground, its head as round as though cast in a mold. Every twelve hours this machine made hundreds ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... He touched her hand, soft and cool to his fingers—she turned at once to look at him. Her eyes were perhaps a little brighter than usual, the firelight played about her hair, there seemed to him to be a sudden softening of the straight firm mouth. Nevertheless she ...
— Anna the Adventuress • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... destroyed. It is also evident that the fibers themselves are of different texture from those in the raw meat. In preparing meat for the table it is usual to stop short of the point of disintegration, but while the long process of cooking is going on the connective tissue is gradually softening and the fibers are gradually changing in texture. The former is the thing to be especially desired, but the latter is not. For this reason it is necessary to keep the temperature below the boiling point and as low as is consistent with thorough cooking, ...
— Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife • Marion Mills Miller

... he had seen in them so long—the melancholy loneliness, the significance of it, the lost hopes that lay behind it, the touching pain of the stateliness wrecked. She had shown it in the way in which she tenderly looked from side to side, in the very lightness of her footfall, in the bluebell softening of her eyes. Oh, yes, she had understood and cared, American as she was! She had felt it all, even with her hideous background of Fifth Avenue ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... it, shone down once more out of a blue sky. Slowly the temperature rose, and then one day, never to be forgotten, there came a warm moistness into the atmosphere. Before night fell, the "Chinook" was pouring down from beyond the mountains, releasing the icy tension and softening all things. ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... face with kisses—to call her 'Mate'; to remind her of that wonderful marriage night under the stars. But when he saw the proud aloofness of her look, his longing changed to a dull fury, which he could only keep in check by rigorous steeling of his will against any softening impulse. ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... the most astonished of all, for upon discovering that his master had raised his weekly remuneration to a pound a week, he was heard to exclaim, 'Well, that knocks all, that is if the Governor hasn't got softening of ...
— The Tale of Lal - A Fantasy • Raymond Paton

... woman who carried that sun-shade Up and down this seaside place? - Little thumb standing against its stem, Thoughts perhaps bent on a love-stratagem, Softening yet ...
— Moments of Vision • Thomas Hardy

... now the pent-up tempest broke forth with a fury that racked her little frame from head to foot; and the more because she strove to stifle every sound of it as much as possible. It was the very bitterness of sorrow, without any softening thought to allay it, and sharpened and made more bitter by mortification and a passionate sense of unkindness and wrong. And through it all, how constantly in her heart the poor child was reaching forth longing arms ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... softening all brutal details. The broad horizon above the lake was piled deep with clouds. Beyond the oak trees, in the southern sky, great tongues of flame shot up into the dark heavens out of the blast furnaces ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... voice that had been carefully trained. Both were cultivated, graceful, elegant girls, and Lady Earle often sighed to think they should be living in such profound obscurity. She could do nothing; seventeen years had not changed Lord Earle's resolution. Time, far from softening, imbittered him the more against his son. Of Ronald Lady Earle heard but little. He was still in Africa; he wrote at rare intervals, but there was little comfort ...
— Dora Thorne • Charlotte M. Braeme

... worthy of death. This state of things had been denounced as a national disgrace, and Sir Samuel Romilly had frequently brought it under the notice of parliament, and in some instances had been the means of softening down the rigour of our laws. That great man was now dead; but in this session the subject was taken up by Sir James Mackintosh, who proved to be a worthy successor to the deceased philanthropist. A petition from the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... instruction was all reason, without relieving features; it lacked what Sainte-Beuve calls the don des larmes (gift of tears). Hers was a noble, just, courageous, and delicate judgment; but it was without the softening qualities of the truly feminine, which calls for tears and affection, tenderness ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... was announced. Everyone leaped to his feet again. A group of boys stood ready behind a line. One of the judges was softening the ground with a pick. An umpire made a speech to the lads. Then, at a word, a boy took up the lead jumping weights. He swung his hands back and forth, swaying his graceful body with them. Then a backward jerk! He threw his weights behind him ...
— Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae • Jennie Hall

... projecting under-lip,—eyes that appeared to be furtively watching each other across the thin bridge of nose,—a receding chin and a narrow cranium, combined with an expression which was hypocritically humble, yet sly,—this was the type Angela Sovrani had chosen to delineate, sparing nothing, softening no line, and introducing no redeeming point,—a type mercilessly true to the life; the face of a priest,—"A servant of Christ," as she called him. The title, united with that wicked and repulsive countenance, was a terribly significant ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... everything, he tried to stammer the word pardon. He felt it was useless. This sensitive being had withdrawn within herself and wrapped herself, as with a cloak, in all her outraged chastity. He could only humiliate himself without softening her. All Adrienne's deceived trustfulness and insulted love strengthened her in her ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... superfluities of the black-bile, expelled from the liver for its own cleansing. Hence it is a servile and insensitive organ, and accordingly suffers different diseases, such as obstruction, tumors, hardening, softening, abscess, and sometimes flatulence or repletion. The symptoms and treatment of each of these morbid conditions, arising from either heat or cold, are discussed with exasperating thoroughness, and the chapter concludes with the composition and use of various ...
— Gilbertus Anglicus - Medicine of the Thirteenth Century • Henry Ebenezer Handerson

... Talboys. He was like his own square-built, northern-fronted, shelterless house. There were no shady nooks in his character into which one could creep for shelter from his hard daylight. He was all daylight. He looked at everything in the same broad glare of intellectual sunlight, and would see no softening shadows that might alter the sharp outlines of cruel facts, subduing them to beauty. I do not know if I express what I mean, when I say that there were no curves in his character—that his mind ran in straight lines, never diverging to the right or the left ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... thought Is deeply formed, and gently wrought, His temper always softening life's disease; That Fortune, when she does intend To rudely frown, she turns his friend, Admires his judgment, and ...
— The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 • George A. Aitken

... your disappearance—yes. I remember, Arranmore," she continued, her manner losing for a moment some of its restraint, and her eyes and tone suddenly softening, "dancing with you that evening. We arranged to meet at Ranelagh the next day, and, when the next day came, you had vanished, gone as completely as though the earth had swallowed you up. For weeks every one was asking what has become of him. And then—I ...
— A Prince of Sinners • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... in their characters came out, and nothing more delightful than the harmony into which even the contrasts blended ever invited the guardian angel to pause and smile. As flowers in some trained parterre relieve each other, now softening, now heightening, each several hue, till all unite in one concord of interwoven beauty, so these two blooming natures, brought together, seemed, where varying still, to melt and fuse their affluences into one wealth of innocence and sweetness. ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... on the way home. He grumbled about the softening snow, about the gathering dusk, about the length of the road. His exasperation reached its height when, ignoring Thayer's advice in regard to the path, he struck out across an open snowfield, only to go ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... bent that brow of hers; Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs When pity would be softening through, Fixed me a breathing-while or two With life or death in the balance: right! The blood replenished me again; My last thought was at least not vain: I and my mistress, side by side Shall be together, breathe and ride, So, one day more am I deified. Who knows ...
— Robert Browning: How To Know Him • William Lyon Phelps

... fewer the people who know of it the less a woman in travail suffers, everyone tried to pretend not to know; no one spoke of it, but apart from the ordinary staid and respectful good manners habitual in the prince's household, a common anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a consciousness that something great and mysterious was being accomplished at that moment ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... felt a criminal. In the darkness of his meditations a flash burst from his lurid mind, a celestial light appeared to dissipate this thickening gloom, and his soul felt as if it were bathed with the softening radiancy. He thought of May Dacre, he thought of everything that was pure, and holy, and beautiful, and luminous, and calm. It was the innate virtue of the man that made this appeal to his corrupted nature. His losses seemed nothing; his dukedom would be too slight a ransom for freedom from these ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... minutes, ten minutes, went by, and, imperceptibly to myself, the softening influence which his sleeping countenance exerted upon me deepened and strengthened till I began to ask if I had not given too much scope to my, imagination since I had been in this house, and foolishly attributed a meaning to expressions and events that in my calmer moments would show themselves ...
— The Mill Mystery • Anna Katharine Green

... had been called 'the mother of flocks' in the Homeric Hymn to Pan, and Polybius had described the softening effects of music upon its rude inhabitants. See some interesting remarks on the snbject by J. E. Sandys, in his lectures on the Revival of Learning, Cambridge, 1905; also J. P. Mahaffy, Rambles and Studies, ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... repulsed him, and when not even the passionate love of an entire nation availed to further the ends on which the Titan had set his heart, he carried his sorrow with him, and drew comfort from the goodness of the sweet soul who was his true mate. It is a very sweet picture; and we see in history how the softening home influence finally converted the, awful, imposing, tyrannical Chatham into a ...
— Side Lights • James Runciman



Words linked to "Softening" :   natural process, natural action, soft, action, maceration, soften, activity, salving



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