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Startle   /stˈɑrtəl/   Listen
Startle

verb
(past & past part. startled; pres. part. startling)
1.
To stimulate to action.  Synonyms: galvanise, galvanize.  "Galvanized into action"
2.
Move or jump suddenly, as if in surprise or alarm.  Synonyms: jump, start.



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"Startle" Quotes from Famous Books



... Fearing to startle the little mother, whose frightened eyes were fixed upon us, we announced our mutual discovery by a single movement of the hand, and walked quietly past without pausing. Not until we reached the open fields at the end did my comrade ...
— Little Brothers of the Air • Olive Thorne Miller

... that had ripened in the far-off island, and had hardly yet grown paler or thinner in the atmosphere of New England. There was, moreover, a boldness and rotundity of speech among these matrons, as most of them seemed to be, that would startle us at the present day, whether in respect to its purport or its ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... all good faith, she handed to her maid to put in her sealskin muff-bag. Of course, Louise managed to make herself aware of its contents,—but when her ladyship at last entered her carriage her unexpected order, "To the Brilliant Theatre, Strand," was sufficient to startle Briggs, and cause him to exchange surprise signals with "Mamzelle," who merely smiled a ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... twenty minutes. Then the pangs of hunger would render him restless, and he would draw out his watch to note the time of day. The next step in the formula would bring him back to my room door while I was still sleepily trying to reconnect the broken links of a dream, from which vain effort he would startle me into wide-awake reality by a stentorian ...
— Not Pretty, But Precious • John Hay, et al.

... million actors who make up the great troupe of Paris, there are unconscious Hyacinthes who "keep" all the absurd freaks of vanished fashions upon their backs; and the apparition of some bygone decade will startle you into laughter as you walk the streets in bitterness of soul over the treason of one who was ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... whom one does not fully know?" It was one of the sharp searching questions that Mr. Gwynne sometimes put, which never failed to startle Olive, and to which she could not always reply; but she made an ...
— Olive - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

... really cynical," she told herself. "He says things, not because he means them, but because he likes to startle people." ...
— The Hero • William Somerset Maugham

... challengingly. Peter knew he was experiencing a ceremony of some kind, the significance of which he must learn. It was the first time Linda had voluntarily touched him. He breathed lightly and held steady, lest he startle her. ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... home—the strangest home-going,—for by this time her mission and her aspirations could no longer be hid, and rumour must have carried the news almost as quickly as any modern telegraph, to startle all the echoes of the village, heretofore unaware of any difference between Jeanne and her companions save the greater goodness to which everybody bears testimony. No doubt, it must have reached Jacques d'Arc's cottage even before she came back with the kind Durand, a changed creature, ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... six weeks of this before the boy's dreadful secret was revealed to Winona; six weeks before he appeared to startle her with one eye radiating the rich hues of a ripened eggplant. It had been simple enough. He had seen his chance to step in and punish Spike, and he had stepped—and Spike's ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... out. I do not doubt that some day she'll murder her husband or her mother, or startle the world by some newly-invented crime; but that only ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... more restless man in all Europe than the kaiser. It is related of him at the Court of Berlin that when on one occasion he inquired of his brother, Prince Henry, if he could suggest to him anything new wherewith to startle both his own subjects and the world in general, the sailor prince, with a merry laugh, proposed that his majesty should remain perfectly quiet, without saying or doing anything, for an entire week! That, he assured his imperial brother, ...
— The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: William II, Germany; Francis Joseph, Austria-Hungary, Volume I. (of 2) • Mme. La Marquise de Fontenoy

... parted lips. He seemed afraid to breathe lest he startle away some hesitant hope. ...
— Hidden Creek • Katharine Newlin Burt

... Kate, though grown into more matronly proportions than when he last had seen her. Near her was a fair girl. He required not a second glance to convince him that she was Elizabeth. He hurried forward, forgetting how he might startle them. A cry of delight escaped Elizabeth as she advanced to meet him. In another minute he found himself in the arms of his sister, while a sob of joy escaped from ...
— John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... woman, busy at her wheel, with two children playing on the ground before her, were the objects that now presented themselves. The uncouthness of my garb, my wild and weatherworn appearance, my fusil and tomahawk, could not but startle them. The woman stopped her wheel, and gazed as if a spectre ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... was a great deal of trouble to take care of them. The first morning after Carl left, Billy, and Bella, and Davy, and I followed Miss Laura upstairs. She made us sit in a row by the door, lest we should startle the canaries. She had a great many things to do. First, the canaries had their baths. They had to get them at the same time every morning. Miss Laura filled the little white dishes with water and put them in the cages, and then came and sat on ...
— Beautiful Joe - An Autobiography of a Dog • by Marshall Saunders

... plain enough, and whether venomous or not it was enough to startle the watcher, as a serpent some seven or eight feet in length came into sight, travelling through the undergrowth, with its scales ever changing in tint as its folds came more or less into connection with the light that ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... Audley; this philosophical usurer never pressed hard for his debts; like the fowler, he never shook his nets lest he might startle, satisfied to have them, without appearing to hold them. With great fondness he compared his "bonds to infants, which battle best by sleeping." To battle is to be nourished, a term still retained at the University of Oxford. His familiar companions were all subordinate actors ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... composer of Louis XIV. Purcell followed in the new track, taking for his models the productions of the first Italian composers. The fact, that Purcell was under obligations to the Italians, may startle many of his modern admirers; but with a candour worthy of himself, in the dedication of his Dioclesian to Charles Duke of Somerset, he says, that "music is yet but in its nonage, a forward child. 'Tis now learning Italian, which is its best master." And in ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... and courage and a deeper understanding of the realities of life, it is likely that panic would have sent her fleeing headlong from a presence that filled her with nothing but loathing. But she had been spared all this knowledge, and Nicol saw to it that nothing should startle her, nothing should excite her distrust until, in the fulness of time, his purposes ...
— The Heart of Unaga • Ridgwell Cullum

... more than startle. At about 11 in the morning two six-inch shells hit the Hardinge near the southern entrance of the lake. The first damaged the funnel and the second burst inboard. Pilot Carew, a gallant old merchant seaman, refused to go below when the firing opened and lost a leg. Nine others ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... range Of woods and wilds alone, thou blendest thus The dirge note and the song of festival; But in one heart, one changeful human heart,— Ay, and within one hour of that strange world,— Thou call'st their music forth, with all its tones To startle and to pierce!—the dying Swan's, And the glad Sky-lark's,—Triumph ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... decrepitude it occasions he dignifies with the appellation of repose; and, on the strength of comprehensiveness and repose, is of course qualified to take his seat beside Shakspeare, and chat cosily with Bacon, and wink knowingly at Goethe, and startle Leibnitz with a slap on the shoulder,—the true Red-Republican sign of liberty in manners, equality in power, and fraternity in ideas! These men, to be sure, have a way of saying things which he has not yet caught; but then their ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 7, May, 1858 • Various

... of the earliest if not the first remarkable animal to startle a stranger on arriving in Ceylon, whilst wending his way from Point-de-Galle to Colombo, is a huge lizard of from four to five feet in length, the Talla-goya of the Singhalese, and Iguana[1] of the Europeans. It may be ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... Priscilla quickly moved to the mother's side, but great joys do not kill even though they startle, and presently the white white face was raised with a smile almost of heaven illuminating it, and the dame ...
— Standish of Standish - A story of the Pilgrims • Jane G. Austin

... his courtship, for he believed that he had a clear field before him, and he was too sagacious to startle Clara by overmuch energy. Meantime he began to be conscious that an influence from her was reaching his spirit. He had hitherto considered her a child; one day he suddenly recognized her as a woman. Now a woman, ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... a low voice, but with such passionate earnestness as quite to startle me. "Is 262 laughing, then, such an infallible ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... 'I'm afraid it did startle her,' grandmamma replied, 'but fortunately she thought it was something in the basement. I must go back to her at once,' and without another word to me she turned ...
— My New Home • Mary Louisa Molesworth

... mystic and meaningless. When walking in procession, they warn the profane out of the way by striking one slip of wood upon another. They are wilder in appearance than the Hindu Jogi or Sanyasi, who also affects the use of ashes, but neglects that of the palm-thatch. It is certainly enough to startle a man of impressible nerves— one, for instance, who cannot enter a room without a side-long glance at an unexpected coffin—to see these hideous beings starting with their savage cry from the depths of an African forest. Evidently, also, such is ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... here, and I have come to the conclusion that this is the business I ought to do. I have only one parishioner on my hands to-day," he went on with a slight smile, "and I may as well attend to her. I am going to tell you my plan. I shall not startle you? Just now you allowed that you ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... an architect, you're a critic," he said to him early in their accidental acquaintance. "Now, I want to experiment on you. I want you to see Irving to-night and write your impressions of it. I have a notion you'll startle ...
— The Light of the Star - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... well he might. Not that he was afraid—you may be pretty sure of that; but to hear this quiet, bashful lad, who looked as if he had nothing in him, coolly propose to hold a lighted shell in his arms to see if it would go off, and ask him to stand by and watch it, was enough to startle anybody. However, he wasn't one to think twice about accepting a challenge; so he folded his arms and stood there like a statue. The young officer lighted the fuse, ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... to surprise. It is like the true reading of the passage;—'God said, Let there be light, and there was light;'—not there was light. As the feeling with which we startle at a shooting star, compared with that of watching the sunrise at the pre-established moment, such and so low ...
— Literary Remains, Vol. 2 • Coleridge

... source of puzzling surprises. While she was from the South, she was not Southern in speech, sentiments, ideas, or ideals. Her voice was not Southern and, while she elided final consonants, her intonation was not of the South. Indeed she would startle him every now and then by dropping some archaic word or old form of expression that made him think of Chaucer. Her feeling toward the negro was precisely what his was, and once when he halted in some stricture on the Confederacy and started to ...
— In Happy Valley • John Fox

... fixed there for his strength to be of any avail; our roots were the growth of years, and, besides, we clasped him so tightly—for unity is indeed strength—that at last the cowardly fellow roared aloud with mingled pain and fright; perhaps he thought to startle us, and make us lose our hold. But we knew better than that—we only gripped him the faster; but the noise aroused Dash, who came bounding to the spot (he was always unchained at night), and, flying at Mr. Reynard's throat, he soon pinned ...
— Parables from Flowers • Gertrude P. Dyer

... be with the nervous little seed-pods of the touch-me-not, which children ever love to pop and see the seeds fly, as they do from balsam pods in grandmother's garden, they still startle with the suddenness of their volley. Touch the delicate hair-trigger at the end of a capsule, and the lightning response of the flying seeds makes one jump. They sometimes land four feet away. At this rate of progress a year, and with the other odds ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... While members of learned societies discuss such questions with upturned noses, a rock above them will sometimes be unable to keep its own countenance, but, simulating without flattery one of the human visages below, will wear an expression of humour fiendish enough to startle the ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... apt to startle an Imagination, which has not been raised and qualify'd for such a Description, by the reading of the ancient Poets, and of Homer in particular. It was certainly a very bold Thought in our Author, to ascribe the ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... than the French fiddle mentioned by Shakespeare appears to be a question solely within the province of the pathologist. As pantagruelism is proceeding almost exclusively on micrological lines, we may expect that, sooner or later, some "eminent physician" will startle the world by discovering the bicycle bacillus. All our ills appear to be caused by minute insects that get inside of us, demoralize our system of government and inaugurate a reign of anarchy. Everything, ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... church, Whom we all have to think of nowadays, I would have changed the Creed a very little? Not that she ever had to ask me not to; It never got so far as that; but the bare thought Of her old tremulous bonnet in the pew, And of her half asleep was too much for me. Why, I might wake her up and startle her. It was the words 'descended into Hades' That seemed too pagan to our liberal youth. You know they suffered from a general onslaught. And well, if they weren't true why keep right on Saying them like the heathen? ...
— North of Boston • Robert Frost

... And swift and sudden it went on to the end. She had come on board the yacht that first night to startle it with her beauty and her voice; last night, silent and stately, she had slipped through the evening like a dream; now she stood before him a dazzling creature of the morning: yesterday she was Penseroso; to-day she was Allegro; what would ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 87, March, 1875 • Various

... forest," says Bates. "The few sounds of birds are of that pensive or mysterious character which intensifies the feeling of solitude, rather than imparts a sense of life and cheerfulness. Sometimes, in the midst of the stillness, a sudden yell or scream will startle one. This comes from some defenceless fruit-eating animal, which is pounced upon by a tiger-cat or stealthy boa-constrictor. Morning and evening howling monkeys make a most fearful and harrowing noise, under which it is ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... prudent!—but I did shrink from running any risk with that calm and comfort of the winter as it seemed to come on. And was it more than I said about the cloak? was there any newness in it? anything to startle you? Still I do perfectly see that whether new or old, what it involves may well be unpleasant to you—and that (however old) it may be apt to recur to your mind with a new increasing unpleasantness. We have both been carried too far perhaps, by late events and ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... extend the sense of the unbearable beyond all possible bounds. Thus, sir, the circulation of the blood and the fluids of the body will not give me pause; you shall hear them flow with the impetuosity of cataracts; you shall perceive them so distinctly as to startle you; the slightest irregularity of the pulse, the least obstacle, is striking, and produces the same effect as a rock against which the waves of a ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... pebble down on them, "Away! I see you well!" A few more stones, and every man of them might have been hurled from the cliff by the soldiers merely rolling down stones on them. They dared not more, and a few moments' silence proved that the alarm had been merely a trick to startle the garrison—a jest soon to ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... just as Charlotte does about Mr. Goodloe, and he'll say so to everybody," said Martha, with a sad smile after the door had closed with vigor enough to startle the household. ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... its perfect fabric hangeth Threatening ruin o'er my head, With terrific pride and grandeur. Darker grows the air around me, Chained, my feet proceed no farther, Even the seas retire before me. What, here fly me not nor startle, Are the wild beasts, which to rend me Bit by bit come on to attack me. Mercy, mighty Lord, oh, mercy! Pardon, gracious Lord, oh, pardon! Holy baptism I implore, That in grace I may depart hence. Mortals, hear, oh, mortals hear, Christ ...
— The Purgatory of St. Patrick • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... fellow would fall into my hands," replied my companion. "If so, then revelations will be made that will startle Europe." ...
— The Stretton Street Affair • William Le Queux

... in the porch. The lateness of the hour, perhaps some other reason, seemed to startle her, and she half rose. The next moment the figure of Miguel appeared at the doorway, and with a quick, hurried look around him, and at the open window, he approached her. He was evidently under great excitement, his hollow shaven cheek looked like a waxen ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... less extent spring up within them. These doubts enter into the mind at first almost imperceptibly: they exist only as vague indistinct surmises, and by no means take the precise shape or the substance of a formed opinion. At first, probably, they even offend and startle by their intrusion: but by degrees the unpleasant sensations which they once excited wear off: the mind grows more familiar with them. A confused sense (for such it is, rather than a formed idea) of its being desirable that their doubts should prove well founded, ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... in the blood of your poor friend would indeed be of a nature to startle you; but this is nought but harmless red ink, or, as the witty mercantile phrase hath it, Clerk's Blood. Damn 'em! my brain, guts, skin, flesh, bone, carcase, soul, TIME, is all theirs. The Royal Exchange, Gresham's Folly, hath me body and ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... But after one or two ineffectual efforts, he cast the paper from him, in despair, and rising, walked his room again. To an orderly who entered on business relating to his regular duty, he spoke so brief and abruptly as to startle the man, who understood him only in his better and calmer moods. Again was his cup of ...
— The Heart's Secret - The Fortunes of a Soldier, A Story of Love and the Low Latitudes • Maturin Murray

... very word has power to startle, as if the crime were a new thing, not as old (so all religions tell us) as the first brothers. As a meteoric stone falls on our planet, strange and unexplained, a waif of the universe, from a nameless system, so the horror of murder descends on us, when we meet it, with an alien dread, ...
— The Mark Of Cain • Andrew Lang

... hair-brushes, and half a dozen toothbrushes, and a small collection of combs, and four or five little glass bottles, looking as though they contained poison,—all with silver tops. I can only suppose you desired to startle the weak mind of the chambermaid. I have put them all up; but remember this, if they are taken out again you are responsible. And I will not put up your boots, George. What can you have wanted with three ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... came out upon a slight knoll, and found ourselves close beside the low charred walls of what remained of Ouilmette's log-cabin. 'T was a most gloomy and desolate spot, but quiet enough, with never the rustle of a leaf to awake the night, or startle us. ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... peculiarly vicious education, early familiarity with bad models, corrupting associations, or other plausible key to effects, which, taken separately, and out of their natural connection with their explanatory causes, are apt rather to startle and revolt the feelings of sober thinkers. Except, perhaps, in some chapters of Italian history, as, for example, among the most profligate of the Papal houses, and amongst some of the Florentine princes, we ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... booming in his ears like the surf of a far-off sea. Away to the side, with a stretch of sunburnt grass between, lay the river. Let Bertrand keep to the winding road and all was well. Gallop how he might Grey Roland would wear him down, but let him swerve, let the fluttering of a bird startle him aside, and Ursula de Vesc's prophetic ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... request him to re-peruse any one poem, of any confessedly great poet from Homer to Milton, or from Aeschylus to Shakespeare; and to strike out (in thought I mean) every instance of this kind. If the number of these fancied erasures did not startle him, or if he continued to deem the work improved by their total omission, he must advance reasons of no ordinary strength and evidence, reasons grounded in the essence of human nature. Otherwise, I should not hesitate ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... bald to the heart inhabiting me then, as if quite shaven. She could speak her affectionate mind as plain as print, and it was dull print facing me, not the arches of the sunset. Julia had only to lisp, 'my husband,' to startle and agitate me beyond expression. She said simple things—'I slept well last night,' or 'I dreamed,' or 'I shivered,' and plunged me headlong down impenetrable forests. The mould of her mouth to a reluctant 'No,' and her almost ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... victims. He was unable to determine whether they were friends or foes, they were so far before him. He hesitated after he had raised his gun to his shoulder to proclaim his presence by a shot, and then lowered his rifle. A shot might startle the unsuspecting men who were struggling to gain the rim and the report of his rifle might increase their danger. At the same time, however, he began to advance more rapidly and in a brief time was able to recognize the men whose actions he ...
— The Go Ahead Boys and Simon's Mine • Ross Kay

... let me sink to Earth, With no officious mourners near: I would not mar one hour of mirth, Nor startle Friendship ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7) • Lord Byron

... thoughts may startle, but will not, astound The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended By a strong-siding ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... present Bill is much less ambitious." It is. And it is introduced by one who knows and dreads, as much as any of us, the dangerous and unballasted condition into which we have drifted; introduced with, as it were, apology, as if he feared that, unambitious though, it be, it will startle the nerves of Parliament. On a question so vast and vital you are bound to startle by any little measure. Nothing but an heroic measure would arouse debate on a scale adequate to reach and stir the ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... passed—not even to your wife. She might not like the thoughts of a ghostly visitor: and the reputation of conversing with the dead might be almost as inconvenient as that of dealing with the devil. For the present, then, farewell! I will never startle you with too sudden an apparition; but you may learn to behold my ...
— Colloquies on Society • Robert Southey

... the policeman to take you away. Thin do you sing out for justice, because when people sings out for justice everybody's bound to hearken, and say how as you wants a warrant agin him for bigamy, and show them the marriage lines. Don't you be put down, and don't you spare him. If you don't startle him you'll niver ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... to the lack-lustre gaze of town-bred folk, in the sight of an eye as keen and wild as a hawk's from sheer solitude and lonely travelling. He was so bent and scarred with weather that he seemed as much a part of that woodland place as the birks themselves, and the noise of his labours did not startle the birds ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... impossible. Such a purification from the passion of hate is often easier on the field than at home. Those who remain behind have an abstract enemy in view. The soldier sees living men who suffer and die like himself." It will startle the English reader to find Dr. Foerster pleading earnestly that the English soldier is not responsible for the ways of his government or of his leaders. The Germans are to remain true to themselves whatever ...
— The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship • Harold Picton

... about it; but he seemed to think that he was not responsible for the cow's voice. I then told him to take her away; and he did, at intervals, shifting her to different parts of the grounds in my absence, so that the desolate voice would startle us from unexpected quarters. If I were to unhitch the cow, and turn her loose, I knew where she would go. If I were to lead her away, the question was, Where? for I did not fancy leading a cow about ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... opened the trap door, and stepped out into the little observatory the sound was so plain as to startle him. He looked up quickly, and, directly overhead ...
— Tom Swift and his Sky Racer - or, The Quickest Flight on Record • Victor Appleton

... the other, and if the tales told me of the passage of news from South to North Africa during the recent war were not so extravagant as they seem at first hearing, I would set them down here, well assured that they would startle if they could not convince. In the south of Morocco, during the latter days of my journey, men spoke with quiet conviction of the doings of Sultan and Pretender in the North, just as though Morocco possessed ...
— Morocco • S.L. Bensusan

... of window, and the height of the sun seemed suddenly to startle her. Her more gentle look suddenly vanished and one ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... said the Grand Duchess. "She wasn't too patriotic to marry an English Duke, and startle London as the first American Duchess. Heavens, the things she used to do, if one could believe half the wild stories my father's sister told me in warning! And as for my father, though a most charming ...
— The Princess Virginia • C. N. Williamson

... harvest-field; while his attendants, on whom the name of the sixth knight seemed to produce an effect almost electrical, hung in suspense upon their master's looks. But when Rowena spoke, the sound of her voice seemed to startle him from his silence. ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... denounce that shocking impiety; I could almost recommend to you to add a slight postscript on the massacre of that wretch Manuel. I do not love such insects as we are dispensing judgments yet, if the punishment of that just victim might startle such profane criminals, it might be charity to suggest the ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... door—trickling noiselessly down the knots of the carved oak. Still I stood and watched it, and it crept on slowly, slowly, like a living thing, and growing as it came, to my very feet. I cannot say how long I might have stood there, fascinated by it, had not something suddenly occurred to startle me into my senses again; for full upon the back of my right hand fell, with a sullen, heavy sound, a second drop of blood. It stung and burnt my flesh like molten lead, and the sharp, sudden pain it gave me shot ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... conversation. There was no whit of timidity about him, nor was he the least impertinent. He was frankly interested and wanted to know what was being said. He received the dime and the pennies with a pleasant grin and a (grandmother prompted) "Thank you". But the gift didn't startle him. Dimes must have been a fairly usual part of his life. But a few minutes before the interviewer left she dropped her pencil. It was new and long and yellow. The child's eyes clung to it as he returned it. "Would you like to have it." the young woman ...
— Slave Narratives: Arkansas Narratives - Arkansas Narratives, Part 6 • Works Projects Administration

... very things which he purposely intended to keep secret. Still Lawrence did not tell him the whole truth, and often thus misled him more than if he had not said a word on the subject. Often, too, he would startle him as he walked away by breaking out, as if unconsciously, with "The prince will hae his ain again! The prince will hae his ...
— Ronald Morton, or the Fire Ships - A Story of the Last Naval War • W.H.G. Kingston

... woods in the morning sun? Hear it nearer and nearer draw! It winds in and out in columns dun, And the trumpet-notes on the roused winds run, And they startle the soul with awe. Should you of the comrades black demand— That is ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... said, thinking that Alan would be pleased; but the Highlandman's vanity was ready to startle at ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of the short gallery had also been shut. Lily, whose manifold misfortunes had not quenched her interest in the 'Incroyable' corset, opened her parcel, and found that the corset was not an 'Incroyable' at all, but an inferior substitute, with no proper belted band, and of a shape to startle even a Brighton bathing-woman! The change must have been effected by the assistant in ...
— Hugo - A Fantasia on Modern Themes • Arnold Bennett

... hear that you think so. He's a prancing beast, and so we mustn't startle him—not till I have ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... startle Dorsenne was only augmented during dinner, so much the more so as, on discussing the conditions of that arrangement he hoped to bring about, the recollection of his terrible youth filled the thoughts and the discourse of the former duellist. ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... general direction of those faults has been previously suggested. The chief of his faults, a certain uncontrollable brutality of speech and gesture when he was strongly roused, was destined to cling to him all through his life, and to startle with the blaze of a volcano even the last quiet years before his death. But any one who wishes to understand how deep was the elemental honesty and reality of his character, how profoundly worthy he was of any love that was bestowed upon ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... A big one with a gong To startle all the people, As they saw him speed along; A big one, with a cushion, And painted red and black, To make the others jealous And clear ...
— Our Boys - Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors • Various

... life, by it interpret the problems to hand, make our choice between opposing standards, and maintain our fidelity to the true one against every opposition and through every fitful though terrible depression; so shall we startle people with its reality, and make for it a disciple or an opponent, but always at once convince the generation that there is a ...
— Principles of Freedom • Terence J. MacSwiney

... in the Forum and seen the Coliseum. Penini says: 'The sun has tome out. I think God knows I want to go out to walk, and so He has sent the sun out.' There's a child who has faith enough to put us all to shame. A vision of angels wouldn't startle him in the least. When his poor little friend died, and we had to tell him, he inquired, fixing on me those earnest blue eyes, 'Did papa see the angels when they took away Joe?' And when I answered ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... leading man in Cluhir, leader in its councils and its politics. On his professional side, his advice and ministrations were in demand even beyond the range of his motor car, and the measure of his greatness may be best estimated when it is mentioned that his motor had been the first to startle the ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... start. I had been dreadfully given to starting for a long time,—so much so that I was quite ashamed sometimes, for I would even cry out,—I who had always been so sharp on feminine affectations before; but now it seemed as if nothing could startle me. I only opened my eyes; and there was my great big huge bear looking down on me, with something in his eyes I had never seen there before. But even his presence could not ripple the waters of my deep rest. I gave him half a smile,—I knew it was ...
— The Vicar's Daughter • George MacDonald

... you want to startle anybody like that for? Don't you know that the wicked flea pursueth every man, but the righteous shall escape ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... is much discussed. I myself have heard much of him—but of things connected with another part of his character. It is true that he is in favour with great personages. It is because they are aware that he has observed much for many years. He is light and ironic, but he tells truths which sometimes startle those ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... to his charge, necessarily caters to them. In schools for the upper classes, where the number of pupils is small and select, he spends his energies in giving them a show of knowledge wherewith they may startle friends and relations into admiration of his superior system. In common schools, where the charges are small, he is forced, in order to support himself, to multiply the number of pupils until it is impossible for him to do any ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... not only of the beast he fronted, but of the Wyverns as well, brought that old rallying cry to his lips—the call used on the Dumps of Tyr to summon gang aid against outsiders. Fork-tail had crouched again for a spring, but that throat-crackling blast appeared to startle it. ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... hear your opinions regarding the antiquity of our race: geologists are daily becoming bolder and more unhesitating in their assertions on the subject; and we are fast drifting toward conclusions that seem to startle the religious world, and threaten to upset our confidence in that Book which we have been accustomed to regard with ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... past. Then, again, I learnt the utter and wonderful kindness of my friends. I felt so selfish and so surprised at the goodness they showed me. Again, I saw something of the mystery of pain. My own was so trivial compared with that which some others had to bear. Yet I had enough to startle me that such a fact should be permitted on earth at all. I don't suppose we can understand its meaning; but my consolation was that it is not necessarily a sign of God's displeasure—that the highest life was a life of suffering, that the Son of Man was a 'Man of Sorrows.' Everything ...
— Letters to His Friends • Forbes Robinson

... a year's time he may not be rowing an Algerian galley under the lash of the slave-driver. Above all do not teach him this, like his catechism, in cold blood; let him see and feel the calamities which overtake men; surprise and startle his imagination with the perils which lurk continually about a man's path; let him see the pitfalls all about him, and when he hears you speak of them, let him cling more closely to you for fear lest he should fall. "You will make him timid and cowardly," do you say? We shall see; ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... then, not too often. He did not mean to startle any one with his purpose, but to let it grow gradually. Still, at the last assembly of the season, his attentions were somewhat pronounced. It was partly her doings, she was sheltering herself from other rather ...
— A Little Girl in Old Salem • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... four-and-thirty years Bourdaloue distributed, to those who would take it, the bread of life—plain, wholesome, prepared skilfully and with clean hands, never varying from the evenness and excellence of its quality. He does not startle or dazzle a reader; he does what is ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... been fairly successful, for I had shot four rare humming-birds; but so far we had seen no specimens of the gorgeous quetzal, and it was for these that our eyes wandered whenever we reached a patch of woodland, but only to startle macaws, parroquets, or the clumsy-looking—but really light and active—big-billed toucans, which ...
— Through Forest and Stream - The Quest of the Quetzal • George Manville Fenn

... "Quite enough to startle a red deer, Edward, as you will find out before you have been long a forester. These checks will happen, and have happened to me a hundred times, and then all the work is to be done over again. Now then to make the circuit—we had better not ...
— The Children of the New Forest • Captain Marryat

... hither and thither, bringing all manner of things and completely losing his head; Julien walked up and down looking very troubled, but really feeling quite calm, and the Widow Dentu, whom nothing could surprise or startle, stood at the foot of the bed with an expression suited to the occasion on ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... meaning, as crisp and fresh as just-minted bank-notes. They should have no taint of flatness or insipidity. They should show not the faintest trace of wear. With them, one might hope, now and then, to startle the imagination, to set it running in channels which are strange and delightful to it. For there is something new under the sun: aerial adventure; and the most lively and unjaded fancy may, at first, need direction toward the realization ...
— High Adventure - A Narrative of Air Fighting in France • James Norman Hall

... His hearers for what is coming by putting it in the gentle form of an hypothesis. The frequency with which 'If' occurs in this section is very remarkable. He will not startle them by the bare, naked statement which they, in that hour of depression and agitation, were so little able to endure, but He puts it in the shape of a 'suppose that,' not because there is any doubt, but in order to alleviate the pain of the impression which He desires ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI • Alexander Maclaren

... certain she knew something and feared lest it should come to his knowledge. Therefore he resolved to startle her by a blunt question. "I never knew you were ...
— The Secret Passage • Fergus Hume

... awoke to the fact that he owned a good voice, and that one of the enemies for whom he and the rest of the Pawnees were hunting, was much nearer than was supposed. He emitted a screeching yell, enough to startle all who heard it, and, looking around and seeing nothing of the white archer, he stopped and again signaled for the rest to hasten while ...
— Footprints in the Forest • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... selfe would startle at this letter, And play the swaggerer, beare this, beare all: Shee saies I am not faire, that I lacke manners, She calls me proud, and that she could not loue me Were man as rare as Phenix: 'od's my will, Her loue is not the Hare that I doe ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... of goods in Cap'n Abe's store did not so much startle the visitor, as the figure that rose from behind the counter, where he was stooping at ...
— Cap'n Abe, Storekeeper • James A. Cooper

... various heavy-handed and unquenchable preliminaries he kissed her as nearly on the mouth as possible, clinging to a half-lit cigar the while, just before she whipped around into the hotel drive. She avoided a collision with one of the stone posts narrowly enough to startle him into releasing her,—he hadn't realized the turn was so close—and stopped at the lighted carriage door with a jerk that left him no option but to ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... knows I had no will to startle you; and, indeed, there should be nothing startling in the presence of one who wishes you so well as I do. And, believe me, I am acting rather from necessity than choice. We have many things in common, and I am sadly in the dark. There is ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... country, getting lost in valleys where it piled up into fleecy mounds, getting caught in tree-tops where it fluttered like tattered banners. Every now and then, with the suddenness of our approach, we would startle an aged shepherd, muffled and pensive as an Arab, strolling slowly across moorlands, followed closely by the sentinel goats which led his flock. The day had been strangely mystic. Time seemed a mood. I had ceased ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... at starting, begging your worship's pardon. Why, the very sight of you might startle her into her grave. Nay, you'll give me the money—for mine is all in the savings bank—and I shall go for her myself. I shall tell her squire is longing for her, and that I'm to be here for fear she might feel strange. She always liked me, poor soul. I shall get her safe here, you needn't fear ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... dear Dorothy, that the time will be long ere any but fortified places will be safe abodes. It is a question in my mind whether it would not be better to seek refuge for you—. But stay; let me suggest my proposal, rather than startle you with it in sudden form complete. You are related to the ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... vision dispelled with painful suddenness. But now I find its advantage, for nobody believes it is my own, but confidently expects that Ann Tubbs or Susan Bucket will appear from a long suppression, like a Jack-in-a-box, and startle the public as she throws ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... Peter, "always acts as though he quite disapproves of you and yet he'll go to any amount of trouble to do things to make you happy or comfortable. Then he conceals his graciousness by being curt about it. Then, when he's at his crankiest, he's apt to startle you by saying the divinest things point-blank in your face, and as likely as not, after treating you as he would a rather backward child of whom he rigidly disapproves, he'll make love to you and do it with ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... greater truths of his art. It may be the golden sunset or the breezy noon, the solemn breadth of twilight, or the silvery freshness of morn—the something of colour, of form, of light and shade, floating rapidly away, that makes the meanest and most commonplace view at times startle us with wonder at its beauty, when treated ...
— Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Esther Singleton



Words linked to "Startle" :   shy, flinch, reflex response, instinctive reflex, inborn reflex, Moro reflex, physiological reaction, jump, shock, blow out of the water, unconditioned reflex, wince, start, take aback, reflex, move, floor, boggle, reflex action, rear back, ball over, jackrabbit, innate reflex, startle response



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