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Tense   /tɛns/   Listen
Tense

adjective
1.
In or of a state of physical or nervous tension.
2.
Pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in 'beat').
3.
Taut or rigid; stretched tight.



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"Tense" Quotes from Famous Books



... closely by Careni-Amori and Olga Obosky, and at some distance by the whispering, gesticulating Jews. The great soprano was profoundly agitated. Obosky, a pace or two behind her, was tense and silent. Her head was slightly bent. There was a strange, dog-like expression in her eyes as they regarded the back ...
— West Wind Drift • George Barr McCutcheon

... marked "con passione" nothing can exceed the elegance of his attitudes, and the pleasing dignity of his gestures. After, par exemple, the recitativi, what a pretty empressement he gave (alas! that we must now speak in the past tense!) to the tonic or key-note, by locking his arms in each other over his poitrine—by that after expansion of them—that clever alto movement of the toes—that apparent embracing of the fumes des lampes—how touching! ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... of the conquest of Cortes, in his triumphant march from Vera Cruz to the capital. The plan of the battle of Cerro Gordo was so fully carried out in action that the official report is hardly more than the general orders translated from the future tense to the past. The story of Chapultepec has the same element of the marvelous in it. On one day the general commanded apparent impossibilities in the closest detail, and the next day reported that they had been accomplished. These ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... this tense moment Archie found time almost unconsciously to admire his father-in-law's penetration and intuition. He seemed to have a sort of sixth sense. No doubt this was ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... remember best was the way in which the repetition of the Lord's Prayer rolled from the lips of the assembly like the sound of the surging of the sea. It was the emotional effect of a strongly emotional moment. One felt tense. It was hard to restrain tears. As far as crowd-sympathy has any spiritual value it was there. The Caucasian God was taken out of His ...
— The Conquest of Fear • Basil King

... my experience that romance is always in the past tense anyhow. Romance is a commodity that was extremely plentiful last week or last year or last century, but for the moment they are entirely out of it, and can't say with any degree of certainty when a fresh stock ...
— Roughing it De Luxe • Irvin S. Cobb

... Lord Saint Sinnes looks down at her—with something of the deep intuition which makes him the finest steeplechaser in England. Perhaps he notes the quiver of the lip, the sinews drawn tense about her throat. Such silent signals of distress are his business. Certainly he notes the little shiver of abject fear which passes through the girl's slight form as they pass out of the room together. Their departure is noted by several ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... to drop the whole affair. Charmian's abrupt interposition was a challenge. It held Claude dumb, despite that rage of contempt. It drew Alston's eyes to the face of his patron. There was a moment of tense silence. In it Claude felt that he was waiting for a verdict that would decide his fate, not as a successful man, but as a self-respecting artist. As he looked at the face of his wife he knew he had not the strength to decide his own fate for himself in accordance with the dictates ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... began the descent into the lower ocean depths. From three hundred and fifty feet she went to four hundred, and when the hand on the gauge showed four hundred and fifty there was a tense moment. If anything went wrong now there ...
— Tom Swift and his Undersea Search - or, The Treasure on the Floor of the Atlantic • Victor Appleton

... some American poet will one day be able to write in the past tense similar verses of the barbarity ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 7, May, 1858 • Various

... grew more tense, tempers more unsure, sleep and appetite more fugitive. Experienced teachers went stolidly on with the ordinary routine, while beginners devoted time and energy to the more spectacular portions of the curriculum. But no one knew the Honorable Timothy's ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume III. (of X.) • Various

... had happened, Bob seized a coil of rope, made one end fast to the stern of his boat, grasped the coil in his right hand, and, tense and expectant, scanned the sea for the ...
— The Gaunt Gray Wolf - A Tale of Adventure With Ungava Bob • Dillon Wallace

... that she was led astray by a will-o'-the-wisp, which has often misled artists not of the very first class—the chance of an easy contrast. The light-hearted, light-minded Erfeuil was to set off the tense and serious Nelvil—a type again, as he was evidently intended to be, but a somewhat new type of Englishman. She was a devotee of Rousseau, and she undoubtedly had the egregious Bomston before her. But, though her sojourn in England had not taught her very much ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... roof. She crawled to her old vantage-ground, and descended to the right, where a gable sloped steeply. At the bottom she passed along a wide gutter, and, rounding a corner, found that she could easily drop on to a lower portion of the roof. She was in a state of tense excitement. Where was she getting to? Would anybody see her from the courtyard; and if so, how would they propose to rescue her? It would be difficult to shout down and explain that she had come through the ...
— The Madcap of the School • Angela Brazil

... at the same date believed to be perfect, but whether either or both have now disappeared I cannot say. Nor have I been able to verify the existence or non-existence of the other examples of which I am able to give illustrations. I shall therefore write of them all in the past tense, retaining the hope ...
— Amusements in Mathematics • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... deeper than blue polar seas Fled over the sceptre-spikes of the chestnuts, Over the speckle of the wych-elms' green. She shouted; then stood still, hushed and abashed To hear her voice so shrill in that gay roar, And suddenly her eyelashes were dimmed, Caught in tense tears of spiritual joy; For there were daffodils which sprightly shook Ten thousand ruffling heads throughout the wood, And every flower of those delighting flowers Laughed, nodding to her, till she clapped her hands Crying 'O ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... Dolly spoke in a tense, strained way, as if trying to preserve her calm. She sat down at their little dressing-table and ...
— Two Little Women on a Holiday • Carolyn Wells

... two the others were silent and their attitudes indicated that the strain was heavy. Mrs. Halliday's face was flushed, Jim's was very stern, and Bernard knitted his brows. Dick and Mordaunt stood motionless but tense at opposite ...
— Partners of the Out-Trail • Harold Bindloss

... Strike were altogether in the past tense! No knowing what the Duke might do—a widower and completely subjugated. It makes my bosom bound. The man tempts me to the wickedest Frenchy ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... said Margaret at last, turning to him, and speaking more quietly, but still in a kind of tense way, 'then, when 'Lias wor took bad, yo know, Davy, I had my boys. Did yo ever hear tell o' what ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... wretched story in as few and as bald words as possible, Pilar sat grave-eyed, tense-lipped as Portia in the Court of Justice before her turn to plead. When I finished she was silent for a moment, I thought because, after all, she found herself with nothing to say. But, when her father in his compassion ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... you." It comes naturally with a warm holyday and the freshness of the blood. It is a perfect summer Amulet that I tye round my legs to quicken their motion when I go out a Maying. (N.B.) I don't often go out a maying.—Must is the tense with me now. Do you take the Pun? Young Romilly is divine, the reasons of his mother's grief being remediless. I never saw parental love carried up so high, towering above the other Loves. Shakspeare had done something for the filial in Cordelia, and by implication for the fatherly too in Lear's ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... for the more accurate understanding of the Bible is its translation from the past to the present tense. It has been studied as history, as the record of a remote past whose truth it has been well-nigh impossible to verify. It should be studied as a record of the present, the present experience of the individual and the race which is to ultimate in the perfect actualization ...
— The Woman's Bible. • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... unknown destination. I sat in a carriage quite at the rear end of the train, in a corner seat, and was leaning out of the open window, peering into the darkness, when, suddenly, a voice, which seemed to speak out of the air, said to me in a low, distinct, in-tense tone, the mere recollection of which makes me shudder,—"The sentence is being carried out even now. You are all of you lost. Ahead of the train is a frightful precipice of monstrous height, and at its base beats a fathomless sea. The railway ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... he whispered hurriedly. "Mebbe-so, som'wan else com' 'long. Me, A'm gon' for look." With the words the man blended into the shadows and, clutching the reins, the girl waited with every nerve drawn tense. ...
— The Texan - A Story of the Cattle Country • James B. Hendryx

... you realise," he said in a low, tense voice, "that since I met you every racing minute has been sweeping ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers

... "Her tense features showed that she was weighing the meaning of the words, and I can still see her as she suddenly drew up her small figure, and said proudly, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... looked into the soft black ones for a full minute, then, with a long-drawn breath, the tense expression in the stranger's relaxed. "I see," said the weary voice. "You are used to having your way—just as he is. I'll have to let you because I haven't any strength left to fight with. You are wonderfully kind. ...
— Red Pepper's Patients - With an Account of Anne Linton's Case in Particular • Grace S. Richmond

... turned their heads, and he started violently back. In the shadow of the room stood a great shadowy figure—silent. They saw the face dimly in the half-light, with unexpressive dark patches under the penthouse brows. Every muscle in Raut's body suddenly became tense. When could the door have opened? What had he heard? Had he heard all? What had he seen? A ...
— The Door in the Wall And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... The most positive assertion of the parents was subsequently made that saving a fortnightly moistening of her lips with cold water, the child had neither ate nor drank anything for the last twenty-three months. The whole region of the belly was tympanitic, and the muscular walls of this cavity were tense and drum-like—a condition not infrequently concomitant of a well-known class of nervous disorders. The child's intellectual faculties and special senses were perfectly healthy. Before her illness she was very much devoted to religious reading. This devotion ...
— Fasting Girls - Their Physiology and Pathology • William Alexander Hammond

... halls of fashion. Faces turned ashen pale and screams resounded through the spacious mansion. Helter-skelter, in every direction, fled the terrified masqueraders. The Moslem thought that his last hour on earth had come. Then Brant's arm fell; his tense features relaxed, and he had become once more the genial 'Captain of the Mohawks.' According to his own declaration, which may or may not have been exactly true, he only intended a playful contribution to the pleasures of the evening. The Turk was calmed, and the frightened ...
— The War Chief of the Six Nations - A Chronicle of Joseph Brant - Volume 16 (of 32) in the series Chronicles of Canada • Louis Aubrey Wood

... in the chair. She was trying; the sweat stood out on her forehead. Aarons sat tense, smoking, his fingers twitching as he watched the red and green cubes bounce on the white backdrop. Lambertson watched too, but his eyes were on the girl, not on ...
— Second Sight • Alan Edward Nourse

... Rudolf's figure, but her cranny did not serve her to show her the two where they were now; she knelt on her knees in ignorant suspense. Slowly and with a patient force Rudolf began to work his enemy's arms towards one another. Rupert had read his design in his eyes and resisted with tense muscles. It seemed as though his arms must crack; but at last they moved. Inch by inch they were driven closer; now the elbows almost touched; now the wrists joined in reluctant contact. The sweat broke out on the count's brow, and stood in large drops on Rudolf's. Now the wrists were side ...
— Rupert of Hentzau - From The Memoirs of Fritz Von Tarlenheim: The Sequel to - The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... in the past tense, as we speak of the dead, was not pleasant to Sir Francis, walking behind ...
— The Dragon of Wantley - His Tale • Owen Wister

... side of the circle a sudden commotion broke up the tense expectancy of the onlookers. Every eye responded, and the unanimity of the change of interest suggested the desire for relief. The commotion continued. There was some sort of struggle going on. Then, in a moment, it ceased. A tall, ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... the box, and smiled at Morris. There was no murmur of sympathy, no rustling; the whole thing was too tense. ...
— The Blotting Book • E. F. Benson

... Every one knows that a large floor may have a covering of large figures, and that a small one must have a covering of small—yet this is not all the knowledge in the world. As regards texture, the Saxony is alone admissible. Brussels is the preterpluperfect tense of fashion, and Turkey is taste in its dying agonies. Touching pattern—a carpet should not be bedizzened out like a Riccaree Indian—all red chalk, yellow ochre, and cock's feathers. In brief—distinct grounds, and vivid circular or cycloid figures, of no meaning, are here ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... slender line was paid out, amid a tense silence on the part of the little group at the top of the canyou. After what seemed to them hours, a sharp call from the ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Rockies • Frank Gee Patchin

... Blue Bonnet sat tense and still, her hands clasped in her lap, the color coming and going in her face in rapid waves of pink and white; her eyes very shiny, her lips quivering. This home-coming was having an effect she had not dreamed of. Every familiar object, ...
— Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party • C. E. Jacobs

... have burst soon if that state of matters had continued. Every drop of blood in my body seemed throbbing in my head just back of my ears, and all the rest of me was cold and tense with the strain. It was like waiting on a fearsome black day of thunder for the storm ...
— Carette of Sark • John Oxenham

... think so now," returned the Doctor, with a grave and preoccupied air. "Whatever his faults, cowardice was not one of them. You see, I speak of him in the past tense. I told you your intended duel would not come off, and I was right. Denzil, I don't think you will ever see either Armand Gervase ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... This particular one that she had really quite lived with was, after all, an old story; yet what it had been before was dim and distant beside the touch under which she now winced. Scandal?—it had never been but a silly word. Now it was a great tense surface, and the surface was somehow Captain Everard's wonderful face. Deep down in his eyes a picture, a scene—a great place like a chamber of justice, where, before a watching crowd, a poor girl, exposed but heroic, swore with a quavering voice to ...
— In the Cage • Henry James

... who often misrepresent it for their own partisan and prejudiced plans. It is strong and steadfast, though, and in time is always victorious over its menial opposition, for what is history but the past tense of truth, and it is justly said that veritas numquam perit, ...
— The Revolutions of Time • Jonathan Dunn

... to assume control in directing State affairs. Sixth. It is worth your careful notice to note that they are not constituted witnesses by being sent; they are sent because they are witnesses. They are not then to be endowed with miraculous power; "these have power" in the present tense. These facts, if nicely considered, will at once suggest ...
— The Lost Ten Tribes, and 1882 • Joseph Wild

... above-mentioned letter use the words "we received," —using the past tense, as if some days before, instead of "we have your letters," or "we have just received your letters," which would rather indicate present, or recent, time. Probably some days elapsed after the "pilott's" ...
— The Mayflower and Her Log, Complete • Azel Ames

... the most punishment. Lying as flat as possible on the crusted snow, only raising the head or body enough to load and aim, the men on both sides, with their teeth set, their glaring eyes fastened on the foe, their nerves as tense as tightly-drawn steel wires, rained shot on each other as fast as excited hands could crowd cartridges into the guns ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... has placed this famous Religious-Historical Romance on a height of pre-eminence which no other novel of its time has reached. The clashing of rivalry and the deepest human passions, the perfect reproduction of brilliant Roman life, and the tense, fierce atmosphere of the arena have kept their deep ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... mother's sacrifice must find its justification in you. And she, not your father, made the final decision to give up everything for human freedom. She has endured poverty, Johnnie—" the man's voice was growing tense, and his eyes were ablaze; "you know how she worked, and if you fail her, if you do not live a consecrated life, John, your mother's life has failed. I don't mean a pious life; God knows I hate sanctimony. But I mean a life consecrated to some practical service, to an ideal—to ...
— A Certain Rich Man • William Allen White

... the tombs on the Via Latina, or would loiter for hours and hours along the Appian Way. It took him weeks to summon energy to visit S. Pietro in Vincoli, although he knew that Michelangelo's "Moses" was there, and though he was weary with longing to see it. All the tense chords of Ibsen's nature were loosened. His soul was recovering, through a long and blissful convalescence, from the aching maladies of ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... in those words, thou hast been! when the sense of them becomes absolutely clear to us. One feels one's self sinking gradually into one's grave, and the past tense sounds the knell of our illusions as to ourselves. What is past is past: gray hairs will never become black curls again; the forces, the gifts, the attractions of youth, have vanished with our ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... her master's head in her lap. Marie had taken off Claude's helmet and revealed a ghastly wound on the temple. Marguerite stood beside her horse, shading her eyes with her hand, her face tense and strained as she watched the issue of the combat. It was not till the victor, flushed but triumphant, his gay riding-suit covered with blood and dust, advanced, and doffing his hat almost to the ground bowed low before her, that she recognised ...
— Marguerite De Roberval - A Romance of the Days of Jacques Cartier • T. G. Marquis

... and physical overwork tends to weaken the nervous system and to produce nervousness. Where hard mental work is long continued, or where it is carried on under excitement, a tense nervous condition is developed which is decidedly weakening in its effects. The causes which lead to such a condition, and in fact overwork of all kinds, should if possible be avoided. Where this is not possible, and in many cases it is not, the period of ...
— Physiology and Hygiene for Secondary Schools • Francis M. Walters, A.M.

... down beside the man, his voice a tense whisper in the musty cell. "I mean that right now you are practically dead. You may not know it, but you are. You walk into a newly opened planet with your smart little bag of tricks, walk in here with a shaky passport and no permit, with no knowledge ...
— Letter of the Law • Alan Edward Nourse

... and sorrow be ever biggest in the present tense," answered he. "And I wot well thou hast a great charge on ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... picked up a stone and handed it to the dandy with an expressive gesture. Instead of obeying he shook his head despairingly, and an ominous growl came from the assemblage. Again Donald looked at Christie, whose face was now tense and drawn, as though he were ...
— At War with Pontiac - The Totem of the Bear • Kirk Munroe and J. Finnemore

... long period of tense, incessant, and painful watching for the enemy, who, I anticipated, might make their appearance at any moment. But hour after hour dragged laggingly away, the whole force kept incessantly on the qui vive to guard against the expected attempt at surprise, the ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... (Noctes Atticae, vi. 17,) Ammianus Marcellinua, (xxii. 16,) and Orosius, (l. vi. c. 15.) They all speak in the past tense, and the words of Ammianus are remarkably strong: fuerunt Bibliothecae innumerabiles; et loquitum monumentorum veterum ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... grin lightened for a moment his tense young face. "You'll have to keep praying till the power's turned off. Nothing here you ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... The Tense Protective Struggle.—Few people realise how the development of Allied and enemy gas masks and protective measures was forced upon each side in a number of critical steps. At each of these, had research and production been unequal to the task, the armies would have ...
— by Victor LeFebure • J. Walker McSpadden

... and his face went white. He compressed his lips with an effort and choked back the words. Leverage, leaning forward in tense eagerness—knowing the verbal trap that Carroll had been planting—sighed with ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... spelling or unusual usage of language are as in the original text, for example, the author's use of annihilate in the past tense without the usual ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... softly and the changing tones mingled with the blue wreaths that ascended from the sanctuary in a fragrant cloud, lingering over the congregation. The celebrant offered the bread and wine to Our Father in Heaven. And all this took time; the children were tired by their tense concentration; their prayers had all been said two and three times over; and they were now vacantly waiting and longing, looking at their clothes, at the stained-glass windows in the choir or St. Anne in her crimson cloak, or counting the stars ...
— The Path of Life • Stijn Streuvels

... book—nineteen hours—full of adventure and tense situations. I was a bit disappointed to find that the Pirate was a Greek who preyed mostly upon Italian, Greek and Turkish vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean, because I had hoped that Kingston would address himself ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... man seated opposite to him—a great strong fellow who was obviously now prepared for any surprise; at Brightman, who, lithe and tense, seemed watching his every movement; at the little revolver which Crawshay, although he kept it out of sight, ...
— The Box with Broken Seals • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to his contemplation of the outer world. The night was black, jet black. There was not a star visible. The mountain air had lost its cool snap, the accustomed rustle of the woods was gone. There was a tense stillness which jarred in ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... the girl. What queer jargon was this? In the wavering light thrown by the fire Bubbles' face looked tense and ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... en of the termination of the past participle of strong verbs is often dropped, and when the resulting word might be mistaken for the infinitive, the form of the past tense is frequently substituted.—/passion./ Shakespeare uses 'passion' for any feeling, sentiment, or emotion, whether painful or pleasant. So in Henry V, II, ii. 132: "Free from gross passion or of mirth ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... circumstances, and would that at length the gods opened their eyes; then he would surely have to pay a heavy penalty for his impiety, for the death of my brother and for my sufferings.' The present subjunctive in the apodosis corresponds with the same tense in the protasis, and differs very little from the future indicative. See Zumpt, S 524, note. [107] 'Although life has been taken from thee before the age of maturity, and by a person who should have done it least of all.' Unde, the more ...
— De Bello Catilinario et Jugurthino • Caius Sallustii Crispi (Sallustius)

... solicitous conclusion that a candle has been upset and may have set fire to the corpse; he transforms this conclusion into a dream by investing it with a senseful situation enacted in the present tense. What part is played in this dream by the wish-fulfillment, and which are we to suspect—the predominance of the thought continued from, the waking state or of the thought incited by the new ...
— Dream Psychology - Psychoanalysis for Beginners • Sigmund Freud

... wings for want of eyes; Poor authors worshipping a calf, Deep tragedies that make us laugh, A strict dissenter saying grace, A lecturer preaching for a place, Folks, things prophetic to dispense, Making the past the future tense, The popish dubbing of a priest, ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... man's shoulders, for over the face of the other there had passed a change. It was strained and tense. The hands were outstretched, the eyes were staring straight into the west and the ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... brush did its work. Usually in such case Bobby howled before the first blow fell, but to-night he set his lips and uttered no sounds. Slap! slap! slap! slap! with deliberate spaces between. Bobby was released. He climbed down, his soul tense, with agony, but his face ...
— The Adventures of Bobby Orde • Stewart Edward White

... was clearly no situation in which lives or property were at stake; it was rather in line with assisting distraught cats down from tops of telephonepoles or persuading selfimmolated children to unlock the bathroom door and let mommy in; an amusing interval in a tense day. Perhaps those manning the second truck were more naturally ingenious, possibly the original workers sought more diverting labor; at any rate the futile chopping was abandoned. Instead, several long ladders were hooked together and the synthesis ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... begins. "Aberdeen!" calls the Chairman. The head of the Aberdeen delegation stands up in a suspense so tense that it almost hurts. "Aberdeen casts seventeen votes for Mr. Will Crooks!" In an instant the whole hall is filled with maniacs. County after County rushes to range itself on the winning side. Before the roll is more than half completed it is evident that Crooks must be chosen. Thereafter there ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... though he did not hear her. His face was set and white, his blue eyes glowed black. He stood with lips parted, waiting for the cue to begin. His audience, to most of whom the song was known, caught by a mysterious telepathy the tense emotion of the boy, and stood silent and eager, all smiles gone from their faces. The song was in the Ruthenian tongue, but was the heart cry of a Russian exile, a cry for freedom for his native land, for death to the tyrant, for vengeance on the traitor. Nowhere in all ...
— The Foreigner • Ralph Connor

... after the word rang out 'Up and over! Over the top boys, and the best of luck!' With one foot on the fire step we climbed out of the deep trench and with our rifles we started forward at a walk, behind our advancing barrage. I was tense now and all of a tremble. At a time like this every man is driven to his deepest thoughts. It is not fear exactly, but apprehension and dread of ...
— With Our Soldiers in France • Sherwood Eddy

... economy mainly, had encompassed his huge jaws in a home-made apparatus constructed out of the leather of some ancient breechin. His mouth was open as far as it could be; his lips curled up in rage—a sort of terrible grin; his teeth gleaming, ready, from out the darkness; the strap across his mouth tense as a bowstring; his whole frame stiff with indignation and surprize; his roar asking us all round, "Did you ever see the like of this?" He looked a statue of anger and ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... exclamation after Stafford's first announcement had betrayed that a sudden suspicion had flashed before him, and they waited for him to take them into his confidence. But they waited in vain. He seemed to have forgotten their existence, and the silence grew tense and painful. All at once, Mrs. Berry, who was clinging to her husband's arm, uttered a scream, which acted like a shock of electricity on the overstrained nerves of those ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... across his chest, staring down the field; of his men, wiping the mud out of their eyes and looking at him, looking to him; of the stunned rooters. But at the second breath she was awake, alive again, tense, tingling, bursting with her message for them all, keeping herself by main force in her place. Jimsy King never saw any one in a game; he never knew any one in a game; people ceased to exist for him while he was on the field. But to-day, in this difficult ...
— Play the Game! • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... from his seat to loosen his muscles. He had sat absolutely tense and effectively motionless for a very long time. He ached. But he felt a sour sort of satisfaction. For a ship of the Isis's class to have challenged a battleship to combat, to have deliberately and insultingly waited for it to ...
— Talents, Incorporated • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... behind the hazel bushes on the other side of the enclosure came an answer, a second neighing, deeper and fuller. The swampy ground of the enclosure shook, powerful hoofs scattered the stones, to right and left and a black stallion appeared at full gallop. The tense neck carried a magnificent head, the muscles lay like ropes under the glossy skin. As he caught sight of the mare, his eyes began to flash. He stopped and stretched out his neck as if he were going to yawn, raised his ...
— Married • August Strindberg

... ease, he was on his feet, body tense, alert. Her form was vaguely familiar as she ran toward him. She dodged from his sight, then re-appeared as the winding path cut ...
— Strange Alliance • Bryce Walton

... end his sentences became broken, became short and uncertain, and his body seemed tense, seemed strained to catch the slightest pressure or whisper of life in the spaces around him. His hair had turned gradually white as he talked, and now he lifted his head high to the heavens like a prophet of ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... the window was to her eyes like the glare of the sun at noonday: the ticking of the clock on the wall fell on her ears, each tick like a sharply pointed hammer seeming to bruise the nerve. A keen thrill ran like a knife through her tense frame when the infant stirred and moaned in his sleep. The lion roused himself in an instant, and fixing his eyes upon the bed came towards it arching his back and yawning. He rubbed himself against the bedstead and stood for a moment so near that ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... protection assured for the girl and a real objective point in view, Gale relaxed from the tense strain he had been laboring under. How glad he would have been to acquaint Thorne with their good fortune! Later, of course, there would be some way to get word to the cavalryman. But till then what ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... to remain where she was, but her tense interest in what was doing drew her forward in spite of herself. She rode along the ridge that bordered the park, at first slowly and then quicker as the impulse grew in her to be ...
— Mavericks • William MacLeod Raine

... little gasps, emanating, apparently, from nowhere, from no one, fall into the next pause. ANTHONY is the color of chalk. GLORIA'S lips are parted and her level gaze at the old man is tense and frightened. There is not one smile in the room. Not one? Or does CROSS PATCH'S drawn mouth tremble slightly open, to expose the even rows of his thin teeth? He speaks—five mild ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... to make it," whispered the woman, her voice tense with suppressed excitement. A low rumble rolled like distant thunder from the wood. ...
— Tarzan the Terrible • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... and white and tearless, stood Rachel. I was almost afraid of the child as I looked at her. She turned her great eyes upon me dumbly, with so exactly Bronson's expression in them that all at once I understood her. I knelt down beside her, and gathering her little tense frame all up in my arms, I began whispering to her. The tears rolled down her cheeks, and soon she was crying hysterically. Bronson came bounding upstairs at the sound, but she seized me more tightly around the neck and held me chokingly. I motioned him back, ...
— The Love Affairs of an Old Maid • Lilian Bell

... September. When she reached the barn, Martin was irritable. She did not answer him but sat down quietly by her first cow, a fine-blooded animal which soon showed signs of restlessness under her tense hands. ...
— Dust • Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

... author might have woven a history showing exactly what might have happened to him if he had not been a good boy. And that history, in the hands of a master—one who had the organ of the conditional praeterpluperfect tense very large—might have worked ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... profess exactly as other people do. The second is by leading the herd to war, which immediately and infallibly makes them forget everything, even their most cherished and hardwon public liberties and private interests, in the irresistible surge of their pugnacity and the tense pre-occupation of ...
— Androcles and the Lion • George Bernard Shaw

... meeting or the senate, for it does not appear that any proposal concerning the punishment of the prisoners was made at the first meeting. There would be no doubt on this point, were it not for the pluperfect tense, decreverat. I have translated it as the perfect. We must suppose that Sallust had his thoughts on Caesar's speech, which was to follow, and signifies that all this business had been done before Caesar ...
— Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jurgurthine War • Sallust

... not stir. He could not. Even to his crude imagining there was something utterly horrible in the thought of Creed alone at that hour in just such black darkness as this, with the great timbered chamber haunted at least by its dread memories. He could only wait, tense and fearful ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... and to Paul every moment was tense and vivid. The darkness was far more suggestive of danger than the day had been. He took his eyes now and then from the loophole, for a moment, to glance at Henry's face, and about the third or fourth time he saw a sudden light leap into the eyes of his comrade. ...
— The Forest Runners - A Story of the Great War Trail in Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... sat so tense in her chair that her weight did not relax to it. "You and me can't have no fusses, you know that, don't you? I give Phonzie the run of my floor, and he's the one has to deal ...
— Every Soul Hath Its Song • Fannie Hurst

... light left Bostil's face. His voice sounded differently. His mouth opened, drooped strangely at the corners, then shut in a grim, tense line. Bostil had killed more than one man. The memory, no doubt, was haunting ...
— Wildfire • Zane Grey

... aversion to loquacity has of late years made a very considerable alteration in our language, by closing in one syllable the termination of our preterperfect tense, as in the words "drown'd," "walk'd," "arriv'd," for "drowned," "walked," "arrived," which has very much disfigured the tongue, and turned a tenth part of our smoothest words into so many clusters of consonants. This is the more remarkable because the want of vowels ...
— Essays and Tales • Joseph Addison

... future. That there is such a double reference may be made very obvious if we notice that the first of the promises, which includes them all, and of which the others are but aspects and phases, is cast into the present tense, whilst the remainder stand in the future. 'Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven,' not shall be—'they shall be comforted,' they 'shall inherit the earth,' and so on. So, then, we are warranted, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... thrust back on his brown hair, his bright, steady gray eyes concentrated as he listened. His tall, lithe figure in his buckskin hunting shirt and leggings, the habitual garb of the frontiersmen, grew tense and gave an intimation of gathering all its forces for the defensive as he noted how the aspect of the station differed from its wonted guise. Every house of the assemblage of little log cabins stood open; here and there in the misty air, for there had been a swift, ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... came thundering past her window, till the old house shook to its foundation. For these she listened, tense and quivering. One of them would be bearing away from her forever ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... foot with the report of a toy pistol. He swore perfunctorily, and gazed greedily at the cave-opening just ahead. He was a bungling woodsman at best; and now, stalking that greatest of all big game, man, the blood drummed in his ears and his heart seemed to slip a cog or two with every beat. He stood tense, yet trembling, for the space in which a man might count ten; surely if there were any one inside the cave—if the one whose presence he suspected were there—such a noise would have brought him forth. But a great banner of trumpet-creeper, which ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... say a few words now about the place itself. Greshamsbury Park was a fine old English gentleman's seat—was and is; but we can assert it more easily in past tense, as we are speaking of it with reference to a past time. We have spoken of Greshamsbury Park; there was a park so called, but the mansion itself was generally known as Greshamsbury House, and did not stand in the park. We may ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... the past tense," retorted Aunt Jamesina. "I've got them yet. There are three old widowers at home who have been casting sheep's eyes at me for some time. You children needn't think you own all the romance in ...
— Anne Of The Island • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... minutes were approved. The regular business of the meeting forthwith began, and the atmosphere, which had been a little tense, relaxed. As if to show his ease and familiarity with an unusual situation, Mr. Mowry cut off a large piece of tobacco, crossed his hands behind his head, and lifted his right leg on the top of the small ...
— Miss Gibbie Gault • Kate Langley Bosher

... suggest such a thing. But think for a moment! Is it not a fair guess that a man like our neighbour, who has had such a varied career, who can divine my interest in him as an author, and Mac's as an artist, will be able to fathom the reason why you watch him with a tense ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... of manipulation has been needlessly employed for the purpose of placing these heretics as early as possible; but nothing definite can be extracted from Irenaeus's notices of them. Hippolytus's use of the present tense, in speaking of them, renders it probable that they ...
— The Canon of the Bible • Samuel Davidson



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