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Trait   /treɪt/   Listen
Trait

noun
1.
A distinguishing feature of your personal nature.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Trait" Quotes from Famous Books



... in the army and who disliked him accordingly, were compelled to admit, to themselves at least, that their reasons were comprised in the above-recorded, regretable, but unmistakable fact—he didn't like them. Another trait, unpopular, was that he knew when and how to say no. He smoked too much, perhaps, and talked too little for those who would use his words as witnesses against him. He never gambled, he rarely drank, he never lent nor ...
— Found in the Philippines - The Story of a Woman's Letters • Charles King

... whilst they last, self appears as what it is, an atom to a universe. Poets are not only subject to these experiences as spirits of the most refined organization, but they can colour all that they combine with the evanescent hues of this ethereal world; a word, a trait in the representation of a scene or a passion will touch the enchanted chord, and reanimate, in those who have ever experienced these emotions, the sleeping, the cold, the buried image of the past. Poetry thus makes immortal all that is best and most beautiful in the world; ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... it or not, owns a woman's the better for bein' dressed in the fashion. What do grieve me to my insidest heart, it is your bonnet. What a bonnet that was lying beside her dear round arm in the po'trait, and her finger up making a dimple in her cheek, as if she was thinking of us in a sorrowful way. That's the arts o' being lady-like—look sad-like. How could we ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... criticism justly dwells. A flash of lightning and a crash of thunder may be seen and heard; it is the still small voice that leads the hero to success. As regards Villeneuve, indecision was his distinguishing trait; and Bonaparte wrote that if any error could be imputed to him, it was that he had not got under way as soon as the "Orient" blew up, for by that time the battle was lost ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... conceived it of great value, and refused to barter except I would double the quantity of beads; the next day with a great deal of importunity on his part I received the skin in exchange for a few strans of the same beads he had refused the day before. I therefore believe this trait in their character proceeds from an avaricious all grasping disposition. in this rispect they differ from all Indians I ever became acquainted with, for their dispositions invariably lead them to give whatever they are possessed off no matter ...
— The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Meriwether Lewis et al

... upon which the duke sent him back again. He could not refuse; but, to avoid any appearance of servility, he whistled as he walked out of the room, to shew his independency. On my mentioning this afterwards to Dr. Johnson, he said, it was a nice trait ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... on to considerable length, acknowledging the good qualities of the poor woman, but killing each by setting against it some peculiarly unamiable trait. I confess that my feeling is quite turned in her favour by the unmanly assault which her brother (the author of the inscription) has thus made upon the poor dead woman. If you cannot honestly say good of a human being on ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... gentleman came to breakfast one day, bringing as a gift two curious antique pipes and a pouch of Boer tobacco. The pipes were awarded a place in a glass cabinet, and the giver most heartily thanked; he finally departed, well pleased with himself. Now comes a curious trait in the man's character. Before leaving he whispered to a friend the request that the fact of his visit should not be mentioned in Cape Town circles. This request was naturally repeated at once to Mr. Rhodes, much to the ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... purest of her sex. Alas! that she was indeed almost the vilest! that she was that rare monster, a woman, who, linked with every crime and baseness that can almost unsex a woman, preserves yet in its height, one eminent and noble virtue, one half-redeeming trait amidst all her infamy, in her proud love of country! Name, honor, virtue, conscience, womanhood, truth, piety, all, all, were sacrificed to her rebellious passions. But to her love of country she ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 1 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... kept him dragging one sore, bare foot after the other to get to his mother when the gulches he had to pass were black and full of ghostly, fearsome things that the hired man had seen when staying out late o' nights. This trait now kept him trudging grimly from one office to another, offering himself a target for rebuffs that to him had ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... of pain was a marked trait in Dr. Bigelow's character. Even to the infliction of necessary suffering he had an extreme dislike. His gentleness to animals was akin to his tenderness for children. He had a great respect for their intelligence, their affection, ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... above the enveloping clouds. We returned to the tent to find that the zaptiehs had been given the best places and best covers to sleep in, and that we were expected to accommodate ourselves near the door, wrapped up in an old Kurdish carpet. Policy was evidently a better developed trait of Kurdish ...
— Across Asia on a Bicycle • Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben

... out, and incline us to ask what epidemic has visited the island and swept the rose from every cheek. They are a pallid race, the Nassauese, and retain little of the vigor of their English ancestry. One English trait they exhibit,—the hospitality which has passed into a proverb; another, perhaps,—the stanch adherence to the forms and doctrines of Episcopacy. We enter the principal church;—they are just lighting it for evening service; it is hung with candles, each burning in a clear glass ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... have probably heard of the "Luck of Edenhall," for besides Longfellow's[1] well-known poem, the legend relating to it has often been told in print. I refer to it here merely to mention a curious trait of character in Sir George Musgrave in connection with it. The "Luck of Edenhall" is an ancient decorated glass goblet, which has belonged to the Musgraves time out of mind, and which ...
— What I Remember, Volume 2 • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... still preserved in the temple, and forms the robe of initiation of every new high priest. Colonel James Tod, who spent so many years in India and gained the love of the people as well as of the Brahmans—a most uncommon trait in the biography of any Anglo-Indian—has written the only true history of India, but even he was never allowed to touch this folio. Natives commonly believe that he was offered initiation into the mysteries at the price of the adoption of their religion. Being ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... distinguishing trait of Leibnitz's genius, and the one predominant fact in his history, was what Feuerbach calls his [Greek: polupraguoshinae], which, being interpreted, means having a finger in every pie. We are used to consider him as a man of letters; but the greater part of his ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... was held in one of the rooms adjoining the banquet hall, and there a scene was enacted which brought into relief a trait of character which was extremely useful to the Colonel in the difficult task of managing his wilful and capricious prima donna. Mme. Patti received her hosts seated upon a divan. She looked radiant, and was wholly at ease after having taken a peep into the ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... invited to try the "mind cure," as were all other friends who happened along. To the end of his days Clemens would always have some panacea to offer to allay human distress. It was a good trait, when all is said, for it had its root in his humanity. The "mind cure" did not provide all the substance of things hoped for, though he always allowed for it a wide efficacy. Once, in later years, commenting on Susy's ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... at this motley crew would have convinced us, had we not been quite sure of it already, that we had no favour to expect. There was not a countenance among them that exhibited the slightest trait of grace or mercy. No such expression could be seen around us, and we felt satisfied ...
— The Rifle Rangers • Captain Mayne Reid

... variations upon the same theme—the interrogation point —which compose Fischtaminel's repertory, will drive me mad. Add to these leaden arrows everlastingly shot off at me, one last trait which will complete the description of my happiness, and you will understand ...
— Petty Troubles of Married Life, Second Part • Honore de Balzac

... behind the doctors of the law. Then the assembled scholars began to speak and expound difficult questions, it being the custom that the various propositions should be submitted to each in turn and that whoso bethought him of some subtle addition or rare trait, should make mention of it. So the question went round till it came to the stranger, who spoke in his turn and made a goodlier answer than that of any of the doctors; and the Khalif approved his speech and bade advance him ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume IV • Anonymous

... jaded. The people appear—well, as to physical condition, like the animals: generally all look alike. Yet the people seem hopeful. And why hopeful? The inherent and indomitable trait of the race which makes it possible for humanity to look over and past present difficulties, however great, and see some good beyond. That is why the world "do move." Often, as it was with us, progress may be slow, but every day ...
— Crossing the Plains, Days of '57 - A Narrative of Early Emigrant Tavel to California by the Ox-team Method • William Audley Maxwell

... men who would have performed the duty as well as did the young officer whom he selected, and some who would have done their part better; but, during the whole war, no change was made, although not to remove him often required that firmness—not to say obstinacy—which was a prominent trait of Mr. Davis's character, and which, right or wrong, but especially when he was right, he exercised to ...
— The Supplies for the Confederate Army - How they were obtained in Europe and how paid for. • Caleb Huse

... he had gone too far to retire; that he should be looked on as a child if he receded from his purpose." Selfishness and love of ease blunted Charles's judgment; they did not interfere with that obstinacy which was a dominant trait in the family character. Only two days later he took the decisive step, and sent Secretary Morrice with a warrant under the sign manual, to demand the seal.[Footnote: The seal was entrusted to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, as Lord Keeper.] The ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... the doorway behind her, and looked on with a smile of pity, but she saw nothing ridiculous in Mark just then (and, as he was probably aware, he could stand such tests better than most men). She only thought that his willingness to sacrifice himself for others was a pleasant trait in ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... to say, the bank is lending him his own money at five per cent.—a truly Hibernian trait, which it would be difficult to ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... Clytemnestra is tempting Agamemnon to sin or "go too far." He tries to resist, but the splendour of an oriental homecoming seduces him and he yields. But is that enough to account for such a curious trait in the story, and one so strongly emphasized? We are told afterwards that Clytemnestra threw over her victim an "endless web," long and rich (p. 63), to prevent his seeing or using his arms. And I cannot ...
— Agamemnon • Aeschylus

... Boyd has portrayed, with here and there a happy trait of grace or humour beyond the wording of the text, the very scene and people. Each of the illustrations has a charm and freshness of ...
— A Versailles Christmas-Tide • Mary Stuart Boyd

... British men, Fight for your King and State, Against those trait'rous men that strive This realm ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... and legislation in America, is traceable to origins long antedating Marshall's chief justiceship. On the other hand, there is no public career in American history which ever built so largely upon this pervasive trait of the national outlook as did Marshall's, or which has contributed so much to render it ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... attained to spiritual consciousness. This was especially a new doctrine to the people to whom he was preaching, because it was considered cowardice to fail to resent a blow. Pride of family and birth was the strongest trait in ...
— Cosmic Consciousness • Ali Nomad

... father during his residence in Paris, has spoken to me of his extraordinary analytical faculty in the elucidation of complex criminal cases. It was once said of him that his detective faculty amounted to genius. This is a significant trait in the father of the author of ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... have something of the majesty of their "exulting and abounding" rival. Winding around the curving hills, the scene is constantly varied, and the little willowed islets clasped in the embrace of the stream, mingle a trait of softened beauty ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... finding one. But the fact is that in this, as in all other instances, the word "model" must be taken in a very different sense from that in which it is commonly used in painting. Ibsen undoubtedly used models for this trait and that, but never for a whole figure. If his characters can be called portraits at all, they are composite portraits. Even when it seems pretty clear that the initial impulse towards the creation of a particular character came from ...
— Hedda Gabler - Play In Four Acts • Henrik Ibsen

... It is a significant trait of history that the times and nations most distinguished for piety are also most distinguished for backwardness. Czarist Russia, and contemporary Spain are near examples, but illustrations may be drawn from any part of the world; the Southern States of the United States of ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... her curiously. Jealousy of one's grandmother is not a common trait in the young. It struck her that Miss Blanchflower was already defending herself against examples and ideals she did not mean to follow. And again amusement—and concern!—on Mark Winnington's account made themselves felt. Mrs. France was quite aware of Delia's "militant" ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... years, and nerved his arm in a hundred battles, he became at length convinced of the madness of an ineffectual struggle against a vastly superior and hourly increasing foe. No sooner had he satisfied himself of this truth, than he acted upon it with the decision which formed a prominent trait in his character. The temporary success of the Indians in several engagements previous to the campaign of general Wayne, had kept alive their expiring hopes; but their signal defeat by that gallant officer, convinced the more reflecting of their leaders of the desperate ...
— Life of Tecumseh, and of His Brother the Prophet - With a Historical Sketch of the Shawanoe Indians • Benjamin Drake

... man should have stepped off the path to let me pass with my burden was a good trait in him, and I thanked him and said, "I shouldn't have run over you in ...
— Look Back on Happiness • Knut Hamsun

... immediately upon the declaration of war maps of Germany had been distributed among the officers, while it was quite certain that not one of them had a map of France. He was amazed and confounded by what he had seen and heard since the opening of the campaign. His unquestioned bravery was his distinctive trait; he was a somewhat weak and not very brilliant commander, which caused him to be more loved ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... trait of gratitude shown by Ali at the end of this expedition, and his record of good deeds is then closed. Compelled by a storm to take refuge in a miserable hamlet, he inquired its name, and on hearing ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - ALI PACHA • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... distinguishing trait was gayety, a cheerfulness that, while not exactly joy itself, was constant and unalterable; it might be said that she was born a flower, and that ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... also in fury quite as just may wail: the rape which your gentlemen have done against helpless black women in defiance of your own laws is written on the foreheads of two millions of mulattoes, and written in ineffaceable blood. And finally, when you fasten crime upon this race as its peculiar trait, they answer that slavery was the arch-crime, and lynching and lawlessness its twin abortion; that color and race are not crimes, and yet they it is which in this land receive most unceasing condemnation, North, ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... question that came up, whether interested in it or not, as a means of exercising and training his faculties, for he was bent on making himself a powerful debater. His love of argument was perhaps the most striking trait of his character, and "he rose," said Mr. Burke, "by slow degrees to be the most brilliant and accomplished debater the world ever saw." There was nothing strained or unnatural in his most vehement bursts of passion, "his feeling," says Coleridge, "was all intellect, and his intellect was ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... of irony came over me; that desire to say what one really does not believe (a feminine trait), and I replied: "Are both those articles necessary to any one? A sleeve?—well, one must be clothed. But a heart?—a cumbrous thing, as ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... pluck it, resentfully, equally as much awry on the right; and then, to punish the offending and displacing hand, he would commence gnawing off the nails of his fingers, rich with the moisture from above. We have recorded this little personal trait, because it may be valuable to the gentleman's future biographers; and also because it is a convincing proof to the illiterate and the leveller, that head-work is not such easy, sofa-enjoyed labour, as is commonly supposed; and, finally, ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... of strange whims and idiosyncrasies that almost baffle description. Together with his strong individuality, he possessed a trait which made many enemies and ultimately proved his undoing. I refer to his uncontrollable desire to contradict and to antagonize. It was simply impossible to find a subject upon which he and anyone else could agree. There were, however, extenuating circumstances. "Chill penury," ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... whether Mr. Welland is still alive: he probably, better than anyone, could give some sketch of his intellectual growth, and of that beautiful trait in his character, the devotion and abnegation he showed o poor Bruce[3] in ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... been well," says F. Brenan, "for the archbishop himself, and for those immediately under his jurisdiction, had he abstained from mixing himself up with the state affairs of those times. Ambition formed no inferior trait in the character of Alexander, even long before he had been exalted to a high dignity in the Church. He advanced rapidly into power, stepping from one office into another, until at length he found himself in the midst of the labyrinth, without being able to make his way, unless by ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... however, and a perfect gentleman as regards cats—a very desirable trait in an animal belonging to Toni, who loved all cats and would certainly have quarrelled with any dog who waged war upon the ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... particular trait of character had always prevented her from succeeding on that point. She could not bear ennui nor constraint, nor had she any vanity. She was positive and impassioned, in the manner of the men of wealth to whom their meditated—upon combinations serve to assure the conditions of ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... "thieves and liars," and then asked them, "Is it not true?" Imagining, doubtless, that he was declaiming their praises, the enthusiastic assemblage responded, "Si! si!" (Yes! yes!) Not a crime so gross, nor a trait of character so degraded, but he laid it to their charge, receiving always the same vehement response, ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... characteristic trait in Indian character. On a recent occasion when several bands of the Chippewas were at Washington to negotiate a treaty with the United States, they had an interview with their Great Father the President. ...
— Minnesota and Dacotah • C.C. Andrews

... her head with an air of challenge as she said this, meeting his glance eye to eye: she looked strong and wilful all of a sudden, no longer girlish and submissive. And to the man who loved her, this trait of power and latent heroism added yet another to the many charms which he saw in her. Loyal to her country and to her king she would be loyal in all things—to husband, ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... that in the picture of the philosophers of the future, some trait suggests the question whether they must not perhaps be skeptics in the last-mentioned sense, something in them would only be designated thereby—and not they themselves. With equal right they might call themselves critics, and assuredly ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... Note the introduction, a characteristic of all of Fannie Hurst's stories. What purpose does it serve here? What trait of Gertie's is brought out? Is ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... dans leur place originaire, mais encore qu'il ne sont arrives la par aucune des causes naturelles qui agissent dans les montagnes; savoir, la pesanteur, la pente, et le cours des eaux. Ce sont donc de violentes explosions qui ont disperse ces blocs; et alors ils deviennent un nouveau trait cosmologique de quelque importance: car rien ne se meut, ni ne paroit s'etre mu depuis bien des siecles, dans ces lieux qui montrent tant de desordre: un tapis de verdure couvre tout, en conservant les contours baroques du sol. Le betail ne sauroit paturer dans de telles prairies; mais l'industrieux ...
— Theory of the Earth, Volume 1 (of 4) • James Hutton

... A characteristic trait in Miss Mitchell was her aversion to receiving unsolicited advice in regard to her private affairs. "A suggestion is an impertinence," she would often say. The following anecdote shows how she ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... believed incurable, and while he was still going about her with gloved hands, as it were, she was ready to throw herself into the arms of the first likely man she met. He could not help himself: in this connection, every little trait in her that was uncongenial to him, started up with appalling distinctness. Hitherto, he had put it down to his own sensitiveness; he was over-nice. But for the most part, he had forgiven her on account of all she had come through; for he believed that this grief had swept destructively through ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... 15 Where must I place you? When I think that once This roomfull of rough block-work seemed my heaven Without you! Shall I ever work again, Get fairly into my old ways again, Bid each conception stand while, trait by trait, 20 My hand transfers its lineaments to stone? Will my mere fancies live near you, their truth— The live truth, passing and repassing me, Sitting beside me? Now speak! Only first, See, all your letters! ...
— Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning • Robert Browning

... when Eve puts on her state Of gold and purple in the marbled west, Thou comest forth like some embodied trait, Or dim conceit, a lily-bud confessed; Or, of a rose, the visible wish; that, white, Goes softly messengering through the night, Whom each expectant ...
— Weeds by the Wall - Verses • Madison J. Cawein

... offering at the same time an apology for what had happened. He returned in the evening seemingly reconciled, nor was a word mentioned of the incident which had occurred in the former part of the day; yet in his countenance remained a perfect remembrance of it, without one trait of compassion for his ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... trait in one connected with a pawnshop, that is also reputed to be a fence, to show surprise or curiosity. So Isaac's reply was confined to a few facts and ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... gives a very different account of his own tribe or race from that which is given by other people. He is much addicted to overestimating his own perfections, and to undervaluing those of his rival or his enemy; a trait which may possibly be thought corroborative of the Mosaic account ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... the succession to Maupertuis as president of the Academy of Berlin. Although, however, he declined to accept the post, he enjoyed all its authority and prerogative. Frederick always consulted him in filling up vacancies and making appointments. It is a magnanimous trait in D'Alembert's history that he should have procured for Lagrange a position and livelihood at Berlin, warmly commending him as a man of rare and superior genius, although Lagrange had vigorously opposed some of his own mathematical theories. Ten ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... was an enigma to him. In vain he endeavored to pierce the meaning of the youth's eyes, but their gaze was enigmatic and veiled. Racah had ever exhibited a certain aloofness of character, and as he grew older this trait became intensified; the riddle of his life had forced itself upon him, and he vainly wrestled with it. Music drew him as iron filings to the magnet, or as the tentacles of an octopus carry to its parrot-shaped beak its victim. It was monstrous, he abhorred ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... formed some nebulous hypothesis of vulgarity was evidenced by his whimsical hope that her prevailing atmosphere would not be musk; aggressive perfumery of some sort seemed inevitable. He found himself wondering what trait in her father had led him to this deduction, and drifted idly about in the haze of heredity until the whistle of the locomotive warned him to withdraw his feet from their elevation and betake himself to the platform. Half a minute later the engine panted onward and the young man ...
— The Wizard's Daughter and Other Stories • Margaret Collier Graham

... and it will be more so from now on to the end of the world. If such terrible crimes do not move you to lament and complain, do not permit yourself to be led astray by your rank, station, good works at prayer: there is no Christian vein or trait in you, however righteous you may be. But it has all been foretold, that when God's anger is greatest and Christendom suffers the greatest need, then petitioners and supplicants before God shall not be found, as Isaiah ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... was more struck by the general absence of anything like the griminess which we commonly associate with mines and mining among his fellows, whom I found still at work around the pits. M. Guary told me that this is a characteristic trait of the Anzin miners. In the buildings attached to each pit there is a large hall, called the miner's hall, where the men meet when they go down to and come up from their underworld. There each man has a box, under lock ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... his advice. The king swore not to hand him over to the princes; so Jeremiah promised that if Sedekiah would give himself up to the Chaldeans he and his house would be spared and the city saved. The king—it is another credible trait in this weak character—feared that the Chaldeans would deliver him to the mockery of those Jews who had already deserted to them. Jeremiah sought to reassure him, again urged him to surrender, and then burst out with the vision—an extraordinarily interesting phase ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... in the universal self-interest. That's the trait of human nature which we have in mind when we speak of enlightenment. The aim of practical Radicalism is to instruct men's selfishness. Astonishing how capable it is of being instructed! The mistake of the Socialist lies in his crediting men with far too much ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... approach to haughtiness, neither was I boastful or forward, as far as I know; but I delighted to model my own character according to the standard set forth in my foolish books, and by the contemplation of them I hoped to succeed. I loved to mark in others a mean, ungenerous, selfish, or malicious trait, and to contrast with it my own high-flown notions of the opposite qualities. My memory was well stored with fine sentiments concerning human dignity, honor, virtue, and so forth; and while secretly applying them—for ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... an element of uncertainty in the air. Thad had been curious to explore this island before; and now that he had seen signs of others having landed, he began to feel doubly anxious. Perhaps it was the "call of the wild" in his composition; or possibly he had inherited some trait bordering on a love of adventure, handed down from some remote ancestor who may have roamed ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... trumpet and a gun. He liked to march about to noise, and this noise he was pleased to make himself—to blow his own trumpet. The family wrote to Uncle Benjamin, the poet, then in England, in regard to this unpromising trait, and the good man returned the following ...
— True to His Home - A Tale of the Boyhood of Franklin • Hezekiah Butterworth

... And, instead of Dearest Miss, Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss, And those forms of old admiring, Call her Cockatrice and Siren, Basilisk, and all that's evil, Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil, Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor, Monkey, Ape, and twenty more; Friendly Trait'ress, loving Foe,— Not that she is truly so, But no other way they know A contentment to express, Borders so upon excess, That they do not rightly wot Whether it ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... all is changed. Perhaps, under my eyes, in the twinkling of an eye, one trait springs ...
— Bits About Home Matters • Helen Hunt Jackson

... the famous song of Amina, the happy village-bride about to be married on the morrow to her lover—the tenor of course. The Diva sang it admirably, and acted it equally well. The purest girlish innocence was expressed in every trait of her features and manifested itself in every gesture and every movement. The perfect, trusting, happy love of a fresh and innocent heart could have ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... harshly but said nothing—taciturnity was his one redeeming trait. "Did you say cigars?" he asked, pushing a box across the bar to an impatient customer. Another beckoned to him and he leaned over to hear the whispered request, a frown struggling to show itself on his face. "Nix; you know my rule. No ...
— Bar-20 Days • Clarence E. Mulford

... him"; that is to say, he has recently risen into high life, and acquired highbred notions; he must be fastidious like his fellow-travelers; he dare not be pleased with what pleased the vulgar tastes of his youth. He is unconsciously illustrating the trait so humorously satirized by him in Bill Tibbs, the shabby beau, who can find "no such dressing as he had at Lord Crump's or Lady Crimp's"; whose very senses have grown genteel, and who no longer "smacks at wretched wine or praises detestable custard." A lurking thorn, too, ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... claim that our pupils have accomplished wonders; yet, considering that they belong to the average, having had no previous opportunities, the results are very gratifying indeed. The most important thing they have acquired—a rare trait with ordinary school children—is the love of study, the desire to know, to be informed. They have learned a new method of work, one that quickens the memory and stimulates the imagination. We make a particular effort to awaken the child's interest in his surroundings, ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... most original of Grecian philosophers, whose uninspired wisdom made the nearest approach to the divine morality of the Gospel." As observed by PROFESSOR TYLER of Amherst College, "The consciousness of a divine mission was the leading trait in his character and the main secret of his power. This directed his conversations, shaped his philosophy, imbued his very person, and controlled his life. This was the power that sustained him in view of approaching ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... corporeal trait; they had never known a corset! so they were straight as javelins; they could lift their hands above their heads!—actually! Their supple persons moved as Nature intended; every gesture ...
— Christie Johnstone • Charles Reade

... give systematic attention to the cleanliness of the men; but it is remarked that they rarely enforced the washing of the feet, and not always of the head and neck." I wish Mr. Olmstead had added that they never enforced the cutting of the hair. No single trait has been so decidedly disadvantageous to the appearance of the American army as the long, uncombed, rough locks of hair which the men have appeared so loath to abandon. In reading the above one cannot but think of the condition ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... ludicrous or burlesque.[43] In the former case, the transition may have the effect of softening or elevating, while, in the latter, it almost invariably shocks;—for the same reason, perhaps, that a trait of pathos or high feeling, in comedy, has a peculiar charm; while the intrusion of comic scenes into tragedy, however sanctioned among us by habit and authority, rarely fails to offend. The noble poet was, himself, convinced of the failure of the experiment, and in none of the succeeding Cantos of ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... allied both to Louis XI., through his brother, Pierre, Seigneur de Beaujeu, who had married the king's eldest daughter, and to Charles the Bold through his mother, Agnes of Burgundy. Now, the dominating trait, the peculiar and distinctive trait of the character of the Primate of the Gauls, was the spirit of the courtier, and devotion to the powers that be. The reader can form an idea of the numberless embarrassments which this double relationship ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... king's madness passed away and health and reason were restored to him. And if the words that Daniel puts into the king's mouth on his recovery are really his, we must recognize in this Eastern Despot a decided strain of religious sensibility, a trait that appears beside in his almost passionate expressions of affection for his god Merodach, and in his sympathy with Daniel and the youths who were his companions, in their own religious devotion. Although Daniel and the other youths whom the king had caused to be called out ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... uttered his strange cry—the one Gale considered involuntary, or else significant of some tribal trait or feeling. It was incomprehensible, but no one could have doubted its potency. Yaqui pointed down the lava slope, pointed with finger and arm and neck and head—his whole body was instinct with direction. His whole being seemed to have been animated and then frozen. His posture could ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... inhabitants, including the clams. And yet it was remarkable how many of the latter were mere empty shells when Ham finished his breakfast that morning. He preferred them roasted, and his mother-in-law had not forgotten that trait in his character. ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... of implements, not weapons, of iron—a remarkable trait of culture. Greek ploughs and axes were made of iron before spears and ...
— Homer and His Age • Andrew Lang

... the transient side of manners. If, on the contrary, we are polite from an inward conviction that politeness is one of the forms of love to the neighbor, and because we believe that in being polite we are performing a duty that our neighbor has a right to claim from us, and because politeness is a trait that we love for its own inherent beauty, our manners belong to the substance of our Character,—they are not its garment, but its skin; and this is the permanent side of manners. Such manners will be ours in death, and afterwards, no less ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... is not solely the parents'; they may share it with a considerable group. Many a defective obviously owes his condition to some remote ancestor, "to the third or fourth generation," as the old Scripture said; and many a charming trait, for which the immediate parents would like to take credit, is really a gift from ...
— The Family and it's Members • Anna Garlin Spencer

... look back on the inertia of your Church, and the intrusive and decisive heroism of Damien, with something almost to be called remorse. I am sure it is so with yourself; I am persuaded your letter was inspired by a certain envy, not essentially ignoble, and the one human trait to be espied in that performance. You were thinking of the lost chance, the past day; of that which should have been conceived and was not; of the service due and not rendered. Time was, said the voice in your ear, in your pleasant room, as you sat raging and writing; and if the words written ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... know of Joliet, there is nothing that reveals any salient or distinctive trait of character, any especial breadth of view or boldness of design. He appears to have been simply a merchant, intelligent, well educated, courageous, hardy, and enterprising. Though he had renounced the priesthood, he retained his partiality for the Jesuits; and it is more than probable ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... the future, he began to yield to the promptings of ambition, a trait which had no mean place in his character. "If Mara denies her love, and sacrifices herself to Bodine," he reasoned, "what is there left for me but to make the most of my life by attaining power and influence? I can only put pleasures and excitements ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... to kiss. Lucien was slender and of middle height. From a glance at his feet, he might have been taken for a girl in disguise, and this so much the more easily from the feminine contour of the hips, a characteristic of keen-witted, not to say, astute, men. This is a trait which seldom misleads, and in Lucien it was a true indication of character; for when he analyzed the society of to-day, his restless mind was apt to take its stand on the lower ground of those diplomatists who hold that success justifies the use of ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... Dean and Troop "C" were held in camp awaiting orders for special service, and no orders came. "Old Pecksniff" had an eye for pretty girls, a trait by no means rare in soldiers old or young, and prettier girls than Pappoose and Jessie he had never met. Mrs. Stevens was accordingly bidden to invite them to luncheon that very day, and Dean and Loomis were of the party, as were other young people of the post, and, despite the rising ...
— Warrior Gap - A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68. • Charles King

... day or the weather. They rejoice in the coming of each morning; they are sorrowful with the advent of each evening. They echo the distress of their kind in a readier way than any other forms. He is indeed a poor naturalist who overlooks this trait; for however deeply he may have delved, he has not won the jewel unless he appreciates this element of an unending joy which the bird-life continually offers him. From that life we may well believe that man is hereafter to derive some great ...
— Domesticated Animals - Their Relation to Man and to his Advancement in Civilization • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... itself, and it is a very marked trait in his character, but it gains a wonderful pathos when we remember that this infinite taking of pains was done in a losing battle with blindness. There is a constantly increasing succession of references in the Diary to his failing eyesight and his ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... what did he do? HE COPIED OUT PAINSTAKINGLY THE ENTIRE PAPER IN LONG HAND, embodying the corrections as he went along, and presented the result of his work the following morning. At the very least such a task must have occupied several hours. How can such a trait—and scores of similar experiences could be given—be explained except by the fact that, evidently, he felt the need of special schooling in industry—that under no circumstances must he allow a thought of indolence to ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... 'Come,' said he, (throwing down the pole,) 'YOU shall take it now;' which I accordingly did, and being a fresh man, soon made the cat tumble over the cascade. This may be laughed at as too trifling to record; but it is a small characteristick trait in the Flemish picture which I give of my friend, and in which, therefore I mark the most minute particulars. And let it be remembered, that Aesop at play is one of ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... said Terry, "that I've seen a horse draw a cart, but I niver before saw a cart drawing a horse." There was one trait in the character of the boy which pleased me much; he was very grateful for any little act of kindness. He often got into difficulties with the family, owing to his rashness and want of consideration, and I often succeeded in smoothing down for him many rough ...
— The Path of Duty, and Other Stories • H. S. Caswell

... he gives is as calm and unimpassioned, and as free from any trait of this kind, as the narratives of the evangelists. Thus riding and talking, we at last arrived at ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... nothing to the lace I had just seen falling on the floor. When we descended it was twilight. Ann said she must study, and left us by the parlor fire. Adelaide lighted a candle, and took a novel, which she read reclining on a sofa. Reclining on sofas, I discovered, was a family trait, though they were all in a state of the most robust health, with the exception of Mr. Somers. I walked up and down the rooms. "They were fine once," said Ben, who appeared from a dark corner, "but faded now. Mother never ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... the morning, and Annette, as was the habit of the Metis women, had about her shoulders a blanket of Indian red and Prussian blue. [Footnote: It is customary for Metis women, even the most coquettish and pretty of them, to wear blankets; and the hideous "fashion" is the chief barbaric trait which they inherit from their wild ancestry. Annette, of course, donned the robe under a mental protest. E.C.] Captain Stephens had gone abroad upon the prairie in the morning, and with his pistol shot a pair of chickens. These he handed to Annette ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... my feet. It does not know that a sick conscience is a characteristic trait of all slaves. It is the universal self-accuser. Were the people—individually and collectively—to sin on a grand scale, were they to refuse to be the puppets of the man-made idols—were that to happen, masters and slaves ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 4, June 1906 - Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature • Various

... being a perfect woman, had sundry small faults; she was proud, after a certain fashion of her own; slightly sentimental, which is rather a failing than a fault; but her worst trait was a brooding, fault-seeing, persevering tact at making herself miserable, scarce ever equalled. The smallest bit of vantage-ground was enough for a start, and on that foundation Lizzy took but a few hours of suspicion ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... bane of self-consciousness; not least among her graces—and rare enough to be notable—was the grace of her chivalrous affection for the older generation. In Tara's eyes, girls who patronised their mothers and tolerated their fathers were anathema. It was a trait certain to impress Roy's Rajput cousin; and Broome wondered whether Helen was alive to the disturbing possibility; whether, for all her genuine love of the East, ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... quaint idiom, would set up a train of ideas ultimately resulting, after much meditative elaboration, in a Mrs. Gamp or a Dick Swiveller. The process is not dissimilar, one imagines, from that by which the artist evolves a character sketch: with this difference, that whereas a solitary trait, accidentally revealed, was to Dickens sufficient foundation upon which to construct his fanciful portrait, such studies of types as Frank Reynolds excels in must be the outcome, not of one "thing seen," but of reiterated ...
— Frank Reynolds, R.I. • A.E. Johnson

... subject before you can say another word. Their anxiety, whenever we had occasion to inquire our way, to guard us from the remotest chance of missing it, and the honest pride with which they told us all about local sights and marvels, formed a very pleasant trait in the general character. Wherever we went, we found the natural kindness and natural hospitality of the people always ready ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins

... sympathy for Philip came over her—sympathy being a recently developed trait of Jemima's. She saw him suddenly as a piteous figure, even more piteous than her listless young sister, who would, after all, revive like a thirsty flower with the first draft of love that came to her reaching roots. Her mother had ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... also a morbid belief in the power of money—he probably would have agreed that "every man has his price," and his simoniacal dealings with William Rufus, which procured his preferment to Norwich, afford evidence of this weak trait in ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Norwich - A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Episcopal See • C. H. B. Quennell

... realize that, in order to get, they must give. In order to be loved, they must themselves love. Now you start right in and love the whole world, love everybody, big and little. And, as you love people, try to see only their perfection. Never look at a bad trait, nor a blemish of any sort. Try it. In a week's time you will be a ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... It was very like his uncle's houseboat; it was exceedingly like—it was identical. But for two circumstances, he could have sworn it was the same. The first, that his uncle had gone to Maidenhead, might be explained away by that flightiness of purpose which is so common a trait among the more than usually manly. The second, however, was conclusive: it was not in the least like Mr Bloomfield to display a banner on his floating residence; and if he ever did, it would certainly be dyed in hues of emblematical propriety. ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... rate, "Dodd" was a wayward boy from the first, a typical preacher's son. He was rebellious, belligerent, and naturally deceitful. This last trait, matched with a vivid imagination, made him a great liar as soon as he grew old enough to use the two faculties at the same time. In this regard, however, he was not so wonderfully unlike a great many other people. He had ...
— The Evolution of Dodd • William Hawley Smith

... why I've kept my daughter so long at boarding-school," resumed Mr. Melbury, looking up from the letter which he was reading anew by the fire, and turning to them with the suddenness that was a trait in him. "Hey?" he asked, with affected shrewdness. "But you did, you know. Well, now, though it is my own business more than anybody else's, I'll tell ye. When I was a boy, another boy—the pa'son's ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... him, to be with his brother;—and arrived dead, or in the article of death. That was another scene Ernst August had to witness in his life. I suspect him at present of a thought that M. de la Bergerie, with his pious commonplaces, is likely to do no good. Other trait of Ernst August's life; or of the Schloss of Hanover that night,—or where the sorrowing old Mother sat, invincible though weeping, in some neighboring room,—I cannot give. M. de la Bergerie continues ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... this company (the Rockbridge Battery). For several months before his death I was his messmate and bedfellow, and was able to note more fully the tone of earnest piety that pervaded his words and actions. He was unselfish, modest, and uniformly kind and considerate to all. If there was one trait in him more striking than others, it was his calm, earnest, trustful demeanor in time of battle, resulting, I believe, from his abiding trust in the providence and love of God. Many fine young men have been removed by death from this company, yet I do ...
— The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson • Edward A. Moore

... inexperienced as I was, the manner in which he discussed the subject and encouraged me, and the respect with which he listened to my arguments, that surprised and delighted me. I left him, feeling an elation of spirit, a glow of pride, a confidence in myself, as new as it was unexpected. It is a fine trait in Scotchmen that, deeply respecting themselves, they respect others. Difference of class or position does not count much with them in comparison with ...
— Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland • Joseph Tatlow

... persons—himself, his wife, and a son, Ezekiel, familiarly known as Zeke, now sixteen years old. The leading family trait was meanness. ...
— The Young Musician - or, Fighting His Way • Horatio Alger

... father votes for you. And her mother says to her son, 'Let the old man alone. Conscience is all that is well alive in him; and he thinks if he were to vote against the Blues, he would sin against honour.' 'An electioneering prejudice,' some sceptics would say. But you must be touched by this trait of human nature,—in her father, too,—you, Audley Egerton, who are the soul of ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... many interesting recollections bound up with the memory of this intelligent and original woman. Most of them are associated in my mind with my father's stories about her. He could always catch and unravel any interesting psychological trait, and these traits, which he would mention incidentally, stuck firmly in my mind. He used to tell, for instance, how Agafya Mikhailovna complained to ...
— Reminiscences of Tolstoy - By His Son • Ilya Tolstoy

... a Chinese, on the back of a pony not more than eleven hands high, sitting as usual with his paraphernalia lashed to the back of the animal. He laughed at me because I was not riding, whilst I tried to solve the problem of that indefinable trait of Chinese nature which leads able-bodied men with sound feet to sit on these little brutes up those terrible mountain sides. Some parts of this spur were much steeper than the roof of a house—as perpendicular as can be imagined—but still this man held on all the way. ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... hospitality which is so marked a trait among our North American Indians had its source in a law, the invariable practice of which has had a marked effect in retarding the acquisition by the Indian of the virtue of providence. As is well known, ...
— Indian Linguistic Families Of America, North Of Mexico • John Wesley Powell

... always appeared remarkable. The modest, shrinking, simple Christian statesman and friend always appeared in him. And the nearer you approached him, the more his habit of mind obviously appeared to be modest and lowly. His charity in judging of others, is a farther trait of his Christian character. Of his benevolence I need not speak, but his kind construction of doubtful actions, his charitable language toward those with whom he most widely differed, his thorough forgetfulness ...
— An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism - With reference to the duty of American females • Catharine E. Beecher

... fear never met. The solitary fear he knew was fear of himself, and lest he might not live for good as the bishop had bidden him; but fear from without had never crossed his path. His was the bravery of conscience. His strength was prodigious, and he scrupled not to use it. Self-sparing was no trait of his character. Like another hero we have read of, he would "gladly spend and be spent" for others, and bankrupt himself, if thereby he might make others rich. There is a physical courage, brilliant as a shock of armies, which feels the conflict and leaps to it as the storm-waves leap ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... 1770-1830. They are deeply interested in political, scientific, and religious speculations in aesthetic questions only superficially, if at all Shelley, with the tap-roots of his emotions striking deep into politics and philosophy, is only an extreme instance of a national trait, which was unusually prominent in the early part of the nineteenth century owing to the state of our insular politics at the time though it must be admitted that English artists of all periods have an inherent tendency to moralise which has sometimes been a ...
— Shelley • Sydney Waterlow

... first the Russian had exhibited every trait of his true character—selfishness, boorishness, arrogance, cowardice, and lust. Twice had he and Clayton come to blows because of Thuran's attitude toward the girl. Clayton dared not leave her alone with him for an instant. The ...
— The Return of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... birth, he hated '93 by instinct; but of a philosophical temperament and liberal by education, he loathed tyranny with an inoffensive and declamatory hatred. The strongest, and at the same time the weakest, trait in his character was his generosity; a generosity which had not enough arms to caress, to give, to embrace; the generosity of a creator which was utterly devoid of system, and to which he gave way with no attempt to ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893



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