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Constraint   /kənstrˈeɪnt/   Listen
Constraint

noun
1.
The state of being physically constrained.  Synonym: restraint.
2.
A device that retards something's motion.  Synonym: restraint.
3.
The act of constraining; the threat or use of force to control the thoughts or behavior of others.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Constraint" Quotes from Famous Books



... much: I see them just enough to keep up sociability, without any necessary constraint; for I attend the tea-table only at my own hour, and they come, or not, according to chance or their ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madam D'Arblay Volume 2 • Madame D'Arblay

... perhaps to conceal the faint constraint that was upon them, for a meeting between former comrades has its difficulties when one is a man and the other a woman, and the bond between them ...
— The Cattle-Baron's Daughter • Harold Bindloss

... a certain constraint appeared to have arisen between Evie and myself. I told myself that the idea was foolish, and yet I knew that it was not so. Mind, I had not the slightest doubt as to the strength of Evie's love for me. She expressed it clearly, yet there was something drawing us apart, ...
— The Motor Pirate • George Sidney Paternoster

... young passions, and, in the excitement of disgust and surprise, 'told their evil report.' No doubt, his brothers had been unwilling enough to be embarrassed by his presence, for there is nothing that wild young men dislike more than the constraint put on them by the presence of an innocent youth; and when they found out that this 'milk-sop' of a brother was a spy and a telltale, their wrath blazed up. So Joseph had early experience of the shock which meets ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers • Alexander Maclaren

... not that one should acquiesce in what is wrong here, but one ought not to be surprised at it. Public opinion, the constraint of law, hereditary notions, are more effective in preventing the outbreak of evil passions into criminal acts in very many cases and ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... independence. By subjecting to invariable rules even the slightest actions of their domestic life, they have been rendered stupid by the effort to render them obedient. Their subsistence is in general more certain, and their habits more pacific, but subject to the constraint and the dull monotony of the government of the Missions, they show by their gloomy and reserved looks that they have not sacrificed their liberty to ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... Evidently I am a constraint to them and they are a constraint to me. I have never in my earlier days had a close knowledge of class antagonism, but now I am tormented by something of that sort. I am on the lookout for nothing but bad qualities in Gnekker; I quickly find them, and am fretted at ...
— The Wife and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... a headache, mother," Macleod said, eager to account beforehand for any possible constraint in her manner. "Shall we send for ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... a body of people whose experience of Christ's pity and gratitude for the life which has become theirs through His wondrous making Himself one with them, compels them to do the like in their degree for the sinful and the outcast. Thank God, there are many in every communion who know that constraint of the love of Christ. But the world will not be healed of its sickness till the great body of Christian people awakes to feel that the task and honour of each of them is to go forth bearing Christ's pity certified by ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... means of it, Congress was withholding funds essential for military and civil purposes until the President should assent to legislation totally unconnected with the appropriations. He felt himself being threatened and driven by a hostile legislature. For the President to give way before such constraint would be to lose the veto power and to destroy the independence of the executive as a branch of the government. The Democrats were unable to muster force enough to overrule the veto, and here the matter ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... fury and shame of the offender melted away under the balm of these honeyed words, and, laughing loudly but with some constraint, he tossed off to his host a cup of the ...
— The Lion's Brood • Duffield Osborne

... between his mother's words and Hilda's, which was not so easily explained, and the coincidence was oddly in harmony with the oppressive constraint that had reigned at Greifenstein during the vacation. Greif could not help thinking very seriously of it all, as he drove rapidly through the forest to the railway station; so seriously indeed, that he at last shook himself with a movement of impatience, ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... of policed societies are a violation offered to nature, and a constraint upon the human mind, it needs only to look upon the sanguinary measures, and instruments of violence, which are everywhere used to support them. Let us take a review of the dungeons, whips, chains, racks, gibbets, with which every society is abundantly ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... possession of the harbor and forts, ordered the surrender of all British goods in the hands of the inhabitants, and laid a general embargo upon the shipping, among which were many Americans. In Lower Italy, the Papal States and Naples underwent the same restrictions. Prussia yielded under obvious constraint, and Austria acceded from motives of policy, distinguishable in form only from direct compulsion. Russia, as already said, had joined immediately after decisive defeat in the field. The co-operation of the United States, the second maritime nation in the world, was vital to the general plan. Could ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 1 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... Grey was rushing in a turbulent torrent of water. It roared as it went, and leaped up angrily at the rocks on either side, foaming and bubbling, swirling into small whirlpools, as if in an impotent passion at the constraint. ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... came and went, no doubt, in gusts, yet all through he seems to have felt that sense that here was a door into that great watching world beyond—that here, in what is supposed by the world to be the narrow constraint of religion, was a liberty and an outlook into realities such as the open road and nature can but seldom give. But for my part, I can no more follow him further than I can write down the passion of the lover and ...
— None Other Gods • Robert Hugh Benson

... it is that form and ceremony should not always inhabit a palace. The rooms are not furnished for society, and, in fact, society cannot flourish without ease; and who can feel at ease who is under the eternal constraint which etiquette and respect impose? The King was in good looks and good spirits, and after dinner cut his jokes with all the coarse merriment which is his characteristic. Lord Wellesley did not seem to like ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... lay down to sleep and thought of the day just past, she raised her head from the pillow in astonishment and looked around. For the first time in her life she was in the house of a stranger, and she did not experience the least constraint. Her mind dwelt solicitously on Nikolay. She had a distinct desire to do the best she could for him, and to introduce more warmth into his lonely life. She was stirred and affected by his embarrassed awkwardness and droll ignorance, and smiled to herself with a sigh. Then ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... That curious constraint which had fallen upon Jimmy in the road came to him again, now, as sobering as a blow. Something which he could not define had changed the atmosphere. Suddenly in an instant, like a shallow stream that runs babbling over the stones into some broad, still ...
— The Gem Collector • P. G. Wodehouse

... to legislate in regard to them because it was unwilling to go through the throes of controversy which a decision upon them involved. Combined with this aversion to controversy, there exists an evangelical [?] impatience of legal constraint, which impels men to act upon principle rather than by rule." "It has already been stated that the Tennessee Synod is unique among the synods constituting the United Synod in having rules against pulpit- and altar-fellowship and secret societies; ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... remarkable of the Spartans, that of all Greek tribes they were the most facile and numerous delinquents under all varieties of foreign temptations to revolt from their hereditary allegiance—a fact which measures the degree of unnatural constraint and tension which the Spartan usages involved; but in this case we rather account for the public outrage to religion and universal usage, by a strong political jealousy lest the provisions of the treaty should transpire prematurely amongst ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... cares, they might still have come to a good old age with more than average happiness, and more than the common run of love. Patience in dutiful enduring brings a sure reward: and marriage, however irksome a constraint to the foolish and the gay, is still so wise an ordinance, that the most ill-assorted couple imaginable will unconsciously grow happy, if they only remain true to one another, and will learn the wisdom always to hope ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... said Laura, starting up, and laughing, with a slight degree of constraint, which caused Amy, who was helping her to dress, to exclaim, 'Has anything ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... madness is it, without any constraint or needful cause, to incur so horrible a danger, to rush upon a curse; to defy that vengeance, the least touch of breath whereof can dash us to nothing, or thrust us down into ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... stiff with constraint, and just then Sir Donald Ulford, in his progress round the walls, reached the sofa where they ...
— The Woman With The Fan • Robert Hichens

... one another, they smiled with an air of constraint, and then fell into the same heavy reverie as before, eating, answering questions, moving their limbs like machines. Amidst the idle lassitude of their minds, the same string of flying thoughts returned ceaselessly. ...
— Therese Raquin • Emile Zola

... She, too, felt the constraint of the situation, the impossibility of finding words that, after what had passed between them, should seem neither false nor heartless; and at last she exclaimed, standing up: "Poor little Juliet! Can't I ...
— Tales Of Men And Ghosts • Edith Wharton

... in Young's rhymed poems that the effect of a felicitous thought or image is not counteracted by our sense of the constraint he suffered from the necessities of rhyme—that "Gothic demon," as he afterward called it, "which, modern poetry tasting, became mortal." In relation to his own power, no one will question the truth of ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... Linda was aware of a sudden constraint. A woman volubly French had appeared with a long pinkish-white dog in a blanket, and the three Arabians—she had learned that much—had risen with a concerted expression of surprise and displeasure. Their anxiety, though, was no more dramatic than that of the dog's proprietor. The gesture of ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... ways, but especially in the systematized relations of the churches with one another and in their common relations with the civil government, the settled Nationalism of the great Puritan migration was illustrated. With the least possible constraint on the individual or on the church, they were clear in their purpose that their young state should ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... distinct note of constraint in Mrs. Curtis's voice as she said good-bye to Flora Harris. She was heartily disgusted with the cavalier manner which the officer's daughter had exhibited, and privately registered a vow that after the play she would invite Miss Harris ...
— Madge Morton's Secret • Amy D. V. Chalmers

... mind is ever impressed with admiration for persons of high birth, and I could, with the most perfect honesty, expatiate on Lord Errol's good qualities; but he stands in no need of my praise. His agreeable manners and softness of address prevented that constraint which the idea of his being Lord High Constable of Scotland might otherwise have occasioned. He talked very easily and sensibly with his learned guest. I observed that Dr Johnson, though he shewed that ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... present occasion, white and worn, not with her long vigil, but because it was "borne in upon her," as poor Joanna used to say, that her son and she must part for his own good: so soon as the spring should come she would bid him go. London, where all was prudence and constraint, was no place to win the bride she sought for him. He should go forth into the country, where even heiresses were still girls, and win her, as troubadour of old, but with sketch-book in hand instead of harp. Not a promising scheme, one might say; but then, what schemes for a young man's future, ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... any pleasure he took in it; especially when he was engaged upon some great work; for then he usually confined himself to a piece of bread, which he ate in the middle of his labour. However, for some time past, he has been living with more regard to health, his advanced age putting this constraint upon his natural inclination. Often have I heard him say: 'Ascanio, rich as I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man.' And this abstemiousness in food he has practised in sleep also; for ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... by the aid of Heaven, to put down such crime and tyranny, compelled to take vengeance; and so much and so far as God gives us power, grace and strength, will we chastise you by the edge of the sword and no longer abide such haughty oppression and constraint; and we hereby boldly proclaim, that, against you and your abettors, we will uphold our own honor and ...
— The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli • Johann Hottinger

... in that first act of 'Jim the Penman;' but the stage was vast in comparison with any on which I had until then appeared, and my customary business brought me only within half a dozen paces of the door-way by which I should have vanished. A sudden sense of strangeness and constraint came down upon me like a cloud. The happy feeling of confidence vanished in a whiff of chill spiritual wind. The last line was spoken before that unhappy half-dozen of paces was achieved; and I left the stage in a dead silence, ...
— The Making Of A Novelist - An Experiment In Autobiography • David Christie Murray

... from something that leaked out afterwards, and from the somewhat altered tone of Elsie's letters to me from the date of her leaving France to live with my mother; for, though affectionate enough, they had a certain little air of constraint about them, and though she spoke of various objects of interest to both of us, and of different persons whom she and I knew, and places she went to, she never by any chance ever mentioned herself, never after the letters she sent me containing ...
— The Ghost Ship - A Mystery of the Sea • John C. Hutcheson

... cannot bee prepared, but in this maner: and for that this nedeth not to be disputed of, I will not lese moche tyme: bicause al thensamples of auncient histores, make for my purpose, and for that thei alledge the lacke of experience, and to use constraint: I saie how it is true, that the lacke of experience, causeth lacke of courage, and constrainte, maketh evill contentacion: but courage, and experience thei are made to gette, with the maner of armyng theim, exercisyng, and orderyng theim, as in proceadyng ...
— Machiavelli, Volume I - The Art of War; and The Prince • Niccolo Machiavelli

... of my mind. When I had first removed into Mr. Falkland's family, the novelty of the scene rendered me cautious and reserved. The distant and solemn manners of my master seemed to have annihilated my constitutional gaiety. But the novelty by degrees wore off, and my constraint in the same degree diminished. The story I had now heard, and the curiosity it excited, restored to me activity, eagerness, and courage. I had always had a propensity to communicate my thoughts; my age was, of course, inclined ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... hunger because he is pleased to do so may likewise eat when he has a mind; and he who suffers thirst because he is willing may also drink when he pleases. But it is not in the power of him who suffers either of them through constraint and necessity to relieve himself by eating and drinking the moment he desires it? Besides, he that voluntarily embraceth any laborious exercise finds much comfort and content in the hope that animates him. Thus the fatigues of hunting discourage not the hunters, because they hope to ...
— The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates • Xenophon

... young man laid strong constraint upon himself and became calmer. When the sun began to approach the horizon he rose, and with an air of stern resolution, set about making various ...
— The Lonely Island - The Refuge of the Mutineers • R.M. Ballantyne

... received now. Secondly, his mother's place was occupied by a second wife, and an involuntary but strong prejudice possessed him against his step-mother. He was most agreeably disappointed in both respects. His father "received him as a man, as a friend, all constraint was banished at our first interview, and we ever after continued on the same terms of easy and equal politeness." So far the prospect was pleasant. But the step-mother remained a possible obstacle to all comfort at home. He seems to have regarded his father's ...
— Gibbon • James Cotter Morison

... in wage and price controls. A sincere commitment to voluntary constraint provides a way, perhaps the only way, to fight inflation ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... not enter his thoughts that the person, whom he so earnestly desired to see, stood before him. If the princess had followed the dictates of her inclination, she would have run to him, and, by embracing, discovered herself; but she put on herself a constraint, believing that it was for both their interests she should act the part of a king a little longer before making herself known. She contented herself for the present to put him into the hands of an officer who ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Volume 1 • Anonymous

... was agitated and faltered; the other broke out in invectives. The President said to him: "Sir, we are here the lawful authority and sole representatives of law and of right. We know that we cannot oppose to you material force, but we will leave this chamber only under constraint. We will not disperse. Seize us ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... father is the master without being a tyrant; the mother is a subject without being a slave; the children have not yet learned self-assertion in opposition to their parents: consequently, there is no constraint in family intercourse. The Seminole household is cheerful, its members are mutually confiding, and, in the Indian's way, ...
— The Seminole Indians of Florida • Clay MacCauley

... home to-morrow night, and I'd rather wait now until Saturday; that will be only one day longer, and it will be more fun with her along." Betty spoke brightly and tried to make herself feel that no momentous thing had happened. She hated the constraint of it. "By that time Peter Junior will think that he can go, too. He's so funny!" She laughed self-consciously, and carried the gingham aprons back to ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... a constraint fell upon them both, which each felt keenly and neither cared to explain away. "The Last Stand" was tacitly dismissed from their conversation, of which there grew less and less ...
— Chip, of the Flying U • B. M. Bower

... first of love is free, Tell him, not so; but, on the contrary, 'Tis all constraint, wherein no blame can be. History indeed attests this verity; It does not style the good coin falsified. Say, if thou wilt, the taste of pain is sweet, Or to be spurned by Fortune's flying feet; Of need or vengeance, ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume II • Anonymous

... neglect of soles, upon soils generally of clay, but here and there with patches of sand, into which the tiles must inevitably sink. When a person drains his own land, of course reason is the only constraint by which he can be withheld from doing as he likes with his own; or where a yearly tenant drains part of his farm at his own expense, the risk is exclusively his, and his landlord, who perhaps refuses to give any effectual aid, can have no right to dictate ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843 • Various

... constraint through the house, which Flora de Barral coming down somewhat later than usual could not help noticing in her own way. Everybody seemed to stare so stupidly somehow; she ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... continued John, 'it must be very trying; you don't see her to advantage, under constraint, but a few kind words will set ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... grandeur of conception, her tragic dignity, her glowing warmth and abandon rendered her worthy of the finest days of lyric tragedy. She was thoroughly dramatic; her movements and gestures were singularly noble, and her attitudes on the stage had classical breadth and largeness, without the least constraint. ...
— Great Singers, Second Series - Malibran To Titiens • George T. Ferris

... her head and dropped her lids in condescending recognition of the stranger's presence; and Mr. Ramy responded by an awkward bow. After the first moment of constraint a renewed sense of satisfaction filled the consciousness of the three women. The Bunner sisters were not sorry to let Miss Mellins see that they received an occasional evening visit, and Miss Mellins was clearly enchanted at the opportunity ...
— Bunner Sisters • Edith Wharton

... companion's face. She did not meet his look, and bore it with some uneasiness. In the minds of both was a memory which would have accounted for much more constraint between them than apparently existed. Six years ago, in the days of late summer, when Dyce Lashmar was spending his vacation at the vicarage, and Connie Bride was making ready to go out into the world, they had been wont to see a good deal of ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... looked his name. The rosiness was all departed from his cheeks; he quivered with suppressed wrath. "If I go—giving way to constraint—what shall you say to my ...
— The Lion's Skin • Rafael Sabatini

... brothers were then lodging together at a farm-house close abutting on the town. This was not an eligible abode for a medical practitioner; but the young doctor had not been able to settle himself eligibly since his father's death; and wishing to put what constraint he could upon his brother, had so located himself. To this farm-house came Roger Scatcherd one sultry summer evening, his anger gleaming from his bloodshot eyes, and his rage heightened to madness by the rapid pace at which he had ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... indifference, a fierce masculine nonchalance; and when, the next morning, she brought him his breakfast, he had been smitten dumb as soon as she entered the room, glueing his eyes upon his plate, his elbows close to his side, awkward, clumsy, overwhelmed with constraint. ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... nights, when the wind blew loud and strong, the old expression came into her face, and she would be seized with a fit of trembling, like one who had an ague. But Barnaby noted little of this; and putting a great constraint upon herself, she usually recovered her accustomed manner before the change had caught ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... childhood;—these last months in which I retained the delicious illusion of loving Bertha, of longing and doubting and hoping that she might love me. She behaved with a certain new consciousness and distance towards me after my brother's death; and I too was under a double constraint—that of delicacy towards my brother's memory and of anxiety as to the impression my abrupt words had left on her mind. But the additional screen this mutual reserve erected between us only brought me more completely under her power: no matter how empty the adytum, ...
— The Lifted Veil • George Eliot

... Her hands were destitute of any rings as Amherst soon discovered, and were fine and small though brown. While she made the coffee, Amherst threw himself down on the wonderful moss, the like of which he had never seen before and looked out over the water. An unmistakeable constraint had taken the place of the unaffected hilarity of the first ten minutes. A reaction had set in. Amherst could of course only answer to me in telling this for himself, but he divined at the time a change in ...
— Crowded Out! and Other Sketches • Susie F. Harrison

... wait for his enemy, but fell on him unexpectedly, an hour after nightfall in his own village. If I had really been insane during those two months, if some cloud had been on me, some demoniacal force dragging me on, the cloud and insanity vanished and the constraint was over in one moment, when that hellish enterprise was completed. It was the sight of an old woman, lying where she had been struck down, the fire of the blazing house lighting her wide-open glassy eyes and white hair dabbled in blood, ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... her toilet. Seated on her bed, Nancy brushed at her long, sleek hair, keeping it spread as a veil before her face. Dreda waited in vain for a glance of sympathy, or understanding, but it never came, even when Susan had crept softly from the room and the constraint of her presence was removed. Nancy finished brushing her hair, and rose to her feet in the lightest, most ...
— Etheldreda the Ready - A School Story • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... for the quick glance of alarm and enmity which the mountaineer cast upon him. It roused in him a certain constraint which he had not experienced earlier in their chance association. It caused him to remember that this was a lonely way and a wild country. He was an alien to the temper and sentiment of the people. He felt suddenly that sense of distance in mind and ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... passing in the mind of the other, she durst not ask his opinion. But, soon regaining her usual composure, she led the way to the dinner-table, where the meal that followed was partaken much as the one that preceded it,—in silence and mutual constraint, which was only relieved by an occasional forced, ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... would have been bashful enough under any circumstances, and particularly under Flora's insisting on her drinking a glass of wine and eating of the best that was there; but her constraint was greatly increased by Mr Pancks. The demeanour of that gentleman at first suggested to her mind that he might be a taker of likenesses, so intently did he look at her, and so frequently did he glance at the little note-book by his side. Observing that he ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... two things that are contrary to this which is called liberty in common speech. One is constraint; the same is otherwise called force, compulsion, and coaction; which is a person's being necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will. The other is restraint; which is his being hindered, and not having power to do according ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various

... her hand for his hat and stick. For an instant they both felt a deep constraint, and as he was getting out of his coat each wondered if the ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... withdrawn, and the noise in the hall prevented the judges from hearing him. The tumult was as great as possible in the hall, which hitherto had been so calm and silent. The public seemed to move, shout, and become clamorous, as a recompense for the constraint which ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... in the empty kitchen and ate a cold snack—at least, the women took seats, the men stood around and lunched on hunks of boiled beef and slices of bread. There was an air of constraint upon the male portion of the party not shared by Mrs. Gray and ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... triple bandage of town, caste, and union, the soul was cramped and bound. Character was suppressed by a secret constraint. The majority were brought up to it from childhood—had been for centuries: and they found it good: they would have thought it improper and unhealthy to go without these bandages. Their satisfied smiles gave no indication of the discomfort they might be feeling. ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... that she might be under some constraint put me in a ferment, and I resolved to ride to Penolver and see for myself how matters stood, and to let Vetch know that, even though I could not dispute his legal status, he would at least have me to reckon with if he subjected Lucy ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... had not failed to mark the air of constraint and dispirited lassitude which had characterized the Marchese during the commencement of their conversation. And he, as others had done, attributed it to the supposition that the Marchese was very rapidly growing old—likely enough, was breaking up. Nor did he ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... Charlie and Narcisse had sat and smoked until their tongues were dry and sore. It was a relief for them to smoke; not so much to kill time as to break the long awkward pauses in their conversation. Inwardly they had both decided that it was impossible any longer to bear the constraint that had ...
— A Lover in Homespun - And Other Stories • F. Clifford Smith

... was, outwardly lively and radiant, chatting with Lieutenant Preston, inwardly chafed at all this constraint, and wondering how it was Cousin Joe could stay ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... put a kind of constraint upon me to look upward too—at the top of the bed. It was a gloomy and not an interesting object, and I looked back at the picture. I counted the feathers in the man's hat—they stood out in relief—three white, two ...
— Stories By English Authors: France • Various

... by then, and manlike he swept the ashes to the floor. The girl watched him, politely disapproving. "I don't want to be a trouble," she said, with less of constraint; for Charming Billy, whether he knew it or not, had reassured her immensely. "I know men hate to cook, so when I get warm, and the water is hot, I'll cook supper for you," she offered. "And then I won't mind having you help ...
— The Long Shadow • B. M. Bower

... of Alencon were not at Court that day, the Chancellor related this strange business to the Regent,(15) mother of the King and the Duchess, and she sent in all haste for the Provost of Paris,(16) who made such speed that he at once seized the Proctor and his sorcerer, Gallery. Without constraint or torture they freely confessed their guilt, and their case was made out and laid ...
— The Tales Of The Heptameron, Vol. I. (of V.) • Margaret, Queen Of Navarre

... time now since she had met Archelaus out of doors, as he had several times half-coaxed, half-bullied her into doing. Now she felt a constraint with him she had not previously, as though there were some portent in the simple act of seeing her home there had never been before. She had, of course, flirted with him in a very innocent way, if her methods had been a little cruder than Blanche's would have under the ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... to believe, knew the disability which his temperament laid upon him. Yet he never made an effort to combat it, partly I think from pride, for he hated everything that savoured of earwigging; he was not going to put constraint upon himself that his following might be more enthusiastic. There was no make-believe about him, and he was never one who liked discussion for ...
— John Redmond's Last Years • Stephen Gwynn

... the burglar, and for the first time a certain constraint, amounting almost to embarrassment, was discernible in his manner, "my sister has no idea about—it would be a great shock to her—in fact, you understand, she has not discovered exactly how our money comes ...
— The Burglar and the Blizzard • Alice Duer Miller

... perhaps not. I don't say that it is. I do not wish to put the slightest constraint upon your feelings. If I did not have the most thorough dependence on your good sense and high principles, I should not speak to you in this way. But as I have, I thought it best to tell you that both Lady Lufton and I should be well pleased if we thought that you and ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... would be illogical to conclude that the constrained river can ever lower its flood slope so as to make levees unnecessary, but it is believed that, by this lateral constraint, the river as a conduit may be so improved in form that even those rare floods which result from the coincident rising of many tributaries will find vent without destroying levees of ordinary height. That the actual ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... possession of her features and person. One man alone remarked the Duchess, for he had never lost sight of her. Leaning against the door of the boudoir, his eye followed her wherever she went, and appeared to sympathize with all the constraint inflicted on her as mistress of the house. When, however, the Duchess thought she had paid sufficient personal attention, and was satisfied that the pleasures of the evening would be sustained without her, the man who examined her with such care, ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... under the constraint of this appeal, but it promised him a reluctant attention. Noting, however, by the wayside the fallen log on which they had rested a few evenings before, she went and sat down on it with a resigned grace ...
— Madame de Mauves • Henry James

... constraint he exercises, with what crushing weight his absolutism bears down on the most tried devotion and on the most pliable characters, with what excess he tramples on and wounds the best dispositions, up to what point he represses and stifles the respiration of the human being, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... Prince, that one ought to be tender of her reputation. It happened she received the news of her husband's death at the same time as she heard of the Duke's, so that she had that pretext to enable her to conceal her real sorrow, without being at the trouble of putting any constraint ...
— The Princess of Cleves • Madame de La Fayette

... whether of rhyme or similarly weighted syllables, which constitute the outward form of what we call verse, we have the careless grace of uneven, undulating sentences, flowing on with a rhythmic cadence indeed, but free from all constraint of metre or exactitude of form. It may be difficult, perhaps it is impossible, to fix the measure of license which a poet may allow himself in such matters, but it is at least certain that the greatest poets ...
— Froude's Essays in Literature and History - With Introduction by Hilaire Belloc • James Froude

... will forgive my constraint, and believe that it arises from no lack of appreciation of your magnanimity, but only springs from my own weakness; and asking your pardon for all unkindness of thought, word, or act in the past, ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... Persians and all the Medes, except those who were quartered with Cyaxares: these stayed behind, and their men with them. But all the rest went out with radiant faces and eager hearts, not following him from constraint, but offering willing service in their gratitude. [12] So, as soon as they were well afield, Cyrus went to the Medes and thanked them, praying that the gods in their mercy might guide them all, and that he himself might have power given him ...
— Cyropaedia - The Education Of Cyrus • Xenophon

... and Florence burst out laughing so merrily and so heartily that all constraint comes to an end, and finally Ethel and Ringwood, joining in the merriment that has been raised at their expense, volunteer a ...
— The Haunted Chamber - A Novel • "The Duchess"

... possibly the reason of their being Turks.—They are Turks, not from conviction, but from habit, spite, and the bile engendered by a too rigid and bigoted abstinence. In this belief, however, I do not concur, for I consider that a Turk is a Turk naturally, and without any further constraint than those imposed by the laws of geography ...
— Here are Ladies • James Stephens

... stiffness, in his carriage—a degree of measured, and, if I may so express it, of rectangular precision, attending his every movement, which, observed in a more diminutive figure, would have had the least little savor in the world, of affectation, pomposity or constraint, but which noticed in a gentleman of his undoubted dimensions, was readily placed to the account of reserve, hauteur—of a commendable sense, in short, of what is due to ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 4 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... if he would not define, could I know what things were and what were not worthy of his gentle and implacable judgment? I must needs judge them for myself, yet he constrained me in the judging. Within that constraint and under that stimulus, which seemed to touch the ultimate springs of thoughts before they sprang, I began to discern all things in literature and in life—in the chastity of letters and in the honour of life—that I ...
— The Rhythm of Life • Alice Meynell

... indistinctly, which sounded like, "Oh, all right;" then catching sight of Elsa's reproachful face, he seemed to put some constraint on himself, and, coming forward to his mother, kissed ...
— Great Uncle Hoot-Toot • Mrs. Molesworth

... eyes,—eyes that will sooner or later belong to absolute majesty. It was an awful bore, and I ought to have been at Vienna. You ask me why I did it. The fact is that things sometimes become too strong for one, even when there is no real power of constraint. For years past I have been used to have my own way, but when there came a question of the entertainment of royalty I found myself reduced to blind obedience. I had to go to Gatherum Castle, to the absolute neglect of my business; and ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... Lionel, he scarcely knew why, leaped to the conclusion that she was about to say something regarding the subject then agitating Deerham—the ghost of Frederick Massingbird. Unconsciously to himself, the pleasant manner changed to one of constraint. ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... means that the larger it is, the more insipid will be its tone. A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. Constraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom there is no riddance; and in proportion to the greatness of a man's individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices which all intercourse with others ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... sweet, Expiring shepherds at their feet; To silver meads and shady bowers, Dress'd up with amaranthine flowers. How great a change! how quickly made! They learn to call a spade a spade. They soon from all constraint are freed; Can see each other do their need. On box of cedar sits the wife, And makes it warm for dearest life; And, by the beastly way of thinking, Find great society in stinking. Now Strephon daily entertains His Chloe in the homeliest ...
— The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume I (of 2) • Jonathan Swift

... there was a great difference between their circumstances and the rest; for there must go an intention of the mind and a freedom of the will to the committing an act of felony or piracy. A pirate is not to be understood to be under constraint, but a free agent; for in this case, the bare act will not make a man guilty, unless the will ...
— The Pirates Own Book • Charles Ellms

... All constraint with the master had disappeared long ago. The peasants got ready for dinner. Some washed, the young lads bathed in the stream, others made a place comfortable for a rest, untied their sacks of bread, and ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... one good shepherd—Christ—forms the subject of discourse.—"And the kingdom shall be the Lord's."—His dominion, till then concealed, shall now be publicly manifested, and the people of the earth shall acknowledge it, either spontaneously, or by constraint. The coming of this kingdom has begun with Christ, and, in Him, waits for its consummation. The opinion of Caspari, that the contents of vers. 19 and 20, as well as the close of this prophecy, belong altogether to the future, rests on a false, literal explanation, the inadmissibility of which ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg

... dragged Mr. Peaslee the next morning to the jury-room. The counsel of the night had brought no comfort, and when he came among his fellows their constraint and silence were far from reassuring. Nor, when the sitting had begun, did he like the enigmatic smile with which the well-dressed Paige stood and swung his watch-chain. How he distrusted and feared this smug, self-complacent young man! Yet the state's attorney's ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... Constraint was the last thing O'Mally liked. The most engaging and unusual thing about the man was that he couldn't be fooled by the success of his own methods, and no amount of "recognition" could make a stuffed shirt of him. No ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... bend the knee and crave as a boon some risk of life in her service, without thought of boon thereafter—a knightly impulse nearly obsolete in chivalry, if ever customary. But he knew now that the impulse was really possible, and the proof was this: that the constraint between them had vanished, that soon he was talking with ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... table, where shams refuse to survive, a silence of constraint fell upon them and each fresh effort at talk ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... had been conscious that Hughie had changed in some way to her. The old, full, frank confidence was gone. There was a constraint in his manner she could not explain. "He is no longer a child," she would say to herself, seeking to allay the pain in her heart. "A boy must have his secrets. It is foolish in me to think anything else. Besides, he is not well. He is growing too fast." And indeed, Hughie's ...
— Glengarry Schooldays • Ralph Connor

... should he send Lawrence? thought Dolly. She liked it better without him. She was pleasing herself in her garden; finding little ways of activity that delighted her in and out of the house; getting wonted; and she did not care for the constraint of anybody's presence who must be treated as company. One thing she determined upon, however; Lawrence should not make the next visit with her at Brierley House; and to prevent it, she would go ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... underground with his men, opening up the air-cocks in the pumps, and bringing out the powder and steel; and then the next morning, just before the stage went out, he gave them all their time. They had a certain constraint, a sullen silence in his presence, that argued them against him at heart and, since the mine was closed down for some time to come, he made a clean sweep of them all. Yet it pained him somehow, being new at the game, to see all these miners against him and ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... esteem, and forced into a conduct which I was sensible must appear to you, who was ignorant of my motive, to be mean, vulgar, and selfish. And yet, what other course had I to take with a man whom no denial, no scorn could abash? But, if this was a cruel task, how much more wretched still was the constraint I was obliged to wear in his presence before you, to shew outward civility to the man whom my soul detested, for fear of any fatal consequence from your suspicion; and this too while I was afraid he would construe it to be an encouragement? Do ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding



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