Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Propensity   /prəpˈɛnsɪti/   Listen
Propensity

noun
(pl. propensities)
1.
An inclination to do something.  Synonyms: leaning, tendency.
2.
A natural inclination.  Synonyms: leaning, proclivity.
3.
A disposition to behave in a certain way.  Synonym: aptness.  "The propensity of disease to spread"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Propensity" Quotes from Famous Books



... goodness of his suppers, are duly chronicled. The hairdresser hears a confused buzz of admiration, and even attempts to join in it, but thinks it, at last, time to go. He goes, and narrowly escapes making the acquaintance of Mr Jardine, from his extraordinary propensity to brush all the lamp-posts he encounters with the shoulder of his coat; and gets home, to the great comfort of his wife and daughter, who have gone cozily off to sleep, in the assurance that their distinguished relative is safely locked up in the police-office. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... himself; and his greatest enigmas are the smiling faces of habitual industry, stimulated by the wants of the day, or fears for the future. If he is excited to exertion, it is commonly to indulge some vicious propensity, or display his scorn of those pursuits which render others happier than himself. If he seek to relieve his inanity in books, his literature ascends no higher than the romances, the newspapers, or the scandal, of the day; ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 12, No. 341, Saturday, November 15, 1828. • Various

... ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society. "Omnes boni nobilitati semper favemus," was the saying of a wise and good man. It is, indeed, one sign of a liberal and benevolent mind to incline to it with some sort of partial propensity. He feels no ennobling principle in his own heart, who wishes to level all the artificial institutions which have been adopted for giving a body to opinion and permanence to fugitive esteem. It is a sour, malignant, envious disposition, without taste for the reality, or for any image ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... delightful manner, making a tour of the "rows" and the odd corners with quaint buildings. The tourist, fortified with his red-backed Baedecker, is a common sight to Chester people, and his "dollar-distributing" propensity, as described by the English writer I have quoted, is not unknown even to the smallest fry of the town. Few things during our trip amused me more than the antics of a brown, bare-foot, dirt-begrimed little mite not more than two or three years old, who seized ...
— British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car - Being A Record Of A Five Thousand Mile Tour In England, - Wales And Scotland • Thomas D. Murphy

... send Mary away. But I gave her a "good talking." I think she is pretty well cured of her propensity ...
— Trials and Confessions of a Housekeeper • T. S. Arthur

... sight and my want of a fitting coadjutor. For the sustained zeal and unconquerable patience demanded from those who would tread the unbeaten paths of knowledge are still less reconcilable with the wandering, vagrant propensity of the feminine mind than with the feeble powers ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... That the propensity which Peter had developed for inquiring every half hour or so if he hadn't got that done yet, could be nothing else but a cabal directed against Blinders' four dollars and a half a week, he was convinced. In all the time ...
— The Lovely Lady • Mary Austin

... one any objection be raised on the score of its truth, it can only be that its author was an Arab, as lying is a very common propensity with those of that nation; though, as they are such enemies of ours, it is conceivable that there were omissions rather than additions made in the course of it. And this is my own opinion; for, where he could and should give freedom to his pen in praise of so worthy a knight, he seems ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... devotes a chapter of his interesting treatise upon this subject to proving that "the purer the German race—that is to say, the stronger the Germanism (e.g., Teutonism) of a country—the more it reveals in its psychical character an extraordinary propensity to self-destruction." ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... biological (as opposed to mechanical/electronic) construction] A person (esp. a low-level bureaucrat or service-business employee) exhibiting most of the following characteristics: (a) naive trust in the wisdom of the parent organization or 'the system'; (b) a blind-faith propensity to believe obvious nonsense emitted by authority figures (or computers!); (c) a rule-governed mentality, one unwilling or unable to look beyond the 'letter of the law' in exceptional situations; (d) a paralyzing ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... their rites and institutes, as well as from the names, which they bequeathed to places, ample memorials, by which they may be clearly traced out. It may seem strange, that in the first ages there should have been such an universal defection from the truth; and above all things such a propensity to this particular mode of worship, this mysterious attachment to the serpent. What is scarce credible, it obtained among Christians; and one of the most early heresies in the church was of this sort, introduced by a sect, called by [531]Epiphanius ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.) • Jacob Bryant

... Returning in hot haste to the caucus, he burst into the room, exclaiming, "It's all right, my lords; the Archbishop says he will be d——d to hell if he doesn't throw the Bill out." The Duke of Wellington's "Twopenny d——n" has become proverbial; and Sydney Smith neatly rebuked a similar propensity in Lord Melbourne by saying, "Let us assume everybody and everything to be d—- d, and come to the point." The Miss Berrys, who had been the correspondents of Horace Walpole, and who carried down to the 'fifties the most refined traditions ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... was not without a severe struggle that I overcame a besetting propensity to confine myself to sedentary pursuits. The desire of retaliation soon became extinct. My pledge to my friend and sympathizer, that in two years I would cry quittance to my foe, would occasionally act as a spur in the side of my intent; but my two best aids in supplying me with the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... by the Moldau, with its strange, half Oriental beauty, where Jesuitism now reigns supreme, and St. John Nepemuch is the popular divinity, Protestantism and Jesuitism then lay in jealous neighbourhood, Protestantism supported by the native nobility, from anarchical propensity as well as from religious conviction; Jesuitism patronized and furtively aided by the intrusive Austrian power. From the Emperor Rudolph II., the Protestants had obtained a charter of religious liberties. But Rudolph's successor, Ferdinand II., was the Philip II. of Germany in bigotry, ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... She knew all about Varr—they discussed him at length—and she had always had a distaste for the man since the old days in this house. When Ocky told her the story of the monk, it was she who conceived the idea of the masquerade. It was she who knew Maxon's propensity for mischief-making and selected him as a deputy. It was she who threatened Simon, fired the tannery—but why go on? The two women are simply interchangeable, and Ocky had only to repeat in her own person the confession she ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... wrongdoing by a man; that society could not exist in decency, if to its already inconvenient coterie of reformed rakes it were to add a legion of reformed wantons; and that it is innate wickedness and evil propensity that makes such women as Stephanie, and not the mere existence of the wild young men who are willing to become their comrades—and who generally end by being their dupes and victims. It is natural, however, that this adventurer—who has kept a gambling-hell and ruined many ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... into the very currents of air for scent, and yet there was no impatience about them such as might have been expected from the Foxhound cross. The truth of it was that the capacity to concentrate the whole attention on the object found was so intense as to have lessened every other propensity. The rush of the Foxhound had been absorbed by the additional force of the Pointer character. There has been nothing at all like it in canine culture, and it came out so wonderfully after men had been shooting in the above manner for about ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... that the besotted blackguard of the Mud Springs Morning Howl is giving out, with his usual propensity for lying, that Van Werter is not elected. The heaven-born mission of journalism is to disseminate truth; to eradicate error; to educate, refine, and elevate the tone of public morals and manners, and make all men more gentle, more virtuous, more charitable, and in all ways better, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... his beauties or his faults, young Reynolds attended to both these, displaying a happy knowledge of what he read, and entering with ardor into the spirit of his author. He discovered likewise talents for composition, and a natural propensity to drawing, in which his friends and intimates thought him qualified to excel. Emulation was a distinguishing characteristic of his mind, which his father perceived with the delight natural to a parent; ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... so much afraid of as your propensity to combat. You must resist that delight of yours—whacking stray heads and ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... the place from which she sails. Under every motive from character and duty to certify the truth, I have no doubt they have faithfully executed this injunction. Much real injury has, however, been sustained from a propensity to identify with this endemic and to call by the same name fevers of very different kinds, which have been known at all times and in all countries, and never have been ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... growth of these gloomy superstitions. But the mind of James, at once inquisitive, pedantic and self-sufficient, peculiarly fitted him for the pursuit of these narrow-minded and obscure speculations. One combination of circumstances wrought up this propensity within ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... ready with quotations. He writes in one of his letters: "It is a dangerous thing for a man with a very strong memory to read very much. I could give you three or four quotations this moment in support of that proposition; but I will bring the vicious propensity under subjection, if I can." Thus we see his mind doing instantly and involuntarily what other minds do with infinite pains, bringing together all things that have a likeness or ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... chiefly in the search for food, conflicts or appears to conflict with the instinct which conduces to the propagation of the species, the former instinct, as the primary and more fundamental, is capable of overmastering the latter. In short, the savage is willing to restrain his sexual propensity for the sake of food. Another object for the sake of which he consents to exercise the same self-restraint is victory in war. Not only the warrior in the field but his friends at home will often bridle their sensual appetites from a belief that by so doing they will ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... 'No,' said another; 'search above. In that direction She would have floated, by the love Of contradiction.' This joke was truly out of season;— I don't propose to weigh its reason. But whether such propensity The sex's fault may be, Or not, one thing is very sure, Its own propensities endure. Up to the end they'll have their will, And, if it could be, ...
— The Fables of La Fontaine - A New Edition, With Notes • Jean de La Fontaine

... world, and there is something within us, which, from the instant that we live, more and more thirsts after its likeness. It is probably in correspondence with this law that the infant drains milk from the bosom of its mother; this propensity develops itself with the development of our nature. We dimly see within our intellectual nature, a miniature as it were of our entire self, yet deprived of all that we condemn or despise, the ideal prototype of every thing excellent and lovely that we are capable of conceiving as belonging ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 344 (Supplementary Issue) • Various

... would be apt to feel a stronger bias towards their local governments than towards the government of the Union; unless the force of that principle should be destroyed by a much better administration of the latter. This strong propensity of the human heart would find powerful auxiliaries in the objects of State regulation. The variety of more minute interests, which will necessarily fall under the superintendence of the local administrations, and which will form ...
— The Federalist Papers

... way to begin. Mozart told him to wait. "You composed much earlier?" "But asked nothing about it," replied the musician. Cowper expressed the same sentiment to a friend: "Nature gives men a bias to their respective pursuits, and that strong propensity, I suppose, is what we mean by genius." M. Angelo is hindered in his childish studies of art; Raffaelle grows up with pencil and colours for playthings: one neglects school to copy drawings, which he dared not bring home; the father of the ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 433 - Volume 17, New Series, April 17, 1852 • Various

... Thomson, that its antiquity be closely scrutinised by competent persons. The art of imitating ancient writing has got to a considerable perfection, and it has been the bane of Scottish literature, and disgrace of her antiquities, that we have manifested an eager propensity to believe without inquiry and propagate the errors which we adopt too hastily ourselves. The general proposition that the Lowlanders ever wore plaids is difficult to swallow. They were of twenty different ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... not merely an idealist: he is a practical idealist. This is shown by his self-restraint and practical wisdom in guiding events. One of the symptoms of "catching Esperanto" is a desire to introduce improvements. This morbid propensity to jejune amateur tinkering, a kind of measles of the mind (morbus linguificus[1]) attacks the immature in years or judgment. A riper acquaintance with the history and practical aims of international language ...
— International Language - Past, Present and Future: With Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar • Walter J. Clark

... Gongorism lasted long in Spain, which, with its innate propensity to bombast, was more fertile soil for it than other nations. Innumerable poetasters of the early eighteenth century enjoyed fame in their day and some possessed talent; but the obscure and trivial style ...
— Modern Spanish Lyrics • Various

... cannot fail to observe the striking resemblance between this wayward tendency of the shepherd's flock and our own inclination and propensity to wander from God and things eternal. The world is full of occasions to evil; at every turn of the road on our journey through life there are fierce and crouching enemies who are waiting the chance to capture and bear us away. We know this; we have often been warned of the danger; too many sad ...
— The Shepherd Of My Soul • Rev. Charles J. Callan

... and Leigh Hunt and his aunt's cake in praise of pig on death his efforts for Godwin his directions for seeing Paris and his child-wife on India House on Shelley on Godwin's case and Scott on Moore on Defoe his epigram on Wadd on George Fox as Elia on the advantages of routine on publishers his propensity to lie on Fox on Quakers on India House in Parnassus, 651 his after-dinner speeches on Fox on Colebrooke Cottage makes his will at the Mansion House on Physiology on Marlowe and Goethe his cold not a good man on monetary ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... religious bordering on bigotry. He has no mistress, loves his queen, and is too much governed by her. She is capricious, like her brother, and governed by him; devoted to pleasure and expense; and not remarkable for any other vices or virtues. Unhappily the King shows a propensity for the pleasures of the table. That for drink has increased lately, or at least it ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... two fair-minded referees would allow me five dollars for. I am sure I spent more than that for ammunition, to say nothing of time, traps, dog-food, etc., during the year or two that I was playing the despot and trying to exterminate them. Now that I have rid my mind of the barbarous propensity to kill them, I really enjoy seeing them sitting up by their holes, or peeping at me over the ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... dependence on David—of the money she had come to ask—of her leave-taking on the morrow—to the winds, Louie revenged herself amply for her week's unnatural self-control, and gave full rein to a mad propensity which had been gradually roused and spurred to ungovernable force by the trivial incidents of the afternoon. She made mock of Lucy's personal vanity; she sneered at her attempts to ape her betters, shrilly declaring that no ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... with a vengeance; and I looked about me in perplexity, searching earth and sky for an answer. As I did so, I saw, far away in the northern sky, a filmy something that, even as I looked, resolved itself into a flock of rock pigeons coming directly toward us. I knew, from long experience, the propensity of these birds to fly straight, and I felt sure that, unless something happened to divert their course, they would presently pass right over our heads; therefore, since a man's life was hanging in the balance and only I could save it, I determined to take a chance, and called to Piet to hand me ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... but all have a delightful way of crooning over, and, as it were, rehearsing their song in an undertone, which makes their nearness always unobtrusive. Though there is the most trustworthy witness to the imitative propensity of this bird, I have only once, during an intimacy of more than forty years, heard him indulge it. In that case, the imitation was by no means so close as to deceive, but a free reproduction of the notes of ...
— My Garden Acquaintance • James Russell Lowell

... triangular area of slightly over four acres, where the market is held every Saturday, and where once a year is also held that great event of Nottingham, the Michaelmas goose fair. Here also disport themselves at election-times the rougher element, who, from their propensity to bleat when expressing disapprobation, are known as the "Nottingham lambs," and who claim to be lineal descendants from that hero of the neighboring ...
— England, Picturesque and Descriptive - A Reminiscence of Foreign Travel • Joel Cook

... Ascham expresses it, "a merry tale in Boccace." In other words, he was reading a French version of the Decameron of that celebrated author. Indeed, I had already received sufficient proof of the general propensity of the common people to read—whether good or bad books ... but let us hope and believe the former. I left the bibliomaniacal postboy to his Boccaccio, and prepared to visit the CASTLE... the once proud and yet commanding residence ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... play about his feet, we will believe in his conversion. For—let the reader take earnest heed—it is not the conscious evil in men that has been oftenest the oppressor of their fellows; almost always the plea for it has been the general good. Church and State both have set this propensity down among the great cardinal virtues. As Saul of Tarsus thought he was doing God service when he persecuted the early Church, so the Church herself sang Te Deums over St. Bartholomew, and believed verily that the ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 21, August, 1891 • Various

... by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps ...
— Legends That Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... indications of an appetite, which he considers one of the symptoms of a forming disease, says: "This early stage is marked by an occasional desire to drink, which recurs at shorter and shorter intervals, and a propensity, likewise, gradually increasing for a greater quantity at each time. This stage has long been believed to be one of voluntary indulgence, for which the subject of it was morally responsible. The drinker has been held as criminal for his occasional indulgence, and his example has been most ...
— Grappling with the Monster • T. S. Arthur

... introducing the reign of peace and good will on the Lakes and central regions, which for ages have been the abodes of violence and bloodshed. But that great change was not to be accomplished. The narrow- minded would ascribe all that was attempted to the grasping propensity of the English. But the motives that actuate many in England, both in public and private life, are much more noble than the world gives them ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... that stupefied it. The virtues of generosity and forbearance were to be acquired where sharp discomfort and pain tempt each one to seize more than his own share of relief, and thus to strengthen every selfish propensity. ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... sorry if what we have written shall in any degree excite them in other minds. We are not much in the habit of idolizing either the living or the dead. And we think that there is no more certain indication of a weak and ill-regulated intellect than that propensity which, for want of a better name, we will venture to christen Boswellism. But there are a few characters which have stood the closest scrutiny and the severest tests, which have been tried in the furnace and have proved pure, which have been weighed in the balance ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... place to witness this propensity for blood, which seems in-born in every Spaniard, is at the public arena in the heart of the city, where hundreds of cocks are generally engaged at once, the betting on a certain bird not unfrequently amounting to thousands of dollars. I will not trouble you with the sickening details ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... The present Earl of Warwick, I think, must have an idea that strict justice has been done him in the way of being launched properly into the world. I saw the Duke of Newcastle once, and as the farmer in Conway described Mount Washington, I thought the Duke felt a propensity to "hunch up some." Somehow it is pleasant to look down on the crowd and have a conscious ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume I. (of X.) • Various

... but the interest I took in her led me to question her about her husband and family. She answered me by repeating a name which I have now forgotten, and told me she had no children. I was seized with a strong propensity to learn whether the attractions of Gooreedeeana were sufficiently powerful to secure her from the brutal violence with which the women are treated, and as I found my question either ill understood or reluctantly answered, I proceeded to examine her head, the part on which the husband's ...
— A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson • Watkin Tench

... Lorenzo, when the future statesman, then in his seventeenth year, was making himself personally acquainted with the courts of Italy, Pulci speaks of himself as struggling hard to keep down the poetic propensity in his friend's absence. "If you were with me," he says, "I should produce heaps of sonnets as big as the clubs they make of the cherry-blossoms for May-day. I am always muttering some verse or other betwixt my teeth; but I say to myself, 'My Lorenzo is not here—he who is my only hope ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Volume 1 • Leigh Hunt

... sensation, which is the best security for the success of a drama—curiosity. After the two first acts are over, and pleasantly over, with the excellent drawn characters of Ashfield and his wife, and the very just satire which arises from Sir Abel's propensity to modern improvements—the acts that follow excite deep interest and ardent expectation; both of which are so highly gratified at the conclusion of the play, that, from the first night of its performance, it has ranked among the best of the author's productions, and in the first class ...
— Speed the Plough - A Comedy, In Five Acts; As Performed At The Theatre Royal, Covent Garden • Thomas Morton

... attempt violently to bend the people to their theories of subjection. The bulk of mankind, on their part, are not excessively curious concerning any theories whilst they are really happy; and one sure symptom of an ill-conducted state is the propensity of the people ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... turned; he lost everything, borrowed money and lost that, and was obliged to become the slave of his creditor till he had worked out the debt. He was a quick and active lad when he pleased, but was apt to be idle, and had such an incorrigible propensity for gambling, that it will very likely lead to his becoming ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume II. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... we adopt the principles already insisted on by some of our wisest medical men, and even by one or two medical societies,[Footnote: Those of Connecticut and New Hampshire.] that children in this way often acquire a propensity for exciting drinks, that may end in their downright intemperance. What if it should not, in every case, proceed quite so far as to make the child a drunkard? If it but lays the foundation of a constitutional fondness for excitements, it tends to disease. Indeed that, in itself, ...
— The Young Mother - Management of Children in Regard to Health • William A. Alcott

... their shattered fortune. When all the necessary expenses were paid, these ladies commonly shared the profits with their protectors, that is, with their friends in power, through whose protection the tripot was sanctioned. Every one has heard of the fatal propensity to gaming indulged in by the unfortunate Marie Antoinette. The French women of quality followed her pernicious example, as the young male nobility did that of the Count d'Artois and the Duke of Orleans; so that, however decided might be the personal aversion of Lewis XVI ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... by scores of such unthrifty old children as himself, but by a progeny of far loftier pretensions. It may be well for persons who are conscious of any radical weakness in their character, any besetting sin, any unlawful propensity, any unhallowed impulse, which (while surrounded with the manifold restraints that protect a man from that treacherous and lifelong enemy, his lower self, in the circle of society where he is at home) they may have succeeded ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... disposition to compromise the essential principles of Christianity by politic concessions to heathenism, so that the successes of the Jesuit missions are magnified by reports of alleged conversions that are conversions only in name and outward form; second, a constantly besetting propensity to political intrigue.[27:1] It is hardly to be doubted that both had their part in the prodigious failure of the French Catholic missions and settlements within the present boundaries of the ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... wondered why, for the first time in his life, Lad should absent himself at dinnertime from his time-honored place on the dining-room floor, at the Master's left. And, amusedly, she recalled what her husband had said of the stately dog's new propensity for mischief. Perhaps Lad was exploring the friendly home-woods in search ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... for it; and while his creditors were taking twopence-halfpenny in the pound, he was taking his diversion on his wife's property, which a sagacious old father-in-law had secured to the family in the event of such a contingency as a failure happening; so knowing Jorrock's propensity for sports, and being desirous of chatting over all his gallant doings with "The Surrey," shortly after the above-mentioned day he dispatched a "twopenny," offering him a day's shooting on his property ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... find cases in which the propensity to murder has been accompanied by cannibalism. In 1598 a tailor of Chalons was sentenced by the parliament of Paris to be burned alive for lycanthropy. "This wretched man had decoyed children into his shop, or attacked them in the gloaming when they strayed in the woods, ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... by which a dog can be beset is a propensity for killing sheep. It is not a common vice, but, where it exists, it appears to be inveterate and beyond all hope of reform. Shutting up the delinquent with a dangerous ram has often been recommended as a certain mode of disgusting him with mutton, should he survive the discipline ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... howled; but this dog stiffened his tail with self-respect. He scraped away all the straw to make a clear area for his experiment, and then he stood up like a pillar, or a fine kangaroo, and made trial of his weight against the chain. Feeling something give, or show propensity toward giving, he said to himself that here was one more triumph for him over the presumptuous intellect of man. The chain might be strong enough to hold a ship, and the great leathern collar to secure a bull; but the fastening of chain to collar was unsound, by ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... was also envious, malignant, and cruel. How far this will tend to confirm the assertion, that when a boy, he was an amateur of this royal sport, I do, says Mr. Ireland, not pretend to decide: but were a child, in whom I had any interest, cursed with such a propensity, my first object would be to correct it: if that were impracticable, and he retained a fondness for the cockpit, and the still more detestable amusement of Shrove Tuesday, I should hardly dare to flatter myself that he could become a merciful man.—The subject has carried me farther than I intended: ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... their charms, to wish very earnestly for a removal of those impediments, that obstruct their more frequent presence. This not being attainable in a lawful way of customary intercourse, the natural propensity of men to overcome difficulties of this kind, incites them to leave no expedient untried to gain admittance to what perhaps was at first only the object of their admiration, but which, by their being refused an innocent gratification of that passion, ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... called her, would really make good her case against him,—at any rate, would make it seem to be good for so long a time that all the triumph of success would be hers. He knew that she was already in debt, and gave her credit for a propensity to fast living which almost did her an injustice. Of course, the jewels would be sold for half their value, and the harpy would triumph. Of what use to him or to the estate would be a decision of the courts in his favour when the diamonds should have been broken up and scattered to ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... prevailing with her to throw herself into his protection, and she still thought it might be chiefly so accounted for; but his assertions had left an impression on her mind, which a consideration of the character and former conduct of Montoni did not contribute to efface. She, however, checked her propensity to anticipate evil; and, determined to enjoy this respite from actual misfortune, tried to dismiss thought, took her instruments for drawing, and placed herself at a window, to select into a landscape some features ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... cruel, although they differ much in the propensity to annoy and reduce animals and each other under their individual control; the passive submit at once, but the energetic will not; it is then that the active assailant learns an important lesson, which can only be learned in society, and which to him, ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... to smite the partridge; for, if I fed the poor, and comforted the sick, and instructed the ignorant, yet I should be nothing worth, if I smote the partridge. If anything ever endangers the Church, it will be the strong propensity to shooting for which the clergy are remarkable. Ten thousand good shots dispersed over the country do more harm to the cause of religion than the arguments ...
— Sydney Smith • George W. E. Russell

... have imagined that he was an uncompromising "Paper-money man" or "Greenbacker," as a member of one of the minor political parties of the day was termed: the little man was poor, and Doctor Castleton had simply been drawing for him a picture of delights—at least, so I conjectured. This propensity of the doctor sometimes led to startling surprises and results, and, once at least, to a discovery of weighty consequence—as we ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... Algonkins and Iroquois[176-1] had in common with many other tribes of the western continent. Their explanation will not be found in the annals of Japan, the triads of the Cymric bards, nor the sagas of Icelandic skalds, but in the propensity of the human mind to attribute its own origin and culture to that white-shining orient where sun, moon, and stars, are daily born in renovated glory, to that fair mother, who, at the cost of her own life, gives light and joy to the world, to ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... on his inaccuracies. One reviewer pointed out that Chesterton had said that every postcard Dickens wrote was a work of art; but Dickens died on June 9th, 1870 and the first British postcard was issued on October 1st, 1870. "A wonderful instance of Dickens's never-varying propensity to keep ahead of his age." After all, what did such things matter? Bernard Shaw, however, felt that they did. He wrote a letter from which I think Gilbert got an important hint, utilized later in ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... without the knowledge of Raoul Yvard, who was to all intents and purposes the captain of his own lugger, and in whose character there were many traits of chivalrous honor, mixed up with habits and pursuits that would not seem to promise qualities so elevated. But this want of a propensity to turn a penny in his own way was not the only distinguishing characteristic between the commander of the little craft and the being he occasionally used as a mask to ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... drawn, with too much time on their hands during the winter, it is not surprising that the people were continually falling out and rushing to the nearest royal court. The intendant Raudot suggested that this propensity should be curbed, otherwise there would soon be more lawsuits than settlers in ...
— The Seigneurs of Old Canada: - A Chronicle of New-World Feudalism • William Bennett Munro

... clear, and is not so liable to be confused when intent upon any intricate subject; and, of course, "can continue a laborious investigation longer." There is at no time such a propensity to incogitancy. ...
— Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages • William Andrus Alcott

... he could go for advice and consolation. When his son left him he turned to his newspaper, and tried to read it—in vain. His mind was too ill at ease to admit of political matters. He was greatly grieved by this new misfortune as to Gerald, and by Lord Silverbridge's propensity to racing. ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... 'Did you know,' said the one who had first spoken of Miss W., 'that she sometimes had seasons of bitter repentance for indulging in this unhappy propensity of hers? She would, at such times, resolve to be more on her guard, but, after all her good resolutions, she would yield to the slightest temptations. When she was expressing, and apparently really feeling sorrow for having wounded the feelings of ...
— The Teacher • Jacob Abbott

... tall, stooping figure, spoke plainly of a hard, laborious life. Her sharp features and keen, piercing eyes, made more prominent by the unusual lowness of the forehead, told more surely than language, of their owner's propensity to investigate the affairs of her neighbor, and proved her claim to the complimentary title, they had bestowed upon her, viz:—"That prying old mother, Wynn." But what was still more strange, was the silver hair of both these old people, and ...
— Clemence - The Schoolmistress of Waveland • Retta Babcock

... preference for matter to form is the same as a man ignoring the shape and painting of a fine Etruscan vase in order to make a chemical examination of the clay and colours of which it is made. The attempt to be effective by means of the matter used, thereby ministering to this evil propensity of the public, is absolutely to be censured in branches of writing where the merit must lie expressly in the form; as, for instance, in poetical writing. However, there are numerous bad dramatic authors striving to fill the theatre by means of the matter they are treating. For instance, they ...
— Essays of Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... convicts who arrived in the last ship manifesting daily a propensity to desert from their work, a party of soldiers, under the command of a sergeant, was sent up to Toongabbie, where they were to remain during the harvest, which commenced in this month at that place and ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... dry throat, a disposition to faint and surrender his stomach, and an irresistible propensity to walk abroad and drink of the waters. He looked at his watch: it was two o'clock, and Saturday night. "Alas!" said Andrew Waples aloud, "the bars are closed. Even Morrissey has gone to bed, and the club-house is in darkness, but perhaps ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... he must have taken in them is brought to mind, from the turn of his prevalent thoughts and speculations, exhibited in all his writings, and from the propensity he ever manifested to put himself in a position to observe and study such things, it may be supposed he would not have foregone opportunities like those presented in the scenes before the Magistrates. While all other people, Ministers especially, were flocking to them, it is difficult ...
— Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather - A Reply • Charles W. Upham

... was a dead shot, a good angler, and an excellent fencer with the small sword as well as with his own particular weapon. For his faults, they were on his face, and I now knew them all. But the worst of them, his childish propensity to take offence and to pick quarrels, he greatly laid aside in my case, out of regard for the battle of the round-house. But whether it was because I had done well myself, or because I had been a witness of his own much greater prowess, is more than I can tell. ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... is lifted up to heaven, and fresh enemies to the English name and power are multiplied on the earth. The Irish gentleman, too, extremely desirous of political influence, multiplying freeholds, and splitting votes; and this propensity tends of course to increase the miserable redundance of living beings, under which Ireland is groaning. Among the manifold wretchedness to which the poor Irish tenant is liable, we must not pass over the practice ...
— Peter Plymley's Letters and Selected Essays • Sydney Smith

... source and true character of that poetical, warlike, and religious enthusiasm which created chivalry and the crusades. We should probably discover, in the wandering lives of the knights and crusaders, the reflected influence of the roving habits of the German hunters, of that propensity to remove, and that superabundance of population, which ever exist where social order is not sufficiently well regulated for man to feel satisfied with his condition and locality; and before laborious industry has taught him to compel the earth to supply ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... nobleman in our own country who, with more money than he could spend, and with a skill in all games where skill enters that would have secured him success of itself, having learned the art of cheating, could not resist its indulgence. No hazard, no warning, could restrain him,—cheat he must; the propensity became iron-strong as a ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Arthur Tyrrell, was a gay and extravagant man, and, among other vices, was ruinously addicted to gaming. This unfortunate propensity, even after his fortune had suffered so severely as to render retrenchment imperative, nevertheless continued to engross him, nearly to the exclusion of every other pursuit. He was, however, a proud, or rather a vain man, and could not bear to make the diminution of his income a matter ...
— Two Ghostly Mysteries - A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family; and The Murdered Cousin • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... distinction. Pride in skepticism is a peculiar distinction of young men. It takes years and maturity to make the discovery that the power of faith is nobler than the power of doubt; and that there is a celestial wisdom in the ingenuous propensity to trust, which belongs to honest and noble natures. Elderly skeptics generally regard ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... member of two or three Bohemian clubs in London, to which, as time went on, he became increasingly attached. At these, he passed as a good fellow, chiefly from a propensity to stand drinks to any and everyone upon any pretence; he was also renowned amongst his boon companions for his rendering of "The Village Blacksmith" in dumb show, a performance greeted by his thirsty audience with ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... to pure and eternal natures; but that the impure soul, in consequence of being imbued with terrene affections, will be drawn down to a kindred nature, and be invested with a gross vehicle capable of being seen by the corporeal eye.* For while a propensity to body remains in the soul, it causes her to attract a certain vehicle to herself; either of an aerial nature, or composed from the spirit and vapours of her terrestrial body, or which is recently collected from surrounding air; for according to the arcana of the Platonic ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... gained the affections of his teacher and companions. Happy for him had he continued in such a suitable situation. He was removed to Edinburgh to receive a more classical education. Being left there by his mother and sisters, the impetuosity of his temper and a propensity for a sea-faring life induced his friends to place him as an apprentice in the merchant-service. He was shipwrecked on the coast of Holland, and Mr. Gibson of Rotterdam, a friend of Mrs. Graham, took him to ...
— The Power of Faith - Exemplified In The Life And Writings Of The Late Mrs. Isabella Graham. • Isabella Graham

... is seldom out of call, Sir Charles swelled like a turkey-cock, and loftily consented to indulge Bella Bruce's strange propensity. From that hour she was never at home ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... manana por la manano. In this instance the words express the state of development and habits of thought—one the lazy improvidence of the Eskimo, and the other the "to-morrow" of the Spaniard, who has indulged that propensity so far that his nation ...
— The First Landing on Wrangel Island - With Some Remarks on the Northern Inhabitants • Irving C. Rosse

... awoke before long by the sound of loud growlings, which made Uncle Mark and several of the party start to their feet, with guns ready to receive the bear from whom they expected an attack. Recollecting Jacques' propensity to practical joking, I lay quiet; and I heard my uncle come back soon afterwards, growling almost as much as the supposed bear, and observing that the brute had got off, though it must have been close to the camp. I said nothing, though I suspected who had performed the part of ...
— Afar in the Forest • W.H.G. Kingston

... quitting home, that interests positive as most of those I had embarked in had a tendency to render the spirit worldly; and I saw no other check to such an evil than by seeking for some association with the saints, in order to set up a balance against the dangerous propensity. A lucky occasion offered through the wants of the Philo-African-anti-compulsion-free-labor Society, whose meritorious efforts were about to cease for the want of the great charity-power—gold. A draft for five thousand pounds had obtained me the honor of being ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... is." Antonio recognised in the old crone the singular beggar-woman who was generally to be seen on the steps of the Franciscan Church, chuckling to herself and laughing, and soliciting alms from the worshippers; he himself, urged by some inward inexplicable propensity, had often thrown her a hard-earned penny, which he had not had to spare. "Leave me, leave me in peace, you insane old woman," he said; "but you are right, it is hunger more than my wound which has made me weak and miserable; for three days ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... found in his house, I likewise early acquired a religious propensity, which was encouraged by my aunt with all her power, and seconded by my mother. Their education, and the dogmas they had heard from the rector, had given them very high notions of the dignity of the clerical character; in the superior presence of which, ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... young wolf was put to school, to endeavour, by instruction, to correct his natural propensity to voracity. His master, in order to teach him to read, transcribed, in large characters, some letters of the alphabet, and attempted to make him understand these signs. But instead of reading K L S, as it was written, the savage animal read fluently Kid, Lamb, Sheep. He was governed by ...
— Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers • Various

... swayed by the influences of love or benevolence. Both, in this instance, may have aided invention. Plunkett had three strong claims in his favour: he was a handsome man—a soldier—and an Irishman. The general propensity of the Quakers, in favor of the Royal cause, exempted the sect in a great measure from suspicion, in so great a degree indeed, that the barriers of the city were generally entrusted to the care of their members, as the best judges of the characters of those persons who might be allowed to pass ...
— The Yankee Tea-party - Or, Boston in 1773 • Henry C. Watson

... of his own as a poet or dramatic writer. Mr. Reed conceives him to have been a Jesuit, and Pope terms him an Irish priest. Langbaine says, that "his acquaintance with the nobility was more than with the muses, and he had a greater propensity to rhyming, than a genius to poetry." As a proof of the former assertion the Duke of Newcastle prefixed two copies of verses to his characters, in which he calls Flecknoe "his worthy friend," ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... varieties of dumb show, of gesticulation, shrugs, and wise shakes of the head, are called into requisition, to effectually and unmistakably express their ideas. The usages of good society are regarded by them as a great restraint upon their besetting propensity to expatiate in phrases of grandiloquence, and to magnify objects of trivial importance. They are always sure to initiate topics which will afford scope for admiration; they delight to enlarge upon the unprecedented growth of cities, villages, and towns; upon the ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... Edmund and Charles, who, on their own parts, were much improved, and delighted to find the girls so. Matilda was in every respect altered, and although she had not Ellen's sweetness of temper, yet she had greatly conquered her propensity to passion, was very obliging in her general manners, and considerate to her inferiors, and attached to Ellen, her governess, and Mr. and Mrs. Harewood, with a tenderness and gratitude that was very ...
— The Barbadoes Girl - A Tale for Young People • Mrs. Hofland

... his consort. It was to be expected. That princess has much good sense, and the same friendly relations towards us as the deceased. She has no religion, but acts the devotee. The chancellor Bestuchef is her greatest favorite, and, as he has a strong propensity to guinees I flatter myself that I shall be able to retain the friendship of the court. The poor emperor wanted to imitate Peter I., but he had not the capacity ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... passengers had alighted from the coach, Mr Adams, as was his custom, made directly to the kitchen, where he found Joseph sitting by the fire, and the hostess anointing his leg; for the horse which Mr Adams had borrowed of his clerk had so violent a propensity to kneeling, that one would have thought it had been his trade, as well as his master's; nor would he always give any notice of such his intention; he was often found on his knees when the rider least expected ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... have made a deeper impression than you are aware of. When the King observed to him, "What do the French nation want?"—"A republic," replied he. And though he has been the means of already costing us some thousands, to crush this unnatural propensity, yet I firmly believe that he himself is at the head of all the civil disorders fomented for its attainment. I am the more confirmed in this opinion from a conversation I had with the good old man, M. De Malesherbes, who assured me the great sums we were lavishing on ...
— The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete • Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe

... refused with contempt. She then proffered a basket; but that was not sufficient; nothing would satisfy her but the bowl. The Indian demurred; but opposition had only increased her craving for the turnip in a tenfold degree; and, after a short mental struggle, in which the animal propensity overcame the warnings of prudence, the squaw gave up the bowl, and received in return one turnip! The daughter of this woman told me this anecdote of her mother as a very clever thing. What ideas some people have of ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... as they broke the spirit of the crew, had a very bad effect on Captain Clipperton, who now began to take to drinking, which grew at last to such a pitch that he was hardly ever quite sober; owing to which unhappy propensity he committed many ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X • Robert Kerr

... must make it a thriller for fair!" exclaimed Monkey Stallings, who was known to love exciting stories, though his watchful mother kept a tight rein on his propensity to indulge along those lines, and censored all books he brought into the house before allowing him ...
— The Boy Scouts with the Motion Picture Players • Robert Shaler

... performing these strange feats, I knew them to be highly absurd, yet the impulse to perform them was irresistible—a mysterious dread hanging over me till I had given way to it; even at that early period I frequently used to reason within myself as to what could be the cause of my propensity to touch, but of course I could come to no satisfactory conclusion respecting it; being heartily ashamed of the practice, I never spoke of it to any one, and was at all times highly solicitous that no ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... But how? By flinging ourselves down as well? For that is what you want. You've got a propensity for seeing nothing but the sad side of life. God bless you! Your pessimism is charitable, I grant you, but it is very depressing. Do you want to create happiness? Very well, then, ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... myself and my brothers with inventing stories such as I had read. Having, as I suppose, naturally a restless mind and busy imagination, this soon became the chief pleasure of my life. Unfortunately my brothers were always fond of encouraging this propensity, and I found in Taylor, my maid, a still greater tempter. I had not known there was any harm in it, until Miss Shore" (a Calvinistic governess), "finding it out, lectured me severely, and told me it ...
— Science and Morals and Other Essays • Bertram Coghill Alan Windle

... might arise, were any imprudent or sudden explanation of his real malady made to the august sufferer. Unable to attend to everything himself, and not inclined to depend upon his son, whose natural propensity he was fully aware of, he recalled to his recollection that the comte de Muy, the sincere and attached friend of the dauphin, son to Louis XV, was then in Versailles. He immediately sought him out in the apartments he occupied in the chateau, ...
— "Written by Herself" • Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon

... Tour related to me her dream, which was exactly similar; and, as I had never observed in either of those persons any propensity to superstition, I was struck with the singular coincidence of their dreams, which, I had little doubt, ...
— Paul and Virginia • Bernardin de Saint Pierre

... unfailing propensity to lay hold of to whomsoever he spake, Mr. Lester Goldmark placed his white-gloved hand upon the white-gloved arm ...
— Gaslight Sonatas • Fannie Hurst

... There was in him a sort of hidden pride that could never endure to subject itself to the censure of others. He had no propensity to imitation, and he had a strong susceptibility to the ridiculous. These traits of mind thus early developed—which in later life prevented his ever finding fit scope for his natural powers, which made him too proud to ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Lombardoni,—lady-killer, Don Juan, and poet, whose fortunes and misfortunes in these characters had made him the butt of the entire society, and had perhaps contributed, together with his well- known extraordinarily pronounced propensity for cramming himself with pastry, to give him the pale, puffed, pasty face, swelling around a pair of pale fish-like eyes, that distinguished him,—the Conte Leandro Lombardoni; indeed, had gone to the Castelmare palace as "Apollo," in a costume which young Ludovico Castelmare, the Marchese Lamberto's ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... fair dissembling even for the smooth tongue of the arch-persecutor of the Huguenots. It must be confessed, however, that the sheep's clothing never seemed to fit him well; the wolfish foot or the bloodthirsty jaws had an irresistible propensity to show themselves. The letter of the cantons, the king's reply, and Lorraine's letter, from the MSS. in the archives of Basle, are printed in the Bulletin de la Societe de l'hist. du prot. francais, ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... no further questions. Remembering somewhat of Mr. Jones's propensity in the old days, he thought perhaps something besides children and opposition had had to do with the downfall. He stood for a moment looking at the station which had not been completed when he last saw it—and a very pretty ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... instead of encouraging his talents in this line, he sharply rebuked him, and wrote underneath the sketches, "Done by Joshua out of pure idleness." His father was anxious that he should become a physician, and therefore he looked with no favour upon his propensity for drawing. But for the irrepressible power of genius, his unwise father would have deprived the world of one of ...
— The Printer Boy. - Or How Benjamin Franklin Made His Mark. An Example for Youth. • William M. Thayer

... bodies, if it was not a phenomenon of perpetual occurrence, would justly excite in the highest degree the astonishment of mankind. What, in effect, is more extraordinary than to see an inert mass, that is to say, a mass deprived of will, a mass which ought not to have any propensity to advance in one direction more than in another, precipitate itself towards the earth as soon as ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... confidence of wild animals is a very pleasing trait in their character, and is due in some degree to the quiet deliberation of their manners, and their love of repose rather than of action. The young are obedient to the wishes of their elders, and seem to feel none of that propensity to mischief which European boys exhibit. How long would tame squirrels continue to inhabit trees in the vicinity of an English village, even if close to the church? They would soon be pelted and driven away, or snared and confined in a whirling cage. I have never heard ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume I. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... Sifat-el-Houkama it is said: "There is a great diversity of inclinations among men. Everyone has his own propensity. One is borne naturally toward riches, another toward patience and resignation, another toward study and good works. And in this world the humors of men are so varied that they all differ in nature. Among this infinite variety of dispositions of ...
— Malayan Literature • Various Authors

... all things, and I will spoil my own pleasure by giving her before she asks. 'In my epistle to Janet Wadham I spoke of moneys and estates being in thy hands. 'Tis a lie that will bring to thy mind more vividly than aught else my personality—suppressio veri; but if thou findest a like propensity in my babe, thou wilt deal gently but firmly with her for its correction. I give into thy keeping more than house, lands or titles. I would direct clemency toward my beloved servant; she has proven most faithful. My wife truly loved her and at her child's birth was constantly ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... reward of his services. He sat in the House of Commons from then until his death, twice representing Westminster. He was made Paymaster-General of the Forces and one of the Lords of the Treasury. He seems to have been an active-minded man, with considerable business propensity. He devised a scheme for paying the troops out of his private purse, and levying a certain percentage on them for the convenience. As the pay of the army was much in arrears, and at all times irregular, this arrangement was thankfully ...
— Chelsea - The Fascination of London • G. E. (Geraldine Edith) Mitton

... He answered my morning salutation civilly enough, but continued intent upon his work. He was a man of about fifty years of age, spare, but strong, with gray hair, and sunken cheeks, and certain lines about the mouth which augured a propensity to indulge in dry jest, though the sternness of his gray eye seemed to ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... in them, latent, any propensity toward viciousness—any unawakened desire for that which has been my failing—hard work from dawn till dark is the antidote. An exhausted child is ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... less eagerness. Notice should be taken of the connexion between this love of approbation and the social restraints; since it plays an important part in the maintenance of them. (d) The acquisitive propensity. This, too, is a character the degrees of which, and the relations of which to the social state, have to be especially noted. The desire for property grows along with the possibility of gratifying it; and this, extremely ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness—that's all he's done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... domesticated, and it has the exquisite flavor and perfume of the field-berry. It rarely fails to give us fruit in May, and my children, with the unerring taste of connoisseurs, follow it up until the last berry is picked. It would run all over the garden unchecked; and this propensity must be severely curbed to render a bed productive. Keeping earliness and high flavor in view, I would next recommend the Black Defiance. It is not remarkably productive on many soils, but the fruit is so delicious ...
— The Home Acre • E. P. Roe

... Bremer into an interesting talk before Mrs. W. appeared, and I felt what a pity it was that she hadn't the same propensity to talk that the latter had. She talked very pleasantly, however, and I thought what a pity it was that I shall not see her again; for I leave Rome in three days ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... parasites; we must prevent their return. We are men, and experience has abundantly taught us that every man is fond of power, and wishes to enjoy it at the expense of others. It is necessary, then, to guard against a propensity which is the source of discord; we must establish certain rules of duty and of right. But the knowledge of our rights, and the estimation of our duties, are so abstract and difficult as to require all ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... are several villages of free blacks, probably the major portion of them having been assisted in their escape by the Abolitionists. They are not very good neighbours from their propensity to thieving, which either is innate, or, as Miss Martineau would have it, is the effect of slavery. I shall not dispute that point; but it is certain that they are most inveterately hostile to the Americans, and will fight to ...
— Diary in America, Series One • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... world's sobs could always be soothed into smiles by an open bureau with large liberty to upheave its contents from turret to foundation-stone. As the infant world ascended from cambric and dimity to broadcloth and crinoline, its propensity for investigation grew stronger. It loved not bureaus less, but a great many other things more. What sad consequences might have ensued, had this passion been left to forage for itself, no one can tell. But, by the wonderful principle of adaptation which obtains throughout ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... terrier is one of a small breed of dogs, named from their propensity to scratch the ground or earth in pursuit ...
— Orthography - As Outlined in the State Course of Study for Illinois • Elmer W. Cavins

... them. In general they appeared to be modest; although there was no want of those of a different stamp; and as we had yet some venereal complaints on board, I took all possible care to prevent the disorder being communicated to them. On most occasions they shewed a strong propensity to pilfering; in which they were full as expert ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... the dog, and some of them are most extraordinary, appear to be independent of that instinct which Paley calls, "a propensity previous to experience, and independent of instruction." Some of these are hereditary, or derived from the habits of the parents, and are suited to the purposes to which each breed has long been and is ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... operate even in favour of those who had never heard of it: as to those who did hear of it, the effect it should produce would be repentance and piety, by impressing upon the mind a just notion of sin: that original sin was the propensity to evil, which no doubt was occasioned by the fall. He presented this solemn subject in a new light to me, [Footnote: My worthy, intelligent, and candid friend, Dr Kippis, informs me, that several divines have thus explained the ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... was sending chocolate from his own table, to his crew, in order to play the magnifico, on the score of his own good luck. There was no use in "kicking against the pricks," and I let Marble enjoy the pleasure of believing the worst of his captor; a sort of Anglo-Saxon propensity, that has garnished many a page in English and American history—to say nothing of the propensities and histories of others, among the great family ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... his manner dignified, though not gracious, his domestic life without blemish. Faithlessness was the chief cause of his disasters, and is the chief stain on his memory. He was, in truth, impelled by an incurable propensity to dark and crooked ways. It may seem strange that his conscience, which, on occasions of little moment, was sufficiently sensitive, should never have reproached him with this great vice. But there is reason to believe that he was perfidious, not ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Hewett had become the victim of a singular propensity; whenever she could obtain vinegar, she drank it as a toper does spirits. Inadequate nourishment, and especially an unsatisfied palate, frequently have this result in female children among the poor; it is an anticipation of what will befall them as soon ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... far from the consideration of the propensity of certain species of plants to take up special compound substances from the earth; but the wide-spread silex, with which we set out, displayed so interesting a field of observation, that it could not ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... seemed to "be reformed in sundry things, if it hold" (a delicate allusion to the Count's propensity for strong potations), was said "to desire humbly to be known for one that would obey the commandment of her Majesty more than of any earthly ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... strongest sense, as a barrier impossible to be surmounted: but, by attempting to express something more, he gives an idea of something less; we perceive, that his unpassable means difficult to pass. This is the mischief of the propensity to exaggeration; which, striving after strength, sinks into weakness."—Ib., ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... writes, kept him from sleep, his fears being equal to his hopes. He was especially sensitive and discouraged by unforeseen expenditure, while his sanguine partner, Roebuck, on the contrary, continued hopeful and energetic, and often rallied his pessimistic partner on his propensity to look upon the dark side. He was one of those who adhered to the axiom, "Never bid the devil good-morning till you meet him." Smiles believes that it is probable that without Roebuck's support Watt could never ...
— James Watt • Andrew Carnegie

... indulged in his propensity of devilment on this occasion, it would have saved them many hours of mental anguish and of bodily suffering, for the angry words uttered in the cell but lately tenanted by the two boys were spoken by Jack Harkaway ...
— Jack Harkaway and his son's Escape From the Brigand's of Greece • Bracebridge Hemyng

... wonderful similarity of disposition. The Mandingoes, in particular, are a very gentle race, cheerful in their dispositions, inquisitive, credulous, simple, and fond of flattery. Perhaps the most prominent defect in their character, was that insurmountable propensity, which the reader must have observed to prevail in all classes, of them, to steal from me the few effects I was possessed of. For this part of their conduct, no complete justification can be offered, because theft is a crime in their own estimation; and it must be observed, that ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... Luciferian influence, drew them into his soul which was separated from his physical body during sleep. Thus he came in contact with beings whose influence was highly corrupting. They increased in his soul the propensity for error; especially the tendency to misuse the powers of growth and reproduction, which since the separation of the physical and etheric bodies were ...
— An Outline of Occult Science • Rudolf Steiner

... particular disorders is very common: for it relates to all perturbations; it appears in many vices, though it has no name. Some are, therefore, said to be envious, malevolent, spiteful, fearful, pitiful, from a propensity to those perturbations, not from their being always carried away by them. Now this propensity to these particular disorders may be called a sickness from analogy with the body; meaning, that is to say, nothing more than ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... baroness and her son and daughter, the last very beautiful and much courted by handsome Austrian officers; the son rather weak-minded, and a great care to his sister and mother, from his propensity to fall in love and marry below his station; the mother very red-faced and fat, a good-natured old creature who gambled the summer months away at Hombourg and Baden and in the winter resorted to Venice to make a match for her pretty daughter. Then, moreover, ...
— Venetian Life • W. D. Howells

... This propensity to assign an exaggerated importance to personal affairs develops egoism, the avowed enemy of poise. An egoist necessarily assumes that the rest of the world attributes to his acts the importance ...
— Poise: How to Attain It • D. Starke

... are two separate facts and thoughts corresponding to these separate words. But it is a great mistake to suppose that the analysis of facts and thoughts necessarily runs parallel with the analysis of sounds. Man, as Homer says, is [Greek: merops], or a word-divider; and he often carries this propensity so far as to divide words where there is no corresponding division of thoughts or of things. This is a very convenient practice, in so far as the ordinary business of life is concerned: for it saves ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... with this great lever—will; However deeply bedded in propensity; However firmly set, I tell thee firmer yet Is that great power that comes ...
— What a Young Woman Ought to Know • Mary Wood-Allen

... always good, they were generally good enough. People laughed, and were willing to expend a cent the next day to see what new folly the man would commit or relate. We all like to read about our own neighborhood; this paper gratified the propensity. ...
— Great Fortunes, and How They Were Made • James D. McCabe, Jr.

... astronomer by accident. He was taken from school on account of his illness, when Sacrobosco's book De Sphaera having been lent to him, he was so pleased with it that he immediately began a course of astronomic studies. Pennant's first propensity to natural history was the pleasure he received from an accidental perusal of Willoughby's work on birds. The same accident of finding, on the table of his professor, Reaumur's History of Insects, which he read more than he ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... all God does is reasonable and cannot be better done, strikes at the outset every man of good sense, and extorts, so to speak, his approbation. And yet the most subtle of philosophers have a fatal propensity for offending sometimes without observing it, during the course and in the heat of disputes, against the first principles of good sense, when these are shrouded in terms that disguise them. We have here ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz



Words linked to "Propensity" :   disposition, tendency, aptness, leaning, proclivity, inclination



Copyright © 2021 Dictonary.net