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Benignity

noun
1.
The quality of being kind and gentle.  Synonyms: benignancy, graciousness.
2.
A kind act.  Synonym: kindness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Benignity" Quotes from Famous Books



... as if anxious to meet in order to protect it. The wrinkles that surrounded that mouth were innumerable, and each wrinkle was a distinct and separate smile; so that, whether pursing or expanding, it was at all times rippling with an expression of tender benignity. ...
— The Pirate City - An Algerine Tale • R.M. Ballantyne

... and of stoical reflection; in my constant intercourse with this man—an extraordinary man to those who knew him well—I felt vast depths beneath his toil, beneath his acts of politeness, his mask of benignity, his assumption of resignation, which so closely resembled calmness that it is easy to mistake it. Just as when walking through forest-lands certain soils give forth under our feet a sound which enables us to guess whether they are dense masses ...
— Honorine • Honore de Balzac

... have heard much of, the fury of the blood which the benignity of the law allows for upon sudden provocation, is supposd to be of short duration—the shooting a man dead upon the spot, must have stoppd the current in the breast of him who shot him, if he had not been ...
— The Writings of Samuel Adams, volume II (1770 - 1773) - collected and edited by Harry Alonso Cushing • Samuel Adams

... believed, that he was reckless of other people's feelings; so far from that, he had a morbid facility in his kindness; and in cases where he had no reason to suspect any lurking hostility, he showed even a paralytic benignity. But, simply and constitutionally, he was incapable of a sincere thought or a sincere emotion. Nothing that ever he uttered, were it even a prayer to God, but he had a fancy for reading it backwards. And he was ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... of a blackbird hidden in the flame-flowered chestnut. Hazel felt that she would like to go on picking currants for ever, growing more and more like Mrs. Marston every day, and at least becoming (possibly through sheer benignity) a grandmother. There seemed no place in her life for Reddin, no time for Hunter's Spinney. She thought, 'I wunna go. I'll stay along of Ed'ard, and no harm'll come to me.' But a peremptory voice said that she must go, and once more her soul became the passive battleground of strange ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... discretion knows and is cognisant, like God the Father, Creator, of all offences committed against you, and who may be appeased by tears and by weeping as He permits Himself to be softened by contrition, entreaties, etc., and resumes His natural benignity by forgetting things past [etc.].... Alas, what kindness did He use toward Adam, His first offender, upon whom through his son Seth He poured the oil of pity in five thousand future years, and then to Cain the first born of mother He postponed vengeance for his crime for ten generations etc. ...
— Charles the Bold - Last Duke Of Burgundy, 1433-1477 • Ruth Putnam

... received as truth, without producing such a modification of the entire system of divine revelation, as would impress on it a new and completely different character. Christianity, in its unadulterated simplicity, is distinguished by the consolatory views it imparts of the benignity and grace of God, and by the direct and cogent motives it suggests for holiness and righteousness of life. But the first article of the Calvinistic creed throws a veil of awful and suspicious mystery over the divine ...
— On Calvinism • William Hull

... overturning shall not cease until the final realization is reached. Society shall yet be rewrought and born again. All rule shall be justice, and obedience liberty. Government shall be the reflection of the infinite kingdom, the incarnation of truth, wisdom, benignity, power, the protector and help of all, inviting and assisting each to full realization of the utmost possibilities of attainment and strength for the individual soul, building to perfect freedom, building also to perfect unity. Service, sacrament, supreme reverence—this shall be the motto ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... half-and-half are superadded. Quickly the waitress returns bearing what is apparently a model of the Tower of Babel but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers. Mr. Smallweed, approving of what is set before him, conveys intelligent benignity into his ancient eye and winks upon her. Then, amid a constant coming in, and going out, and running about, and a clatter of crockery, and a rumbling up and down of the machine which brings the nice cuts from the kitchen, and a shrill crying for more nice cuts down ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... colleagues 'affecting his personal honour'—to such degrees of heat can the quicksilver mount even in a cabinet thermometer. If such quarrels of the great are painful, there is some compensation in the firmness, patience, and benignity with which a man like Lord Aberdeen strove to appease them. Some of his colleagues actually thought that Lord John would make this paltry affair a plea for resigning, while others suspected that he might find a ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... punishment. I therefore esteemed it right to furnish Your Highness with this very brief summary of a very long history that could and ought to be composed, of the massacres and devastation that have taken place. 8. I supplicate Your Highness to receive and read it with the clemency, and royal benignity he usually shows to his creatures, and servants, who desire to serve solely for the public good and for the prosperity of the State. 9. Having seen and understood the monstrous injustice done to these innocent people in destroying and outraging them, ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... such generosity that any man becomes capable of so governing others as to take true part in any system of national economy. Nor is there any other eternal distinction between the upper and lower classes than this form of liberty, Eleutheria, or benignity, in the one, and its opposite of slavery, Douleia, or malignity, in the other; the separation of these two orders of men, and the firm government of the lower by the higher, being the first conditions of possible wealth and economy in any state,—the Gods giving it no greater gift than the ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... him only the annoying sense of something on the tongue's-tip, as we say, but as unattainable as if it had never been heard. As he walked upon a little knoll that lay between the seaside of the castle and the wave itself, he found an air of the utmost benignity charged with the odours of wet autumn woodlands in a sunshine. And the sea stretched serene; the mists that had gathered in the night about the hills were rising like the smoke of calm hearths into a sky without a cloud. The castle itself, for all its natural arrogance and ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... the learned Stillingfleet observes, in his Irenicum,—'The unity and peace that was then among Christians, made religion amiable in the judgment of impartial heathens. Christians were then known by the benignity and sweetness of their dispositions, by the candour and ingenuity of their spirits, by their mutual love, forbearance, and condescension to one another: but either this is not the practice of Christianity,' viz., a duty that Christians are now bound to observe, 'or ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... right of the overwhelmingly complacent Cornucopia. With the hope of rendering himself more youthful for this belated adventure with the babbling widow he had been treated by a hair specialist. The result was, as usual, farcically pathetic. His nice white hair which had given him a charming benignity and cleanness had been turned into a dead and musty black which made him look unearthly and unreal. His smart and carefully cherished moustache which once had laid upon his upper lip like cotton wool had been treated with the same ink-colored mixture. ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... poverty from their very cradles, poverty that founded all cities in the days of old, poverty mother of all arts, witless of all sin, bestower of all glory, crowned with all honour among all the peoples of the world. Take the history of Greece: the justice of poverty is seen in Aristides, her benignity in Phocion, her force in Epaminondas, her wisdom in Socrates, her eloquence in Homer. It was this same poverty that established the empire of the Roman people in its first beginnings, and even to this ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... not that of imperious command, but of quiet self-possession and assurance of the right, blended with benignity. Romola, vibrating to the sound, looked round at the figure on the opposite side of the bed. His face was hardly discernible under the shadow of the cowl, and her eyes fell at once on his hands, which were folded across his breast and lay in relief on the edge of his black mantle. They had a marked ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... may, the result was obtained very easily by the professor; and when Hermione left him, before lunch, it is probable that in the solitude of the conservatory the man of science rubbed his gigantic hands together, and beamed upon the orchids with unusual benignity. ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... a gesture of calm benignity. "I should hope," she said magnificently, "that I could do without food as well as any of you." And she seated herself on the stool beside Mrs. Spicer with an air of having ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... both sexes. And if everything around Mrs. Downey was on a liberal scale, so was Mrs. Downey herself. She was expansive in her person, prodigal in sympathy, exuberant in dress. If she had one eye to the main chance, the other smiled at you in pure benignity. On her round face was a festal flush, flooding and effacing the little care-worn lines and wrinkles which appeared on it by day. It wore the colour of the hour which, evening after evening, renewed for her the great drama ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... reconciled to the life of Ephesus, could never have arrived at sixty with the imperious disregard for convention that was so perfectly Mrs. Norris's. Upon her face at present, as she looked down at her knitting, was a smiling benignity that would have recommended itself to the Virgin at Chartres; and at the same time her hair—what modest growth there was left—was uncurling itself from behind and threatening to pull down the whole structure after ...
— Tutors' Lane • Wilmarth Lewis

... of his senior year James entered another phase of his development. He offered to the college a new, or at least an enlarged, interpretation of himself. Some of his smiling good-fellowship had been sloughed to make way for the benignity of a budding statesman. He still held a tolerant attitude to the antics of his friends, but it was easy to see that he had put away childish things. To his many young women admirers he talked confidentially of his aims and aspirations. ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... by another, had, coming from the beautiful Rebecca, the romantic and pleasing effect which fancy ascribes to the charms pronounced by some beneficent fairy, unintelligible, indeed, to the ear, but, from the sweetness of utterance, and benignity of aspect, which accompanied them, touching and affecting to the heart. Without making an attempt at further question, Ivanhoe suffered them in silence to take the measures they thought most proper for his recovery; and it was not until those were completed, and this kind physician about ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... of God which depravity may not abuse. The belief of the divine perfections, especially of the divine mercy and benignity is often made the occasion of sin. Those whose "hearts are turned away from the Lord, when they hear the words of the curse, are wont to bless themselves in their hearts, saying, we shall have peace, though we walk in the imagination of our hearts, to ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... your benignity," cried the captain, as they led him away, "I congratulate myself that insignificant as I am the king yet deigns to notice my existence even ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... overflowed with benignity to all the world, and even granted the poor Frenchman permission to enjoy his pipe, a privilege of which he made haste to avail himself. It was an ill-timed charity, to be sure, but I could well afford ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... towards Leon, and, with that smile of wheedling benignity assumed by ecclesiastics when they ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... sanctimonious father. Mr. Jesse Collings hides under a painfully extorted smile the agonies he endures on the few occasions when Mr. Gladstone deems it worth his while to scornfully refer to his apostasy. But, speaking generally, Mr. Gladstone uses his giant powers with extraordinary benignity and mercifulness, and is almost tender with even his bitterest opponents. When, therefore, Mr. Gladstone was being baited by beef-headed Lowther, he for the most part looked simply pained; and took refuge in that far-off self-absorption which enabled him to forget the odious reality in ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... Joan, but filled only with the pious desire of leading her into the way of truth and salvation. 'Seeing that,' he continued, 'she was not sufficiently versed in such weighty matters as those they had now to deal with, they in their pitifulness and benignity, would allow her to choose among the learned doctors present, one or more to aid her with ...
— Joan of Arc • Ronald Sutherland Gower

... assimilating our minds to the matter in hand, we discussed the Apocryphal Gospels, which happened to be lying on the table; and very soon, without any other process than the facial contortions having been gone through, the medium broke silence, and, in measured tones of considerable benignity, said:—"Friends, we greet you in the name of our Lord and Master. Let us say ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... disputing with clerks, yamen-runners, and chair-coolies for a sight of my photographs and curiosities. The telegraph Manager Pen, Yeh (the magistrate), and a stalwart soldier (Colonel Liu), formed the Commission, and they retain hallowed recollections of the benignity of the Englishmen, and the excellence of their champagne. Colonel Liu proved to be the most enlightened member of the party. He is a tall, handsome fellow, fifty years of age, a native of Hunan, the most warlike and ...
— An Australian in China - Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey Across China to Burma • George Ernest Morrison

... railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove." Practical wisdom enough to make the course of any household run smooth! The instincts of a happy, placid temper have taught Olivia that there is as little of Christian virtue as of natural benignity in stinging away the spirit of kindness with a tongue of acid and acrimonious pietism. Her firm and healthy pulse beats in sympathy with the sportiveness in which the proper decorum of her station may not permit ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... place than from New York to Albany, the dew is never congealed on the grass, nor is a snow-flake ever seen floating in the air. Those who have passed the winter in that place, speak with a kind of rapture of the benignity of the climate. In that country grow the cocoa and the banana, and other productions of the West Indies. Persons who have explored Florida to the south of this, during the past winter, speak of ...
— Letters of a Traveller - Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America • William Cullen Bryant

... must be remembered only as blended with his benignity. "His friends were all that knew him," and, as Dr. Holmes said, "his smile was the well-remembered line of Terence written out in living features." Emerson's journals show the difficulty of his intercourse even ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... of Dora. Supposed to have been blighted in early life in some love affair, and hence she looks on the happiness of others with a calm, supercilious benignity, and talks of herself as being "in the desert of Sahara."—C. Dickens, ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... their true end and object: for there is such a thing as tyranny, as well as usurpation. You can hardly state to me a case to which legislature is the most confessedly competent, in which, if the rules of benignity and prudence are not observed, the most mischievous and oppressive things may not be done. So that, after all, it is a moral and virtuous discretion, and not any abstract theory of right, which keeps governments faithful to their ends. Crude, unconnected truths ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... finely arched. His dark-blue eyes, which were deeply set, had an expression of resignation, and an earnestness that was almost pensiveness. His forehead was sometimes marked with thought, but never with inquietude; his countenance was mild and pleasing and full of benignity. ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... state of mind, Mr. Rawlinson one day placed both of his palms on Stas' shoulders and, looking him straight in the eyes, said with an angelic benignity: ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... the negro, with a smile of expansive benignity; "I's not 'fraid ob dat. I's bin a slabe once, got used to lickin's. Don't care nuffin' ...
— Blown to Bits - or, The Lonely Man of Rakata • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... is colossal (though perhaps not much more so than the mountainous Doctor himself) and looks down upon the spectator from its pedestal of ten or twelve feet high, with a broad and heavy benignity of aspect, very like in feature to Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of Johnson, but calmer and sweeter in expression. Several big books are piled up beneath his chair, and, if I mistake not, he holds a volume in his hand, thus blinking forth at the world out of his learned abstraction, ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... such, it has revealed itself in ten emanations or Sephiroth, which are not ten different beings, nor even beings at all; but sources of life, vessels of Omnipotence, and types of Creation. They are Sovereignty or Will, Wisdom, Intelligence, Benignity, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Permanency, and Empire. These are attributes of God; and this idea, that God reveals Himself by His attributes, and that the human mind cannot perceive or discern God Himself, in his works, but only his mode of manifesting Himself, is ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... notes of Epicurean philosophy fall almost unconsciously from his lips. With poetry at hand, he appears to feel no misgivings. A large faith he might seem to have in what is called "natural optimism," the beauty and benignity of nature, if let alone, in her mechanical round of changes with man and beast and flower. Her method, however, certainly involves forgetfulness for the individual; and to this, to the prospect of oblivion, poetry, too, may help to brace us, if, unlike so genial and cheerful a ...
— Essays from 'The Guardian' • Walter Horatio Pater

... a vast extent. The splendour, power, and intolerance of national hierarchies is mistaken for the humble benignity of the Bible system of Christianity or personal religion. Antichrist, tricked out in robes and gewgaws, is, by perverted ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... or perform his daily occupations, if his father or his mother or his sister or his brother or his wife or his son or his daughter might not be finally forgiven for the frailties of an imperfect nature which he had inherited? The Catholic Church, in its benignity,—at what time I do not know,—opened the future of hope amid the speculations of despair. She saved the Middle Ages from universal gloom. If speculation or logic or tradition or scripture pointed to a hell of reprobation, there must be also a purgatory as the field ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI • John Lord

... grossness. His hands were white and well shaped. On the left he wore a fine diamond ring, but it shone rather than sparkled. He spoke of commonplace things in a voice that lent dignity even to the weather. His face, which was clean-shaven, radiated benignity tempered by discretion. ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... Queen's majesty let us pray Unto God to keep her in health and wealth night and day, And that, of his mere mercy and great benignity, He will defend and maintain her estate and dignity; That she, being grieved with any outward hostility, May against ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. II • Robert Dodsley

... therefore if a poor man of this earth so commanded by edict concerning his image, how much more reason have the ecclesiastical or secular princes to take care to order that no one shall paint the benignity and meekness of our Redeemer or the purity of Our Lady and the Saints but the most illustrious painters to be found in their domains and provinces? And this would be a very famous and much praised work in any lord. And even in the Old Testament God the Father wished that ...
— Michael Angelo Buonarroti • Charles Holroyd

... majesty of the presence, and the high temper of the discourse. Men have been ungrateful and perverse; they have done what they could to counteract, to debase, this most heavenly influence of their life; but the laws of their Maker are too strong, the benignity of their Father is too patient and fervent, for their opposition to withstand: and true love continues, and will continue, to send up its homage amidst the meditations of every eventide, and the busy hum of noon, and the song ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... from the Christian's point of view. "How carefully," he says, "we should cherish the little virtues which spring up at the foot of the Cross!" When the saint was asked, "What virtues do you mean?" he replied: "Humility, patience, meekness, benignity, bearing one another's burden, condescension, softness of heart, cheerfulness, cordiality, compassion, forgiving injuries, simplicity, candour—all, in short of that sort of little virtues. They, like unobtrusive violets, love the shade; like them are sustained by ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... later achievements of its author. It is a vast pageant of theology and philosophy, comprising in some twelve divisions an attempt to represent the relation of God to man and of man to God, to emphasize the benignity of Providence, to preach the immortality of the soul, and to postulate "a gospel of faith and reason combined." It contains fine lines and dignified thought, but its ambitious theme, and a certain incoherency in the manner in which it is ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... Dissenters to America. Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is alway the strongly-marked feature of all law-religions, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity. In America, a catholic priest is a good citizen, a good character, and a good neighbour; an episcopalian minister is of the same description: and this proceeds independently of the men, from there ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... motionless gazing at her steadfastly. For her beauty, the monarch for some moment believed her to be (the goddess) Sri herself. Next he regarded her to be the embodiment of the rays emanating from Surya. In splendour of her person she resembled a flame of fire, though in benignity and loveliness she resembled a spotless digit of the moon. And standing on the mountain-breast, the black-eyed maiden appeared like a bright statue of gold. The mountain itself with its creepers and plants, because of the beauty and attire of that damsel, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... indeed a lovely afternoon, and a beautiful scene—a very misanthrope would have gazed on it with an approach at least to benignity. No wonder that George Augustus Clearemout smiled on it so joyously, and whisked his walking-cane vigorously in the exuberance of ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... themselves, and the consumers at least are ever benefited by a fall in the cost of grain. Cheap prices are a real blessing if that effect consists with prosperity to the producer, as by improved methods of cultivation or manufacture, or the benignity of nature in giving fine seasons. But cheap prices are the greatest of all evils, and to none more shall the consumers, if they are the result, not of the magnitude of domestic production, but of the magnitude of foreign importation. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... after a reign of four months and three days, he was dethroned, and the Emir Khosh Kadem, a former slave of the Sultan Sheikh, of Greek descent, was proclaimed in his stead. Khosh Kadem reigned for seven years with equity and benignity, and under one of his immediate successors, El-Ashraf Kait Bey, a struggle was begun with the Ottoman Turks. On the death of Muhammed II., dissensions had arisen between Bayazid II. and Jem. Jem, being defeated by Bayazid, retired to Egypt, which led to the invasion and conquest of Syria, ...
— History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 12 (of 12) • S. Rappoport

... on the bridge; it is open by day," said the young lady, with great benignity, for reverence was not the sentiment her fourteen years often inspired, and she was the more pleased therewith. "But, since you are in the garden," continued she, "will you not look around? We shall be very glad if it ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... Your Majesty's benignity at an early period as a painter, and chosen by those professors highly endowed in the three branches of the fine arts to fill their highest station, and sanctioned by Your Majesty's signature in their choice;—in that station, ...
— The Life, Studies, And Works Of Benjamin West, Esq. • John Galt

... after I had ended, for some time in deep meditation; now and then casting his eyes toward me and then taking them away, as if fearful of offending my sensibility and again falling into thought. At length, fixing them more firmly and with an open benignity of countenance, ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... her lifetime, "lovely Mary Cathcart," is a whole biography of benignity and beauty. She came of one of the most ancient and noble families in Scotland, and was the daughter of the ninth Baron Cathcart, called "Cathcart of Fontenoy." Her brother William became the tenth Baron, and afterwards ...
— Some Old Time Beauties - After Portraits by the English Masters, with Embellishment and Comment • Thomson Willing

... times Hinton was accustomed to compare the marriage law to the law of the Sabbath as broken by Jesus. We find exactly the same comparison in Milton. The Sabbath, he believes, was made for God. "Yet when the good of man comes into the scales, we have that voice of infinite goodness and benignity, that 'Sabbath was made for man and not man for Sabbath.' What thing ever was made more for man alone, and less for God, than marriage?" (op. cit., Bk. i, Ch. XI). "If man be lord of the Sabbath, can he be less ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... an astonishing resemblance to our Dr. Franklin. He was, to be sure, of a somewhat heavier build, though shorter by two or three inches, I should say, judging by the bronze full-length you have in Boston. The prevailing expression was much alike in both; but there was not so much of constitutional benignity in the looks of Bentham, nor was he ever so grave and thoughtful as Franklin is generally represented in his portraitures; but he was fuller of shrewdness and playfulness,—of downright drollery, indeed,—of boyish fun,—and, above all, of a warm-hearted, unquestioning ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... stammered, with dry lips. His very good-humour, his benignity, appalled me. I knew how terrible would be the change, how fearful his rage, when I should tell him the truth. And yet that I, Gil de Berault, should tremble before any man! With that thought I spurred myself, as it were, to the task. 'No, your Eminence,' I said, with the energy of despair. 'I have ...
— Under the Red Robe • Stanley Weyman

... thrust back the hair from the top of his commanding head, although it is thick at the sides over the ears, and repeats in its soft gray the color of his kindly eyes. Before taking in these physical facts one receives an impression of benignity and amenity not often conveyed, even by the most distinguished. And, taking advantage of this amiability, I asked if certain words just used should be followed by a dash, and even boldly added: "Are you not famous, Mr. James, for ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... person. His features, however, were so marked by prominent characteristics, which appear in all likenesses of him, that a stranger could not be mistaken in the man; he was remarkably dignified in his manners, and had an air of benignity over his features which his visitant did not expect, being rather prepared for sternness of countenance.... his smile was extraordinarily attractive. It was observed to me that there was an expression in Washington's face that no painter had succeeded ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... of Shakespeare may prove to them in older years enrichers of the fancy, strengtheners of virtue, a withdrawing from all selfish and mercenary thoughts, a lesson of all sweet and honourable thoughts and actions, to teach courtesy, benignity, generosity, humanity: for of examples, teaching these virtues, his pages ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... observed lighted up, as it were, from within by a passing dream—its expression is frequently one of peculiar mildness and benignity; the breathing may be slow, but it is calm and uniform: the pulse not so rapid as in the waking state, but soft and regular; the composure of the whole body may continue trance-like and perfect. There is, indeed, no sign of innocence more touching ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... were their fates; yet their qualifications ought to have been the same, or differing only as sixteen differs from seventeen; and also as sixteen overflowing with levity differs from seventeen prematurely thoughtful. Edward Penson was early noticed for his high principle, for his benignity, and for a thoughtfulness somewhat sorrowful, that seemed to have caught in childhood some fugitive glimpse of his own too brief career. At noonday, in some part of Bengal, he went out of doors bareheaded, and died ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... live, because there would not be room. It is also equally evident that, if individuals did not die, they could never have any other life than the present. The foregoing considerations, fathomed and appreciated, transform the institution of death from caprice and punishment into necessity and benignity. In the timid sentimentalist's view, death is horrible. Nature unrolls the chart of organic existence, a convulsed and lurid list of murderers, from the spider in the window to the tiger in the jungle, from the shark at the bottom ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... lately put it so much in Harriet's power to relieve him from it? I dare not think it arises from her want of filial regard; I do not know anything so likely to abate the ardour of my attachment as a knowledge of that; but it is an ungenerous suggestion, unworthy the benignity and tenderness of the ...
— The Politician Out-Witted • Samuel Low

... promises in restless pride. Such was she—not from faculties more strong Than others have, but from the times, perhaps, And spot in which she lived, and through a grace 290 Of modest meekness, simple-mindedness, A heart that found benignity and hope, Being itself benign. My drift I fear Is scarcely obvious; but, that common sense May try this modern system by its fruits, 295 Leave let me take to place before her sight A specimen pourtrayed with faithful hand. Full early trained to worship seemliness, This model of a child is never ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. III • William Wordsworth

... me, Fanny," she replied, with her wonted sweetness and benignity, "to ask any one to tamper with duty; but, my child, our faults, our pride frequently mislead us. You shall go to-night, if you please; but I wish, for my sake, you could stay at least till to-morrow morning. I ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... clergyman appeared to move with caution, occasionally standing aside, and oftener bending his head, as it were in salutation, thus practising all the gestures of one who makes his way through a throng. Reaching the head of the staircase, he looked around, with sad and solemn benignity, laid aside his staff, bared his hoary locks, and was evidently on the point of commencing ...
— The White Old Maid (From "Twice Told Tales") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... — N. benevolence, Christian charity; God's love, God's grace; good will; philanthropy &c. 910; unselfishness &c. 942. good nature, good feeling, good wishes; kindness, kindliness &c. adj.; loving-kindness, benignity, brotherly love, charity, humanity, fellow- feeling, sympathy: goodness of heart, warmth of heart; bonhomie; kind- heartedness; amiability, milk of human kindness, tenderness; love &c. 897; friendship &c. 888. toleration, consideration, generosity; mercy &c. (pity) 914. charitableness ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... what the man's distinguishing quality was. It was his open look, an expression almost of benignity, absolutely foreign to the Indian character. Indians may give their eyes freely to one another, but a white man never sees ...
— The Fur Bringers - A Story of the Canadian Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... though Mrs. Dering could not speak for the many emotions that oppressed her, but after one or two glances at her face, which caused the old gentleman to scout at the idea of her refusing, he exclaimed with a fatherly benignity which sat ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... youthful passions; under similar circumstances, depend upon it we should commit the self-same errors that we have now to regret. As for myself, instead of indulging in this sort of weakness, I look back upon my past errors with a sort of awful reverence for the benignity of the divine will of my Maker; and, when I prostrate myself before God, and offer up a silent, although an ardent thanksgiving for all his goodness to me, an insignificant human being, I never forget ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 2 • Henry Hunt

... shall pray For thee when I am far away: For never saw I mien, or face, In which more plainly I could trace Benignity and home-bred sense Ripening in perfect innocence. Here scattered, like a random seed, Remote from men, Thou dost not need The embarrassed look of shy distress, And maidenly shamefacedness: Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear The freedom ...
— The Hundred Best English Poems • Various

... for his philanthropy and general benignity, suggests that the subject chosen ought also to have a family of young children wholly dependent on his exertions, by way of deepening the pathos. And, undoubtedly, this is a judicious caution. Yet I would not insist too keenly on this condition. Severe good taste unquestionably demands it; but ...
— Miscellaneous Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... "to correct and enlarge the heart;" nor do the blandishments of life invariably add to the sum of moral excellence; they are often "as dead sea fruit that tempts the eye, but turns to ashes on the lips."—While a rough exterior as frequently covers a temper of the utmost benignity, happy in itself and ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... o'er his lip, He eyes me with benignity; He yearns to offer goodly tip, Yet fears to wound ...
— Fringilla: Some Tales In Verse • Richard Doddridge Blackmore

... vigor can belong to that body politic which is forced to inhale the nauseous effluvia of tyranny? Prosperity is a plant that can only flourish in an atmosphere fauned by the wholesome breath of freedom. The highest fertility of soil, the greatest benignity of climate, the most commanding superiority of position, will otherwise be unavailing. Freedom may in the end convert the most barren and inhospitable waste into a paradise; but the inevitable ...
— Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land • William Charles Wentworth

... Penn.) thought the memorialists did not deserve to be aspersed for their conduct, if influenced by motives of benignity, they solicited the Legislature of the Union to repel, as far as in their power, the increase of a licentious traffic. Nor do they merit censure, because their behavior has the appearance of more morality than other people's. But it is not for Congress ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... historian then, with dry humour, remarks, "neither was wrong":—"Mox, quasi rixantes stupra et flagitia invicem objectavere: neuter falso." (Hist. I. 74.) This witty and ridiculing vein does not prevent him from being always kindly. The benignity of his nature is seen in all his portraitures (which look, by the way, like the portraitures of real men); it is observable in his character of Licinius Mucianus (I. 10), Cornelius Fuscus (II. 86), Helvidius Priscus (IV. 5), and others;—lovely portraits ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... I lay claim to it. The courage of heroes, the purity of angels, the generosity of God, is no more than I need. Only show virtue unmixed at the heart of this system, and you open my destiny in that. If there be but the least spark of pure benignity, it is a fire will spread through all and fill the breast; for Good makes good, and what it is I must become. Man is heir not to any possession or commodity, though it were a homestead in all heavens, but to the moral power which we ache to exercise. To-day I am a poor starveling of Nature, sucking ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864 • Various

... and familiarly serious ever to be cruel. Consider how for three months the human destiny is wrapped in furs. The good Hebrew Revelation takes no cognizance of all this cheerful snow. Is there no religion for the temperate and frigid zones? We know of no scripture which records the pure benignity of the gods on a New England winter night. Their praises have never been sung, only their wrath deprecated. The best scripture, after all, records but a meagre faith. Its saints live reserved and austere. Let a brave devout man spend the year in the woods of Maine or Labrador, and see ...
— Excursions • Henry D. Thoreau

... thus moralised on my adventures, he looked upon me with so much humour and benignity that I could scarce contain my satisfaction. I had been so long wandering with lawless people, and making my bed upon the hills and under the bare sky, that to sit once more in a clean, covered house, and to talk amicably with a gentleman in broadcloth, seemed ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... inferiors at least, was generally harsh and proud. But yet Wilton could not help believing that there was a peculiar expression in the Earl's countenance when that nobleman's eyes turned upon him; that there was a smile which was not a smile of benignity, that there was a courtesy which was not of the heart. Why or wherefore Wilton could hardly tell, but he fancied that the Earl's conduct was what it might be towards a person who had suddenly fallen completely ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... around; her impulse was to seize a poker and rush at the cat. But she stood where she was and infused more benignity ...
— The Girl at Cobhurst • Frank Richard Stockton

... not, however, a permanent lustre, for it was only remarkable when he was excited by some point of particular interest. It is impossible to imagine an expression of more entire mildness, I may almost call it of benignity and kindliness, than that which played over his features during the whole interview. If, therefore, he was at this time out of health and in low spirits, his power of self-command must have been even more extraordinary than is generally supposed; for his whole deportment, ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... as the Cooleen Bawn was concerned, than her extraordinary power of conciliating love and attachment from all who approached her, or were engaged in attending upon her person. The singular softness of her sweet and mellow voice was in itself an exponent of the remarkable suavity and benignity of her disposition. In fact, she carried a charm about her—an atmosphere of kindness and benevolence that no human being who came within its influence could resist. Her smile was a perfect fascination, which, in addition to her elegance of form—her grace and harmony of ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... I repaired to the house of the bookseller; the bookseller was in his shop. 'Ah,' said he, as soon as I entered, 'I am glad to see you.' There was an unwonted heartiness in the bookseller's tones, an unwonted benignity in his face. 'So,' said he, after a pause, 'you have taken my advice, written a book of adventure; nothing like taking the advice, young man, of your superiors in age. Well, I think your book will do, and so does my wife, for whose judgment I have a great regard; ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... gestures would have made an actor celebrated—they are indescribable, but they said in effect, "Rather than have any misunderstanding come between me and my close personal friends I would give you free anything in my possession." The blood rushed to his face and a smile of heavenly benignity came over it as he handed us the things at the price we had ...
— Letters from China and Japan • John Dewey

... think I had better fold my hands. Besides, when helpful, generous minds begin to flock in from your part of the country," Miss Birdseye continued, looking at him from under the distorted and discoloured canopy of her hat with a benignity which completed the idea in any cheerful ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. II (of II) • Henry James

... Saviour. She is seldom found in the Catacombs, but frequently in the Mosaic work of churches dedicated to her worship, and on Byzantine coins from the tenth century forwards. The face is oval, similar to that of a youthful matron of ancient Rome, and carrying always the expression of a calm benignity. The head is covered with a veil and surrounded by a nimbus. Next to Mary and her Son, Peter and Paul, the chief apostles of the Pagan and Judaic world, are most frequently represented. They were both objects of devotion, even to those who still lingered without the pale of Christianity. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... these words, and by a look full of kindness and benignity, I abandoned myself without reserve to all the inspirations of my heart and soul. The picture which I drew of the sufferings and hopes of the nation, which I presented to the Emperor, was so touching and so animated, that he was astonished. "You are a noble young fellow," ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... the officiating priest assumed colossal proportions; a circle of beams, dimming sunlight, broke forth around his head; hyacinthine locks clustered on his shoulders, his eyes sparkled with supernatural radiance; a quiver depended at his back; an unstrung bow occupied his hand; the majesty and benignity of his presence alike seemed augmented tenfold. Eubulides and the crowd sank simultaneously on their ...
— The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales • Richard Garnett

... says, "He laboured, so must we," we do not find the comparison humiliating either to Plato or ourselves. For "without a way there is no going," and every man of superior mould says to us with more or less of benignity, "I am the way: follow me." Such means or ways of attainment have been followed by all whose success is known to us, and are followed now by all "finely touched and gifted men." I might quote in illustration of these assertions ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... adorning and transmitting which was unmarred by outward manifestations of hard and haughty feeling. According to their ideal, beauty must be the expression of attractive qualities within—such as cheerfulness, benignity, contentment, ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... he appeared that day. From what I had heard I was prepared to see a hard-faced impostor or a fanatic with frenzy in his eyes. He was a man of middle stature, with a face of striking beauty and benignity, eyes of mingled light and warmth, and auburn hair falling over his shoulders. It was not strange that he looked pale and haggard; for he had passed through three judicial ordeals since the last sunset, besides being scourged with the flagellum ...
— The Centurion's Story • David James Burrell

... intend to come in again to-day," said Lady Cranstone, whose features still successfully failed to give to the stranger any indication of the benignity that, it ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 13, 1920 • Various

... the Quarry Wood first," said Cousin Dick, with royal benignity. "You get away outside at the western end, and keep a look-out ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... consist was created; the informing power in these stars which go round about them was created. The ray and the motion of the holy lights draw out from its potential elements[3] the soul of every brute and of the plants; but the Supreme Benignity inspires your life without intermediary, and enamors it of Itself so that ever after it desires It. And hence[4] thou canst argue further your resurrection, if thou refleetest bow the human flesh was made when the first parents were ...
— The Divine Comedy, Volume 3, Paradise [Paradiso] • Dante Alighieri

... high-priest, and deem it holy work to offer sacrifices of whatever is most precious; and never once seem to suspect—so cunning has the Devil been with them—that this false deity, in whose iron features, immitigable to all the rest of mankind, they see only benignity and love, is but a spectrum of the very priest himself, projected upon the surrounding darkness. And the higher and purer the original object, and the more unselfishly it may have been taken up, the ...
— The Blithedale Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... frequently renewed at first, because they afforded me the relief of variety, whilst his intimate knowledge of men and things—his remarkable sagacity and good sense—his air of mingled piety and benignity,—cheated me into forgetfulness of my situation. As these gradually yielded to the lenitive power of time, I sought his conversation for the positive pleasure it afforded, and at last it became the chief source of ...
— A Voyage to the Moon • George Tucker

... they were not only guiding, but comprehensive. They meant a great deal more on the lips of the ancients, than they now express to the Christian mind. Cicero's Justice includes charity, beneficence, and benignity, truth, and faith in the sense of trustworthiness. His Fortitude includes courage, self-command, the scorn of fortune and of all temporary felicities. His Temperance includes courtesy and modesty. So also, in Plato, these four virtues constitute ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume II (of 3) • John Ruskin

... a tall woman of forty, her ample form, her wide bosom, the falling folds of her black dress, her loosely girdled waist, suggesting, with the cloistral analogies, the mournful benignity of a bereaved Madonna. Seen as she stood there, leaning her head to watch her son's approach, she was an almost intimidating presence, black, still, and stately. But when the door opened and the young man came in, when, not moving to meet him, she turned ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... magnificance, Thy virtue, and thy great humility, Surpass all science and all utterance; For sometimes, Lady, ere men pray to thee Thou goest before in thy benignity, The light to us vouchsafing of thy prayer, To be our guide unto thy Son ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... now, my soul! now draw the string; Bend at the mark the bow: To whom shall now the glorious arrow wing The praise of mild benignity? To Agrigentum fly, Arrow of song, and there thy praise bestow; For I shall swear an oath: a hundred years are flown, But the city ne'er has known A hand more liberal, a more loving heart, Than, Theron, thine! ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... such changes of freemen into slaves, much less to wage war for any such purpose, we may dismiss his gross perversion of the text in question. He may apply the condemnation of the apostle to us now, if it so please the benignity of his Christian charity, but it will not, we assure him, enter into our consciences, until we shall not only become "slave-traders," but also, with a view to the gain of such odious traffic, ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... ceremony by paying the first visit. She went at once, and unattended, to the apartments in one of the towers that had been assigned to the Court Godmother, who, without seeming at all overwhelmed by such condescension, received her with more benignity than usual. "Thank you, my dear," she said, in answer to the Queen's inquiries, "I am tolerably well, and feel no ill effects from my journey. And I think," she added complacently, "you will agree that I have spent my time at Clairdelune not altogether unprofitably. ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... deportment. He had not the same look of benevolence and good-will to man which irradiated the features of the first, of whom it might be truly said, that his inward affections did mould and constrain his outward image into their resemblance, so that meekness and benignity shone through his countenance from the ever-glowing spirit of love and Christian charity within. There was a sharp and shrewd intelligence in the eye of the latter speaker which showed that some considerations ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... who petitioned Sir Arthur to lay his commands on me to attend them to London, knowing I wished it; and that this was in return for the trifling favour I had done her, in galloping after her with her favourite bird? Oh! She is all benignity! All grace! All angel! ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... benevolence with which her life had been identified. After the meeting, and at her own desire, several members of the committee, and other friends, assembled at her house. They were welcomed by her with the greatest benignity and kindness, and in her intercourse with them, strong were the indications of the heavenly teaching through which her subdued and sanctified spirit had been called to pass. Her affectionate salutation in parting, unconsciously closed, in regard to most of them, the ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... to follow me," replied this amiable eel, with hypocritical benignity; "I am going to my aunt's room to do what I told you. I leave you in charge of the quarter-deck." So saying, she walked slowly up the steps, and left David standing sorrowfully on the gravel. At the top step Miss Lucy turned and inquired gently when he was to sail. He told her the ship ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... the Duke of Saxony, begged of him, as a present, a few of the many relics which the duke preserved in his treasury, assuredly less out of devotion than for the sake of their rarity and value. The duke, with his usual benignity, acceded to this request, and gave orders that sundry vials should be dispatched to the count, filled with most indubitable relics of Our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin, of the Apostles, of the Innocents, and of other holy persons. He directed two Lutheran ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 74, March 29, 1851 • Various

... complacently handed from one to the other of the party, who saluted my father with a smile of most courteous benignity. ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... imbued with the philosophic jollity of the jolly servant of Martin Chuzzlewit. Were it not for their chains, it would have been difficult to discover master from slave; the physiognomic traits were alike—the mild benignity with which we were regarded was equally visible on all faces. The chains were ponderous—they might have held elephants captive; but as the slaves carried nothing but themselves, their weight could not ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... Dolores might be even now entering into a place of eternal rest, where her sins of ignorance and untutored instincts would not count too heavily against her. The sea is very benign to its elect; a calm sea in the setting sun received Dolores in arms of infinite benignity. ...
— The Pirate Woman • Aylward Edward Dingle

... New York and the countries of Staten and Long Island have submitted voluntarily and cheerfully, and that many are very full of zeal to the cause of administration. Were they instantly restored to trade? Are they yet restored to it? Is not the benignity of two commissioners, naturally most humane and generous men, some way fettered by instructions, equally against their dispositions and the spirit of Parliamentary faith, when Mr. Tryon, vaunting of the fidelity of the city in which he is governor, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... first received intimation from the supernal and spanking hand of Hon'ble Mr Punch, that he smiled with fatherly benignity at my humble request that he should offer myself as a regular poorly-paid contributor, I blessed my stars and was as if to jump over the moon for jubilation ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... looked down on Phemy with such a face of loving benignity that the poor miserable girl threw her arms round her neck, and laid her head on her bosom. Instinctively the mother began to hush and soothe her, and in a moment more was singing a lullaby to her. Phemy fell fast asleep. ...
— Heather and Snow • George MacDonald

... another crime, if I may be pardoned for taking part in it; for consider, O Rajah! In your benignity, that I am but a slave, and my master compelled me to act the part I did," ...
— The Young Rajah • W.H.G. Kingston

... the major, still with great benignity, he said — "And do you really mean, sir, not to give me up ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... his sister bring forth the drink in a great goblet. Erik caught hold of her right hand and of the goblet she offered at the same time, and said: "Noblest of kings, hath thy benignity granted me this present? Dost thou assure me that what I hold shall be ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... not come to trespass so far upon your benignity," he answered, as he bent before her. "I come to express, rather, my regret that you should have ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]



Words linked to "Benignity" :   good, benefaction, pardon, benignant, action, forgiveness, malignity, benign, consideration, endearment, thoughtfulness, benignancy, favor, benevolence, favour, cupboard love, goodness, malignancy



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