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Severity   /sɪvˈɛrɪti/   Listen
Severity

noun
(pl. severities)
1.
Used of the degree of something undesirable e.g. pain or weather.  Synonyms: badness, severeness.
2.
Something hard to endure.  Synonyms: asperity, grimness, hardship, rigor, rigorousness, rigour, rigourousness, severeness.
3.
Extreme plainness.  Synonyms: austereness, severeness.
4.
Excessive sternness.  Synonyms: hardness, harshness, inclemency, rigor, rigorousness, rigour, rigourousness, severeness, stiffness.  "The harshness of his punishment was inhuman" , "The rigors of boot camp"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Severity" Quotes from Famous Books



... day following there was a partial thaw attended with rain, the wind having veered from north-west to south-west. This thaw, however, did not continue long, and was succeeded by a frost which surpassed all within my recollection in severity and duration. Yet during the whole of the period, though the thermometer often stood below 18 degrees Fahrenheit, and the estuary of the Tees several miles below Stockton, where the spring-tides rise from twelve to eighteen feet, was ...
— Essays in Natural History and Agriculture • Thomas Garnett

... to the character of any young people must be the totally opposite treatment which Maria and Julia had been always experiencing at home, where the excessive indulgence and flattery of their aunt had been continually contrasted with his own severity. He saw how ill he had judged, in expecting to counteract what was wrong in Mrs. Norris by its reverse in himself, clearly saw that he had but increased the evil, by teaching them to repress their spirits in his presence so as to make their real disposition ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... Jewish War, Pref., p. 4. "The Almighty cut off the family of Eli the high priest, for its transgressions."—See Key. "The convention then resolved themselves into a committee of the whole."—Inst., p. 146. "The severity with which this denomination was treated, appeared rather to invite than to deter them from flocking to the colony."—H. Adams's View, p. 71. "Many Christians abuse the Scriptures and the traditions of the apostles, to uphold things quite contrary to it."—Barclay's Works, i, ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... was born at Eisleben, Germany, of poor and humble parents. He was brought up under the rigid discipline of the typical German home, in which the rod was not spared. Upon this point he writes, "My parents' severity made me timid; their sternness and the strict life they led me made me afterward go into a monastery and become a monk. They meant well, but they did not understand the ...
— History of Education • Levi Seeley

... parish of St. Landry. (Accompanying document No. 35). The parish ordinance of St. Landry differs from the town ordinances of Opelousas and Franklin in several points, and wherever there is any difference, it is in the direction of greater severity. It imposes heavier fines and penalties throughout, and provides, in addition, for a system of corporal punishment. It is also ordained "that the aforesaid penalties shall be summarily enforced, and that it shall be the duty of the captain or chief of patrol to see that the aforesaid ...
— Report on the Condition of the South • Carl Schurz

... the boat. The captain listened to the story, and he spoke with some grave severity to Marjorie, as he had a right to do; for he had done everything to provide for the safety of his passengers, and it was not right to him, or the company, for a wilful girl to run into needless peril out of the waywardness of ...
— Fifty-Two Stories For Girls • Various

... the presence of pressing exigencies were apt to deprive governmental action of the necessary vigor; and his kindness of heart, his disposition always to respect the feelings of others, frequently made him recoil from anything like severity, even when severity was urgently called for. But many of his radical critics have since then revised their judgment sufficiently to admit that Lincoln's policy was, on the whole, the wisest and safest; that a policy of heroic methods, while it has sometimes accomplished great results, could in ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... He is captured and admits that he has the boys in his protection; but he begs the king not to injure them, calls attention to the foulness of doing them harm, and promises, in case they make any disturbance in the kingdom, to report the matter to the king. Frothi, whose severity Ragnar thus transforms into mildness, spares the boys, and for many years they live in security. When they are grown up, they go to Seeland. Their friends urge them to avenge their father's death, and this ...
— The Relation of the Hrolfs Saga Kraka and the Bjarkarimur to Beowulf • Oscar Ludvig Olson

... the four winds. "What an awfully impudent question," she thought, "after my saying it so often. What shall I answer?" She looked Peter in the eye with severity. "I shan't refuse," she said, "because I shan't even let him speak. If any man dares to attempt it, I'll tell him frankly I ...
— The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him • Paul Leicester Ford

... admiration of him shielded all his actions to which another would have been often subjected. At this moment, for instance, no one thought of smiling, or even of feeling surprised, that the cuirass should clothe the priest; and the severity of his character and aspect suppressed every thought of ironical comparisons or injurious conjectures. This day the Cardinal appeared in a costume entirely martial: he wore a reddish-brown coat, embroidered with gold, a water-colored ...
— Cinq Mars, Complete • Alfred de Vigny

... again on the offensive. Since the very hard laws of Theodosius, which forbade the worship of the ancient gods, even within the house, the pagans had not overlooked any chance to protest against the Imperial severity. At Carthage there were always fights in the streets between pagans and Christians, not to say riots. In the colony of Suffetula, sixty Christians had been massacred. The year before the capture of Rome, there had been trouble with the pagans at Guelma. Houses belonging to the Church were ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... Fairview spoke this name in a tone of severity. He accompanied the utterance with a bang of the ruler that made the desk before ...
— Andy the Acrobat • Peter T. Harkness

... Human life was protected, except in the sense that human sacrifices were common, the victims being often prisoners of war. Slavery was practised, but strictly regulated. The Aztec code was, on the whole, stamped with the severity of a rude people, relying on physical instead of moral means for the correction of evil. Still, it evinces a profound respect for the great principles of morality, and as clear a perception of those principles as is to be found in the most ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... recently escaped, he would hide, by every possible device, his own misdoings, even to the very verge of suffering others to be blamed for them. Hannah would even then strive to shield him from detection and punishment at his parents' hands, thus fostering his weakness and moral cowardice. With over-severity on the one hand, and over-indulgence on the other, what wonder was it that Percy's faults had grown with his growth and strengthened with ...
— Bessie Bradford's Prize • Joanna H. Mathews

... necessary, as well to detect any errors of the author, as any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of his meaning by his translator. If the same circumstances will atone in the least for the imperfections of what the editor has contributed to this edition, and will serve to mitigate the severity of judgment upon those contributions, it is all ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... had been ordered by the Queen to govern the island with kindness and generosity, but added that the rebellion must be brought to an end. He declared that while Spain would show mercy to all who submitted to her rule, she would punish with the utmost severity those who still remained ...
— The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 54, November 18, 1897 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... beautiful country, but has fallen under great misfortunes. For when the good king died, about two years ago, the kingdom was seized by a fierce and cruel sorcerer, named Kwytoffle, who rules the people with great severity, and makes them bring him all their money and valuable possessions. So every one is now very poor and unhappy, and that is a great pity in a country so ...
— The Enchanted Island of Yew • L. Frank Baum

... non-aggressive defence, and made no other use of my arms than to defend my head and face from further disfigurement. The mere pain arising from the blows he inflicted upon my person was of course transient, and my clothing to some extent deadened its severity, as it now hides all ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the beetle displays my Father's mood at this period in its worst light. His severity was not very creditable, perhaps, to his good sense, but without a word of explanation it may seem even more unreasonable than it was. My Father might have been less stern to my lapses from high conduct, and my own mind at the same time less armoured ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... thus badly cut up, and with not more than one or two officers left who had not been either killed or wounded, while the men had been handled with equal severity, the Americans were obliged to take refuge at a point of rocks which chanced to be near where their advance had been defeated. A rally was made at this place. The Mexicans, however, did not venture to attack them. Both sides were apparently weary of fighting ...
— The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself • De Witt C. Peters

... severely tried by his journey to Canada and by the voyage. He was troubled with a cutaneous complaint, of which he makes light, but which was abundant evidence that his physical condition was far from perfect; he was a victim of the gout, which attacked him frequently and with great severity, so that he was often obliged to keep his bed for days and weeks; when he was appointed sole minister of the States to France he remarked that there was "some incongruity in a plenipotentiary who could neither stand nor go;" later on he suffered extremely from stone and gravel; with all these ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... been attributed his alleged cruelty to the stranger from Sorrento, who dared to emulate the fame of his idol;—an extraordinary, though perhaps not incredible, mode of skewing a critic's regard for poetry. But Tasso, while he laments his severity, wonders at it in a man so well bred and so imbued with literature, and thinks it can only have originated in "orders."[27] Perhaps there were faults of temper on both sides; and Mosti, not liking his office, forgot the allowance to be made for that of a prisoner and sick ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Vol. 2 • Leigh Hunt

... people spend their lives in trying to have as little sorrow as possible come with the learning of the young. When such people are true and good and thoughtful and have infinite kindness, they are teachers; and the teachers impose tasks upon us severely, perhaps, but with kind severity. They study us and music, and they seek out the work each one of us must perform in order that we may keep the heart-springs pure and uncovered. Further than this, they find the way by which we shall lead the waters of life which ...
— Music Talks with Children • Thomas Tapper

... destroy the effect of a tale, which might in future serve for the foundation of some novel, over which belles and beaux, yet unborn, might weep and wonder: it grieves me much, I say, to be compelled by the severity of this cross-examination to declare the simple truth, that there was no love in the case; that, to the very best of my belief and judgment, the lady was not in love with any body, much less ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. V - Tales of a Fashionable Life • Maria Edgeworth

... there they founded the infant city of New Plymouth. It was a desolate situation, and one that subjected the new settlers to many trials and privations; for the nearest English settlements then established were upwards of five hundred miles distant. Winter having set in with more than common severity, they felt that no more time could be wasted in seeking for a better spot, on which to build their first American habitations. Sickness also had begun to show itself among the little band of men, women, and children who were all unaccustomed to the hardships and confinement of a long voyage; and ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... 'statements of the universal presence of the wonder-working magician' nothing which distinguishes them from 'similar creations of the human mind in times and places the most remote;' have they not an inwardness, a severity of form, a solemnity of tone, which indicates the still reverberating echo of a profound doctrine and discipline, such as was Druidism? Suppose we compare Taliesin, as Mr. Nash invites us, with the gleeman of the Anglo-Saxon Traveller's Song. Take the specimen of this song which ...
— Celtic Literature • Matthew Arnold

... of all these conspicuous and beneficent advances in the direction of humanity, a great deal of severity, and what appears to us brutality, remained embedded in our social system. I have spoken in previous chapters of the methods of discipline enforced in the services, in jails, in poorhouses, and in schools.[10] ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... which fancy had adorned the character that bears in fiction the name of Jeanie Deans. She would not depart a foot's breadth from the path of truth, not even to save her sister's life; and yet she obtained the liberation of her sister from the severity of the law by personal sacrifices whose greatness was not less than the purity of her aims. Honor to the grave where poverty rests in beautiful union with truthfulness and ...
— A Lie Never Justifiable • H. Clay Trumbull

... each other; the overseer puts the swiftest hands in the fore row, and all must keep up with them. One black man is kept on purpose to whip the others in the field; if he does not flog with sufficient severity, he is flogged himself; he whips severely, to keep the whip from his own back. If a man have a wife in the same field with himself, he chooses a row by the side of hers, that, with extreme labor, he may, if possible, help her. But he will not be in the same field if he can help ...
— Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy, Late a Slave in the United States of America • Moses Grandy

... and the volume of that eternal America which I owe to the public. I close with a touch of fun, in order that my letter may seem a little less like preaching. A thousand affectionate remembrances. No more ice, not much of echinoderms, plenty of fish, recall of ambassadors in partibus, and great severity toward the book-sellers, an infernal race, two or three of whom ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... good deal of dusky discomfort, and I speak now simply of the large serious faces themselves as you can see them from the street; see them ranged cheek to cheek, in the grey historic light of Via dei Bardi, Via Maggio, Via degli Albizzi. The force of character, the familiar severity and majesty, depend on a few simple features: on the great iron-caged windows of the rough-hewn basement; on the noble stretch of space between the summit of one high, round-topped window and the bottom of that above; on the high-hung sculptured shield at the angle of the house; on ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... fair dignities, though self-assumed, not less cheerfully than if I could inquire concerning them in the herald's office, or turn to them in the book of peerage. However loud may be the outcries for prevented or subverted reputation, however numerous and impatient the complaints of merciless severity and insupportable despotism, I shall neither feel, nor utter aught but to the defence and justification of the critical machine. Should any literary Quixote find himself provoked by its sounds and regular movements, I should admonish him with Sancho Panza, that it is no giant but a windmill; ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... came about that when the dragoons set forth with their prisoner two days later they were accompanied by Major Gordon, Mr. Owen, and the two girls, Peggy and Harriet. Clifford was closely guarded, but there was no undue severity shown. He was permitted to converse with his cousins and his sister whenever he wished. Frequently he rode long stretches of the road with them, the troopers ...
— Peggy Owen and Liberty • Lucy Foster Madison

... from being dismayed, seems soon to have dispossessed these troops, and gave out that he had retreated from Sikim merely on account of the severity of the cold. ...
— An Account of The Kingdom of Nepal • Fancis Buchanan Hamilton

... less than modest fortune. He was intent, he was earnest, he was even a bit peremptory; but she felt perfectly certain that he was not treating her as a subject and a subject merely. His black eyes looked at her with a sort of sharp severity across the leg of the easel, and his rasping crayon promptly scratched down his impressions upon the promising blank of his canvas. Preciosa was slightly puzzled, but on the whole pleased. She knew she was worth looking at, and felt herself fit ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... act, brought Mr. Heywood at once to a sense of the undue severity he had exercised towards his servant, and he immediately ...
— Hardscrabble - The Fall of Chicago: A Tale of Indian Warfare • John Richardson

... apologize for his deficiency in composition; but it is questionable if this be not mere affectation, common with writers who are far from thinking too meanly of themselves, for the reasons they chuse to state in the way of deprecating critical severity, and abundantly disposed to attach magnitude of consequence to the very particulars which they have employed to indicate their own inferiority. A translation of his work by Mr John Reinhold Forster, was published at London 1772, and ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 13 • Robert Kerr

... temperance from austerity. He combined child-like innocence with manly strength, all-absorbing devotion to God with untiring interest in the welfare of man, tender love to the sinner with uncompromising severity against sin, commanding dignity with winning humility, fearless courage with wise caution, unyielding firmness ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... think they cannot take them too young; but experience (the best mistress) tells us, that you can hardly plant an elm too big. There are who pare away the root within two fingers of the stem, and quite cut off the head; but I cannot commend this extream severity, no more than I do the strewing of oats in the pit; which fermenting with the moisture and frequent waterings, is believed much to accelerate the putting forth of the roots; not considering, that for want of air they corrupt and ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... had!" she exclaimed. "Do you think I should have survived the night if I had eaten those strangely assorted dainties, as in honor bound I would have done, since you brought them?" Then with a face of comical severity she turned upon him and said: "Mr. Fleet, you need some one to take care of you. What kind of economy do you call this, sir, especially on the part of one who has burdened himself with four ...
— Barriers Burned Away • E. P. Roe

... quietly dropped the dog into the lake. Having regarded his struggles there for a few moments with grave severity of countenance, he walked slowly back and sat down beside ...
— The Dog Crusoe and his Master • R.M. Ballantyne

... Sardinia, and taking from its monarch, according to all the laws of war, according to the strict law of nations, ample security against the repetition of a similar transgression. Marshal Radetzky, however, acted a merciful part, and was wiser in so doing than if he had justifiably acted with greater severity. He and his imperial master showed that they were above all sordid, all selfish feeling. I only lament that the marshal stopped so short of that which he had a right to do. An acre of land I would not have taken to increase the dominions ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... in this call to arrest men and women merely because they had departed from Seville before departure was in any way forbidden, revealed the severity with which the inquisitors intended to proceed. It completed the consternation of the New-Christians who had remained behind, and how numerous these were may be gathered from the fact that in the district of Seville ...
— The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series • Rafael Sabatini

... am aware that many object to the severity of my language, but is there not cause for such severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retract a single inch, and I ...
— Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, Volume 1 • John Bright

... illustrate my assertions that parents are wonderfully blind; Cases B and E, that quite exceptional refinement in a boy gives no protection from temptation to impurity; Case D, that a boy, even in an extreme case, does not know that the habit is injurious. In respect of their severity, C, D, and E are not normal but extreme cases. The reader must not imagine that boys ordinarily suffer as much ...
— Youth and Sex • Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly

... all the functions, from which he suffered three years, cut off entirely from active life. Present-day medicine would have classed poor Fechner's malady quickly enough, as partly a habit-neurosis, but its severity was such that in his day it was treated as a visitation incomprehensible in its malignity; and when he suddenly began to get well, both Fechner and others treated the recovery as a sort of divine miracle. ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... Moreover, in a sparse backwoods settlement, where the presence of a strong, vigorous fighter was a source of safety to the whole community, it was impossible to expect that he would be punished with severity for offences which, in their hearts, his fellow townsmen could not help regarding as in some sort a revenge for the injuries they had themselves suffered. Every quiet, peaceable settler had either himself been grievously wronged, or had been an eye-witness to wrongs done to ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume One - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776 • Theodore Roosevelt

... face had expressed many emotions, while she was speaking, but now it hardened into military severity, his hand clinched on the ...
— My Lady of Doubt • Randall Parrish

... awakened. But it is not so. Some dogs—some, at the very least—if they be kept separate from others, remain quite natural; and these, when at length they meet with a companion of experience, and have the game explained to them, distinguish themselves by the severity of their devotion to its rules. I wish I were allowed to tell a story which would radiantly illuminate the point; but men, like dogs, have an elaborate and mysterious etiquette. It is their bond of sympathy that both are the ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... worried all the transactions of life. The interest of the American debt grew to be the highest in the world, and the capital touched five hundred and sixty millions sterling. Here was provided for the faith and patience of the people a touchstone of extreme severity. In England, at the close of the great French war, the propertied classes, who were supreme in Parliament, at once rebelled against the Tory Government, and refused to prolong the income tax even for a single year. We talked big, both then and ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... the Customs at Hamburg got angry, but I held firm: my cloths and my leather arrived; cloaks, coats; boots, all were promptly made, and our soldiers thus were sheltered from the severity of the season. To preserve peace with the Imperial Custom-house I wrote to M. Collie, then Director-General, that M. Eudel having wished to put in execution the law of the 10th Brumaire and complaints had been ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... in education, all unnecessary severity, and all dangerous indulgence, we must form just ideas of the nature and use of rewards and punishments. Let us begin with considering the nature of punishment, since it is best to get the most disagreeable part of our business done ...
— Practical Education, Volume I • Maria Edgeworth

... terrible accident inflamed the emperor with such anger, that he instantly ordered investigations of unprecedented severity to be instituted, and the chief church of Antioch to be shut up. For he suspected that the Christians had done it out of envy, not being able to bear the sight of the magnificent ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... with forced severity, but as I smiled apologetically and moved my rein, she broke down under new temptation and, as the wagon moved away, twittered after me unseen,—"Good-bye, ...
— The Cavalier • George Washington Cable

... jealousy. He had the tact to conceal most of his feelings, and owing either to liberality or to art, he assumed an air of generous confidence, that would be much more likely to touch the feelings of the maid he sought, than any acts of severity. First asking permission of Miss Merton, he even invited us, and himself, to dine with the Major, and, on the whole, we had an agreeable entertainment. We had turtle and champaigne, and both of a quality that was then out of the reach of all the aldermen of London or New York; begging pardon of ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... more tender than her feelings; and this peculiarity occasioned part of the mutual non-understanding rather than misunderstanding between her grandson and herself. The first relation she bore to most that came near her was one of severity and rebuke; but underneath her cold outside lay a warm heart, to which conscience acted the part of a somewhat capricious stoker, now quenching its heat with the cold water of duty, now stirring it up with the poker of reproach, and ever treating it as an inferior and a slave. ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... that he would march into their country as soon as he received necessary supplies from Charlestown. In the meantime, as lenity had not disarmed the hostility of the disloyal, he gave some examples of severity. He sequestered the estates of all those who had broken their parole or their oath, and who had left the province; denounced death against those who, after receiving British protection, should desert; and executed some of the South Carolina militia, whom he had taken in arms ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... real conversation of his time is not easy to determine; the reign of Elizabeth is commonly supposed to have been a time of stateliness, formality, and reserve, yet perhaps the relaxations of that severity were not very elegant. There must, however, have been always some modes of gaiety preferable to others, and a writer ought ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... of Calef as to matters of fact. What he says of the declarations of Tituba, subsequent to her examination, is quite consistent with a critical analysis of the details of the record of that examination. It can hardly be doubted, whatever the amount of severity employed to make her act the part assigned her, that she was used as an instrument to give effect to ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... was a tall, handsome matron, who bore her fifty years with a native severity qualified by a certain air of wonder at a world which I could well fancy had not always taken her at her own estimate of her personal and social importance. She had the effect of challenging you to do less, as she advanced slowly between the wall ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells

... the memory of his father's severity re-aroused his indignation, and he felt some doubt as to whether he really was sorry. Then, under the impulse of this doubt, he wrote a long letter, in imagination, in which he defended his conduct pretty warmly, on the ground that he ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... not well adapted to the alfalfa plant will find top-dressing with manure helpful to alfalfa fields when made in the fall. The severity of winters in a moist climate is responsible for some failures. If the soil is not porous, heaving will occur. A dressing of manure, given late in the fall, and preferably during the first hard freeze, will prevent ...
— Crops and Methods for Soil Improvement • Alva Agee

... arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police. Thus grew up a double system of justice, which erred on the white side by undue leniency and the practical immunity of red-handed criminals, and erred on the black side by undue severity, injustice, and lack of discrimination. For, as I have said, the police system of the South was originally designed to keep track of all Negroes, not simply of criminals; and when the Negroes were freed and the whole South was convinced of the impossibility ...
— The Souls of Black Folk • W. E. B. Du Bois

... was it;—but let me not anticipate. This spectacle, I need not say, sobered me entirely, if anything was necessary to produce this effect, and increased the grave apprehensions which were already at my heart. The next consequence was to make the manner of my communication serious even to severity. A smile, which was of that doubtful sort which is always sinister and offensive, overspread her lips as she motioned me to resume the seat from which I had risen at her entrance; while she threw herself with an air of studied negligence upon one part of the sofa. I felt the awkwardness of ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... had gone away ma'am," she said, with extreme severity of manner, and with excessive carefulness in her choice of words, "the Person you mention had the impudence to send a letter to you. The messenger was informed, by my master's orders, that you had gone abroad, and he and his letter were both sent about their business together. ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... Barrow; "give the man a chance." He turned, and said with some severity, "Tracy, what's the matter with you? What kind of foolishness is this you've been talking. You ought ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... beneficial effects on me, and I was inspired to write a small story entitled Ein glucklicher Abend. This was translated and published in French in the Gazette Musicale. Soon, however, our lack of funds began to make itself felt with a severity that was very discouraging. We felt this all the more keenly when my sister Cecilia and her husband, following our example, moved to a place quite close to us. Though not wealthy, they were fairly well-to-do. They came to see us every day, but we never thought it desirable to let ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... not to the most determined regard for virtue and truth, but to harshness and severity, to pride and arrogance, to violence and oppression. It is properly that part of the great virtue of charity, which makes us unwilling to give pain to any of our brethren. Compassion prompts us to relieve their wants. Forbearance prevents ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... Brussels and the Hague, and a very tranquil year spent at Vevay on the Lake of Geneva. His health at this time was tolerably good, except for nervous headaches, which frequently recurred and were of great severity. His visit to England with his manuscript in search of a publisher ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... on the severity of cold in the regions of the Danube. The first describes the inhabitants of these miserable countries withdrawing themselves into caves dressed with the skins of wild beasts. Ovid, who had passed several ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 841, February 13, 1892 • Various

... the stifling of prayerful conviction, or the failure to be faithful as the messenger of the Lord. But it will mean a severity upon yourself as regards the tone and spirit of your thoughts, and also as the manner of your utterance. You will take pains, even at a heavy cost to self (and such costs are always gains in the end), so to minister as to attract the attention ...
— To My Younger Brethren - Chapters on Pastoral Life and Work • Handley C. G. Moule

... against than served to inculcate Fear—it was therefore not wonderful that they and the desired emotion were supported by two strictly enforced punishments, punishments which were meted out with equal and unflinching severity to both sexes alike. The less undesirable punishment was known as pain sec—which Fritz, shortly after my arrival, got for smashing a window-pane by accident; and which Harree and Pom Pom, the incorrigibles, were getting most of the time. This punishment consisted in denying to the culprit all ...
— The Enormous Room • Edward Estlin Cummings

... desire, the woman was again called, and interrogated with equal art and severity; her confusion was evident, and her answers often contradictory; yet she still declared she was no impostor. "We will see that in a minute," said Mrs. Selwyn; and then desired Mrs. Clinton might be called up ...
— Evelina • Fanny Burney

... Samuel Hopkins said in 1776 that something should be speedily done with respect to the slaves to prevent their turning against the Americans. He was of the opinion that the way to counteract the tendency of the Negroes to join the British was not to restrain them by force and severity but by public acts to set the slaves free and encourage them to labor and take arms in defense of the American cause.[31] Interested in favor of the Negroes both by "the dictates of humanity and ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... headlines have an incongruously festive air to my eyes, a disagreeable effect of a feverish exploitation of a sensational God-send. And if ever a loss at sea fell under the definition, in the terms of a bill of lading, of Act of God, this one does, in its magnitude, suddenness and severity; and in the chastening influence it should have ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... represent risks to US government personnel traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three years. The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the local population. The risk to an individual traveler varies considerably by the specific ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... the man's love for the girl, and the genuineness of his new-found character were proven beyond question by the relentless severity with which he put away every thought of himself and the consequences to him in the matter he ...
— The Mucker • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... of the apartments mother and son were shut up alone in the agony of their misery and despair, for whatever might be the fate of the common people of the Pretender's army, the action of the King toward all who opposed him was known to be of merciless severity. The leaders of the rebellion could expect but one fate—death by ...
— In Honour's Cause - A Tale of the Days of George the First • George Manville Fenn

... disgust were unspeakable. My aunt Dorothy blamed her for overdue severity. 'The prince, I suppose, goes of his own free ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... The severity of the storm startled the girl. It spurred her to a fuller consciousness of her obligation to her friends, that she remove from their minds all occasion for worry as to her whereabouts ...
— Campfire Girls in the Allegheny Mountains - or, A Christmas Success against Odds • Stella M. Francis

... yet reached the point at which are to be developed those theories and principles, by means of which a man may unite elegance of manners with severity of measures; let it suffice us, for the moment, to point out the importance of impending events and let ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part I. • Honore de Balzac

... what to do with the little that I have in money by me, for I give all the rest that I have in the King's hands for Tangier for lost. So God help us! and God knows what disorders we may fall into, and whether any violence on this office, or perhaps some severity on our persons, as being reckoned by the silly people, or perhaps may by policy of State be thought fit to be condemned by the King and Duke of York, and so put to trouble; though, God knows I have in my own person done my full ...
— The Diary of Samuel Pepys • Samuel Pepys

... during the four months since Thady had given himself up to the authorities, which had determined the law officers of the government to follow up Ussher's murderer with all severity, and obtain if possible ...
— The Macdermots of Ballycloran • Anthony Trollope

... honourable game, the smashing of public monuments cannot be called fair-play from whatever point of view the matter is approached. Often revenge or spite is the cause of this damage. It is sometimes necessary to act with severity to the peasants who infringe the rules of the Department, but a serious danger lies in such action, for it is the nature of the Thebans to revenge themselves not on the official directly but on the monuments which ...
— The Treasury of Ancient Egypt - Miscellaneous Chapters on Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology • Arthur E. P. B. Weigall

... us to-day a very bad dinner, Elise," said he, going up to her and speaking with severity; "but when this novel-writing occupies so much of your time, it is no wonder that you neglect your domestic duties; you get to care really just as little about these, as you trouble ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... and purity of body in baths; it is not water but our own bad actions that make us sin." These verses are not so good as their moral; but inscriptions like this prove that the abandonment of such useful institutions must be attributed not to the undue severity of Christian morality, but to the ruin of the aqueducts by which fountains and baths were fed. However, even in the darkest period of the Middle Ages we find the traditional "kantharos," or basin, in the centre of the quadri-porticoes or courts by which the basilicas were entered. Such is ...
— Pagan and Christian Rome • Rodolfo Lanciani

... conscience and gave a hangdog look to her face for two weeks before she got it out of her pocket, and then she put it under the pillow of Julia's bed, and had reason to believe that the suspicious Mrs. Anderson confiscated it within five minutes. For the severity of maternal government was visibly increased thereafter, and Julia received many reminders of her ingratitude and of her determination to kill her self-sacrificing mother by ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... than any of these causes is the craving for a stimulant. The monotony of work, the fatigue toward the end of the day, the severity of our Northern climate, the longing for intenser living, lead men to seek to apply the whip to their flagging energies. This stimulus to the body is, however, largely if not wholly, illusory. The mental-emotional effects, ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... sociological ground, namely, that we hate the enemy of the group as such; that is, the one from whom danger to its unity threatens. Inasmuch as this is a reciprocal matter, and each attributes the fault of endangering the whole to the other, the antagonism acquires a severity which does not occur when membership in a group-unity is not a factor in the situation. Most characteristic in this connection are the cases in which an actual dismemberment of the group has not yet occurred. If this dismemberment has already taken place, it signifies a certain termination ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... necessary; but few were granted except under circumstances of peculiar qualification and mitigation. He believed the sense and feeling of the people of England were against the punishment of death for forgery. It was clear the severity of the punishment had not prevented ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... commander, and officers to each hundred, each fifty, and each nine, a system not unlike that of the ancient Peruvians. Each candidate for admission to the band had to undergo the most trying ordeals, rivalling in severity those of the American Indians, and not improbably genuine though exaggerated reminiscences of actual tests of endurance and agility. Once admitted he had to observe certain geasa or "tabus," e.g. not to choose his wife for her dowry like other Celts, but solely ...
— The Religion of the Ancient Celts • J. A. MacCulloch

... Grace opened her eyes: she looked from one face to another, and knew that fate had brought the truth to light. But the physical shock tempered the severity of the mental one: besides, she could not help being pleased at the sight of so many well-remembered and friendly faces; and, finally, her husband did not look by any means so angry and scandalized as she had feared he would. Indeed, he appeared almost gratified. The ...
— The Golden Fleece • Julian Hawthorne

... examine them here. Our object is merely to point out some of the fallacies and contradictions which might escape the notice of a cursory reader, and which show with how uncertain a step a philosopher who piqued himself on the clearness and severity of his logic moves on ground where a stronger light than that of reason was needed ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... same voice: "if my prayers of gratitude to Heaven give offence, may the hour never come when my lips shall pronounce their bitterest curse upon your severity!" ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... judge and a poet himself. Why, then, such severity? Did he wish to sacrifice the poet to the man, fearing for his friend lest the allusions therein made should lend further weapons to the malice of his enemies? Did he dread for himself, and for those among their comrades who, two years before, had donned the preacher's garb at ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... elaborate dissection of what is not. I remember walking with an eminent contributor to The New Republic and a lady who admired so intemperately the writings of Rupert Brooke that our companion was at last provoked into analyzing them with magisterial severity. He concluded by observing that a comparison of the more airy and fantastic productions of this gallant young author with the poems of Andrew Marvell would have the instant effect of putting the ...
— Since Cezanne • Clive Bell

... the whole situation from her point of view. She was exhausted by gestation; she lived in a world distorted. Could she help her temperament? She was in the gravest need of his support; and he was an ass, a blundering fool. His severity melted within him, and secretly he became tender as only a ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett

... this woman, with all her seductive charm, was actually a redoubtable adversary of his dynasty. The pseudo Grand Duchess, however, manoeuvred skilfully, affecting such a timid and embarrassed air that by degrees the King's severity melted under her charm. She seemed a little tired and out of breath from the chase, and when she glanced round in search of support, he could scarcely do less as a gallant man than offer her ...
— A Royal Prisoner • Pierre Souvestre

... said this with a certain severity of manner, but she hardly knew how to combine a snubbing to the lady for her betrayal of interest in all the bachelors round, with her desire to boast of this relative. So she presently went on in a more agreeable tone. "His mother married Mr. Daniel Mortimer; he is ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... enough, and thus the prisoners have comparatively free intercourse with the outside world, plenty to eat, and on festivals wine and even spirits and a dance with their friends outside. This latter scene we witnessed some time afterwards on another visit to Cetinje. The only real severity is the chains, but these sturdy mountaineers soon accustom themselves to these thirty-pound trinkets, and when photographed take good care to arrange them tastefully and prominently. When we lined them up for a picture, ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... die— He shall behold her fall, and fall himself! I've driven him from my heart. No longer love, Revenge alone is there: and high as once He stood, so low and shameful be his fall! A monument of my severity, As once the proud example of my weakness. Conduct him to the Tower; let a commission Of peers be named to try him. He shall feel In its full weight the ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... was, beyond all question, occasioned by Garrick's ostentatious display of furniture and Dresden china.' Murphy's Johnson, p. 144. If Garrick was aimed at, it is surprising that the severity of the satire did not bring to an end, not only all friendship, but even any acquaintance between the two men. The writer describes how he and Prospero had set out in the world together, and how for ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... they ought to be dealt with." The historian adds, "The ambition which moved most or all the miscreants who thus disturbed the Queen and the country, was that of the mountebank rather than the assassin." It merited contempt no less than severity. A bill was brought forward on the 12th of July, and passed on the 16th, making such attacks punishable, as high misdemeanours, by transportation for seven years, or imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three years; the ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... surgeon was standing over our poor old friend. "No; he wasn't dead," the surgeon said; "but—." "What is it?" asked Ralph, impetuously. The surgeon took the master of the hunt aside and whispered into his ear that Mr. Newton was a dead man. His spine had been so injured by the severity of his own fall, and by the weight of the horse rolling on him while he was still doubled up on the ground, that it was impossible that he should ever speak again. So the surgeon said, and Squire ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... his own friends being accused of the same crime, he only admonished them in private, but in public absolved them, and continued them in his service; and upon this occasion he accused Brutus of too much rigor and severity of justice in a time which required them to use more policy and favor. But Brutus bade him remember the Ides of March, the day when they killed Caesar, who himself neither plundered nor pillaged mankind, but was only the support and ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... Minnie, with some severity, "a young woman who is a dressmaker and gets the fashion-books, and is perhaps in the way of temptation, may wear a feather in her hat; but that is not to say that she should encourage immorality, and make for anybody who asks her: especially ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... too evident from the state of agitation of the public mind and the severity of the king's captivity, how difficult it must have been. However, either owing to the connivance of some of the national guards who had on that day demanded the custody of the interior posts, and who ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... malicious wind already carried away the rope-ladder. A prisoner and unarmed, he expected nothing short of death at the hands of the baron. The latter entered the apartment, stood for a few seconds in silence at the door, and measured the criminals with looks of stern severity. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... falcons, was as splendid and as crowded as that of Louis XIV., and it cost only four hundred thousand francs a year, while the King's cost seven millions. It was the same way with the table; Duroc's order and severity wrought wonders. Under the kings, the palaces were not permanently furnished; the same furniture was transported from one palace to another; there were no accommodations for the people of the court; every one ...
— The Court of the Empress Josephine • Imbert de Saint-Amand

... make an annual invasion into the frontier towns, killing the whites and such Indians as will not join their fortunes. With this exception, the safety of life and property is amply protected, and seems to be secured, not so much by the severity of the laws, as by the peaceful character of the inhabitants of all races. The trade of the country, except local traffic, is carried on by water. Regular steam communication occurs monthly between New York and Progreso, the ...
— The Mayas, the Sources of Their History / Dr. Le Plongeon in Yucatan, His Account of Discoveries • Stephen Salisbury, Jr.



Words linked to "Severity" :   sternness, raininess, intensity, severeness, grimness, plainness, intensiveness, strictness, harshness, seriousness, difficulty, difficultness, foulness, rigorousness, severe, distressfulness



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