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Perverseness

noun
1.
Deliberate and stubborn unruliness and resistance to guidance or discipline.  Synonyms: contrariness, perversity.
2.
Deliberately deviating from what is good.  Synonym: perversity.






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"Perverseness" Quotes from Famous Books



... some other influence at work for this perverseness to keep on so long. Tell me, did she take up with that very goosey girl, that ...
— The Two Sides of the Shield • Charlotte M. Yonge

... charter-party, the master displayed the greatest ignorance and the most tiresome perverseness, throwing obstacles in the way of every clause that was inserted. It was however at length finally settled and signed by the governor on the part of the crown, and by Detmer Smith, the master, on the ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1 • David Collins

... it. I adhered to the promise I had improvidently given to Welbeck, but had excited displeasure, and perhaps suspicion, in the lady. She would find it hard to account for my silence. She would probably impute it to perverseness, or imagine it to flow from some incident connected with the death of Clavering, calculated to give a new edge to ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... we are men, it is true; but that we are men, addicted to more and worse vices, than those of any other complexion; and such is the innate perverseness of our minds, that nature seems to have marked us out for slavery.—Such is the apology perpetually made for our masters, and the justification offered for that universal ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... She says nothing now about me, merely from perverseness. Hast thou never thought about me, nor about thy ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... dear, you give up too easily to little indispositions that another woman would make nothing of. I've repeated that to you so often that, really, your further ignoring it appears dangerously like perverseness—" ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... depraved tendency, Doctor,—this unaccountable perverseness. My dear Sir, I am afraid your school is in the right about human nature. Oh, those words of the Psalmist, 'shapen in iniquity,' and the rest! What are we to do with them,—we who teach that the soul of a child is an unstained ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Isaac, and of all the care that preserved the family free from the corruption around them, he formed an union with those who were strangers to the faith of Abraham and of a race apostate from the worship of Jehovah. Yet, while mourning the perverseness of his favourite child, the father, aged and blind, did not propose to withdraw his favour from him; and, feeling that his infirmities increased, Isaac bade Esau with his own hands prepare him a favourite dish, that he might eat and bless him before his death. Did we better ...
— Notable Women of Olden Time • Anonymous

... power-giving 'peace that passeth understanding, keeping the heart and thoughts, in Christ Jesus,' a keeping that is not meant to vanish outside holy places and holy hours, but to do its strongest and serenest work in the midst of crookedness and perverseness, under the stress of toils and burthens, as truly for me to-day as for the ...
— To My Younger Brethren - Chapters on Pastoral Life and Work • Handley C. G. Moule

... a proud heart, Madam. I cannot but hope for some instances of previous and preferable favour from the lady I am ambitious to call mine; and that her choice of me should not appear, not flagrantly appear, directed by the perverseness of her selfish persecutors, who are ...
— Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) - History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... among idolaters and anthropomorphites, as among atheists) idolaters and anthropomorphites must be as susceptible of all of crimes as atheists, and neither the one set nor the other could form societies, did not a curb, stronger then that of religion, namely human laws, repress their perverseness. If no other remedy were applied to vice than the remonstrances of divines, a great city such as London, would in a fortnight's time, fall into the most horrid disorders. Whatever may be the difference of faith, vice predominates alike with the Christian ...
— Answer to Dr. Priestley's Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever • Matthew Turner

... 1748, a year in which the fortunes of New France had reached so low an ebb that nothing but the most loyal administration might now save her. Even then a strong honest man might possibly have weathered the storm already lowering over this New World dominion; but, with pitiable perverseness, every trait in Bigot's character helped it on to ruin. In private life vain, selfish, heartless, extravagant to the point of folly; in public life mercenary and venal beyond shame—such were the characteristics of the man whom Louis's favourite chose to be civil administrator at Quebec, where ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... sinning, cleaves to a mutable good as using it: because he does not refer it to that good which gives us happiness, which, properly speaking, is to use, according to Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i, 3, 4). Therefore whoever sins enjoys a mutable good. Now "to enjoy what we should use is human perverseness," as Augustine again says (Qq. lxxxiii, qu. 30). Therefore, since "perverseness" [*The Latin 'pervertere' means to overthrow, to destroy, hence 'perversion' of God's law is a mortal sin.] denotes a mortal sin, it seems that whoever ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... the midst of such an anarchy does what is possible for him. He looks into it with obstinately hopeful face; lauds the known rectitude of the kingly mind; listens indulgent-like to the known perverseness of the queenly and courtly;—emits if any proclamation or regulation, one favouring the Tiers Etat; but settling nothing; hovering afar off rather, and advising all things to settle themselves. The grand questions, for the present, have ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... by countless suitors, among them the base Florez, whom her father promptly forbids the house. Idalia's vanity is piqued at the loss of a single adorer, and more from perverseness than from love she continues to correspond with him. He makes no further use of her condescension than to boast of her favors, until at the command of his patron, Don Ferdinand, he induces Idalia to make an assignation with him. Ferdinand ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... perverseness again rising to a point which threatened to occasion me inconvenience, I was under the necessity of explaining to him, that he might return if he thought proper, but that in that case I would not pay him a single farthing for his past services. The argument ad ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... this thing in particular; I have therefore the comfortable assurance that he will direct my paths concerning this part of my service, as to whether I shall be occupied in it or not. Further: "The integrity of the upright shall preserve them; but the perverseness of fools shall destroy them." Prov. xi. 3. By the grace of God I am upright in this business. My honest purpose is to get glory to God. Therefore I expect to be guided aright. Further: "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall ...
— The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Mueller • George Mueller

... with. No one now knew always what she was thinking of, nor if they did would patiently draw out her thoughts, canvass them, set them right, or show them wrong. No one now could tell what she was feeling, nor had the art sweetly, in a way she scarce knew how, to do away with sadness, or dulness, or perverseness, and leave her spirits clear and bright as the noonday. With all the petting and fondness she had from her new friends, Ellen felt alone. She was petted and fondled as a darling possession—a dear plaything—a thing to be cared for, taught, governed, disposed of, with the greatest affection ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... analyst of the soul, Edgar Allan Poe, found among the springs of human nature the quality of perverseness, the disposition to do wrong because it is wrong; in reality, however, Poe's Imp of the Perverse is active far beyond the boundaries of the human soul; his disturbances pervade the whole world, and nowhere ...
— The Booklover and His Books • Harry Lyman Koopman

... Burns's life is known to all of you. Surely we may say, if discrepancy between place held and place merited constitute perverseness of lot for a man, no lot could be more perverse than Burns's. Among those secondhand acting-figures, mimes for most part, of the Eighteenth Century, once more a giant Original man; one of those men who reach down to the perennial Deeps, who take rank with the Heroic among men: and he was ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: And he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them. God bringeth them forth out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strength of the wild-ox. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, Neither is there any divination against Israel: Now shall it be ...
— Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature • Various

... human wisdom, to restore her to man with whom her most just and greatest business lies. See him plead before his judges; observe by what reasons he rouses his courage to the hazards of war; with what arguments he fortifies his patience against calumny, tyranny, death, and the perverseness of his wife: you will find nothing in all this borrowed from arts and sciences: the simplest may there discover their own means and strength; 'tis not possible more to retire or to creep more low. He has done human ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... therefore, standing here, stands shrouded under that goodly robe that makes him glisten in the eye of justice. Yea, all the answer that Satan can get from God against such a soul is, that he 'doth not see iniquity in Jacob, nor behold perverseness in Israel'; for here 'Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts, though,' as to their own persons, 'their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel' (Num 23:21-23; Jer 51:5; Rom 6:14; Deut 33:12). Thus, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... her. Countess Jaqueline had been joined by other and more congenial Flemish dames, and was weary of her grave monitress; and she continually scolded at Esclairmonde for perverseness and obstinacy in not accepting the only male thing she had ever favoured. The Bishop of Therouenne threatened and argued; and the Duke of Burgundy himself came to enforce his commands to his refractory vassal, and on finding her still unsubmissive, flew into ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... are in a very bad condition; indeed, some of them in such a terrible condition that we are called upon to pass a bill of attainder, or a bill of pains and penalties, and a little ex post facto law in order to reach their tergiversations and perverseness. If that be true, why not incorporate some other element? I do not know much about the female portion of the negroes of this District except what I have seen, and I must confess that although there are a great many respectable persons among the negroes, and many for whom I have considerable ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... propitious and propending towards us. Why else was this nation chosen before any other, that out of her, as out of Sion, should be proclaimed and sounded forth the first tidings and trumpet of Reformation to all Europe? And had it not been the obstinate perverseness of our prelates against the divine and admirable spirit of Wickliff, to suppress him as a schismatic and innovator, perhaps neither the Bohemian Huns and Jerome, no nor the name of Luther or of Calvin, had been ever known: the ...
— Areopagitica - A Speech For The Liberty Of Unlicensed Printing To The - Parliament Of England • John Milton

... excellencies and his defects, is a love of singularity. He has no notion of going with a multitude to do either good or evil. An exploded opinion, or an unpopular person, has an irresistible charm for him. The same perverseness may be traced in his diction. His style would never have been elegant; but it might at least have been manly and perspicuous; and nothing but the most elaborate care could possibly have made it so bad as it is. It is distinguished by harsh phrases, strange collocations, occasional ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... bring on themselves by their own folly and perverseness; and some sorts people work on others by their own wicked self-will. God does not cause that, though He will overrule it to do what ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... have it so that they might play with fire, yea, even put in their hand, and not be scorched or burnt. 'Tis a miracle they want, a miracle at every turn, a suspension of the laws of nature to save them from the effects of their voluntary perverseness. Too lazy to employ the means at their command, they thrust the whole burden on the Maker. God helps those who help themselves. A supernatural state does not dispense us from the obligation of practising natural virtue. You can build a supernatural life only on the foundations ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... the queen of Scots, to keep her always in hopes of an accommodation, to negotiate perpetually with her, and still to throw the blame of not coming to any conclusion, either on unforeseen accidents, or on the obstinacy and perverseness ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... tolerable notion may be formed of the general character and complexion of the court. It is, as Lord Macartney has justly observed, "a singular mixture of ostentatious hospitality and inbred suspicion, ceremonious civility and real rudeness, shadowy complaisance and substantial perverseness; and this prevails through all the departments connected with the Court, although somewhat modified by the personal disposition of those at their head; but as to that genuine politeness, which distinguishes our manners, it cannot be expected in Orientals, considering among other things the light ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... spread so wide. Say, Britain, could you ever boast Three poets in an age at most? Our chilling climate hardly bears A sprig of bays in fifty years; While every fool his claim alleges, As if it grew in common hedges. What reason can there be assigned For this perverseness in the mind? Brutes find out where their talents lie: A bear will not attempt to fly; A foundered horse will oft debate Before he tries a five-barred gate; A dog by instinct turns aside, Who sees the ditch too deep and wide;— But man we find the only creature, Who, led by folly, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... safety of governors may be preserved, and the obedience due to them maintained secure from attempts to which they are liable (by the treachery, levity, perverseness, timorousness, ambition, all such lusts and ill humours of men), it is expedient that men should be tied with the strictest bands ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... asked her father to invite Lorry to dinner that evening. Through a sort of youthful perverseness not unmixed with bucolic pride, Lorry declined the invitation. He would be busy making ready for another trip in the hills. He had already planned his own evening meal. He appreciated the invitation, ...
— Jim Waring of Sonora-Town - Tang of Life • Knibbs, Henry Herbert

... The Breton of pure blood has a long head, light yellow complexion of bistre tinge, eyes black or brown, stature short, and the black hair of the Cabyle. Like him, he instinctively hates strangers; in both are the same perverseness and obstinacy, same endurance of fatigue, same love of independence, same inflexion of the voice, same expression of feelings. Listen to a Cabyle speaking his native tongue, and you will think you bear ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... portrayed. Yet did this man, stiff-necked, and of heart more hard than stone, refuse to be melted unto penitence; but his wife, who was then in travail, entreated pardon of the saint, and fell at his feet. And the saint, beholding him thus hardened in perverseness, spake unto him with prophetic voice: "Even thus, had it so willed, could the power of God have dissolved thee at the word of my mouth. But since thou canst not, nay, wilt not, believe, though the long-suffering of God hath led thee unto repentance, shalt thou, according to thine ...
— The Most Ancient Lives of Saint Patrick - Including the Life by Jocelin, Hitherto Unpublished in America, and His Extant Writings • Various

... the Holy One of Israel: Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: ...
— No Compromise with Slavery - An Address Delivered to the Broadway Tabernacle, New York • William Lloyd Garrison

... times when it seemed impossible to him that the charge he had made should so have recoiled and fixed itself upon him; but, by a strange perverseness, thus it was, and, saving by the servant, hardly a friendly ...
— The Queen's Scarlet - The Adventures and Misadventures of Sir Richard Frayne • George Manville Fenn

... lean man, glaring savagely across the fire at the other. "But that ain't tellin' us what ails the black," he went on, dropping the subject of the white and taking up with the symptoms of the black, evidently through perverseness. "He's solemn and dumpish," he declared, thoughtfully, "like he might have distemper. But he 'ain't got distemper. And his teeth ain't sharp, yet he don't eat at all. And I can't see anything ...
— Bred of the Desert - A Horse and a Romance • Marcus Horton

... that matters were just where they were before. Philip went back to his inn, moralizing on the pride and perverseness which made it impossible to make any impression on a Redclyffe Morville, whom not even the fear of ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... beneath his gaze, with her eyes turned upon the tombstones beneath her feet. Of course she had no choice but to yield. He, possessed of power and force infinitely greater than hers, had left her no alternative but to be happy. But there still clung to her what I fear we must call a perverseness of obstinacy, a desire to maintain the resolution she had made,—a wish that she might be allowed to undergo the punishment she had deserved. She was as a prisoner who would fain cling to his prison after pardon has ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... full of some serious purpose which he is about to impart, the woman's perverseness, and the tyrannical waywardness with which she taunts him and plays upon his temper, ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... so much the more reason for them to make a regulation in this matter, because they are the only people of those parts that neither allow of polygamy, nor of divorces, except in the case of adultery, or insufferable perverseness; for in these cases the Senate dissolves the marriage, and grants the injured person leave to marry again; but the guilty are made infamous, and are never allowed the privilege of a second marriage. None are suffered to put away their wives against their wills, from any ...
— Ideal Commonwealths • Various

... engaged in the painful task—painful because so often unsuccessful—forego your labours; but I would call upon all who have at heart the everlasting welfare of the souls of men, to exert themselves, that the rising generation may not likewise grow up into that state of perverseness—that they may not in future years prove themselves to be a generation, which, "like the adder, turneth a deaf ear to the charmer, charm he ever so wisely." I am satisfied, from the experience I have had, that an amount of good is attainable from early and judicious ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... gregariousness of either the French or Irish; and while I have no difficulty in entering into civil conversation with a stranger who addresses me, I rarely begin, having, upon the whole, a preference for an introduction. This is not perverseness, but lack of facility; and I believe Froissart noted something of the same in the Englishmen of five hundred years ago. I have, too, an abhorrence of public speaking, and a desire to slip unobserved into a back seat wherever I am, which amount to a mania; ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... Resolved to mortify your pride, I'll here expose your weaker side. Your spirits kindle to a flame, Moved by the lightest touch of blame; And when a friend in kindness tries To show you where your error lies, Conviction does but more incense; Perverseness is your whole defence; Truth, judgment, wit, give place to spite, Regardless both of wrong and right; Your virtues all suspended wait, Till time has open'd reason's gate; And, what is worse, your passion bends Its force against ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... perverseness, or because he did not share her enthusiasm, made answer: "I have faith ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... praiseworthy; for from her proceed good inclinations, opinions, actions, and the whole of right reason; though virtue may be defined in a few words to be right reason itself. The opposite to this is viciousness (for so I choose to translate what the Greeks call [Greek: kakia], rather than by perverseness; for perverseness is the name of a particular vice; but viciousness includes all), from whence arise those perturbations which, as I just now said, are turbid and violent motions of the mind, repugnant to reason, ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... least her body. But her soul? Michaelis knew not how to catch that again. Luckily he caught sight of her magic ring, which was taken off, cut up, destroyed, and thrown into the fire. Fancying, moreover, that this perverseness on the part of one so gentle was due to unseen wizards who found their way into her room, he set there a very substantial man at arms, with a sword to slash about him everywhere, and cut the invisible imps ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... be buried with me. But I must do something to feel as if I deserved it. You know it comes to me like a token out of the sea of glass like unto crystal, where they stand that overcome! I think I'll only wear it at night when I think I have done something, or conquered a bit of my perverseness with mamma." ...
— My Young Alcides - A Faded Photograph • Charlotte M. Yonge

... "She hoped my confusion was a sign of my amendment. That she might indeed have used another method, by commanding me to seek a reconciliation with my brother; for she did not imagine I was already so far gone in perverseness, as not to hold her commands as inviolable; but she was willing, for my good, first to convince me of my folly." As soon as my confusion would give me leave to speak, on my knees I gave her a thousand thanks for her goodness, and went immediately to seek my brother. ...
— The Governess - The Little Female Academy • Sarah Fielding

... well aware that his presence at the station when the four-twenty train came in, had taken on almost the sacredness of a religious rite. "Looks as if she wasn't in any dreadful hurry to see me," Joel mused. It occurred to him that it would be a fitting return for Persis' perverseness for him to retire to his room and refuse to leave except at her humble and reiterated entreaty. It is unfortunate that so often the course of conduct consistent with one's dignity involves a painful ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... pray you put that thought out of your head. The more precious the drug, the less should it be exposed to the air, because of the perverseness of those who trust only to outward signs. These are not different in the case of honourable and faithful affection than in any other case, so they must none the less be hidden when the love is virtuous than when ...
— The Tales Of The Heptameron, Vol. V. (of V.) • Margaret, Queen Of Navarre

... snares, And strait conjunction with this sex: For either He never shall find out fit mate, but such As some misfortune brings him, or mistake; Or, whom he wishes most, shall seldom gain Through her perverseness; but shall see her gain'd By a far worse; or if she love, withheld By parents; or his happiest choice too late Shall meet already link'd, and wedlock-bound To a fell adversary, his hate or shame; Which infinite calamity shall cause To human ...
— The Coverley Papers • Various

... undiscovered for a long space of time. In himself he was a fellow void of almost every good quality, disliked even by his own companions for his brutal behaviour which he still kept up even under his misfortunes, and ceased not to behave with an obstinate perverseness even to the ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... stairs. She said she could not endure to pass "that door," where ever before the fondest welcome awaited her; and as to seeing her brother, that having been deferred yesterday, seemed to-day doubly dreadful. The worst of this piece of perverseness—for it really deserved no better name—was that it began to vex Fred. "But that I know how to depend upon you, Uncle Geoffrey," said he, "I should really think she must be ill. I ...
— Henrietta's Wish • Charlotte M. Yonge

... meeting under these conditions. He sketched them cursorily; there was little to tell—little, that is; appealing to a romantic mind for interest. Aware of it, by sympathy, he degraded the narrative to a flatness about as cheering as a suburban London Sunday's promenade. Sympathy caused the perverseness. He felt her disillusionment; felt with it and spread a feast of it. She had to hear of studies at Caen and at a Paris Lycee; French fairly mastered; German, the same; Italian, the same; after studies at Heidelberg, Asti, and Florence; between four and five months at ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... With the perverseness of nature, the less water one has the thirstier one becomes. When it is on tap one doesn't think of it. But down to the last half-gallon, ...
— Land of the Burnt Thigh • Edith Eudora Kohl

... long fallen into the habit of treating her as a child, playing some imaginary character. She seemed less demented than walking in a dream, her faculties asleep. It was somnambulism rather than madness. She had not the expression of insane people, the shifty eyes, the cunning and perverseness, the ...
— Lazarre • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... engaged in the study of physick, he inquired, as he says, of Dr. Sydenham, what authors he should read, and was directed by Sydenham to Don Quixote; "which," said he, "is a very good book; I read it still." The perverseness of mankind makes it often mischievous in men of eminence to give way to merriment; the idle and the illiterate will long shelter themselves under ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... least liked to think when any chance allusion evoked Ralph's image. The money was hers, of course; she had a right to it, and she was an ardent believer in "rights." But she wished she could have got it in some other way—she hated the thought of it as one more instance of the perverseness with which things she was entitled to always came to her as ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... could take all back again. This curiously inconsistent action seemed to puzzle the wondering natives strangely. Had he made the storm, then, they asked, and eaten the storm-apple, for no use to himself, but out of pure perverseness? If he didn't even want the windfalls and the objects vowed to him, why had he beaten down their crops and broken their houses? They looked at him meaningly; but they dared not cross that great line of taboo. It was their own superstition alone, in that moment of danger, that kept their ...
— The Great Taboo • Grant Allen

... perverseness of some minds is amusingly illustrated by Southey, in his History of Brazil. After referring to Amerigo Vespucci's statements regarding the lascivious practices of the aboriginals, he exclaims, in a footnote: "This is false! ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... she was sorry for her crossness; more often she wasn't. When the Man offered her things to eat, no matter what trouble he'd taken to get them, she'd say she wasn't hungry. And yet he loved her none the less for her perverseness. He was so afraid.... He couldn't have told you of what he was afraid, for nobody had had time to die in the world as yet. He was filled with dread lest, like God, she might vanish and walk the earth no more. So he cudgelled his ...
— Christmas Outside of Eden • Coningsby Dawson

... them to reason;—he will not disturb the repose of society—he will not raise the people to insurrection against the sovereign authority; on the contrary, he will feel that the miserable blindness of the great, and the wretched perverseness, the fatal obstinacy of so many conductors of the people, are the necessary consequence of that flattery that is administered to them in their infancy—that feeds their hopes with allusive falsehoods—of the depraved malice of those who surround them—who wickedly corrupt them, that ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... his being so mischievous and ill-natured! What will poor Miss Rose say! To be sure, there is nothing boys won't do; their equals for perverseness don't walk the earth. Though I ought not to speak against them, while there's Master William and Master Edward to contradict me. They are boys, to be sure; but as for that Geoffrey!' And here she shook her head in silence, as if Geoffrey's delinquencies were beyond ...
— The Doll and Her Friends - or Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina • Unknown

... duration than the consulship of a year; their levies obstructed by plebeian tribunes; often late in taking the field; recalled, before the time, on account of elections; amidst the very busiest efforts of the campaign, their year of office expired; sometimes the rashness, sometimes the perverseness of a colleague, proving an impediment or detriment; and finally succeeding to the unfortunate administration of a predecessor, with an army of raw or ill-disciplined men. But, on the other hand, kings, being not ...
— The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six • Titus Livius

... loss of an estimable man removes a control which was felt and was very salutary," wrote Hamilton to a foreign correspondent. "At home, everything is in the main well; except as to the perverseness and capriciousness of one and the spirit and faction of many. The leading friends of the government are in ...
— The United States of America Part I • Ediwn Erle Sparks

... must be understood in a restrained sense. In proof of which, and a decisive one too, I would refer him to the prophecy of Balaam, recorded, Num. ch. xxii. 21. where Balaam exclaims in his prophetic enthusiasm, "He [i.e. God] hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel." ...
— Five Pebbles from the Brook • George Bethune English

... the opposition. His disappointment was bitter. "The progress of this business throughout," he wrote to Jefferson, "has been to me the most worrying and vexatious that I ever encountered; and the more so, as the causes lay in the unsteadiness, the follies, the perverseness, and the defections among our friends, more than in the strength, or dexterity, or ...
— James Madison • Sydney Howard Gay

... the difficulties that have occurred in carrying into execution the levee en masse, I neglected to inform you that the prime mover of all these machinations is your omnipotent Mr. Pitt—it is he who has fomented the perverseness of the towns, and alarmed the timidity of the villages—he has persuaded some that it is not pleasant to leave their shops and families, and insinuated into the minds of others that death or wounds are not very desirable—he has, in fine, so effectually achieved his purpose, that ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... needed little persuasion. Perverseness, one of the forms or issues of self-pity, made him strive against his desire, and caused him to adopt a tone of acerbity in excess of what he felt; but already he had made up his mind to see Amy. Even if ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... mortification by great abstinence, resting on hard beds, and assiduous labor: lastly, what is most rare, dead to themselves by meekness, sweetness, and charity, which no injuries or reproaches, no ingratitude, no perverseness, or malice, can ever weary or overcome: for a perfect victory over anger is a most essential part of the character of a good pastor, without which all his virtues will be tarnished, and he will reap no fruit of his labors. He makes this dreadful ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... deny him the pleasure for which he pants, until he gives me a large sum of money; this being done, I can either surrender myself to him, or still refuse to afford him the gratification he seeks, as suits my whim. When he becomes wearied of my perverseness and extortion, I will dismiss him, and seek another victim. Those with whom I shall thus have to deal, will be what the world calls respectable men—husbands, fathers—perhaps professedly pious men and clergymen—who would make any sacrifice ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... rejoiced to find that his vigil was incessant and worthy of the respect it imposed. The desire to visit the haunted house was growing more and more irresistible, but she turned it aside with all the relentless perverseness of a woman who feels it worth while ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... during several years, but at length God was pleased to deliver them in a miraculous manner by the hand of Moses, who would soon have conducted them into the promised land, had not their disobedience and perverseness brought upon them the punishment of a forty years' wandering in the wilderness. During this time, God commanded Moses to deliver his laws to the people of Israel. Aaron the brother of Moses was made High Priest, and to him was committed ...
— A Week of Instruction and Amusement, • Mrs. Harley

... is that God of his mercy elects certain of His creatures for a place in the visible Church, and thus causes them to be placed in "a state of salvation," of which, however, they may fall short by their own perverseness. ...
— The Church Handy Dictionary • Anonymous

... view, What underneath those stones approacheth: now, E'en now, mayst thou discern the pangs of each." Christians and proud! O poor and wretched ones! That feeble in the mind's eye, lean your trust Upon unstaid perverseness! Know ye not That we are worms, yet made at last to form The winged insect, imp'd with angel plumes That to heaven's justice unobstructed soars? Why buoy ye up aloft your unfleg'd souls? Abortive ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... and the honour of the office would derive on it additional authority and dignity. The tribunes also, considering the discharge of the duty (as was really the case) as necessary rather than the duty itself, as being attended with lustre, did not indeed offer opposition, lest they should through perverseness show a disposition to thwart them even in trifles. After the honour was rejected by the leading men of the state, the people by their suffrages appointed to the office of conducting the census Papirius and Sempronius, concerning whose consulate doubts are entertained, ...
— The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08 • Titus Livius

... Piel, not a transitive, but an intensive meaning. Calvin remarks: "By the verb, insane fervour is indicated, as indeed we see that idolaters are like madmen; it shows that such is the perverseness of their hearts, that they will not at once return to a sound mind." The distress at first only increases [Pg 241] the zeal in idolatry; compare Jer. xliv. 17. Every effort is made to move the idols to help. But if help be, notwithstanding, ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg

... perverseness of human nature—in spite of a series of apparent rebuffs, interrupted now and then by fits of violent attachment, Arnfinn had early selected this dimpled and yellow-haired young girl, with her ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... of paradox Perverseness holds us thrall, So what each jester loves the best He mocks the most of all; But as the jest and laugh go round, Each in his neighbor's eyes Reads, while he flouts his heart's desire, The knowledge that ...
— Dreams and Dust • Don Marquis

... so wrong who call you wilful, although the name they give you is not kind. Have you ever considered that you stand alone in the world, and that your perverseness must make your sick mother's illness worse to bear, her life more bitter? And what sound reason can you have to give for rejecting an honest hand, stretched out to help you and your mother? ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German • Various

... merits of both ideas, and be "evenly and happily balanced between them." Enlarging on this text, he traces the working of the two principles, which ought not to be rivals but have been made such by the perverseness of men, philosophy and history; and then, turning to our own day and its doings, he says that Puritanism, which originally was a reaction of the conscience and moral sense against the indifference and lax conduct of the Renascence, has gone counter, during ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... the islands of Pintados, especially the women, are very vicious and sensual. Their perverseness has discovered lascivious methods of communication between men and women; and there is one to which they are accustomed from their youth. The men skilfully make a hole in their virile member near its head, and insert therein a serpent's head, either of metal or ...
— History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2 • Antonio de Morga

... view that with human infirmity we could form, has been the work—I will almost say the sacred work—of this Parliament. Having put our hands to the plough, let us not turn back. Let not what we think the fault or perverseness of those whom we are attempting to assist have the slightest effect in turning us, even by a hair's-breadth, from the path on which we have entered. As we begun so let us persevere, even to the end, and with firm and resolute hand let us efface from the law and practice of the country ...
— The Grand Old Man • Richard B. Cook

... road, and his lagging is pretty sure to be atoned for by earnest endeavor in the end. With these are to be classed numerous other varieties: those who are "Hunkerish" on account of some strange spiritual obtuseness, or from misanthropy, or perverseness, or self-conceit, or a cold and sluggish temperament, or from weak, human sympathies governed by strong political prejudice,—together with those countless larvae and tadpoles, the small-fry of sons and nephews, of individuality yet ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... is to feed great flocks of sheep, or black cattle, or both. With regard to sheep, as folly is usually accompanied with perverseness, so it is here. There is something so monstrous to deal in a commodity (further than for our own use) which we are not allowed to export manufactured, nor even unmanufactured, but to one certain country, and only to some few ports in that country;[84] there is, I say, something so sottish, that it ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Vol. VII - Historical and Political Tracts—Irish • Jonathan Swift

... prince's friends all the same, and they had not even the courage to advise him to make a frank and full apology for his conduct. Indeed the action of the prince seems to suggest an approach to insanity rather than deliberate and reasoned perverseness. He had forced his wife to run the risk of losing her own life and her child's life, he had grossly and wantonly offended his father and mother, and he had thrown a secrecy and mystery round the birth of the infant which, if ever there came to be a dispute about the succession, ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume II (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... having once made entrance in her mind, the idea only seized opportunities to start up and assert its claims to notice. It was always lying in wait for her now; and on this occasion held its ground with great perverseness. Eleanor glanced again at Dr. Cairnes; no hope of him at present; he was busily engaged with a clever gentleman, a friend of Mr. Carlisle's and an Oxford man, and with Mr. Carlisle himself. Eleanor grew impatient of her thoughts; she wondered if anybody else had such, in all ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume I • Susan Warner

... his head with a sword in the very sight of Keshava. Yuyudhana, having achieved this feat, began to strike down others there present. Hrishikesa ran to prevent him from doing further mischief. At that time, however, O monarch, the Bhojas and Andhakas, impelled by the perverseness of the hour that had come upon them, all became as one man and surrounded the son of Sini. Janardana of mighty energy, knowing the character of the hour, stood unmoved without giving way to anger at the sight of those heroes rushing in wrath at Satyaki from every side. Urged by fate ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... have been, and are, full as capable as monarchs of the most cruel oppression and injustice. It is but too true, that the love, and even the very idea, of genuine liberty is extremely rare. It is but too true that there are many whose whole scheme of freedom is made up of pride, perverseness, and insolence. They feel themselves in a state of thraldom, they imagine that their souls are cooped and cabined in, unless they have some man or some body of men dependent on their mercy. This desire of having some one below them descends to those ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... moment to cause him to venture to suggest that in future it might be as well for her to consult him before she answered for him in any matter. Angelica replied with an intelligent nod and smile. She was altogether charming in these days in spite of her perverseness, and Mr. Kilroy, while groaning inwardly at her irritating tricks, was also touched and flattered by the anxiety she displayed for his ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... too, that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition ...
— Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday • Various

... they have done more: they have declared, that they shall treat all as enemies who do not concur with them in disaffection and perverseness; and that they will trade with none that ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... their circumspect liberality with her thoughtless waste; the matronly sobriety and tempered magnificence of their attire with her new fangled fickleness and wanton costliness; their modest dignified courtesy with her wayward perverseness; their gravity with her lightness, in acting at court-revels and maskings, familiar with every gallant, and accepting praise from the most polluted sources. He spoke to the winds; the full proof of that ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... Learning look, And see their priesthood piling book on book; Yea, books of infidels, we're told, and plays, Put out by heathens in the wink'd-on days; The very letters are of crooked kind, And show the strange perverseness of their mind. Have I this Learning? When the Lord would speak; Think ye he needs the Latin or the Greek? And lo! with all their learning, when they rise To preach, in view the ready sermon lies; Some low-prized stuff they purchased at the stalls, And more like Seneca's than mine or ...
— The Borough • George Crabbe

... the perverseness of human will—while I thought I must furnish one of those accursed things monthly, it seemed a Labour above Hercules's "Twelve" in a year, which were evidently Monthly Contributions. Now I am emancipated, I feel as if I had a thousand Essays swelling within ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... whether in his private life Job found affairs altogether more satisfactory than in his public. His wife had joined the Roman Communion. An ingrained perverseness which prevented his son from ever willingly following the advice or example of his parents, had preserved John Hampden in the Anglican faith, but he had portraits of Laud and Strafford over his mantelpiece, and ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... seest Thy creature, John Gib, who by the perverseness of his heart has come to the edge of grievous sin. Take the cloud from his spirit, arrange his disordered wits, and lead him to a wiser life. Keep him in mind of his own land, and of her who prays for him. Guide him over hills and rivers to an enlarged country, and make his arm strong against his ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... implicated in the Whig plot, and had with difficulty eluded the vengeance of the court, Sir Patrick Hume, of Polwarth, in Berwickshire. Great doubt has been thrown on his integrity, but without sufficient reason. It must, however, be admitted that he injured his cause by perverseness as much as he could have done by treachery. He was a man incapable alike of leading and of following, conceited, captious, and wrongheaded, an endless talker, a sluggard in action against the enemy and active only against his own allies. With Hume was closely connected another Scottish exile ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... disgust at the immoral principles of Luther belong to a Church whose theologians have made very questionable distinctions between venial sins and others. Papal dispensations and decisions of Catholic casuists, especially in the order of the Jesuits, have startled the world by their moral perverseness. Yea, the very principles of probabilism and mental reservation which the Jesuits have espoused are antiethical. In accordance with the principle last named, "when important interests are at stake, a negative or modifying clause may remain unuttered which would completely reverse ...
— Luther Examined and Reexamined - A Review of Catholic Criticism and a Plea for Revaluation • W. H. T. Dau

... grammar, to avoid the use of slang phrases and vulgar expressions, to write a clear sentence; but how few seek for the not less imperative rules which are prescribed by politeness and good sense! Of those who should know them, no small proportion habitually, from thoughtlessness or perverseness, neglect their observance. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... calendar months would elapse without the young lady's having fulfilled the terms prescribed by the will. Mr. Gresham, one morning, took his fair ward apart, and began to talk to her seriously upon the subject. He told her that he thought it impossible she should act from mere perverseness or caprice, especially as, from her childhood upwards, he had never seen in her any symptoms of an obstinate or capricious disposition; therefore he was well convinced that she had some good reason for refusing so many offers seemingly unexceptionable: he was grieved to find that ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... children, with that true love which seeks their higher good, a different state of things would have existed in this family, spite of Jasper's unfeeling sordidness. But, as it was, no fire of love melted the natural perverseness inherited by the children, and they grew up, cherishing mutual antagonism, and gradually coming to regard their parents only as persons with power to thwart their inclinations, or as possessing the means of ...
— True Riches - Or, Wealth Without Wings • T.S. Arthur

... House they were all horrified—not moved with grief, this time, but shocked. It seemed such a repulsive and indelicate step to take. Which it was. And which, in her curious perverseness, Alvina must have intended it to be. Mrs. Houghton assumed a remote air of silence, as if she did not hear any more, did not belong. She lapsed far away. She was really very weak. Miss Pinnegar said: "Well really, if she wants to do it, why, she might as well try." And, as often with Miss Pinnegar, ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... necessity of the influence of the Holy Spirit in regeneration results solely from the voluntary perverseness of the sinner's heart, or disinclination to serve God, which, while it leaves him a complete moral agent, and without excuse for neglecting his duty, suspends his actual salvation on the sovereign will ...
— The Book of Religions • John Hayward

... also saw that he would be despised and rejected of men. And by all their hostility to the doctrines of grace, sinners are only verifying the description, which inspiration gave long ago, of their blindness and perverseness. By all their vain reasonings and presumptuous objections, they just corroborate revealed truth, and evince the desperate ...
— The National Preacher, Vol. 2 No. 7 Dec. 1827 • Aaron W. Leland and Elihu W. Baldwin

... D'Aulney; "and the consequences of your folly must fall on your own head; but, when too late, you may repent the perverseness which is ...
— The Rivals of Acadia - An Old Story of the New World • Harriet Vaughan Cheney

... example of this hardness of heart was given by one Colin, the richest farmer and proprietor in Napoule, whose vineyards and olive gardens, whose lemon and orange trees could hardly be counted in a day. One thing particularly demonstrates the perverseness of his disposition; he was twenty-seven years old, and had never yet asked for what purpose girls ...
— The Broken Cup - 1891 • Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke

... therein, that the reason of God's dispensations towards them was, "that all the earth might know that the Eternal is God, and that there is no other but Him." According to its history, when God threatened to destroy the Israelites for their perverseness in the wilderness, and offers Moses, interceding for them, to raise, up his seed to fulfil the purposes for which he designed the posterity of Abraham; he tells Moses that his purpose should not be frustrated through the perverseness ...
— The Grounds of Christianity Examined by Comparing The New Testament with the Old • George Bethune English

... thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye reject this word, And trust in perverseness and crookedness and rely thereon, Therefore this guilty act shall be to you Like a bulging breach in a high wall about to fall, Suddenly, in an instant, will come its destruction; Yea, its destruction shall be as when one dashes an earthen vessel in pieces, ...
— Stories of the Prophets - (Before the Exile) • Isaac Landman

... obliged to impose a miraculous constraint upon the human will, and compel his creature to choose whatever is best with invariable determination and promptitude? If a parent were to caution his child against a danger, into which he afterward plunged himself by his inadvertence or perverseness, would the child be justified in censuring the parent, because, in addition to advice, he did not employ bonds and cords? Adam might have been created immutable by a necessity of nature. True—but Adam would then have been another being, and not a man. It might with similar ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... followers to impose wilfully on himself, and knowingly refuse truth offered by plain reason. Interest, though it does a great deal in the case, yet cannot be thought to work whole societies of men to so universal a perverseness, as that every one of them to a man should knowingly maintain falsehood: some at least must be allowed to do what all pretend to, i.e. to pursue truth sincerely; and therefore there must be something ...
— An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume I. - MDCXC, Based on the 2nd Edition, Books I. and II. (of 4) • John Locke



Words linked to "Perverseness" :   wilfulness, perversity, contrariness, evilness, orneriness, cussedness, fractiousness, perverse, unruliness, evil, willfulness



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