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Unassuming   Listen
adjective
Unassuming  adj.  Not assuming; not bold or forward; not arrogant or presuming; humble; modest; retiring; as, an unassuming youth; unassuming manners.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Unassuming" Quotes from Famous Books



... him in the person of one of the most distinguished of portrait painters; but there was only one painter for Jocelyn—his own memory. All that was eminent in European surgery addressed him in the person of that harmless and unassuming fogey whose hands had been inside the bodies of hundreds of living men; but the lily-white corpse of an obscure country-girl chilled the interest of discourse with such a ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number. This, no doubt, is a sound principle, and the greatest number are by nature somewhat dull, conceited, and unscrupulous. They do not like those who are quick, unassuming, and sincere; how, then, consistently with the first principles either of morality or political economy as revealed to us by the Sunchild, can we encourage such people if we can bring sincerity and modesty fairly home to them? We cannot do so. And we must correct ...
— Erewhon Revisited • Samuel Butler

... solid and unmoved except to gain strength, in spite of all the disasters of the war on the land and on the water. The recent annual report of Mr. Chase, though chiefly confined to a simple statement of facts and figures, is like the account of some great victorious campaign, submitted by the unassuming officer who conducted it. The achievements of the Treasury are in fact the greatest of all our victories; they underlie and sustain the prowess of our armies, while they signalize the confidence and the patriotism of our whole people. Without them ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864 • Various

... positions which suppleness and cheerfulness might have made tolerable, if not agreeable. She wrung from these positions their last drop of bitterness. A very remarkable instance of this may be found in her relation to the Sidgwick family, who, by universal report, were generous, genial, and unassuming. To Charlotte Bronte these kindly, if somewhat commonplace folk, grew to seem what a Turkish pasha seems to the inhabitants of a Macedonian village. It was not merely the surroundings of her life—it was life itself, in its general mundane arrangements, which was intolerable ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... rarely of that type. They are more often unassuming and averse to anything like a personal combat. Such a man was Obed Hussey, inventor of the reaper. Honest and conscientious, enured to hard and unremitting toil, with the inspiration of a new idea for the benefit of mankind burning in his ...
— Obed Hussey - Who, of All Inventors, Made Bread Cheap • Various

... from the singing was peculiar. The evangelist, a man of apparently very simple, unassuming style, spoke a few words, and he was followed by a fine-looking man, the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond. Mr. Maxwell spoke of the fact that the dead woman had been fully prepared to go, but he spoke in a peculiarly sensitive ...
— In His Steps • Charles M. Sheldon

... be pure in heart, and meditate much upon the pure and holy character of God; live a life of prayer and devotedness to God; cherish every amiable and right disposition towards men; be mild, gentle, and unassuming, yet firm and manly. As soon as you perceive anything wrong in your spirit or behaviour set about correcting it, and never suppose yourself so perfect as ...
— The Life of William Carey • George Smith

... by which the discoveries were made, in the Introduction to the first volume of the Reports of the Archaeological Survey. No adequate account of James Prinsep's remarkable career has been published. He was singularly modest and unassuming. A good summary of his life is given in Higginbotham's Men whom India has Known, 2nd ed., Madras, 1874. See also the editor's paper, 'James Prinsep', in East and ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... chew meat, but when they do, they think it gross to swallow it, they only press the juices from the meat, and throw away the substance. The manners of these damsels were elegant, accompanied with much suavity and affability, but very modest and unassuming withal: indeed, they were all individuals, as I afterwards learned, belonging to respectable and ancient Arab families, who could not resist the exhortations of their sheik to amuse and entertain his guests. The manners of these Arabs, their elegant forms, ...
— An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa • Abd Salam Shabeeny

... ensured him of her unchanging fidelity, little dreaming that the promise thus made would so soon be broken! Petted, caressed, flattered and admired, as she was in the circle of her sister's friends, how could she help growing worldly and vain, or avoid contrasting the plain, unassuming Walter, with the polished and gayly-dressed butterflies who thronged Mrs. Burton's drawing-room. When the summer came again, she did not return to us as we had expected, but we heard of her at ...
— Rosamond - or, The Youthful Error • Mary J. Holmes

... suffer from it; but it was very evident that their happiness was greatly augmented when told that it would not be necessary. The wedding occurred on the 28th, in the Heath chapel. It was, of course, very quiet and unassuming, though the bride was lovely in her robe of white satin, exquisitely decorated with Chantilly lace, and wreath of heath, which it has always been the custom for the brides of the house to wear. William looked as noble ...
— Virgie's Inheritance • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, the letters of "Dillingham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... a similar belt, but a much less powerful one, consisting of a single row of unassuming thorns. The belt is weaker still on the seventh segment; lastly, on the eighth, it is reduced to a mere rough brown shading. Commencing with the sixth, the rings decrease in width and the abdomen ends in a cone, the extremity of which, formed of the ninth segment, ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... general and his beautiful but unassuming daughter. There was no word of her being engaged to any one as yet, though such an engagement might take place at any time. She was indeed a queenly girl. Now suitors are usually a little afraid of queenly girls—not that there are very many about, but though they ...
— As We Sweep Through The Deep • Gordon Stables

... trouble (partial aphonia and partial hemiplegia) his wife had paid him one of these unusually stormy and noisy, and, to say the least, unwelcome visits. She had carried the attack to such a point that our patient became so emotionally upset (he is a harmless, emotional, kindly, unassuming and indifferent sort of old fellow) that he suddenly was attacked with nausea and vomiting, and, frightened, fell to the floor, with the consequences above detailed. I need not go further into the history and analysis of this case, but ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... is even more conspicuous considered as a church discipline. There is a charm as of apostolic simplicity and beauty in its unassuming hierarchy of weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings, corresponding by epistles and by the visits of traveling evangelists, which realizes the type of the primitive church presented in "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." But it was never ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... way home she thought with maternal anxiety of her two boys; but the nearer she approached the unassuming quarter of the city where she lived the more vividly she felt that she did not belong there, but in the part of Brussels whence ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... for whom he had a high esteem, and whose talents and character afforded the fairest promise of what might one day be expected of him. Bonaparte was jealous of some generals, the rivalry of whose ambition he feared; but on this subject Desaix gave him no uneasiness; equally remarkable for his unassuming disposition, his talent, and information, he proved by his conduct that he loved glory for her own sake, and that every wish for the possession of political power was foreign to his mind. Bonaparte's friendship for him was enthusiastic. At this interview at ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... straight from our very Western hotel here, how helpless we are in this land where the chair-men do not speak a word of English, and where even the street names are in Chinese characters. This little man is quite unassuming, he would certainly be no trouble and might be very useful. When we stop he deprecatingly opens his flat book and shows us drawings in freehand of scrolls and animals that he has made. He explains that he tries to get a living by offering such designs to ...
— Round the Wonderful World • G. E. Mitton

... 'When I was a boy I became very much interested in him, as his manners were those of a perfect gentleman: kind, generous, hospitable, humane, dignified, and pleasing, abounding in information on all the various subjects and incidents of the day, very modest and unassuming, and delighting in society at his own house. I have seen him frequently. His head was covered with a thick suit of white hair, which gave him a very dignified and venerable appearance. His dress was uniformly of superfine drab broadcloth, made in the old style ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... himself by the back of the settle where he could catch some of the words that passed between Montigny and the stranger, whose meeting was also the subject of unsuspected scrutiny on the part of the unassuming burgesses who sat apart and to whom no ...
— If I Were King • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... the spirit and tone, either of work or of sport, and nowhere can a man discover more immediately the happiness of being of use. The recreation and the religion, the study and the play, of our associated life, are waiting for the dedication of unassuming Christian men to a life which offers itself, not to be ministered unto, but ...
— Mornings in the College Chapel - Short Addresses to Young Men on Personal Religion • Francis Greenwood Peabody

... all! Sina Tona was fond of her boy, but he wouldn't be getting into trouble again for a while! What a pity, though, for that poor girl Rosario, so modest and unassuming and never saying a word, who took her sewing down to the beach with Roseta, and was always timidly asking whether sina Tona had had any word from Tonet. As time went on, the three women from the ...
— Mayflower (Flor de mayo) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... (with wonder) into the reputation (of a man so unassuming), and few explained or understood (the true reason of his humble manner of life). Interpretarentur, not famam but the facts above mentioned, and the necessity A. was under of living as he did.—Viso aspectoque. On ...
— Germania and Agricola • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... fancy she was a large blonde. Then there was Miss Fison, the maid who served both Lady Drew and Miss Somerville, and at the end of the table opposite my mother, sat Rabbits the butler. Rabbits, for a butler, was an unassuming man, and at tea he was not as you know butlers, but in a morning coat and a black tie with blue spots. Still, he was large, with side whiskers, even if his clean-shaven mouth was weak and little. I sat among these ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... intrusion. I sought various ways to divert his mind, and to arouse him from the constant meditations in which he was plunged. He saw my efforts, and seconded them as far as in his power, for there was nothing moody or wayward in his nature; on the contrary, there was something frank, generous, unassuming, in his whole deportment. All the sentiments that he uttered were noble and lofty. He claimed no indulgence; he asked no toleration. He seemed content to carry his load of misery in silence, and only sought to carry it by my side. There was a mute beseeching manner about him, as ...
— Tales of a Traveller • Washington Irving

... the music glanced up at the pavilion and were reassured upon beholding the distant leader still gesticulating and bobbing, and the other members of the band with their lips glued to their instruments. High in the sky soared an unassuming moon, ...
— Men, Women, and Boats • Stephen Crane

... I wished to see the hero. That simple, unassuming act of devotion seemed to me more admirable than ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... by Overton, and when later it was noised about that Ruth had written the words while Arline had composed the music, both girls were later rushed by the Dramatic Club and made members, an honor to which unassuming Ruth had some difficulty in ...
— Grace Harlowe's Second Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... At an address so unassuming, and so calculated, from its simplicity and truth, to touch the human heart, the whole ship's crew were melted into tears, and declared their resolution to adhere to their admiral in life or death. Had all the ships in the fleet been commanded by such men as Admiral Duncan, the mutiny at ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... mamma, the society of Lucy Bargrove will never be prejudicial to me. I wish you knew what an unassuming girl she is, and yet so clever and well informed. Besides, mamma, have we not been playmates since we have been children? It would be cruel to break with her now, even if we felt so inclined. ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat

... ascendency in respect to all other affairs. Melville further advised him to be much more cautious in his bearing than he had been, to give place to the nobles when they were with him in the presence of the queen, to speak less freely, and in a more unassuming manner, and to explain the whole case to the queen herself, that she might co-operate with him in pursuing a course which would soothe and conciliate the irritated and angry feelings of the nobles. Melville said, moreover, that he had himself, at one time, at a court on the Continent, been placed ...
— Mary Queen of Scots, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... the quiet demeanour of the unassuming Smithers, and such were the happy effects of Scotch whiskey and Havannahs on that interesting person! But Mr. Thomas Potter, whose great aim it was to be considered as a 'knowing card,' a 'fast-goer,' and so forth, conducted himself in a very different manner, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... efforts to be homely and unassuming, Gideon Birkenshaw was not always entirely at his ease in his presence. The old man recognized that his own upbringing and education had been sadly deficient and that his roughness of speech and manners became painfully obvious in comparison with Kiddie's unvarying courtesy ...
— Kiddie the Scout • Robert Leighton

... black satin upon, or as a post whereon to display gold-threaded fabrics, of all the colours of the rainbow: sooner than wear such things, he would willingly resign his neck to the embraces of a halter. His study is to select a modest, unassuming choker, fine if you please, but without pretension as to pattern, and in colour harmonizing with his residual toggery: this he ties with an easy, unembarrassed air, so that he can conveniently ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... mighty France knelt at the feet of the unassuming chevalier,—a picture to the world forever of how that manhood which is without fear and without reproach is above the majesty ...
— With Spurs of Gold - Heroes of Chivalry and their Deeds • Frances Nimmo Greene

... clerk had known how to make himself a companion to a lord. He did not want anything for himself. He was too old and settled in life to be desirous of new friendships. He was naturally conscientious, gentle, and unassuming. But Roden rose in his estimation, and Crocker fell, when he became assured that Roden and Lord Hampstead were intimate friends, and that Crocker had dared to jeer at the friendship. A lord is like a new hat. The one ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... lived here, and he could easily go thither in a morning's journey on his favorite dapple gray, or by rowing seven miles around the Dutch Gap peninsula, could make the journey in his barge. When not at his upper plantation or in attendance at the council, he was living the quiet and unassuming life of a planter at Curles, where he entertained his neighbors, and being by nature a lover of the divine rights of man, he boldly denounced the trade laws, the Arlington and Culpepper grants, and the governor for his lukewarmness ...
— The Real America in Romance, Volume 6; A Century Too Soon (A Story - of Bacon's Rebellion) • John R. Musick

... misfortunes, and win for themselves that patronage which they have heretofore had it in their power to dispense. We have had the pleasure of a personal interview with the gentleman who is to have the charge of the proposed institution. He appears to be well educated, modest, and unassuming—a master of the ancient languages, as his lady is of the modern; and from what we have heard, we doubt not their ample qualifications for the undertaking. Mrs. W. has enjoyed the advantages of foreign travel, which will enable her to form the manners of her pupils after the best models of the ...
— Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman • William L. Stone

... and most heart-stirring poems we possess. I have often listened with pleasure to Arthur Forrester, when he used to come to address the "boys" in Liverpool. On one of those occasions Michael Davitt was with him, a modest, unassuming young man, with but little to say, although he was to make afterwards a more important figure in the world than his friend. Forrester was a young fellow full of pluck, and made a desperate resistance when, a boy, he was ...
— The Life Story of an Old Rebel • John Denvir

... good deal of trouble to find it out.' I quote this because it bears upon my brother's later development of opinion. For the present, the personal remark is more relevant. Maine, says Fitzjames, 'was perfectly charming to me at college, as he is now. He was most kind, friendly, and unassuming; and, though I was a freshman and he a young don,[56] and he was twenty-six when I was twenty—one of the greatest differences of age and rank which can exist between two people having so much in common—we ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... is increased by the total absence of all the "moving" letters found in the original work. The "lordly husband and father," "the imperious son," "the proud ambitious sister, Arabella," all combined to force the universally beloved and unassuming Clarissa to marry the wealthy Mr. Somers, who was to be the means of "the aggrandisement of the family." Clarissa, in this perplexing situation, yielded in a desperate mood to "the earnest entreaties of the artful Lovelace to accept the protection of the Ladies of his family." Who ...
— Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book • Rosalie V. Halsey

... character, the two partners had the truest regard for one another. Mr. Engelman believed Mr. Keller to be the most accomplished and remarkable man in Germany. Mr. Keller was as firmly persuaded, on his side, that Mr. Engelman was an angel in sweetness of temper, and a model of modest and unassuming good sense. Mr. Engelman listened to Mr. Keller's learned talk with an ignorant admiration which knew no limit. Mr. Keller, detesting tobacco in all its forms, and taking no sort of interest in horticulture, submitted to the fumes of Mr. Engelman's pipe, ...
— Jezebel • Wilkie Collins

... an unassuming Freshman, Thro' these wilds I wandered on, Seeing in each house a College, Under every cap a Don; Each perambulating infant Had a magic in its squall, For my eager eye detected Senior Wranglers ...
— English Satires • Various

... days of December, 1957, at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in New York, Dr. Niemand delivered a paper entitled simply, "On the Nature of the Solar S-Regions." Owing to its unassuming title the startling implications contained in the paper were completely overlooked by the press. These implications are discussed here in an exclusive interview with Dr. ...
— Disturbing Sun • Robert Shirley Richardson

... and unassuming!' said Lady Elizabeth. 'I little expected Arthur Martindale's marriage to have turned ...
— Heartsease - or Brother's Wife • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to begin with small seaside places, and gradually, as they gained confidence, attack larger centres. To begin with they selected Littlestone in Kent, chiefly because of its unassuming name. ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... aim; for the good emotions of the crew, and the repentance of the Ninevites, evidently did not lead to any lasting result. If anything else were aimed at than the prefiguring of future events, the prophet might better have stayed at home; an unassuming [Pg 412] ministry in some corner among the Covenant-people would have carried along with it a ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg

... have devised for a tall, gaunt man—a black frock coat, ill-setting and too short for him in the body, skirt, and arms—a rolling collar, low-down, disclosing his long thin, shrivelled throat uncovered and exposed. No man in all New York appeared that night more simple, more unassuming, more modest, more unpretentious, more conscious of his own defects than Abraham Lincoln; and yet we now know that within his soul there burned the fires of an unbounded ambition, sustained by a self-reliance and self-esteem that bade ...
— Abraham Lincoln • George Haven Putnam

... L. B.—I learn that Watson has very gravely injured his health by labor, that is, by being the most faithful servant of the country and of its cause. I never, anywhere in my life, met a public officer so undaunted at his duties, so unassuming, so quiet as Watson, in his duties of Assistant Secretary of War, which are as thorny as can be imagined. Watson was, and I hope will be for the future, the terror of lobbyists, of bad contractors, of jobbers—in one word, the terror of all the leeches of the people's pocket. And it ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... excursions; the former are pusillanimous and cowardly, the latter are bold and courageous, full of spirit and energy, and never seem happier than when engaged in martial exercises; the former are generally mild, unassuming, humble and honest, but cold and passionless. The latter are proud and haughty, too vain to be civil, and too shrewd to be honest; yet they appear to understand somewhat of the nature of love and the social affections, are warm in their attachments, and keen ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... hard struggles and little disappointments like Helen Adams's, it really takes very little to make a college reputation. One brilliant recitation may turn an unassuming student into a "prod."; and on the strength of one clever bit of writing another is given the title of "genius." This last distinction was at once bestowed on Eleanor. She was showered with congratulations and compliments. ...
— Betty Wales, Sophomore • Margaret Warde

... preferably her old ones, an unassuming hat, and no jewelry, the lady traveller may render herself inconspicuous and not likely to attract masculine attention. In case of accident it is allowable to accept assistance from anyone, though the train officials are at all times to ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style, in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple and unassuming language.—Thomas Jefferson" ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... Boston merchants, who think they are stimulating country farmers to healthy emulation by lavishing from thirty to forty thousand dollars on a barn and its appurtenant out-houses. With these preconceived ideas, it was an unexpected satisfaction to see quite a simple-looking, unassuming establishment, which any well-to-do farmer might make and own. The house is rather a large and solid-looking building, erected by Mr. Mechi himself, but not at all ostentatious of wealth or architectural taste. ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... Four Hundred, was defying Judge Babson, and to rush up a camera man right off in a taxi, and to look her up in the morgue for a front-page story. O'Brien glanced uneasily at Babson. Possible defiance on the part of this usually unassuming lady had not entered into his calculations. The judge took a ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... value of the move; and, besides, it was well to run no foolish risks and take no chances. Also, he believed in Donovan Pasha's honesty. He despised him in a worldly kind of way, because he might have been rich and splendid, and he was poor and unassuming. He wanted Kingsley Bey's fortune, or a great slice of it, but he wanted it without a struggle with Dicky Donovan, and with the British Consulate—for that would come, too, directly. It gave him no security to know that the French would be with him—he ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... and vulgar fun has spoiled many of these volumes pollinated from India. They have another defect, too, though it would be unfair to blame Kipling for that when it may be seen blossoming with the unassuming modesty of a tulip in any number of Punch. I mean that amusing gravity of the snob who is sure of the exclusive superiority of his caste mark, with not the trace of a smile on his face, and at a time when all ...
— Waiting for Daylight • Henry Major Tomlinson

... spelling unspeakable, of the greatness and goodness of "Ex-Governor Balderson of Kansas." It related that he was ever the "friend to the friendless"; that, "with all his worldly honours, he was modest and unassuming"; that "he had his faults, as who of us have not," but that he was "honest, tried and true"; and the memorial closed with the words: "Heaven's angel gained ...
— In Our Town • William Allen White

... and unassuming, you will create a position for her, and, whether she becomes the king's master, or his mistress, or whether she only becomes his confidant, you will only have made ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... abounding hospitality and his command of the whole situation make him sought as a counselor and as a leader. As the older men, like Clough and Downie, pass away, Doctor Ferguson, by common consent, forges to the front. The present prosperity and harmony of the Telugu mission are largely due to his unassuming and welcome influence. He too is a man whose scholarship and character reflect honor upon the Rochester Theological Seminary, where he sat under my instruction ...
— A Tour of the Missions - Observations and Conclusions • Augustus Hopkins Strong

... appearance on the stage, May 1, 1907, was one of the most extraordinary events in the history of the English theater. This lovely, unassuming American girl had so completely endeared herself to the hearts of the London theater-goers that she was made the center of a tumultuous farewell. The day the seat-sale opened there was a queue several blocks long. During the opening performance Charles ...
— Charles Frohman: Manager and Man • Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

... frame, with dark hair and eyes, and tanned by sun and wind. His voice was low, and deep; his manners simple and unassuming; his ready laugh and off-hand bearing indicated the born soldier; eyes mild, friendly, and full of honesty. It was only when Breathed was fighting his guns, or leading a charge, that they resembled red-hot coals, ...
— Mohun, or, The Last Days of Lee • John Esten Cooke

... there with his wife. He was apparently about thirty-five, tall, and of dark complexion, with a studious bend in his shoulders, and of irregular features strongly impressed with melancholy. His manners were particularly reserved, though as unassuming as they could well be. His exquisitely beautiful poem of 'Lillian' was among the pet treasures of the lady of the house, and we had all been indulged with a sight of it, in a choicely bound manuscript copy—but it was hard to make him confess to any literary habits or standing. ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... reading fashionable among the Quakers, who composed the leading citizens of the town,—a people tolerant but narrow, frugal but appreciative of things good to eat, kind-hearted but not remarkable for generosity, except to the poor of their own denomination, law-abiding but not progressive, modest and unassuming but conscious and conceited, as most self-educated people are. It is a wonder that a self-educated man like Franklin was so broad and liberal in all his views,—an impersonation of good nature and catholicity, ever open to ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... cause my uncle had to dislike the Scotch marriage law. He must have been made very miserable from some unguarded words spoken or written; but this does not prevent his son taking the position of a legitimate heir. He is quiet and unassuming, and will take a very good place ...
— Mr. Hogarth's Will • Catherine Helen Spence

... creature at whom, as a girl of eighteen, she would not have looked a second time. But how much more modest in its demands had her taste not become as she had advanced in years! How much more docile and unassuming! She saw other girls marrying men not unlike Denis Malster; so why couldn't she? She concluded that it must evidently be the fate of modern women to accept the third-rate, the third-best—in fact disillusionment as a law of their beings; and having no one to support her in her soundest ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... the corners and settings of the windows and of the door-ways, and the chimneys, were of brick. There was something sombre about it, and many perhaps might call it dull of aspect; but it was substantial, comfortable, and unassuming. It was entered by broad stone steps, with iron balustrades curving outwards as they descended, and there was an open area round the house, showing that the offices were in the basement. In these days it was a quiet house enough, as Mr. ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... the same spirit which moved him to write his poems of humble life. The sheltered garden flowers have less attraction for him than the common blossoms by the wayside. In their unobtrusive humility these "unassuming Common-places of Nature" might be regarded, as the poet says, "as administering both to moral and spiritual purposes." The "Lesser Celandine," buffeted by the storm, affords him, on another occasion, a symbol ...
— Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson • William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson

... and landed him fairly on the right cheek. Dr. GORGIAS then executed a pirouette, kissed his hand to Mrs. JOGGINS, and disappeared into the Master's lodge. "From this good man," said Mrs. JOGGINS to the Dean, "you may learn a lesson of unassuming kindness; but time presses; we must hurry on. By virtue of the power vested in me by the Queen of the Fairies, whose ambassadress I am in Grantaford, I have summoned back to St. Michael's all the Undergraduates. You shall see them." In vain ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., December 27, 1890 • Various

... rushed forward and, with a "God bless you, sir!" would have embraced him had he not stepped aside. Even the dignified old family butler tried to take his hand, an unheard-of liberty on his part. For, unknowingly, all had come suddenly to rely upon this quiet, unassuming ...
— The Master Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey

... account, his departure the receipt, and time alone can say, whether your bargain has been a good or a bad one. He has certainly no assumption—it is one of his few good traits; he walks with his arms in motion, but attempts not a swagger; his knock is unassuming, and his words, though much attended to, are few, and to the point. Why, then, abuse him? We know not, but believe it originates in fear. An intuitive feeling of dread—a rushing presentiment of evil—crosses ...
— A Love Story • A Bushman

... been a West Point graduate, and having served as a captain in the regular army, rendered the Adjutant-General very material service. On the morning I saw him in the Adjutant-General's office at Springfield, nobody ever dreamed that this quiet, unassuming subordinate would, in less than four years, become one of the greatest generals in all the world's history. At the outbreak of the war he resided at Galena, where he was ...
— Fifty Years of Public Service • Shelby M. Cullom

... after worshipping Merodach at E-sagila, he dictated letters to his scribes, gave audiences to officials, heard legal appeals and issued interlocutors, and dealt with the reports regarding his private estates. He looks a typical man of affairs in sculptured representations—shrewd, resolute, and unassuming, feeling "the burden of royalty", but ever ready and well qualified to discharge his duties with thoroughness and insight. His grasp of detail was equalled only by his power to conceive of great enterprises which appealed to his imagination. It was a work ...
— Myths of Babylonia and Assyria • Donald A. Mackenzie

... blue sweater. He was neither a Raffles nor one of the chefs from Hell's Kitchen. The police would have been baffled had they attempted to classify him. They have not yet heard of the respectable, unassuming burglar who is neither above nor ...
— Sixes and Sevens • O. Henry

... striking summary of the Antiquities of Richborough, Reculver, and Lynne, written by Mr. Roach Smith and illustrated by Mr. Fairholt, which exhibits the results of recent discoveries of many remarkable Roman antiquities in Kent; and a brief, unassuming narrative of the Hudson's Bay Company's Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847, by the commander of the ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... certain county of Virginia, where the county board had charge of registering those who were to be voters, a colored man, a graduate of Harvard University, who had long been a resident of the county, a quiet, unassuming man, went before the board to register. He was refused on the ground that he was not intelligent enough to vote. Before this colored man left the room a white man came in who was so intoxicated that he could scarcely tell where he lived. This white man was registered, and by a board of intelligent ...
— Booker T. Washington - Builder of a Civilization • Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

... and unassuming, it was given to but few to know the great-hearted, unselfish sweetness of nature underlying his whole life. Yet the scientific world in general and Nature students especially, recognize in Dr. Kellerman's ...
— The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise - Its Habitat and its Time of Growth • M. E. Hard

... had altogether forgotten that unpleasant incident. I wish you had not reminded me of it. He is a most respectful, modest, unassuming young man. I am sure he would be dreadfully uncomfortable if he were aware we ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... acquainted, it forms a series of unpremeditated conclusions on almost all subjects that can be brought before it, as just as they are of ready application to human life; and common sense is the name of this body of unassuming but practical wisdom. Common sense, however, is an impartial, instinctive result of truth and nature, and will therefore bear the test and abide the scrutiny of the most severe and patient reasoning. It is indeed incomplete without it. By ingrafting ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... gorgeous magnolia, in luxuriant bloom, and a thousand other evergreens, on shore, vie with voluptuous aquatic flowers to bewilder and delight the astonished traveller, accustomed hitherto only to the more unassuming productions of the sober north. Everything here was new, strange, and solemn. The gigantic trees, encircled by enormous vines, and heavily shrouded in grey funereal moss, mournfully waving in the breeze—the doleful night-cry of the death-bird and the whip-poor-will—the distant bugle of the advancing ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head In humble guise; But now the share uptears thy bed, ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... the right to talk to her whenever he got a chance. He interested her, too, which was worse. His passing references to his travels and to his adventures, of which he spoke with the indifference of a man accustomed to danger, his unassuming manner, his frank ways—everything about him awakened her interest. She had supposed that in two years the very faculty of being interested by a man would be dulled if not destroyed; she found to her annoyance that ...
— A Tale of a Lonely Parish • F. Marion Crawford

... stature, in extremely delicate health, he was yet a giant as far as skill and work were concerned. An earnest Christian, a polished gentleman, of quiet and unassuming yet elegant manners, interesting in conversation, a true, firm friend, an unflinching patriot, what more could be added to indicate an almost perfect character? His care and watchfulness, combined with rare skill,—directed ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... who even under difficulties knew how to live a simple, pure and gentle life. Never have I come in contact with so much human feeling—even the ministers and their families are human, and full of understanding! The officials and people of prominence are all natural and unassuming. ...
— Reno - A Book of Short Stories and Information • Lilyan Stratton

... President that order was ultimately restored. In the profound and earnest thinking and discussion that went on during the rest of the year, whenever thoughtful men gathered together, many a grateful word was said of the quiet, unassuming man in the White House who saw clearly his duty and never faltered in pursuing it. It was seen that the Federal government, with a resolute President at its head, was a tower of strength in the ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... lately of the progress of the negotiations between the courts of Petersburg, Vienna and Versailles. The distance of the former, and the cautious, unassuming character of its minister here, is one cause of delays: a greater one is, the greediness and unstable character of the Emperor. Nor do I think that the Principal here will be easily induced to lend himself to any connection, which shall ...
— The Writings of Thomas Jefferson - Library Edition - Vol. 6 (of 20) • Thomas Jefferson

... Distinguished Musicians. Translated from the German by Lady Wallace. London, 1867]. They treat principally of business matters, but are not unimportant as fixing the chronological dates of some of his works. They exhibit in a striking way the simple, honest, unassuming nature of the composer; and if they also show him "rather eager after gain, and even particular to a groschen," we must not forget the ever-pressing necessity for economy under which he laboured, and his almost lavish benevolence to straitened relatives and friends. In one letter requesting an ...
— Haydn • J. Cuthbert Hadden

... illustrated by an integrity, kindness, and active benevolence, which showed that poetical genius of a high order may be found in a mind well regulated, able and willing to execute the ordinary duties of life in an exemplary manner. Gentle and unassuming to all, with an unchangeable simplicity of character, she counted many of the most celebrated persons of the last age among her intimate friends, and her quiet home was frequently resorted to by people of other nations, as well as by her own countrymen, for the purpose of paying homage ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... Certainly the vizcachas are not much injured by being compelled to relinquish the use of one of their kennels for a season or permanently; for, if the locality suits him, the fox remains with them always. Soon they grow accustomed to the unwelcome stranger; he is quiet and unassuming in demeanour, and often in the evening sits on the mound in their company, until they regard him with the same indifference they do the burrowing owl. But in spring, when the young vizcachas are large enough to leave their cells, then the fox makes them ...
— The Naturalist in La Plata • W. H. Hudson

... talking about himself when he was encouraged. On this occasion he offended all those feelings of official discretion and personal reticence which had been endeared to the old duke by the lessons which he had learned from former statesmen and by the experience of his own life. To be quiet, unassuming, almost affectedly modest in any mention of himself, low-voiced, reflecting always more than he resolved, and resolving always more than he said, had been his aim. Conscious of his high rank, and thinking, no doubt, much ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... fixed very intently on each and all of the breakfast bowls. He was as silent and sagacious as Sarah was talkative and empty-headed. The expression of his face was that of King Charles I. as painted by Vandyke. Though large, he was unassuming. Pax, the pug, on the contrary, who came up to the first joint of Darkie's leg, stood defiantly on his dignity and his short stumps. He always placed himself in front of the bigger dog, and made a point of hustling him in door-ways and of going first down stairs. ...
— In the Yule-Log Glow, Book II - Christmas Tales from 'Round the World • Various

... dissimulation of one, he beheld the simplicity and gentleness of the other, the contrast became too striking not to fill him at once with surprise and admiration. He frequently conversed with Charlotte; he found her sensible, well informed, but diffident and unassuming. The languor which the fatigue of her body and perturbation of her mind spread over her delicate features, served only in his opinion to render her more lovely: he knew that Montraville did not design to marry her, and he formed ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... bright green, and the heavy-barred, small-paned Georgian sash windows enlivened with three coats of white. He was as kind to her as a man, mayor, and churchwarden could possibly be. The house was large, the rooms lofty, and the landings wide; and the two unassuming women scarcely made a perceptible ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... both young and enthusiastic, and she thought here was an opportunity of benefiting one of her own sex in a quiet, unassuming way. She took care to observe closely, much that she would have otherwise ...
— Clemence - The Schoolmistress of Waveland • Retta Babcock

... heads of departments; the general-in-chief of the army and his staff; members of the cabinet. In their midst, as they stood about the car before settling for the journey, towered a man sad, preoccupied, unassuming; a man awkward and ill-dressed; a man, as he leaned slouchingly against the wall, of no grace of look or manner, in whose haggard face seemed to be the suffering of the sins of the world. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, journeyed with his party to assist at the consecration, ...
— The Perfect Tribute • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... several phenomena of the heavenly bodies exhibited by it, conveyed almost as bad an opinion of their astronomical and mathematical knowledge as of that of their president. The prelate, however, appeared to be a man of mild and placid temper, pleasing manners, and of a modest and unassuming deportment. His secretary was a keen sharp fellow, extremely inquisitive, and resolved not to lose the little knowledge he might acquire, for he wrote down the answer to every ...
— 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

... the revelation is sometimes the other way; the testing uncovers unexpected strength. Of many a man, after some strong trial, we say, "I did not know that he had so much courage, or so much patience." The quiet unassuming exterior was the mask of an heroic will of which very likely not even the possessor suspected the true quality. The annals of martyrdom are full of these revelations of unsuspected strength. Here in the case of Blessed Mary the quality revealed is that of humility so perfect that ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... chapels. Of course, particles of vanity, morsels of straight-lacedness, lively little bits of cantankerousness, and odd manifestations of first person pronoun worship periodically crop up; but altogether the congregation has a quiet, unassuming, friendly disposition. Nobody in it appears to be very much better or worse than yourself; there is an evenness of tone and a sociality of feeling in the spot; and a stranger can enter it without being violently stared at, and can sit down without ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... his life-time so extensive a popularity as the Author of Waverley. His love of fame and acquisition of honourable distinction all over the world had not the common effect of making him vain. Hear, in proof, the following unassuming declaration, from the delightful autobiographic sketch to ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 571 - Volume 20, No. 571—Supplementary Number • Various

... seems to have been then. I have myself heard it more than once spoken of as an English town. At Nancy, where Father O'Leary was travelling, his native country happened to be mentioned when one of the party, a quiet French farmer of Burgundy, asked, in an unassuming tone, 'If Ireland stood encore?' 'Encore,' said an astonished John Bull, a courier coming from Germany—'encore! to be sure she does; we have her yet, I assure you, monsieur.' 'Though neither very safe, nor very sound,' interposed an officer of ...
— Irish Wit and Humor - Anecdote Biography of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell • Anonymous

... behaviour is also frequently exhibited by the Aborigines in their natural state, in the modest unassuming manner in which they take their positions to observe what is going on, and in a total absence of any thing that is rude or offensive. It is true that the reverse of this is also often to be met with; but I think it will usually be found ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... a yellow cover, which was the best part of it, for at least it was unassuming; it ran four months in undisturbed obscurity, and died without a gasp. The first number was edited by all four of us with prodigious bustle; the second fell principally into the hands of Ferrier and me; the third I edited alone; and it has ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson



Words linked to "Unassuming" :   modest, retiring, unassumingness



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