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Abruptness   Listen
noun
Abruptness  n.  
1.
The state of being abrupt or broken; craggedness; ruggedness; steepness.
2.
Suddenness; unceremonious haste or vehemence; as, abruptness of style or manner.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Abruptness" Quotes from Famous Books



... terms. If there are such things as angels, their changes of place cannot be described as motion, seeing that from the very nature of things such changes must be instantaneous, not involving time as a necessary element. Have you ever thought much about angels? By-the-bye, pardon my abruptness, but as there is no one to introduce us, what ...
— Mr. Isaacs • F. Marion Crawford

... and integrity of perception, dislike of blurred outlines, of vague identifications, are its characteristics. It loves to recognize particulars in their full completeness, and the more of these it can carry the happier it is. It prefers any amount of incoherence, abruptness, and fragmentariness (so long as the literal details of the separate facts are saved) to an abstract way of conceiving things that, while it simplifies them, dissolves away at the same time their concrete fulness. Clearness and simplicity thus set up rival ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... Startled by the abruptness of his announcement, Lloyd almost dropped the hot sealing-wax on her fingers instead of the envelope. His haste seemed to communicate itself to her, for, springing up, she stood with one hand pressing her little signet ring into the wax, while the ...
— The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor • Annie Fellows Johnston

... his face turned toward the young Kentuckian. Not only that, but he seemed to be watching Jack himself. So startling was his appearance, that the youth shrank back, allowing the vegetation to close in front of his face. This was done with a certain abruptness, which (if he was right in his suspicion), was unfortunate, since the action would be the more noticeable to the Pawnee. Then Jack stealthily parted the leaves and ...
— Footprints in the Forest • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... is used in the expression of grandeur, sublimity, reverence, etc., and smoothness and dignity are its characteristics, for it gives emphasis without abruptness or violence. In using this stress, there is a gradual increase and swell in the middle of a sound, and a subsequent gradual decrease—thus giving a greater intensity of voice and dignity of ...
— The Canadian Elocutionist • Anna Kelsey Howard

... Itchoua on his long legs walks with his hands resting on Ramuntcho's shoulder. Interested and ardent for success, since the sum has been agreed upon, Itchoua whispers in Ramuntcho's ear imperious advices. Like Arrochkoa, he wishes to act with stunning abruptness, in the surprise of a first interview which will occur in the evening, as late as the rule of a convent will permit, at an uncertain and twilight hour, when the village shall have ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti

... and lazy breakfast next morning, Roger ascended to his father's room. He found the old man lying tranquil if weak, his temperature fallen to normal with that curious abruptness characteristic of typhoid. The nurse, very fresh in a clean apron and cap, was putting the room to rights. She smiled at Roger, who was no longer a stranger, for the two had had a long talk over their coffee the evening before, and later, with Miss Clifford, had indulged ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... He straightened away from the door frame which had been supporting his shoulders. "Thanks a lot, Reese." He left with the same abruptness as he had ...
— Rebel Spurs • Andre Norton

... Carmen's glowing eyes. "How old are you?" he suddenly asked. The abruptness of the strange, apparently irrelevant question startled ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... a woman without sincere intentions of marriage; that I have never continued an appearance of intimacy from the hour that my inclination changed, but to preserve her whom I was leaving from the shock of abruptness, or the ignominy of contempt; that I always endeavoured to give the ladies an opportunity of seeming to discard me; and that I never forsook a mistress for larger fortune, or brighter beauty, but ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, In Nine Volumes - Volume the Third: The Rambler, Vol. II • Samuel Johnson

... English. Absurdly transparent as it was,—perhaps the happier for its very childishness,—under cover of this naive device from time to time a hapless girl escaped the fatal burst of his wrath. Midway in the rising storm of curses and abuse he would turn with comical abruptness to the attractive interruption with all the zest of a scholar. I often trembled lest he should see through the thinly covered trick, but he never did. On his return from the prince's palace, however, even ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... the end, in a weak voice and with many pauses, Miss Patricia Doyle sat down in her chair with strange abruptness and stared blankly at her father. The Major stared back. So did Uncle John, when her eyes ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces • Edith Van Dyne

... line twanged like a harp-string as the terrified Arima relaxed his convulsive grip on it and was hauled back inboard to safety by his master, and the yacht's forward progress was checked with an abruptness that threatened to drag the bitts out of her as the strain of the line, with the plunging, struggling monster at the end of it, was suddenly thrown upon them, while the shock sent every individual, fore and aft, sprawling upon the deck, to the uproarious ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... abruptness, her mind plainly wandering to another matter; and Mary perceived that she had come upon a definite errand. Moreover, a tensing of Sibyl's eyelids, in that moment of abstraction as she looked aside from her hostess, indicated that the errand was a serious one for the caller and ...
— The Turmoil - A Novel • Booth Tarkington

... men, deeply wounded in love and pride. He tried to excuse Marcia for her treatment of him, on the score of her youth and of youth's thoughtlessness; he blamed himself for his abruptness and his lack of knowledge of women—failings that had perhaps turned an impending victory into the defeat that now oppressed him. Worst of all, there was no hope to remedy his or her fault. A dangerous campaign ...
— The Lion's Brood • Duffield Osborne

... later, Ethel Morrissey was shrewdly selecting her winter line of Featherlooms from the stock in the showrooms of the T. A. Buck Company. They went about their business transaction, these two, with the cool abruptness of men, speaking little, and then only of prices, discounts, dating, shipping. Their luncheon conversation of an hour before seemed ...
— Emma McChesney & Co. • Edna Ferber

... both here and in England. Such a procedure, though defended by writers of the generation just passed with much plausible argument and not a little wit, seems to me an intellectual absurdity; and my reason for saying so runs, with whatever abruptness, into the form of a syllogism:—A University, I should lay down, by its very name professes to teach universal knowledge: Theology is surely a branch of knowledge: how then is it possible for it to profess ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... paled suddenly, and involuntarily he bore so heavily on the bit that his horse reared high. Taken unawares, his usually facile mind was confused by the abruptness of Richard's words and the calm determination plainly foreshadowed in them. Trained by years of experience in a Court where intrigue imbrued the very atmosphere, ordinarily he was equal to any emergency. But all his schemes of the past were as gossamer to the conspiracy ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... or no answer, for I am always put out by such sort of discourse, especially when entered upon with such abruptness. Recollecting, then, that "Cecilia" had been published since that time, he began a very florid flourish, saying he was in my debt greatly, not only for reproaches about what I had neglected, but for fine speeches about what I had performed. I hastily ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madam D'Arblay Volume 2 • Madame D'Arblay

... progress, though slowly, and with great danger. They at last got below the region of the snow, but here they encountered new difficulties in the abruptness and ruggedness of the rocks, and in the zigzag and tortuous direction of the way. At last they came to a spot where their further progress appeared to be entirely cut off by a large mass of rock, which it seemed necessary ...
— Hannibal - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... as he happens to be your employer, the notification can take place in his office. First of all, however, it would be advisable to prepare some sort of speech in advance. Aim to put him as far as possible at his ease, lead up to the subject gradually and tactfully. Abruptness is never "good form." The following is suggested as a possible model. "Good morning, Mr. Doe, say, I heard a good story from a traveling salesman last night. It seems that there was a young married couple—(here ...
— Perfect Behavior - A Guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises • Donald Ogden Stewart

... flotilla, when the Emperor intended to invade England? He perceived the smile which accompanied this question, and instantaneously, with a fierce look of suspicion and resolution, demanded of me my passport. Though the abruptness of his conduct startled me, I could not but regard him with some admiration. A long, thin, spare figure of 55, was so sensible of the honour of his country, as to take fire even at a jest at it as at a personal insult. ...
— Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808 • Lt-Col. Pinkney

... cheerfully. "We seem to be out of luck this evening." Then, with searching abruptness: "Do you call yourself ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... was better acquainted with his brother's character than Newton, took no notice of the abruptness of his ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... regretted having done so: my companion did not speak; and I had nothing in the world to say, and feared he might be in the same predicament. At length, however, he broke the pause by asking, with a certain quiet abruptness peculiar to ...
— Agnes Grey • Anne Bronte

... occasion—usually in connection with food that was distasteful to him—he could have his resentments; but they were manifested always with a dignified restraint. His nearest approach to ill-mannered abruptness was to bat with a contemptuous paw the offending morsel from his plate; which brusque act he followed by fixing upon the bestower of unworthy food a coldly, but always politely, contemptuous stare. Ordinarily, however, his displeasure—in ...
— Lords of the Housetops - Thirteen Cat Tales • Various

... she hoped to receive more details, especially as she had followed her first letter, telling of her father's death, with another a fortnight later, giving fuller particulars of the occurrence. In due course came a second letter from her brother-in-law, professing contrition for the abruptness of his first, but excusing it on the ground that he was prostrated with grief at the time, and quite unable to write. He added very full and even dramatic particulars of her sister's death, giving her last message to her English relatives, ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... hung her head Turn'd pale, and then red, Growing faint at this sudden proposal to wed, As though his abruptness, in "popping the question" So soon after dinner, disturb'd her digestion. Then, averting her eye, With a lover-like sigh, "You are welcome," she murmur'd in tones most bewitching, "To every utensil I have in my kitchen!" Upstarted the Knight, Half mad with delight, ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... Suddenly, with startling abruptness, a rifle-shot broke the silence with its shuddering echoes. Guy and Melton sprang to their feet. The officers on the steamer crowded to the rail, up in the town dark figures ran to and fro, a soldier in bright uniform was seen speeding toward ...
— The River of Darkness - Under Africa • William Murray Graydon

... and Dr. Gregg politely removed their hats as Franklin entered the car and addressed Mary Ellen. Confused by the abruptness of it all, it was a moment before she recognised local requirements, and presented Franklin to the gentlemen. For an instant she planned flight, escape. She would have begged Franklin to return with her. Fate in the form of the ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... church with unexpected abruptness the band halted, turned, it fell apart, and the procession came through; it came right on through and up the steps, a line of uniforms and swords on either side from curb ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... temperament, a nervous organization, with a brain crowded with a variety of memories and incidents that could only come to one in a million—all combine to give her a pleasant abruptness of motion and of speech, which I have heard some very fine ladies term insanity. 'Now don't you think she is crazy, to spend all her time in such ways?' said one. When we remember how rare a thing utter unselfishness and self-forgetfulness is, we must conclude that she is crazy. If ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... newspaper in his pocket and left the little tavern with an abruptness that astonished his host, setting out upon his ride with increased haste and turning eastward, intending to reach the railroad at the nearest point where he could ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... Rudeness and abruptness must never be tolerated in the manners of a child. "Yes," and "no," in reply, and "what?" in interrogatory, are uncouth and disagreeable in sound. "Yes, sir," "Yes, ma'am," and "What, ma'am," are much better substituted, but even these are open to criticism. ...
— Social Life - or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society • Maud C. Cooke

... It was with startling abruptness that the two figures were torn apart, each resolved again into an individual. One, the towering man, had drawn suddenly back; the other was falling. And yet the silence was unbroken. There was never a cry to echo through the gorges from a horror-clutched throat. The falling man plunged ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... inviting Jane"; and it does not seem to have been possible for Shelley and Mary to have borne resentment. The facts of this meeting early in the year, and that Mary and Shelley contemplated another of their restless journeys abroad, certainly take off from the abruptness of their departure for Geneva in May with Claire Claremout. Undoubtedly Shelley was in a worried and excited state at this period, and he acted so as to rouse the doubts of Peacock as to the reason of the hurried journey. The story of Williams of Tremadock ...
— Mrs. Shelley • Lucy M. Rossetti

... scarlet with alarm at the abruptness of the question. "Yes, I am. T-Twitter is my name. You're the man that gave him the Bible, are you not, whom he turned out of his house for tryin' to speak to him about ...
— Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished - A Tale of City Arab Life and Adventure • R.M. Ballantyne

... "Well, well!" with emotional abruptness. "I took this girl for her sake. Her short life was not wasted if another's is built upon it. That's one of my fantastic fancies, I ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... The abruptness with which the subject was introduced irritated Sansevero, and he answered sulkily: "I told you, when you first spoke to me, that it was a matter Miss Randolph would have to decide for herself. An American girl never allows other people to arrange her marriage for her, and I found my niece ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... Abruptness has reference to the relative suddenness with which syllables may be uttered. It may vary from the most delicate opening to ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... gully, and followed it in all its windings; knowing well from experience that it is easier to find a passage up a mountain range than down it. The gully had all the characters of those of the Boyd; the same sandstone rock, the same abruptness, and the same vegetation; excepting, perhaps, a new Grevillea, with pinnatifid leaves and yellowish-white woolly flowers, which we found here. There was no water, except in some small holes full of gum leaves, which had rendered it unfit for use. After proceeding with ...
— Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia • Ludwig Leichhardt

... same with the direct and brutal allusion which his interlocutor had made to the war of 1859. It is always a thorn in the flesh of those of our neighbors from beyond the Alps who do not love us. The pride of the Garibaldian was not far behind the generosity of the former zouave. With an abruptness equal to that of Montfanon, he took up the volume and grumbled as he turned it over and over in ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... fish making shift to live precariously with other small fish in a pool where big fish swam lazily. If one small fish now and then disappeared with mysterious abruptness, the other small fish would perhaps scurry here and there for a time, but few would leave the pool for the safe ...
— Sawtooth Ranch • B. M. Bower

... conclusion of the service Haydn was sent for by the choirmaster, who, after expressing his regret for his former abruptness, asked him to stay with them until the following day. Poor starving Haydn was only too glad to accept the invitation, and when the morrow arrived he was told that he might extend his stay for several days longer. When, therefore, he finally returned to Vienna, it was with a ...
— Story-Lives of Great Musicians • Francis Jameson Rowbotham

... another without an end-pause where in Italian it is almost universal, namely, after the sixth line. The result of the innovation is far from successful: it destroys the flow of the verse and gives it an air of abruptness. Of the liveliness, vivacity and pungency of the tale, no idea can be given by quotation: two of the stanzas in which the moral is enforced, the two finest, perhaps, in the poem, are, however, severable from ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... The abruptness and sudden rise of the hills for the most part permit the vegetable earth to be washed down into the vallies as fast as it is formed. Some of the more gradual slopes retain a sufficiency of it to produce a thick ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... pretty business is in preparation there." Said the embarrassed and enraged Cho[u]bei—"Wh-what does this rude entrance of Taki mean? Is not the master of the metal shop present? Is such language, such abruptness, to be used in his presence?"—"The Danna of the doguya is certainly present," coolly replied the woman. "It would be better if he was at home.... Honoured Sir, pray betake yourself there. This Cho[u]bei has business with Toemon Sama of Honjo[u], the brothel ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... the path and had come out on the edge of the wide stretch of moorland above the little town. He paused for a moment and looked back on the roofs and gables of Highmarket, shining and glittering in the moonlight; the girl paused too, wondering at his silence. And with a curious abruptness he suddenly turned, laid a hand on her arm, and gave it a firm, ...
— The Borough Treasurer • Joseph Smith Fletcher

... canoe halted with an abruptness that told of back strokes of the blades hidden under water. McKay, bowman of the trailing craft, also backed water, while his mates held their paddles rigid. The ...
— The Pathless Trail • Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

... all, the refined graceful dignity that remained to her from the leading station she had occupied. Her gracious respect towards her clergyman was a contrast as much to the deferential coquetry of his admirers as to the abruptness of his foe, and her indifference to parish details had even its charm in a world of fussiness; he did not know himself how far a wish of hers would have led him, and she was the last person to guess. She viewed ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... ought not, then, to be blamed when others see that my words are far below the dignity of this Lady. And I say that, if the defect is in my rhymes, that is, in my words, which are appointed to discourse of her, for this are to be blamed the weakness of the intellect and the abruptness of our speech: "blame wit and words," which are overpowered by the thought, so that they cannot follow it entirely, especially there where the thought is born of love, because there the Soul searches more deeply than elsewhere. It would be quite possible for any one to say: Thou dost excuse ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... 'here we rest' feeling that a dozen days before we had marched in at noon. The ground sloped to the eastward—a single winding road of yellow sand crept over the slope into the horizon, a mile or more away; north, a hill rose with some abruptness; south and west, a grove of wonderful beauty skirted the valley. A single building—an old but large log farmhouse—stood near the tent, whose fluttering banner indicated headquarters. This old house was well filled with commissary stores, and, following that incomprehensible ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... Susan went back to her work abruptly. With stern efficiency she shook out a heavy sheet and hung it up. Stooping, she picked up another one. But she did not shake out this. With the same curious abruptness that had characterized her movements a few moments before, she dropped the sheet back into the basket and came close to the fence again. "Mis' McGuire, won't you please let me take a copy of them two women's magazines that you take? ...
— Dawn • Eleanor H. Porter

... attempted, in this poem, the difficult task of relating a romantic story in blank-verse. His performance betrays all the incorrectness and abruptness of inexperience, but it manifests occasionally some talent for description. He has fallen into the common error of those who aspire to the composition of blank-verse, by borrowing too many phrases and epithets from our incomparable Milton. We ...
— Early Reviews of English Poets • John Louis Haney

... of the platform and spoke with an added earnestness and power which thrilled every hearer. A part of the great conflict through which he had gone that past month shone out in his pale face and found partial utterance in his impassioned speech, especially as he drew near the end. The very abruptness of his proposition smote the people into ...
— The Crucifixion of Philip Strong • Charles M. Sheldon

... final words brought a sinking sensation at the pit of his stomach, and the discomfort of a fencer, dueling in the dark—a swordsman who recognizes that his cleverness is outmatched. His question came with a staccato abruptness. ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... The abruptness with which he demanded her decision startled her. As she faltered, she could see a shade of disappointment ...
— Moon-Face and Other Stories • Jack London

... sudden cry. It was echoed by a wail from Nick. Looking up, Jack discovered a sight that thrilled him to the core. The erratic Wireless had chosen to play its skipper a nasty trick at just the time it should have been on its best behavior, coming to a stop with such abruptness that poor Nick lost his hold forward, and went splashing into the ...
— Motor Boat Boys Down the Coast - or Through Storm and Stress to Florida • Louis Arundel

... rose ponderously upon the hilltops, blacking out the twilight with an abruptness which must have held deep significance for men less occupied. But the dominant overcast of their minds was the coming of the sheriff. For many of them it was far more ominous ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... of each, skipped merrily forward, and they along with her. Almost immediately, however, Peony pulled away his little fist, and began to rub it as if the fingers were tingling with cold; while Violet also released herself, though with less abruptness, gravely remarking that it was better not to take hold of hands. The white-robed damsel said not a word, but danced about, just as merrily as before. If Violet and Peony did not choose to play with her, she ...
— Famous Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... most extensive sense—compared with the expanse in which he floats, the effects of Leonardi da Vinci are little more than the dying ray of evening, and the concentrated flash of Giorgione discordant abruptness. The bland, central light of a globe, imperceptibly gliding through lucid demi-tints into rich reflected shades, composes the spell of Correggio, and affects us with the soft emotions of a delicious dream." Here terminates the great, the primal era. Such were the patriarchs ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... The abruptness of this announcement turned madame giddy. "How did you know? Mine did not leave half an hour ago; there isn't another French cook within ...
— Seven Miles to Arden • Ruth Sawyer

... demands made upon his purse, and exasperated, too, by the manifest disapprobation with which Mrs. John Dashwood looked upon the growing attachment between her own brother, Edward Ferrars, and Elinor, Mrs. Henry Dashwood and her daughters left their old home with some abruptness and went to live in Devonshire, where their old friend, Sir John Middleton, of Barton Park, had provided them with a cottage ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... telegraph office, either. Nor—a good many other folks. I remember now.... Lord!" he added aloud, thought breaking into one of his half-unconscious prayers, which had the more pathos because it began with the rude abruptness of an apparent oath,—"Lord! what in the name of heaven am I going ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 8 • Various

... and Juliet, he ushers in a passion at its full height, he so contrives to throw the mind back or around upon various predisposing causes and circumstances, as to carry our sympathies through without any revulsion. We are so prepared for the thing by the time it comes as to feel no abruptness in its coming. The exceptions to this, save in some of the Poet's earlier plays, are very rare indeed: the only one I have ever seemed to find is the jealousy of Leontes in The Winter's Tale, and I am by no means ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... conversation. He perceived that he had made a terrible blunder; and, as it was not his business at that moment to vindicate the British constitution, but to serve Leonard Fairfield, he abandoned the cause of the aristocracy with the most poltroon and scandalous abruptness. Catching at the arm which Mr. Avenel had ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... interjected Gardiner, with momentary abruptness. "It was a chance a minute ago; it's a certainty now. It's the cinch of ...
— The Homesteaders - A Novel of the Canadian West • Robert J. C. Stead

... Then, with absolute abruptness, the planes flew away from the one square mile of sea. The late-comers climbed steeply. Abruptly, behind them, there were warning booms. Then monstrous masses of spray and bubbles and blue water leaped up three hundred feet, four ...
— Talents, Incorporated • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... up acquaintance in an irregular way, to be sure; but Cleer hadn't happened to be close by when her father uttered those strange words to his wife, "It was he who did it; it was he who killed our boy"; nor did she notice particularly the marked abruptness of Tyrrel's departure on that unfortunate occasion. So she had no such objection to meeting the two young men as Trevennack himself not unnaturally displayed; she regarded his evident avoidance of Walter ...
— Michael's Crag • Grant Allen

... now sends him as a mother's last blessing the First Kiss of Love, she bends over him and places her lips upon his in a prolonged Wagnerian kiss. The sorcery-motif is heard weaving its unholy snare. Of a sudden, with an abruptness as unexpected as it is disconcerting, Parsifal tears himself from her embrace, leaps to his feet, and pressing his hands to his heart, as if there were the seat of an intolerable pain, "Amfortas!" he cries, staring like one who sees ghosts, "the wound! the wound!..." That has been ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... him intimate knowledge which he knew that words could only indicate, not express. Out of such a temper of mind arose his celebrated utterance, "All things fleet away," which Plutarch explains thus: "We do not dip twice into the same wave, nor can we touch twice the same mortal being. For through abruptness and speed it disperses and brings together, not in ...
— Christianity As A Mystical Fact - And The Mysteries of Antiquity • Rudolf Steiner

... my abruptness, Cheniston." He had realized he had acted unconventionally. "Miss Wayne's singing is a treat one doesn't ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... character of the poets. Where the theme is the same, each writer will still pursue his own peculiar method. If that theme be the vengeance of God on the wicked, the style will naturally be rugged and abrupt. Yet the ruggedness and abruptness of David will not be that of Hosea or Nahum. But where both the theme and the character of the poet differ, there the diversity of style becomes very striking. To illustrate this, ...
— Companion to the Bible • E. P. Barrows

... equal abruptness. There is no blending, in the constant alternation, until the earlier (lamenting) motive conquers and rises to a new height where a culminating chorale sounds a big triumph, while the sighing phrase merely spurs a ...
— Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies • Philip H. Goepp

... to relieve her feelings, and she sat down before the machine, which clicked and rattled for several minutes under her stubby fingers. Then the clicking ceased with sudden abruptness, and she prodded the mechanism viciously with a hairpin. As this appeared unavailing she used her forefinger, and when at length the carriage slid along the rod with a clash there was a smear of grimy oil upon her cheek ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... with his strange, humorous, arrogant abruptness, I observed Jim to be sizing him up, like a thing at once quaint and familiar, and with a scrutiny that was ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... feel and see how you live: it is the Villa Geddes of old days, I find. I well remember the fine view from the upper room—that looking down the steep hill, by the side of which runs the road you describe—that path was always my preferred walk, for its shortness (abruptness) and the fine old wall to your left (from the Villa) which is overgrown with weeds and wild flowers—violets and ground-ivy, I remember. Oh, me! to find myself some late sunshiny Sunday afternoon, with my face turned to Florence—"ten minutes to the ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... younger generation but it is not always articulate. The war may not have changed the face of the world, but it changed the faces of very many young men. Faces of naive enthusiasm and an innocent expectancy were not particularly noticeable in the years 1918 to 1922. The sombreness, the abruptness, the savage mood evident in the writings of such men as Barbusse and Siegfried Sassoon were abandoned. Confronted with the riddle of life, spared the enigma of death, the young men have felt nothing more befitting their age and generation than the ...
— When Winter Comes to Main Street • Grant Martin Overton

... you the truth, my good Mr. Wigglesworth," replied I, after a moment's pause, for the abruptness of the question had somewhat startled me—"to be quite sincere with you, I care little or nothing about a stone for my own grave, and am somewhat inclined to scepticism as to the propriety of erecting ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... openly, and continuously, while I signalled the waiter and ordered some beer. I could not quarrel with this silent inspection very well, because, truth to tell, I felt somewhat guilty of having been sprung on him with some abruptness—of having "sprung from the ground," as he ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... at Alan with grim reproach when she was shown into his study, and as soon as they were alone she began with her usual abruptness, "Mr. Douglas, why have you given up ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... her aunt, or do anything? I do not know what to offer. We are in great distress. Pray relieve us, if you can, by somehow letting us know. I will fetch her here, or anything. Your kindness can never be forgot. Pray excuse my abruptness. I hardly know what I write. And take our warmest thanks. Hoping to hear something, I remain, ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... the breakfast the next morning, when the captain came into the room, and she told him Guy was gone to settle their plans with Arnaud. After lingering a little by the window, Philip turned, and with more abruptness than was usual ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... yet with no abruptness or sense of discovery, just as if it were something which she had known all along, the truth came upon her. It was Wally, the thought of Wally, the knowledge that Wally existed, that made her happy. He was a solid, comforting, reassuring fact in ...
— The Little Warrior - (U.K. Title: Jill the Reckless) • P. G. Wodehouse

... Staunton, this lovely mountain extends fifty miles, and as suddenly ends near Strasburg. Parallel with the Blue Ridge, and of equal height, its sharp peaks have a bolder and more picturesque aspect, while the abruptness of its slopes gives the appearance of greater altitude. Midway of Massanutten, a gap with good road affords communication between Newmarket and Luray. The eastern or Luray valley, much narrower than the one ...
— Destruction and Reconstruction: - Personal Experiences of the Late War • Richard Taylor

... found that for eleven of the fourteen years, as we have said, Mr. Clark was uniformly consistent. But in the twelfth year the conflict became actually dangerous, and Mr. Clark all at once dropped his consistency. The great suddenness—the extreme abruptness—of the change, gave to it the effect of a trick of legerdemain. The conjurer puts a pigeon into an earthen pipkin, gives the vessel a shake, and then turns it up, and lo! out leaps the little incarcerated animal, no longer ...
— Leading Articles on Various Subjects • Hugh Miller

... fever, or a sharp local lung-trouble like pneumonia, really do make these minute changes approximate in abruptness to death. You weigh, let us say, one hundred and eighty pounds, and you drop in three weeks of a fever to one hundred and thirty pounds. The rest of you is dead. You have lost, as men say, fifty pounds, but your debt to ...
— Doctor and Patient • S. Weir Mitchell

... beloved at a safe distance and never disturbing her (nor yourself) with a word about human passion; but, for my humble part, I beg to say I always share Tannhaeuser's impatience and am glad when it is over. As soon as Tannhaeuser gets up the mighty spirit of Wagner begins to work. With a dramatic abruptness that startles one, a fragment of a Venusberg theme shoots up; then a few chords, and Tannhaeuser begins praise of the thing he understands by love. His strains are impassioned—too much so for another of the troubadours, Walther, who follows somewhat ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... announced, played with awhile, then the second follows—a tremendous phrase to the words "The government shall be upon His shoulders"; suddenly the inner parts begin to quicken into life, to ferment, to throb and to leap, and with startling abruptness great masses of tone are hurled at the listener to the words "Wonderful, Counsellor." The process is then repeated in a shortened and intensified form; then it is repeated again; and finally the ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... an uncouth abruptness, a meager commonplace, and hurried over the path to the beach, toward the refuge, the ...
— Wild Oranges • Joseph Hergesheimer

... taken down from the very lips of the red people as they sat around her fire and opened their hearts to her kindness. She has even caught their tone, and her language will be found to have something of an Ossianic simplicity and abruptness, well suited to the theme. Sympathy,—feminine and religious,—breathes through these pages, and the unaffected desire of the writer to awaken a kindly interest in the poor souls who have so twined themselves ...
— Dahcotah - Life and Legends of the Sioux Around Fort Snelling • Mary Eastman

... unfamiliar to the Romans, and was already interwoven with their own national legends; and the susceptible foreigner found himself far more at home in the ideal world of the heroic myths than in the fish-market of Athens. Nevertheless tragedy also promoted, only with less abruptness and less vulgarity, the anti-national and Hellenizing spirit; and in this point of view it was a circumstance of the most decisive importance, that the Greek tragic stage of this period was chiefly under the sway of Euripides (274-348). This is not the place for a thorough ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... Beeches—Nevil excepted—the crash came with startling abruptness; dwarfing all personal problems, heart-searchings and high decisions. Even Lady Roscoe forgot Family Herald heroics, and 'crossed the threshold' without comment from Nevil or herself. The weightiest matters became suddenly trivial beside the tremendous questions that hovered in every mind and ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... star voyager. We are not so unlike as the foolish might think. We learned much of you while you both wandered in the Place of False Dreams. But our power disks are our own and can not be given to a stranger while their owners live. However...." She turned again with an abruptness foreign to the usual Wyvern manner and ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... to the parlour, and apologized to Mrs Harrel and Mr Arnott for the abruptness of her visit, and the suddenness of her departure. Mr Arnott heard her in silent dejection; and Mrs Harrel used all the persuasion in her power to prevail with her to stay, her presence being some relief to her solitude: ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... as you can be," he said, looking down on her half-lifted face, from which a quick wave of color was subsiding; for the abruptness of ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... rifle shot split the air with significant abruptness. The sound banished the last of her half-angry causing. The moment had come. She raised herself up for no other reason than ...
— The Forfeit • Ridgwell Cullum

... There was no abruptness in the transition. Every day had contributed its little toward widening the gap. There was no coolness, no consciousness of separation; simply the slow formation of the habit of complete independence each of ...
— The Great God Success • John Graham (David Graham Phillips)

... shall see you again in a few minutes," he replied, and immediately left the room, his face almost black with rage and disappointment. Lucy grew alarmed at the terrible abruptness and significance of his manner, and began to tremble, ...
— The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... first get a rope over your neck and shut off your wind. Then they trip your feet by roping your forelegs while you are on the jump. This brings you down hard and with much abruptness. A cowboy sits on your head while others pin you to the ground from various vantage-points. Next someone holds a red-hot iron on your rump until it has sunk deep into your ...
— Horses Nine - Stories of Harness and Saddle • Sewell Ford

... mistaken the splashing of water in his basin, as he broke off to wash his face, for tears of uncontrollable regret that he had not been born a "swain" (as he put it). Suddenly, however, one of his roulades ceased with more abruptness than usual and the enchanted Tristram waited in vain for the ditty to be resumed. The fact was that Captain Salt had glanced out of the window and seen at a stable door across the court a man stooping with his back to the inn and washing down the legs ...
— The Blue Pavilions • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... of her to have greeted him as though she had not noticed the abruptness of his departure from Arles. It was generous of her to have clipped out the newspaper advertisement and to have called his attention to it. He mentally apologized to ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... to the wagon. "Thar's a shakedown in the wagon bed; you kin lie there." Nevertheless he hesitated, and, with the inconsequence and abruptness of a shy man, continued the ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... you been engaged to Nathanael?" asked Miss Valery, in a manner so sweet as entirely to soften the abruptness of the question, ...
— Agatha's Husband - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)

... you must suppose, my dear Tresham, a man aged about sixty, in a hunting suit which had once been richly laced, but whose splendour had been tarnished by many a November and December storm. Sir Hildebrand, notwithstanding the abruptness of his present manner, had, at one period of his life, known courts and camps; had held a commission in the army which encamped on Hounslow Heath previous to the Revolution—and, recommended perhaps by his religion, had been knighted about the same period by the ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... reluctant he usually was to preach, I apologised and explained my position—with Sunday so near at hand. After a moment's hesitation he consented, and in a most genial manner made me feel quite at ease as to the abruptness of my petition. On the morrow he came over to my vicarage, and made friends with my daughters, teaching them some new manner of playing croquet [probably Castle Croquet], and writing out for them puzzles and ...
— The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll • Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

... center of the gallery which was dusky, eclipsed by the great reflectors that circled the room, throwing out the pictures in a bright band of color around the walls. People leaning from this border of light back into the dusk to murmur together, vanished and reappeared with such fascinating abruptness that Flora caught herself guessing what sort of face, where this nearest group stood just on the edge of shadow, would pop out ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... whom he lost sight of later and forgot in the race with fast young noblemen, whose dissipation he rivalled. A mad entanglement with a singer ruined him in purse, and almost in career. His frivolities ended in an arrest and punishment which sobered him with the abruptness of a plunge into a stream of ice. But his gaiety was as irrepressible as Chopin's melancholy, and he gave Germany some of its most cheerful music. His heart was restless, and still at the age of twenty-seven he was writhing in an infatuation ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... other men might reckon less congenial than his old manner of life. I had mentioned by chance the name of Adrian Borlsover, and wondered at the time why he changed the conversation with such unusual abruptness. A week later, Saunders began to tell me something of his own history—sordid enough, though shielded with a reserve I could well understand, for it had to cover not only his failings but those of a dead friend. Of the final tragedy he was at first especially loath to speak, and it was only ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... a falling off. Though always promptly on hand at the serving out of rations, Mr. O'Rourke did not even make a pretence of working in the garden. He would disappear mysteriously immediately after breakfast, and reappear with supernatural abruptness at dinner. Nobody knew what he did with himself in the interval, until one day he was observed to fall out of an apple-tree near the stable. His retreat discovered, he took to the wharves and the alleys in the distant part of the town. It soon became evident ...
— A Rivermouth Romance • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... quite aware of it, as was her elder sister, Lady Georgina, who spent her silent life in alternately admiring and despising the younger. Lady Georgina was short, thin, and nearly white-haired. She had a deep voice, which she used with a harsh abruptness, startling to the newcomer. But she used it very little. Cynthia's friends, were used to see her sitting absolutely silent behind the tea-urn at breakfast or tea, filling the cups while Cynthia handed them and Cynthia talked; and they ...
— Helena • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... not failed to remark the abruptness with which Father Smyth had cut me short; joined both his hands, and with the stretched forefinger tapping me on both hands, which were clenched as in prayer, addressed to me these identical remarkable words, "My dear fellow, the licence ...
— The Eureka Stockade • Carboni Raffaello

... star is generally remarked. If the moon were enveloped in a copious atmosphere, the interposition of this gaseous mass by the movement of the moon would produce a gradual evanescence of the star wholly wanting the abruptness which marks ...
— The Story of the Heavens • Robert Stawell Ball

... you have the whole breadth of the Rhine as a foreground to the scenery of the opposite bank, and this you lose by water; and the bank you travel on is much more grand from its towering above you, and also from the sharp angles and turns which so suddenly change the scenery. Abruptness greatly assists the picturesque: the Rhine loses half its beauty viewed from a steam-boat. I have ascended it in both ways, and I should recommend all travellers to go up by land. The inconveniences in a steam-boat are many. You arrive late and find the hotel crowded, and you are forced ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... the unaccented syllable before 'twelve' is purposely omitted by the poet; and few readers will not acknowledge the solemn effect of such a verse. As another example with a contrary effect, of impulsive abruptness, we may take a line in ...
— The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] - Introduction and Publisher's Advertising • William Shakespeare

... her gloves, her cape and bonnet, and remade the artist's little camp bed as briskly as any housemaid. This mixture of abruptness, of roughness even, with real kindness, perhaps accounts for the ascendency Lisbeth had acquired over the man whom she regarded as her personal property. Is not our attachment to life based on its alternations of good ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... abruptness he did not often show to any one; "if one man ever loved another, it's I with you. For God's sake, then, don't let the time ever come between us when I must stop being of some little use to you, as I've just had to do ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... always sought "the narrow path which lies between right and wrong." His colleagues fell away from him, and he was unduly ruffled by their secession. "It is time," exclaimed the Liberal leader, "to have done with this fooling"; and though he was blamed by the Balfourites for his abruptness of speech, the country adopted his opinion. Gradually it seemed to dawn on Mr. Balfour that his position was no longer tenable. He slipped out of office as quietly as he had slipped into it; and the Liberal party entered on its ten ...
— Prime Ministers and Some Others - A Book of Reminiscences • George W. E. Russell

... he cried, the freedom of outlawry still in the abruptness of his speech, "I have returned from a ...
— The Strong Arm • Robert Barr

... surged and swelled within me, so that I was utterly unable to sit still, for sheer joy; and my soul began as it were to dance in such excitement, that I could hardly refrain from shouting, resembling one intoxicated by the abruptness of a sudden change from certain death to the very apex of life's sweetness. And I said to myself: Sunset! So, then, beyond a doubt, she has either forgiven me, or is willing to forgive. And who knows? For if she has forgiven once, she may forgive again: when again, it may be, she ...
— The Substance of a Dream • F. W. Bain

... an authority that seemed to prelude something more epoch-making than an assent to one of Frederica's industrious platitudes; he snuffled and fidgeted, eating scarcely at all, and repelling the reverential assiduities of the servants with shattering abruptness. ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... Note the abruptness and vigor of the style. Where does it seem effective? Where unduly harsh? Why does the poet welcome the third bard? What things ...
— Browning's Shorter Poems • Robert Browning

... dirt until his father sharply reprimanded him, saying, "You untidy boy; that ball will not be fit to play with!" Then Rollo looked about him over the surrounding country as though admiring the pleasant view, and with the same startling abruptness as before, faced his father and shot the ball in so swiftly that Thanny said he could see it smoke. It passed about six feet to the left of the batsman, but Mr. Holliday, judging that it was coming "dead for him," dodged, and the ball struck his high silk hat with a boom like a drum, carrying ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.) • Various

... responded the millionaire, briskly. Then he paused with marked abruptness. It occurred to him he had a difficult proposition to make to this man. To avoid the cold, enquiring eyes now fixed upon him he pulled out a cigar and deliberately cut the end. Von Taer furnished him a match. He smoked a while ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... sought to withdraw from the room, but he requested me to remain, and dismissing Mary, seated himself in an easy chair next the ottoman on which I rested, and warming his hands over the fire, his eyes bent upon the blaze, said, with an abruptness that ...
— Strange Visitors • Henry J. Horn

... orchards, and were in the town before we realized it. Unlike other hill cities of the Riviera that we had visited, Mougins has no castle and no walls. Few traces remain of outside fortifications. All around Mougins the land is cultivated. One does not realize the abruptness of the hilltop, for the city rises from fields and vineyards and orchards. Saint-Paul-du-Var and Villeneuve-Loubet remind one of the days when self-defense was a constant preoccupation. Mougins long ago forgot feudal quarrels, foreign invasions and raids of Saracens ...
— Riviera Towns • Herbert Adams Gibbons

... unobtrusive rest for a space of fifteen hundred years." It is needless to say that "Casterbridge" and the town here briefly described are identical. To the limits laid down by the Roman, Dorchester has kept true through the ages, and until quite lately the town terminated with a pleasant abruptness at the famous "Walks" that mark the positions of the Roman Walls. The so-called Roman road, the "Via Iceniana," Roman only in the improvement and straightening of a far older track, passed through the ...
— Wanderings in Wessex - An Exploration of the Southern Realm from Itchen to Otter • Edric Holmes

... book of the subscriber's name, ventured diffidently to ask, whether he would please to have the gentleman's address, that it might be properly inserted in the printed list of subscribers. 'I shall print no list of subscribers;' said Johnson, with great abruptness: but almost immediately recollecting himself, added, very complacently, 'Sir, I have two very cogent reasons for not printing any list of subscribers;—one, that I have lost all the names,—the other, that I have spent all ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... in answer to her look of surprise, I explained that I had begun to speak of Beasley at Mrs. Apperthwaite's, and described the abruptness with which Dowden had ...
— Beasley's Christmas Party • Booth Tarkington

... you a question." Mrs. Gorham looked up quickly at the abruptness of the girl's sudden remark. "You are the only one I can go to when I don't understand anything; but Mr. Covington told me to think it over and keep what he said entirely to myself. He couldn't have meant me to keep it from ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... is the cause, it is the cause, my soul;—/Let me not name it] The abruptness of this soliloquy makes it obscure. The meaning, I think, is this: "I am here (says Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with horror. What is the reason of this perturbation? Is it want of resolution to do justice? Is it the ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... phonolite, though tapering, have a regular form. Supposing, as seems probable, that all such hillocks or obelisks have originally been injected, whilst liquified, into a mould formed by yielding strata, as certainly has been the case with Lot, how are we to account for the frequent abruptness and singularity of their outlines, compared with similarly injected masses of greenstone and basalt? Can it be due to a less perfect degree of fluidity, which is generally supposed to be characteristic of the allied ...
— Volcanic Islands • Charles Darwin

... abruptness to which his elders seemed to be used. He stopped before a brass-trimmed desk and jerked at the second drawer. "Where ...
— O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919 • Various

... with as much hauteur as could go with respect. The King regarded her with a cool stare, without any gesture of salutation, and Mile. Schmaeling amused herself with looking at the pictures. "So you are going to sing me something?" at last said royalty with military abruptness. ...
— Great Singers, First Series - Faustina Bordoni To Henrietta Sontag • George T. Ferris

... moment disconcerted by the abruptness of his entrance. Dot sprang to her feet with burning cheeks. It was her evident intention to ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... replied Fisher, with a very unusual abruptness, and even bitterness. "It's what I do know that isn't worth knowing. All the seamy side of things, all the secret reasons and rotten motives and bribery and blackmail they call politics. I needn't be so proud of having been down all ...
— The Man Who Knew Too Much • G.K. Chesterton

... France, where they settled in large numbers. Dr. Smith, in his Dictionary of the Bible, says that "Galatai is the same word as Keltici," which indicates that the Gauls were Kelts. It is supposed that St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Galatians soon after his visit to the country of their origin. "Its abruptness and severity, and the sadness of its tone, are caused by their sudden perversion from the doctrine which the Apostle had taught them, and which at first they had received so willingly. It is no fancy, if we see in this fickleness ...
— Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist • Samuel Smiles

... of the manifold brightness of the divine nature is introduced in this psalm with singular abruptness. It is set side by side with a vivid picture of an evildoer, a man who mutters in his own heart his godlessness, and with obstinate determination plans and plots in forgetfulness of God. Without a word to break the violence of the transition, side by side with that picture, the Psalmist sets before ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... and seemed to the observer the stateliest of the group. It was one of those rare forms that are made to command the one sex and fascinate the other. But, on a deeper scrutiny, the restlessness of the brilliant eye—the quiver of the upper lip—a certain abruptness of manner and speech, might have shown that greatness had brought suspicion as well as pride. The spectators beheld the huntsman on the height;—the huntsman saw the abyss below, and respired ...
— Calderon The Courtier - A Tale • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... were not surprised. Curtis, don't, you are mussing me." She moved her head impatiently; but then smiling, as if to mitigate her abruptness, said, "It always makes me nervous to have my hair touched. No, they were not surprised; unless it was that we were to be married so soon. They were surprised at that. You know I always said it was too soon. Why not put ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris



Words linked to "Abruptness" :   steepness, slope, precipitateness, precipitation, suddenness, discourtesy, haste, brusqueness, hastiness, precipitancy, gradualness, abrupt, precipitance, shortness, gruffness, rudeness, curtness, hurriedness, gradient, hurry



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