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Backbone   Listen
noun
Backbone  n.  
1.
The column of bones in the back which sustains and gives firmness to the frame; the spine; the vertebral or spinal column.
2.
Anything like, or serving the purpose of, a backbone. "The lofty mountains on the north side compose the granitic axis, or backbone of the country." "We have now come to the backbone of our subject."
3.
Firmness; moral principle; steadfastness. "Shelley's thought never had any backbone."
To the backbone, through and through; thoroughly; entirely. "Staunch to the backbone."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Backbone" Quotes from Famous Books



... bolster up a military dictatorship. Bah!" he continued, allowing his temper to overmaster him, speaking in harsh tones and with many a violent oath, "it had been wiser to embrace the Royal cause. The Lord Protector is sick, so 'tis said. His son Richard hath no backbone, and the present tyranny is worse than the last. I cannot collect my rents; I have been given neither reward nor compensation for the help I gave in '46. So much for their boasted gratitude and their many promises! My Lord Protector ...
— The Nest of the Sparrowhawk • Baroness Orczy

... here given are the result of careful experiments and some failures. Fig. 1 is an elevation, Fig. 2 a ground-plan of the frame, and Fig. 3 a section of a runner. Get a spruce plank, A, 12 feet long, 6 inches wide, 2 inches thick. This is the backbone of the structure. Cut near one end of it a hole two inches square to receive ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... destructive leader of all declared Conservatives, had come forward without a moment's warning, and pretended that he would do the thing out of hand! Men knew that it had to be done. The country had begun to perceive that the old Establishment must fall; and, knowing this, would not the Liberal backbone of Great Britain perceive the enormity of this Cagliostro's wickedness,—and rise against him and bury him beneath its scorn as it ought to do? This was the feeling that made a real Christmas impossible ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... set free is proverbially a helpless creature, like a bit of driftwood; and children who have been too long kept in a position of pupilage and subordination, when they are sent into the world are apt to turn out very feeble men, for want of a good, strong backbone of will in them. So, many a woman that has been accustomed to leave everything in her husband's hands, when the clods fall on his coffin finds herself utterly helpless and bewildered, just because in the long, happy years she never found ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... was a deal of good sense and heart kindness in this stalwart daughter of Erin. He was Yankee himself, to the backbone; yet, as he pushed back from the table, satisfied and at ease, he pulled from his pocket a small paper parcel. It was his Christmas gift for his hostess, and intended to suggest many things. She was bright enough to comprehend his meaning, if she chose. Would she? She gave no sign, if she ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... were chilled to the backbone, for it had rained all day and they had passed several nights sheltered only by the pines. Garments and boots were sodden, and Alton's face was set and drawn, for though he could now walk without much visible effort ...
— Alton of Somasco • Harold Bindloss

... Cettinje, for instance, but we climbed up. Jo with her queerly placed stirrups perched forward something like a racing cyclist. Bogami's horse was innocent of garniture, save for a piece of chain bound about its lower jaw, but he slung his great coat over the saw edge of its backbone and leapt on. He must have had a coccyx of cast iron. We had to kick the animals into a walk—there were ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... you turn against me?" was the indignant query. "Have you no backbone left to stand up against ...
— An Undivided Union • Oliver Optic

... our attention to the sermon. It is what the congregation will pronounce "a large, nervous, and golden discourse," a Scriptural discourse,—like the skeleton of the sea-serpent, all backbone and a great deal of that. It may be some very special and famous effort. Perhaps Increase Mather is preaching on "The Morning Star," or on "Snow," or on "The Voice of God in Stormy Winds"; or it may be his sermon entitled "Burnings Bewailed," to improve ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... other. You've got your choice. You've either got to let up on Standing or kill all three of us. Standing's got your goat. So have I. So has Morrell. You are a stinking coward, and you haven't got the backbone and guts to carry out the dirty butcher's work you'd like ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... The Slav nations of Austria declared clearly and emphatically their wishes and desires in their proclamations. If instead of working for the conversion of the ruling factor in favour of these wishes Dr. Seidler shows us Gessler's hat of Austria with a German head and backbone, then let him remember that we shall hate this Austria for all eternity (loud cheers and applause) and we shall fight her, and God willing, we shall in the end smash her to pieces so completely that ...
— Independent Bohemia • Vladimir Nosek

... Holds my stock for pasture money, does he? Defies me to do my worst, him a young, penniless whippersnapper, me a millionaire an' a man-breaker! Why, curse it, he's a man already, Blenham! He's a Packard to his backbone, I tell you! By the Lord, I've a notion to jump into my car and go get ...
— Man to Man • Jackson Gregory

... the midst of thriving industries and swarming men. The First National Bank in town had now a marble front and a thousand depositors. The town was now a city and a railway centre, and the backbone of its business was no longer cattle, but mines and mining, full of fabulous wealth for those "on the inside," but of dark and devious measures for those "on the outside" or away, and of these were half a dozen army officers who had been dazzled by the easily acquired dollars of the earliest arrivals, ...
— To The Front - A Sequel to Cadet Days • Charles King

... kinds of societies, including military men and civilians, geographers and gymnasts, sportsmen and technologists, which rise up spontaneously, organize, federate, discuss, and explore the country. It is these voluntary and free associations that go to make the real backbone of the ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

... Well, if it is appointed by heaven, so shall it be. Forget my words. They had no evil intent, for I was trying you, as my duty is. (Aside to attendant.) The sweetness of her glance dissolves my backbone. ...
— Judith • Arnold Bennett

... Remove the organs carefully,—the intestines, gizzard, heart, and liver should all be removed together. Care must be taken that the gall bladder, which lies under the liver, is not broken; it must be cut away carefully from the liver. The lungs and kidneys, lying in the hollow of the backbone, must be carefully removed. Press the heart to extract the blood. Cut off the outer coat of the gizzard. The gizzard, heart, and liver constitute the giblets to be used in making gravy. Wash the giblets. Place them all, with the exception of the liver, in cold water; heat ...
— School and Home Cooking • Carlotta C. Greer

... preparations were made for the next. Every periodical is a continuous work—never ending, still beginning. New contributors must be gained; new books reviewed; new views criticised. Mr. Murray was, even more than the editor, the backbone of the enterprise: he was indefatigable in soliciting new writers for the Quarterly, and in finding the books fit for review, and the appropriate reviewers of the books. Sometimes the reviews were printed before the editor was ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... of those ideal examples which military instructors take for their models when they wish to simplify a lesson upon terrain. Upon one side ran the long, high, and difficult range which is the backbone of England; upon the other the sea, and the sea and the mountains leant one towards the other, making two sides of a triangle ...
— On Something • H. Belloc

... the English-speakin' men. The Greeks and the Bulgars, maybe—they're fightin' at home, and they might fight here. But the Irish never—never! Them that had any backbone went out long ago. Them that stayed has been made into boot-licks. I know them, every man of them. They grumble, and curse the boss, but then they think of the blacklist, and they go back and cringe ...
— King Coal - A Novel • Upton Sinclair

... of the Revolution, came a rush of travel down the great river. It was more or less checked by border warfare, which lasted until 1794; but in that year, Anthony Wayne, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, broke the backbone of savagery east of the Mississippi; the Tecumseh uprising (1812-13) came too late seriously to affect ...
— Afloat on the Ohio - An Historical Pilgrimage of a Thousand Miles in a Skiff, from Redstone to Cairo • Reuben Gold Thwaites

... begun to work had nearly driven me crazy. I don't mind saying, though, that I wish I had kept on meaning them, that I could do what I said I'd do, for I meant them then—I reckon I did! But I haven't any backbone, my will is a poor miserable weak thing that takes a spurt and then fizzles out. And I'd rather be good than bad. I reckon that has something to do with it. I'd have gone to the bad, I suppose, if you hadn't taken hold of me; I'd have just drifted that way, although I liked teaching Sunday-school, ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... this wretched misgovernment was not merely destitution bordering on famine, but a wholesale emigration. Whilst the Roman Catholics were leaving the country to avoid the penal laws, the most skilful and industrious of the artizan class,—the very backbone of the nation—were being driven out by the prohibition of their trades. It is said that no less than 30,000 men were thrown out of employment by the destruction of the woollen industry alone. These were nearly all Protestants; ...
— Is Ulster Right? • Anonymous

... Emperor came back, and he brought recruits, famous recruits; he changed their backbone and made 'em dogs of war, fit to set their teeth into anything; and he brought a guard of honour, a fine body indeed!—all bourgeois, who melted away like ...
— Folk Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... declared One-Eye, admiringly. He was back at the sink once more, allowing Niagara to lave that injured eye, now a shining purplish-black. "Bully fer the gal! That's the stuff! Y' got backbone! And spirit, by thunder! And sand! Jes' paste that in yer sunbonnet! But, Cis, w'y don't y' skedaddle right now? Go whilst the goin's good! Gosh, I'm 'feard that some one's likely t' git hurt pretty bad, and it won't ...
— The Rich Little Poor Boy • Eleanor Gates

... the jury were locked up, without food, fire, or water; but they were Englishmen to the backbone, and were ready to die in the cause of civil freedom, rather than play ...
— A True Hero - A Story of the Days of William Penn • W.H.G. Kingston

... death he hath a better grasp at his wits than he hath dreamed of. This be verily a mightier work than ye think. It shall be not only old Giles Corey that lies pressed to death under the stones, but the backbone of this great evil in the land shall be broke by the same weight. I tell ye it will be so. I have clearer understanding, now I be so near the end on't. They will dare no more after me. To-day shall I stand mute at my trial, ...
— Giles Corey, Yeoman - A Play • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... Knox," said the vicar, "and I understand that he is a direct descendant of a famous Scottish divine known to history as a very stubborn person. Well, it has been said by a gentleman present that Mr. Spencer has a backbone of cast steel, so the 'K' is fully accounted for, while the singular affinity of steel of any variety for a magnet gives a ready explanation of the admirable union which has resulted from the chance that brought the bride and bridegroom under the ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... where he could watch the other British forces. It was easy for any one to make the remark that Washington had not won a battle for many months, whereas Gates was the hero of the chief victory thus far achieved by the Americans. The shallow might think as they chose, however: the backbone of the country stood by Washington, and the trouble between him and Gates ...
— George Washington • William Roscoe Thayer

... seemed as soft as flowers when he married her—had been her greatest charm for him after her beauty; and now, at the end of eight years in which she had appeared as delightfully invertebrate as he could have desired, she revealed to his astonished eyes a backbone that was evidently made of iron. She was immovable, he admitted, and because she was immovable he was conscious of a sharp unreasonable impulse to reduce her to the pliant curves of her girlhood. After eight years of an absolute supremacy, which had been far from ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... hot midday, dizzy with hunger, we gained the divide. From this high backbone of earth, to the north, across the diminishing, down-falling ranges, we caught a glimpse of a far lake. The sun shone upon it, and about it were open, level grass-lands, while to the eastward we saw the dark line of a ...
— Before Adam • Jack London

... fish, and also two or three gar-fish; a kind of fish I have never met with elsewhere excepting in the tropical seas. These gar-fish of the North Sea were of comparatively small size, about fifteen inches in length, but of most delicious flavor. Their long and slim backbone being of a deep emerald green color, Captain Allen, with characteristic sagacity, concluded that these fish were poisonous and unwholesome, and banished them from the cabin. They were heartily welcomed in the forecastle, however, their qualities fully ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... 20th of September that year, so we hadn't much time to spare. Work was begun immediately on the ice boat. Our first ice boat was rather a crude one. A 2 by 4 inch scantling 14 feet long was used for the backbone of the boat. The scantling was placed on edge, and to lighten it and improve its appearance it was tapered fore and aft from a point 4 feet from the bow end. The thickness of the ends of the backbone was but 2 inches, as shown in ...
— The Scientific American Boy - The Camp at Willow Clump Island • A. Russell Bond

... otter, driven not only by his forefeet but by that great combined propeller of his hind legs and tail, working like a screw, swam faster. Just at the edge of the broken water he overtook his prey. A set of long, white teeth went through the trout's backbone. There was one convulsive twist, and the gay-coloured fins lay still, the silver and vermilion body hung limp ...
— The Watchers of the Trails - A Book of Animal Life • Charles G. D. Roberts

... the memories of that time. Moreover, I respected the fellow. Yes; I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his brushed hair. His appearance was certainly that of a hairdresser's dummy; but in the great demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance. That's backbone. His starched collars and got-up shirt-fronts were achievements of character. He had been out nearly three years; and, later on, I could not help asking him how he managed to sport such linen. He had just ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... become articulate, might tell us something of the life of the average girl to-day. Being average, she belongs neither to the exclusive streets of the Brahman, nor to the hovels of the untouchable outcastes, but to the area of the great middle class which is in India as everywhere the backbone of society. Meenachi's father is a weaver of the far-famed Madura muslins with their gold thread border. Her earliest childhood memory is the quiet weavers' street where the afternoon sun glints under the tamarind trees and, striking the long looms set in the open ...
— Lighted to Lighten: The Hope of India • Alice B. Van Doren

... of their wood and apparently there is no injury. They are very vigorous plants and can be trained to a single tree standard or they make very tall-growing vigorous bushes. I have placed these filberts and their hybrids first on my list of recommended trees because they are going to be the backbone of nut tree production. ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Thirty-Fourth Annual Report 1943 • Various

... increased expenditure in wages will be to crush the small factories and workshops, which are the backbone of the sweating System, and to assist the industrial evolution which makes in favour of large well-organized factories ...
— Problems of Poverty • John A. Hobson

... a catfish, don't you? It has feelers that we call whiskers. Awful nice eating, for they only have a backbone." ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Mammy June's • Laura Lee Hope

... or badness of such work depends absolutely on the truth of the single line. You will find a thousand botanical drawings which will give you a {116} delicate and deceptive resemblance of the leaf, for one that will give you the right convexity in its backbone, the right perspective of its peaks when they foreshorten, or the right relation of depth in the shading of its dimples. On which, in leaves as in faces, no little ...
— Proserpina, Volume 1 - Studies Of Wayside Flowers • John Ruskin

... alive, sir, it was only in regard of her crassin' in an' whippin' the word out o' my mouth, that I wanted to take a rise out of her. Oh, bedad, sir, no; the crathur's thruth to the backbone, an' farther ...
— Phil Purcel, The Pig-Driver; The Geography Of An Irish Oath; The Lianhan Shee • William Carleton

... tap—wurra all dis—my tomach bruise home to my backbone like one pancake;" and, while the short fierce bark of the noble dog was blended with the agonized cry of the gatto del monte, the shrill treble of the poor porkers rose high above both, and mulo was galloping through the village with the ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... born in America," Pamela told him; "so were my parents and my grandparents. I claim to be American to the backbone. I claim even to treat any sympathies I might have in this affair as prejudices, and not even to allow them a ...
— The Pawns Count • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... see the stuff that's in us, and in twenty-five or thirty more of our kind. The stuff, the backbone, the heart that's in you, Bohannan! That's in me! ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... to pieces that way, Bascomb!" entreated Rupert. "You've got to keep a stiff backbone. Come, ...
— Frank Merriwell's Chums • Burt L. Standish

... an industrial rebellion. Indeed overwork and ill-usage have upon children the markedly demoralizing effect of cowing them permanently, so that in oppressing a child you do more than deprive him of his childhood, you weaken what ought to be the backbone of his maturity. But improve conditions, whether by law or otherwise, and you will have a more independent "spunky" child, a better prospect of having him, when grown up, a more wholesomely natural rebel. Indeed more or less, this applies to ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... the matter with you?" he cried as he linked his arm through mine, "you look outdone, tired all the way through to your backbone. Have you been reading the 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' or something by one of the new British female novelists? You will have la grippe in your mind if you don't look out. But I know what you need. Come with me, and I will do ...
— The Ruling Passion • Henry van Dyke

... a puzzled look which I cannot define; but Trevelyan one day will make his mark if not led astray by some of his comrades. Still, in the same youth, there is considerable backbone, plenty of determination if necessary." "Hold on, Howe, when are you coming to the second question," exclaimed Douglas, in slightly impatient tones. "Bide your time, old fellow. Getting sleepy too, by Saint George," said ...
— Lady Rosamond's Secret - A Romance of Fredericton • Rebecca Agatha Armour

... link two great chains, forming, so to speak, the backbone of the island, diverge in opposite directions. One section, tending to the south-east, traverses the centre of the island, where the Monte Rotondo and Monte d'Oro lift to the skies their ever snowy peaks, and terminates ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... all for the cheap supply of "gentlemen's lounge-suits" for the so-called working-classes to lounge in. I know of no surer antidote to the spirit of Bolshevism. But let us not forget the claims of the middle classes, who are the backbone of the Empire. If Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY cannot help us in the direction I have indicated, then let Mr. KENNEDY JONES, on behalf of the Middle Class Union, put a hyphen to his name and open a shop for the sale of evening wear at ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, March 10th, 1920 • Various

... in the hope of infusing a little backbone into the man, who was shaking like a leaf; but his words had no effect. Quen-lung was terrified, there was no doubt of that, and it seemed to Frobisher that his terror arose not so much, from fear of the pirates ...
— A Chinese Command - A Story of Adventure in Eastern Seas • Harry Collingwood

... again and see if any of the words you know are nominatives or accusatives. This will often give you what may be called the backbone of the sentence; that is, subject, verb, ...
— Latin for Beginners • Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge

... depend on him." We say of a person whose ideas, intentions, and methods are subject to continual variations under all sorts of outside influences, whether of opinions or circumstances, that he has "no backbone," meaning that he is in want of individuality. He has no real thought of his own, and so has no Word of Power by which to co-operate with the Law; therefore, to the extent to which this is the case with any of us, we are of no use in furthering the unfoldment of Evolution, ...
— The Law and the Word • Thomas Troward

... to be built before it could be furnished on the latest democratic lines; and before it could be even built, the ground had to be wrested from the hands of absentee landlords or cleared of the little dynastic State-shanties which cumbered it. The Polish nationalists became the backbone of the republican movement in Europe; the French republicans proclaimed the independence of nations as one of their cardinal principles. Thus the social idea and the national idea were originally intimately connected. They were ...
— The War and Democracy • R.W. Seton-Watson, J. Dover Wilson, Alfred E. Zimmern,

... School Quarterly Review has this remark: "Our physical frame could about as well be erect, and adapted for its purposes without a backbone, as piety be complete without Calvinism." (Vol. i. No. ...
— The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted • Francis Hodgson

... is the backbone of the office." Mr. Gordon executed a fantasia on his thumb. "Would you care to try a desk job?" he asked, peering at ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... messages have done as much as famine and cruel losses in the field to break the stubborn resistance of the German people. If it was possible to obtain a just peace, why go to the bitter end when defeat was manifestly inevitable? Obstinacy is the backbone of war, and nothing undermines a nation's power of resistance so much as doubt and faint-heartedness on the part of the ...
— Peaceless Europe • Francesco Saverio Nitti

... always pulled through before, Saadat. When I've been most frightened I've perked up and stiffened my backbone, remembering your luck. I've seen a blue funk evaporate by thinking of how things always come your way just when the ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... year, and the sandy bottom of the Box Elder. Here and there along the ridge were sudden, moundlike upheavals that gave it a picturesque, castellated effect, for, unlike the general run of the country, the Elk Tooth seemed to have a backbone of rock that shot forth southeastward from the southern limit of the beautiful Big Horn range; and, in two or three places, during some prehistoric convulsion of nature, it had crushed itself out of shape and forced upward ...
— A Daughter of the Sioux - A Tale of the Indian frontier • Charles King

... only to those who have studied its exposition, where alone it can be found—in these most striking and instructive volumes. As this theory is the key to M. Comte's other generalizations, all of which arc more or less dependent on it; as it forms the backbone, if we may so speak, of his philosophy, and, unless it be true, he has accomplished little; we cannot better employ part of our space than in clearing it from misconception, and giving the explanations necessary to remove the obstacles ...
— Auguste Comte and Positivism • John-Stuart Mill

... The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 57% of government revenues, 25% of GDP, and almost all export earnings; Algeria has the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second largest gas exporter; and it ranks fourteenth for oil reserves. Algiers' ...
— The 1997 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... never had no womenfolks in our family ez looked like that—stronger built is ourn, with more backbone, and none of that lackadaisical look ...
— Flint - His Faults, His Friendships and His Fortunes • Maud Wilder Goodwin

... too, after the pattern of the well-behaved AEneas quitting the fair bosom of Carthage in obedience to the Gods, for an example to his Roman progeny, might have stiffened his backbone and put a crown upon his brows. It happened with him that his original training rather imposed the idea that he was a figure to be derided. The approval of him by the prudent was a disgust, and by the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... pamphlets have gone, trouble has followed. What men may do the government is doing, but all the time the poison is at work, the seed has been sown. Two millions of money have been spent to corrupt that very class which should be the backbone of France. Through the fingers of one man has come this shower of gold, one man alone has stood at the head of the great organization which has disseminated this loathsome disease. Behind ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal. For I believe that much of a man's character will be found betokened in his backbone. I would rather feel your spine than your skull, whoever you are. A thin joist of a spine never yet upheld a full and noble soul. I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world. Apply this ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... of sliding off, if its houses were not mortised into the solid rock. This makes the house-foundations secure, but the labor of blasting out streets is considerable. We note these things complacently as we toil in the sun up the hill to the Victoria Hotel, which stands well up on the backbone of the ridge, and from the upper windows of which we have a fine view of the harbor, and of the hill opposite, above Carleton, where there is the brokenly truncated ruin of a round stone tower. This tower was one of the first things that caught our eyes as we entered the harbor. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... safe and busy. I must go to poor Henrietta in Manchester. That's my bit of work, it seems, and thank God I'm able to do it. She was a fine girl in a fine shop, poor Henrietta, and she's not got any backbone and her children are delicate—and another coming. Well, well! I do thank God that you don't need your old Dowie ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... had experimented a good deal with the dirigible, but mostly of the non-rigid type, which was a type "without a backbone" and was as uncertain, so that its general non-dependability turned ...
— The Sequel - What the Great War will mean to Australia • George A. Taylor

... Butler, viewing the matter from a purely military stand-point, exclaimed: "These men are contraband of war; set them at work." Here was a solution of the entire problem; here was a blow delivered at the backbone of the Rebellion. He claimed no right to act as a politician, but acting as a loyal-hearted, clear-headed soldier, he coined a word and hurled a shaft at the enemy that struck him in a part as vulnerable as the heel of ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... airs. I can't stand him. In fact, I cannot understand those fellows on my sub-committee. Sometimes they are—if anything—too civil. A bit servile, in fact. Then they turn out and look as though they would like to make their teeth meet in my backbone. They sulk, and whisper in groups, and snicker. I am getting sick of it. I must get rid of them. By Jove! there's David Rennes, the painter. I thought he was at Amesbury—with the Carillons, doing Agnes's portrait. It can't be finished. She said distinctly in her letter this ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... losses—devises clothes, wigs, artificial teeth, paddings, shoes—what civilised being could use his bare feet for his ordinary locomotion? Imagine him on a furze-sprinkled golf links. Then stays, an efficient substitute for the effete feminine backbone. So the thing goes on. Long ago his superficies became artificial, and now the human being shrinks like a burning cigar, and the figure he has abandoned remains distended with artificial ashes, dead dry protections against the ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... the crust were untapped and indeed unsuspected. The higher mountain regions were known only to a sprinkling of guide-led climbers and the frequenters of a few gaunt hotels, and the vast rainless belts of land that lay across the continental masses, from Gobi to Sahara and along the backbone of America, with their perfect air, their daily baths of blazing sunshine, their nights of cool serenity and glowing stars, and their reservoirs of deep-lying water, were as yet only desolations of fear and death to the ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... hands and feet, without lasso, and with only one charge in his revolver, hatless, coatless, vestless, bootless, the wild hunter urged on the noble horse. The herd had gained miles in the interval of the fight. Game to the backbone, Kentuck lengthened out to overhaul it, and slowly the rolling gap lessened and lessened. A long hour thumped away, with the ...
— The Last of the Plainsmen • Zane Grey

... pupils became distinguished musicians, among them Huemmel, Seyfried and Weigl. He excelled in counterpoint, and was a prolific composer, although his works are but little known at the present day. He was set in his ways, a strict disciplinarian, conservative to the backbone, and upward of sixty years of age. We can readily believe there were stormy times during these lessons. There is no doubt however, that Beethoven learned a great deal from him, as is evident from the exercises still in existence from this period, ...
— Beethoven • George Alexander Fischer

... account. No doubt He will. But can we not get a more evangelical, and at the same time more catholic, view of the matter? We find it in an extension of our conception of the possibilities of the intermediate state, the condition of souls between death and judgment. Evangelical to the backbone, because it is the work of Christ which we conceive of as being there carried on. Catholic, because the Church from very early times has recognised the idea of the discipline of souls as being a process continued ...
— The Discipline of War - Nine Addresses on the Lessons of the War in Connection with Lent • John Hasloch Potter

... the cloud of War. The time had produced the man. The storm had burst just in the nick of time to save the drooping theatrical interests which he controlled, and the fruit which these had borne steadily for the best part of five long years had been truly phenomenal. A patriot to the backbone, the bewildered proprietor obtained absolute exemption from the Tribunal, turned the first six rows of all his pits into stalls, and bought War Loan with both hands. It was after the second air-raid upon ...
— Berry And Co. • Dornford Yates

... of ferocious temper. On the other hand, we did see the oddest possible ferry: a bundle or raft of bamboo, with chairs on top, towed across stream by a carabao regularly hitched up to it and getting over himself by swimming. This he does on an even keel, his backbone being entirely out of the water when ...
— The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon From Ifugao to Kalinga • Cornelis De Witt Willcox

... Dick; fair and easy. There ain't no manner o' hurry, ez I allow. Whenst I've got to tussle with a wheen o' full redskins, and me with my stummick growed fast to my backbone, I jest ez soon wait till them same redskins are asleep. Bime-by they'll settle down for the night, and then we'll go up yonder and pizen 'em immejitly, if not sooner. But there ain't no kind o' use to spile it all by ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... if his ribs and his backbone are not broken," said he, turning toward the princess. In the meanwhile some ladies of the court with the help of other huntsmen, were attending to Sir de Lorche. They turned him over, searching in his armor ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... man-of-war's-man of the old Benbow school. He wore a short cue, which the wags of the mizzen-top called his "plug of pig-tail." About his waist was a broad boarder's belt, which he wore, he said, to brace his main-mast, meaning his backbone; for at times he complained of rheumatic twinges in the spine, consequent upon sleeping on deck, now and then, during the night-watches of upward of half a century. His sheath-knife was an antique—a sort of old-fashioned pruning-hook; its handle—a ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... a mere drifting indolence or a luxurious abandonment. They were deliberately planned, intently lived, carefully employed; behind the pleasures lay a great tract of solid work, very diligently pursued. That was to have been the backbone of the whole; and it is for this that I have no sense of regret or contrition about it. It was an experiment; and if in one sense it failed, because it did not take account of energies and elements unused, in ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... ought to change connections—that the product of his company is the best in the market. This need not necessarily be true; but he must feel that it is true. For only in this way can he put the best that is in him into his work. Industry—and the engineer is the backbone of industry—is a hotbed of competition. Any organization needs all the enthusiasm it can get. Greatest enthusiasm of all must come from within its own circles. Lacking this enthusiasm within its ...
— Opportunities in Engineering • Charles M. Horton

... political complexion of Ulster was in the main Liberal. The Presbyterians, who formed the majority of the Protestant population, collateral descendants of the men who emigrated in the eighteenth century and formed the backbone of Washington's army, and direct descendants of those who joined the United Irishmen in 1798, were of a pronounced Liberal type, and their frequently strong disapproval of Orangeism made any united political action an improbable occurrence. But ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... pressing wants Sir George Prevost wrote him, "You must not be led into any measure bearing the character of offence, even should war be declared." Prevost had a fluid backbone, while Brock's was of ...
— The Story of Isaac Brock - Hero, Defender and Saviour of Upper Canada, 1812 • Walter R. Nursey

... passed on, he moved a little, twisting himself so that his eyes could follow the tracks made by the sledge and dogs. When he came to where the snow-covered backbone of the ridge cut itself in faint outline against the desolate coldness of the sky, there fell from him the first sound of returning life. Up there he was sure that he had seen something move—an object which at first he had taken for a bush, ...
— The Honor of the Big Snows • James Oliver Curwood

... own assumption of this distinguished title after traversing the route with a bicycle. Ten o'clock next morning finds me leaning on my wheel, surveying the scenery from the "Continental Divide" - the backbone of the continent. Pacing the north, all waters at my right hand flow to the east, and all on my left flow to the west - the one eventually finding their way to the Atlantic, the other to the Pacific. This spot is a broad low pass through the Rockies, more plain than mountain, but ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... will give you five minutes; not another moment. I know you, Nora; you always exaggerate things. You are an Irishwoman to your backbone." ...
— Light O' The Morning • L. T. Meade

... it was the thought that I loved him. I have done all I could. It's hopeless. It would only be weakness on my part not to recognise the facts. Poor Edward, he's nobody's enemy but his own. He was a dear, nice fellow, but there was something lacking in him, I suppose it was backbone. I hope ...
— The Trembling of a Leaf - Little Stories of the South Sea Islands • William Somerset Maugham

... Aisne. This placed both General von Kluck and General von Buelow into subordinate positions. Field Marshal von Heeringen held a deserved reputation as one of the most brilliant as well as one of the most iron-willed of the German military leaders. He had been the backbone of the crown prince's movement against Troyon, a movement which, given a day or two longer, might have meant the ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... well, all believed; but the forces had been but recently organized, and it was questionable how they would behave without a backbone of white troops. The experiment was quite a novel one, as never before had a war been carried on, by us, with purely ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... maybe we'd better fill him up again," said Mother. "Them legs still look 'most too much like knitting-needles to suit me, and I kinder want to feel him to be sure his stomick haven't growed to his backbone. Anyway, you can't never measure a boy's food by his size. Please run and get him a glass of buttermilk and a biscuit, child, while I finish setting in this sleeve. Let me see them britches legs 'fore you put 'em down. Dearie me, if ...
— The Road to Providence • Maria Thompson Daviess

... got many a good thing out of the Genoese. In the reign of Henry IV. the House of Vipont reaped the benefit of its past forbearance and modesty. Now, for the first time, the Viponts appear as belted knights; they have armorial bearings; they are Lancasterian to the backbone; they are exceedingly indignant against heretics; they burn the Lollards; they have places in the household of Queen Joan, who was called a witch,—but a witch is a very good friend when she wields a sceptre instead of a broomstick. ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Society in releasing the farmers from the bondage of the "Gombeen" man who has for so many years been the curse of Irish agriculture. The "Gombeen" man is alike trader, publican, and money-lender, and he is the backbone of official Nationalist influence. By lending money to the peasant proprietors at exorbitant rates, by selling inferior seeds and manures and by carrying on his transactions with the farmers chiefly in kind, the "Gombeen" man has grown fat upon the poverty and despair of the farmer. It is not ...
— Against Home Rule (1912) - The Case for the Union • Various

... divines represent the thinking power of society, the men who found industries and carve out new careers, as well as the common body of working-people, from whom the national strength and spirit are from time to time recruited, must necessarily furnish the vital force and constitute the real backbone ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... head held forward, its long horns lying flat upon the back. The shot was very long, and the beast very large to bring down with so small a bullet. I aimed right forward—clear of it, indeed—high too, in a line with its backbone, and pressed the trigger. ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... over the old trail of the Sheep-eater Indians—the one which wound along the backbone of the ridge. Rough going, that. They were camped up there, and they must have a big pack outfit, he reasoned, to get so far from supplies at this season ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... 'How can a people be enfranchised that eats meat with its fingers?' Ah, you are right! How you do hate the poor! What bores they are! You aristocrats—the products of centuries of culture, comfort, and cocksureness—will never rid yourselves of your conviction that you are the backbone of England—no, not though that backbone were picked clean of every scrap of flesh by the ...
— Merely Mary Ann • Israel Zangwill

... of a dinner of prairie dog, and dropped on a small rattler which was too sluggish from overeating to have noticed that there was any particular excitement in the village. Gripping the reptile in inexorable talons just behind its head, the great bird bit its backbone through, carried it to the nearest hillock, and proceeded to tear it to pieces. Calmly he made his meal, glancing around with eyes glassy hard and fiercely arrogant, while from every burrow in the neighborhood round, innocent heads peered forth, barking ...
— Children of the Wild • Charles G. D. Roberts

... of the above proposal was very kind of our neighbors, but it had no avail. The abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty and encouragement of the Fenian Raids by the American people had put the Canadians on their mettle and stiffened their backbone, so that neither retaliatory threats or honeyed allurements had any effect in changing their minds from carving out their own destiny under the broad folds of the Union Jack. How well this has been done by the earnest efforts and honest toil of our people, ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... sure of it," cried the banker, looking at his wife. "What did I tell you just now, Madame des Grassins? Grandet is honorable to the backbone, and would never allow his name to remain under the slightest cloud! Money without honor is a disease. There is honor in the provinces! Right, very right, Grandet. I'm an old soldier, and I can't disguise my thoughts; I speak roughly. ...
— Eugenie Grandet • Honore de Balzac

... useful on some other occasion. The second was to ask whether I was an Irishman. I suppose the air of modesty about my appeal must have struck him. I satisfied the Director-General that I was English to the backbone, and he made some inquiries as to my student career, finally desiring me to hold myself ready for examination. Having passed this, I was in Her Majesty's Service, and entered on the books of Nelson's [9] old ship, the Victory, ...
— Autobiography and Selected Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... under the personality of His Royal Highness himself, the success of the tour owes much to the care and efficiency that organization exerted throughout its course, and also because for three months the C.P.R. train was our home and the backbone of everything we did. If you like, that is the chief tribute to the organization. We spent three months confined more or less to a single carriage; we travelled over all kinds of line and country, and under ...
— Westward with the Prince of Wales • W. Douglas Newton



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