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Contretemps   Listen
noun
Contretemps  n.  An unexpected and untoward accident; something inopportune or embarrassing; a hitch. "In this unhappy contretemps."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Contretemps" Quotes from Famous Books



... no answer to his call. M. de St. Genis must have fallen back some little distance in the rear, else he surely would have heard something of the clatter, the shouts and the swearing which were attending the present unfortunate contretemps. ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... It was about as hideous and devil-born a contretemps as, say, putting a belted earl to peel potatoes or asking an archbishop to clean cuspidors. The man boiled with offended dignity and outraged pride. One could actually see him swell. He had expected something quite different, and ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... fascinate him—luring him into corners, gazing at him with languishing eyes, trotting out all their little tricks for his exclusive benefit, quarrelling about him among themselves—my conscience would prick me, lest our jest should end in a contretemps. Fortunately, Jarman himself, was a gentleman of uncommon sense, or my fears might have been realised. I should have been sorry myself to have been asked to remain stone under the blandishments of girls young and old, of women handsome ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... de Fonvielle, acting as aeronaut, and taking passengers, made a successful escape, of which he has given a graphic account. He had been baulked by more than one serious contretemps. It had been determined that the departure should be by night, and November 19th being fixed upon, the balloon was in process of inflation under a gentle wind that threatened a travel towards Prussian soil, when, as the moment of departure approached, a large ...
— The Dominion of the Air • J. M. Bacon

... their married daughter, Mrs. Cunningham, and her husband, was performed. The Member's wife was a portly, good-natured Virginia matron, whose ruling desire to make all about her comfortable as herself, sometimes led to contretemps that were trying to the subjects of her kindness, and would have been distressing to her, had she ever, by any chance, guessed ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... said firmly, "you've always been a jolly old officer to me before this contretemps wrecked my young life—but I shall never be quite the same ...
— The Keepers of the King's Peace • Edgar Wallace

... my hearing all this! Wasn't it a fix for a sensitive person to be in? But, instead of bursting into tears and making myself miserable, as once I should have done, I enjoyed the contretemps immensely. It almost cured my headache, and when Mrs. —— came to me and tried to soften matters, I told her to spare her pretty speeches, as I had heard the whole and would not have ...
— The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52 • Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe

... a bed at his sister's, no matter at what hour of day or night he chose to stagger in; but the large family combined efforts to prevent the contretemps of a meeting between him and Ruth. Their promise to her mother was too sacred for trifling, and they loved the girl too well to risk being deprived of her society. Destiny, or chance, was too strong for them. It was on a bright, sunlit day, when Ruth ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... exclaimed. "You carry originality to quixoticism. I have met several men before in my life whom I have suspected of such a thing, but I never heard any one confess it. This little domestic contretemps is then, I presume, disagreeable ...
— The Yellow Crayon • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... THAT he was assured—but it was the way to stop it by convincing himself of its madness. Besides, in view of all the circumstances, it was his duty as a gentleman to show some concern for her condition after the accident and the disagreeable contretemps which ...
— From Sand Hill to Pine • Bret Harte

... this drawback, passed off successfully enough without any other contretemps; and after the last crumb of cake had been eaten by Joe, and the things packed up, the little party wended their way home happily in the mellow May evening, through the fields green with the sprouting corn, with the swallows skimming round them and the lark high in the sky above ...
— Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle • J. C. Hutcheson

... Ordinarily such a contretemps would have been by no means fatal to the evening's enjoyment, for in the battalion there was no lack of musical and other talent, and an impromptu entertainment was easily possible. Ordinarily, too, in such an emergency there would at once have arisen a demand ...
— The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land • Ralph Connor

... outcome of time's influences on her and on her mother respectively. Gradually she had gained skill and use in the management of her household and of her share of the shop, so that these machines ran smoothly and effectively and a sudden contretemps no longer frightened her. Gradually she had constructed a chart of Samuel's individuality, with the submerged rocks and perilous currents all carefully marked, so that she could now voyage unalarmed in those seas. But nothing happened. Unless their visits ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... to arrest his march against Elam, owing to his inability to cross the torrents swollen by the rain; a similar contretemps must have met Assurbanipal on ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... into the cheeks of the grey lady. Field had drawn into the background with a feeling that he was not wanted here. Yet he was not pleased at the unexpected contretemps. The detective had mapped out a line for himself, and he desired now to bring it to a successful conclusion. And yet the interruption might not altogether be without its good results. Field had, of course, already heard a great deal about the grey lady, and he did not doubt that the ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... to be discouraged by this slight contretemps, although I heartily regretted the loss of the books which had been seized, and which I could no longer hope to circulate in these parts, where they were so much wanted; but I consoled myself with the ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... minutes, when with a little patience he might have waited till the 'Consternation' herself arrived, or else have cabled for us to try the gun at Bar Harbor. I suppose, however, that after my unfortunate contretemps with Russia our government was afraid I'd chip a corner off the United States, and that they'd have to pay for it. So perhaps after all it was greater economy to bring me across on the ...
— A Rock in the Baltic • Robert Barr

... After this contretemps my mount was more amenable and I determined that nothing should unseat me again. Not being hurt by a fall gives one a sense of exhilaration and I felt ready to face an ...
— Margot Asquith, An Autobiography: Volumes I & II • Margot Asquith

... not he" The West-of-Wessex Girl Welcome Home Going and Staying Read by Moonlight At a house in Hampstead A Woman's Fancy Her Song A Wet August The Dissemblers To a Lady Playing and Singing in the Morning "A man was drawing near to me" The Strange House "As 'twere to-night" The Contretemps A Gentleman's Epitaph on Himself and a Lady The Old Gown A night in November A Duettist to her Pianoforte "Where three roads joined" "And there was a great calm" Haunting Fingers The Woman I Met "If it's ever spring again" The Two Houses On Stinsford Hill ...
— Late Lyrics and Earlier • Thomas Hardy

... and she was annoyed. "There," said Quintus, "that is what I have to put up with every day!" When he sent her dishes from the triclinium, where the gentlemen were having their meal, she would not taste them. This little domestic contretemps is too good to be neglected, but we must turn to women of ...
— Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero • W. Warde Fowler

... awkward pause ensued, then everybody rushed into conversation at once, so that Nan could only guess that some contretemps must have occurred between Penelope and the singer of which she was in ignorance. As soon as dinner was at an end she manoeuvred Kitty into a ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... apologize to the Rev. Cuthbert Eager. Lucy, apparently absorbed in a lunette, could hear the lecture again interrupted, the anxious, aggressive voice of the old man, the curt, injured replies of his opponent. The son, who took every little contretemps as if it were a tragedy, ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... intruder's face, but he would have sought other entrance with possible success, or, failing that, would have awaited in the front yard the dispersal of the guests and Flopit's consequent emerging. This was a contretemps not ...
— Seventeen - A Tale Of Youth And Summer Time And The Baxter Family Especially William • Booth Tarkington

... last?" asked the baron, disregarding the little contretemps, and throwing himself heavily on an oaken settle, while he pushed a queer, uncomfortable-looking stool, with legs like a Siamese-twin-connected double ...
— The Twins of Table Mountain and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... sweep into the blue mountain skies, and a silver moon rises slowly over the pine-clad hills, Joseph Woods summons all his latent fascinations to appease Madame Natalie de Santos. The sturdy Missourian has had his contretemps with Sioux and Pawnee. He has faced prairie fires, stampeded buffalo herds, and met dangers by flood and field. Little personal discussions with horse thieves, some border frays, and even a chance encounter on a narrow trail with a giant grizzly, have ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... Picklecombe Point will be guarded so that no shore boat can get within half a mile. They won't bear a very close inspection. I hope that none of the guns will break loose and float about the harbour. That would be what you might call a blooming contretemps. I shall be pretty busy all the next two days myself. Though I am a strict teetotaller, I shall get into shore rig and spend my days in the public bars. I must know what the Three Towns are talking ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... still!" I spluttered wildly, and I threw a disordered glance at the horizon, and at my astonished crew. I had not meant that the men, except Pierre, should be taken into the secret until we were well afloat. Here was another contretemps. ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... Caron, with well-feigned annoyance. "Quel contretemps! I have left a most important document in his room, and, of course, ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... obtained the means of escape; and being besides full of warm feeling, had he actually made her his wife, and had they come together, the event would certainly have been happy; but, as luck would have it, there occurred again this contretemps. ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... But such little contretemps as shells did not in the least interfere with the Christmas revels. About 250 children are still left in the town or river caves (where one or two have recently been born), and it was determined they should not be deprived of their Christmas tree. The scheme was started and organised ...
— Ladysmith - The Diary of a Siege • H. W. Nevinson

... almost recovered, suddenly sank. The visible cause was that a special nutrient, which, being costly, we stocked in small quantities, ran short, and the fresh supply reached the nursery just too late. "If only it had come yesterday!" moaned Ponnamal, and we with her when we heard of the series of contretemps which had delayed its arrival. The torture of second causes is as the blackness of darkness, but the Lord gave deliverance from it; for just as she had to part with all that was left her of our little Heart's Joy, a letter came from Dr. Davidson which ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... the city, and the social firmament thereof, would be humming with the startling news of the disappearance of a well-known millionaire. The complications that would then ensue, with himself powerless to lift a finger, Jimmie Dale did not care to think about—such a contretemps must ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... of Madame de Sevigne, her fablier, as she dubbed La Fontaine, M. Fouquet, and our old friends the three Guardsmen, you may believe that the journey from Paris to Tours did not seem long to us. I must tell you of one contretemps, however, in case you, like us, take the express train from the Quai d'Orsay. Instead of being carried to our destination, which is a railroad courtesy that one naturally expects, we were dumped out at a place about twenty miles from Tours. We had our books and papers all around us, and were ...
— In Chteau Land • Anne Hollingsworth Wharton

... is scarcely necessary to tell the reader, that the animal so often alluded to in this book, and which is vulgarly called the buffaloe, is in truth the bison; hence so many contretemps between the men of the prairies and ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... Labour members recently elected, immediately proceeded to the old city wall to meet them. They were accompanied by the municipal band in full uniform, playing "Die Wacht am Rhein," which they had been assiduously practising. Unfortunately this led to what might have been a somewhat painful contretemps. On meeting the municipal band the Prussian commander, Colonel von Brausebrum, halted his soldiers and in a loud voice declared that our men were playing out of tune. Perhaps this was true, but the offence ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 146., January 14, 1914 • Various

... Store orderly who declined to accept your plea for forgiveness when you had been obtuse enough to see a fomentation-wringer in a teacloth, could devastate the harmony of a whole forenoon. A sweet reasonableness was undoubtedly the note to strike when such a contretemps occurred. ...
— Observations of an Orderly - Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital • Ward Muir

... Patty's bride-with-the-mumps contretemps with Lucille happened to be Friday, and she was painfully engaged in her weekly molding of public opinion. It had been a barren week, and there was nothing ...
— When Patty Went to College • Jean Webster

... a hot retort, and Crofter, to cover the embarrassment which he felt at this seeming contretemps, hummed softly and instituted a painstaking search for the vessel referred to. He experienced little difficulty in finding it, for it was one of two huge urns standing upon ...
— The Sins of Severac Bablon • Sax Rohmer

... rage, for it is the sudden and unexpected that makes people go distracted. And we ought, as Panaetius somewhere said, to imitate Anaxagoras, and as he said at the death of his son, "I knew that I had begotten a mortal," so ought every one of us to use the following kind of language in those contretemps that stir up our anger, "I knew that the slave I bought was not a philosopher," "I knew that the friend I had was not perfect," "I knew that my wife was but a woman." And if anyone would also constantly ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... his success in potations too many and deep. Some of the fugitive soldiers of Ras Ali accidentally entered Oubie's tent, found their master's conqueror in the condition known as dead drunk, and availed themselves of his helpless condition to make him their prisoner. This sudden contretemps changed the aspect of affairs. Certain well-mounted horsemen galloped after Ras Ali and succeeded in overtaking him towards evening. He would not at first believe in his good fortune; but others of his soldiers arriving and confirming the glad tidings, he returned ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... having put an incongruous company on thin conventional ice. It was only the easy-going Miss Tavish and two or three others who carried along their own animal spirits and love of amusement who enjoyed the chance of a possible contretemps. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the match caused the French ambassador to stop, feel in his pocket, and then remember that he had come away from his embassy without his seal. Here was a contretemps. It would never do to seal such an important document with anything else ...
— The Boys of '98 • James Otis

... fifteen minutes of the time named on the invitation, never earlier. The hostess must be ready in ample time, and must appear calm and untroubled. Nervousness bespeaks the novice in entertaining. Generally, however, even if the affair passes off without any contretemps she is ready to ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... small contretemps the Exhibition[EN86] was pronounced a success, and served, as such things do, for a nine days' wonder. Several travellers from England and Australia took the opportunity of inspecting the rocks; and I was much encouraged to find ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 2 • Richard Burton

... her with a hang-dog air, feeling that now indeed had his case been made hopeless by this contretemps. "Confound Labertouche!" he cried in his ungrateful heart. "Confound his ...
— The Bronze Bell • Louis Joseph Vance

... recall her image now, and the peace and serenity expressed in her beautiful face, I think she must have had a happy life. I never saw her otherwise than perfectly kind and gentle and quite unruffled by the little contretemps, which must have befallen her as they do others. With this gentleness there was something that made one feel she was capable and reliable, that there was a latent strength on which those she loved could lean and be at rest. But in speaking of these things I am going far beyond the impressions of ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... Erskine's Toxicology, edited by Sir Mathew Reid, the President of the Royal College of Physicians, and one of the oldest members of the Buckingham, having been elected in mistake for somebody else; a contretemps that so enraged the Committee, that when the real man came up they black-balled him unanimously. Lord Arthur was a good deal puzzled at the technical terms used in both books, and had begun to regret ...
— Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories • Oscar Wilde

... Mis' Bates, whose mind never lightly forsook old ways or embraced a contretemps; "what ...
— Christmas - A Story • Zona Gale

... it was not a letter from Barry to Viola. It was the other way round. She had written him a long letter absolving herself from blame in the contretemps of the night before, at the same time confessing that she was absolutely in the dark as to how her mother had found out about their plans. Suffice to say, she HAD found out early in the evening and, to employ her own words, "You know the ...
— Viola Gwyn • George Barr McCutcheon

... ten, than the truth you're trying to soften. Then, too, the story given out to Rodney's friends being that Rose was in California with her mother and Portia, left the chance always open for some contretemps which would lead to her mother's discovering the truth in a surprising and ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... massive gold, and concealed it in his sleeve. Very soon after, whilst he was among the troop of lords and gentlemen, the clock began to strike the hour. We can well imagine the consternation of the baron at this contretemps. Of course he blushed red-hot, and tightened his arm to try and stifle the implacable sound of detection manifest—the flagrans delictum—still the clock went on striking the long hour, so that at each stroke the bystanders looked at each other from head ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... round a great soup tureen from which steamed a smell of cabbage. In spite of this little contretemps the supper was a gay one. The cider, of which the Loiseaus and the two nuns partook from motives of economy, was good. The rest ordered wine and Cornudet called for beer. He had a particular way with him of uncorking the bottle, of ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8) - Boule de Suif and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... Marie and I talking, and the others looking on with evident delight at having such a linguist in the family. As all my remarks were duly translated and communicated to the rest, it was quite a good German lesson. There was only one contretemps during the whole interview - the arrival of another visitor, in the shape (surely) the last of God's creatures, a wood-worm of the most unnatural and hideous appearance, with one great striped horn ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... contributed to cheer the shivering exiles. In the spring, however, the first ship from St. Malo brought bad news from France. The enemies of De Monts at home had triumphed, and had persuaded the King to cancel the charter of the Deputy. In a way this contretemps led to the ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... later I found still a third copy of my 'Duchess' over on Sixth Avenue. I had left my purse at home that morning, and when I went back the next day to buy the picture it was gone—sold to a stranger. Did I say that I had missed getting possession of the second picture through the same sort of contretemps? I never saw either of ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... she had cooked the dinner badly, and the "gaddah," or large wooden bowl, had been thrown at her by the naturally indignant husband, precisely as he had thrown the axe at one man and the basin at another while in our service. These were little contretemps that could hardly disturb the dignity of ...
— In the Heart of Africa • Samuel White Baker

... desert; he was not unaccustomed to the ways of men and women of all nations when their passions control their actions—he was amazed at his own false impression of Effendi Amory's character and mind. He had never for one moment contemplated such a contretemps; he would never have imagined that he could be false to Effendi Lampton's sister. The meeting, however, lent a double interest ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... Mr. Hamilton," said the lady, "has been most fortunate; for without this contretemps I should have been quite ignorant of Master Louis' being so near—you must come and see me, dear. Mr. Hamilton, I must take him home with ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... your thoughts to it; and here, in place of it, is a turkey, surrounded by coarse sausages, or a reeking pigeon-pie or a fulsome roast-pig. I have known many a good and kind man made furiously angry by such a contretemps. I have known him lose his temper, call his wife and servants names, and a whole household made miserable. If, then, as is notoriously the case, it is too dangerous to balk a man about his dinner, how much more about his article? I came to my meal with an ogre-like appetite ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... been "stuck up" for horses, and borrowed a couple from him, whereupon he was forced to do with animals which had been turned out for a spell, and the heat and overloading accounted for a good part of the contretemps. However, we managed to catch our train, but had to rush for it without waiting for refreshments. Nice articles we looked—our hair grey with dust, and our faces grimy. The men took charge of me as carefully as though I had been specially consigned to ...
— My Brilliant Career • Miles Franklin

... blamed herself for misleading him, but explained that their stay at Frejus had been prolonged from day to day far beyond her expectation. "The stupidity of the post-office was more than she could account for," said she. But, what went farthest to console Edouard, was, that after this contretemps she never ceased to invite him to come to Beaurepaire. Now, before this, though she said many kind and pretty things in her letters, she had never invited him to visit the chateau; he had noticed this. "Sweet soul," thought he, "she really is vexed. I must be a brute to ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... long course of the meal, Vanderlyn listened silently to Pargeter's conjectures concerning Peggy's disappearance—conjectures broken by lamentations over the contretemps which had made it impossible for him to leave Paris that day. Absorbed as he was in himself and his own grievances, Pargeter was yet keenly aware when his companion's attention seemed in any way to wander, and at last there came a moment when, ...
— The Uttermost Farthing • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... you do, Roderick? Yes; it was all pleasant except that last contretemps. Imagine the Duchess of Dovedale's feelings if she arrived at the station adjoining her own estate, and found no carriage to ...
— Vixen, Volume II. • M. E. Braddon

... absolutely taking the money out of his clothes before his very eyes, he sprang out of bed with a bound and half-throttled the robber. Then, of course, it turned out that it was only the bedroom waiter, who was taking his clothes away to brush them. This contretemps, on top of the overnight mishap, made him determined to get away from town with all speed. When he looked in the glass, he found his lip so much swelled that his moustache stuck out in front like the bowsprit of a ship. At breakfast he joined the Englishman, ...
— An Outback Marriage • Andrew Barton Paterson

... audience occurred when Armand, rising from the card-table and making a stage crossing, caught his foot in a hole in the carpet, caromed against the card-table, upset it, and measured his length on the boards. The audience burst into laughter. Audiences really enjoy such contretemps, cruel as such accidents or mishaps may be to the luckless player. Fogg arose and, wisely affecting not to notice the storm in front of the footlights, continued the scene. At length the moment was reached for him to shower gold on Camille, ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... process against the inequalities, discomforts, and chances of life, constitutes one of the most important bases of joy of living and of strength of temper. In this case too, the behaviour of the person who gives the training, is the best means of teaching children to smile at small contretemps, things which would throw a cloud over the sun, if one got into the habit of treating them as if they were of great importance. If the child sees the parent doing readily an unpleasant duty, which he honestly recognises as unpleasant; ...
— The Education of the Child • Ellen Key

... ladyship, falling back in her chair with an hysteric laugh, "only the blunder of Champfort, and the entrance of my Lord Delacour, and the hammercloth with the orange and black fringe—forgive me, my dear; for the soul of me I can't help laughing—it was rather unlucky; so awkward, such a contretemps! But you," added she, wiping her eyes, as if recovering from laughter, "you have such admirable presence of mind, nothing disconcerts you! You are equal to all situations, and stand in no need of such long letters of advice ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. III - Belinda • Maria Edgeworth

... TO SECRETARY HARRINGTON (Two Notes). "BRESLAU, 2d SEPTEMBER, 1711 [on the heel of Robinson's second miscarriage].... My Lord, all these contretemps are very unlucky at present, when time is so precious; for France is pressing the King of Prussia in the strongest manner to declare himself; but whatever eventual preliminaries may be probably agreed between them, I still doubt ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... officers, his movements, his intentions, and his thoughts, a commander less thorough would have pronounced useless. The long night ride to Richmond, on June 22, with its untoward delays and provoking contretemps, sounds like an excess of precaution which was absolutely pedantic.* (* He instructed the orderly that accompanied him, and who knew the roads, to call him "Colonel') But war, according to Napoleon, is made up of accidents. The ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... remarkable crisis arose. The model of a lifeboat became full, gorged to the slot. And the Local Secretary of the Fund had the key. The model was despatched to him by special messenger to open and to empty, and in the meantime Simeon used his sou'-wester as a collecting-box. This contretemps was impressive. At night Denry received twelve pounds odd at the hands of Simeon Edwards. He showered the odd in largesse on his heroic crew, who had also received many tips. By the evening post the fatal ring arrived from Ruth, as he anticipated. He was just about to throw it ...
— The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... of her she found severally, if quite amiably, agreeable to indulge her reticence. Savage, for one, was secretly, she guessed, quite as much disconcerted by the reported contretemps in town; but he dissembled well, with a show of whimsical exasperation because of this emergency that tore him so soon away from both Gosnold House and his other neighbour at table, a Mrs. Artemas—a spirited, mercurial creature, not over-handsome ...
— Nobody • Louis Joseph Vance

... Only one contretemps had marred the perfect organisation of the proceedings, and that happened when the advance guard, turning a corner at full speed, regardless of the life and limbs of the seething mass of adults, babies, and dogs, had found themselves forced to edify ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... little box at the Opera. Rawdon was in the highest spirits. There were no duns in Paris as yet: there were parties every day at Very's or Beauvilliers'; play was plentiful and his luck good. Tufto perhaps was sulky. Mrs. Tufto had come over to Paris at her own invitation, and besides this contretemps, there were a score of generals now round Becky's chair, and she might take her choice of a dozen bouquets when she went to the play. Lady Bareacres and the chiefs of the English society, stupid and irreproachable females, writhed with anguish at the success of the little upstart ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... breaking a leaf or a blade of grass, and this rite it was "found necessary to perform with the seller of every fowl:" apparently it is now obsolete. Finally, although the Fetish man may be wrong, the fetish cannot err. If a contretemps occur, a reason will surely be found; and, should the "doctor" die, he has fallen a victim to a rival or an enemy more powerful ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... that the first real contretemps occurred. Lester's sister Louise, who had been visiting friends in St. Paul, and who had written him that she might stop off to see him on her way, decided upon an earlier return than she had originally planned. While Lester was sick at his apartment she arrived in Chicago. Calling up ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... disagreeable character. The shop of their brother, A.B. Savory, in Cornhill, was broken open; many valuable articles were taken, and their travelling trunks, which had been left there, were ransacked. Although their loss was trifling, the annoyance of such a contretemps may easily ...
— Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel • John Yeardley

... for all the need of haste, he ought to have waited long enough to warn the drunken Frenchman what he meant to do. If he had, this contretemps would not have happened. His telegraphic flashes, long and short, must have told the enemy what was going on in the tower, but they could not have seen him standing there, exposed like a target to their fire, if Rostafel had not ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... Naturally this unseemly contretemps had greatly upset our hero; for, however foolish be a madman's words, they may yet prove sufficient to sow doubt in the minds of saner individuals. He felt much as does a man who, shod with well-polished boots, has just stepped into a dirty, stinking puddle. He tried to put away from him ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... observed it." Strong, vigorous, enthusiastic, bringing, so it seemed, good fortune with her—the Highlanders declared she had "a lucky foot"—she relished everything—the scrambles and the views and the contretemps and the rough inns with their coarse fare and Brown and Grant waiting at table. She could have gone on for ever and ever, absolutely happy with Albert beside her and Brown at her pony's head. But the time came ...
— Queen Victoria • Lytton Strachey

... lieutenant from a very present predicament. Because "Archibald" felt a certain reluctance about accompanying Steve to Pier Number 4 in the capacity of owner, for the sufficiently obvious reason that he might be summarily kicked off. Such a contretemps might give cause for conjecture even in one so green as his companion, ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... embarrassments, and the necessity of something being done before next winter. And indeed I think now, in propriety, the proposal cannot be delayed much longer; for the world begins to talk of the thing as done; and even Mrs. Broadhurst, I know, had no doubt that, if this CONTRETEMPS about the poor Berryls had not occurred, your proposal would have been made before the ...
— The Absentee • Maria Edgeworth

... matter of exercising one's wits," Weirmarsh laughed lightly. "I always complete my plans with great care before embarking upon them, and I make provision for every contretemps possible. It is the only way, if one ...
— The Doctor of Pimlico - Being the Disclosure of a Great Crime • William Le Queux

... Sir John, following his companion along the dimly-lighted passage, 'has her father's pleasant faculty of forgetting any little contretemps of the past?' ...
— In Kedar's Tents • Henry Seton Merriman

... prosecution—I do not say persecution—of the Presbytery for my using my manuscript in the pulpit, and for certain alleged errors and improprieties in my preaching, such as—that in two of my sermons I had quoted Shakespeare." This contretemps proves that the Presbyterian Church was as strongly opposed to the use of manuscripts in the pulpit half a century ago as it is now—or was until lately—to the introduction of organs as accessories ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... be entertained by the following droll contretemps which befel our deservedly popular fellow-citizen, as we may call him, Mr. Pickwick. As our readers know, the Annual Charity Dinner took place at the Greyhound, on Tuesday, Mr. Pickwick being in the chair, and making many of ...
— Pickwickian Studies • Percy Fitzgerald

... that's been built since the old Mexico days. Thar's no shore-enough jedge an' jury ever comes to Yellow City; an' if the kyards was so run that we has a captive which the Stranglers deems beneath 'em, he would be drug 'way over yonder to some county seat. It's but fair to say that no sech contretemps presents itse'f up to the advent of Easy Aaron; an' while thar's now an' then a small accoomulation of felons doorin' sech seasons as the boys is off on the ranges or busy with the roundups, thar never fails to come a clean-up in ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... inclination to buy your services. He has listened attentively to all you have said. He has concentrated his mind upon you, and has not wandered in thought to other subjects. Yet you perceive that he is inclined to put you off or to turn you down. Evidently, in order to prevent such a contretemps, you need to resort now to a different selling step, which ...
— Certain Success • Norval A. Hawkins

... friendliness—remember I'm entirely serious—quite as if you were one of us. You must try to be, in short, the Colonel Marmaduke Ruggles that wretched penny-a-liner has foisted upon these innocent people. We shall thus avert a most humiliating contretemps." ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... addition of Miss Bussey, a success. Two of its members ate nothing and alternated between gloomy silence and forced gayety; who these were may well be guessed. Mary and John found it difficult to surmount their embarrassment at the contretemps which had attended the introduction, or their perplexity over the cause of it. Laing was on thorns lest his distributions of parts and stations in life should be disclosed. The only bright feature was the ...
— Comedies of Courtship • Anthony Hope

... broad, white forehead, but at the back was scarcely longer than a boy's. The features, though not regular, were delicate and piquant; the usual faint rose-flush on the cheeks deepened now to carnation, perhaps because of the slight contretemps, perhaps because of some deeper emotion—Brian fancied the latter, for the clear, golden-brown eyes that were lifted to his seemed bright either with indignation or with unshed tears. Today it was clear that the mood ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... mind, I returned to Washington. I had acquainted myself with the open facts of this family's history; but what of its inner life? Who knew it? Did any one? Even the man who confided to me the contretemps in the hotel parlor could not be sure what underlay Mr. Jeffrey's warm advocacy of the woman he had elected to marry. He could not even be certain that he had really understood the feeling shown by Cora Tuttle when she heard the man, who had once lavished attentions on her, ...
— The Filigree Ball • Anna Katharine Green

... Ronsdale's accents were poignant and sharp. "Had you listened to what Mr. Gillett, on my behalf, would have said to you that night in the gardens at Strathorn House, we might, possibly, both of us, have been saved some little annoyance. We now start at about where we were before that little contretemps." ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... effect at various times. She will be here within the hour to watch me being filmed and to hold me to my promise to place her as leading woman opposite me." He stops and moans. "Gentlemen," he goes on, "picture for yourself the contretemps when she finds I am nothing but a super and that Genaro wouldn't give Sarah Bernhardt a job on a recommendation from me! My romance will be shattered, and ...
— Kid Scanlan • H. C. Witwer

... adventure, so soon to be endured, thrilled him, and none too lightly. It seemed unfair that death should draw near thus sensibly, with never a twinge or ache to herald its arrival. Why, there were fifty years of life in this fine, nimble body but for any contretemps like that of the deplorable present! Thus ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... direct challenge, and cost him an effort, but it was not resented. "It would not. From my soul I regret this contretemps, Lucian. Do you settle what's to be done: you're Laura's brother, I put myself unreservedly ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... recently published "Italy," proved, as far as I remember, slightly disappointing to the poet, because it appeared on Mr. Pringle's unadvised cross-examination of me in the presence that I knew more of the vignettes than the verses; and also slightly discouraging to me because, this contretemps necessitating an immediate change of subject, I thenceforward understood none of the conversation, and when we came away was rebuked by Mr. Pringle for not attending to it. Had his grave authority been maintained ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... have heard him say that he would never be broke, and he died at just the right time to prevent such a contretemps from occurring. Money slipped through Mike's fingers as water slips through the meshes of a fisherman's net, and he was as fond of whisky as any representative of the Emerald Isle, but just the same ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... at the sheep station was to precede this, as I have explained; in fact, as the steamer sailed late in the afternoon, it was possible to go on board without stopping for the night at Dunedin, whence we were to sail. But at the last moment a slight contretemps took place. Owing to some delay the steamer would not be able to leave till Monday, instead of the Saturday morning as arranged, and our kind host insisted on extending his hospitality for the ...
— Seen and Unseen • E. Katharine Bates

... birching with the others, and of necessity there remains but to make the best of it. Birching is not a dignified process, and the endurer comes therefrom both sore and shamefaced. Yet always in such contretemps it is expedient to brazen out the matter, and to present as stately an appearance, we will ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... omniscience, is an attribute of God alone, but we have not been consciously unjust to you, according to our light. Personally I regret your departure, and I wish to assure you of my confidence in your future. You will doubtless one day look back upon this apparent contretemps ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... door only to find that it resisted his every effort—it was locked upon the outside. Here indeed was a sorry contretemps. Turan the panthan scratched his head. "Fortune frowns upon me," he murmured; but beyond the door, Fate, in the form of a painted warrior, stood smiling. Neatly had he tricked the unwary stranger. The lighted ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... behoof. It was a strange sensation, being whirled away from home and bed down to a wild heath towards midnight; and as we neared our destination, the air began to "bite shrewdly," and the sky to look uncommonly like rain—a contretemps which would have been fatal to my proposed experience. We had to change carriages at Sutton, and here a sociable Aunt-Sally-man, struggling under the implements of his craft, sought to beguile me from my African friends by offers of a shake-down ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... ailments. He told my mother all about his experiments, and she wrote to him at once that he must either leave this off while he was at Cambridge, or that my father must be told. Hugh at once gave up his experiments, and escaped an unpleasant contretemps, as the authorities discovered what was going on, and actually, I believe, sent some of the ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson



Words linked to "Contretemps" :   plural form, encounter, skirmish, clash, brush



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