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Tarnish   Listen
verb
Tarnish  v. t.  (past & past part. tarnished; pres. part. tarnishing)  To soil, or change the appearance of, especially by an alternation induced by the air, or by dust, or the like; to diminish, dull, or destroy the luster of; to sully; as, to tarnish a metal; to tarnish gilding; to tarnish the purity of color. "Tarnished lace." Used also figuratively; as, to tarnish one's honor.
Synonyms: To sully; stain; dim.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tarnish" Quotes from Famous Books



... went from one door to another, and entered spacious and faded chambers, some rudely shuttered, some receiving their full charge of daylight, all empty and unhomely. It was a rich house, on which Time had breathed its tarnish and dust had scattered disillusion. The spider swung there; the bloated tarantula scampered on the cornices; ants had their crowded highways on the floor of halls of audience; the big and foul fly, that ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... death of Pennington Lawton! The case of his fraudulently alleged bankruptcy! The case of the whole damnable conspiracy to crush this girl to the earth, to impoverish her and tarnish the fair name and honored memory of her father. It's cards on the table now, Mr. Mallowe, and I'm ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... enemy. As is the case with all great men, his faults and virtues have been equally exaggerated. The Recollets, whom he always favoured, could never speak too well of him, whilst the Jesuits, whom he distrusted, did all they could to tarnish ...
— Canada • J. G. Bourinot

... and lay not too much weight upon the idle words of the glorious Inca, since even the gods will doze at times when they are weighed down by the cares of empire. No affront was meant to you and least of all does the Inca or any one of us, dream that you would tarnish your honour by offering violence to your guests by day or by night. Yet know this, that if, after all that has been sworn, you withhold your daughter, the lady Quilla, from the house of Urco who is her lord to be, it will breed instant war, since as soon as word of it comes to Cuzco, which will ...
— The Virgin of the Sun • H. R. Haggard

... means of arming a Turk against the life of a French general, at a moment when he was far removed from the theatre of the crime. Nothing ought to be said against him of which there are not proofs; the discovery of a single error of this kind among the most notorious truths would tarnish their lustre. We must not fight Bonaparte with ...
— Ten Years' Exile • Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne (Baroness) de Stael-Holstein

... causes, and the presence, sometimes the communion, of unseen powers. It needs not that I should ask the clairvoyant whether "a spirit-world projects into ours." As to the specific evidence, I would not tarnish my mind by hasty reception. The mind is not, I know, a highway, but a temple, and its doors should not be carelessly left open. Yet it were sin, if indolence or coldness excluded what had a claim to enter; and I doubt whether, in the eyes of pure intelligence, an ill-grounded ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... qualities that destroy one another; they are less dangerous than the adorers of a changeable Deity, who, they imagine, is pleased with the extermination of a large portion of mankind, on account of their opinions. Our speculations are indifferent to God, whose glory man cannot tarnish—whose power mortals cannot abridge. They may, however, be advantageous to ourselves; they may be perfectly indifferent to society, whose happiness they may not affect; or they may be the reverse of all this. For it is evident that the ...
— Letters to Eugenia - or, a Preservative Against Religious Prejudices • Baron d'Holbach

... sorely vex'd, So when the fellow went there next, A lock of steel made quite red hot. The other cried upon the spot: "Such wares as these, who'd ever buy? the steel is tarnish'd shamefully,"— Then pull'd it, like a fool about, But soon set up a piteous shout. "Pray what's the matter?" the shopman spoke; The other scream'd: "Faith, a ...
— The Poems of Goethe • Goethe

... writing to a friend, while the snow is falling on so many poor wretches overwhelmed by sorrow and penury. I grieve over their fate, I repose on my own, and make no account of those family annoyances which appeared formerly to tarnish my felicity." ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... ballot-box. And I do not believe that in putting these higher responsibilities upon women we degrade their character, that we subject them to uncongenial pursuits, that we injure their moral tone, that we tarnish their delicacy, that we in any way make them less noble and admirable as women, as wives, and mothers. I believe that by realizing the intention of the Constitution, which uses words that are so fully explained by our courts and by our writers upon the uses ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... homefarers from office and factory had begun to tarnish the brilliance of this show, when the women had begun to scatter—this one to dinner with her man, that one back to the hall-room supper by whose economies she saved for her Saturday afternoon vanities—Bertram and Mark drifted with the current up Kearney ...
— The Readjustment • Will Irwin

... Cooper, who scarcely ever spoke a word unless forced to do so by an insistent question. Bat Coyne had been a cattle man down in Texas, while Mary Johnson —so called because of his pink and white complexion, which no amount of sun or wind could tarnish—was said to have come from the East. He had left there for reasons best known to himself, ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Montana • Frank Gee Patchin

... darling, speaking sooth, Gather the fleet flower of your youth, Take ye your pleasure at the best; Be merry ere your beauty flit, For length of days will tarnish it Like ...
— Ballads and Lyrics of Old France: with other Poems • Andrew Lang

... him, that, as he had looked at her in those short-lived days of his first devotion, he looked at no other. The way was clear yet. There was nothing irretrievable, nothing irrevocable, which would for ever stain the memory and tarnish the gold of life when the perfect love should be minted. Whatever faults of mind or disposition or character were his— or hers—there were no sins against the pledges they had made, nor the bond ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... son, Madam," said Hans with feeling: "and if I tarnish not the escocheon of my heavenly birth by honest craft, then shall I have no fear for that of ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... moustaches. A pointed Persian cap with a crimson cloth crown covered his forehead right down to his eyebrows. He was dressed in a shabby yellow Caucasian overcoat, with black velveteen cartridge pockets on the breast, and tarnish silver braid on all the seams; over his shoulder was slung a horn; in his sash was sticking a dagger. A raw-boned, hook-nosed chestnut horse shambled unsteadily under his weight; two lean, crook-pawed greyhounds kept turning round just under the horse's ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... the chest upon which the searchers laid hands, consisted of a soldier's castoff scarlet coat, buttonless, and very much the worse for wear; an old pair of blue trousers decorated on the side seams with tarnish-blackened gold lace; and a most shockingly battered old cocked hat; all of which they recognised with laughter as gifts presented by themselves to M'Bongwele upon the occasion of their former visit. And beneath these, again, they found two pairs of coarse blue-cloth ...
— With Airship and Submarine - A Tale of Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... the town, and the cup of his content was filled to the brim; but as yet, neither his mother nor Herr Ritter told him the name of his unknown friend. Then it grew towards the end of summer, and the ferns and the brake began to tarnish in the woodlands, and Dolores Delcor sickened, and failed, and whitened more and more from day to day, till at last she could do no work at all, but lived only at the hands of 'Tista and Herr Ritter. As for me, I blossomed still in the balcony beneath ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... the winds that announces the brewing tempest. Virtue, for such is the decree of the Most High, is evermore obliged to pass through the ordeal of temptation, and the thorny paths of adversity. If, in this day of her trial, no foul blot obscure her lustre, no irresolution and instability tarnish the clearness of her spirit, then may she rejoice in the view of her approaching reward, and receive with an open heart the crown that shall be ...
— Imogen - A Pastoral Romance • William Godwin

... sudden and great losses—these are sometimes easily borne compared with those intricate difficulties which, without name and without appearance, work themselves into the web of our daily life, and, if not rightly met, corrode and tarnish all its brightness." ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... Sheen will tarnish, honey cloy, And merry is only a mask of sad, But, sober on a fund of joy, The woods at heart ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 3 (of 4) • Various

... Mr. Brierson, this is dreadful—perfectly dreadful. It will be found out. It is bound to tarnish the good name of the company; our credit will be seriously, most seriously impaired. How could you be so thoughtless—the men ought to have been paid though it ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... no modish thing, The bookman's tribute that I bring; A talk of antiquaries grey, Dust unto dust this many a day, Gossip of texts and bindings old, Of faded type, and tarnish'd gold! ...
— Books and Bookmen • Andrew Lang

... farce, the "rogue." One does not like the word. Is it not clownish to apply it with intention to the husband of Prue? He did not pay, he was always in difficulties, he hid from bailiffs, he did many other things that tarnish honour, more or less, and things for which he had to beg Prue's special pardon; but yet he is not a fit subject for the unhandsome incredulity which is proud to be always at hand with an ironic commentary on ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... discovered that James was a miser, Cora began to see other things, because, once there's a spot for doubt to work, the tarnish soon spreads. James would not buy her a ring, but put five pounds in the bank for her, which didn't interest Cora much; and that's how it stood with them; while as to the other pair, the ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... though some solemn pledge had passed between them—a spiritual troth which nothing in this world could either touch or tarnish. Neither Peter's marriage nor the rash promise Nan had given to Roger could impinge on it. It would carry them through the complex disarray of this world to the edge of the ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... publicity and the nine-days' wonder of the world when they knew that his wife, Lady Redmond—the successor of all the starched and spotless dames who hung in the old guest-chambers—should so forget herself and him as to tarnish his reputation by an act so improper ...
— Wee Wifie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... But I am less sensible of my private afflictions than of the honor of my country, when I see it ready to expose itself to eternal infamy by violating the law of nations, and dishonoring our victory by barbarous cruelty. What! Will you tarnish your glory, and have all the world say that a nation who first dedicated a temple in their city, to Clemency, found none in yours? Triumphs and victories do not give immortal glory to a city; but the use of moderation in ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... blow! Restrain, good Heaven! down, down, thou rebel passion, And, judgment, take the reins. Madam, 'tis well— Your soldier falls degraded; His glory's tarnish'd, and his fame undone. O, bounteous recompence from royal hands! But you, ye implements, beware, beware, What honour wrong'd, and ...
— The Earl of Essex • Henry Jones

... his mother, "where the rich young blood is flowing, belong to another woman! she is the mistress of that innocent brow! Ah! passion will lead to many evils; it will tarnish the look of those eyes, moist as the ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... heart by this cold and grinning kindness as much as by the harshness of Keller or the coarse German banter of Nucingen. The familiarity of the man, and his grotesque gabble excited by champagne, seemed to tarnish the soul of the honest bourgeois as though he came from a house of financial ill-fame. He went down the stairway and found himself in the streets without knowing where he was going. As he walked along the boulevards and reached the Rue Saint-Denis, he recollected Molineux, ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... to a degree that made him prefer affectation and wit to truth and nature. The predominance of his genius was great, and, by consequence, he gave the mortal stab to all true eloquence [a]. When I say this, let me not be suspected of that low malignity which would tarnish the fame of a great character. I admire the man, and the philosopher. The undaunted firmness with which he braved the tyrant's frown, will do immortal honour to his memory. But the fact is (and why should I disguise it?), the virtues of the ...
— A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence • Cornelius Tacitus

... commands, That no hand shall dare divest him Of his veil:— [Chrysanthus is led out. Why, why, O heavens! [aside. Do I pause, but from my breast here Tear my bleeding heart? How act In so dreadful a dilemma? If I say who he is, I tarnish With his guilt my name for ever, And my loyalty if I 'm silent, Since he being here transgresses By that fact alone the edict: Shall I punish him? The offender Is my son. Shall I free him? He Is my enemy and a rebel:— If between these two ...
— The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria - A Drama of Early Christian Rome • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... mother, and her grandmother was a friend of Lydia Becker and a cousin of Mrs. Belloc. John's death had been a horrible numbing shock to Honoria, and she felt hardly in her right mind for three months afterwards. Then on reflection it left some tarnish on her family, even if the memory of the dear dead boy, the too brilliant boy, softened from the poignancy of utter disappointment into a tender sorrow and an infinite ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... in the revolution of the 20th of March, will accuse me of having embellished facts, and designedly distorted the truth. No matter: I have depicted this revolution as I saw it, as I felt it. How many others are pleased, to tarnish the honour of the nation, to represent their countrymen as composed of rebels or cowards! For my part, I think it the duty of a good Frenchman, to prove to all Europe, that the king was ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... plan glories for Erin their mother, Weak plans and wicked plans chasing each other; To me worse than the loss of a sceptre and crown Is a spot that might tarnish my children's renown, 'Tis the laurels they win are the jewels I prize, They're the core of my heart and the light of my eyes; For my children are gems and crown jewels to me, And art thou not one of them, ...
— Verses and Rhymes by the way • Nora Pembroke

... they're up all around you as thick And hard to explain as a conjuror's trick." "It must be on charcoal they fatten their fruit. I taste in them sometimes the flavour of soot. And after all really they're ebony skinned: The blue's but a mist from the breath of the wind, A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand, And less than the tan with which pickers are tanned." "Does Mortenson know what he has, do you think?" "He may and not care and so leave the chewink To gather them for him—you know what he is. He won't make the fact that they're rightfully his An excuse for ...
— North of Boston • Robert Frost

... Prevents Rust, Tarnish, etc., on Firearms, Machinery, Tools, Cutlery, Safes, Saws, Skates, Stoves, Hardware, etc., without injury to the polish. In use over 10 years. Highest Testimonials. Samples 50 cents, three for $1.00, sent free of expressage. ...
— Scientific American, Volume XLIII., No. 25, December 18, 1880 • Various

... to speak of General Moreau, I will recall by what fatal circumstances he was led to tarnish his glory. Madame Bonaparte had given to him in marriage Mademoiselle Hulot, her friend, and, like herself, a native of the Isle of France. This young lady, gentle, amiable, and possessing those qualities which make a good wife and mother, loved her husband passionately, ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... was still the arbiter of political fortune, but it was part of his unostentatious wisdom never to let himself be envied. But Garnet, amid all this business depression upon which March looked down from his sick-room, wore envy on his broad breast like a decoration. There were spots of tarnish on his heavy gilding; not merely the elder Miss Kinsington, but Martha Salter as well, had refused to say good-by to Mademoiselle Eglantine on the eve of her final return to France; Fanny Ravenel had, with cutting playfulness, asked Mrs. Proudfit, as that sister was extolling the Major's ...
— John March, Southerner • George W. Cable

... been taken into consideration. With a growth of altruism, man begins to recognize that he must make provision for the future of the race; that he should apply to all superior families the same anxiety which he feels that his children shall not tarnish the family name by foolish marriages; that they shall grow up strong and intelligent. This feeling interpreted by science is eugenics, an important element of which is religion: for religion more than any other influence leads one to look ahead, and to realize that immediate benefits are not ...
— Applied Eugenics • Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson

... remain friends, but you shall not continually tarnish my poetry with your accursed science! I thank my Creator that He made me ignorant enough to admire the beauties of nature. You are continually peeping behind the scenes, and pointing out the grease paints, the ...
— Pharaoh's Broker - Being the Very Remarkable Experiences in Another World of Isidor Werner • Ellsworth Douglass

... of death pervaded the road, nor was there a single vestige of the scenes of the night, to tarnish the loveliness of a glorious morn. Struck with the contrast between man and nature, the fearless trooper rode by each pass of danger, regardless of what might happen; nor did he rouse himself from his musing, until the noble ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... moved among men their acknowledged chief. He guided and controlled them. He never lost his dignity by daily use. He could steal a horse like Diomede, he could mend his own breeches like Dagobert, and never tarnish the lustre of the crown by it. But in later times the throne has become an anachronism. The wearer of a crown has done nothing to gain it but give himself the trouble to be born. He has no claim to the reverence or respect of men. Yet he insists upon it, and receives ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... has been had. They have the university in Manila, very notable in its members, which has filled the islands with learned men. It is in no respect defective; but is excellent in everything. And although all do not join the church, knowledge does not at all tarnish a captain's reputation; rather, it is enamel upon gold. For he who has the most alert understanding enters and goes out better on occasions, and gives in public the better reason for what is proposed. Besides, ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIII, 1629-30 • Various

... fight for the right to do both, and the dominant idea, the foredoomed attest to control one's destiny, is reserved for the fortunate or unfortunate few. To me the interesting thing about Ardita is the courage that will tarnish with her beauty ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... production, but Slovakia's position with foreign creditors and investors could suffer setbacks in 1998 if progress on privatization and restructuring stalls and if domestic political problems continue to tarnish ...
— The 1998 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... age these two years. My uncle is, as you say, what is called a man of honour, but he is not one of those over-scrupulous fools who will pay any demand, however dishonest and unreasonable, rather than tarnish the family honour, forsooth! No! he will pay what the law compels him, and not a farthing more I leave you to decide whether the law is likely to be of much use to you in the present 84case. Now, listen to me; though you cannot obtain the money by the means you proposed, you can, ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... they are faults that, though they may in a small degree tarnish the lustre and sometimes impede the march of his abilities, have nothing in them to extinguish the fire of great virtues. In those faults there is no mixture of deceit, of hypocrisy, of pride, of ferocity, of ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... them to conceal their misfortunes than to proclaim them; that many a fortress had been saved by the courage of its defenders, and their determination to conceal its weakened condition at all sacrifices. 'Above all things,' he said, 'do not tarnish the honor of our ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No. V, May, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... stampest on thy soul Eternally such misery as thine, And writest on God's conscience-blasting scroll, A wife's dishonour, and a tarnish'd line, To weigh for thee ...
— Poems • Walter R. Cassels

... brought prosperity, even if it is a prosperity that can soil. But the tarnish washes off in night and rain. Ripley may look its best early on a Saturday morning, before the flood rushes down the road. When the little village lies clean and fresh in the sun, and the inns are busy with white tablecloths and cooking potatoes, and the children sit on ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... whom little is known. This is perhaps as well, for such information as is to hand, regarding his life and habits, shows him to have been addicted to no ordinarily evil ways. The lustre which his father and grandfather had added to the family name William seems to have spared no effort to tarnish. When profligacy was so fashionable, a man must have lived hard indeed to attract attention. Nevertheless, Samuel Pepys, the Diarist, refers to him more than once, each time commenting upon the vileness of his company ...
— Berry And Co. • Dornford Yates

... The other tarnish on the clear mirror was of a graver kind. Notice that he does not ask Elisha's sanction to his intended compromise, but simply announces his intention, and hopes for forgiveness. It looks ill when a man, in the first fervour of adopting a new faith, is casting about ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... to her and his manner to others, she believed that she could now understand all that he intended. She was to be held in disgrace perhaps for a long time, but appearances were to be kept up. No breath of scandal was to tarnish the reputation of the Rodchurch postmaster; the curious world must not be allowed the very slightest peep behind the scenes of his private life; and she, without explicit instructions, was to assist in preventing any one—even poor humble Mary—from guessing that as husband ...
— The Devil's Garden • W. B. Maxwell

... forty, I visited that church. I looked earnestly at the altar-piece. I was astonished, hurt, disgusted. It was a coarse daub. The freshness of the painting had been long changed by the dark tarnish of years, and the blighting of damp atmosphere. There were some remains of beauty in the expression, and elegance in the attitude; but, as a piece of art it was but a second-rate performance. Age dispels many illusions, and suffers for it. Truly youth and enthusiasm ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... tarnish free May boldly vaunt her purity, But ah, how keen, however bright, The sabre glitter to the sight, Its splendor's lost, its polish vain, Till some bold ...
— Oriental Literature - The Literature of Arabia • Anonymous

... purple of the vellum must have been very splendid, but now the action of the air has blackened it, as it has done in many other instances where silver was used in illumination. Even gold will gather tarnish, and in several such MSS. has turned of a rusty red. Gold ink was not invariably confined to tinted vellum; it was often used on the plain ground. The copy of the Old Testament in Greek, presented by the high ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... its predecessor, and, unlike other great adventurers, whose course from insignificance to splendour was broken, through a series of mischances or their own unsteadiness of character, his progress knew no culminating point—his fame no tarnish, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... for which he can't be tried in the law courts? Do you call a man honourable when he has done something for which he must blush when he is alone? Is a man honourable when he has done things for which no one can reproach him and for which he cannot be punished, but which tarnish his conscience? I think there are things that are lower and viler than cheating at the card-table; and the indulgence with which society looks on makes me feel as though society is an accomplice, and I think it ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... we are no longer anxious lest misfortune should sully his glory. He has traveled on to the end of his journey and carried with him an increasing weight of honor. He has deposited it safely, where misfortune can not tarnish it, where malice can not blast it. Favored of Heaven, he departed without exhibiting the weakness of humanity. Magnanimous in death, the darkness of the grave could not ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 4) of Volume 1: John Adams • Edited by James D. Richardson

... in themselves. Their hopes were boundless. They loved, they were loved, happy, without a shadow, without a doubt, without a fear of the future. Wonderful serenity of those days of spring! Not a cloud in the sky. A faith so fresh that it seems that nothing can ever tarnish it. A joy so abounding that nothing can ever exhaust it. Are they living? Are they dreaming? Doubtless they are dreaming. There is nothing in common between life and their dream—nothing, except in that moment of magic: they are but a dream themselves; their ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... necessity. Wiser than Napoleon, Alexander would not contest the sovereignty of the seas with the great naval power of the day, and he even, when he once felt himself strongly lodged in Asia, disbanded his naval force,[14361] that so it might be impossible for disaster at sea to tarnish his prestige. He was convinced that Asia could be won by the land force which he had been permitted to disembark on its shores, and probably anticipated the transfer of naval supremacy which almost immediately followed on the victory of Issus. ...
— History of Phoenicia • George Rawlinson

... enthusiasm, which compelled his respect, aroused his admiration. She was not a common woman, and he could not succeed in blinding himself to that fact. Even the garish, cheap environments, the glitter and tinsel, the noise and brutality, had utterly failed to tarnish Beth Norvell. She stood forth different, distinct, a perfectly developed flower, rarely beautiful, although blooming in muck that was overgrown with noxious weeds. Winston remained clearly conscious that some peculiar essence ...
— Beth Norvell - A Romance of the West • Randall Parrish

... scenery there were to sketch; what a rich combination of nature and art! And what a world of colour, with the clear blue sea in the distance! Altogether, that one day at Genoa—though but a succession of glimpses formed a bright spot in my life, that neither time nor distance can dim or tarnish. ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... was! For the hearts of the whole nation, North and South, were in the war. We of the South were not ashamed; for, like the men of the North, we were fighting for 'flags we loved; and when men fight for these things, and under these convictions, with nothing sordid to tarnish their cause, that cause is holy, the blood spilt for it is sacred, the life that is laid down for it is consecrated. To-day we no longer regret the result, to-day we are glad it came out as it did, but we are not ashamed that ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... Its rich attire of honorable deeds; Its fair report that's rife on good men's tongues; It can not lay its hands on these, no more Than it can pluck the brightness from the sun, Or with polluted finger tarnish it. ...
— McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... rise from the mist of the fair Chattahoochee, to spread their beauty over the thick forest, to guide the hero whose bosom beats with aspirations to conquer the enemy that would tarnish his name, and to win back the admiration of his ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... well to clean brass andirons, handles, &c. with vinegar. It makes them very clean at first; but they soon spot and tarnish. Rotten-stone and oil are proper materials for cleaning brasses. If wiped every morning with flannel and New England rum, they will not need to be cleaned ...
— The American Frugal Housewife • Lydia M. Child

... and as if this were the very land of Cockaigne, as Sir Richard Whittington had dreamt it. Neither he nor St. Andrew himself would know their own saltire made in cloth of silver, 'the very metal to tarnish!' ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in the capacity of a private soldier, and, oh! bitter and humiliating reflection, in that most wretched and disgraceful of all situations, a suspected traitor, I am not indeed what I seem to be. It is not for me here to enter into the history of my past life; neither will I tarnish the hitherto unsullied reputation of my family by disclosing my true name. Suffice it to observe, I am a gentleman by birth; and although, of late years, I have known all the hardships and privations attendant on my fallen ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... office. He had long been the prop of the Ministry in the House of Commons, and was by far the most sagacious member of the Government. Throughout his Parliamentary career, what has happily been called his "clear, placid, mellow splendor" had suffered no tarnish, and had not been obscured by a single cloud. Always ready, well informed, lucid in argument, and convincing in manner, he had virtually assumed the leadership in the House of Commons, and his elevation would in no way have altered the aspect ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... had no faith in her. No shrewd, common-sense man would have had. Besides, this was his Christmas night: the beginning of his new life, when he was coming near to Christ in his happy home and great love. Was this foul worm of the gutter to crawl in and tarnish it all? ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... instrument construction, however, a thin coat of silver is seldom to be recommended, on account of its liability to tarnish and its rapid destruction when any attempt is made to repolish it. For these reasons, nickel or gold plating is much to ...
— On Laboratory Arts • Richard Threlfall

... perhaps may seem to receive some tarnish from the political conduct of Pericles; the concurrence, at least, which is imputed to him, in depraving the Athenian Constitution, to favor that popular power by which he ruled, and the revival and confirmation of that pernicious hostility between the democratical and aristocratical ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... went from one door to another, and entered spacious and faded chambers, some rudely shuttered, some receiving their full charge of daylight, all empty and unhomely. It was a rich house, on which Time had breathed his tarnish and dust had scattered disillusion. The spider swung there; the bloated tarantula scampered on the cornices; ants had their crowded highways on the floor of halls of audience; the big and foul fly, that lives ...
— The Merry Men - and Other Tales and Fables • Robert Louis Stevenson

... found herself slipping back into the old feminine vocabulary—simply "horrid" to think of a young girl's being allowed to listen to such talk. The fact that Una smoked cigarettes and sipped an occasional cocktail did not in the least tarnish a certain radiant innocency which made her appear the victim, rather than the accomplice, of her parents' vulgarities. Julia Westall felt in a hot helpless way that something ought to be done—that some one ought to speak to the ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... fresh from water (Arab. "Rutub"), before the air can tarnish them. The pearl (margarita) in Arab. is Lu'lu'; the "unio" or large pearl Durr, plur. Durar. In modern parlance Durr is the second quality of the twelve into ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 7 • Richard F. Burton

... join in his scheme of personal ambition or revenge under the false and delusive pretense of extending the area of freedom. These reprehensible aggressions but retard the true progress of our nation and tarnish its fair fame. They should therefore receive the indignant frowns of every good citizen who sincerely loves his country and takes a pride ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume - V, Part 1; Presidents Taylor and Fillmore • James D. Richardson

... are now put in the crucible In which every worthless metal is tried, In which gold is cleansed from every tarnish; The Scripture is true in everything it says; It says we must suffer before we can be cured; It is through repentance we shall find forgiveness, And the restoring of all that ...
— Poets and Dreamers - Studies and translations from the Irish • Lady Augusta Gregory and Others

... every vice, then, little wretch? Take care! you are on a downward path. Did not you reflect that this infamous book might fall in the hands of my children, kindle a spark in their minds, tarnish the purity of Athalie, corrupt Napoleon. He is already formed like a man. Are you quite sure, anyhow, that they have not read it? Can ...
— Madame Bovary • Gustave Flaubert

... nation brutes no longer, Till some reason ye shall find, Worthier of regard and stronger Than the color of our kind. Slaves of gold! whose sordid dealings Tarnish all your boasted powers; Prove that you have human feelings, Ere you proudly ...
— The Liberty Minstrel • George W. Clark

... inquiry, subtly—though unintentionally—suggesting that the manor lord had returned and therefore the womenfolk must haste with ministering, greatly restored his self-esteem. Again the sword began to lose its tarnish; again it flashed in his hand with zest; again in imagination his company stepped off with ...
— Where the Souls of Men are Calling • Credo Harris

... fashion, the coming of the Arabs. The Colonel, with his hands back in his trouser-pockets, tried to whistle out of his dry lips. Belmont folded his arms and leaned against a rock, with a sulky frown upon his lowering face. So strangely do our minds act that his three successive misses, and the tarnish to his reputation as a marksman, was troubling him more than his impending fate. Cecil Brown stood erect, and plucked nervously at the up-turned points of his little prim moustache. Monsieur Fardet groaned over his wounded ...
— The Tragedy of The Korosko • Arthur Conan Doyle

... it is I who keep you, my future prospects would be destroyed. What client would confide his interests to the imbecile who ruined himself for the woman who has been the talk of all Paris? I am not a great lord, I have neither an historical name to tarnish, nor an immense fortune to lose. I am plain Noel Gerdy, a advocate. My reputation is all that I possess. It is a false one, I admit. Such as it is, however, I must keep it, and I ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

... an old silk gown takes on quite a new value and becomes invested with absorbing interest. Spots and tarnish disappear in the metempsychosis, or serve for scattered variation, and if the weaver chooses to still further embellish it with a monogram or design in cross stitch embroidery, she has acquired a piece of drapery which might be a valuable ...
— How to make rugs • Candace Wheeler

... wealth. It is contended by the advocates of slavery, that it accumulates wealth more rapidly, and thus enriches the nation, although it may depress its moral and intellectual development, its increase of numbers and of power, and tarnish its reputation throughout the world. As population and its labor create wealth, it must be retarded by a system which, as we have seen in this case, diminishes the relative advance of numbers in the ratio of more than 9 to 1. But the census proves that slavery greatly ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 1 January 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... change to feelings of abhorrence the present admiration of the world. But pardon the supposition of so impossible an event. I believe that justice and mercy may be considered as the attributes of your character, and that you will not tarnish their ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... and manifests itself through it, is in these pieces so vague and attenuated that it fades into the background of the concert-hall, is like gray upon gray. The gems and gold thread and filigree with which this work is sewn tarnish in the gloom. Something is there, we perceive, something that moves and sways and rises and ebbs fitfully in the dim light. But it is a wraithlike thing, and undulates and falls before our eyes like flames that have neither redness nor heat. Even the ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... the youth murmured audibly: "No, in spite of everything, the fatherland first, first the Philippines, the child of Spain, first the Spanish fatherland! No, that which is decreed by fate does not tarnish the honor of ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... A dazzling, sparkling heap spilled out on the sand. There were heaps of gold and silver coins, the silver black with tarnish but the gold still bright. There were pearls, rubies, diamonds, beryls, emeralds, opals, sapphires, amethysts. And bracelets, necklaces, pendants, sunbursts, brooches, rings, pins, combs, buckles, lockets, buttons, crucifixes. ...
— David and the Phoenix • Edward Ormondroyd

... in passing with her husband over to the party of the Importants, she being the first of her family to forsake the government. Under the leadership of La Rochefoucauld, she cast her lot with the opposing party, allowing herself to be identified with the interests of those who had endeavored to tarnish her early reputation. Becoming a leader with Mme. de Chevreuse and Mme. de Montbazon (her rival), she easily won over her young brother, the Prince de Conti. After the imprisonment of her husband and her two ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... can avert, dearest Helen," cried Wallace, "shall ever tarnish the fame of one whose purity can only be transcended by her who is now made perfect in heaven! Consent, noblest of women, to wear, for the few days I may yet linger here, a name which thy sister angel has sanctified to me. Give me a legal right to call you mine, and Edward himself will not ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... as he found it. The radicals were satisfied with the various enactments as they stood, and if there were infractions it became a matter of the police and sheriffs, and the Governor could not be held accountable. And he laid stress on the fact that the people did not want a Governor to tarnish the dignity of his office by ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... whom I worship grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory, and may no misconduct in any one tarnish it, and may humanity after victory, be the predominant feature in the British fleet! For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him that made me; and may his blessing alight on my endeavors for serving my country faithfully! To him I resign myself, and the just ...
— Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean • Marmaduke Park

... tingling. Love came to him, the first, clean white flame of first love, burning like a lamp in the heart of a man. It was for this, he knew, that he had been woman-shy, that he had cherished his own thought of womanhood as something so rare a thought might tarnish it. First love, shorn of boy fallacies, strong, irresistible, protective, passionate. He closed his eyes and, for the first time in his life, touched leather, gripping the horn of his saddle as if he would squeeze it to ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... through them. Her only happiness, now, was to enjoy in peace her large fortune and her past royalty, and she had but one passion left—to defend her past, to extend its fame, suppressing everything that might tarnish it later. Her pride, which lived on the double exploit of which the inhabitants still spoke, watched with jealous care, resolved to leave in existence only creditable documents, those traditions which caused her to be saluted like ...
— Doctor Pascal • Emile Zola

... and lost sight of under mountains of rubbish. True that he now denied a number of books published under supposititious names, and which had been universally attributed to him; but enough remained, which he could not deny, to tarnish, if not to cancel his fame. To these he has since, with the reckless and inconsiderate greed that cares not for the public, so long as it finds a publisher, considerably added. His self-sufficiency is unparalleled; and in the preface to an edition of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... to Henry, lest I should any way involve him in my misfortunes: he is formed to shine in the polite world, and his connexion with me might tarnish the lustre of his character in the eyes of the 'nice-judging fair.' I hope, however, that he will not utterly discard me from his heart, though I cannot dance a reel. I beg that he will break open the lock of the trunk that is in my room, and take out of it my ...
— Tales And Novels, Volume 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... were to be found together as often as they had been in their freshman's year, and it was Julian's countenance and affection that tended more than anything else to repair Kennedy's damaged popularity, and remove the tarnish attaching to ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... thanks to General Oudinot: 'The victory of the French arms is won over the enemies of human society.' Yes! gentlemen, such will be the judgment of impartial history; and it will be one of the brightest glories of France and the nineteenth century. You will not attenuate, tarnish, eclipse this glory by plunging into a mass of contradictions, complications, and inextricable inconsistency. Know you what would dim for ever the lustre of the French flag? It would be to set it in opposition to the Cross, to the Tiara, which it has delivered. It would be to transform ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... having contributed to secure the conquest which their more fortunate countrymen had effected. But these discontents were appeased, though with some difficulty, by their noble leader, who besought his men not to tarnish the laurels already won, by mingling a sordid avarice with the generous motives which had promoted them to the expedition. After the necessary time devoted to repose and refreshment, the combined armies proceeded to evacuate Alhama, ...
— History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 • William H. Prescott

... boasted, who never discussed their intentions or plans until they were carried out, were the men to take the law into their own hands when their honor was involved, no matter who was hurt. Such a catastrophe would not only bring to light her own misery, but the unavoidable publicity would tarnish still further the good name of her people at home. Even were only an attempt on Dalton's life made, and an official investigation held—as she was convinced would be the case—the scandal would be almost as bad. Rather than have this occur she would make any sacrifice, even that of humiliating ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith



Words linked to "Tarnish" :   blot, discolouration, defile, spot, blob, sully, fleck, darken, stain



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