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Torturing   /tˈɔrtʃərɪŋ/   Listen
Torturing

noun
1.
The deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason.  Synonym: torture.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Torturing" Quotes from Famous Books



... to tell her mother of that fact—the safety of the closed receiving switch. She felt condemned. Suppose her mother had been frightened by the thunder and lightning and should pay for it with one of her long and torturing sick headaches? ...
— The Campfire Girls of Roselawn - A Strange Message from the Air • Margaret Penrose

... the better hope,' she began; but the impatient movement of his foot warned her that she was only torturing him, and she proceeded,—'Well, I trust you implicitly; I can understand that there may be confidences that ought not to pass between us, and will give you what you require to help you out of your difficulty. ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... pounds of other hair and a big bow of ribbon. Keep the front locks on pins all night, and let them tickle his eyes all day, pinch his waist into a corset, and give him gloves a size too small and shoes the same, and a hat that will not stay on without torturing elastic, and a little lace veil to blind his eyes whenever he goes out to walk, and he will know what a ...
— Peck's Sunshine - Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, - Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882 • George W. Peck

... let it lie. He went out of the cave, and cursed his hard fate. But he came back. It was one of those horrible things a man abhors, yet cannot keep away from. He took it up and dashed it down with rage many times; but it all ended in his lighting the lamp at night, and torturing himself with every word ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... water was plentifully poured upon the cold, damp ground on which he stood with mangled feet; his hands were tied behind him by the two thumbs; a rope was passed under his shoulders and fastened to a beam over his head; and in this torturing condition he was left to stand during the night. Orders were also issued that no one should give him food. After being kept here nearly two days, with some mitigations, and repeatedly importuned to sign the recantation, with terrific ...
— History Of The Missions Of The American Board Of Commissioners For Foreign Missions To The Oriental Churches, Volume I. • Rufus Anderson

... had come, out of travail, and brain-racking perplexity and torturing effort, crossing rushing waters and matching his splendid strength and towering will against obstacles, ...
— Tom Slade Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... could have got anything he asked for 'em. He says to me afterward why don't I train some of mine and trim her good? But I told him I'm cinched for hell, anyway, and don't have to make it tighter by torturing ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... long enough to put the plain business question which had been torturing his soul for the last ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... of this torturing suspense an idea came to him, and at the same instant Jack Landis entered the doorway. He stood there looking vast against the night. One glance around was sufficient to teach him the meaning of the silence. The stage was set, and the way opened ...
— Gunman's Reckoning • Max Brand

... bloom correctly designates the first kiss of love. But all this is nothing compared to the last (have you any more wine, Julius?). That is the whole of Mozart's finale, popping champagne corks, ringing glasses, Leporello's voice between, the grasping, torturing demons, the fleeing Don Juan—and then the end, that beautifully soothes and closes all.' Florestan concluded by saying that he had never experienced feelings similar to those awakened by the finale. When the evening ...
— Great Violinists And Pianists • George T. Ferris

... And fierce Thalestris fans the rising fire. 'O wretched maid!' she spread her hands, and cried, (While Hampton's echoes 'wretched maid!' replied) 'Was it for this you took such constant care The bodkin, comb, and essence to prepare? For this your locks in paper durance bound, For this with torturing irons wreath'd around? 100 For this with fillets strain'd your tender head, And bravely bore the double loads of lead? Gods! shall the ravisher display your hair, While the fops envy, and the ladies stare? Honour forbid! at whose unrivall'd shrine Ease, pleasure, ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... give people pain. You take a fiendish delight in torturing others. But if you think you can influence me in the slightest degree, you're ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... with an eminent member of the medical profession, whom I met habitually for a long period, and to whose memory I consecrated a few pages as a prelude to a work of his own, written under very peculiar circumstances. He was the subject of a slow, torturing, malignant, and almost necessarily fatal disease. Knowing well that the mind would feed upon itself if it were not supplied with food from without, he determined to write a treatise on a subject which had greatly interested him, and which would oblige him to bestow much of his time ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... father. The mother loves the children and the children love the mother. When the children are disobedient, it becomes necessary for the father or the mother to discipline them; and sometimes by using the rod. But no loving parent would for a moment think of torturing his or her child. Just punishment is always for the purpose of doing ultimate good, and where the parents are compelled to punish or discipline their children they do it because they love them. The apostle Paul, discussing the discipline by earthly ...
— The Harp of God • J. F. Rutherford

... call me back, and ask me where I had buried the treasures. Her priests would fail to console her, and she would become superstitious, and resort to clairvoyants and mediums for the solution of the torturing mystery. But no prayer or curse will reach me, no incantation of conjurers or spirit-rappers will call me back. The dead do not return, either for promised kisses or ...
— Dr. Dumany's Wife • Mr Jkai

... or our guilt we owe. In every other circumstance, the mind Has this to say, 'It was no deed of mine;' But when to all the evil of misfortune This sting is added—'Blame thy foolish self!' Or worser far, the pangs of keen remorse; The torturing, gnawing consciousness of guilt,— Of guilt, perhaps, where we've involved others; The young, the innocent, who fondly lov'd us, Nay, more, that very love their cause of ruin! O burning hell! in all thy store of torments, There's not a keener lash! Lives there ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... the Pope presented him with a consecrated hat and sword, an honour which had previously been bestowed only on reigning sovereigns. In Spain it was regarded not only as a sacred duty but a pleasant amusement for the King and his Court to watch the torturing of heretics. England alone—then a comparatively weak and insignificant country—stood out against this overwhelming combination. And in attempting to realize the position of affairs we must remember ...
— Is Ulster Right? • Anonymous

... seemed very lonely indeed when they had gone, but Dorothy was a healthy, prairie-bred girl, and not given to torturing herself with ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... little comfort in recognizing that he had made no demands on her affection. Bitter as she was, she could not blame him; she had been madly foolish and must suffer for it. She called her pride to the rescue, but it failed her. The torturing anxiety about the man's fate remained, and with it a humiliating regret, which was not altogether selfish, that it was Sylvia Marston he had chosen. Sylvia, who was clever, had, of course, tricked him; ...
— Ranching for Sylvia • Harold Bindloss

... out of the boat at this unknown distance from home, and walking for long miles,—all helped to bring her into more complete subjection to that strong, mysterious charm which made a last parting from Stephen seem the death of all joy, and made the thought of wounding him like the first touch of the torturing iron before which resolution shrank. And then there was the present happiness of being with him, which was enough to absorb all her ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... torturing joy the sounds Drop burning on thine ear; The mother-heart, though bleeding, bounds Her dying ...
— A Hidden Life and Other Poems • George MacDonald

... disagreeably, and I seek either by looking away or by wishing the man away to protect myself from this physiologically-inimical influence, which already eliminates all feeling of friendship for this harmless individual. Now I see that the man is torturing an animal,—I do not like to see this, it affects me painfully; hence I wish him out of the way still more energetically. If he goes on so, adding one disagreeable characteristic to another, I might break his bones to stop him, ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... must try to sleep," he said, to prevent her from speaking any more of the words that were torturing him. "We must have our siesta. I had very little sleep ...
— The Call of the Blood • Robert Smythe Hichens

... the hills, who had grown corn in his back yard and thought he had a right to make whiskey out of it—he had no other means of livelihood. Breakers of God's laws; of man's; victims of tricks and legal technicalities, of torturing want and of headlong passion, and of sheer court errors or of perjured testimony—here they were, all on the same footing, no discriminations made! To what end? So that they might be punished and repent and go forth better men and useful workers, and so that ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... same day, or the next, that the man fell and could not rise again? The woman did not know. Something had got into her brain and was dancing there and would not stop; something blent of sun and glare, sand, mirage, torturing thirst. There was a little gray scorpion, too—but no, that had been crushed to a pulp by the man's heel. Or had it ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... to get the papers. When she opened the senseless chamber of wood, she found herself in the presence of many a torturing, tender memory. In one compartment there were a number of trout-flies. She remembered the day her husband had made them—a long, rainy, happy day during his last visit. Every time she passed him, he drew her face down to kiss it. And she could hear little Joris talking about the work, and his ...
— The Bow of Orange Ribbon - A Romance of New York • Amelia E. Barr

... to die. Life for him meant torturing death to whatever lay in his path. It meant untold agony for whomsoever his hand fell upon. And greater to me than these then was the murderous conflict just ended, in which I had by very miracle escaped death again and again. Men do not fight such battles to weep forgiving tears on one another's ...
— The Price of the Prairie - A Story of Kansas • Margaret Hill McCarter

... to camp-meetings after you made a high-toned lady of me, and I've never sung since you objected that morning; but it's hurt me not to—it's all there; and if it could come out in camp- meeting along with all the rest that's torturing me, I think I'd feel better. You've always been fine and happy, you don't know the relief it is ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... unsophisticated; but it chanced that she possessed a mind natively maiden. Through all her vigil, through all her questioning and novel self-criticism, her mind's-eye picture of Canning, as his arms went round her, ran like a torturing motif. The portrait became detestable to her. She hated him, she would hate him forever as the man who had cruelly revealed to her that love and his base brother can speak with the same voice ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... "I don't like torturing bees," explained the old man. "And, moreover, I consider them not at all pretty; they look like hairy ...
— In Midsummer Days and Other Tales • August Strindberg

... a bulky package, which it needed no ingenuity to identify as the late crimson-lake. She would have to be pleasant with Diva, for much as that perfidious woman might enjoy telling her where this furtive bridge-party had taken place, she might enjoy even more torturing her with uncertainty. Diva could, if put to it, give no answer whatever to a direct question, but, skilfully changing the subject, talk about something ...
— Miss Mapp • Edward Frederic Benson

... be shot, because she is a woman," the captain's wife said. "If you survive, I am sure that you would not shoot a woman. Torturing her will be quite sufficient; but if you are killed in this pursuit, I want one thing, and that is to fight with her; I will kill her with my own hands, and the others can do what they like with her ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... which, however, had, of course, been less solemn; and then his wife had answered him with a full, but not grieving heart. "Had our lot," he once said, "been cast in an Indian village, the prejudices of the country would have required you to submit to a horrid, torturing death upon my tomb. The prejudices of Christian lands, which attribute blame to the wife who does not yield herself a living sacrifice to a life of desolation from a false regard to her husband's memory, are, ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... him. His dugout was a cabin in the Yukon where he had lived a year, or it was a speeding train carrying him away from an old home and into the wilderness. There were times when Marshall Sothern, bending over him, was an enemy, torturing him. Times when the old man was his own father and Drennen put out his hands to him, his face alight. Times when the sick man cursed and reviled him. Times when he broke into shouting song or laughter or raved of his gold. But most ...
— Wolf Breed • Jackson Gregory

... Carol to Kennicott as they stooped before the northwest gale which was torturing the barren street, "that this is a moral country. We don't allow any of these beastly ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... It is the book of a man seeing a vision. To understand how this vision broke upon him we have first to try to understand something jealously hidden by Gilbert Chesterton—his own suffering. Even as a boy—in the days of the toothache and still more torturing earache—he had written ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... built around the foot of the hill on which his camp was pitched. A war of extermination on both sides now took place; Theodore showing no pity to the peasants whom he succeeded in capturing, and they, on their side, torturing and murdering any one who belonged to the Emperor's camp. A detailed account of the atrocities committed by Theodore during the last month of his stay in Begemder would be too horrible to narrate: suffice it to say that he burnt alive, or sentenced to some cruel death, in that short ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... the fretful craving to see the antecedents of the torturing woman spread out before him. He conceived a passion for her girlhood. He begged for portraits of her as a girl. She showed him the portrait of Harry Lovell in a locket. He held the locket between his fingers. Dead Harry was kept very warm. Could brains ever ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... fallen with more precise and terrible justice. On the very spot on which thousands of his subjects and fellow-creatures, innocent of all crime save a desire for progress, had worn out their lives in torturing toil to provide the gold that had gilded his luxury, he fell as the Idol fell of old in the temple ...
— The Angel of the Revolution - A Tale of the Coming Terror • George Griffith

... and a blind, childless prisoner, without counsellors or friends, was harmless. But to make the sight of his slaughtered sons the poor wretch's last sight, was a refinement of gratuitous delight in torturing. Thus singularly was Ezekiel's enigma solved and harmonised with its apparent contradictions in Jeremiah's prophecies: 'Yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there' (Ezek. ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... bare, hair flowing like waves, and assuming attitudes which the gods could not resist, but which saints withstood, and looks inflexible and ardent like those with which the serpent charms the bird; and then he gave way before looks that held him in a torturing grasp and delighted his senses as with a voluptuous kiss. It seemed to Franz that he closed his eyes, and in a last look about him saw the vision of modesty completely veiled; and then followed a dream of passion like that promised by the Prophet ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... at the thought. Never having had a really guilty conscience herself, Bessie had no means of knowing what a torturing, weakening thing it is. She could not properly imagine Jake's mental state, in which everything that happened alarmed him. Having done wrong, he fancied all the time that he was about to be haled up, ...
— The Camp Fire Girls on the March - Bessie King's Test of Friendship • Jane L. Stewart

... her tribe, who laid siege to her affection with such vehemence that the more he pleaded the greater was her dislike; and now she hoped that she had seen the last of him. But that was not to be. He lurked about the wigwam of the pair, torturing himself with the sight of their felicity, and awaiting his chance to prove his hate. This chance came when the husband had gone to Lake Delaware to fish, for he rowed after and gave battle in the ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... torturing suspense had passed since the terrible awakening, which but served to make the feeling of restored security the more delightful, and the remainder of the night was spent in relating the events of the rencontre. Louisa's was not the least interesting: she had been regardless of danger ...
— Tales for Young and Old • Various

... into the room, the prelate said; 'You are charged with the heinous sin of sacrilegious utterances against the holy church, which you will confess and for which you will be tortured even after confession. Your torturing, because of your insults to the church and its high officials, will be a compound of duty and pleasure to us. Until you confess your sins, express sorrow for same and consent to serve the church with loyal and unselfish devotion in whatever tasks shall be assigned ...
— Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight • Mathew Joseph Holt

... had the naming of you I should have called you Maria of the Soapsuds. You're always torturing these ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... the thing that sticks most in the heart of them that live in the wilderness and have wives and daughters;—to think of their falling into the hands of the brutes, who murder and scalp a woman just as readily as a man. As to their torturing them, that's not so certain, but the brutes arn't a bit too good for it; and I did h'ar of their burning one poor woman at Sandusky. But now, Captain, if you are anxious to have the young lady, your sister, in safety, h'yar's the place to stick up your tent-poles, h'yar, in this ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... have nothing left to hope for," whispered Stanley after a time, "we might as well close the air valves and get it over with at once. No use torturing ourselves...." ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... of July, 1776, is now arrived; and America, manfully springing from the torturing fangs of the British Lion, now rises majestic in the pride of her sovereignty, and bids her Eagle elevate his wings!—The solemn declaration of Independence is now pronounced, amidst crowds of admiring citizens, by the supreme ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume I. No. VI. June, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... Who, indeed? Hadn't I been torturing my brain for seventy-nine hours, sleeping as well as waking, with that one unanswered and ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... some malignant spirit seemed to be torturing him with a slow realization of all he had lost; taunting him with the possibility of regaining it and the ...
— A Mountain Europa • John Fox Jr.

... cruelly beaten and whipped, caesam fustibus flagellisque, &c. Jerom, tom. i. p. 121, ad Principiam. See Augustin, de Civ. Dei, l. c. 10. The modern Sacco di Roma, p. 208, gives an idea of the various methods of torturing prisoners for gold.] ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... letter, or even the name of the person to whom it was addressed. But his chase was almost ended. Madame Leon had reached the Hotel de Chalusse, and now went in. Should he follow her? His curiosity was torturing him to such a degree that he had an idea of doing so; and it required an heroic effort of will to resist the temptation successfully. But a gleam of common sense warned him that this would be a terrible blunder. Once already during the evening his conduct had attracted ...
— The Count's Millions - Volume 1 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... to their beauty. The great pleasure lay in deeds of outrage, in striking and making them weep. Even in the seventeenth century the great ladies died with laughing, when the Duke of Lorraine told them how, in peaceful villages, his people went about harrying and torturing all the ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... from the cruel heart of a barbarous despot. Some malignant and vindictive Sheik, some brutal Mezentius, must have sat for many pictures of the Divinity. It was not enough to kill his captive enemy, after torturing him as much as ingenuity could contrive to do it. He escaped at last by death, but his conqueror could not give him up so easily, and so his vengeance followed him into the unseen and unknown world. How the ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... without any fear of him now, ready for anything, and almost triumphant, for she had found means of torturing him continually, during ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... into the remoter valleys of young Kentucky for their voluntary exile, she would find help! Many an afternoon when the world was blithe she had been wont to stop and listen to the mellow peal of its bell floating across her mountains on an easterly evening breeze, and in all of this torturing night of wandering she imagined it was calling. The good sisters gathered her in as though she were that more treasured lamb than the ninety and nine, nor would they hearken to her leaving. The sheriff soon came to their call, and in his honest, gruff ...
— Sunlight Patch • Credo Fitch Harris

... MADAM,—I have been torturing my philosophy to no purpose to account for that kind partiality of yours, which has followed me, in my return to the shade of life, with assiduous benevolence. Often did I regret, in the fleeting hours of my late will-o'-wisp appearance, that "here I had no continuing ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... sublimity of the Prometheus dwarfs into littleness every image of hero or demigod with which we contrast it. What are the chorus of mariners, and the astute Ulysses, and the boyish generosity of Neoptolemus—what is the lonely cave on the shores of Lemnos—what the high-hearted old warrior, with his torturing wound and his sacred bow—what are all these to the vast Titan, whom the fiends chain to the rock beneath which roll the rivers of hell, for whom the daughters of Ocean are ministers, to whose primeval birth the gods of Olympus are the upstarts of a day, whose soul is the treasure-house ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... only be human,—cannot be altogether men of God; and so they have oppressed us, and burned us, and tortured us, and hence come to love palaces, and fine linen, and purple, and, alas, sometimes, mere luxury and idleness. The torturing and the burning, as also to speak truth the luxury and the idleness, have, among us, been already conquered, but the idea of ascendancy remains. What is a thoughtful man to do who acknowledges the danger of his soul, but cannot swallow his ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... historian, knew him, and had heard him say, that "if the king put forth the New Testament in English, he would not live to bear it."[106] And yet he could not bear to see a heretic die. What was it? Had the meaning of that awful figure hanging on the torturing cross suddenly revealed itself? Had some inner voice asked him whether, in the prayer for his persecutors with which Christ had parted out of life, there might be some affinity with words which had lately sounded in his own ears? God, into whose hands he threw himself, ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... twenty-ninth of April," says Grant, "the troops were at Hard Times (Arkansas), and the fleet (another fleet), under Admiral Porter, made an attack upon Grand Gulf (Mississippi), while I reconnoitered." But that twenty-ninth was a year later, when New Orleans for three hundred and sixty-five separate soul-torturing days had been sitting in the twilight of her captivity, often writhing and raving in it, starved to madness for news of Lee's and Stonewall's victories and of her boys, her ragged, gaunt, superb, bleeding, dying, on-pressing boys, and getting only such dubious crumbs ...
— Kincaid's Battery • George W. Cable

... demerits of suicide conceived in the spirit of the metaphysician. It is a dramatic description of a familiar phase of emotional depression; it explains nothing; it propounds no theory. It reflects a state of feeling; it breathes that torturing spirit of despondency which kills all hope of mitigating either the known ills of life or the imagined ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... in the moment of his relief from this torturing anxiety. Suppose they had told him that he wouldn't do? And he had studied the lessons with unswerving determination. Night and day he had held to his ideal. He knew that when you did this your hour was bound ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... heart was hot A while ago: whereof no more He cared for some, and some right sore Had vexed him, being fulfilled at last. And when the thought of these had passed Still something was there left behind, That by no torturing of his mind Could he in any language name, Or into form of ...
— The Earthly Paradise - A Poem • William Morris

... inhumanity of the Dutch. Lamentable events which had taken place in the Spice Islands were repeatedly brought on our stage. The Englishmen were all saints and heroes; the Dutchmen all fiends in human shape, lying, robbing, ravishing, murdering, torturing. The angry passions which these pieces indicated had more than once found vent in war. Thrice in the lifetime of one generation the two nations had contended, with equal courage and with various fortune, for the sovereignty of the German ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... own part in the fray, when I recognized in the five-feathered chieftain of the three that copper-hued imp of Satan who had been the merciless master of ceremonies at the torturing of my poor black Tomas, the decent meed of mercy which even a seasoned soldier may cherish died within me, and I made sure the ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... punishment awaited any attack they might make upon the intruders, even though circumstances justified it. But as the Indian's evidence could not be received in a court of justice, the white man's oath would condemn him to the most torturing punishment." ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... the cavern in which he was kneeling filled with frightful figures; I saw all the sins, wickedness, vices, and ingratitude of mankind torturing and crushing him to the earth; the horror of death and terror which he felt as man at the sight of the expiatory sufferings about to come upon him, surrounded and assailed his Divine Person under the forms of hideous spectres. He fell from ...
— The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ • Anna Catherine Emmerich

... a great laugh, and exclaimed, "What on earth are we all torturing ourselves for? Do let's go and get some tea." And then carried Gwenny on his shoulders to the pier-entrance, where he delivered her to her proprietors, and then they all sauntered teawards, ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... picture him standing tremblingly on post at midnight's solemn hour, his gun just balanced in his hands, while numbers of cadets in hideous sheets and other ghostly garb approach or are already standing around torturing him. And again, perchance, he challenges some approaching person in one direction, and finds to his dismay the officer of the day, the officer of the guard, and a corporal are crossing and recrossing ...
— Henry Ossian Flipper, The Colored Cadet at West Point • Henry Ossian Flipper

... grasping spirit of the nobles. Then spoke Savaron, stinging them with sarcasm, torturing them with rhetoric, crushing them with statements ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... or broken upon the wheel,' was a horrid mode of torturing a criminal to death, formerly used in France. The sufferer was stretched and made fast upon a large wheel, when the executioner, with a heavy iron bar, proceeded to break every bone in his body; beginning with the toes and fingers, and proceeding to crush those ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... vengeance might impel them to inflict. Poor Spot was swinging, a livid corpse, at one of the yard-arms. Browne was bound to the main-mast, while Luerson and his fiendish crew were exhausting their ingenuity in torturing him. The peculiar expression of his mild, open countenance, distorted by pain, went to my heart, and the sound of that familiar and friendly voice, now hoarse and broken, and quivering with agony, thrilled me with horror. As he besought his tormentors to kill him at once, ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... fell back upon San Vincente, where he had left the arms and ammunition of the deserters and a rear-guard of eighteen men. He found not one of these to welcome him. A dozen had deserted, and the Mexicans had surprised the rest, lassoing them and torturing them until they died. Walker now had but thirty-five men. To wait for further re-enforcements from San Francisco, even were he sure that re-enforcements would come, was impossible. He determined by forced marches to fight his way to the boundary line of California. Between him ...
— Real Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... resigned herself to the thraldom in which he held her. That iron chain, of which some of the massive links were round her feminine waist, and the others in his ruthless hand,—or which, perhaps, bound the pair together by a bond equally torturing to each,—must have been forged in some such unhallowed furnace as is only kindled by evil passions, and ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume I. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... and incurable diseases, they use all possible ways to cherish them, and to make their lives as comfortable as possible. They visit them often, and take great pains to make their time pass off easily: but when any is taken with a torturing and lingering pain, so that there is no hope, either of recovery or ease, the priests and magistrates come and exhort them, that since they are now unable to go on with the business of life, are become a burden ...
— Ideal Commonwealths • Various

... Although the Jews are very badly treated in that empire, and all suffer great indignities, yet, to increase their own misfortunes, and by their own hands, one Jew has actually been known to purchase from the Sultan the right, the privilege of torturing another Jew. The speculation, adds the Colonel, was considered "a good one," because, if no pecuniary advantage followed, the pleasure of inflicting the torture was certain. The privilege of bidding for himself, or buying himself from the torture, was the ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... motive could have been for this deception it would be difficult to say; perhaps it was for the purpose of gaining some power over her; perhaps it was from the pleasure of torturing her and seeing her terrors—for his passion for the woman was by no means that pure love which seeks first of all the good of its object; and, finally, perhaps it was from the mere ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... every motion, all the physical signs of death, all the fierce abandonment to every mood, to grief, to delight, to lassitude. When she suffers, in the scene, for instance, where Armand insults her, she is like a trapped wild beast which some one is torturing, and she wakes just that harrowing pity. One's whole flesh suffers with her flesh; her voice caresses and excites like a touch; it has a throbbing, monotonous music, which breaks deliciously, which pauses suspended, ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... of Jove, relentless power, Thou tamer of the human breast. Whose iron scourge and torturing hour The bad affright, afflict the best! ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... become so perfected that the functioning of the organism is quite adequate to the needs of the environment. As a result, the ruling motive of the conduct becomes the desire to release the personality from this torturing sense of inability by a constant demonstration of the power to control circumstances or to ...
— Taboo and Genetics • Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard

... black hair and his ragged coat. But at the moment she had the ability to see only one thing—the scrawny gray kitten that the boy had tied to the iron leg of the bench; the shrinking kitten that the boy was torturing with ...
— The Island of Faith • Margaret E. Sangster

... walking. On hearing she was out he ordered Marfinka's bouquet to be put on Vera's table and the window to be opened. Then he dismissed Marina, and returned to the acacia arbour. Passion and jealousy set loose raged unchecked, and when pity raised her head she was quenched by the torturing, overmastering feeling of outrage. He suppressed the low voice of sympathy, and his better self was silent. He was shuddering, conscious that poison flowed in his veins, the ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... girl's face as she tremblingly opened the post-bag and found there an envelope addressed to her in Edward's handwriting; one he had written the day before, after the decision he had come to on an impartial, and on that account torturing, survey of his own, his father's, his cousin Adelaide's, and what he believed ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... day I could not bear my own thoughts, the revulsion was too sudden, too full of turbulent, fierce, torturing emotions; I fled for a short relief to the house to which Madeline's father had invited me. But in vain I sought, by wine, by converse, by human voices, human kindness, to fly the ghost that had been raised from the grave of ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... mechanically and leant forward, straining her eyes to steer for a possible landing-place; but the beating of her heart had quieted down, and she had a curious feeling that she was drifting, drifting, in this solemn silence, out of a region of torturing fear into the peaceful harbour ...
— Troublesome Comforts - A Story for Children • Geraldine Glasgow

... Claude's story without involving his own, so Claude was endeavoring to spare her by doing the same thing. Being able to supply the blanks more accurately now than on the former occasion, she found a kind of poignant, torturing amusement in fitting her ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... had wormed his way into Lady Dedlock's secret, went to her at her London home and informed her of all he had discovered, delighting in the fear and dread which she could not help showing. She knew now that this cruel man would always hold his knowledge over her head, torturing her with the threat of making ...
— Tales from Dickens • Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives

... ordered to the Lake frontier. The war had stirred up the Indians to acts of violence they had not committed for many years, and a tribe of them came down on the village, plundering, burning, killing, and torturing those whom they had known in ...
— Lady Hester, or Ursula's Narrative • Charlotte M. Yonge

... which surround. Feverish startings and tossings proved that the soul was not sharing the body's rest, and dreams, which are said to be of real events the forms and shadows, disturbed him with dark and monstrous images, the fitful phases of which, as they changed, grew yet more fearful and torturing. His mother, pale and anxious as she looked before her death,—purses, money, prisons, and judgment-halls,—all came up in disjointed medley together. Beads of sweat standing upon his brow ...
— Watch—Work—Wait - Or, The Orphan's Victory • Sarah A. Myers

... deception, the general deception instilled into everyone, but there is another special deception practiced upon the soldiers or police who are picked out by one means or another to do the torturing and murdering necessary to defend and ...
— The Kingdom of God is within you • Leo Tolstoy

... For five weary, torturing nights did I go up to that room alone, and, with no sound of human proximity to cheer me or to break the wretched feeling of utter solitude, I endured the same experience. At last I could bear it no longer, and determined to have a change of air and surroundings. I hastily packed a travelling-bag ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... to him, there is no reason why it should be one to my readers. Grace Carden, for the first time in her life, was in the clutches of a fiend, a torturing fiend, called jealousy. ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... the unhappy prisoner was left to undergo his four hours' sentence of this ordeal. The soldiers returned to their quarters, but as a preliminary precaution, as we were undeniably showing signs of resentment against such torturing treatment, we were bustled into our barracks. But we could not rest or sleep. The hapless man at the stake was being racked and torn with pain. His shrieks, moans, and groans, echoing and re-echoing through the still hours of the summer evening, ...
— Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons - Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben • Henry Charles Mahoney

... transposition, without addition, subtraction or change of any letter, into different words, making some perfect sence applyable to the person named.'' Dryden disdainfully called the pastime the "torturing of one poor word ten thousand ways,'' but many men and women of note have found amusement in it. A well-known anagram is the change of Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum into Virgo serena, pia, munda et immaculata. ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Dumiger, will you remain here, poring over these volumes, and torturing your brains? I am sure, that you will succeed far more easily (for I never doubt your success, but lament the price you will have to pay for it), you will succeed far better by giving yourself more rest, and working by day instead of night; your cheek is quite pale. Dumiger: now, in your boyhood, ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 8, 1850 • Various

... God and nature; but I know that such abominable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife—to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, roasting, and eating—literally, my lords, eating—the mangled victims of his barbarous battles—To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood! Against whom?—Against your Protestant brethren; ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... the other visions which had been torturing him the possible catastrophe of the Comas logs roaring through past the mouth of a useless canal; he could look ahead still farther and see the grins of the sawmill men down the Noda, setting ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... rain, And my heart struggles with convulsive sighs, When, Laura, upon you I turn my eyes, For whom the world's allurements I disdain, But when I see that gentle smile again, That modest, sweet, and tender smile, arise, It pours on every sense a blest surprise; Lost in delight is all my torturing pain. Too soon this heavenly transport sinks and dies: When all thy soothing charms my fate removes At thy departure from my ravish'd view. To that sole refuge its firm faith approves My spirit from my ravish'd bosom flies, And ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... emotion. His heart, that seared and hardened heart, unmoved when the convict's cudgel or the heavy whip of the watchman fell on his shoulders, beat oppressively. In that sight he saw again his infancy; and closing his eyes sadly, the prey to torturing ...
— Ten Tales • Francois Coppee

... began on the following morning, and he refused to give any information, they killed him. Luckily they had no time to torture him, or they would certainly have done so, for these Matuku people are very fond of torturing their enemies. ...
— Maiwa's Revenge - The War of the Little Hand • H. Rider Haggard

... violins!" This he sang to a horrible mirthful tune, again spinning round on one foot. Perfectly aghast, I was making the best of my way to the door, when he held me fast, saying quite calmly, "Stay, my student friend, pray don't think from this outbreak of grief, which is torturing me as if with the agonies of death, that I am insane; I only do it because a short time ago I made myself a dressing-gown in which I wanted to look like Fate or like God!" The Councillor then went on with a medley of silly ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German • Various

... society of the people,—when men are disposed to persecute. Power is always right; weakness always wrong. Power is always insolent and despotic: whether exercised in throwing its opposers into a bastile; burning them at the stake; torturing them on a rack; beheading them with a guillotine; or taking them off, as at the massacre of St. Bartholomew, at a general sweep. Power is the same in Turkey as in America. When the will of man is raised above law, it is always tyranny and despotism, ...
— Noah Webster - American Men of Letters • Horace E. Scudder

... . . my darling wife . . . !" he broke out desperately. "For Heaven's sake pull yourself together. You are torturing me past endurance. Do you suppose it is an easy thing . . . to let ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... acceptance. He found his manager not in Garrick, as one might have anticipated, but again in Colman. The pretty piece appeared at Covent Garden. Tried as Goldsmith had been ere The Good-natured Man was produced, the negotiations and delays about She Stoops to Conquer were not less torturing. Colman kept the manuscript in his hands for months and months without coming to any decision. The playwright's letters to the manager are absolute supplications. Humiliation appears the very discipline of ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • E. S. Lang Buckland

... case with the men from whom I chanced to recede, to whom I ceased to give, and, by this action, denied good, I experienced a torturing sense of shame. ...
— The Moscow Census - From "What to do?" • Lyof N. Tolstoi

... have been followers of Mr. Spence; and the 'plan' of which Mr. Preston is said to have 'confessed' the existence, is, as you will see, 'Spence's Plan,' and nothing more; and nothing more, no, not a hair more, will Corruption's sons, with all their torturing and twisting, with all their falsehoods and affected alarms, be able to make of it! Thus, you will clearly perceive, that the 'confessions,' as they are called, of your correspondent, Mr. Preston, are no confessions at all. You will clearly see, that Corruption's Press ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 3 • Henry Hunt

... mind that convents have many tortures outside of the torturing conscience on account of having the virtue of their inmates destroyed. The teachings of Catholicism lead people to practice self-infliction upon their person in order to appease a living God, as they seem to worship a living God the ...
— Thirty Years In Hell - Or, From Darkness to Light • Bernard Fresenborg

... food. Her father tore open the covering of the letter. She was watching him covertly and silently whilst he read page after page. She was searching for confirmation of her worst fears. She was torturing herself. ...
— The Forfeit • Ridgwell Cullum

... the confessor may judge of their mortal or venial character. What sort of a chain this links around the strictly conscientious I would attempt to portray, if I could. But it must have been worn to understand its torturing character! Suffice it to say that, for months past, according to this standard, I had not made a good confession at all! And now, filled with remorse for my past sacrilegious sinfulness, I resolved on making a new general confession to ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... are afraid, he will go away. He is very unhappy." "Golaud is here?" she says; "why does he not come to me?" Golaud staggers to the bed. He begs the others to withdraw for a moment, as he must speak with her alone. When they have left him, his torturing suspicions, suspicions that will not down, find voice. He entreats her to tell him the truth. "The truth must be spoken to one about to die." Did she love Pelleas? he asks in agony. "Why, yes, I loved him—where is he?" The answer maddens him. "Do you not understand? Will you not understand? It ...
— Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande - A Guide to the Opera with Musical Examples from the Score • Lawrence Gilman

... shoot snipes, or gamble and smoke cheroots, and betake themselves to brandy-and-water. As for Sir Michael O'Dowd, though his lady and her sister both urged him to call upon the Major to explain himself and not keep on torturing a poor innocent girl in that shameful way, the old soldier refused point-blank to have anything to do with the conspiracy. "Faith, the Major's big enough to choose for himself," Sir Michael said; "he'll ask ye when he wants ye"; or else he would turn the matter off jocularly, declaring that "Dobbin ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... before God, I know how to suffer. You must love me, must you not? Very well, then you must answer me. Were I to lose you forever, were these walls to crumble over my head, I will not leave this spot until I have solved the mystery that has been torturing me for more than a month. Speak, or I will leave you. I may be a fool who destroys his own happiness, I may be demanding something that is not for me to possess, it may be that an explanation will separate us and raise ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... answer brought clouds to his mother's brow, and she resolved to postpone the explanation till the morrow. When mothers admit the anxieties which were now torturing the baroness, they tremble before their sons; they feel instinctively the effect of the great emancipation that comes with love; they perceive what that sentiment is about to take from them; but they have, at the same time, a sense of joy in knowing ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... culprit and show him that he was ware of the matter; wherefore, turning to all who were present, he said, 'Let him who did it do it no more and get you gone in peace.' Another would have been for giving them the strappado, for torturing, examining and questioning, and doing this, would have published that which every one should go about to conceal; and having thus discovered himself, though he should have taken entire revenge for the affront suffered, his shame ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... his way to the Palazzo Vecchio, where he was to find Bartolommeo Scala. It was not a long walk, but, for Tito, it was stretched out like the minutes of our morning dreams: the short spaces of street and piazza held memories, and previsions, and torturing fears, that might have made the history of months. He felt as if a serpent had begun to coil round his limbs. Baldassarre living, and in Florence, was a living revenge, which would no more rest than a winding serpent would rest until it had crushed ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... being dug in the church-yards around, with little regard to the fact that the bones of the dead were unearthed and scattered over the soil. The Norman bishops, completely armed, and mounted on war-horses, took part in these operations, and were no more scrupulous than the barons in torturing the English to force from them their hoarded gold ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... of St. Quentin—was knocked off to a dealer for little more than three francs! In the sale of this portrait, and the laughable price it brought, there was so much bitter irony that, for the first time, the agony that had been so long torturing De Vlierbeck's heart began to exhibit its traces in his countenance. No sooner had the hammer fallen, than, with downcast eyes and a sigh that was inaudible even to his nearest neighbor, the stricken ...
— The Poor Gentleman • Hendrik Conscience

... cried the Tzigana, with a rapid glance toward the daggers, before which stood Menko, preventing her from advancing, and regarding her with eyes which burned with reckless passion, wounded self-love, and torturing jealousy. "Yes, coward!" she repeated, "coward, coward to dare to taunt me with an infamous past and speak of a ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... best and worst. Even if she were to be told that her father's lifeless body had been found on a distant shore, or in the bottom of some abandoned ship, it would be a relief from incessant doubt and torturing suspense. ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... knowest, poor forlorn!— To seek them here were bootless industry. Then toil not bliss so fleeting to renew; To chase a thought so fair, so faithless, cease: Thou rather that unwavering good pursue, Which guides to heaven; since nought below can please. Fatal for us that beauty's torturing view, Living or dead alike which desolates ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... without breakfast, and wet, as he had already been for several days, when the cries of an animal in distress attracted his attention. Some fifty yards away, in the extreme angle of the grass, a party of the chronically unemployed had got hold of a dog, whom they were torturing in a manner not to be described. The heart of Norris, which had grown indifferent to the cries of human anger or distress, woke at the appeal of the dumb creature. He ran amongst the Larrikins, scattered them, rescued ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... ingratitude. The inimitable Hogarth has traced the gradual workings of an unfeeling heart in his progress of cruelty. He has shewn, that malevolence is progressive in its operation, and that a man who begins life by impaling flies, will find a delight in torturing his fellow creatures before he closes it. We have heard that even at school these poetical propensities were strongly manifested in Lord BYRON, and that he began his satirical career against those persons to whom the formation of his mind was entrusted. ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... Eustace, for thus torturing me," said Isabel, and while she spoke, encircled his neck with her arms. "Was there no truth in the tale of an enamoured lady of St. Helier?" Eustace blushed, called it a gossip's story, and threw his eyes on Constance, ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... in the torturing hold of questions such as these that she once more met Amos, who, laying the flattering unction to his soul that he could forgive his enemies, struck a stab straight at ...
— Lancashire Idylls (1898) • Marshall Mather

... were all that and more. But even that does not justify you in torturing these men to death. Destroy them, by all means, if you will, so that they may never again have the opportunity to do perhaps irreparable mischief; and let their death be so ignominious that it shall be a warning to all others; but let it be humane. In a word, hang them, ...
— The Adventures of Dick Maitland - A Tale of Unknown Africa • Harry Collingwood

... in his position, the next best thing to men, King John spared no means of getting it. He set on foot another oppressing and torturing of the unhappy Jews (which was quite in his way), and invented a new punishment for one wealthy Jew of Bristol. Until such time as that Jew should produce a certain large sum of money, the King sentenced him to be imprisoned, and, every ...
— A Child's History of England • Charles Dickens

... his left shoe was off and his right eye still bandaged, things that he had not noticed while his only thought was for the man he carried to shelter, but torturing his consciousness now that he thought of himself. He opened his lips to explain; but before words came to him, looking at the face of Serafina's mother, standing now by the couch, he felt that, not knowing ...
— Don Rodriguez - Chronicles of Shadow Valley • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, Dunsany

... lie," said the lady. "Oh, what a night! I saw them torturing him in a thousand ways the barbarians! I know he had to sleep on a dirty ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill



Words linked to "Torturing" :   picket, piquet, genital torture, dismemberment, sensory deprivation, prolonged interrogation, excruciation, taking apart, judicial torture, sleep deprivation, rack, strappado, electric shock, painful, falanga, strapado, kittee, crucifixion, kia quen, boot, persecution, nail pulling, nail removal, bastinado, burning



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