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Key   Listen
verb
Key  v. t.  (past & past part. keved; pres. part. keying)  
1.
To fasten or secure firmly; to fasten or tighten with keys or wedges.
2.
(Computers) To enter (text, data) using keys, especially those on a keyboard; to keyboard; as, to key the data in by hand.
3.
To adjust so as to be maximally effective in a particular situation; of actions, plans, or speech; as, to key one's campaign speech to each local audience.
4.
To furnish with a key or keys.
To key up.
(a)
(Arch.) To raise (the whole ring of an arch) off its centering, by driving in the keystone forcibly.
(b)
(Mus.) To raise the pitch of.
(c)
Hence, (fig.), to produce nervous tension in; as, the whole team was keyed up for the championship game.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Key" Quotes from Famous Books



... again he sought to find the key to the mystery. It seemed like some monstrous jugglery, something akin to the fakir's tricks that he had witnessed at Colombo where the impossible had seemed ...
— Baseball Joe Around the World - Pitching on a Grand Tour • Lester Chadwick

... D'Artagnan, so that our musketeer, in a tolerably bad humor, desired to go to bed as soon as he had supped. D'Artagnan was introduced by Bazin into a mean chamber, in which there was a poor bed; but D'Artagnan was not fastidious in that respect. He had been told that Aramis had taken away the key of his own private apartment, and as he knew Aramis was a very particular man, and had generally many things to conceal in his apartment, he had not been surprised. He, therefore, although it appeared ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... bit of tin and bone; I'm beloved by the Legion of the Lost; I haven't got a "vox humana" tone, And a dime or two will satisfy my cost. I don't attempt your high-falutin' flights; I am more or less uncertain on the key; But I tell you, boys, there's lots and lots of nights When you've taken mighty ...
— Ballads of a Cheechako • Robert W. Service

... now, or after dinner?" I asked, while I drew out my latch-key; and then when she met me at the head of the staircase, with her shining eyes, I grew cowardly again, and said, "Not now—not now. To-night I will ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... the key-note to all his utterances. Writing from the English flag-ship, the day after the battle, he "threw upon the greater part of his captains the misfortunes of the day. Some had disobeyed his signals; others, and ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... race came off next day; and a precious narrow thing it was, but I managed to win by a neck for the honor of the old school. He is a lazy scatter-brained creature, utterly indifferent to fact, and I am obliged to keep the brandy flask under lock and key; but the humour and absolute good-temper of the animal impose upon me, and I really think he is attached to me. So I keep him on, grumbling horribly at the change from that orderly, punctual, clean, accurate convict. Depend upon it, that fellow will do. He makes his way everywhere, ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... the design on the panel of wood to be incised; cut it, either with a V tool or knife blade fixed in a tool-handle; clear out the larger spaces with a small gouge, leaving tool-mark roughness in the bottoms for key; when cut, stop the suction of the wood by several coats of white, hard polish. For coloured stoppings, resin (as white as can be got), beeswax, and powdered distemper are the three things needful. The melted wax may be run into the incisions by means of a small ...
— Intarsia and Marquetry • F. Hamilton Jackson

... marched across the channel which lies between South Beveland and the mainland, the water reaching up to their necks. The patriot forces had since then recovered much of the lost ground, but Middelburg was strongly held, and so long as the Spaniards had command of the sea, was the key to the possession of Zeeland. On January 29, 1574, the Sea-Beggars under Boisot attacked the Spanish fleet near Roemerswaal and after a bloody encounter gained a complete victory. The siege of Middelburg was now pressed and Mondragon ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... commodore in th' war, sir; an' he knows me, an' I knows him; an' when Flanagan is on th' bridge, he doesn't signal no pilots between Key ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... one scramble up the kitchen stairs, and then into the room where the bureau was. Listening for a moment to ascertain if there were more than one, and then feeling convinced there was not, he followed into the parlour, when he heard the cabinet open by a key. ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... fill up, to the sparkling brim, The juice of the young Lyaeus; The grape is the key that we owe to him From the gaol of the world to free us. Drink, drink! What need to shrink, When the lambs alone can ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... On Memory as a Key to the Phenomena of Heredity delivered by Butler at the Working Men's College, Great Ormond Street, ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... The key to this remarkable business was supplied by a cover sent anonymously to the writer during the course of these negotiations with no indication as to its origin. The documents which this envelope contained are so interesting that they merit attention at the hands of all students of history, ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... in the Despatches of Cortes, as they now appear, are an improvement upon Diaz, the pitch being on a higher key. He remarks that Montezuma "was served in the following manner: Every day, as soon as it was light, six hundred nobles and men of rank were in attendance at the palace, who either sat or walked about in the halls and galleries, and passed their time in conversation, ...
— Houses and House-Life of the American Aborigines • Lewis H. Morgan

... experience has pointed out is that each of us owes an honest, manly effort toward the material world's progress. Honest labor is the key that unlocks the door of happiness. One of the silliest notions that a young man can get into his head is the idea that the world owes him a living. It does not owe you the fraction of a red cent, young man. ...
— The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself • Cole Younger

... Lichonin's room. There was no key in the door. And, as a rule, it was never even locked with a key. Lichonin pushed the door and they entered. It was dark in the room, because the window curtains were lowered. It smelt of mice, kerosene, yesterday's vegetable soup, long-.used bed linen, stale tobacco smoke. In the half-dusk ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... pull it away, my enemy had shut the door from the outside, and I heard the key turn in it. I looked about me; I was in a narrow paved chamber, with one small window very high up, through which the sunbeams came, chequered by a tall tree, so high that I knew it was late in the day, and that we must ...
— Stray Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... indeed Littledale, through which ran a pleasant little river; and on a grassy knoll, but a short way from its bank, was a long framed hall, somewhat narrow, and nought high, whitherward they turned them straightway, and were presently before the door; then Gilbert drew a key from out of his scrip and unlocked the door, and they entered, and found within a fair little hall, with shut-beds out from it on the further side, and kitchen, and store-bowers at the end; all things duly appointed with ...
— Child Christopher • William Morris

... ruin, and the return to Him will be life. Hosea, or rather the Spirit that spake through Hosea, blended wonderful tenderness with unflinching decision in rebuke, and unwavering certainty in foretelling evil with unfaltering hope in the promise of possible blessing. His words are set in the same key as the still more wonderfully tender ones that Jesus uttered as He looked across the valley from Olivet to the gleaming city on the other side, and wailed, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... supposes two contrary forces; nothing real is simple, and whatever thinks itself simple is in reality the farthest from simplicity. Therefore it would seem that every state is a moment in a series; every being a compromise between contraries. In concrete dialectic we have the key which opens to us the understanding of beings in the series of beings, of states in the series of moments; and it is in dynamics that we have the explanation of equilibrium. Every situation is an equilibrium of forces; ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... individual who wears moustaches; he sits down at the piano and improvises, without knowing exactly what. He knocks, strikes, and crosses his hands, without reason; he demolishes in five minutes a poor helpless key; he has enormous fingers, made rather to handle reins and whip somewhere on the confines of Ukraine. Here you have the portrait of S... who has no other merit than that of having small moustaches and a good heart. If I ever thought of imagining what stupidity and charlatanism in art are, I have now ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... for a week," said Aladdin, holding the study door on the crack. "Key to be brought down to his study in five minutes. 'Brutes! Barbarians! Savages! Children!' He's rather agitated. 'Arrah, Patsy, mind the baby,'" he sang in a whisper as he clung to the door-knob, ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... quite late in the afternoon. When he opened the door with his key he was surprised at not seeing his wife run to him ...
— Conscience, Complete • Hector Malot

... have been made to think, for my life—has not been happy. Men are no longer free—no greater, no better than the men of your time. That is not all. This city—is a prison. Every city now is a prison. Mammon grips the key in his hand. Myriads, countless myriads, toil from the cradle to the grave. Is that right? Is that to be—for ever? Yes, far worse than in your time. All about us, beneath us, sorrow and pain. All the shallow delight of such life as you find about you, is separated ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... was—that "understanding that the troops ordered for a review were destined to proceed to the flagship in search of supposed treasure, I had come to request His Majesty immediately to appoint confidential persons to accompany me on board, when the key of every chest in the ship should be placed in their hands, and every place thrown open to their inspection; but that if any of his anti-Brazilian Administration ventured to board the ship in perpetration of the contemplated insult, they would certainly ...
— Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, - from Spanish and Portuguese Domination, Volume 2 • Thomas Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald

... felt like a young man who has gone to the Rhineland to "get up" his German for an examination—committed to talk, to read, to dream only in the new idiom. Now that he had taken his jump everything was simplified, at the same time that everything was pitched in a higher and intenser key; and he wondered how in the absence of a common dialect he had conversed on the whole so happily with Mrs. Dallow. Then he had aftertastes of understandings tolerably independent of words. He was excited because every fresh responsibility ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... us. We'll watch him. If he locks it we must catch him as he goes through that orchard and get the key away." ...
— The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters - The Lost Treasure of Buffalo Hollow • Charles Henry Lerrigo

... garden is your soul, With bergomask and solemn minuet! Playing upon the lute! The dancers seem But sad, beneath their strange habiliments. While, in the minor key, their songs extol The victor Love, and life's sweet blandishments, Their looks belie the burden of their lays, The songs that mingle with the still moon-beams. So strange, so beautiful, the pallid rays; Making the birds among the branches dream, And sob ...
— Silverpoints • John Gray

... Massachusetts Bay, was the principal projector of that glorious enterprise; an enterprise which reduced to the obedience of his Britannic majesty the Dunkirk of North America. Of such consequence to the French was the possession of that important key to their American settlements, that its restitution was, in reality, the purchase of the last general peace of Europe."[427]—A Review of the Military Operations in North America, in a Letter to a Nobleman, ...
— The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Warburton

... have seen that the key-note of "The Songs of the King" may be said to be struck in Psalm xviii. Its complete analysis would carry us far beyond our limits. We can but glance at some of the more prominent points ...
— The Life of David - As Reflected in His Psalms • Alexander Maclaren

... not answer him,—she did not speak again until the carriage drew up before her house. He handed her out, and opened the door with the latch-key which ...
— Berenice • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... would not wait to seek the dungeon-key, But breaking-down the gate, their entrance made; Bireno to the count with courtesy And grateful thanks the service done repaid. Thence they, together with large company, Went where Olympia in her vessel stayed: For so was the expecting lady hight, ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... made some fresh toast, which she set, brown, hot, and crisp, in the china toast-rack. She then boiled a new-laid egg, and had hardly finished these final preparations before the rattle of the latch-key was heard in the hall-door, and her husband came in. He was a tall man, with a face so colorless that hers looked almost rosy by contrast; his voice, however, had a certain ring about it, which betokened that most rare and happy gift to its possessor, a brave ...
— How It All Came Round • L. T. Meade

... called to the death-bed of a wealthy parishioner. Kneeling beside the dying man the pastor asked him to take his hand as he prayed for his upholding in that solemn hour, but he declined to give it. After the end had come, and they turned down the coverlet, the rigid hands were found holding the safe-key in their death-grip. Heart and hand, to the last, clinging to his possessions, but he could ...
— Sowing and Reaping • Dwight Moody

... systematized than ours. One of their features is the system of charging a fixed sum per day, which covers all the annoying extras of English hotel bills. On entering an hotel, you write your name and address in a book, have the number of your bedroom placed opposite your name, and receive a key, which, when you go out you leave in the office. The breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tea, take place at stated hours, and are managed with ...
— Canada and the States • Edward William Watkin

... VI. assembled in the neighbourhood of St. Peter's Street, and were attacked by those of the Duke of York and Warwick the Kingmaker. Advancing from the fields E. of the town, Warwick's men appear to have approached from Key Fields and Sopwell Lane, and, finally, having fought their way into Holywell Hill, to have united with those of the Duke of York, who had forced the town barriers farther N. The battle was desperately contested; the bowmen, as usual in those times, playing a conspicuous part; Henry VI. was wounded ...
— Hertfordshire • Herbert W Tompkins

... were heavy, custom seemed to have reconciled her to bear it without repining; and the emotion which Ferrers now traced in her soft and harmonious features was of a nature he had only once witnessed before—viz., on the first night he had seen her, when poetry, which is the key of memory, had evidently opened a chamber haunted by mournful and ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... in the stone wall the bey took down the lantern which so short a time before he had replaced upon its nail and lighted its still smoking wick. He had not restored the key to Yussuf, and he drew it now from his pocket and fitted it into the lock, drawing ...
— The Fortieth Door • Mary Hastings Bradley

... are sure that you are alive, come in here and sit down and tell me all about it," said the little old lady, opening the door of her house with a latch-key which she drew from her pocket, and pointing to the parlour, which she signed to ...
— Will Weatherhelm - The Yarn of an Old Sailor • W.H.G. Kingston

... pattern Pollio might have been. Pursuit of fame with pedants fills our schools, And into coxcombs burnishes our fools; Pursuit of fame makes solid learning bright, And Newton lifts above a mortal height; That key of nature, by whose wit she clears Her long, long secrets of five thousand years. Would you then fully comprehend the whole, Why, and in what degrees, pride sways the soul? (For though in all, not equally, she reigns,) ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... the recreation-room door opened and a burst of music-cum-essence-of-nigger emerged on his astonished ears. I was a little doubtful as to whether our new guest would not think his reception somewhat flippant in key. The poor fellow was visibly suffering, and the sound of tambourines and comedians' guffaws seemed a scarcely proper comment on his condition. I might have spared myself these misgivings. "Say, chum," he interrogated ...
— Observations of an Orderly - Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital • Ward Muir

... or nouelty haue I seene in the city of Canasia. Then the said religious man tooke two great baskets full of broken reliques which remained of the table, and led me vnto a little walled parke, the doore whereof he vnlocked with his key, and there appeared vnto vs a pleasant faire green plot, into the which we entred. In the said greene stands a litle mount in forme of a steeple, replenished with fragrant herbes and fine shady trees. And while we stood there, he tooke a cymball or bell, ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, - and Discoveries of The English Nation, Volume 9 - Asia, Part 2 • Richard Hakluyt

... and your brother addressed him with good humour, but in a tone denoting it was the gentleman to the sort of a gentleman. I own it pleased me to observe the ease with which Frank, by his answers, obliged Mr. Clifton to change his key. But I soon had occasion to observe that the warmth of your brother's expressions, his eagerness to be immediately intimate with us, and the advances which he with so little sense of embarrassment made to me, had an effect upon Frank which, I greatly fear, was painful. I must look ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... one occasionally encounters bridges; and here, again, I have discovered in Russia a key to the mysteries of Hibernian phraseology. An Irish member once declared to the House of Commons that the Church was "the bridge that separated the two great sections of the Irish people." As bridges commonly connect rather than separate, the metaphor was received ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... gives only a tough wiregrass, and the poor little cattle, no bigger than a donkey, wander half starved and horribly emaciated in search of it. There used to be a trade with Cuba, but now that has gone; and beyond the supplying of Key West and the small fringe of settlements they have no market. How well the cowboys serve their masters I can only guess, since the big owners do not dare go into the woods, or even to their own doors at night, and they do not keep a light burning in the houses. One, indeed, attempted ...
— Crooked Trails • Frederic Remington

... coasted those shores for more than two years, fully convinced that a strong current which he observed off those capes came from a river, made a determined effort; and on the 11th of May, 1792, he discovered and entered the great river that now bears the name of his ship. At last the key that was to open the mountain fastnesses of the heart of the continent had been found. The names of the capes christened by Vancouver and re-christened by Captain Gray have disappeared from our maps, but in the words of ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... of the too numerous persons who are engaged in keeping up appearances, irrespective of honesty, morality, or virtue. He got deeply into debt, as most of such people do; and then he became dishonest. He became the associate of professional thieves. He abstracted a key from the office of which he was in charge, and handed it to a well-known thief. This was the key of the strong box in which gold and silver were conveyed by railway from London to Paris. A cast of the key was taken ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... with his brother's suggestion and drew out the key which was secured round his neck. He unlocked the rusty padlock and threw open the lid. The chest contained six small bags filled to bursting point and securely tied with rawhide; one bag, half-full and open; and a thick packet ...
— In the Brooding Wild • Ridgwell Cullum

... her curiosity Awakened by the closet he So carefully had hidden, And forbidden Her to see, This damsel disobedient Did something inexpedient, And in the keyhole tiny Turned the shiny Little key: ...
— Grimm Tales Made Gay • Guy Wetmore Carryl

... result,—one of the most perfect for its purposes that can be imagined,—and as he asked me to write an inscription for the corner-stone, I placed on it the words: "For the Promotion of God's work among Men.'' This has seemed, ever since, to be the key-note of the work ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... decision, that the judges were bound to be as prompt as the competitors, and the award was promised within half an hour. What wonder if the usual tumult of dispersion was increased tenfold by the excitement of the occasion? The voices were pitched in a higher key, the easels clattered more noisily than ever, there was a more lively movement among the many-hued aprons, as they were pulled off and consigned with many a shake and a flourish to their ...
— A Bookful of Girls • Anna Fuller

... iron key, turned it in the lock, and threw wide the door. Alvarez looked in, and then uttered a cry so charged with rage that even Braxton Wyatt was startled. He pressed close up to his chief and gazed ...
— The Free Rangers - A Story of the Early Days Along the Mississippi • Joseph A. Altsheler

... disappeared. Those sleeping thirty or forty miles away were awakened in the night by the dull rumbling. The whole atmosphere was choked with the noise, and so it continued throughout the day with hardly an interval. As if in anticipation of the coming onslaught the German artillery had also raised the key of its fire to a higher ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... are sent here to grow, then I cannot understand Pain being a reason for doubting God's love. Looking back on life, I am sure each will feel, "I could not afford to miss one of its shadows, no matter how black they were at the time." And the fact that you and I each feel that the key of God's love fits the lock of our individual life, should be one valid reason for believing that all Life is ordered for a right and noble purpose; our happy lives are as real a bit of Life, and as good a specimen of God's government, as ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... spectators that he was reluctantly borne forward by an exterior and resistless force, by the march of events, the necessities of the state, the will of the army, and even the decree of the Almighty. He seems to have looked upon dissimulation as the perfection of human wisdom, and to have made it the key-stone of the arch on which he built his fortunes.[1] The aspirations of his ambition were concealed under the pretence of attachment to "the good old cause;" and his secret workings to acquire the sovereignty ...
— The History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans - to the Accession of King George the Fifth - Volume 8 • John Lingard and Hilaire Belloc

... alphabet perfectly and could spell and construct a great number of words with my lettered blocks, and then copy them on my slate. When I was five years old, thanks to my mother's patient teaching, I could read fairly well. My father's ingenious methods soon made me familiar with the key-words of geology, chemistry, (including the names of minerals, metals and gases) botany, history, geography, physics and astronomy. I was unconsciously taught to associate these words or names with the groups, or families, to which they belong. I would spend hours ...
— Solaris Farm - A Story of the Twentieth Century • Milan C. Edson

... and opened a volley of facts on me, I was shamed to silence. There was a spaciousness, a planetary sweep and glittering breadth that shriveled me. The commodity which I dispensed was but used around the corner, with a key turned upon it at the shadowy end of day against its intrusion on the night. But his oil, all day long and all night too, was swishing in its tanks on the course to Zanzibar. And all the fretted activity of the ...
— Journeys to Bagdad • Charles S. Brooks

... "although your anxiety about this malignant convinces me that you are not the man my friendship thought you, yet I confess that I came here for the express purpose of forwarding his escape. Doubt me if you will; but see, I am unarmed, and here is the secret key for unfastening the grating, which I suppose you, and my quondam servant, ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... symphony, played on innumerable instruments, all keeping perfect time. We know that this great world-verse, that runs from sky to sky, is not made for the mere enumeration of facts—it is not "Thirty days hath September"—it has its direct revelation in our delight. That delight gives us the key to the truth of existence; it is personality acting upon personalities through incessant manifestations. The solicitor does not sing to his client, but the bridegroom sings to his bride. And when our soul is stirred by the song, we know it claims no fees from us; but it brings the tribute of ...
— Creative Unity • Rabindranath Tagore

... to leave a bright wood fire and go to bed at nine o'clock; but G. was irresistible. He literally yawned us out of the room, up the staircase, and into the bed-chamber. There was a key hanging by the outside of the door the size of a small club, and weighing several pounds. On the inside the keyhole, contrary to habitude, was in the centre of the door. From this point of approach it was, ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... is speaking", the voice answered quietly; then added in a higher key: "Is it you, my ascetic and seeker? ...
— Tales of the Wilderness • Boris Pilniak

... all who wished to understand them; why is it that the misunderstanding of Mr. Darwin's "distinctive feature" should have been so long and obstinate? Why is it that, no matter how much writers like Mr. Grant Allen and Professor Ray Lankester may say about "Mr. Darwin's master-key," nor how many more like hyperboles they brandish, they never put a succinct resume of Mr. Darwin's theory side by side with a similar resume of his grandfather's and Lamarck's? Neither Mr. Darwin himself, not ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... into it the light silky lock of his own hair, and placed it with other letters which he had written to his mother and friends. They were all in French, and written in a clear, firm, regular hand. His noble nature shone in every line. They give the key to the irresistible personal sympathy he inspired in all who knew him. His enemies were aware of this, and no judge or general who had ever known ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... comprehensible to the unmechanical mind, it fetched up over its bow a small bright chain which lay along the bottom of the canal, and paying it out again over the stern, dragged itself forward, link by link, with its whole retinue of loaded skows. Until one had found out the key to the enigma, there was something solemn and uncomfortable in the progress of one of these trains, as it moved gently along the water with nothing to mark its advance but an eddy alongside dying ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... distance, and the sky so blue, and the sun so bright, and an old ruined castle on the mountain-side, far away. I used to watch the line where earth and sky met, and longed to go and seek there the key of all mysteries, thinking that I might find there a new life, perhaps some great city where life should be grander and richer—and then it struck me that life may be grand enough even in ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... she does"—and he grinned at the conceit—then setting his teeth hard, "or rather, I will blow the schooner up with my own hand before I strike; better that than have one's bones bleached in chains on a key at Port Royal.—But, you see you cannot control us, gentlemen; so get down into the cable tier and take Peter Mangrove with you. I would not willingly see those come to harm ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... the way to the north door. They went on quietly without any interruption, and at last reached it. Asgeelo turned the key and held the door half open for a moment. Then he turned and whispered to them to ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... outside the Medic Section and locked the door behind him with the key he'd taken from Stevelman. After turning the needle gun back to low power again in order to keep from killing anyone, he started on tiptoe toward the stairway that led into the bowels of ...
— The Judas Valley • Gerald Vance

... although it may perhaps have been hypercritical to point them out, still the language of a new philosophy, claiming to supersede all old ones, ought to be proof even against hypercriticism. I pass on to a generalisation, termed by Mr. Mill 'the key to Comte's other generalisations: one on which all the others are dependent, and which forms the back-bone, so to speak, of his philosophy,' insomuch that 'unless it be true he has accomplished little.' This is the so much vaunted ...
— Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics - With Some of Their Applications • William Thomas Thornton

... chief, arose solely from an outrageous desire of revenge for a petty insult, are entirely gratuitous, and belong altogether to the poet. Madness of another kind, however, that of ambition, is clearly ascribable to him; and, if we take this as our key, much of the obscurity attendant upon a catastrophe which has been imperfectly and inadequately developed will be cleared away; we shall obtain a character little indeed awakening our sympathy, but yet not ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 481, March 19, 1831 • Various

... corridor, and I crossed the room and closed the door. I think the children expected me to put the key in my pocket and then murder them and stuff ...
— Penelope's Postscripts • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... and a wider life. It is a plea that sounds the depth of the heart and takes the measure of the soul. The new song comes not of a truer enumeration of life's blessings, but of a truer understanding of the blessedness of life itself. The key to such understanding is character. When by the grace of the clean heart and the enlightened and responsive spirit a man can get beneath the events of each day's life and commune with that eternal law of love to ...
— The Threshold Grace • Percy C. Ainsworth

... state, until he was finally reconquered; and his heart is permanently occupied by Emmanuel. The 'Grace Abounding,' aided by the marginal notes of the author to the 'Holy War,' forms a very valuable key to the mysteries of this allegory; without their aid some passages would be found deeply mysterious, and hard to be understood. Nor can this be considered extraordinary, when it is recollected that the ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... last time the man was seen alive. No one has seen the woman since the door closed after the servant, who distinctly remembers hearing the key turn in the lock as she went down the hall. It seems pretty clear that the man ate and drank but not the woman. Her food remained untouched on the plate and her glass was full. 'Gad, it must have been a merry feast! I beg your pardon, ...
— The Hollow of Her Hand • George Barr McCutcheon

... pose as a President-maker. When the President was made, and the world was saying "President Hanway," that man should be dull indeed who did not look upon John Harley as the power behind the curtain. He would control the backstairs; he would wear a White House pass-key as a watch-charm! John Harley as well as ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... well knew what she was about, found herself deep in the intricacies of a narration, having reference (if I am not altogether mistaken) to a pink horse (with green wings) that went, in a violent manner, by clockwork, and was wound up with an indigo key. With this history the king was even more profoundly interested than with the other—and, as the day broke before its conclusion (notwithstanding all the queen's endeavors to get through with it in time for the bowstringing), there was again no resource but to postpone ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... for the box, and a box was handed to him. In it he deposited some stocks and bonds which he took from his pocket. Then the clerk who had charge of the vaults went to a rack on the wall and took out a key and gave it to the man who had rented the box. The man then put the box into one of the little steel compartments, shut the door and turned the key. He then went away feeling perfectly secure on account of those steel doors and various mechanical ...
— Fundamentals of Prosperity - What They Are and Whence They Come • Roger W. Babson

... aid in trying his powers in literature. It was very perplexing; and the fact became presently clear that he expected me to tell him how I could be of use to him,—he being in no way able to afford me that information. I may as well give here the key to the mystery, which I had to wait for for some time. When poor Patrick was in a desperate condition,—very ill, in a lodging of which he could not pay the rent,—threatened with being turned into ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... had put her hand on the door-key; she dropped it, and looked at the girl with a sort of beseeching appeal for the comfort she could not imagine herself. "Don't look at me, mother," said Penelope, shaking her head. "You know that if Irene were to die without knowing it, it wouldn't ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... company with the nut- gatherers and gave him all I had gotten, thanking him for his kindness; but he would not accept them, saying, "Sell them and make profit by the price; and presently he added (giving me the key of a closet in his house) "Store thy nuts in this safe place and go thou forth every morning and gather them as thou hast done to-day, and choose out the worst for sale and supplying thyself; but lay up the rest here, so haply thou mayst collect enough ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... whiskey was granted him. Then, his hands still bound securely by Carson, he was put in the small grain-house, a windowless, ten-by-ten house of logs. An admirable jail this, with its heavy padlock snapped into a deeply embedded staple and the great hasp in place. The key safely in Judith's possession, Shorty was left to his own thoughts while Judith, and ...
— Judith of Blue Lake Ranch • Jackson Gregory

... did portend something; hence the one great aim and ideal of his life was to see everything. Seeing meant foreseeing, and the man who could see everything—the seer par excellence, who could also understand what he saw—held in his hands the key that would unlock the secrets of the future. He possessed the means of ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... largely in all well-kept meteorological reports, is the key to many important conditions of the atmosphere, affecting ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... her work for days after Gard's return like a bereft tigress. Then one morning she locked the door of her house, put the key in her pocket, and took the cutter for Guernsey; and none ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... is happy because he has discovered his prize and is enthralled by a pursuit that makes all other things seem mean and paltry. Men are happy in proportion as they yield themselves to the best, as they tune their hearts to strike the highest key of their lives. Paul is happier in the dungeon, where he can be true to his ideal, than Nero ...
— Levels of Living - Essays on Everyday Ideals • Henry Frederick Cope

... way the windows looked that were to give the light, towards that part of the garden there was none; at last I saw the good old gentleman come trudging through the garden, fumbling out of his pocket a key; I stepped into an arbour to observe him, and saw him open a little door, that led him into another garden, and locking the door after him vanished; and observing how that side of the apartment lay, I went into the street, and after ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... The KEY, annexed, was the property of Mr. Gough, the eminent topographer, and is supposed to have been used as a passport by some of the family of Stawel, whose arms ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, No. 577 - Volume 20, Number 577, Saturday, November 24, 1832 • Various

... vitals—torn as we supposed, But found unwounded. In his feverish sleep He often moaned and muttered mysteries, And, dreaming, spoke in low and tender tones As if some loved one sat beside his cot. I questioned him and sought the secret key To solve his mystery, but all in vain. A month of careful nursing turned the scale, And he began to gain upon his wound. Propt in his cot one evening as he sat And I sat by him, thus I questioned him: 'There is a mystery about your life That I would gladly fathom. Paul, I think You well may trust ...
— The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems • H. L. Gordon

... to them the terrors of the 1,260 days [Footnote: Rev. xi .3.] were an insoluble enigma long since given up as hopeless, whose answer would come only at the Day of Judgment. Abbot Joachim declared that the key to the mystery had been to him revealed. What could "a time, times, and half a time" mean, but three years and a half? What could a year mean in the divine economy but the lunar year of 360 days? for was not the moon the symbol of the Church of God? What were those 1,260 days but the ...
— The Coming of the Friars • Augustus Jessopp

... sharp eyes—asked what he wanted. She looked suspicious. Christophe told her why he had come, and, in answer to her next question, gave his name. She came out of her room and opened the other door with a key which she had in her pocket. But she did not let Christophe enter immediately. She told him to wait in the corridor, and went in alone, shutting the door in his face. At last Christophe reached the well-guarded sanctum. He crossed a half-empty room which served ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... subconscious instinct the King was returning along the same route that he had come. Only as he approached the postern in the wall did it occur to him that it would almost certainly be locked; and yet for no other door had he a key. Attended constantly by servants, and leading a scrupulously regular life, requiring neither secret passages nor late hours, he had never possessed ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... help me do it. No decent girl is goin' into that house as it is, with my consent. It's the worst old rat-trap I ever saw. I've got the key, and I'm goin' through it this afternoon, and then I'm goin' to plan what ought to ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... Regent Street, whom Gladys and Shiel had agreed to consult in the event of a non-successful visit to Madame Elvita in Bond Street, also told them that Black Magic was the key to Hamar, Curtis & Kelson's performances. She advised them to get on the Astral Plane, where they would meet spirits who would give them all the ...
— The Sorcery Club • Elliott O'Donnell

... there, but, of course, not satisfied that the postmaster had not taken it. I asked him if any person other than himself ever assisted in handling the mails, and he answered: "No one." "Does not some person other than yourself have a key that will unlock either of your store doors?" "Yes." "Who is that person?" "It is George Havens, the leader of the band." Turning quickly to Bedell, I said: "The leader of the band has a key to the rear door, and he steals in while ...
— Motor Boat Boys Mississippi Cruise - or, The Dash for Dixie • Louis Arundel

... the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says the Holy One, the True, he that has the key of David, he that opens and no one shall shut, and shuts and no one shall open, [3:8]I know your works; behold, I have placed before you an opened door, which no man can shut; because you have a little power, and kept my word, and did not deny my name. [3:9]Behold, ...
— The New Testament • Various

... the night, under favour of a terrible bombardment and cannonading from the English fleet, and retreated to his own country without molestation.* Then he undertook the reduction of Susa, the garrison of which surrendered at discretion. By this conquest he not only secured the key to his own dominions, but also opened to himself a ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... birds, and his thirteenth to the inhabitants of the waters. There is hardly any reason in these books for omitting any part more than another except space, but the editor hopes that those chosen will put the reader in possession of a key to the more common ...
— Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus • Robert Steele

... Russians wanted to draw him on; but that, nevertheless, he must proceed as far as Smolensk; that there he would establish his head-quarters; and that in the spring of 1813, if Russia did not previously make peace, she would be ruined; that Smolensk was the key of the two roads to Petersburgh and Moscow; that he must get possession of it; and that he would then be able to march on both those capitals at the same time, in order to destroy every thing in the one, and preserve every ...
— History of the Expedition to Russia - Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812 • Count Philip de Segur

... to the door, but terror deprived her of utterance. The key sounded in the lock; the door opened, and Montoni appeared, followed by three ruffian-like men. 'Execute your orders,' said he, turning to them, and pointing to his wife, who shrieked, but was immediately carried from the room; while Emily sunk, senseless, on a couch, by which she had endeavoured ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... three books of poems now before us,—"The Book of Love," "Twilight," and "The Book of Death." "The Book of Love," "a thing excessively rare," as we are told in the Preface, "but this one written in good faith," opens with a couplet that is a key to the whole volume:— ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 41, March, 1861 • Various

... campaign which during the coming year would have annihilated the Confederacy. Grace, sitting near the window, might have imagined herself almost ignored. But she interpreted him differently. She now had the key which explained his conduct, and more than once tears came into ...
— His Sombre Rivals • E. P. Roe

... water is great, exceeding that of all the surrounding States. There has been no positive theory advanced, to our knowledge, explaining this circumstance, but the mystery is solved, to our minds, quite clearly. This eddy makes the key-point of contact of the humid Gulf winds with the cool winds of the westerly current, and likewise being the northwestern terminal point of the course of the great northeasters, the contact being the cause ...
— Minnesota; Its Character and Climate • Ledyard Bill

... softened to a lower key when she entered the apartment where Count Tristan lay, and there were genuine compassion and motherly tenderness in her look as she regarded him. She continued to question Maurice until she had learned something ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... cross-stitches and open canvas framed by the key pattern (C) shows a means of getting something like a tint halfway between solid work and plain ground. The mere work line—or "stroke-stitch," not crossed (D), is a perfectly fair way of getting a delicate effect; but the design has a way of ...
— Art in Needlework - A Book about Embroidery • Lewis F. Day

... proofs and asked his leave—which he gave at once, in one of the graceful little notes of which he was always master. For the diplomatic life and successes of Lord Dufferin are told in many official documents and in the biography of him by Sir Alfred Lyall; but the key to it all lay in cradle gifts that are hard ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... practised eye, with the aid of a perilous axe-stroke here and there,—strokes which might possibly bring the whole looming mass down upon him in a moment,—presently located the timbers which held the structure firm, "the key-logs," as the men call them. These he marked with his axe. Then, returning to the shore, he called for two volunteers to dare the task ...
— The Backwoodsmen • Charles G. D. Roberts

... sign of the nimbus, which we saw in the first picture, the Madonna of the Chair. But if you look narrowly, you will see that Raphael has added that other sign by which Peter is distinguished. He carries a great key. The reason is to be found in the words of our Lord to him as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, the sixteenth chapter and nineteenth verse. The key is a most fitting symbol here, for it seems to imply that the apostle is himself opening the gates of his prison house. The angel holds ...
— Raphael - A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The - Painter With Introduction And Interpretation • Estelle M. Hurll

... the soul of the city—the Pleasure of Paris. It was a part of the symbolism which we are asked also to find in the flitting visions of low life and the echoes of street cries in the music. But it was a note out of key, and Mr. Campanini eliminated it, with much else of the local color rubbish. And yet it is in the use of this local color that nearly all that is original and individual in the score consists. Until we reach the final scene of the father's wild anguish ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... darkened by shadows of earth, fail to ensure at all times the objective and delicate handling of mediaeval theory. But the vital parts are protected by a panoply of mail. From the Albigensian crusade to the fall of the Templars and to that Franciscan movement wherein the key to Dante lies, the design and organisation, the activity and decline of the Inquisition constitute a sound and solid structure that will survive the censure of all critics. Apart from surprises still in store at Rome, and the manifest ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... rate, Philander turned the key on him while he wus up over- head, and locked him in there for the day. A meaner, low-liveder, miserabler caper, I ...
— Sweet Cicely - Or Josiah Allen as a Politician • Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

... violent designs on the frontier. When I finished I made a sealed packet of all papers accumulated, and, seizing hat, snuff-box, and walking-stick, went out into Wall Street, through the dismal arcades of the City Hall, and down to Hanover Square. Opposite Mr. Goelet's Sign of the Golden Key, and next door to Mr. Minshall's fashionable Looking-Glass Store, was the Silver Box, the shop of Ennis the Tobacconist, a Boston man in our pay; and it was here that for four years I was accustomed to bring the dangerous despatches that should go north to his Excellency or ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... Don't call names; You are always abusing my pleasures, which is what no mortal will bear. Trash, lumber and stuff are the titles you give to my favourite amusement. If I called a white staff a stick of wood, a gold key gilded brass, and the ensigns of illustrious orders coloured strings, this may be philosophically true, but would be very ill received. We have all our playthings; happy are they that can be contented with those they can obtain; those hours are spent ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... her for every thing, and perhaps the next moment threatened to throw whatever he had ordered, at her head. Once he told her, in bitter tones and language, that "but for wishing to make use of her to effect certain ends, he would turn her into the street." He had a new lock and key, of a peculiar construction, fitted on his chamber door, which he locked every morning carefully, and carried the key away ...
— May Brooke • Anna H. Dorsey

... me. Public as the Prince made himself, he was never accompanied by his evil spirit (as I held him) the priest Domenico. Yet—ame damnee, or master devil, whichever he might be—I felt sure that the key of our success lay in unearthing him. So, while the Princess tracked her brother, I begged off at whiles to haunt the purlieus of the Palazzo Verde—for three days without success. But on the fourth ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... was so great at Pauline's behavior to her that her tears became sobs, and her sobs almost cries of pain. Pauline, lying on the bed, did not take the least notice of Verena. She turned her head away, and when her sister had left the room and shut the door Pauline sprang from the bed and turned the key in the lock. ...
— Girls of the Forest • L. T. Meade

... briefly mentioned that the spirited Brock finding on his arrival the 49th grenadiers and militia, though resolutely defending the landing-place, hard pressed, had called to their aid the 49th light company from the Height's summit, the key of the position. The enemy, profiting by this step, moved unperceived about 150 men—and over a precipitous steep it was deemed impracticable for a human being to ascend—who suddenly appeared to the astonished General just on the ...
— Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. - A Drama. And Other Poems. • Sarah Anne Curzon

... pledge you my honour, as a loyal knight, that I will almost thoroughly respect you, and be forever silent concerning my discomfiture. In short, you will know that the Duc d'Orleans has a good heart, and revenges himself nobly on ladies who treat him with disdain, by placing in their hands the key of Paradise. Only keep your ears open to the joyous words that will be handed from mouth to mouth in the next room, and cough not if ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... darling," said she, in a low, sad-toned voice, "you are wilting like a flower deprived of sunshine and dew. But go. Take this key. He locks himself within, and all you can do he will not grant admittance. The only way is to use this pass-key, which you must return to me. I must ...
— Ernest Linwood - or, The Inner Life of the Author • Caroline Lee Hentz

... others were on staircases and flights of stone steps leading to the roof, in the attitude of climbing to a place where they hoped the lava might not bury them. Two men were found by the garden gate of a large and beautiful mansion. One was standing with the key in his hand, a handsome ring on his finger, and a hundred gold and silver coins scattered round him. The other, who was probably his slave, was stretched on the ground, with his hands clutching some silver cups and vases. These men had evidently been suffocated whilst trying to carry off ...
— The King's Cup-Bearer • Amy Catherine Walton



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