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Torture   Listen
noun
Torture  n.  
1.
Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; pang; agony; torment; as, torture of mind. "Ghastly spasm or racking torture."
2.
Especially, severe pain inflicted judicially, either as punishment for a crime, or for the purpose of extorting a confession from an accused person, as by water or fire, by the boot or thumbkin, or by the rack or wheel.
3.
The act or process of torturing. "Torture, which had always been deciared illegal, and which had recently been declared illegal even by the servile judges of that age, was inflicted for the last time in England in the month of May, 1640."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Torture" Quotes from Famous Books



... not the sort of persecution you will be subjected to. The time of such cruel torture is over. The world has become Christian in name, but in heart it is ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... thou robbedst of his silvers and leftest with me sick in the closet doing such and such by him?" And the workmen said to him, "Is not this he whom thou badest us seize and beat?" Therewith Abu Kir's baseness was made manifest to the King and he was certified that he merited torture yet sorer than the torments of Munkar and Nakr.[FN228] So he said to his guards, "Take him and parade him about the city and the markets;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... sweet Harriet," said the young man, "I leave you; and though it is torture to me to be away from your side, yet I have resolved never again to see you until I have made the most perfect search for your brother; until I can win a dearer embrace than any I have yet received, by placing him ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... Frenchman in a seal-skin cap with a braided hood over it, once our travelling companion in the coupe aforesaid, who, waking up with a pale and crumpled visage, and looking ruefully out at the grim row of breakers enjoying themselves fanatically on an instrument of torture called 'the Bar,' inquired of us whether we were ever sick at sea? Both to prepare his mind for the abject creature we were presently to become, and also to afford him consolation, we replied, 'Sir, your servant is always sick when it ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... or a loch-trout. They of Kennet and Test know a good deal better than to approach your wet flies. A few minutes of this failure reduce the novice to the despair of Tantalus. He never was set to such a torture as casting over big feeding trout and never getting a rise. You feel inclined to throw your fly-book bodily at the heads of the trout and bid them take their choice of its contents. That method of angling would be quite as successful as angling for large southern trout ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang

... not come. Ask yourself how many unhappy hours Keats has caused you in loneliness. For myself I have been a martyr the whole time, and for this reason I speak; the confession is forced from me by the torture. I appeal to you by the blood of Christ you believe in. Do not write to me if you have done anything this month which it would have harried me to have seen. You may have altered—if you have not—if you still behave in dancing rooms and other societies ...
— Mitch Miller • Edgar Lee Masters

... one in marriage. Teach her to love you so that she cannot exist without you. But if the matter becomes known to her mother she will have you burned in the fire. Then you must beg, as a last favour, that your body may be anointed with oil so that you may burn the more quickly and be spared torture. If the peri-king allows this favour, we two will manage to be your anointers, and we will put an oil on you such that if you were a thousand years in the fire not a trace ...
— The Brown Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... of the Harpies, and each dull-hued poisonous twig bleeds with red blood before us, and cries aloud with bitter cries. Out of a horn of fire Odysseus speaks to us, and when from his sepulchre of flame the great Ghibelline rises, the pride that triumphs over the torture of that bed becomes ours for a moment. Through the dim purple air fly those who have stained the world with the beauty of their sin, and in the pit of loathsome disease, dropsy-stricken and swollen ...
— Intentions • Oscar Wilde

... edge of the bank trying hard to collect my wits and recover from a fainting spell. We finally managed to get the boat back and around the bend where we lay concealed for some time, suffering the torture of Hades. I finally crawled to the top of the bank and with field glass surveyed the locality in every direction. No life was visible, still the unearthly noise kept up, and the feeling of those two lone travelers would be impossible to describe. The thought ...
— Dangers of the Trail in 1865 - A Narrative of Actual Events • Charles E Young

... Gallese, which is halfway between Orvieto and Rome. In this solitude, Violante and Marcello were finally surprised under circumstances which made their guilt certain, and final confession was obtained from Marcello after he had been arrested and subjected to torture. Thereupon the duke sought him out in his prison, and stabbed him and threw his body into the prison sewer. The pope, Paul IV., was the duke's uncle; and upon being told what his nephew had done, he showed no surprise, but asked significantly: "And what have they done with the duchess?" Murder, under ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... that to which he had looked forward. From the beginning he regretted coming; before the end it was slow torture for him. He was out of place and felt more out of place than he was. Glances at his carelessly purchased clothes were veiled, and never utterly impolite, but he was conscious of them. He was conspicuous because he was different; outwardly in garb, inwardly in much else. There was ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... society columns by the yard? The papers were six months old, to be sure, when I got them, but every mention of you was like a knife stab to me. Jealousy drove me to memorize the name of every man with whom you were seen in public, and I called down all sorts of curses upon their heads. I used to torture my lonely soul with ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... Mouth, her Neck, her Hand, her Hair, a Majesty and Grace in every Motion, compleated my Undoing; I rav'd, I burnt, I languish'd with Desire, the holy Place cou'd scarce contain my Madness: with Pain, with Torture, I restrain'd my Passion when she retir'd, led sadly from the Altar. I, mixing with the Croud, enquir'd her Name and Country; her Servant told me, that she was of Quality, and liv'd in England, nay, in this very Town: ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume IV. • Aphra Behn

... to evil to do good, even for evil's sake," said the old man. "The thing that he would is done already. The wound that he would make is already bleeding; the heart he is gone to break is broken; the soul that he would torture ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... if it could be that they were taking him to some desert spring, where they meant to tie him to die of thirst in sight of water. The alkali plain held many forms of torture, as he knew. ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... melancholy little carts which, when the wheels went round, performed most doleful music. Many small fiddles, drums, and other instruments of torture. ...
— Charles Dickens and Music • James T. Lightwood

... when he had tormented her, waiting to be coaxed back to love and smiles again. The hard man's eyes filled with tears, as he thought of it. He watched the deep, tearless sobs that shook her breast: he had wounded her to death,—his bonny Margret! She was like a dead thing now: what need to torture her longer? Let him be manly and go out to his solitary life, taking the remembrance of what he had done with him for company. He rose uncertainly,—then came to her: was that ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... the emperor's lictors, Through suspect of being a Christian, In lone deserts wild and dismal Lives a saintly savage life, He will give to all my wishes The solution of these doubts:— And till then, O restless thinking Torture me and tease no more! Let me live for that! ...
— The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria - A Drama of Early Christian Rome • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... from which escaped accents of veritable torture; a delirium of tone followed, meagre melodies fighting for existence in the boiling madness of it all; it was the parody of a parody, the music of yesterday masquerading as the music of to-morrow. Alixe nervously watched the critic. He stood at the ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... Some other pleasures: these to me are none. Why do I prate Of women, that are things against my fate! I never mean to wed That torture to my bed: My Muse is she My love shall be. Let clowns get wealth and heirs: when I am gone And that great bugbear, grisly Death, Shall take this idle breath, If I a poem leave, that poem is ...
— Book of English Verse • Bulchevy

... and Antwerp, and I saw no end of new wonders, of course, and in Brussels we went to the opera. I did wish Molly was there, for she certainly would have thought she had struck Heaven, and I did, pretty nearly! I'm getting used to my dress-suit, and it isn't quite such an exquisite piece of torture to "do" my tie as it was at first, since Flora did it for me one night, and gave me some little hints for the future. She is ...
— The Old Gray Homestead • Frances Parkinson Keyes

... beginning of June, and the cuckoo at this time of the summer scarcely ceased his cry for more than two or three hours during the night. The bird's note, so familiar to her ears from infancy, was now absolute torture to the poor girl. On the Friday following the Wednesday of Melbury's departure, and the day after the discovery of Fitzpiers's hat, the cuckoo began at two o'clock in the morning with a sudden cry from ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... reenforcement of immense magnitude to our little army (if I may so call it), but we would not think of them. We were now in the situation that I had labored to get ourselves in. The idea of being made prisoner was foreign to almost every man, as they expected nothing but torture from the savages, if they fell into their hands. Our fate was now to be determined, probably in a few hours. We knew that nothing but the most daring conduct ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 • Charles H. Sylvester

... suppress a detail of his own days in Sydney, down to the attractions of an Italian restaurant he had discovered near the jail, the flavor of the Chianti and so forth. On the contrary, it was most interesting to note the play of features in the tortured man, who after all brought his torture on himself by asking so many questions. Soon, when his visitor left him, the bondman could follow the free in all but the flesh, through every corridor of the prison and every street outside, to the ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... were so like each other in anything," said Charles; "oh, the misery I have endured, in having to stand up to dance, and to walk about with a partner!—everybody looking at me, and I so awkward. It has been a torture to me ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... certain that the torture was over, his hopes were suddenly destroyed. The three Venerians approached again, each bearing a number of vessels containing germ cultures. These they placed on the table at Parkinson's side; then two of them withdrew, leaving the leader to continue his work. Uttering a few words in ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930 • Various

... into the bargain. Yes, Kate was his, and his only; and it was the resolve to keep her his, and thus spite his enemy as long as possible, that withheld Richard from seeking relief in suicide at this juncture. So Providence leads men from agony to worse agony, with intent, doubtless, to torture out of them the evil which they will ...
— Archibald Malmaison • Julian Hawthorne

... but I was still paralyzed in my left leg, and the only attention I required was daily massage for an hour, and then another hour in the torture-chamber with an electric current grilling me. After this was over, I would go into the city, do the block, have afternoon tea, give an address at the Town Hall recruiting-depot, go to a theatre, and then as ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... convulsed with shyness, the more that he knew that the unhappy Mary was listening with jealous ears. Charlotte, walking like Agag, "delicately," had a piteous expression in her eyes as though she were being led to the torture. ...
— Jeremy • Hugh Walpole

... when I come up, it de Lord's truth, I ain' know nothin but a decent livin all de time. My old Missus was a dear old soul en I been raise dat way. I hear talk bout how some of de white folks would bout torture dey niggers to death sometimes, but never didn' see my white folks allow nothin like dat. Dey would whip dey niggers dat runaway en stay in de woods, but not so worser. No, mam, my Missus wouldn' allow no slashin round bout whe' she was. ...
— Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... presently, but I have not finished my story yet. You see that wall?" Harry pointed to the wall between their cell and the one occupied by Miss Juanita. The consul nodded. "Behind that wall is a young woman—a Cuban sympathizer—who is awaiting torture, perhaps death, at the hands of her captors, because she will not betray the cause. And that young woman is Miss Juanita, the sweetheart of ...
— A Voyage with Captain Dynamite • Charles Edward Rich

... hoped to find from the death of the one some means for preserving the life of the other. The councillor was in a violent fever, agitated unceasingly both in body and mind: he could not bear any position of any kind for more than a few minutes at a time. Bed was a place of torture; but if he got up, he cried for it again, at least for a change of suffering. At the end of three months he died. His stomach, duodenum, and liver were all in the same corrupt state as his brother's, and ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... such gravity have taken place as the murder of a man, and the culprits have been allowed to run away scot-free, without being arrested? Issue warrants, and despatch constables to at once lay hold of the relatives of the bloodstained criminals and bring them to be examined by means of torture." ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... have lived during the last four nights, Valentine," said the count. "But, oh, how I passed that time! Oh, the wretched hours I have endured—the torture to which I have submitted when I saw the deadly poison poured into your glass, and how I trembled lest you should drink it before I could find time to throw ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... resembling the mode of torture employed by Procrustes—a celebrated highwayman of ancient Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched out or cut off their legs to adapt ...
— New Word-Analysis - Or, School Etymology of English Derivative Words • William Swinton

... travelling on towards the land of freedom, led by the North Star, they were set upon by four of these slave-catchers, and one of them unfortunately captured. The other escaped. The captured fugitive was put under the torture, and compelled to reveal the name of his owner and his place of residence. Filled with delight, the kidnappers started back with their victim. Overjoyed with the prospect of receiving a large reward, they gave themselves up on the third night to pleasure. They put up at an inn. The Negro ...
— Clotel; or, The President's Daughter • William Wells Brown

... very much interested in you, Miss Standish. It amuses me to see him torture the corners of his eyes to look at you. I have thought it would be only charity and good-will to change ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... the athletic and careless Indian would swing himself into the saddle, and in a few rough jerks teach the unruly animal to recognize a master. Of course, long before this, the rooster was dead, for at the first strong clutch his neck was broken, so that there was no unnecessary torture. The stream of riders flowed on, and at last one lucky fellow gave the right kind of a pull, and out came the rooster, to be swung around his head with a fierce yell ...
— The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It, • George Wharton James

... back upon the night with a horror that sleep had been kind enough to interrupt only at intervals. The wretched hostelry lived long in her secret catalogue of terrors. Her bed was not a bed; it was a torture. The room, the table, the—but it was all too odious for description. Fatigue was her only friend in that miserable hole. Aunt Fanny had slept on the floor near her mistress's cot, and it was the good old colored woman's grumbling that awoke Beverly. ...
— Beverly of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... home, and Guster will fetch him. Guster disappears, glad to get out of the shop, which she regards with mingled dread and veneration as a storehouse of awful implements of the great torture of the law—a place not to be entered after the gas is ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... inauspicious lip, and giving expression to a feeling that looked very like one of contempt or ridicule. "You come from the land of melancholy and bile—where your holidays are fasts, and your day of rest is one of unmitigated toil. You would be sorry to forego, no doubt, the prospect of everlasting torture and eternal condemnation. Mr Z—— is too far advanced for you, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 • Various

... of health he resigned from the Chinese service and returned to America. For two years he lived in New York City, suffering in body without cessation the most exquisite torture. During that time his letters to his family show only tremendous courage. On the splintered, gaping deck of the Chen Yuen, with the fires below it, and the shells bursting upon it, he had shown to his Chinese crew the courage of the white man who knew he was responsible for them and ...
— Real Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... hear of my crossing the mountains without an escort, for he assured me that El Cuchillo, the Spanish guerilla chief, was out that way with his band, and that it meant a death by torture to fall into his hands. The old priest observed, however, that he did not think a French hussar would be deterred by that, and if I had had any doubts, they would of course have been decided ...
— The Exploits Of Brigadier Gerard • Arthur Conan Doyle

... the woman's face; her cup had been full before; she had drunk her fill of grief; and this new horror, her husband struggling like a mouse in the bitter cold water, could not add a pang to her torture. All that I have described happened, of course, in a few seconds; the man had barely gone under before one of the ship's butchers, in his white clothes, was in after him. Let no one belittle the race of butchers. The life-taker knew how to save ...
— The Relief of Mafeking • Filson Young

... wine the same as priests! To die for such absurdities when life is so beautiful and the heretic might have enjoyed it so richly with any of the plump-breasted, big-hipped blonde women, friends of the cardinals, who witnessed his torture! Unhappy apostle! Jaime ironically pitied the simplicity of the martyr. He looked at life through different eyes. Viva el amor! Love was the only thing worth while ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... he essayed to thrust his foot into my companion, which had been reduced to the same shrunken state as myself. In vain he tugged, swore, and strained; first with one, and then with another, until the stitches in our sides grinned with perfect torture; the perspiration rolled down his forehead—his eyes were staring, his teeth set, and every nerve in his body was quivering with his exertions—but still he ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 21, 1841 • Various

... and burning the royal proclamation. Corvinus had a narrow escape from the emperor's wrath, and his hatred of Pancratius increased. Unable to secure another victim, Corvinus seized his old schoolmaster and gave him up to torture and death at the hands of his pupils. On his return from this bloody expedition, Corvinus, drunken and reckless, was thrown from his chariot into a canal and would have drowned had not Pancratius rescued him. At that time Pancratius recovered the knife with which he had cut down the edict and which ...
— Journeys Through Bookland - Volume Four • Charles H. Sylvester

... nothing for it but to go bravely forward. Although it was unpleasant to have one's hair trimmed by an uncertain pair of rusty clippers, I could not help experiencing a feeling of relief that the convict did not have a pair of shears. He was working too near my jugular vein. Finally the period of torture came to an end, and the prisoner accepted his fees with a profound salutation. We breathed sighs of relief, not unmixed with sympathy, as we saw him marched safely away ...
— Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru • Hiram Bingham

... had gathered round him, by his resolute bearing, his gentleness and patience, his steadfast adherence to the truths he had taught, and his heroic endurance of the fiery ordeal through which he had to pass to his rest and reward." The harrowing details of his six long hours of torture have been preserved for us by his friend Alesius, himself a sorrowing witness of the fearful tragedy. "He was rather roasted than burned," he tells us. It may be that his persecutors had not deliberately planned thus horribly to protract his sufferings—though ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... I laid them aside until the next occasion when I should feel disposed for self-torture, and got out of bed. A bath and breakfast braced me up, and I left the house in a reasonably ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... the companions of Agnes, the saints who served as her escort: three at her right—Dorothea, who was fed in prison by miraculous bread; Barbe, who lived in a tower; and Genevieve, whose heroism saved Paris: and three at her left—Agatha, whose breast was torn; Christina, who was put to torture by her father; and Cecilia, beloved by the angels. Above these were statues and statues; three close ranks mounting with the curves of the arches, decorating them with chaste triumphant figures, who, after the suffering and martyrdom of their earthly life, were welcomed by a host ...
— The Dream • Emile Zola

... in which I suffered, too," Eleanor replied, quietly. "Perhaps that is what drew us so closely together from the first. Four years of torture!" she continued, more to herself than to the ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... it must be literally removed from cares and noise, for it is impossible to study at all deeply while exposed to interruption. How terribly most of us have suffered from this form of mental torture, for it is little else! What trains of lucid thought, what word-pictures have been destroyed by thoughtless breakings of the chain of sequence! 'I have never known persons who exposed themselves for years to constant ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... regard them as education—not at the time. They got into his dreams. He set them down as warnings, or punishments, intended to give him a taste for a better life. He felt that it was his conscience that made such things torture him. That was his mother's idea, and he had a high respect for her opinion in such matters. Among other things, he had seen her one day defy a vicious and fierce Corsican—a common terror in the town—who had chased his grown daughter with ...
— The Boys' Life of Mark Twain • Albert Bigelow Paine

... persisted in my resolve, and was whirled, more dead than alive, across the Continent to Berlin. In the period of three months I had traversed all the leading kingdoms and pushed my purpose to the sandy banks of the Nile. Every moment in this journey was an infinity of torture; but in the bitterest pangs I remembered the divine consummation, and kept on. My infirmities were increased rather than diminished. In the deepest thunder I could hear the delving of the beetle; and though the whole vault blazed with electric light, I could see the twinkle ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... myself capable: has brought the burning tears into my eyes which make it a hard task to write to you. All this I know, and yet I dare not believe in myself. It is useless to deny it, Carmina—I love him. Even now, when you have found me out, I love him. Don't trust me. Oh, God, what torture it is to write it—but I do write it, I will write ...
— Heart and Science - A Story of the Present Time • Wilkie Collins

... thine. Mistaken Caiaphas! Ah! which blasphem'd; Thou, or thy pris'ner? which shall be condemn'd? Well might'st thou rend thy garments, well exclaim; Deep are the horrors of eternal flame! But God is good! 'Tis wondrous all! Ev'n he Thou gav'st to death, shame, torture, died for thee. Now the descending triumph stops its flight From earth full twice a planetary height. There all the clouds condens'd, two columns raise Distinct with orient veins, and golden blaze. One fix'd ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... by Moll, who also had strong feeling to repress, and therefore could comprehend her father's torture, and she would often seize an opportunity, nay, run great risk of discovery, to hie her secretly to his room, there to throw herself in his arms and strain him to her heart, covering his great face with tender kisses, and whispering words ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... date, and on the ins and outs of different incidents during the insurrection, that was a severe tax on the memory of a wounded man. All that is positively known of the inquisition are the questions and Kosciuszko's replies. What lay beneath it—what were the means of moral torture wielded by those who conducted the inquiry, the pitfalls spread for a prisoner who lay helpless, racked by pain from the wound in his head; what was the ingenuity employed to wrest his answers from him, ...
— Kosciuszko - A Biography • Monica Mary Gardner

... blisters, and a very rending of her bones, so now she fell victim to them again. In sunshine and rain she faced the desert. Sunburn and sting of sleet were equally to be endured. And that abomination, the hateful blinding sandstorm, did not daunt her. But the weary hours of abnegation to this physical torture at least held one consoling recompense as compared with her experience of last year, and it was that there was no one interested to watch for her weaknesses and failures and blunders. She could ...
— The Call of the Canyon • Zane Grey

... hues of the horizon thickened and deepened to a leaden-grey; the sun gleamed aloft pallid and rayless, like a ghost of its former self; and the ocean, black and turbid, heaved restlessly, writhing as if in torture. An intense and unnatural silence, too, seemed suddenly to have fallen upon nature, enwrapping the scene as with a mantle, a silence in which the flap of the canvas, the pattering of the reef- points, the ...
— The Pirate Island - A Story of the South Pacific • Harry Collingwood

... convicted under the Foreign Enlistment Act. Much sympathy was shown him by the vast British public, and little for the Reformers, who, whatever their part in the affair, had to suffer most. They endured mental torture, and bodily discomfort of all kinds—discomfort so acute that it brought on some active illness, and caused one to commit suicide. A Judge from the Orange Free State—Judge Gregorowski—who took an unctious joy in the proceedings, was imported to try them, and he revived ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... torture and fear, Lay under his panniers, scarce able to groan, And, what was still dolefuler—lending an ear To advisers whose ears were a ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... are innocent; she has boasted of a liberty which she does not possess, in order to clear you of the wrong which you have done in denying that liberty. The deafening rattle which your wife shakes will follow you everywhere with its obtrusive din. Your darling will stun you, will torture you, meanwhile arming herself by making you feel only the thorns of married life. She will greet you with a radiant smile in public, and will be sullen at home. She will be dull when you are merry, and will make you detest her merriment when you are moody. Your two faces ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part III. • Honore de Balzac

... street, engaged in that self-torture which is the chief recreation of unhappy lovers. He steeped his heart in gall by imagining Maud in love with another. His passion stimulated his slow wits into unwonted action, until his mind began to form exasperating ...
— The Bread-winners - A Social Study • John Hay

... before. His failure had one advantage. It freed him from all of guilt. It served also to keep his expectations at an unusually high pitch, so that when the morning of the great day arrived at last, it seemed as if he were facing twelve long hours of actual torture. ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... he went to his dressing-room, had his bath, and went down to breakfast, half-desiring his wife's appearance, that he might begin his course of vindictive torture. He could not eat, and was just rising to go out, when the door opened, and the parlor-maid, who served also ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... dawned a broken-down man rose from the bedside of the deceased. He had spent the night in torture, and now went to wake the daughter of the dead woman—wake his daughter! He must take care of her without letting her know that ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume II (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... torture a lemon over it. [He makes a gesture as of twisting a lemon peel. She hands him his tea.] Thanks! So you do it to-morrow ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The New York Idea • Langdon Mitchell

... under me, and began to force on bigger mathematical flowers from my unhappy soil in the Doctor's scholastic hothouse, I began to feel as if I were blighted, and as if quadratic equations were instruments of torture ...
— Burr Junior • G. Manville Fenn

... sincere," Nancy cried; "women must have loved you deeply, tragically, and have suffered all the torture there is, at ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... closes abruptly with a story of a gang of them, which has all the horrors of rack and torture. In the Translator's sequel we find ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 389, September 12, 1829 • Various

... "I believe you 've kept her in this house like a bird in a cage, to torture her as you 've tortured me. Why did n't you send her away, when you discovered I 'd been making ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... heart to push his inquiries farther. He felt that he had no right to remain any longer, when in all probability his presence was a torture to the ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... shine upon the black And hideous structure of the guillotine; Beside the haloed countenance of saints There hangs the multiple and knotted lash. The Christ of love, benign and beautiful, Looks at the torture-rack, by hate conceived And bigotry sustained. The prison cell, With blood-stained walls, where starving men went mad, Lies under turrets matchless in ...
— Poems of Sentiment • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... necessity of making a living for himself and family to remain away from church, meditated sorrowfully as he followed his plow, and often at the end of his furrow fell upon his knees and besought the Creator to save his undying soul and spare him the everlasting torture of the damned. A popular little gift book, published by the American Tract Society of New York, was entitled Passing Over Jordan, and on an early page we find the ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd

... was the pillar which always raised the queen up again, when the torture of her daily life cast her to the ground. She would, she must live for her children. She must, so long as a breath remained in her, devote all her powers to retain for her son the dauphin at least the crown beneath whose burden his father sank. She wanted ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... through his tongue. Some thrust iron bars and burning coals into their sides. The boldest mount a wooden scaffold and throw themselves down upon iron spikes beneath, stuck in bags of sand. It is very painful to fall upon these spikes; but there is another way of torture quite as painful—it is the swing. Those who determine to swing, allow the blacksmith to drive hooks into the flesh upon their backs, and hanging by these hooks they swing in the air for ten minutes, or even for half ...
— Far Off • Favell Lee Mortimer

... and as lightly as a bird might fly. Three minutes brought her in sight of Hickory Bush, a grove of trees straggling up from the flat in the moonlight, and resembling a congregation of witches with draggled hair, suffering torture. Beyond the trees shone a cluster of white camps; and the girl's heart gave a great bound as she saw by the order prevailing there, that the inmates had been so far unmolested. She sprang into the midst of ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... know what to do with a tenth part of this silver, senor. It would never do for me to make a show of being rich; the authorities would seize me, and perhaps torture me to make me reveal ...
— The Treasure of the Incas • G. A. Henty

... to throw any light on its origin. With a little ingenuity, one might, perhaps, torture some such notion out of certain fantastic sentences of Plato. In the Symposium (par. 192), however, God is represented as putting obstacles in the way of the union of fitting lovers, in consequence of the wickedness of mankind. When ...
— The Book of Delight and Other Papers • Israel Abrahams

... came. To-day I am out of bed for the first time since. I wish I were not a boy; then I could stand shocks better. They all think he went west. I start to-night, in a wagon—two or three hours of that, then I get a train. I don't know where I'm going, but I must go; to try to keep still would be torture. ...
— A Double Barrelled Detective Story • Mark Twain

... work he had.' Why, to talk of individual freedom and equality of opportunity under a system of cannibalistic competition like this is like the mocking laughter of a raving maniac gloating over the torture of the victim it holds in its murderous grip."[45] In another popular pamphlet the worker is told: "After all, John, does it not strike you that there is some foul iniquity in a system which allows one part of the community to do another portion of it to death and ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... administrator who filled his place, having refused to remove the interdict which had been pronounced against certain confraternities which admitted members of the secret societies, was condemned on 25th April, 1875, to six years of forced penal labor. Four years of the like torture were decreed against the administrator of Olinda for a similar offence. So much for the humanitarian Emperor of Brazil and his ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... despair when he felt this relation between Warren and himself. Something within him cried out to him to reveal his identity. Warren would kill him; but it was not fear of death that put Cameron on the rack. He had faced death too often to be afraid. It was the thought of adding torture to this long-suffering man. All at once Cameron swore that he would not augment Warren's trouble, or let him stain his hands with blood. He would tell the truth of Nell's sad story and his own, and make what amends ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... not change this marble statue into a woman of flesh and blood, with heart and soul? These lips are ready to smile, to utter a cry of rapture and delight, and behind the veil of my eyes lies a soul, which one touch of thine will arouse! O Frederick! Frederick! why do you torture me? Do you not know that your wife worships, loves, adores you; that you are her salvation, her god? Oh, I know these are unholy, sinful words! what then? I am a sinner! I am ready to give my soul in exchange for thee, Frederick. Why do you not hear me?—why have not my sighs, my ...
— Frederick the Great and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... And, since you want me to specify the reason, you understand that I am not going to torture my brain to turn it into a romance for you, or commence by recounting in the naturalistic manner of what stuff my first trousers were made, or, as the neo-Catholics would have it, how often I went as a child to confession, ...
— Atlantida • Pierre Benoit

... The bitter experiences of her whole existence, the struggle to live, the never-ending physical suffering, the long-continued bodily and mental torture had, as it were, cut her loose from life and placed her above it. Her education, the things she had seen, the spectacle of what seemed the end of everything, the Revolution, had so formed her character as to lead her to disdain human suffering. And this old woman, who had nothing ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... weight. It bent first just a little—then more. Then for a long moment it hung motionless, or with but the faintest quiver of vibration. Then, out of the sightless cavern came the screeching sound of metal scraping upon metal—a wild sound, like the torture of some inarticulate thing; a dull, grinding noise followed, and at last, out of the steaming furnace which the lower part of the train shed was now become, came the dull roar of some ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... she mused, "that torture of life must be passed on to coming generations for their unhappiness, their grief, their misery. I presume it was necessary that there should be this plan of the general blindness ...
— 54-40 or Fight • Emerson Hough

... He entered upon great possessions, in money, land, and houses; but behind his delight stood a ghost that cried out that his enjoyment of these things should not be of long duration. It was the ghost of the rich relative, who had been permitted to return to earth to torture his nephew into the grave. Wherefore, under the spur of this constant reminder, John Hay, always preserving the air of heavy business-like stolidity that hid the shadow on his mind, turned investments, houses, and lands into sovereigns—-rich, round, red, English ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... away, yet now present in his heart, else he would have noticed more particularly the appearance of her whom he addressed. The reader would have seen at once that she received his declaration of love for another like a death blow, that she sat there and heard him go on as one would sit under torture; yet by the strong force of her character subduing almost entirely all outward emotions. There was no disguising it to a careful observer, she, the Countess Moranza, ...
— The Heart's Secret - The Fortunes of a Soldier, A Story of Love and the Low Latitudes • Maturin Murray

... fathers, as a matter of course—then this man is rewarded by an eternity of bliss, happiness and joy—without end. Try to think of what ETERNITY means—think of the aeons upon aeons of time, on and on, and on, forever—and the poor sinner is suffering exquisite torture all that time, and in all time to come, without limit, respite, without mercy! And all the same time, the "good" man is enjoying his blissful state, without limit, or end, or satiety! And the time of probation, during which the two worked out their future fate, ...
— Reincarnation and the Law of Karma - A Study of the Old-New World-Doctrine of Rebirth, and Spiritual Cause and Effect • William Walker Atkinson

... after being well treated by his lord. But the punishment suggested by Jesus for the abominable conduct was extremely harsh: "And his lord was wroth and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him." Torture for criminals was ...
— The Mistakes of Jesus • William Floyd

... (abominable!): "unprovender'd:" "such his tale:" "Ah! suffering to the height of what was suffer'd" (a most insufferable line): "amazements of affright:" "the hot sore brain attributes its own hues of ghastliness and torture" (what shocking confusion of ideas!). In these delineations of common & natural feelings, in the familiar walks of poetry, you seem to resemble Montauban dancing with Roubigne's tenants, "much of his native loftiness remained in the ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... sense of the great and liberal change in laws concerning married women since 1848. I am no more approving of or admiring the old English common law, or the canon law, concerning women, than I am approving of or admiring the law that came to light recently in the Transvaal and would have allowed the torture of Jameson and his men, who, as a matter of fact, were allowed to go almost unpunished. The law of the Dutch Government in Africa belonged to the Middle Ages; their conduct belonged to to-day. I only believe that at the time when it was possible ...
— Woman and the Republic • Helen Kendrick Johnson

... hardly a crime that was not laid at the door of Barneveld and all his kindred. The man who had borne a matchlock in early youth against the foreign tyrant in days when unsuccessful rebellion meant martyrdom and torture; who had successfully guided the councils of the infant commonwealth at a period when most of his accusers were in their cradles, and when mistake was ruin to the republic; he on whose strong arm the father of his country had leaned for support; the man who had organized a political ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... those adjustments of the human sense-organs, which he so eloquently describes as implying pre-arrangement, Mr. Martineau had described the countless elaborate appliances which enable parasites to torture animals immeasurably superior to them, and which, from his point of view, no less imply pre-arrangement, I think the notes of admiration which end his descriptions would not have seemed to ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... though he may lead a domestic life. Such a man is purged of all his sins. Fasts and other penances cannot destroy sins, however much they may weaken and dry up the body that is made of flesh and blood. The man whose heart is without holiness, suffers torture only by undergoing penances in ignorance of their meaning. He is never freed from sins of such acts. The fire he worshippeth doth not consume his sins. It is in consequence of holiness and virtue alone that ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... of the torture that she suffered paralyzed all outward expression of pain. Quietly she put the book back on the table. Quietly she touched him, and called him ...
— The Evil Genius • Wilkie Collins

... common people stumbled along in the dark. The laws, moreover, were full of injustice and cruelty. An offender might have his hand or ear cut off, or his tongue torn out; he might be burned with red-hot irons or have molten lead poured into his flesh. Hanging was an easy death compared to the lingering torture of having one's bones broken on ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... destruction wherever they set foot. Something must be done to protect the wagon-trains on the Santa Fe Trail. I have already lost part of two valuable loads this season, and Narveo has lost three. But the appalling loss of property is nothing compared to the terror and torture to human life. The settlers on the frontier claims are being massacred daily. The Governor of Kansas is doing all he can to get some action from the army leaders at Washington. But you haven't been in military service for six years without finding out that some army leaders are flesh and blood, ...
— Vanguards of the Plains • Margaret McCarter

... fight, and the knives were required only for cutting the tent ropes or, in case of discovery, to enable them to take a life or two before they fell, fighting. Each had sworn to kill himself, if he found escape impossible, in order to escape a death by torture if he fell alive into the hands ...
— For the Temple - A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem • G. A. Henty

... infliction of serious cruelties. As assignees of Spain, we seem to have succeeded not only to her properties but to her policies in the treatment of subject races. We do not know that in the greatest excesses of the bad colonial government of Spaniards they ever inflicted a torture more exquisite than that of the "water cure." How many of the perpetrators of these atrocities have been adequately punished, or how many ...
— The Abolitionists - Together With Personal Memories Of The Struggle For Human Rights • John F. Hume



Words linked to "Torture" :   strappado, strapado, torturing, pain, taking apart, self-torture, distress, nail pulling, twisting, judicial torture, overrefinement, hurting, rack, persecution, straining, falanga, torment, falsification, suffering, instrument of torture, picket, genital torture, dismemberment, wound, prolonged interrogation, torturer, anguish, boot, distortion, martyrise, martyrize, bastinado, injure, kittee, hurt, martyr, crucifixion, agony, burning, excruciate, sensory deprivation, kia quen



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