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Temptation   /tɛmtˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Temptation

noun
1.
Something that seduces or has the quality to seduce.  Synonym: enticement.
2.
The desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid.
3.
The act of influencing by exciting hope or desire.  Synonym: enticement.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Temptation" Quotes from Famous Books



... This temptation must have been severe. The Ranters were like the black man with the white robe, named Flatterer, who led the pilgrims into a net,[70] under the pretence of showing them the way to the celestial city; or like Adam the first, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... jaunty disregard of the rules that is delightful.... His technic of piano writing was perfect; compared with Beethoven's it was a revelation. He never committed the fault of mere virtuoso writing, which is remarkable when we consider how strong a temptation there must have been to do so. In his piano music can be found the germs of most of the pianistic innovations that are usually identified with other composers—for instance, the manner of enveloping the melody with runs, the discovery of which has been ascribed to Thalberg, but which we ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... don't you believe that if Judas Iscariot had only resisted the temptation of the thirty pieces of silver, and stood by his master instead of betraying him, that his position in heaven would have been far more exalted than that of Peter, or ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... she misbehaved in his presence, he rebuked her with due consideration for her sex. When she caused people to talk to him of her, he merely shrugged his shoulders as was his habit, and smiled disdainfully; though occasionally he could not resist the temptation of ridiculing her comic pretensions. But this human curiosity had ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... of his diocese in his absence, my first business was, by the Queen's express command, to visit the Nuns of the Conception, where, knowing that there were above fourscore virgins, many of whom were very pretty and some coquettes, I was very loth to go for fear, of exposing my virtue to temptation; but I could not be excused, so I went, and preserved my virtue, to my neighbour's edification, because for six weeks together I did not see the face of any one of the nuns, nor talked to any of them but when their veils were down, which gave me a vast reputation for chastity. I ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... Him to affright the prowling brutes. And yet He was unharmed! Not a tooth nor a claw left scratch or gash upon Him! Why was it? It will never do to fall back upon the miraculous, for the very point of the story of the Temptation is His sublime refusal to sustain Himself by superhuman aid. By the employment of miracle He could easily have commanded the stones to become bread, and He might thus have grandly answered the taunt of the Tempter and have appeased the gnawings ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... first historical play of Shakespeare. As the tragedy moves onward, and the style gathers strength while the action gathers speed,—as (to borrow the phrase so admirably applied by Coleridge to Dryden) the poet's chariot-wheels get hot by driving fast,—the temptation of rhyme grows weaker, and the hand grows firmer which before lacked strength to wave it off. The one thing wholly or greatly admirable in this play is the exposition of the somewhat pitiful but not unpitiable character of King Richard. Among the scenes devoted to this exposition I of course include ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... English law woman loses her independence by marriage—a decided encouragement for women to keep away from the legal formality of legitimate marriage. Seeing that also in other respects unmarried or divorced women in England and Scotland are clothed with rights denied to married women, the temptation is not slight for women to renounce legitimate unions. It is not exactly the part of wisdom for the male representatives of bourgeois society to degrade bourgeois marriage into a sort ...
— Woman under socialism • August Bebel

... many men, it is no easy task. Undoubtedly, the very great majority of women are born modest at heart. Their nature is by many degrees less coarse than that of man. And their conscience is more tender. But there is one temptation to which they too often yield. With them the great dangers are vanity and the thirst for admiration, which often become a sort of diseased excitement—what drinking or gambling is to men. Here is the ...
— Female Suffrage • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... her life had she been so tempted. Perhaps because the temptation was so strong she ...
— Back To Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... wearing his first shoulder-straps in the regiment his father had known so long and well. "Sometimes," said the dominie, "I look back almost wistfully on those old days with all their danger and privation, and while the life our fellows lead to-day knows little of the temptation and trial encountered twenty years ago, it seems to lack its vim and vigor. Sometimes I almost wish my boy ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... there ran through me an insane desire to commit some atrocious crime, to waylay and strike, to speak words of outrageous insult. I do verily believe that only the opportunity was wanting, some chance conflict of the street or temptation of solitude, to have changed these demoniac impulses to action—I whose most violent physical achievement has been to cross over Broadway. It is good that I am home and the blood has left my brain. What shall I think of this if I ...
— The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance • Paul Elmer More

... the one they founded in the New World. Boston is full of ancient structures, among them Shodfriars Hall, one of the most elaborate half-timbered buildings in the Kingdom. The hotels are quite in keeping with the dilapidation and unprogressiveness of the town and there is no temptation to linger longer than necessary to get an idea of the old Boston ...
— British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car - Being A Record Of A Five Thousand Mile Tour In England, - Wales And Scotland • Thomas D. Murphy

... money they may some day stand you in good stead. They are worth a large sum, I can tell you, and I don't care about keeping them here. None of my school are condemned malefactors. I would never take such men, even to please the wealthiest patron. But there is no use in placing temptation before any, and Porus and Lupus will have told how the Roman ladies flung their bracelets to you. I will take them down to a goldsmith who works for some of my patrons, and get him to ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... men; and men engaged in one of the most difficult of human activities. They are subject to aesthetic temptation and sin, as all men are subject to temptation and sin of all kinds. Their public may tempt them to think more of themselves than of what they have to express, either by perverse admiration or by ignorant contempt. An actual audience may be an ...
— Essays on Art • A. Clutton-Brock

... live even while we die. Nations and individuals are ever tempted thus to ignore God, and rebelliously to say, 'Who is Lord over us?' or presumptuously to think themselves architects of their own fortunes, and sufficient for their own defence. Whoever yields to that temptation has let the 'prince of the devils' in, and the inferior evil spirits will follow. Positive acts are not needed; the negative omission to 'glorify' the God of our life ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... "Colonel McIntosh with 200 men of his regiment of Creeks."[67] The delinquent wayfarers were both fortunate and unfortunate in thus tardily arriving upon the scene. They had missed the fight but they had also missed the temptation to revert to the savagery that was soon to bring fearful ignominy upon their neighbors. To the very last of the Pea Ridge engagement, Stand Watie's men were active. They covered the retreat of the main army, to a certain extent. They were mostly half-breeds and, so ...
— The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War • Annie Heloise Abel

... felt temptation grip him. He was convinced the man beside him knew the untold story, and at this juncture in his life he would give much to understand all those things he had never questioned or ventured to consider. Then recognising disloyalty in the very thought, he hastened to escape the pitfall. It was no use ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... to consider is not whether a second or third swarm shall be immediately launched,—for in arriving at such a decision they would merely be blindly and thoughtlessly yielding to the caprice or temptation of a favourable moment,—but the instantaneous, unanimous adoption of measures that shall enable them to issue a second swarm or "cast" three or four days after the birth of the first queen, and a third swarm three days after the departure of the second, with this first queen at their head. It must ...
— The Life of the Bee • Maurice Maeterlinck

... during the spring term and stave off the threatened and unspeakable calamity. It was a hard resolution to put through, especially when she conceived a marvellous idea-a "farce" like one Polly Currier told her about when she was home for her Easter vacation. Missy wrestled with temptation like some Biblical martyr of old, but the thought of Colorado kept her strong. And she couldn't help feeling a little noble when, mentioning to mother the discarded inspiration-without allusion to Colorado-she was praised for her adherence ...
— Missy • Dana Gatlin

... that whether liquid or solid it was almost invariably boiled must have much to do with saving the people from the legitimate consequences of their sins against sanitary laws. The Chinese have no principles against eating between meals if they can find anything to eat, and there was temptation all along the road. Beside a wayside well, under a spreading tree, would be placed a small table tended perhaps only by a tiny maiden, and set out with pieces of sugar-cane or twigs of loquats or carefully counted clusters of peanuts or seeds, five ...
— A Wayfarer in China - Impressions of a trip across West China and Mongolia • Elizabeth Kendall

... Marfinka's friendliness, and the willing attention of the servants made up a pleasant, friendly environment. He even felt pleasure in the watchful guardianship that his aunt exercised over him; he smiled when she preached order to him, warned him of crime and temptation, reproached him for his gipsy tendencies and tried to lead him to ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... than ever, has (I now hear from him) been putting himself in the way of temptation. I had noticed that he was not like himself, and spoke to him and warned him. I told him that if he wished to be married at once, I was quite willing to marry him; but he said they were too young, and yet he was always thinking of the young ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... few moments Bruno withstood the temptation, but then leaned far enough to grasp both hand and tiller, forcing them in the requisite direction, causing the aeromotor to swing easily around and dart away almost at right angles to the ...
— The Lost City • Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

... about, and soon discovered that it was a sliding valve, which he could push to either side. It was, in fact, the cat's door, specially constructed for her convenience of entrance and exit. For the cat is the guardian of the barn; the grain which tempts the rats and mice is no temptation to her; the rats and mice themselves are; upon them she executes justice, and remains herself an incorruptible, because untempted, therefore a respectable member of the farm-community—only the dairy door must be kept shut; that has ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... which make his hair untidy, or tear his clothes. In fact, you have forbidden him to do precisely those things which Nature prompted him to do. He has generally been very obedient, you say, and therefore his bodily powers have become weaker instead of stronger. Well, the temptation came, the unused and untrustworthy limbs were summoned to act, his consciousness of doing wrong enfeebled him still further, and made them still more nervous. He went up the tree, and the natural consequence ...
— A Lecture on Physical Development, and its Relations to Mental and Spiritual Development, delivered before the American Institute of Instruction, at their Twenty-Ninth Annual Meeting, in Norwich, Conn • S.R. Calthrop

... that he was the author of the drama, her censure turned to approbation and she sent for the young man. His appearance in her box was duly noted. The Regent and his daughter, the Duchesse de Berri, could not resist the temptation to attend the play, and see how much they were satirized. Voltaire did his little train-bearing act for their benefit, with a few extra grimaces, which pleased them very much, and seeing his opportunity, wrote a gracious letter of thanks to His ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... great a reward? CAL. Yea, more greater than if God would set me In heaven above all saints, and more in regard; And think it a more higher felicity. MEL. Yet more greater thy reward shall be, If thou flee from the determination Of thy consent of mind by such temptation. I perceive the extent of thy words all, As of the wit of him, that would have the virtue Of me such a woman to become thrall. Go thy way with sorrow! I would thou knew I have, foul scorn of thee, I tell thee true, Or [of] ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume I. • R. Dodsley

... of the Bishop had perceived a drift of rooks when on their evening flight to the rookery were passing along the very line which divided the hawk from the heron. A rook is a hard temptation for a hawk to resist. In an instant the inconstant bird had forgotten all about the great heron above her and was circling over the rooks, flying westward with them as she singled out the plumpest ...
— Sir Nigel • Arthur Conan Doyle

... provided constant occupation and frequent stumbling-blocks. On our arrival most rigid orders had been issued not to burn our neighbours' fences and I am able to say that the fences survived our stay. Temptation grew, nevertheless, in orchards and rows of small pollards (usually of ash), which formed the hedges in this part of France, not to mention a wood at the lower end of the village. That ancient trick of covering tree stumps with earth needed little ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... his post to come to Grigosie's help, the temptation to secure an easy victory had been too great for those who watched the plateau. Vasilici may have given no orders that the truce should be thus flagrantly broken, but those who had seized the opportunity knew well enough that success would win ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... fish from the river, but they lacked space for corn fields, and the plantations of the English spread out over what had once been hunting grounds. It was inevitable that they would seek food where they could find it, and having robbed nearby farms they could not resist the temptation to commit a few murders. Associated with them were the remnants of the Doegs who had been driven out of Virginia a few years before because of the "execrable murders" they ...
— Bacon's Rebellion, 1676 • Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker

... crescendo at the end of the Alleluia, the music is kept soft and dreamy throughout. It is a temptation to try to achieve this effect by placing singers and organ back, off stage, so that the sound may come from a distance but it has been found that the whole performance gains immeasurably if the organist is in front where he can watch every movement ...
— Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act • Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden

... where it had providentially been left open just north of Cady's mill. Everything was going along finely until two hopeless busybodies were attracted to the spot by his screams, and fished him out. It is feared that he will recover. We withhold the names of his rescuers, although under strong temptation to publish them broadcast.—Little Arcady Argus of ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... see) in pity to the man you have slain, and who loves you past all you can know; love, come. I am doing all I can, my own, to conquer the difficulty; I have already been to the offices of our great daily, and one editor apologized, saying the news of my 'hidden wife' was a temptation to him in the 'silly season.' For heaven's sake, my heart's darling, don't let anything you may hear against me turn your heart from me. The very thought of such a triumph for Mrs. Grundy in her role of social astronomer, as she sits in her watch tower, telescope in hand, ...
— A Heart-Song of To-day • Annie Gregg Savigny

... their lands," lead us to infer that William demanded of the English that they obtain from him in form a confirmation of their possessions for which they were obliged to pay a price. No statement is made of the reasons by which this demand was justified, but the temptation to regard it as an application of the principle of the feudal relief is almost irresistible; of the relief paid on the succession of a new lord, instead of the ordinary relief paid on the recognition of the heir ...
— The History of England From the Norman Conquest - to the Death of John (1066-1216) • George Burton Adams

... the temptation. It was as if a sweet voice called him to the wood. Nor were the little girls less attracted than he by the thought of gathering mosses and flowers and running at will under the high ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... power. O how would this make the gospel a great mystery to souls, and the redemption of souls a precious and wonderful work, if it were considered! Would not souls stand at this anchor immoveable in temptation, if their faith were pitched on this sure foundation and their hope cast upon this solid ground! O know your Redeemer is strong and mighty, and none can pluck you out of his hand, and himself will cast none out that comes! If the multitude of you believed this you would not ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... wondered what she would think if she knew that the touch of that little hand in his had been like the saving touch of a guardian angel. Once, urged on by one of the factory boys, an almost overwhelming temptation had seized him, but the remembrance that if he yielded he would never again be fit to take her hand made him thrust his into his pockets and turn away toward home with a shrug ...
— Flip's "Islands of Providence" • Annie Fellows Johnston

... propensity in our nature to do that which is wrong, there is, on the other hand, a counteracting power within it, or an impulse by means of the action of the divine Spirit upon our minds, which urges us to do that which is right. If the voice of temptation, clothed in musical and seducing accents, charms us one way, the voice of holiness, speaking to us from within, in a solemn and powerful manner, commands us another. Does one man obtain a victory over his corrupt affections? an immediate perception of pleasure, like the feeling ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... Christopher supporting the Christ- child, before the image of the Virgin, in her honour. Nothing like this can be seen at Chartres, or at any of the later palaces which France built for the pleasure of the Queen of Heaven. We are slipping into the thirteenth century again; the temptation is terrible to feeble minds and tourist natures; but a great mass of twelfth and eleventh-century work remains to be seen and felt. To go back is not so easy as to begin with it; the heavy round arch ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... voice of love, unless sanctioned by paternal approbation: be assured, it is now past the days of romance: no woman can be run away with contrary to her own inclination: then kneel down each morning, and request kind heaven to keep you free from temptation, or, should it please to suffer you to be tried, pray for fortitude to resist the impulse of inclination when it runs counter to the precepts of religion ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... the ground, and rolled his head and neck about in a fashion that is indescribable. This, I was told, was his method of rousing himself, or of relieving his feelings. It looked more like making a fool of himself. A handful of mealies seemed to irritate him at first, but by degrees the temptation became too strong. He commenced to pick a few seeds—ready, however, on the smallest provocation, to forsake them, charge up to the hedge, ...
— Six Months at the Cape • R.M. Ballantyne

... equally certain, that it is not just to expose them to a trial, in a case in which it must be almost impossible to determine falsely; in a case where the crews of, perhaps, twenty ships may be called as witnesses of their conduct, and where none, but those whose ship is lost, can be under the least temptation to offer ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 11. - Parlimentary Debates II. • Samuel Johnson

... bring the monarch and people more together, are really conducive to the harmony and stability of the whole political system. Meantime, Jose Joaquim Carneiro de Campos is prime minister, and Manoel Jacintho Noguerra de Gama is at the head of the treasury; a man so rich as to be above temptation, and whose character for integrity is scarcely lower than that of ...
— Journal of a Voyage to Brazil - And Residence There During Part of the Years 1821, 1822, 1823 • Maria Graham

... government officer compelled all who had such things to disgorge! He had an order from Constantinople to look out for our party, and see that we carried nothing off. It was a wise, a just, and a well-deserved rebuke, but it created a sensation. I never resist a temptation to plunder a stranger's premises without feeling insufferably vain about it. This time I felt proud beyond expression. I was serene in the midst of the scoldings that were heaped upon the Ottoman government for its affront offered ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... I used to lie there in the dark and all this became clear to me, was it a temptation of the ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... Buddhists believe that for seven times seven nights and days he continued fasting near the spot, when the archangel Brahm[a] came and ministered to him. As for himself, his heart was now fixed,—his mind was made up,—but he realized more than he had ever done before the power of temptation, and the difficulty, the almost impossibility, of understanding and holding to the truth. For others subject to the same temptations, but without that earnestness and insight which he felt himself to possess, faith might be quite impossible, and it would only be waste of time and trouble to ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... her hand. "Being a married man, must limit the amount of his yielding to temptation," he said, finishing the sentence for the girl. "I would I were to have the honour of your company at dinner once more, but your friends, the British, will not give us the time. So I must mount and ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... conduct of men themselves. Do thou, therefore, (as a remedy), restrain thy senses and mind and speech. For, if those become weak and productive of evil there is no man who can keep himself free from temptation of external objects by which he is always surrounded. As no one can form an adequate idea of the past nor can foresee the future, there being many intervals of time and place, a person like thee who is possessed of such wisdom and such prowess, never indulges in grief for union ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... rose in her hair, that nodded slyly at him with her every movement. And surely, in all the world, there had never bloomed a more tantalizing, more wantonly provoking rose than this! Wherefore Bellew, very wisely, turned his eyes from its glowing temptation. Doubtless observing which, the rose, in evident desperation, nodded, and swayed, until, it had fairly nodded itself from its sweet resting-place, and, falling to the floor, lay within Bellew's reach. Whereupon, he promptly stooped, and picked ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... not resist the temptation of the blue water and the lazy curling waves. In a few minutes the two men were walking down to the sea's edge, Geoffrey laughing at Reggie's chatter. His arms were akimbo, with hands on the hips, hips which looked like the boles of a mighty ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... opposites. For him, cramped as he had been by a voluntary respect for far more than the letter of the law, the discovery of a freer mode of speech was of incalculable advantage. It removed from him all temptation to that 'cleverness' which Mr. Gosse rightly finds in the handling of 'the accidents of civilised life,' the unfortunate part of his subject-matter in The Angel in the House; it allowed him to abandon himself to the poetic ecstasy, which in him was almost of the same nature as ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... suspicious persons to whom his attention was particularly directed, and said to them, 'I have no charge against you at present, but to- morrow it may be different. Habit you know has power over you, and you are unlikely to resist temptation. It would be incumbent upon me to treat you with extreme rigor. For your sake, as well as mine, be kind enough therefore to repair for a few days to a prison, the choice of which I leave to yourselves.' The suspected persons willingly complied with his ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... resist the temptation to escape this horrible place I leaped quickly through the opening into the starlight of a clear Arizona night. The crisp, fresh mountain air outside the cave acted as an immediate tonic and I felt new life and new courage coursing through me. Pausing upon the brink ...
— A Princess of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... and turn hermit (1756), there was a loud outcry from the social group at Holbach's. They said to him, in the least theological dialect of their day, what Sir Walter Scott had said to Ballantyne when Ballantyne thought of leaving Edinburgh, that, "when our Saviour himself was to be led into temptation, the first thing the Devil thought of was to get him into the wilderness." Diderot remonstrated rather more loudly than Rousseau's other friends, but there was no breach, and even no coolness. What sort of humours ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... had he so easily and so weakly yielded to that strong temptation to obtain by fraud the coveted blessing? Why had he not, like Abraham, patiently waited for the fulfilment of the sure promise made on his behalf? Why had he not waited till God Himself had brought it about—that the elder should serve the younger—instead of faithlessly ...
— Little Folks (November 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... nearly I may have approached success—judged by the standard I had set myself—how far I may have fallen short, my readers will discern. I am conscious, however, of having in the main dutifully resisted the temptation to take the easier road, to break away from restricting fact for the sake of achieving a more intriguing narrative. In one instance, however, I have quite deliberately failed, and in some others I have permitted ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... wherever we went, left us entirely by ourselves, unless we entreated them to accompany us. In that case we could venture to go with our pockets open, unless we had nails in them, upon which they set so great a value, that they could not always resist the temptation. We passed through more than ten adjacent plantations or gardens, separated by inclosures, communicating with each other by means of doors. In each of them we commonly met with a house, of which the inhabitants were absent. Their attention to separate ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... Frank went on, steadily; "just by accident he happened to hear our propellers buzzing, and looking up recognized the two boys who had so much to do with his being nabbed last summer. He couldn't resist the temptation to have a pot shot at us, hoping to pay the Bird boys back for their ...
— The Airplane Boys among the Clouds - or, Young Aviators in a Wreck • John Luther Langworthy

... that he had been ill so much that he had been kept out of temptation; but that the forecastle of a ship was no place for improvement of mind or morals. He said the captain with whom he came home asked him if he knew me, because he had heard of me. I was glad to find that the captain was a man of intelligence ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... libertinism to which our idle life exposed us. Perhaps I am wrong in charging myself and cousin with idleness at this time, for, in our lives, we were never less so; and what was extremely fortunate, so incessantly occupied with our amusements, that we found no temptation to spend any part of our time in the streets. We made cages, pipes, kites, drums, houses, ships, and bows; spoiled the tools of my good old grandfather by endeavoring to make watches in imitation ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... saying did not concern me; but he did not reply, gave me a kind look, and then we suddenly found ourselves in my bedroom where there is a double bed. He lay down on the edge of it and I burned with longing to caress him and lie down too. And he said, "Tell me frankly what is your chief temptation? Do you know it? I think you know it already." Abashed by this question, I replied that sloth was my chief temptation. He shook his head incredulously; and even more abashed, I said that though I was living with my ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... revert to the letter of amorous intrigue characteristic of her earlier efforts. In her latest and soberest writings, the conduct books called "The Wife" and "The Husband" (1756), she frequently yielded to the temptation to turn from dry precept to picturing the foibles of either sex. Her long training in the school of romance had made gallantry the natural ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... of that letter declining the invitation. It was the life I longed for, to be had for the taking, and an expedition of such kind under the leadership of two men like my captain, whom I still adored, and Mr. Meriwether Lewis, whom I greatly admired, was the strongest temptation that could be presented ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... one says, "Let him be worse wounded, for he is not yet healed." How much better then, had I been at once healed; and then, by my friends' and my own, my soul's recovered health had been kept safe in Thy keeping who gavest it. Better truly. But how many and great waves of temptation seemed to hang over me after my boyhood! These my mother foresaw; and preferred to expose to them the clay whence I might afterwards be moulded, than the ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... America, and the Portuguese have not fallen short of them; nay, I doubt if our own countrymen can be acquitted in many instances. The only difference is, that the other nations who preceded them in discoveries had greater temptation, because there were more riches and wealth ...
— The Mission; or Scenes in Africa • Captain Frederick Marryat

... the circus boy. "But I had the time of my life doing it. He ran up a tree, and he wouldn't come down until I offered him a handful of those nuts I found yesterday. They were too much of a temptation, and while I fed him nuts with one hand I took the kettle chain and tied him ...
— Out with Gun and Camera • Ralph Bonehill

... other deliver my soul from the burden of the flesh. Oh! may it by God's mercy be the soul of a faithful man! Faith and love I think I have, and have long had: but I am not so sure that I have really repented for my past sins, or only abandoned them when circumstances had removed almost the temptation to commit them. Yet I do trust that my repentance has generally been sincere, and though I may have fallen again, that I may by God's grace have risen again. I have no assurance that I have fought the good fight like St. Paul, ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... infectiously electric in the air this afternoon, or why should her thoughts fly as an arrow from the bow to just that very spot which it should have been her maidenly duty to avoid? She blushed at her own audacity; telling herself sternly that she ought to be ashamed; held the temptation afar off, looking at it, longing after it, regretfully deciding to cast it aside, then with a sudden impetuous change of front, hugged it to her breast. Yes, she would! For one afternoon, one golden, ...
— Flaming June • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... been divinely guided, Nance. No considerations of expediency can deflect me now. This had to be! I admit that I had my hour of temptation—but that has gone, and thank God my integrity ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... housemaids whether she had noticed it. On Wednesday his suspense ended. Lucian came, and had a long conversation with Lydia in the library. Bashville was too honorable to listen at the door; but he felt a strong temptation to do so, and almost hoped that the sympathetic housemaid might prove less scrupulous. But Miss Carew's influence extended farther than her bodily presence; and Lucian's revelation ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... obscurely wrestling against poverty, neglect, hunger, and dread temptation, bright had been the opening day and smooth the upward path of Randal Leslie. Certainly no young man, able and ambitious, could enter life under fairer auspices; the connection and avowed favourite of a popular and energetic statesman, the brilliant writer of a political work ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... in the best bedroom. John's expenses were small, and there was very little temptation, or indeed opportunity, for spending. At the time of his taking possession of his quarters in David's house he had raised the question of his contribution to the household expenses, but Mr. Harum had declined to discuss the ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... so, if I can, and if I am not hindered by the great temptation I feel to speak; though, indeed, it appears to me that I shall have the greatest difficulty in constraining ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... newer capitals suffer. The mighty ruins have such authority over all that is new. It is one of the greatest standing-grounds and points of vantage in the world. It has been interpreted as the mountain of temptation from which Satan showed the kingdom of this world. It is the birthplace of Caesardom and the modern idea of world-imperialism. It was once the seat of world-empire, and remains even now the rock of the Church. For many all roads still lead ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... scene, where the conspirators are met, the writer's power is no less strikingly shown. Here, if anywhere, his evil genius might have led him astray; for no temptation is stronger than the desire to indulge in rhetorical displays. Even the author of Bothwell, despite his wonderful command of language, wearies us at times by his vehement iteration. Our unknown ...
— Old English Plays, Vol. I - A Collection of Old English Plays • Various

... quite capable of giving back as good as I get, but it isn't worth while, because if one does yield to the temptation, afterwards one feels such a worm. There is no doubt it is more difficult in India than at home to obey the command of one's childhood: "to behave pretty and be a lady." What is a lady exactly? I used to be told that a lady was one who always ...
— Olivia in India • O. Douglas

... The temptation to enter was too great. I wished to explore the interior of this one remaining monument of civilization now dead beyond recall. Through this same portal, within these very marble halls, had Gray and Chamberlin and Kitchener and Shaw, perhaps, come and gone with the ...
— The Lost Continent • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... guilty energy in each and every passion, and of pursuing the Devil to the very depths of the waters, mountains and forests, there to annihilate him with the very sap of the world. If this theory is accepted the world is but sin, a mere Hell of temptation and suffering, through which one must pass in order to merit Heaven. Ah! what an admirable instrument for absolute despotism is that religion of death, which the principle of charity alone has enabled men to tolerate, but which the need of justice will perforce sweep ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... my mind disturbed and with my last night's doubts upon me, for which I deserve to be beaten if not really served as I am fearful of being, especially since God knows that I do not find honesty enough in my own mind but that upon a small temptation I could be false to her, and therefore ought not to expect more justice from her, but God pardon both my sin and my folly herein. To my office and there sitting all the morning, and at noon dined at home. After dinner comes Pembleton, and I being out of humour would not see him, ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... prompted by M. Pancaldi, you stole the clasp. Six months afterwards, you became Madame Pancaldi.... That is your whole story, is it not, told in a few sentences? The whole story of two people who would have remained honest members of society, if they had been able to resist that casual temptation?... I need not tell you how you both succeeded in life and how, possessing the talisman, believing its powers and trusting in yourselves, you rose to the first rank of antiquarians. To-day, well-off, owning ...
— The Eight Strokes of the Clock • Maurice Leblanc

... whom we have already made some mention in recording the acts of Constans, had now gradually fallen into bad practices, for which he removed them from their stations; in fact they had been undeniably convicted of yielding to the temptation of the great rewards which were given and promised to them, so as to have continually betrayed to the barbarians what was done among us. For their business was to traverse vast districts, and report to our generals the warlike ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... allow a thing to be done which, as a man and a gentleman, he thought both dishonourable and wrong, that prevented Taquisara from leaving Muro at once. For himself, his first impulse was to escape from the situation, from the horrible temptation he endured when he was with Veronica, from the barest possibility of any unfaithfulness to his friend. At that time the Italians were fighting in Massowah and as an officer of the reserve he could have volunteered for active service at a moment's ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... though it is hard to think of what this fortnight's illness has cost, fifty francs at least, and my work in arrears. And to think of that watch lying there useless all this time! Not that I would have Bernard sell it, even if we dared. But still I can understand the temptation were it a thing one could sell, to many even poorer than we. To-morrow, if there is still no advertisement in any of the papers, I really think I will no longer oppose Bernard's taking it to the police, and giving up all hopes of any reward, and even of the satisfaction of knowing ...
— A Christmas Posy • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... occupied the Holy Office through this space of time. But conjectures on the subject are now useless. Equally futile is it to speculate whether Bruno offered to conform in life and doctrine to the Church at Rome as he had done at Venice. The temptation to do so must have been great. Most probably he begged for grace, but grace was not accorded on his own terms; and he chose death rather than dishonor and a lie in the last resort, or rather than life-long incarceration. It is also singular that but few contemporaries ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... had done eating for the day, but the temptation of some fresh blubber was too great to be resisted, and to our astonishment they again set their pot on to boil, and ate till they ...
— Peter the Whaler • W.H.G. Kingston

... possessions. Besides the high salary, and the excellent opportunity of travelling to Java in such a comfortable way, my future prospects are so promising that I could not for a moment resist the temptation to go. It is much more agreeable to me than vegetating in a provincial town, on the look-out for ill-paid lawsuits or some legal appointment. I expatriate myself for a year or two, to return with all the importance of an Eastern nabob," continued Verheyst, with a faint attempt at ...
— Major Frank • A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint

... came here, Fred, just for the excitement. Hundreds of young fellows have drifted to the oil fields just as years ago they drifted to the gold fields. They gamble in oil stocks and do what they can, trying to strike it rich. It's a great temptation to any fellow who hasn't ...
— The Rover Boys in the Land of Luck - Stirring Adventures in the Oil Fields • Edward Stratemeyer

... her companions, and no ornaments whatever. Her features were well formed, and her rather pensive countenance was very beautiful. When they were retiring from the presence of the Queen, Mark could not resist the temptation to ask the Secretary ...
— The Fugitives - The Tyrant Queen of Madagascar • R.M. Ballantyne

... I can't rest without telling you that I am sorry at your receiving such an impression from my letter. May God save me from such a sin as arrogance! I have not generally a temptation to it, through knowing too well what I am myself. At the same time, I do not dispute my belief in what you have so often confessed, that you don't hold your attainments and opinions sufficiently 'irrespectively of persons.' Believing which of you, I said, 'under what new influence?' and if I said ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... said Railsford, to whom the temptation of a walk with Grover was even greater than that of a tete-a-tete ride with Arthur Herapath; "but can you ...
— The Master of the Shell • Talbot Baines Reed

... "It's a great temptation, Mr. Brant," she said, with a playful smile, which dazzled Clarence with its first faint suggestion of a refined woman's coquetry; "but I'm afraid that Mr. Peyton would think me going mad in my old age. ...
— Susy, A Story of the Plains • Bret Harte

... well the young than reclaim them when old, For the voice of true wisdom is calling, "To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best To prevent other people from falling." Better close up the source of temptation and crime, Than deliver from dungeon or galley; Better put a strong fence 'round the top of the cliff Than an ambulance down in ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For • Various

... not great, as the critical reader will quickly discover for himself. I ask him not to indulge the temptation of convicting me out of my own mouth. I am aware that my practice is often inconsistent with my professions; and I ask the reader to remember that the professions were made after the practice and to a considerable extent ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... my boy." Unconsciously we are crediting Fate with our own human weaknesses. If a man standing on the edge of a pond said aloud, "I have never fallen into a pond in my life," and we happened to be just behind him, the temptation to push him in would be irresistible. Irresistible, that is by us; but it is charitable to assume that Providence can ...
— Not that it Matters • A. A. Milne

... Highness the story of his conversion: how he had been a worldly, but he hoped a pure, pastor of the State religion; how that an evil and lustful woman had sought to seduce him, and he mentioned Guestrow as the place where his temptation had been offered him. The stroke told: her Highness started visibly. He continued by indicating that this abandoned woman was a witch, and finally let the Duchess understand that, having triumphantly ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... down, side by side, as they had done from infancy, repeating the usual prayers as they had been accustomed to do. Helen's voice did not falter, but continued its unvaried tone to the end: Rose (Helen thought) delivered the petition of "lead us not into temptation" with deeper feeling than usual; and instead of rising when Helen rose, and exchanging with her the kiss of sisterly affection, Rose buried her face in her hands; while her cousin, seated opposite the small glass which stood on their little dressing-table, commenced curling her hair, as ...
— Turns of Fortune - And Other Tales • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... moment of silence O'Hara plotted; then his tongue yielded to the temptation of the great words: "Eight-hundred-and-fifty ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... would more benefit itself than grant a favor to women by extending the suffrage to them. All the interests of women are promoted by a government that shall guard the family circle, restrain excess, promote education, shield the young from temptation. While the true interests of men lie in the same direction, women more generally appreciate these facts and illustrate in their lives a desire for their attainment. Could we bring to the ballot-box the great fund of virtue, intelligence and good intention stored ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... the stairway? It was a crucifixion of struggle, an age-long nightmare of agony. Time after time, as my consciousness blurred, the temptation was upon me to cease all effort and let myself blur down into the ultimate dark. I fought my way step by step. Margaret was now quite unconscious, and I lifted her body step by step, or dragged it several steps at a time, and fell with it, and back with it, ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... by dragging a young puppy in a rusty saucepan by a string tied to the handle, the temptation to join them overcame her. Inch by inch her hand moved up nearer the forbidden gate latch and she was just slipping through when old Jeremy, hidden behind a hedge where he was weeding the borders, rose up like an all-seeing dragon and roared at her, "Coom ...
— Georgina of the Rainbows • Annie Fellows Johnston

... carefully washed it. Then he climbed up on Paddy's dam and began to eat. You know Bobby Coon is very particular about his food. Whenever there is water near, Bobby washes his food before eating. Once more the hunter was tempted, but did not yield to the temptation, which was a very ...
— The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer • Thornton W. Burgess

... the king, and said, "Sire, it was said by Bishop Sigurd on Friday last, that the King who has all things in his power had to endure great temptation of spirit; and blessed is he who rather imitates him, than those who condemned the man to death, or those who caused his slaughter. It is not long till tomorrow, and ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... careful not to overdo. In his excitement to win in a contest he is likely to do this unless cautioned. A boy should never try to reduce his weight. Now that there are weight classes in sports for boys there is a temptation to do this and it may prove very serious. Severe training for athletics should be avoided. All training should be ...
— Boy Scouts Handbook - The First Edition, 1911 • Boy Scouts of America

... almost impossible, except by the despotic orders of chiefs whom they have been accustomed to obey, as children obey their parents. The free competition of European traders, however introduces two powerful inducements to exertion. Spirits or opium is a temptation too strong for most savages to resist, and to obtain these he will sell whatever he has, and will work to get more. Another temptation he cannot resist, is goods on credit. The trader offers him bay cloths, knives, gongs, guns, and gunpowder, to be paid for by some crop perhaps not yet planted, ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume I. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... them. Mr. Thomasson began to own the influence of solitude, and longed to pat the hand she had passed through his arm—it was the sort of caress that came natural to him; but for the time discretion withheld him. He had another temptation: to refer to the past, to the old past at the College, to the part he had taken at the inn, to make some sort of apology; but again discretion intervened, and he went ...
— The Castle Inn • Stanley John Weyman

... though they do not know the details of your defences. It would be very much better to gather in all such strangers and kindly, but firmly, to take care of them, so that they should not be under temptation to impart any knowledge they may have obtained. "Another way," as the cookery book says, more economical in lives, would be as follows: Gather and warmly greet a sufficiency of strangers. Stuff well with chestnuts as to the ...
— The Defence of Duffer's Drift • Ernest Dunlop Swinton

... did so, I beg him to consider the matter. If then he cannot come to a conclusion concerning it, I doubt if any explanation of mine would greatly subserve his enlightenment. Meantime, I am forcibly restraining myself from yielding to the temptation to set forth my reasons, which would result in a half-hour's sermon on the Jewish dispensation, including the burnt offering, and the wave and heave offerings, with an application to the ignorant nurses and mothers ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... insulting truth! What crawling serpent of temptation induced you to tell me you expected to marry Beulah? No evasion! I will not be put off! Why did you deceive me with a falsehood I was too stupidly trusting to ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... driven the Boer from Cape Colony which he did not now practise himself upon others—and a wrong may be excusable in 1835 which is monstrous in 1895. The primitive virtue which had characterised the farmers broke down in the face of temptation. The country Boers were little affected, some of them not at all, but the Pretoria Government became a most corrupt oligarchy, venal and incompetent to the last degree. Officials and imported Hollanders handled the stream of gold which came in from the mines, while ...
— The War in South Africa - Its Cause and Conduct • Arthur Conan Doyle

... a happy situation in connection with the great Perce rock at Perce, on the top of which the gulls and cormorants have kept house for untold generations. These birds are a constant temptation to the men with a gun, but the Perce people are so attached to the birds that no one would ever think of killing one, except the occasional French fisherman who will eat a young gull when hard pressed. Any attempt made by outsiders to use the birds as targets is resented so strongly that ...
— Supplement to Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador • William Wood

... It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror—of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... come to his decision then, with just that nod of the head. And she, forlorn, was glad he had cast this temptation aside. That he was plodding now sturdily along his highway. She flushed with shame at the thought of him, ubiquitous among those egotists at Ravinia, enlisting their interest, reminding Paula how ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... at him strangely and said: "Good, but in the hour of temptation, if it should come, see that you ...
— Pearl-Maiden • H. Rider Haggard

... no temptation to steal; his soul expanded with pride, and the admiration and astonishment with which he regarded his virtuous present was only equaled by the disgust with which he contemplated his past; not so much a vicious past, in his own generous estimation of it, as ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin



Words linked to "Temptation" :   lure, forbidden fruit, allurement, sweetener, desire, influence, leading astray, hook, leading off, solicitation, seduction, blandishment, bait, tempt, come-on, wheedling



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