Phrases with "modest"

Wilkie Collins He seems to be modest and intelligent. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Edith Wharton The Free Speaker had once headlined Mr. Weston as the King of Drake County Realtors and Mr. Weston had accepted the title with a modest dignity. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton [1929]

Ian Maclaren How poorly he compares with Henry Esmond, who was slow and diffident, but a very brave, chivalrous, single-hearted, modest gentleman, such as Thackeray loved to describe. Books and Bookmen by Ian Maclaren

Anthony Trollope I am modest in this matter; but not for that reason the less persistent in doing the best I can for myself. Ayala’s Angel by Anthony Trollope

Catherine Helen Spence My modest income is not swelled by protracted illness, nor by ministering to the fancy of rich malades imaginaires. A Week in the Future by Catherine Helen Spence

Edgar Rice Burroughs The party now entered the modest little hostelry, where Clayton soon made arrangements for their entertainment. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1912]

G. K. Chesterton We are simple, as they revere simple — look at Comrade Witherspoon. We are modest, as they were modest — look at me. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

Andrew Lang They are perfectly modest and rational in style. The Making of Religion by Andrew Lang

My modest demonstration kindled a little merry smile on her countenance; I thought her almost charming. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte [1857]

Ye had not souls of faith, and daring fitted for the destinies at which ye aimed! Yet Paracelsus — modest Paracelsus — had an arrogance that soared higher than all our knowledge. Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1842]

Wilkie Collins She had stirred in the depths of that great heart the faith in which the man lived — the steady principle which guided his modest and noble life. The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins [1873]

Wilkie Collins I had arranged, at my last visit to the metropolis, to have our modest domestic establishment ready to receive us when we arrived in London by the early train. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

W. W. Jacobs The quietude told upon Henry, who, after a modest half-pint, lit his pipe and sauntered along the narrow High Street with his hands in his pockets. The Skipper’s Wooing by W. W. Jacobs [1897]

George Gissing Never more than a modest country house, during the last fifty years an almost total neglect had made of the greater part an uninhabitable ruin. Veranilda by George Gissing [1903]

Wilkie Collins Her figure was the perfection of modest grace. A Rogue’s Life by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Herbert’s modest desire was to be treated as an equal by all men, and he was now being treated as an equal by a lord. Tiny Luttrell by E. W. Hornung [1893]

Anthony Trollope And yet they loved him for his love, and for that distant, modest respect which had restrained him from any speech regarding it. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

The church was far too modest to offer them any advice. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

Leon Trotsky The gentle, modest Glazman had been driven to suicide as early as 1924. My Life by Leon Trotsky

Sinclair Lewis With modest indignation she refused to be examined, and as he went away she could be heard weeping at the insult, while the preacher cursed him from the doorstep. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis [1925]

Wilkie Collins It may be worthy of note that, whenever he expressed this last opinion in Scotland, he invariably added that her maiden name was Macleod. Well, we put up at a modest little inn near the harbor. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

George Gissing About eight o’clock in the evening, after a meditative stroll in the air which he had so praised, he entered the shop where he was wont to make his modest purchases. A Poor Gentleman by George Gissing

Henry James He liked to make them all feel helpless and dependent, and this was not difficult with people who were so modest and artless, so unconscious of the boundless power of wealth. The Reverberator by Henry James [1888]

Jules Verne The young girl took it, after placing by her side a modest traveling-bag of red leather, which seemed to constitute all her luggage. Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne [1876]

Then he came home with a modest competence two years before the war, and has been in the public eye ever since. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

He broke down, too, my modest ambitions. The Three Hostages by John Buchan [1924]

Charles Dickens We light the cigars, and hand round the glasses (which are very temperately used indeed), and the conversation begins by a modest amateur reference on the Editorial part to the swell mob. Reprinted Pieces by Charles Dickens [1850]

That night I cooked our modest dinner, and we smoked our pipes with the stove door open and the good smell of woodsmoke in our nostrils. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

He firmly repeated his intention to retire in spite of me, declaring himself satisfied, if I would consent to allow him a modest competence. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

Edith Wharton They were genuinely modest and shy in the presence of any one who wrote or painted. A Backward Glance by Edith Wharton [1934]

George Gissing She bore the reverend gentleman’s scrutiny with modest grace, almost as if it flattered her. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Wilkie Collins The modest repose of home is eternally fresh — enjoy it. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

Anthony Trollope A deal more modest than some of them. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

And on this assurance, the four friends, who had finished their modest repast, separated, with the promise of meeting again that evening. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Arthur Conan Doyle The incident which I will tell you tonight, however, is one which you will understand that only a modest man would describe. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle [1896]

Washington Irving The worthy priest evidently did not relish music, and the modest damsel never raised her eyes from the ground. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

You will accuse me of egotism, an imputation I cannot bear with equanimity and will not risk; modest depreciation of myself being one of the chief attributes of my character. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green

Booking a room at an hotel and leaving her modest suitcase there, she went straight to the costumiere Ramon had directed. The Man of Death by Arthur Gask [1945]

That, also, meant entertaining, but on a far more modest scale than that in which Ivy indulged. The Story of Ivy by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1927]

Nathaniel Hawthorne Placing these limbs in what the nice adjustment of the fractures proved to be their true position, the poor, fragmentary woman forthwith showed that she retained her modest instincts to the last. The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1860]

Mark Twain The widow said she meant to give Huck a home under her roof and have him educated; and that when she could spare the money she would start him in business in a modest way. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain [1876]

Andrew Lang When they had tried all their little dogs, the youngest son handed his father the hazel-nut, with a modest bow, and begged him to crack it carefully. The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Henry James When we were indoorsmainly then at her mother’s modest rooms — she had always the resource of her piano, of which she was of course a perfect mistress. Louisa Pallant by Henry James [1888]

The modest assemblage of seven people, mostly under age, dispersed. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

H. G. Wells But always a man of honour respects a modest woman’s innate craving for secrecy. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham by H. G. Wells [1930]

Ostensibly their trade was the modest one of the small crofter, and their occasional attendance at the kirk kept within bounds the verdict of an uncensorious parish. The Black Fishers by John Buchan

All the glimpses we obtain of the life, at Oates represent it as a gay and pleasant one, none the less gay and pleasant because its enjoyments were modest and rational. Locke by Thomas Fowler [1880]

Sinclair Lewis But the next morning she resolutely marched into Terry’s modest 24 x 42 bedroom, where he was reading Treasure Island, and she ordered, “Come on, son; we’re going out and buy the town. Let’s Play King by Sinclair Lewis

Thomas Hardy Tess continued to eat her modest dinner, a slice of thick pancake which she had brought with her. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Henry James The “Belle Normande” was a modest inn in a shady bystreet, where it gave me satisfaction to think Miss Spencer must have encountered local color in abundance. Four Meetings by Henry James [1877]

The Lent term had pulled me down, a week of modest enjoyment thereafter in town had finished the work; and I drank in the sharp moorish air like a thirsty man who has been forwandered among deserts. No-Man’s-Land by John Buchan [1899]

That fellow, when he had the drink he wanted — he wasn’t a drunkard — would put on this sort of sly, modest air . The Partner by Joseph Conrad [1915]

H. G. Wells Whatever you become, you promise and swear here and now never to be grey and grubby, never to be humpy and snuffy, never to be respectable and modest and dull and a little fat, like—like everybody. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

George Meredith He talked of it incessantly, but forbore to tell Elizabeth, as she was looking pale, the reason why its modest merits touched him so. The Case of General Ople and Lady Camper by George Meredith [1877]

Arnold Bennett She was as modest as a mouse beside him. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

Miles Franklin I had not invited him, being too modest for that, but neither had I exactly disinvited him. My Career Goes Bung by Miles Franklin [1946]

George Meredith Her humble and modest jealousy, scarce deserving the title, passed with a sigh or two. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

This woman, modest and simple in her ideas, whose luxury had always been artistic, wondered that they could spend so much on frivolous entertainments. Serge Panine by Georges Ohnet [1881]

Edith Wharton Doubtless it had been a modest wooden edifice, built on piles, and the conflagration which had burnt the other houses to the ground’s edge had reduced it utterly to ashes. Here and Beyond by Edith Wharton [1926]

Robert Louis Stevenson The modest epigraph — ‘Le rime n’est pas riche’ — may be attributed, with a good show of likelihood, to the same collaborator. Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson Some day, when the spring returns, he shall go down a little lower in this world, and remember quieter inflections and more modest language. Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson

Henry James This, in fact, was the grandest moment of his life; and it was natural that such a moment should contain opportunities of awkwardness for a large, stout, modest young man. The Europeans by Henry James [1878]

The modest rap at the door was repeated. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Thomas Hardy She was left with no control over anything that had been her husband’s beyond her modest personal income. Life’s Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy

H. Rider Haggard But it was quite enough for Good, who is modest by nature. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

Thomas Wolfe The total effect was one of modest and almost austere simplicity, subtly combined with a sense of spaciousness, wealth, and power. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Evidently he could not earn even a modest maintenance on such terms, and his letters to Bridge became more despondent than ever. The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Frank Preston Stearns [1906]

Walter Scott She was moved to tears, indeed, by the sight of her father’s grave, marked by a modest stone recording his piety and integrity; but lighter impressions and associations had also power over her. The Heart of Mid-Lothian by Walter Scott [1818]

Edith Wharton There were enough pretty faces in the crowd to justify such familiarities, and even so modest a success was not without solace to his vanity. The Valley of Decision by Edith Wharton [1902]

I can only tell you that Herbert seems to have been justified, more or less, though he is perhaps too modest to report himself as fully as he reports the eye. Tiny Luttrell by E. W. Hornung [1893]

Charles Dickens Biddy, looking very neat and modest in her black dress, went quietly here and there, and was very helpful. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [1860]

Being, no doubt, a pre-arranged display of professional pride on the part of dragoman and cook, it was more like an excessive Christmas dinner than a modest midday meal. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

I like thy Waverley — first of thy breeding; I like its modest “sixty years ago,” As if it was not meant for ages’ reading. The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood by with biographical introduction by William Michael Rossetti

George Gissing Speaking of Lashmar, she mentioned his acquaintance with Lord Dymchurch, and inquired whether Mrs. Toplady knew that modest peer. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

H. G. Wells He saw ahead of him the board of a modest tea-room. Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells [1923]

Elizabeth Gaskell Ruth received the flower silently, but with a grave, modest motion of her head. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Arthur Conan Doyle Why, Watson, even your modest moustache would have been singed. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

Tchernov, however, spoke several times, with a modest and winning impartiality. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed

The jeweler, though a millionaire, was a modest man. Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Charles Dickens I heard only a single sentence of her uttering, yet it bespoke a talent for modest repartee. The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens [1860]

Sinclair Lewis May be decent and modest — I suppose I’m old-fashioned — but I never thought much of showing the whole town a woman’s bust! Hee, hee, hee! . Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Andrew Lang Ah! were you here, I marvel, would you flutter O’er such a foe the tempest of your wings? ‘T is ‘rant and cant and glare and splash and splutter’ That rend the modest air when Byron sings. Letters to Dead Authors by Andrew Lang

Henry James His tread is a light and modest one, but he keeps the key in his pocket. Hawthorne by Henry James [1879]

Olaf Stapledon When the tyranny broke upon the City, she with modest daring, and the formidable prestige of her integrity, had defended the persecuted and rescued the hunted. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

Billy and two gins, two unnamed piccaninnies, and an alien from the Malay Peninsula occupied three modest dwellings formed of bushes and palm fronds, on the verge of the sea. Last Leaves from Dunk Island by E. J. Banfield

Jules Verne The rapidity with which one wished to make the journey, and the more than modest resources of the other, prevented them from embarrassing themselves with packages. Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne [1876]

William Hazlitt The behaviour of the king, in the difficult and doubtful circumstances in which he is placed, is as patient and modest as it is spirited and lofty in his prosperous fortune. Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt [1817]

Some of the performances are pure in motive and modest in execution, but most of them are interesting otherwise. ’On with the Dance!’ by Ambrose Bierce

Wilkie Collins The modest world of my boyish love and my boyish joy disappeared like the vision of a dream. The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins [1876]

Wilkie Collins She kept her eyes on her plate, and only consented to taste malt liquor under modest protest. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

This modest dwelling is a watch-tower from which I look over all the world. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

Jules Verne Some — the more well-to-do, no doubt — wore short, open, black silk dresses, under a hood or modest shawl; others were habited in Indian fashion. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne [1873]

Walter Besant I have already explained that she was an active and faithful maid, clever with her needle, a good hairdresser, modest and respectful in her behaviour to me, whatever she was to others. Dorothy Forster by Walter Besant [1884]

Charles Dickens He imparted to her the mystery of going the odd man or plain Newmarket for fruit, ginger-beer, baked potatoes, or even a modest quencher, of which Miss Brass did not scruple to partake. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens [1840]

A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

Walter Scott We will suppose the meal finished, a bottle of old and generous Antigua upon the table, and a modest little punch-bowl, judiciously replenished for the accommodation of the Doctor and his guest. The Surgeon’s Daughter by Walter Scott [1827]

Perhaps I ought to have sent him word that Vallombreuse had recovered; yet how could I do that? A modest woman shrinks from even seeming to wish to entice her absent lover back to her side. Captain Fracasse by Théophile Gautier [1863]

At this opening, the features of the man of modest exterior relaxed; and, as if he had watched the moment for his entrance, as D’Artagnan spoke, the host appeared, bearing the announced dishes. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

Wilkie Collins Her modest dress, her refinement of manner, seemed rather to puzzle than to please most of the people present; they applauded her, but not very warmly, when she retired. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

Enter to the grizzled examiner a young man of modest aspect: “Are you well up in modern seamanship?” “I hope so, sir. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Edith Wharton In Paris he left his companions at the door of the Nouveau Luxe, where Mrs. Wheater was established, drove to his own modest hotel on the left bank, and turned in for a hard tussle of thinking. The Children by Edith Wharton [1928]

It was, according to his account, a modest place of business, not shady in any sense, but out of the way, in a small street now rebuilt from end to end. The Partner by Joseph Conrad [1915]

Louisa May Alcott You’re not half good enough for — well, whoever the modest girl may be. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

Sir Walter Scott My falling ruff is chafed too, and shows the neck and bosom more than is modest and seemly. Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott [1821]

George Gissing Of course he had to shield this modest dissipation with a flat falsehood, alleging to his wife that business had kept him late. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

William Makepeace Thackeray The writer lost a pocket-book containing a passport and a couple of modest ten-pound notes. Little Travels and Roadside Sketches by William Makepeace Thackeray [1844]

Anthony Trollope To be quiet, unassuming, almost affectedly modest in any mention of himself, low-voiced, reflecting always more than he resolved, and resolving always more than he said, had been his aim. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

The “oak” was open when I arrived at his chambers, and a modest flourish on the little brass knocker of the inner door was answered by my quondam teacher himself. The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman [1911]

William Makepeace Thackeray There, again, is BLACKWOOD’S MAGAZINE— conspicuous for modest elegance and amiable satire; that review never passes the bounds of politeness in a joke. The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray [1846]

Henry James My dear man, you may be —— ” but that didn’t hinder the fact, in short, that I had kindled near me a fine, if modest and timid, intelligence. The Sacred Fount by Henry James [1901]

Henry Adams Among all these Clarence King, John Hay, and Henry Adams had led modest existences, trying to fill in the social gaps of a class which, as yet, showed but thin ranks and little cohesion. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

Just a few words Mr. Lake spoke of himself, of the new relation between himself and his hearers; very quiet, modest words hearing the ring of truth and good-fellowship. The Curate of St. Matthew’s by Ellen Wood [1879]

H. G. Wells In spite of every endeavour to be modest I could not but feel myself the cynosure of every eye. My First Aeroplane by H. G. Wells [1910]

Most of these were piano pieces, played singly, or as duets, by young ladies in white evening frocks, cut in a modest V at the neck, and white kid gloves reaching to the elbow. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson [1945]

Thomas Hardy The well-to-do Farmer Lodge came nearly last; and his young wife, who accompanied him, walked up the aisle with the shyness natural to a modest woman who had appeared thus for the first time. Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy [1888]

Anthony Trollope There was a quiet, manly, but yet modest determination about his son that he had hardly noticed before. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope

Olaf Stapledon All men lived in modest affluence, and all had access to all lands in their own vehicles of flight. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

John Galsworthy A nice boy, modest and a gentleman! And if he was in love, now, she couldn’t help it — she hadn’t tried to ‘vamp’ him. Over the River by John Galsworthy

Washington Irving The modest page made a thousand apologies, assuring her it was the way, at court, of expressing the most profound homage and respect. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

Now he is busy with his guests, is giving a banquet, a modest one, poor, but gay and full of genuine gladness. An Unpleasant Predicament by Fyodor Dostoyevsky [1861]

George Gissing For instance, I shall be able to take a modest house, either in the country, or here in one of the suburbs. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Decked with the pomp of Avelard he could condescend on one who was no more than a squire of modest estate, but now Simon was mounted and fronting the world, while he was afoot and a fugitive. The Blanket of the Dark by John Buchan [1931]

Elizabeth Gaskell They had likewise attempted to write poetry; and had a modest confidence that they had achieved a tolerable success. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

Ann Radcliffe During the recital of these particulars, which Alleyn delivered with a modest brevity, the mind of Mary had suffered a variety of emotions sympathetic to all the vicissitudes of his situation. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe [1789]

H. G. Wells But it had a modest fear of itself, and a consequent directness that gave it a general distinction. The World Set Free by H. G. Wells [1914]

Willa Cather Mrs. Farmer and her daughter had a little white cottage down in the south part of the town, where only people of modest means lived. One of Ours by Willa Cather [1922]

In the first, the public, he is shown oblivious of self; as modest in the display of his energies, as earnest in their exercise. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

Her behaviour was without fault and, though most modest and unassuming, her poise was that of one who was very sure of herself and able to hold her own with everyone. The Man of Death by Arthur Gask [1945]

T. E. Lawrence He was very modest as he stood before Feisal and offered him Jemal’s peace. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Sigmund Freud He learns to practise moderation, to be modest and resigned, only through training. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

George Meredith For the secluded modest cottage would not rack her with the old anxieties, beset her with suspicions. One of our Conquerors by George Meredith [1891]

Elizabeth Gaskell Only — what will Lady Cumnor say? I am modest for my family as much as for myself. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [1865]

The outside of the house in Balzac’s time was modest in appearance. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

I knew, indeed, that if ever I became avaricious, I might swell my modest affluence into absolute wealth. A Strange Story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1862]

He looks to me exactly the kind of modest deserving man who ought to succeed, and who so seldom does. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

Victor Hugo His ugliness would please the queen in the same proportion as it displeased Josiana. Advancing by such favour, and assuming grave and modest airs, Barkilphedro might become a somebody. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

That modest and murmurous young lady sprang erect. Negligible Tales by Ambrose Bierce

The number of them might be greater, but “‘t is enough, ‘t will serve,” in Mercutio’s modest phrase, so far as frequency is concerned. Medical Essays by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Henry James He was of modest composition, and yet he asked himself whether an appearance of attentions from any gallant gentleman mightn’t give another twist to her tangle. Madame de Mauves by Henry James [1874]

Elizabeth Gaskell I thought she would never end her modest requests for “just a little more pigeon-pie, or a merry-thought of chicken. Mr. Harrison’s Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell [1851]

This young man, though so modest and so gentle in manner, had a heart that was inaccessible to fear. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

E. Phillips Oppenheim His speech was modest and correct. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

Our furniture was very scant — our whole equipage remarkably modest and primitive; and, in short, our arrangements pretty nearly as simple as those of a bivouac. An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street by J. Sheridan Le Fanu [1851]

George Gissing With happy face, this visitor presented to him a new volume, which, he declared with modest pride, was from beginning to end the work of his own hand. Veranilda by George Gissing [1903]

George Gissing On Wednesday the suitable abode was discovered — a house of modest pretensions, but roomy and well situated. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Sir Richard Burton More than this we know not, nor do we know if he be a man or a Jinni, but he is modest and well-bred, and doth nothing unseemly or which leadeth to disgrace. The Arabian Nights' Entertainments by Sir Richard Burton

As wel in body as soule chaste was she; For which she flourèd in virginitee, With alle humilitee and abstinence, With alle temperaunce and pacience, With modest look and bearyng and array. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for the Modern Reader by prepared & edited by Arthur Burrell MA

George Meredith The Lord has blessed me with a good digestion, healthy pious children, and a prosperous shop that’s a competency—a modest one, but I make it satisfy me, because I know it’s the Lord’s gift. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Be modest this time, Congrio — wary and modest. The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1834]

George Gissing Andrew pulled a bell-rope; the summons was answered by an asthmatic woman, who received an order for tea, toast, ‘watercreases’, and sundry other constituents of a modest meal. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

It was not that I had an exaggerated sense of that very modest achievement, with which, however, luck, opportunity, or any extraneous influence could have had nothing to do. A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad [1912]

He sees it all, but without terror in the recollection, rather with gusto and a modest pride. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

George Meredith And he was a modest boy, though his uncle encouraged him to deliver his opinions freely and argue with men. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

T. E. Lawrence This side the sunset glow a modest wall of hills barred our way to the north. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Wilkie Collins It changes color like a modest young lady’s cheek. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

I believe there is no other race of mankind, who have so modest an opinion of their own capacity. Letters from Turkey by Mary Wortley Montagu [1725]

Arnold Bennett In the delusion that she was utterly solitary in the house, Florrie was whistling, not at all like a modest young woman, but like a carter. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

Now Clement’s modest needs were amply supplied by the villagers. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

I had few stores in my modest larder for such an emergency, and no facility for obtaining them. The Passing of the Aborigines by Daisy Bates [1938]

George Gissing The slim figure was well fitted in a costume of pale blue, cheap but becoming; a modest little hat rested on her black hair; her gloves and her sunshade completed the dainty picture. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

I was myself a modest member of the last school, but I was gradually working my way up to the second, and I hoped with luck to qualify for the first. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

Nellie Bly It was a pretty bird with a slender gray tail and a silver breast and a black ring about its throat, its back being a modest drabish brown. Around the World in Seventy-Two Days by Nellie Bly [1890]

G. K. Chesterton I have generally attempted, in a modest way, to have reasons for my opinions; and I have never been able to see why the opinions should change until the reasons change. Autobiography by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

William Makepeace Thackeray He is modest and kind, like all great men. Dr. Birch and his young friends by William Makepeace Thackeray [1849]

Leslie Stephen No summons mock’d by dull delay,     No petty gains disdain’d by pride; The modest wants of every day,     The toil of every day supplied. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

A modest knock at the room door was heard. Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens [1836]

E. F. Benson Far more psychic to lure them on by modest overbidding and then crush them under a staggering double. Lucia's Progress by E. F. Benson [1935]

Wilkie Collins He was no longer the easy, sweet-tempered, modest man who was the man of my remembrance. The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins [1876]

Gaston Leroux Pere Alexis, like all the true saints, was a modest man. The Secret of the Night by Gaston Leroux [1913]

George Gissing Whereas she might have lived with a good deal of modest comfort, her existence was a perpetual effort to conceal the squalid background of what was meant for the eyes of her friends and neighbours. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

William Makepeace Thackeray If my modest finances can bear a two months’ journey, and a residence at Paris, I propose to remain there that period. The Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush by William Makepeace Thackeray [1838]

George Gissing There’s better-looking, but you won’t find many as modest and good-hearted. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

H. G. Wells It is necessary to override these modest regrets, this intrusive, petty love story. A Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells [1905]

The modest humility which knows not its own worth is not wont to show itself in minds much above mediocrity; and to elevated geniuses this virtue is a stranger. The Life of Petrarch by Thomas Campbell

Andrew Lang The “little modest girls” were aged about seven and eight. The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang

Anthony Trollope The stuff of which it was made had been paid for by her mother when she with much difficulty bestowed upon her daughter her modest wedding trousseau. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope

H. G. Wells He had never dressed well before, though he had often wanted to do so, and this care for his costume made rather serious inroads upon his modest capital, but he kept his aim steadily in view. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham by H. G. Wells [1930]

H. G. Wells He believes in very little but the life of a cultivated wealthy gentleman who holds a position of modest distinction in the councils of a largely fictitious empire. Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells [1923]

George Gissing My fortune’s made!’ ‘You’re a modest man,’ remarked Jasper, smiling. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

He enjoyed a modest competence, which enabled him to devote his life to his hobbies. The Strange Adventure of Mr. Andrew Hawthorn by John Buchan [1932]

Elizabeth Gaskell Ellinor had once more sunk into her old depressed passive state; Mr. Ness and Miss Monro, modest and undecided as they both were in general, had to fix and arrange everything for her. A Dark Night’s Work by Elizabeth Gaskell [1864]

True love, likewise, spreads this kind of mysterious sanctity round the beloved object, making the lover most modest when in her presence. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft [1792]

George Meredith A man might dine on four shillings and sixpence, enjoying a modest half-pint of wine, and he possessed that sum. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

She dominated the mild, lean governess, Miss Warry, who had taught her everything, and she kept a tight hand over the three domestics who formed Sir Hannibal’s modest establishment. The Crowned Skull by Fergus Hume

Henry James On the way, I stopped at Captain Diamond’s modest dwelling, to ask how he was doing, and to receive such last instructions as he might desire to lay upon me. The Ghostly Rental by Henry James [1876]

Thomas Wolfe I was always satisfied with, say, a modest five per cent a week. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Anthony Trollope Kate was a pretty, modest girl, timid withal and shy, unused to society, and therefore awkward, but with the natural instincts and aptitudes of her sex. Harry Heathcote of Gangoil by Anthony Trollope

She was satisfied with my position, modest as it is, with my prospects. At Twickenham by Ella D'Arcy [1897]

William Makepeace Thackeray If the two young people wished to hide their emotions now-a-days, and express themselves in modest language, the story would run:— “Whilst I was looking for the books, Lord Orville came in. Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1860-63]

Charles Dudley Warner This resolution, which exhibited a modest confidence in his own powers, and the energy with which he threw himself into his career, showed the fiber of the man. Washington Irving by Charles Dudley Warner

Anthony Trollope To his uncle, Fred Neville was, as has been said, modest and submissive; to his aunt he was gentle but not submissive. An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope [1879]

Henry James She is lovely to look at; she seems so modest and retiring. A Bundle of Letters by Henry James [1879]

So modest a man in all Ispahan, Over and over again they swore — So humble and meek, you would vainly seek; None ever was found before. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

She did not look up, except by a modest glance now and again, dropping her eyes when they met his own. Sophie Chalk by Ellen Wood [1869]

Willa Cather A man of Archie’s modest and rather credulous nature develops late, and makes his largest gain between forty and fifty. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather [1915]

William Cowper He would stroke The head of modest and ingenuous worth, That blushed at its own praise, and press the youth Close to his side that pleased him. The Task by William Cowper [1785]

To make a young person tractable, she ought not to be made unhappy, to make her modest she ought not to be rendered stupid. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft [1792]

H. G. Wells A novelette in which the heroine had stood at the altar in “a modest going-away dress” had materially assisted this decision. The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells [1910]

But modest as the school fees were, their payment entailed some sacrifice; for, though we were not poor, still Uncle Sam’s earnings as a journeyman cabinet-maker were only thirty shillings a week. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]

Guy de Maupassan She was a general favorite in the neighborhood on account of her quiet modest demeanor, and she was looked upon as a model by the whole suburb. The Odalisque of Senichou by Guy de Maupassan