Phrases with "modest"

Theodore Dreiser Such a flowering out of a modest trade principle the world had never witnessed up to that time. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

A modest man often conceives a great plan, and tenaciously adheres to it, conscious of his own strength, till success gives it a sanction that determines its character. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft [1792]

But the Courtenay blood is hard to judge, being in all things capricious, and my lord of Exeter is a grandson of Edward Fourth, and so himself within modest distance of the throne. The Blanket of the Dark by John Buchan [1931]

Wilkie Collins Susan was now a lovely little modest girl of seventeen — with a natural delicacy and refinement of manner, which marked her to my mind as one of Nature’s gentlewomen. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

Would you mind telling me what worries you?” The gentle tone, the earnest glance of modest yet sincere interest, went to my heart. The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green

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]

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

George Gissing The modest clerk had made this girl the light of his life, and whether far or near the rays of that ideal would guide him on his unworldly path. The Salt of the Earth by George Gissing

Rudyard Kipling Dicky could not afford living in the chummery, modest as it was. Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling [1888]

Guy de Maupassan Plain, humble, dressed as a modest girl who has no thought of pleasing, she had gone to the land of Dreams, carried away by a phrase or a word that had bewitched her heart. Strong as Death by Guy de Maupassan

George Gissing The window was now laid out in a much more promising way, with goods of modest value. Eve's Ransom by George Gissing [1894]

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]

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]

Louisa May Alcott She wondered what the business was that brought Mr. Bhaer to the city, and finally decided that he had been appointed to some great honor, somewhere, but had been too modest to mention the fact. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

The play was supposed to be a gentle feminine business, for very modest stakes. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

George Gissing He looked annoyed, and would have passed on, but his acquaintance, who had perhaps exceeded the limits of modest refreshment, called him again and obliged him to approach the bar. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Pardon me if I am for the moment preoccupied by the preparation of my modest meal,” laying down his toasting-fork, and filling a little black teapot from the steaming kettle. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

William Cowper Some clothe the soil that feeds them, far diffused And lowly creeping, modest and yet fair; Like virtue, thriving most where little seen. The Task by William Cowper [1785]

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]

Leslie Stephen It has also to be said that he was guilty of writing to them stuff which it is inconceivable that any decent man should have communicated to a modest woman. Alexander Pope by Leslie Stephen [1880]

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

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

George Meredith The modest are the most easily intoxicated when they sip at vanity. The Case of General Ople and Lady Camper by George Meredith [1877]

Louisa May Alcott The pretty, modest girls are never talked about, except respectfully, among gentleman. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

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]

Robert Louis Stevenson What had he been doing? He had been exquisitely rude in church to the niece of his housekeeper; he had stared like a lackey and a libertine at a beautiful and modest girl. The Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson

They had given us a good dinner and put themselves to much inconvenience to provide me with a bedstead, and this was their modest charge. The Naturalist in Nicaragua by Thomas Belt [1874]

Arthur Conan Doyle Mounted on lordly Pommers, with his hawk upon wrist and his sword by his side, never did fairer young gallant or one more modest in mind set forth upon such an errand. Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle [1906]

Sir Walter Scott At length, a light and modest tap was heard at the parlour door. The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

Andrew Lang On such matters a modest writer, like Mr. Jingle when Mr. Pickwick ordered dinner, “will not presume to dictate. The Library by Andrew Lang

Jonathan Swif Go, get you gone to your own chambers, and let Presto rise like a modest gentleman, and walk to town. The Journal to Stella by Jonathan Swif

H. G. Wells So with a modest air of logical necessity, of being driven rather than driving, the Conference spread its planning far beyond the material and mechanism of world intercommunication. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Jules Verne A modest altitude, often surpassed in this section of the Alleghanies. As we were already more than three thousand feet above sea level, the fatigue of the ascent could not be great. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

Wilkie Collins The sitting-room door was gently opened, and her maid appeared in a state of modest confusion. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Gaston Leroux But people on the stage are not so modest as all that; and I think that I shall not be far from the truth if I ascribe her action simply to fear. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux [1910]

George Gissing At sight of the visitor she rose, and, as her habit was, stood with one hand touching her chin, whilst she smiled the discreetest of modest welcomes. The Pig and Whistle by George Gissing

Repletion had made hir never sik; Ful modest diet was al hir phisik, And exercise, and labour and singyng. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for the Modern Reader by prepared & edited by Arthur Burrell MA

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

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

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]

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]

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]

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. Selected Short Stories by Sinclair Lewis

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]

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]

Robert Louis Stevenson What’ll like be your business, mannie?” “I was led to think that I would get a situation,” I said, looking as modest as I could. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mr. Pigwidgeon was a gentleman of sincere but modest piety, profoundly respected by all who fancied themselves like him. The Fiend’s Delight by Ambrose Bierce [1873]

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]

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

Alfred Ainger But in spite of Lamb’s modest language as to his official claims upon their kindness, it would seem that he served them steadily and faithfully during those thirty-three years. Charles Lamb by Alfred Ainger [1882]

Cooper’s Preface is quaint, and surely modest enough. Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine by William Carew Hazli

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

Anthony Trollope But she did not reach the house till one, and when she knocked at the door Hester’s modest lunch was about to be put upon the table. John Caldigate by Anthony Trollope

George Gissing In letters to her father and mother she spoke much of the importance of her work, but did not confess how very modest was her salary. A Daughter of the Lodge by George Gissing

Washington Irving I picture to myself Columbus, the future discoverer of a world, taking his modest stand in a remote corner, the humble and neglected spectator of the pageant. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

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

Tobias Smolle His behaviour was modest and respectful, but his looks were so significant, that I could easily observe he secretly blessed the occasion that introduced him to my acquaintance. The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smolle

But at that Nature recoiled: Edward had not openly declared his love to her; so modest pride, as well as modest shame, combined with female cowardice to hold back the avowal. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

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]

Willa Cather She thought with modest pride that with people like the Rosens she had always “got along nicely. Obscure Destinies by Willa Cather [1932]

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]

John Galsworthy And yet you say that you were not on such terms as would have made it possible for you to represent to him that no modest young woman should be asked to play a scene like that. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy

He was a modest young man, and these barefaced confessions made him wince. The Secret Passage by Fergus Hume

Andrew Lang Such was the life of Plotinus, a man of sense and virtue, and so modest that he would not allow his portrait to be painted. Letters on Literature by Andrew Lang

Wilkie Collins Of the most modest pretensions, in regard to numbers and size, the pictures collected by the late Lady Berrick were masterly works of modern art. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Olaf Stapledon Next day, I met him at Euston, and we went to a modest Soho restaurant with a Balkan flavour. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Such unclothed loveliness must have appalled the modest goddess. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

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]

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]

It was for him to make their union easy, by the assurance of a modest competence. Mohawks by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1886]

Maria Edgeworth Many gentlemen, who come to our shop, have found out that Victoire is very handsome, and tell her so; but she is so modest and prudent, that I am not afraid for her. Madame de Fleury by Maria Edgeworth

My mother was left badly off, for my poor father had never been able to save much from his modest stipend. Prester John by John Buchan

Edith Wharton The little man, in order to be near his daughter, had sold out his share in a profitable business in Utica, and accepted a modest clerkship in a New York manufacturing house. The Descent of Man and other stories by Edith Wharton [1903]

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

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 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]

Nathaniel Hawthorne Daisies, too, were abundant, but larger than the modest little English flower, and therefore of small account. The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1860]

Jane Austen This is my modest request and expectation, for you are so good, that I depend upon being treated better than I deserve, and I write now to beg an immediate answer. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [1814]

Oliver Goldsmith As he entered, he made Miss Wilmot a modest and distant bow, for he was not as yet acquainted with the change which the eloquence of his mother had wrought in his favour. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

H. G. Wells Yet modest as its proportions are, its consequences, were it done by able men throwing their hearts into it, might be of incalculable greatness. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

He was a modest man in general, but he did feel this most strongly. Tiny Luttrell by E. W. Hornung [1893]

Presently came a modest tap, and Casimir appeared, with ungrammatical hopes that his guest had slept well. Castle Gay by John Buchan [1930]

Robert Louis Stevenson Alas! no muse will suffer this imminence of interruption — and at the second stampede of jodellers you find your modest inspiration fled. Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson

For he had large stores of modest contentment. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

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]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Just the same dear, modest little thing! “I can assure you,” he said, “that nothing whatever could be said against our lunching together. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

So having fatigued himself before reaching the starting-point, Thompson Washington did not re-enter the race for manhood, but contented his simple soul with achieving a modest swinehood. The Fiend’s Delight by Ambrose Bierce [1873]

F. Scott Fitzgerald The modest bungalow in West Hollywood yielded up Eleanor without a struggle. The Pat Hobby Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1941]

Tobias Smolle He was a modest man, a good scholar, and perfectly well qualified to instruct me in such country matters as I wanted to know. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smolle

Henry Fielding He then offered her the casket, but she gently rejected it; and on a second offer, with a modest countenance and voice, desired to know what it contained. The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild The Great by Henry Fielding

George Gissing Be very quiet for the present; let it be seen that you understand that your position isn’t quite regular — I mean, of course, do so in a modest and nice way. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

George Meredith I have to repeat the statement, that he was a youth, and a modest one. Evan Harrington by George Meredith [1861]

James Joyce Mr. Fogarty was a modest grocer. Dubliners by James Joyce

Sir Walter Scott Not a circumstance was then omitted, from the manly ardour of the bridegroom, and the modest blushes of the bride, to the parson’s new surplice, and the silk tabinet mantua of the bridesmaid. The Fortunes of Nigel by Sir Walter Scott [1822]

Jules Verne The first violin had gone to the stand to give a modest la to his colleagues. Doctor Ox’s Experiment by Jules Verne [1874]

H. G. Wells Now this project is at once more modest in form and more ambitious in substance than almost any school scheme or prospectus the reader is likely to encounter. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

W. W. Jacobs The wagons moved off first, jolting and creaking their way to Holebourne, and the cook, after making a modest luncheon of bread and cheese and smoking a pipe, got on the road again. The Skipper’s Wooing by W. W. Jacobs [1897]

Walter Scott It was not without emotion, although she preserved her modest composure, and De Lacy his calm gravity of deportment. The Betrothed by Walter Scott [1825]

D. H. Lawrence She lived with her father, and he travelled continually, though in a modest way, living on his moderate income. The Princess by D. H. Lawrence [1925]

I knew Yevgeny Nikolaitch as a modest and well-behaved young man, whereby he may well attract, gain and deserve respect in society. A Novel in Nine Letters by Fyodor Dostoyevsky [1847]

Sigmund Freud Her supposed attack of appendicitis had thus enabled the patient with the modest means at her disposal (the pains and the menstrual flow) to realize a phantasy of childbirth. Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud [1905]

George Gissing He saved enough out of the wreck to: make a modest competency for his family, and would doubtless in time have retrieved his fortune, but death was beforehand with him. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

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]

Benjamin Disraeli But Iskander was as modest as he was brave and gifted. The Rise of Iskander by Benjamin Disraeli [1834]

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

I suppose that the bathing-tights are more becoming in some cases than in others; but I hold to a modest preference for skirts, however brief, in the sea-gear of ladies. Literature and Life by William Dean Howells

Andrew Lang And as he was also modest and generous, he became a favourite with his officers and his comrades. The Brown Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

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]

As I ate my meal, and drank my modest pint of claret, I gave them my fullest consideration. My Strangest Case by Guy Boothby [1901]

Edith Wharton Selden had always liked her — had understood and sympathized with the modest independence of her life. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

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

George Meredith She spoke in modest manner, or it might be indifferently, without a flaunting of either. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

H. G. Wells Surely you’ve heard of Abraham Lincoln?” That was really modest autobiography, a locus and, beyond that, nothing. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

Daniel Defoe Some State Legerdemain betwixt him and the Governor. His modest Behaviour in the River. His Frolicks on Shore. The Merchants apply for a Force against him, and where. A General History of the Pyrates by Daniel Defoe [1724]

Sinclair Lewis Probably he’s simply another Roscoe Geake.” In the hot night desultory students wandered up to the door of the lecture-hall, scanned the modest Sondelius poster, and ambled away. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis [1925]

George Gissing He bought such additional furniture as was needed (the Jallands had long ago been obliged to sell much that they once possessed), and made the appearance of a modest home. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

George Gissing The zest with which Mr. Warricombe spoke of his discovery never led him to raise his voice above the suave, mellow note, touched with humour, which expressed a modest assurance. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

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

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

I had a servant named Job once to argue with; but he was so modest and stupid that I had to shower the most frightful misfortunes on him before I could provoke him to complain. The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for God by George Bernard Shaw

Wilkie Collins The fact is,” said the Major, speaking in the character of a youth of five-and-twenty making a modest confession, “I don’t get on well with old women. The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins [1875]

H. G. Wells We have a house in Upper Beamish Street, a modest little place in Hampshire, and we move about a lot. The Croquet Player by H. G. Wells [1936]

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]

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]

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]

Guy de Maupassant The girls now regretted their frivolity, their ridicule, their bold manners; and Isidore, although still modest and timid, had now a little contented air that bespoke his internal satisfaction. Madame Husson’s “Rosier” (Le Rosier de Madame Husson) by Guy de Maupassant [1887]

H. G. Wells In part it was a modest cancan, in part a step dance, in part a skirt-dance (so far as my tail-coat permitted), and in part original. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells [1896]

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

Elizabeth Gaskell She had no modest unconsciousness about her; and yet she was not vain. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [1865]

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]

Wilkie Collins He was too modest a man to say so, but your mother found it out. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

It couldn’t last; the twelfth day she took herself off, with no more luggage than her modest dress on her back and her cap perched over one ear. L’Assommoir by Émile Zola

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]

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]

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]

Walter Besant Ah! the pretender! He read them with an air of astonishment so natural that it might have imposed upon any, so that I did not dare charge him with what he was too modest to acknowledge. Dorothy Forster by Walter Besant [1884]

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]

Margaret Oliphant In those days she felt herself very comfortable in Sloebury, and was asked to all the best houses, and felt a modest pride in the certainty that she was able to offer something in return. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

She was even willing in a modest candour to presume on Lester’s goodwill. All Hallows’ Eve by Charles Williams [1945]

Myself and my chattels (some books and clothes) were soon transferred to a modest lodging I had hired in a street not far off. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte [1857]

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

George Gissing And perhaps her uncle in Tottenham Court Road—he was, in fact, a furniture dealer—would have seen his way to garnish for them a modest couple of rooms, by way of wedding present. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Passing down Essex Street, or striking off from its modest bustle a little way, we come upon shy, ungainly relics of other times. A Study of Hawthorne by G. P. Lathrop [1876]

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]

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

Henry Handel Richardson As matters stood, he must needs be content if, the passage-moneys paid, he could scrape together enough to keep him afloat till he found a modest corner to slip into. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

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]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Finally, after his modest dinner that evening, he bought a stall for the Frivolity and watched the piece. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

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

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]

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

She was so genial, so hearty, so thoroughly well-informed, and yet so modest in the use of her knowledge, that the young people loved to have her with them. The Golden Calf by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

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

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]

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]

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

Wilkie Collins Alicia, by my advice, engaged a modest lodging in a suburb of Barkingham. In the days of the red-brick house, she had seldom been seen in the town, and she was not at all known by sight in the suburb. A Rogue’s Life by Wilkie Collins [1879]

It was only the most modest who declared that he would be content with the epaulets of a lieutenant-general. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

Henry Handel Richardson What Mahony did not mention to her was the necessity he had been under of borrowing money; though Polly was aware he had left home with but a modest sum in his purse. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

R. D. Blackmore Ins and outs of little bays afford a nice variety, while round the brink are certain trees of a modest and unpretentious bent. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

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]

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

Wilkie Collins They were all contained in a modest little dressing case, without labels of any sort to describe the contents of the pots and bottles. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

Leslie Stephen The gentle, modest creature was loved by Johnson, who could warm into unusual eloquence in singing his praises. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

George Meredith The modest little fellow went along a double line of attentive observers on the pier, and came back, asking me in astonishment who he was supposed to be. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

Anthony Trollope But when she started with her house in town — a modest little house in Mount Street, near the parkjust two years after her husband’s death, she had a large circle of acquaintances. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

And this woman, modest indeed but hardened in the fires of adversity, of an age, moreover, when blushes are not expected, had positively blushed before her daughter. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

Margaret Oliphant I am quite sure,” continued the modest maiden, casting down her eyes, “that he would never have left but for a good reason! Oh, I am confident he is fond of Carlingford now. Salem Chapel by Margaret Oliphant [1862]

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

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]

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]

George Meredith The modest position of the defensive negative was not to her taste. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

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

And yet Philip, modest enough, and unpretentious, could not help realising in his heart, that, of the two, he himself was, in point of real native intelligence, the better man. The Web of Maya by Ella D'Arcy [1895]

H. G. Wells Or so modest that I thought the better I imitated the better I should succeed. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

We had, of course, much pleasure in presenting him with such a modest testimonial. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

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]

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 Gissing To this pass had things come with Mr. Tymperley, a gentleman of Berkshire, once living in comfort and modest dignity on the fruit of sound investments. A Poor Gentleman by George Gissing

Wilkie Collins If he had been the most modest man that ever lived, he must have seen in Francine’s face that she loved him. I Say No by Wilkie Collins [1884]

I am a competent seaman, he says, with his sly, modest air. The Partner by Joseph Conrad [1915]

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

Charles Dickens At every fresh question or remark the crowd leaned forward more eagerly, and dropped the halfpence more freely, and the modest man gathered them up more meekly. Somebody’s Luggage by Charles Dickens [1862]

Leon Trotsky Later on, when I went on a secret mission to Russia, it was left in Geneva with the rest of my modest émigré archives, to be come part of the Iskra’s archives and to find there an untimely grave. My Life by Leon Trotsky

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

George Meredith I have the means of a livelihood, in a modest way, and shall trouble no one. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

He had wanted Laura and Hazlehurst Manor: not Laura with her modest income of two hundred and fifty pounds a year. The Cloven Foot by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

M. P. Shiel Look at Hannah, with her ‘How enormously I loved that night!’ — praying, nursing, hymn-shouting Hannah. Christian talk, that! modest behavior! I wish she had dropped dead. The Lost Viol by M. P. Shiel [1905]

George Meredith If in timidity, she has a modest view of herself—or an enormous conception of the magi that married her. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

I would interpret this testimony, the authenticity of which is indisputable, of his demeanour with the young, and those who were modest enough to wait upon his utterances. Milton by Mark Pattison [1879]

Edith Wharton Its modest “effects,” compact of enamel paint and ingenuity, spoke to him in the language just then sweetest to his ear. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

He would impose modest conditions. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

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]

Wilkie Collins She replied, with a mixture of modest evasiveness and adorable simplicity, that she had sometimes seen gentlemen angling from a meadow-bank about a quarter of a mile below her flower-garden. A Rogue’s Life by Wilkie Collins [1879]

As he greatly preferred modest and simple people to any other, he smiled like a brother and gave a little bow. Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole [1931]

Henry Handel Richardson Had he contented himself with a modest weatherboard, they might still have been upsides with fate. Ultima Thule by Henry Handel Richardson

Sinclair Lewis Actually, Shad stayed away from the office, and Doremus’s master, Staubmeyer, was ever so friendly and modest and rather nauseatingly full of praise for his craftsmanship. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

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

Charles Dickens Mr Swiveller replied that he had very recently been assuaging the pangs of thirst, but that he was still open to ‘a modest quencher,’ if the materials were at hand. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens [1840]