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Portend   /pɔrtˈɛnd/   Listen
Portend

verb
(past & past part. portended; pres. part. portending)






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Portend" Quotes from Famous Books



... advocates of Confederation in respect to the Imperial link, Brown expressed the views of all. It was not a cheap appeal for applause, because the question could not be avoided. It came up at every turn. What was the purpose, the critics of the measure asked, of this new constitution? Did it portend separation? Would it not inevitably lead to independence? and if not, why was the term 'a new nationality' so freely used? In the opening speech of the debate Macdonald met the issue squarely with the statesmanlike gravity that ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... Popular populara. Population logxantaro. Populous popola. Porcelain porcelano. Porch vestiblo. Porcupine histriko. Pore trueto. Pork porkajxo. Porous trueta. Porphyry porfiro. Porpoise fokseno. Port (harbour) haveno. Portable portebla. Portend antauxsciigi. Porter (doorkeeper) pordisto. Porter portisto. Portfolio paperujo. Portion (allot) dividi. Portion porcio, parto, doto. Portmanteau valizo, vestkesto. Portrait portreto. Portraiture (art) pentrarto. Position (place) loko. Position situacio. Positive ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... grave, deliberative, efficient Opposition there seem to be no longer the elements, or they are so scattered and disunited that they never can come together, and the only man who might have collected, and formed, and directed them begs leave to be excused. It is a wretched state of things and can portend no good. If there had not been prognostications of ruin and destruction to the State in all times, proceeding from all parties, which the event has universally falsified, I should believe that the consummation of evil ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... climax is led up to most skillfully by Hawthorne; indeed, his preparation is so clever that it is not always easy to trace. Throughout the story there are an air of gloom and a strange turning to thoughts of death that seem to portend a catastrophe; and I believe the following passages are intentional ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... pale face. And he remembered how white and still it had once looked in the starlight. And again stern thought fought his strange fancies. Would all his labor and his love be for naught? Would he lose her, after all? What did the dark shadow around her portend? Did calamity lurk on that long upland trail through the sage? Why should his heart swell and throb with nameless fear? He listened to the silence and told himself that in the broad light of day he ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... by no means could I escape Cleopatra. Her mood is strangely crossed to-night. I know not what it may portend. Strange whims and fancies blow across it like light and contrary airs upon a summer sea, and I cannot read ...
— Cleopatra • H. Rider Haggard

... waitest late and com'st alone, When woods are bare and birds are flown, And frosts and shortening days portend The aged ...
— Selections From American Poetry • Various

... thee, Father!—man of hoary age, Thy Queen demands from thee thy counsel sage. Young Harrald to a distant land will go, And I his destiny would gladly know: Thou read'st the stars,—O do the stars portend That he shall come to an untimely end? Take from his mother's heart this one last care, And she will always ...
— Romantic Ballads - translated from the Danish; and Miscellaneous Pieces • George Borrow

... of ordinary men to describe, having taxed even the powers of Southey and Wordsworth. These recommendations and others were all qualified with the words "if fine." But, oh that little word "if"—so small that we scarcely notice it, yet how much does it portend! At any rate we could not arrive at a satisfactory decision that night, owing to the ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... force. It was a sort of wavering and unsteadiness which, to us, was quite unaccountable, for Fanning and Wharton had not yet fired twenty shots, and, indeed, had only just come within range of the enemy. Not knowing what it could portend, I called in my men, and stationed them round the gun, which I had double-shotted, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... early Italian sculptors which suggested much of his own grandest work, and impressed it with so deep a sweetness. He believed in dreams and omens. One of his friends dreamed twice that Lorenzo, then lately dead, appeared to him in grey and dusty apparel. To Michelangelo this dream seemed to portend the troubles which afterwards really came, and with the suddenness which was characteristic of all his movements, he left Florence. Having occasion to pass through Bologna, he neglected to procure the little seal of red wax which the stranger entering Bologna must carry on the thumb of his ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... thy sneezing somewhat did portend. Was ever man so fortunate as I? To break his shins at such a stumbling-block! Roses and bays, pack hence[182]: this crown and robe My brows and body circles and invests; How gallantly it fits me! sure the slave Measur'd my head that ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... watching him for a minute and then skipped in after him, and the cormorants ceased their diving and the seagulls their wheelings and mewings, and all gathered agitatedly on a rock at the farther side of the bay, and wondered what such shouts and laughter might portend. ...
— Carette of Sark • John Oxenham

... fire, flaming torches traversed in all directions the depths of space; a comet, that fearful star which overthrows the powers of the earth, showed its horrid hair.' Seneca also expressed the opinion that some comets portend mischief: 'Some comets,' he said, 'are very cruel and portend the worst misfortunes; they bring with them and leave behind them the ...
— Myths and Marvels of Astronomy • Richard A. Proctor

... often stupid in Michelozzo: in Andrea della Robbia they are always sweet and winsome; Pigalle's children know too much. Donatello alone grasped the whole psychology. He watched the coming generation, and foresaw all that it might portend: tragedy and comedy, labour and sorrow, work and play—plenty of play; and every problem of life is reflected and made younger by his chisel. How far the sculptors of the fifteenth century employed classical ideas is not easily determined. There ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... means certain what her gesture might portend. Was she indignant with him for the liberty he had taken? or was she about to comply with his request, and meet him? He knew too little of her to determine which was the more likely; and he could not help feeling that, had he only known her longer, his doubt might have been just as ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... On the morning of his contemplated invasion of Patchin Place in search of a Forsyth heir he knotted a lavender scarf about his neck and felt oddly excited. Such a sudden and unexplainable impulse, he thought, must portend adventure. ...
— Red-Robin • Jane Abbott

... In all parts of the kingdom these films are called strangers and supposed to portend the arrival of some ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... heard the evening before that her mother was ill; she thought that her husband had received some bad news. The day was Monday, which is considered an unlucky day among the Russians, and, going out that day, Elizabeth had met a man in mourning; these omens were too numerous and too strong not to portend misfortune. ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... three courts, at the commencement of the war between Russia and Turkey (1768), did not portend anything like a coalition; Frederick, indeed, was in alliance with Russia, but also secretly favored the Sultan; Austria was all but an open enemy of both Russia and Prussia. Circumstances, however, obliged Austria to forget her hatred to Prussia, and Frederick thus ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... But now he's quite another thing: I wish he may hold out till spring!" Then hug themselves, and reason thus: "It is not yet so bad with us!" In such a case, they talk in tropes, And by their fears express their hopes: Some great misfortune to portend, No enemy can match a friend. With all the kindness they profess, The merit of a lucky guess (When daily how d'ye's come of course, And servants answer, "Worse and worse!") Wou'd please 'em better, than to tell, That, "God be prais'd, ...
— The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume I (of 2) • Jonathan Swift

... I think?" he asked. "I believe they are landing the liquor somewhere near us. For one thing, the sounds in the receivers are very clear and distinct. That, however, does not portend a great deal. The night is exceptionally good for sending, clear and with practically no static. But there is another thing to be considered, and it's ...
— The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards • Gerald Breckenridge

... at the words "very private." What did they portend? Quickly she examined her conscience. No, she had done nothing—nothing which could have brought her into contact, even slightly, with the law. Of course, she was well aware that Mark had never forgotten, even over all these years, the dreadful scrape into which she ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... What means that heavy firing which suddenly comes echoing over the forest from the west? Does it portend only some skirmish on the line of the retreat, where a portion of the foe have come to a stand to shield the rest, or favor their escape? No; it is the booming of the deep-mouthed cannon, and not those of the defeated forces; for they have left all theirs behind them. While every eye and ...
— The Rangers - [Subtitle: The Tory's Daughter] • D. P. Thompson

... sun was scarcely visible. It was very warm, and left no moisture. In five minutes he passed through and emerged again in the bright sunlight. These dry, warm mists are frequently seen on the Lake in summer, and are believed to portend a continuance ...
— After London - Wild England • Richard Jefferies

... speak, except in their husband's company, even on the most ordinary subjects. So that once when a woman had the confidence to plead her own cause in a court of judicature, the senate, it is said, sent to inquire of the oracle what the prodigy did portend; and, indeed, their general good behavior and submissiveness is justly proved by the record of those that were otherwise; for as the Greek historians record in their annals the names of those who first unsheathed the sword of civil war, or murdered their brothers, or were parricides, or killed ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... strange sense of perplexity, the nameless fear, the vague horror, were not to be banished from her mind. A sense of some shapeless presence for ever at her side haunted her by day and night. What was it? What did its presence portend? It was as if a figure, shrouded from head to foot, was there, dark and terrible, at her elbow, and she would not turn to meet the horror face to face. Sometimes the phantom hand lifted a corner of the veil, and the shade said, "Look at me! See who and what I am! ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... thing—reconciliation. And now had come Lady Ingleton's revelation. Instinctively as Rosamund left Father Robertson's little room she had tried to hide her face. She had received a blow, and the pain of it frightened her. She was startled by her own suffering. What did it mean? What did it portend? She had no right to feel as she did. Long ago she had abandoned the right to such ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... animals persists in attenuated form in civilized nations in various superstitions connected with them. Their appearances and their cries are believed to portend success or disaster. The great number of "signs" recognized and relied on by uneducated and educated persons at the present day bear witness to the strong hold that the cult of ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... women, young ones with infants in their arms, flocked to doors and windows to see this awe-inspiring spectacle. Most of them shuddered with superstitious dread of what it might portend. "She totin' ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... pick out seeds from core. If only two seeds are found, they portend early marriage; three, legacy; four, great wealth; five, sea voyage; six, great fame as orator or singer; seven, possession of any ...
— Games For All Occasions • Mary E. Blain

... his great surprise his well-meaning remarks were received with every symptom of grave dissatisfaction by his illustrious companions. Madame Sagittarius threw herself suddenly forward with a most vivacious snort, and her husband's face was immediately overcast by a threatening gloom that seemed to portend some very disagreeable expression of ...
— The Prophet of Berkeley Square • Robert Hichens

... already the dusk begins to gather over the halls where sit the War-lord and those who, for the realisation of their monstrous dreams, loosed hell upon the world, and in the growing dusk there begin to steal upon the wall the letters of pale flame that to them portend the doom, and to us give promise of dawn. Faintly they can see the legend Mene, Mene, ...
— Crescent and Iron Cross • E. F. Benson

... harmony, which floats On the dull wing of City air, Grave prelude to a feast or fair: Much did he inly ruminate Concerning the decrees of Fate, Revolving, though to little end, What this same trumpet might portend. Could the French—no—that could not be, Under Bute's active ministry, 640 Too watchful to be so deceived— Have stolen hither unperceived? To Newfoundland,[233] indeed, we know Fleets of war unobserved ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... struck him as new and foreign to her usual sweet and equable nature,—a grave composure, a kind of intellectual hardness that he had never before seen in her. And he wondered what such a change might portend. ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... village itself Kapchack was viewed by the superstitious with something like awe. His great age, his singular fortune, his peculiar appearance—having but one eye—gave him a wonderful prestige, and his chattering was firmly believed to portend a change of the weather or the wind, or even the dissolution of village personages. The knowledge that he was looked upon in this light rendered the other birds and animals still more obedient than they would have been. Kapchack was a marvel, and it gradually ...
— Wood Magic - A Fable • Richard Jefferies

... threat might portend, I could not see, but it chimed in with the delirious cruelty of the dead sergeant. Threats for the future mattered not, the present being so unendurable. A man in Brocton's position must be hard put to it to turn traitor in this strange fashion. He had "rescued" me with his own men, ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... over the other Sicilian states in order to crush Syracuse. But at this moment dispatches arrived requiring the return of Alcibiades to stand trial. Athens was in a panic over the Hermae affair, which was supposed to portend an attempt to reestablish the despotism which had been ended a hundred years before by the expulsion of the Pisistratidae. Alcibiades, however, made his escape, and for years pursued a life of political ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... STARTINGS with the thumbs drawn into the palms, portend trouble with the brain, and often end in convulsions, which are far more serious in infants than in children. Convulsions in children often result from a suppression of urine. If you have occasion to believe that such is the case, ...
— Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners • B.G. Jefferis

... and shook her head. A vague and formless trouble had laid its cold touch upon her heart; it was as though she saw a cloud coming up, but it was no larger than a man's hand, and she knew not what it should portend, nor that it would grow into a storm. He was strange to-day,—that she felt; but then all her day since the coming of Evelyn had been ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... still wondering what this might portend, he saw a puff of white smoke float up from where the men were, and then another. Next came the sharp unmistakable "ping" of a bullet passing, as far as he could judge, within some three feet of his head, followed by a second "ping," and a cloud of dust ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [22] [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, ...
— The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem • Flavius Josephus

... was not, though; for the conversation gradually sank down the scale to a monotonous murmur. A second hour passed, and yet a third. What could this interminable visit portend? ...
— The Ink-Stain, Complete • Rene Bazin

... was astir, and warm beneficent sunlight flooded the immeasurable air. Only, as the day declined, some iridescent films overspread the west; and just above Maloja the apparition of a mock sun—a well-defined circle of opaline light, broken at regular intervals by four globes—seemed to portend a change of weather. This forecast fortunately proved delusive. We drove back to Samaden across the silent snow, enjoying those delicate tints of rose and violet and saffron which shed enchantment for one hour over the white monotony of ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... I did not for these ghastly visions send; Their sudden coming does some ill portend. Begone,—begone,—they will not disappear! My soul is seized ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. II • Edited by Walter Scott

... infinitely rather let me be a false accuser than he culpable! He seeks me no more, offers not to molest me, and I hope has forgotten me; at least has seen the error of endeavouring to accomplish a purpose so criminal by means so base. I expected storms, but a sweet calm has succeeded that seems to portend tranquillity and happiness. ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... ground; Wherefore, we must not think that she could rest With them, whose greatest earnest is but jest: Or where the blust'ring threat'ning of great wars Do end in parleys, or in wording jars. Mansoul, her mighty wars, they did portend Her weal or woe, and that world without end; Wherefore she must be more concerned than they Whose fears begin and end the self-same day: Or where none other harm doth come to him That is engaged, but loss of life or limb,[11] As all must needs confess that now do ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... the sky portend, my child? There must be some dreadful fire; and, alas! it looks as if in the neighbourhood ...
— The Rival Heirs being the Third and Last Chronicle of Aescendune • A. D. Crake

... follow; shooting of stars (as they call it) is an usual sign of wind from that quarter the star came from, Redness of the Skie in the morning is a token of Winds, or Rain, or both: if the circles that appear about the Sun, be red and broken, they portend wind: if thick and dark, Winds, Snow, or Rain: The like may be said of the Circles ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 6: Literary Curiosities - Gleanings Chiefly from Old Newspapers of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts • Henry M. Brooks

... appearance heralded news of grave importance at the Hat Ranch. Such extraordinary and unwonted attention to dress could portend but one of two things—a journey or a funeral. Inasmuch, however, as Sam was coatless and Mrs. Corblay had been carried home ill the day before, San Pasqual allowed ...
— The Long Chance • Peter B. Kyne

... importance, remarked, "Charles he ask me give you dat." Then, colonial servants being prone to familiarity, and negro slaves doubly so, Peg rested her weight on one foot, and waited to learn what this unusual event might portend. All present instantly fixed their eyes upon Janice, but had they not done so it is probable that she would have coloured much as she did, for the girl was enough interested and enough frightened to be quite unconscious of the eyes ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... upon his knees, released his hold of the timber, and crouched down until his shoulders were on a level with the bench. He had shouted to Sir Oliver to follow his example, and Sir Oliver without even knowing what the manoeuvre should portend, but gathering its importance from the other's urgency of tone, promptly obeyed. The oar was struck an instant later and ere it snapped off it was flung back, braining one of the slaves at the bench and mortally injuring the others, ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... treasures which he possessed in the mines of Mount Bermius. It was said that in his infancy some ants were seen to creep into his cradle, and to put grains of wheat in his mouth, which was supposed to portend that he would be rich ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... England. On ascending the throne, the very first act of James II. was one of honest but imprudent bigotry. Incapable of reading the signs of the times, or fully prepared to dare the worst that those signs could portend, James immediately sent his agent Caryl to Rome, to apologize to the pope for the long and flagrant heresy of England, and to endeavor to procure the re-admission of the English people into the communion of the Catholic Church. The pope was more politic ...
— The Witch of Salem - or Credulity Run Mad • John R. Musick

... wont,' said the hag, shaking her grey locks; and, looking into the cavity, she beheld, far down, glimpses of a long streak of light, intensely but darkly red. 'Strange!' she said, shrinking back; 'it is only within the last two days that dull, deep light hath been visible—what can it portend?' ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... ranging from that of Ned's being in New York in service of his cause, to that of his being there as a deserter from it. Margaret flushed a moment, and then composed herself with an effort, for whatever issue this unexpected arrival might portend. The rest of us waited in a mere wonder touched with the old disquieting ...
— Philip Winwood • Robert Neilson Stephens

... glorious day before them, and they would make it of much length. It seemed as if a great peace had settled upon those ivy-clad walls, or it might be the calm that is the solemn presage of storm, and Sir Julian himself quiet beyond his wont seemed to portend the calamities that were to ensue; and after his breakfast stood at a window watching the dripping trees and whistling so softly one could not tell whether 'twere he or the birds chirping without. Cedric and Lady Constance played at battledore and shuttlecock. ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... the "inexorably hard cocoa nut— milky at heart." In Devonshire a plentiful crop of hazel nuts is believed to portend an unhealthy year:— ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... of the morning sky. I could see to right and left a great stretch of country sloping gradually into the darkness. Shells still fell behind our lines at intervals. Our own guns were perfectly silent. What did the enemy's quietness portend? Were the Germans aware of our contemplated assault? Were they lying in full strength like a crouching lion ready to burst upon us in fury at the first warning of our approach? Had all our precautions been in vain? Or were we on the eve of a ...
— The Great War As I Saw It • Frederick George Scott

... accumulates my work. I had a pleasant visit of three days, to Lynchburg, attending the Episcopal Convention, and I have not yet brought up my correspondence, etc. I fear, too, I shall have to go to Richmond next week, as everything seems to portend the certainty of Mr. Davis's trial. God grant that, like the impeachment of Mr. Johnson, it may be dismissed. If I do go, I fear I shall have no time to visit you. The examinations of the senior classes of the college are now in progress, and ...
— Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee • Captain Robert E. Lee, His Son

... of Stern's brain still lurked a haunting fear of the wood, of what the assegai-point might portend, but he dispelled it. ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... he was suddenly prostrated by a grave illness—an internal hemorrhage which was at first thought to portend consumption. Pale and languid he returned to his father's house, and for several months it was uncertain whether he was to live or die. During this period of seclusion he became deeply interested ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... heard at "Mawlong Siem" a great noise of beating of drums. The Mawsmai and the Mawmluh people used to hear it, and they attributed it to the god "Mawlong Siem," who beat the drum for his children to dance to. At any rate, when this sound is heard, it never fails to portend the death of a Siem. It appears that this hill was called ...
— The Khasis • P. R. T. Gurdon

... aim at, take care of; tend'ency; attend' (-ance, -ant); contend'; distend'; extend'; intend' (literally, to stretch to), to purpose, to design; portend' (literally, to stretch forward), to presage, to betoken; pretend' (literally, to stretch forth), to affect, feel; subtend', to extend under; ...
— New Word-Analysis - Or, School Etymology of English Derivative Words • William Swinton

... command where I adore.' Why, she may command me: I serve her, she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal capacity; there is no obstruction in this;—And the end,—What should that alphabetical position portend? If I could make that resemble something in ...
— Twelfth Night; or, What You Will • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... these times portend a long and strong determination of mankind to cleave to the world, the flesh, and evil, causing great obscuration of Spirit. When we remember that God is just, and admit the total depravity of mortals, alias mortal mind,—and that [10] this Adam legacy must first be seen, and then ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... tone portend? The eccentric man seated himself with slow movement. Seen by a good light, his face was not gloomy, but ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... Prussia gave him some concern. For a time she seemed about to risk a war a outrance, such as Stein, Fichte, and the staunch patriots of the Tugendbund ardently craved. Indeed, Napoleon's threats to this hapless realm seemed for a time to portend its annihilation. The King, therefore, sent Scharnhorst first to St. Petersburg and then to Vienna with secret overtures for an alliance. They were virtually refused. Prudence was in the ascendant at both capitals; ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... cloud that at sunset had been hovering on the verge of the western horizon, had been stealthily creeping zenith-ward, and at the same time spreading out north and south, with a look in it that seemed to portend more wind; so, as a measure of precaution, I went to work, upon the conclusion of our meal, and shortened sail by taking down a couple of reefs in the mainsail, and a single reef in the little stay foresail ...
— The Castaways • Harry Collingwood

... and never, as far as I know, by any of the blood of that wicked man, without betokening some ill to one of the family, and most probably to the one who hears it—but I am not quite sure about that. Only some evil it does portend, although a long time may elapse before it shows itself; and I have a hope it may mean some ...
— The Portent & Other Stories • George MacDonald

... Scottish word, expressive of that unaccountable and violent mirth which is supposed frequently to portend sudden death.—ED. ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... conflict in the heart. For soon Lord Marmion raised his head, And, smiling, to Fitz-Eustace said - "Is it not strange, that, as ye sung, Seemed in mine ear a death-peal rung, Such as in nunneries they toll For some departing sister's soul; Say, what may this portend?" Then first the Palmer silence broke, (The livelong day he had not spoke) "The death of ...
— Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field • Walter Scott

... the Phrygian Dorylaion, and seemed at first to portend dire defeat to the crusaders. More than once the issue of the day seemed to be turned by the indomitable personal bravery of the Norman Robert, of Tancred, and of Bohemond; and when even those seemed likely to be borne down, they received timely succors from Godfrey, and Hugh of Vermandois, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 5 • Various

... daughters who were lying in one bed, burned them even to ashes; then the south wind, blowing strongly, dispersed their ashes over many parts of Ireland. And Milcho, awaking, meditated with himself on his couch what prodigy might this remote vision portend. On the morrow, Patrick being called before him, he declared unto him his dream, entreating and abjuring him that if he knew he would unfold its interpretation. And Patrick, being filled with the grace ...
— The Most Ancient Lives of Saint Patrick - Including the Life by Jocelin, Hitherto Unpublished in America, and His Extant Writings • Various

... indeed there is an allusion to the symbolical wheel of the Egyptians, and the change of posture means that nothing human is constant, and that, however God may turn about our lives, it is our duty to be content. The act of sitting after prayer was said to portend that such as were good would obtain a solid and lasting fulfilment of their prayers. Or again, this attitude of rest marks the division between different periods of prayer; so that after the end of one prayer they seat themselves in the presence ...
— Plutarch's Lives, Volume I (of 4) • Plutarch

... scouts brought in a rumor that there was a heavy movement of Federal troops, although they did not know its meaning. It might portend another flank march by Grant, but a mist that had begun to rise after midnight hid much from them. The mist deepened into a fog, which made it harder for the Southern leaders to learn the ...
— The Shades of the Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... naval support of England might be forthcoming if Italy were seriously threatened; and when the naval preparations at Toulon seemed to portend a raid on the ill-protected dockyard of Spezzia, British warships took up positions at Genoa in order to render help if it were needed. This incident led to a discussion in the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna, owing to a speech made by Signor Chiala ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... an emergency whose evil results may fall on others and not on yourself. There is not one loyal American to whom Southern success does not portend misery, poverty, degradation. We have not yet felt the foot of the enemy on our soil, but if we pour away the life-blood of the nation little by little, why, a day will come when the blood will be exhausted, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2 No 4, October, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... prophet Rui, a ram's heart, instead of a man's, had been found, and desired them all to follow his instructions. Each one, he said, was to fall on his knees and pray, while he would carry the heart into the holiest of holies, and enquire of the Gods what this wonder might portend to the faithful. ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... passed when there was a ring at the door. All except Ella looked at each other with startled eyes. What did this late summons portend? Mara rose to go to the door, but with a silent gesture the captain restrained her ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... on this serious subject, we began to wonder what Mr. Haines' dream might portend this time, and prepare our minds for the verse from the prophecies over which dear Uncle Pennyman had made his ...
— Not Pretty, But Precious • John Hay, et al.

... cobbles outside. Hawkins and the landlord exchanged a swift glance, and then to my surprise they both stared at me questioningly. Before a word could be exchanged, however, and before I had time even to surmise what this covert uneasiness might portend, a young fellow entered whose carriage and dress immediately attracted ...
— The Green Eyes of Bast • Sax Rohmer

... rampires down; And Cadiz wept in fear o'er Trafalgar. Who that beheld our sails from off the heights, Like the white birds, nor larger, tempt the gale In sunshine and in shade, now almost touch The solitary shore, glance, turn, retire, Would think these lovely playmates could portend Such mischief to the world, such blood, such woe; Could draw to them from far the peaceful hinds, Cull the gay flower of cities, and divide Friends, children, every bond of human life; Could dissipate whole families, could sink Whole states in ruin, ...
— Count Julian • Walter Savage Landor

... What does this portend—this entrance of another theme, written for the treble clef, played with the right hand, but mysteriously interwoven with the bass? What but that Bluebeard is not to be the sole personage in this music-drama; and we judge the stranger to be a female on account of the overwhelming circumstantial ...
— Bluebeard • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... imagination being haunted, during his sleep, by the image of such a calamity, were it not that, in this case, the deluge of water which produced such disastrous results seemed to be, in some mysterious way, connected with his daughter, so that the dream appeared to portend some great calamity which was to originate in her. He thought it perhaps indicated that after her marriage she should have a son who would rebel against him and seize the supreme power, thus overwhelming his kingdom as the inundation had done ...
— Cyrus the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... the sign portend? Linforth puzzled his brains vainly over that problem. He had not the knowledge by which a man might cipher out the intrigues of the hill-folk beyond the Frontier. Did the breaking of the pitcher mean that some definite thing had been done in Chiltistan, some breaking ...
— The Broken Road • A. E. W. Mason

... her, drawing his chair very close to hers, and taking her hand in his. He was more affectionate this evening than usual. What did it portend? she thought. She had already begun to acquiesce in Rachel's estimate of Stanley, and to fancy that whatever he did it was with ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... had been always accustomed to wear a crown of laurel on great occasions, and had always evinced a particular fondness for that decoration, that plant had come to be considered his own proper badge, and the fall of the laurel, therefore, was naturally thought to portend some great calamity ...
— History of Julius Caesar • Jacob Abbott

... on his latest discovery and calculated to what principal object it might be devoted, a stream of fiery light shot rapidly athwart the dark, drear sky, and before he had space to think what the meteor might portend, a roar as of thunder shook the air, and simultaneous with it, a shrill, piercing scream, mingled with the fearful sound; then burst forth a volume of flame, and on the wind came floating a sulphurous vapor which, to him alone, revealed the nature of the explosion ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... not! Some busie Genius Whispers to my Soul, The loss of this upon my Wedding Day Portend's a greater e're ...
— The City Bride (1696) - Or The Merry Cuckold • Joseph Harris

... jump—into her mouth it seemed. What could such a preface as this portend, save one thing? The baronet spoke again, and Miss Darrell's heart sunk down to the very ...
— A Terrible Secret • May Agnes Fleming

... harping yron, hauing first striken diuers of them, and brought away part of their flesh, sticking vpon the yron, but could recouer onely that one. These also passing through the Ocean, in heardes, did portend storme. I omit to recite friuolous reportes by them in the Frigat, of strange voyces, the same night, which scarred ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation, Vol. XII., America, Part I. • Richard Hakluyt

... in those islands. To him also, this was a cause for wonder, and he was not a little troubled at what it might mean. Seeing that these vessels were directed toward the city of Manila, and thinking that so great a fleet, coming from such a direction, could portend no good to the inhabitants of the city (who were living in security and were but few in number, as we have said above), he resolved to set out immediately with the greatest despatch possible, and ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume VI, 1583-1588 • Emma Helen Blair

... resigned his office and left his colleagues to face the vote. He could not see how Mr. Roebuck's motion could be resisted. This seemed to portend the downfall of the ministry. The Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of War, offered to retire to save the government. Lord Palmerston believed that the breaking up of the ministry would be a calamity to the country, but he doubted the expediency ...
— The Grand Old Man • Richard B. Cook

... passed with nothing to indicate the reason for these most peculiar actions. Half an hour that was interminable to Mr. Weil, torn with a thousand fears as to what it might all portend. At last, however, a faint sound broke the stillness. Some one was approaching. Roseleaf touched the shoulder of his companion to indicate ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... and general chilliness, seemed to portend they were getting into a more open sea, and, as the motion increased, the saloon began to thin a little. The bride's prattle deepened into moanings and complaints; she was laid on the sofa, covered with shawls, and supplied with sal-volatile ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... imagination favours done me, real or imagined, until, to hear them, they might have been my guardian angels; while I went between them silent and mighty sullen, casting about in my mind as to what all this should portend. ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... poor child never seemed to have the sort of vision that, in the words of the book, had 'excellent portent.' 'I don't get the nice things,' I once heard her remark, 'like white horses, you know, which, it says, portend honours, riches and rare gifts. Did you ever dream ...
— Our Elizabeth - A Humour Novel • Florence A. Kilpatrick

... Out of mystery we all came at our birth, fox-hunters and paupers, sages and saints; into mystery we shall all return . . . at all events, when we die; probably, as it seems to me, some of us will return thither before we die. For if the signs of the times mean anything, they portend, I humbly submit, a somewhat mysterious and mythical denouement to this very age, and to those struggles of it which I have herein attempted, clumsily enough, to sketch. We are entering fast, I both hope and fear, ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... irony relative to India portend? Hitherto she had quite forgotten the letter from Mr. Lindsay, and now breaking the ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... that these dreams might as easily have been interpreted to portend death and destruction to their English foes as to the dreamers themselves. The soldiers were, however, inclined—in the state of mind which the season of the year, the threatening aspect of the skies, and the certain dangers ...
— William the Conqueror - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... for immediate expenditure on account of rivers and harbors, will amount to about $80,000,000. Nor is this all. The bill directs numerous surveys and examinations which contemplate new work and further contracts and which portend largely ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... impressed with this dream, which appeared to him to portend strange things, Izdubar sent forth to all the most famous seers and wise men, promising the most princely rewards to whoever would interpret it for him: he should be ennobled with his family; he should take the high seat of honor at the royal feasts; ...
— Chaldea - From the Earliest Times to the Rise of Assyria • Znade A. Ragozin

... sky grows dark,— Was that the roll of thunder? Hark! The shop affords a safe retreat, A chair extends its welcome seat, The tradesman has a civil look (I 've paid, impromptu, for my book), The clouds portend a sudden shower,— I 'll read my purchase ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... a ray of light through the clouds, a sense of consolation, sweet as it was sudden, seemed to pierce the darkness of her bitter thoughts. She knew not whence it came, nor what it might portend, yet it existed, and the source of it seemed near to her. She scanned the faces of the crowd, finding pity in a few, curiosity in more, but in most gross admiration if they were men, or scorn of her misfortune and jealousy of her loveliness if they were women. Not ...
— Pearl-Maiden • H. Rider Haggard

... when I recall The ecstasy that spoke in thunder tones And like to period rhetorical Did ever punctuate each proper pause. Quick did I note in what well ordered ranks Our party friends did form before the stand. Quezox: But, noble Sire, methought I in each eye Discovered greedy looks which portend ill. (Enters Seldonskip) Unless their hungry hopes are satisfied By wellfilled bellies of official food. If this discernment doth not truth belie It points prophetic to a scramble sharp To wear the cast off shoes of those who now ...
— 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts • Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

... we'll fight it out, and, by heaven, I'll break you, too!" ... What was it, this buoyancy of soul? Did it portend anything? ...
— The Wilderness Trail • Frank Williams

... great outer door resounded through the house. Who could possibly have strayed here at this hour, so far from the travelled roads, and in this tempest that was making night horrible without? No such thing had occurred within the baron's recollection. What could it portend? ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... than the sleep of the just. Overwhelmed by the questions that crowded upon his brain, Captain Servadac could only wander up and down the shore. Again and again he asked himself what the catastrophe could portend. Had the towns of Algiers, Oran, and Mostaganem escaped the inundation? Could he bring himself to believe that all the inhabitants, his friends, and comrades had perished; or was it not more probable that ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... encouraging that the startled expression in the lad's eyes gave place to a serener light. Perhaps after all the missive did not portend the calamity that a note from school usually did. Maybe his algebra was all right and he had not flunked his Latin. The fates ...
— Carl and the Cotton Gin • Sara Ware Bassett

... attend these strange machinations? Revolving the idea, he presently shook his head in conclusive negation as he rode along. The approach of raiders was silent and noiseless and secret. Whatever the mystery might portend it was not thus that they would advertise their presence, promoting the escape of the objects of their search. Hite's open and candid mind could compass no adequate motive for concealment in all the ways of the world but the desire to ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... guns gave the Legation a little rest of mind. Hungry and helpless, it waited the passing of another day. A silence seemed to fill the city and the wiser ones wondered anxiously what it might portend. ...
— Winning the Wilderness • Margaret Hill McCarter

... murmur of the brook, which he knew so well, was dead; not a whisper in the leaves about him; the air, earth, everything about and above was indescribably still; and he experienced that quaking of the heart that seems to portend the approach of something awful. He would have set out upon his return across the moor, had he not an undefined presentiment that he was waylaid by something he ...
— J.S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5 • J.S. Le Fanu

... mountain seas and the confused mass of rigging could alone be perceived. I cast my eyes aloft? What was that I saw? High up in the air, at the main-topmast-head, there was perched a ball of fire. I was so astonished, and, I may say, alarmed, that I could not speak. What could the phenomenon portend? It stayed there for some time, then all of a sudden it glided down, and went out to the main-top-sail yard-arm— a bright, glowing, flaming ball. It will be setting the ship on fire! I thought that I ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston



Words linked to "Portend" :   portent, threaten, foreshow, signal, bespeak, point, indicate



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