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Upper hand   /ˈəpər hænd/   Listen
Upper hand

noun
1.
Position of advantage and control.  Synonym: whip hand.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Upper hand" Quotes from Famous Books



... "You've got the upper hand right now," he said. "But what good does it do you? I'm the only one who knows the truth, and the reason for all this. They won't do anything to me—they can't prove any kidnapping charge. The boat was disabled—I entertained ...
— A Campfire Girl's Happiness • Jane L. Stewart

... the divines of the Church of England possessed the upper hand in the kingdom, witchcraft, though trials and even condemnations for that offence occasionally occurred, did not create that epidemic terror which the very suspicion of the offence carried with it elsewhere; so that Reginald Scot and others ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... arrogance. His hand still darted to and fro on the mantelpiece while he stood looking down at the doctor. There was something in his manner that suggested a mixture of triumph and fighting anxiety in his mind. But, as he continued to speak, the former got the upper hand. ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... To be honest, I want to put one over on you. I want you to take Miss Devine over here for a while and speed her up. I can't do anything. She's got the upper hand of me. I don't want to fire her, you understand, but she makes my life too difficult. It's my fault, of course. I've pampered her. Give her a chance over here; maybe she'll come back. You can be firm with ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... control, and which she was ashamed to manifest. Possibly conscience had spoken more and more gently as its behests were more and more readily obeyed, until the heart began to gather courage, and at last, as in many old people, took the upper hand, which was outwardly inconvenient to one of Mrs. Falconer's temperament. Hence, in doing the kindest thing in the world, she would speak in a tone of command, even of rebuke, as if she were compelling the performance of the most unpleasant duty in the person who received the kindness. But ...
— Robert Falconer • George MacDonald

... in small talk of any kind. Greater frankness, covering a wide variety of subjects, develops out of longer acquaintance. It should develop as naturally and as easily as in civilian walks of life; rank is no barrier to it unless the officer is overimpressed with himself and bent on keeping the upper hand; the ranks are wiser about these things than most young officers; they do not act forward or presumptuous simply because they see an officer talking and acting like a human being. But they aren't Quiz Kids. Informal conversation between officer ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... scrutinized his visitor with deliberate rudeness. Having the upper hand he proposed ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... Here is how they did it: they all stood in a row at intervals on the upper edges of the roofs, and, having previously removed, the men their coats and the women their cloaks, they waved these rapidly and violently together, in the full assurance that they were getting the upper hand in the contest against the unkind spirits who superintended gales and breezes. All this went on in the most ludicrous manner; and, as soon as one person was exhausted, he was immediately replaced by another, prayers at the same time being offered ...
— Corea or Cho-sen • A (Arnold) Henry Savage-Landor

... and taught that to rely on others older and wiser than she was the right way for a well-born, sheltered woman to go through life. The other side, the new, desperate side that Mrs. Ellsworth's "stuffiness" had developed, was not looking for any means of escape; and this side had seized the upper hand since the alarm of the ...
— The Second Latchkey • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... dangerous intimacy. She thought she was strong enough to be able to call a halt whenever she would be so disposed, but as is often the case she overestimated her powers. The intimacy grew. Underwood became bolder, claiming and obtaining special privileges. He soon realized that he had the upper hand and he traded on it. Under her patronage he was invited everywhere. He practically lived on her friends. He borrowed their money and cheated them at cards. His real character was soon known to all, but no one dared expose him for fear of offending ...
— The Third Degree - A Narrative of Metropolitan Life • Charles Klein and Arthur Hornblow

... advised on this matter before," was the answer. "With you, I feel that which you propose is the only way of proceeding, especially if by that means we can establish again our religion in the land. If once we can gain the upper hand, we may without difficulty so oppress and keep down these Protestant heretics that we may compel them to come over to the true faith, or drive them from ...
— John Deane of Nottingham - Historic Adventures by Land and Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... "She has bones like iron! A weak von vould maybe haf brain fever, but not she, I don't tink!" Nor did Sahwah disappoint him. She had a constitution like a nine-lived cat, and her active outdoor life kept her blood in perfect condition, and it was not long before she began to get the upper hand ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping • Hildegard G. Frey

... said it faintly. He was looking at the other girl now, and something in her expression and in her attitude made him lose confidence. His voice died in his throat. Ida May Bostwick had the upper hand at last—and ...
— Sheila of Big Wreck Cove - A Story of Cape Cod • James A. Cooper

... they don't extend it to——" I pulled up on the word. He had the upper hand, but I could at least play the game out with decency. "Come," said I, "contre-danse will begin presently. Find yourself a partner, and I promise you ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and a comrade of Jacques Collin's on the hulks, was his personal enemy. This hostility had its rise in quarrels in which Jacques Collin had always got the upper hand, and in the supremacy over his fellow-prisoners which Trompe-la-Mort had always assumed. And then, for ten years now, Jacques Collin had been the ruling providence of released convicts in Paris, their head, their adviser, and their banker, ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... was spent in hurrying forward all arrangements for an advance on the morrow. We also sent round messengers to all the villagers to come in and make their submission, on pain of having their villages burned; and seeing that we now had the upper hand, at any rate in their valley, the inhabitants came in without much hesitation, and also brought in a certain amount of supplies; consequently by night we had sufficient local coolies to carry all our baggage, ...
— With Kelly to Chitral • William George Laurence Beynon

... again. I looked once more into the mouth of the blunderbuss. I decided to climb. If I had had my two feet square on the ground, I would have taken a turn with this man, artillery or no artillery, to see if I could get the upper hand of him. But neither I nor any of my ancestors could ever fight well in trees. Foliage incommodes us. We like a clear sweep for the arm, and everything on a level space, and neither man in a tree. However, a sensible man holds no long discussions with ...
— The O'Ruddy - A Romance • Stephen Crane

... she is now fallen from the stars with Lucifer. Whereby ye may guess what kind of state prudence, what love of the people, what care of religion or good manners there was at the contriving, although with singular hypocrisy it pretended to bind books to their good behaviour. And how it got the upper hand of your precedent Order so well constituted before, if we may believe those men whose profession gives them cause to inquire most, it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of some old patentees and monopolizers in the trade of bookselling; who under pretence of the poor in their ...
— Areopagitica - A Speech For The Liberty Of Unlicensed Printing To The - Parliament Of England • John Milton

... eyes. Little Olga shuddered from head to foot; she feared her father, and at the same time was so sorry for him. But pity got the upper hand. She clung to him, wetting him with her tears. Her father raised his hand, wishing to make the sign of the cross once more over the little head which lay on his breast, but could not complete the gesture. His ...
— The Continental Classics, Volume XVIII., Mystery Tales • Various

... single mutiny, such as has happened in the infancy of a hundred regiments, a single miniature Bull Run, a stampede of desertions, and it would have been all over with us; the party of distrust would have got the upper hand, and there might not have been, during the whole contest, another ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... entering the recompense of great sacrifices, of much work, fatigue, and a whole life of devotion and abnegation. I asked for nothing but to render happy the objects of my affection. Well, I have been repaid with ingratitude, and evil has got the upper hand in a soul which I wished to make the sanctuary and the hearth of the beautiful and the good. At present I struggle against myself in order not to let myself die. I wish to accomplish my task unto the end. May God aid me! I believe in Him and hope!...Augustine has suffered much, but ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... heels. Out we ran, and there on the poop were the lieutenant and ten of his men. The swing skylights above the saloon table had been a bit open, and they had fired on us through the slit. We got on them before they could load, and they stood to it like men; but we had the upper hand of them, and in five minutes it was all over. My God! Was there ever a slaughter-house like that ship! Prendergast was like a raging devil, and he picked the soldiers up as if they had been children and threw them overboard alive or dead. There was one sergeant that was horribly wounded and yet kept ...
— Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... thought that was the end of little Harry! I was sick for a week after he got through with me. He certainly is some brute. Of course, I didn't realize what I was up against at first or I'd have got the upper hand right away. I could have, you know! I've been trained! But I didn't want to hurt the fellow and get into the papers. You see, the circumstances were peculiar ...
— The Search • Grace Livingston Hill

... he to Basile, "you have done me a great service by your counsel, and a greater still by holding your tongue. Speak now, and tell me freely if there is anything I can do for you. You see, as a victorious general, I have the upper hand amongst these fellows—Tracassier's scheme to ruin me missed—whatever I ask will at this moment be ...
— Murad the Unlucky and Other Tales • Maria Edgeworth

... arm, and he made his way along the street, while his face flushed with anger at some jeering remarks he heard from one or two of those who looked on at the scene. It was not long before Nellie's anger gained the upper hand of her fears. ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... nobles, just as Marius was the leader of the party of the people. Once before he had made himself supreme in the capital; and then he had used his power with moderation. But he was called away to carry on the war in Asia against Mithridates, the great King of Pontus; and his enemies had got the upper hand, and had used the opportunity most cruelly. A terrible list of victims, called the "proscription," because it was posted up in the forum, was prepared. Fifty senators and a thousand knights (peers and gentlemen we should ...
— Roman life in the days of Cicero • Alfred J[ohn] Church

... Harry, my boy, you have given him quite the upper hand of you. How could you be so foolish as kiss the girl there ...
— Adela Cathcart, Vol. 3 • George MacDonald

... man smiled a benign delight, but the apothecary now had the upper hand, and would not ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... both strove for the supremacy of the sea, upon which much of their prosperity depended, and each strove to gain the advantage over the other. This led to many wars between them, when sometimes one would gain the upper hand, and sometimes the other. At length, in the year 1379, the Genoese defeated the Venetians in the battle of Pola, and then took Chiozza, which commanded, as one might say, the entrance to Venice. The Venetians, alarmed beyond ...
— St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 2, December, 1877 • Various

... gnawing, and you must pack the suet firmly, to prevent spilling, as a crafty wolf will roll a trough over and over to dislodge the bait. Keep your holders out in the open, exposed to the elements, scald the loading tools before using, and you have the upper hand of any wolves that may molest ...
— Wells Brothers • Andy Adams

... legerdemain—grapple (in short) any of those conspicuous accomplishments that are usually classed under the head of genius. He knew—he admitted—his parts to be pedestrian, but he had considered them (until quite lately) fully equal to the demands of life. And to-day he owned himself defeated: life had the upper hand; if there had been any means of flight or place to flee to, if the world had been so ordered that a man could leave it like a place of entertainment, Morris would have instantly resigned all further claim on its rewards and pleasures, and, with inexpressible ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the very sound of a church-going bell, they were sinking gradually down to the level of the coarse men and women whom they saw; the worse and not the better parts of both their characters were getting the upper hand; and it was but too possible that after a while the hero might sink into the ruffian, the lady into a slattern and ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... a pious virgin, lived in Cornwall about 490, and left her name to a church and to a well whose waters are said to give the upper hand to whichever of a bridal pair first drinks of them ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... friend Dr. HOLMES there has told us, the "Hub of the Universe" [laughter], it would hardly be respectful to say that one of the questions before us was, Which of those two roads we were going to take,—whether we were going to let the intellectual and moral parts have the upper hand, or whether we were going to sink beneath the material part. And yet, gentlemen, that is a good deal the question that is ...
— Parks for the People - Proceedings of a Public Meeting held at Faneuil Hall, June 7, 1876 • Various

... was no easy matter for her to disguise herself. And Jennings swore that he would capture her, for he truly believed that she had killed Miss Loach, and was the prime mover in the whole business. Hitherto she had baffled him by her dexterity, but when they next met he hoped to get the upper hand. ...
— The Secret Passage • Fergus Hume

... contrary to the virtues, we ought to hate and persecute and cause it to suffer by means of penitence and austerities, so that it may be always crushed down and submissive to reason, and that justice, with purity of heart, may always keep the upper hand in all virtuous actions. And all the pains, sorrows, and persecutions which God makes us suffer at the hands of those who are enemies to virtue, we shall endure with joy, in honour of God and for the glory of virtue, and in the hope ...
— Light, Life, and Love • W. R. Inge

... Maria, who had a ready imagination, her unhappiness seemed sometimes to assume a material shape like the fabulous dragon. She seemed to be fighting something with tooth and claw, a monstrous verity; but she fought, and she kept the upper hand. Maria did not lose flesh. She ate as usual, she retained her interest in her work, and all the time whenever a moment of solitude came she renewed the conflict. She thought as little as possible of Wollaston; she avoided even looking at him. He thought ...
— By the Light of the Soul - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... It was plain that she meant to have her way, though Maud, who knew that there was a very strong mixture of stubbornness in Bunny, wondered much if she would get it. Amusement, however, kept the upper hand with him. Toby's treatment evidently appealed strongly to his sense of humour. Perhaps her determination also made its impression upon him, for after a little more chaff on his part and brisk insistence on hers he departed, laughing, ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... saith: Thou art wise in war; now tell us, shall we hold the Hall against the Romans that ye may find us there? For we have discomfited their vanguard already, and we have folk who can fight; but belike the main battle of the Romans shall get the upper hand of us ere ye come to our helping: belike it were better to leave the hall, and ...
— The House of the Wolfings - A Tale of the House of the Wolfings and All the Kindreds of the Mark Written in Prose and in Verse • William Morris

... the best plan would be to use our fists. A duel with knives was liable to be over sudden, while a fist-fight would last much longer, and therefore give both more enjoyment. It wouldn't be any trouble for him as got the upper hand to pound the other to death, and being as the whole thing would be in doubt till it was over, the advantage in the way of real ...
— Deerfoot in The Mountains • Edward S. Ellis

... Lycas and his wife: She made no account of his gamesomeness with me, as well knowing it wou'd hinder no grist to her mill: But for Doris, she never left till she had found out our private amours, and gave a hint of it to Lycas; whose jealousie having got the upper hand of his love, ran all to revenge; but Doris, advertis'd by Tryphoena's woman, to divert the storm, forbore ...
— The Satyricon • Petronius Arbiter

... of water which made its way right across the outer soil. It became necessary to employ very powerful pumps and compressed-air engines to drain it off, so as to close up the orifice from whence it issued; just as one stops a leak on board ship. They at last succeeded in getting the upper hand of these untoward streams; only, in consequence of the loosening of the soil, the wheel partly gave way, and a slight partial settlement ensued. This accident cost the life ...
— Jules Verne's Classic Books • Jules Verne

... was appointed provincial, and almost immediately began to visit the houses in his jurisdiction. At Cologne he found a condition of things sufficient to make the boldest reformer quail. The Lutherans had entirely gained the upper hand, and a certain Count William of Neuenar and Mors, who had been for some tine a follower of the new doctrines, was bent on introducing them by force into Mors. He first forbade the practise of the Catholic ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... abandonment. And he need not be altogether idle, he reflected within himself afterwards, as he was riding home: he felt that he was possessed of sufficient energy and talent to make himself perfectly master of a pack of cards, to be a proficient over a billiard-table, and even to get the upper hand of a box of dice. With such pursuits left to him, he might yet live to be talked of, feared, and wealthy; and Barry's utmost ambition would have ...
— The Kellys and the O'Kellys • Anthony Trollope

... Indian kite-flying is to do battle with somebody else's kite up in the air. You have to try and so manoeuvre your kite that its thread crosses that of your opponent, who may be stationed quite a long way off and out of sight. He on his part will try and avoid you and get the upper hand himself. In the hands of expert flyers the contest is most exciting. Crowds will gather and watch the result with intense interest. The kites dodge, and rush upwards, and dive downwards, as if they were ...
— India and the Indians • Edward F. Elwin

... subject of such titled acquaintances as they had in common, all of whom seemed to be perfectly charming. But these heraldic conversations bored Mary even more intensely than the squabbles. There came a time when desperation got the upper hand of that prudence so earnestly recommended by Lord Dauntrey. She could not endure the long evenings in the villa, and felt that she must again ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... rituals. And they had their god, in the shape of this lizard thing. Of course, like most other gods, it was more of a malevolent creature than anything else. Gods generally are if you will consider a little. I don't care what creed or religion gets the upper hand, it's Fear that becomes the power. Look around and see ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... trade unions were extremely unpopular with the most influential classes of English society. The employers, against whose power they were organized, naturally antagonized them for fear they would raise wages and in other ways give the workmen the upper hand; they were opposed by the aristocratic feeling of the country, because they brought about an increase in the power of the lower classes; the clergy deprecated their growth as a manifestation of discontent, ...
— An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England • Edward Potts Cheyney

... important contact between the two peoples; the Saxons invaded the Britons and settled themselves in the Britons' country. Well, then, here was a contact which one might expect would leave its traces; if the Saxons got the upper hand, as we all know they did, and made our country be England and us be English, there must yet, one would think, be some trace of the Saxon having met the Briton; there must be some Celtic vein or other running through us. Many people ...
— Celtic Literature • Matthew Arnold

... may, the railroads have got the upper hand of the people, and they seem likely to keep it, unless, indeed, their rapacity shall react ...
— Scientific American, Vol.22, No. 1, January 1, 1870 • Various

... suspended all the faculties of my soul. For a long time I wished to fly from the Court, so that I might never again see the deceitful face of the world; and it was some time before prudence and honour got the upper hand. ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... number of them to return home. The tiresome discussions carried on for ten days, with the effect that a part of the peasants, seeing nothing come from it, returned home. But the peasants had, in spite of all, the upper hand; by a roll-call vote 359 against 314 pronounced themselves for the defense without reserve of ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... this summer, for the undertaking would have brought me in a few thousand francs. But God's, or rather Herr von Hulsen's, will be done. It is quite plain that in our excellent states the "other thing" has nowadays the upper hand; the Princess of Prussia may wish and desire what she likes, she will not be able to conquer that, nor Herr von Hulsen either. Good Lord, I know ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... their jewels and silver; the people gave contributions of goods, for money was so scarce in England that few had the wherewithal to pay in coin. Prince John placed every obstacle in the way of the collection; but the barons had since their successful stand obtained the upper hand, and it was by intrigue only that he could ...
— Winning His Spurs - A Tale of the Crusades • George Alfred Henty

... seemed to Little Dorrit that a change came over the Marshalsea spirit of their society, and that Prunes and Prism got the upper hand. Everybody was walking about St Peter's and the Vatican on somebody else's cork legs, and straining every visible object through somebody else's sieve. Nobody said what anything was, but everybody said what the ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... experience on another occasion when they tried to arrest one of the Vaisoftzi, but in the end they got the upper hand, and several Tartars were delivered ...
— Modern Saints and Seers • Jean Finot

... know of few passages in any theological writer which please me less than the one which I have above followed sentence by sentence. I know of few which should better serve to show us the sort of danger we should run if we were to let men of science get the upper hand of us. ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... Commonwealth, when forms of prayer were altogether discarded. It appears, however, from Fuller, that in his time, the observance of the day was very much neglected. "If this plot," says he, "had taken effect, the papists would have celebrated this day with all solemnity; and it would have taken the upper hand of all other festivals. The more, therefore, the shame and pity, that amongst Protestants the keeping of this day (not yet full fifty years old) begins already to wax weak and decay; so that the red letters, wherever it is written, ...
— Guy Fawkes - or A Complete History Of The Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605 • Thomas Lathbury

... bound up with their united action. The circumstances were very different now. The rapid growth of a nascent kingdom, the restless spirit of its people, its trespasses on domains in which the older powers had been accustomed to hold the upper hand,—did not all this tend to transform the convention, more commercial than military, with which up to this time they had been content, into an offensive and defensive treaty? If they decided to act in concert, how could Sapalulu or his successors, seeing that he was obliged ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... I might keep house for us all, 'stead o' boardin' round in other folks' houses. That I ain't never been demeaned to, but I dare say I should find it pleasant in some ways. Town folks has got the upper hand o' country folks, but with all their work an' pride they can't make a dandelion. I do' know the times when I've set out to wash Monday mornin's, an' tied out the line betwixt the old pucker-pear tree and the ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... into your head? He has never even seen Miss Emily. She's going to our house—ah, the women are getting the upper hand now, and serve the men right, I say!—she's going to our house to be Sir Jervis's secretary. You would like to have the place yourself, wouldn't you? You would like to keep a poor girl from getting her own living? Oh, you may look as fierce as you please—the ...
— I Say No • Wilkie Collins

... territories. The common properties were all that prevented complete rupture on several critical occasions. Another marked feature in the condition of government was the supremacy gained by the patrician class. Municipalities gained the upper hand over rural districts, and within the municipalities the old families assumed more and more privileges in government, in society, and in trade. The civil service in some instances became the monopoly of a limited number of families, who were ...
— Direct Legislation by the Citizenship through the Initiative and Referendum • James W. Sullivan

... truly death-dealing. The study of human nature is, in Alaska, particularly interesting in these directions, to the one with his mind's eye open to such things, and I am resolved, come what will, that I will keep the upper hand of my spirit, that it shall do as I direct, and not harbor ...
— A Woman who went to Alaska • May Kellogg Sullivan

... to talk of oneself—except so far as shall answer some points you touch on. It would in many respects be very delightful to me to walk again with you over those old Places; in other respects sad:—but the pleasure would have the upper hand if one had not again to leave it all and plunge back again. I dare not go to ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald - in two volumes, Vol. 1 • Edward FitzGerald

... he, "I will shake hands; for, as sure as I am here, I bear no malice. But, remember, if, by some impossible accident, we should give the slip to these blackguards, I'll take the upper hand of you ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... yielding, both somewhat immobile, generally straightforward and reliable, law abiding, accessible to reason, not exposed to great dangers nor likely to reach unusual heights. Next the sanguine, hard or soft, as hope or enjoyment have the upper hand in them; this is the richest group in attractive power. If hope is the stronger factor there is a fund of energy which, allied with the power of charm and persuasion, with trustfulness in good, and optimistic outlook on the world, wins its way and succeeds in its undertakings, making its appeal ...
— The Education of Catholic Girls • Janet Erskine Stuart

... water colour, an English landscape and a poacher, who had been caught with a stolen rabbit, humbly pulling the scant locks on his forehead. Well, this was one of the joys of democracy, doubtless, and he was in for the rest of them. These people had got the upper hand certainly, as Aunt Kesiah ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... prerogative, rid himself of a troublesome politician. He was forced to remove those who thwarted him by means of perjured witnesses, packed juries, and corrupt, hardhearted, browbeating judges. The Opposition naturally retaliated whenever they had the upper hand. Every time that the power passed from one party to the other, there was a proscription and a massacre, thinly disguised under the forms of judicial procedure. The tribunals ought to be sacred places of refuge, where, in all the vicissitudes of public ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Creator summoned Koit and Aemarik to his presence, and said, "I will guard against any further negligence respecting the light of the world, lest darkness should again get the upper hand, and I will appoint two watchers under whose care all shall run its course. The Moon and Videvik shall illumine the night with their radiance at the appointed time. Koit and Aemarik, to your watch and ward I intrust the light of day ...
— The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Romantic Literature of That Country • William Forsell Kirby

... however, with the help of M. Damville; the Catholics again got the upper hand, and it was the turn of the Protestants to fly. They took refuge in the Cevennes. From the beginning of the troubles the Cevennes had been the asylum of those who suffered for the Protestant faith; and still the plains are Papist, and the mountains Protestant. When the Catholic party is ...
— Massacres Of The South (1551-1815) - Celebrated Crimes • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... contractor, like any ordinary contractor, building ordinary houses with ordinary bricks. He tendered for part of the foundations in the Opera. His estimate was accepted. When he found himself in the cellars of the enormous playhouse, his artistic, fantastic, wizard nature resumed the upper hand. Besides, was he not as ugly as ever? He dreamed of creating for his own use a dwelling unknown to the rest of the earth, where he could hide from ...
— The Phantom of the Opera • Gaston Leroux

... Gioras hath taken the upper hand within the last few days. Remember the fortunes ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... addressed himself, and received a cold answer. Two others of the townsmen, however, immediately {p.101} welcomed him, and told him that "the whole place was at his lord's commandment, except certain of the town council, who feared that, if good fellows had the upper hand, their extremities heretofore should be remembered."[234] They took Rampton into a house, where, presently, another man entered of the same way of thinking, and, in his own eyes, a man of importance. "My ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... her man, took th' day they was married. Him and her quarreled somethin' awful, she gener'ly havin' th' upper hand. I was ...
— The Fotygraft Album - Shown to the New Neighbor by Rebecca Sparks Peters Aged Eleven • Frank Wing

... Americans had the upper hand. Their arms were feared; the British promises of help were no longer credited by the Indians; and it was easy for Wayne to convince the tribal representatives who visited him in large numbers during the winter that their true interest was to win the good-will of the United States. In the ...
— The Old Northwest - A Chronicle of the Ohio Valley and Beyond, Volume 19 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Frederic Austin Ogg

... active as a sailor. In an instant he had hurled himself, bending low, at the Baron's knees, and the fat man fell over him, while the revolver flew from his hand, half across the room, fortunately not going off as it fell on its side. While Malipieri was struggling to get the upper hand, the detective ran forward and helped Volterra. The two threw themselves upon the younger man, and between the detective's wiry strength and the Baron's tremendous weight, he lay panting and powerless on his back for ...
— The Heart of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... the long limp grass, "every enemy is a tyrant, if he has the upper hand. Consider, what will the war be? Blood, the blood of the noblest Romans! The overturning of time-honoured institutions! A shock that will make the world to tremble, kings be laid low, cities annihilated! East, west, north, ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... more truly continued in these than in the residuum of its own life, we should find ourselves involved in a good deal of trouble if we were commonly to take this view of the matter. The residuum has generally the upper hand. He has more money, and can eat up his new life more easily than his new life, him. A moral residuum will therefore prefer to see the remainder of his life in his own person, than in that of his descendants, and will act ...
— Life and Habit • Samuel Butler

... thus suddenly sprung into existence. After many internal troubles the democracy of Tyre had gained the upper hand in that city; and finding their position intolerable, the whole of the aristocracy decided to emigrate, and, sailing with a great fleet under their queen Dido or Elisa—for she was called by both names—founded ...
— The Young Carthaginian - A Story of The Times of Hannibal • G.A. Henty

... would have, as it were, to grovel at her feet. Hitherto, in all his intercourse with her, he had been masterful and marital. He had managed up to this point so to live as to have kept in all respects the upper hand. He had never yet been found out even in a mistake or an indiscretion. He had never given her an opening for the mildest finding of fault. She, no doubt, was young, and practice had not come to her. But, as a natural consequence of this, ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... love of books. Who did not think that it comprised but occasional visits to the book-shops and bookstalls, perhaps even to an auction-room, and the reading of nondescript catalogues? But it is like all other hobbies: ridden at first with too little restraint, it soon gets the upper hand, and off it goes, bit between teeth, carrying its rider ever farther and farther afield. And no man of spirit would think of seeking to curb his hobby's gallop. We have mounted of our own free will, determined ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... the desire for food, and the desire for sexual union to perpetuate the species; and he made the reward for the satisfaction of these desires the pleasure which they give. He also appointed the "evil inclination" to incite to all these bodily pleasures. Now if this "evil inclination" gets the upper hand of the reason, the result is excess and ruin. Hence the need of general abstemiousness. And the ascetic class serve the purpose of reinforcing ...
— A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy • Isaac Husik

... it might be supposed that the worst elements would get the upper hand, crime become common, and anarchy result. Precisely the opposite happened. The de facto government was accepted as a necessity, and under its direction "alcaldes" and "ayuntamientos" were elected. But the mining-camps, which were in a part of the country that had not ...
— Tennessee's Partner • Bret Harte

... of a persevering and violent character if some of the people who surrounded him had not sought to foment them. I myself fell a victim to this. Napoleon's affection for me would perhaps have got the upper hand if his relenting towards me had not been incessantly combated ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... the odd man. "For rats and mice are one and the same thing; and they are noxious vermin, the whole lot of them. If we let them get the upper hand of us, they would soon eat us ...
— The Old Willow Tree and Other Stories • Carl Ewald

... caves, dazzling to the eye after the pitch darkness of the moment before. Jack and Frank were still tightly locked with their respective foemen. But at the very moment the lights were switched on, Bob got the upper hand of his man with a famous hold he had used to advantage in winning his wrestling fame at school. There was a heave, and then Bob straightened up and the other went hurtling through the air. He was the American ...
— The Radio Boys on the Mexican Border • Gerald Breckenridge

... his dad Before he mates. In my—yet, come to think, I didn't say overmuch. My dad and mammy Scarce kenned her name when I sprung my bride on them; Just loosed on them a gisseypig out of a poke They'd heard no squeak of. They'd to thole my choice, Lump it or like it. I'd the upper hand then: And well they kenned their master. No tawse to chide, Nor apron-strings to hold young Ezra then: His turn had come; and he was cock of the midden, And no braw cockerel's hustled him from it yet, For all their crowing. The blind old bird's still game. They've never had his spirit, the ...
— Krindlesyke • Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

... against each other the internal fight continued more bitter than ever. President Wilson kept insisting upon definite promises from Germany but the Admiralty still had the upper hand. There was nothing for the Foreign Office to do except to make the best possible excuses and depend upon Wilson's patience to give them time to get into the saddle. The Navy Department, however, was so confident that it had the Kaiser's support in everything it did, ...
— Germany, The Next Republic? • Carl W. Ackerman

... of 1848 were the organizers of these popular independent movements. When the people had gained the upper hand of their rulers, their very first action was to select the destroyers of their faith as their political champions and representatives. It was, therefore, a great triumph for those fanatical humanists ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... Manos-gordas. "I have the upper hand now. In a few hours I shall be back and you will see him following me like a dog. This is his cabin. Wait for us inside, and make us a good mess of alcazus, with the maize and the butter you will ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanish • Various

... ye ony day, Weeliam. Ah'd like to see the wumman that'd get the upper hand o' me. Jist name ...
— Treasure Valley • Marian Keith

... now hearken and give heed We have taken with the castle a booty manifold. Dead are the Moors. Not many of the living I behold. Surely we cannot sell them the women and the men; And as for striking off their heads, we shall gain nothing then. ln the hold let us receive them, for we have the upper hand. When we lodge within their dwellings, they shall do ...
— The Lay of the Cid • R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon

... lay the package temptingly wide open, displaying its toothsome contents. The crisis of the temptation had come. An instant more, and Bert would have yielded; when suddenly his better nature got the upper hand, and with a quick resolution, the secret of which he never ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... silent. He never argued with Daisy. She had always had the upper hand. He watched her as she sat down again, her pretty face in the glow of the fire; but though fully aware of the fact, she would ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... it. I must know how far the Allies have driven the Germans, so I set my teeth and start for town in the "little fury." Every one told me that I'd have to break something before I really got the upper hand. I have. I bravely drove out to a Japanese truck garden for vegetables and came to grief. One of the boys tersely expressed it in his diary, "Muvs ran into a Japanese barn and rooked the bumper!" Now that that is over, I begin ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... near the railway encampment along the way, and had offered us directions; but his manner was as different now from then as a bully's in and out of school. Then he had sought to placate, and had almost cringed to Monty. Everything about him now proclaimed the ungloved upper hand. ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... felt that his anger was getting the upper hand, but Limousin interposed, and turning toward the ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... seemed possible. Now, of course, shortened working hours and medical advances have equalized the life-span. And since private property has become less and less of a factor in dominating our collective destinies, it hardly matters whether the male or the female has the upper hand. ...
— This Crowded Earth • Robert Bloch

... chosen instruments of the devil,—a violent, roystering cut-throat, but a good soldier, as was shown in Italy and at St. Quentin, Calais, Jarnac, and elsewhere. My mother, though only the daughter of an armorer's workman, was, in goodness, an angel. I thank God that she sometimes has the upper hand in me, although too often it is my father that prevails in me." He sighed heavily, ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... of the gunners was shot through the brain and fell at my feet. Another was shot while bringing up shell. Then we got a look in.' The roar of the cannon was deafening, but gradually the British were gaining the upper hand. Here and there the little knolls upon the further side which had erupted into constant flame lay cold and silent. One of the heavier guns was put out of action, and the other had been withdrawn for five hundred yards. But the infantry fire still crackled and rippled ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... the Orleanists were now called, thirsted for revenge, and for five years Paris was the scene of frightful atrocities as each faction gained the upper hand and took a bloody vengeance on its rivals. At length the infamous policy of an alliance with the English was resorted to. The temptation was too great for the English king, and in 1415 Henry V. met the French army, composed almost entirely of the ...
— The Story of Paris • Thomas Okey

... provocation of the mine owners and their faithful servants. No act of revenge was carried out, not a renegade was maltreated, not one single theft committed. Thus the strike had continued well on towards four months, and the mine owners still had no prospect of getting the upper hand. One way was, however, still open to them. They remembered the cottage system; it occurred to them that the houses of the rebellious spirits were THEIR property. In July, notice to quit was served ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... upper hand in the Council was one Julius, who had been a Franciscan friar, but was a desperate, unscrupulous fellow, not at all like a monk. Finding that it was considered as a reproach that the churches of Lowenburg were empty, he called the whole Council together on the 9th ...
— A Book of Golden Deeds • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in growth," says Shakespeare, but that depends upon whether the competition is sharp and close. If the weed finds itself distanced, or pitted against great odds, it grows more slowly and is of diminished stature, but let it once get the upper hand, and what strides it makes! Red-root will grow four or five feet high if it has a chance, or it will content itself with a few inches and mature its seed almost upon ...
— The Writings of John Burroughs • John Burroughs

... of his life, the opinion that his ambition and the desire of preserving his authority had more power over him than his zeal for the public good. The fact is that there is no virtue which does not belie itself when one has allowed a dominant passion to gain the upper hand. The Count de Frontenac might have been a great prince if Heaven had placed him on the throne, but he had dangerous faults for a subject who is not well persuaded that his glory consists in sacrificing everything to the service of his ...
— The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval • A. Leblond de Brumath

... he had three sons. There was at that time a king over every fifth of Erin. It fell out for the children of the king that was near Conall, that they themselves and the children of Conall came to blows. The children of Conall got the upper hand, and they killed the king's big son. The king sent a message for Conall, and he said to him—"Oh, Conall! what made your sons go to spring on my sons till my big son was killed by your children? but I see that though I follow you revengefully, I shall not be much better for it, and I will ...
— Celtic Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... forbear from keeping stiletto and pistol ready on the table as Athalie had advised. Who knows what may happen? The moment will decide which gets the upper hand—whether the vengeful assassin, the dishonored husband, or the prudent man of business who would reckon an open scandal to his credit side, as facilitating the ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... make angry remonstrances with James on his treatment of the rebel lords. In one stinging letter she said 'she could only pray for him, and leave him to himself. She did not know whether sorrow or shame had the upper hand, when she had learned that he had let those escape against whom he had such evident proof. Lord! what wonder grew in her that he should correct them with benefits and simply banished them to those they loved. She more than smiled to read their childish, foolish, witless ...
— Andrew Melville - Famous Scots Series • William Morison

... up, boys," said Ned forlornly. "We might as well unload. They have got the upper hand ...
— Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal - or Perils of the Black Bear Patrol • G. Harvey Ralphson

... to say, though, who would have gained the upper hand, for my principal efforts were directed at preventing him from drawing his knife, whilst I had his arms fast to his side, he all the while striving ...
— The Golden Magnet • George Manville Fenn

... his mother, who, I believe, was behind all this, got the upper hand of my father, and again by unfair means. Was it a wonder, then, that Jasper Pennington should regard them as enemies? Was it any wonder that I, when I came to know about these ...
— The Birthright • Joseph Hocking

... and uneasily). The spirits awaking, she said? I but feigned to conjure up the devil of revolt—'twere a cursed spite if he got the upper hand of us. ...
— Henrik Ibsen's Prose Dramas Vol III. • Henrik Ibsen

... story short—I was resolute—"Step into the parlour, my dearest I hope we shall never part any more; but you must not get the upper hand, you know. So step into the other room, and whenever I get my inexpressibles on, I will come ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode ...
— Proposed Roads To Freedom • Bertrand Russell

... on the body—for sickness until it is obeyed, for health thereafter. The moment conscience spoke thus plainly to Tom, the little that was left of his physical endurance gave way, his illness got the upper hand, and he took to his bed—all he could have for bed, that is—namely, the sofa in the sitting-room, widened out with chairs, and a mattress over all. There he lay, and their landlady had enough to do. Not that either of her patients ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... grateful if I can relieve them, but the trouble is I can't relieve them—not the particular class I have in mind. They won't do as I order. And as long as I can't get them comfortably down in bed, where the nurse and I have the upper hand, they'll continue to carry out half of my directions—the half they approve, and neglect the other half—the really important half, and then come round and tell me I haven't helped them any—and why not? Oh, well—far ...
— Mrs. Red Pepper • Grace S. Richmond

... sixteen of the total American force were killed and nineteen badly wounded. This battle of San Pascual, as it was called, is interesting as being the only engagement in which the Californians got the upper hand. Whether their Parthian tactics were the result of a preconceived policy or were merely an expedient of the moment, it is impossible to say. The battle is also notable because the well-known scout, Kit Carson, took part ...
— The Forty-Niners - A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado • Stewart Edward White

... "do you begin to believe that it's a ruined cause, and that what with your Harrisons, Joyces, Bridges and Cromwells, we shall never get the upper hand?" ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere



Words linked to "Upper hand" :   favorable position, superiority, favourable position



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