the front part of a vessel
The hair swept off her brow and soared into the air like a wave curling before a ship’s
The simile is strengthened by the words "prow" and "brow"--they look and sound similar, and both refer to the front part of a vessel/person.
showing warm and sincere friendliness
hearty laughter all around and glasses raised.
the possibility of future success
"Given their blunders, it is an unlikely
not being susceptible to or admitting of something
But Lady Seymour was the wealthy, elderly widow of a British lord,
incapable of social error, so all pretended she had not said a word.
cut small bits or pare shavings from
The sky was a black curtain; the stars, ice chips
whittled by an old knife.
a piece of open land for recreational use in an urban area
The British had built their own hangman’s platform at the opposite end of the
a tool resembling a hammer but with a large head
He looked like he had been fashioned by setting boulders atop boulders; his hands were iron
mallets and his face rough-carved out of granite.
extensive landed property retained by the owner
I believe our aunt would recover faster at our
estate in Charleston.
meat from a mature domestic sheep
I filled the bucket with potato scraps and
mutton fat, and put the pie on top.
a short trip taken in the performance of a necessary task
Lady Seymour prepared an
errand list for me the next afternoon.
a formal public statement
I took a slow turn around the shop, admiring the shelves heavy with books, business forms,
proclamations from Parliament and General Howe, slates, thick paper, quills, and sealing wax.
Proclamations stated (the Latin "clamare" means "to cry out") new laws or rules that had to be followed. Although only thirteen, the narrator Isabel is unlikely to live long enough to benefit from America's "Emancipation Proclamation" (issued in 1863 during the Civil War).
a formal exposition
The titles were near as long as books themselves:
Treatise on the Propagation of Sheep, the Manufacture of Wool, and the Cultivation and Manufacture of Flax, by John Wily, or Cato Major, Or His Discourse of Old-Age: With Explanatory Notes, by M. T. Cicero, or Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley, and countless tracts containing sermons and advice.
"Treatise" and "tract" are synonymous nouns, but a tract is often shorter, because a treatise would have more exposition ("a systematic interpretation or explanation of a topic"). The list of titles seems almost humorous, because one concerns sheep sex ("propagation" means "the act of producing offspring") while another is concerned about growing old; the most interesting book to Isabel would be the poems of Phillis Wheatley (an educated slave who was emancipated after her master's death).
a mattress filled with straw or a pad made of quilts
I carried the book to my warm
pallet and quietly untied the twine and removed the paper wrapping.
characterized by or causing or expressing sadness
He tried to smile, but his eyes were downcast and
I was the dogsbody in charge of keeping the oven
stoked with wood and the ashes cleared out, fetching forgotten ingredients from the market, and beating eggs, ten at a time, till my arm was near to fall off.
consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
“The regulations permit civilians to deliver food and
the size of something as given by the distance around it
“There will be regular patrols round the
perimeter of the building to ensure that civilians do not tarry overlong in conversation with the prisoners.”
goods whose trade or possession is prohibited by law
“If you deliver
contraband items, you will be imprisoned yourself.”
censure severely or angrily
“Who are you to
reprimand me, girl?” he snarled, putting his face up to the bars.
He choked on his spittle and fought for breath, then finally relaxed back into his
stupor, leaning against the window.
the name used to identify the members of a family
According to Madam, my
surname was Lockton, but it tasted foul in my mouth.
disturbance usually in protest
A few nights later, there was a terrible
hullabaloo between Madam and the master when he announced at supper that he was planning to travel on the next ship to London.
activities that are enjoyable or amusing
This provided great
merriment amongst the men and some blushing on the part of their wives.
done or made using whatever is available
First a house with no damage, next a house still bearing black streaks of soot and smoke, then a field of ruin, with
makeshift hovels crafted from tent, brick, and scorched timbers.
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
endured so much, Sal.
Compare with "brook" (Chapter 1-11) and "abide" (Chapters 23-33): although the definitions are identical, the Latin "durare" means "to harden" and makes "endure" seem more like a test of strength, as suggested by this example sentence, than of attitude.
frigid hour, he left for headquarters.
continuing forever or indefinitely
“For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in
perpetual preference to all others for ever.”
organized opposition to authority
“They fear we might mount an
insurrection while they are dancing minuets and gorging on stuffed goose."
worn out from stress or strain
“They’ll be too busy running us
ragged setting up the dinner."
a wanderer with no established residence or means of support
Most folks took no more notice of me than they would a cartman selling oysters or a
vagabond from Canvastown.
substantially made or constructed
My toes wiggled in my
sturdy black shoes and my legs itched.
appeal or request earnestly
Everything that is right or reasonable
pleads for separation.
break down, literally or metaphorically
He took one step forward and
collapsed against me, the two of us crumpling to the ground.
faltered and almost fell again.
weight to be borne or conveyed
My back, my shoulders, my arms, they pulled with the strength of a thousand armloads of firewood split and carried, of water buckets toted for miles, of the
burdens of every New York day and New York night boiled into two miles of water that I was going to cross.