Harshness

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Harshness

Pharaoh
imposed cruel burdens of labor on the Hebrews. [O.T.: Exodus 5]
draconian laws
included severe punishments prescribed by Draco, their codifier. [Gk. Hist.: NCE, 791]
References in classic literature ?
Far away up the desolate slope I heard a harsh scream, and saw a thing like a huge white butterfly go slanting and flittering up into the sky and, circling, disappear over some low hillocks beyond.
My organs were indeed harsh, but supple; and although my voice was very unlike the soft music of their tones, yet I pronounced such words as I understood with tolerable ease.
Her features, never the most agreeable, and now harsh with age and grief, and resentment against the world for his sake; her dress, and especially her turban; the queer and quaint manners, which had unconsciously grown upon her in solitude,--such being the poor gentlewoman's outward characteristics, it is no great marvel, although the mournfullest of pities, that the instinctive lover of the Beautiful was fain to turn away his eyes.
At times the Carrancha is noisy, but is not generally so: its cry is loud, very harsh and peculiar, and may be likened to the sound of the Spanish guttural g, followed by a rough double r r; when uttering this cry it elevates its head higher and higher, till at last, with its beak wide open, the crown almost touches the lower part of the back.
Night now closed in more completely, and many lights began to flit through the wood, just as those fiery exhalations from the earth, that look like shooting-stars to our eyes, flit through the heavens; a frightful noise, too, was heard, like that made by the solid wheels the ox-carts usually have, by the harsh, ceaseless creaking of which, they say, the bears and wolves are put to flight, if there happen to be any where they are passing.
demanded Sir Edmund Andros, in loud and harsh tones.
Then the big pipes are filled and lighted, and the pleasant chat goes round in musical undertone; while, in the pauses of our talk, the river, playing round the boat, prattles strange old tales and secrets, sings low the old child's song that it has sung so many thousand years - will sing so many thousand years to come, before its voice grows harsh and old - a song that we, who have learnt to love its changing face, who have so often nestled on its yielding bosom, think, somehow, we understand, though we could not tell you in mere words the story that we listen to.
At times, so tightly did they draw, the mouth became stern and harsh, even ascetic.
My thoughts were growing harsh again, though they grew harsh slowly.
Nay, let me answer for you, that in a few this harsh temper may be found but not in the majority of mankind.
There is less danger of them, if they be of mean birth, than if they be noble; and if they be rather harsh of nature, than gracious and popular: and if they be rather new raised, than grown cunning, and fortified, in their greatness.
Do not," says he, "impose so harsh a command upon me--my heart bleeds faster than those lips.