soul of, the

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soul of, the

The essence of some quality, as in You can trust her; she's the soul of discretion, or He's the very soul of generosity but he can be cranky at times. This idiom was first recorded in 1605.
See also: soul
References in classic literature ?
This may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom to descend upon the soul of a young woman of twenty-eight--perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman.
Upon this my Soul, which is the Soul of Teshoo Lama, withdrew itself from the Great Soul with strivings and yearnings and retchings and agonies not to be told.
There was the soul of Cratinus - passable: Aristophanes - racy: Plato exquisite not your Plato, but Plato the comic poet; your Plato would have turned the stomach of Cerberus - faugh
It seemed to me also that in it might be shown men a ray of divinity, the present action of the soul of this world, clean from all vestige of tradition; and so the heart of man might be bathed by an inundation of eternal love, conversing with that which he knows was always and always must be, because it really is now.
It was as though he had become aware of the soul of the universe and were compelled to express it.
In closing, it had cut off the only ray of joy and of light which still made its way into the soul of Quasimodo.
If now we were to try to penetrate to the soul of Quasimodo through that thick, hard rind; if we could sound the depths of that badly constructed organism; if it were granted to us to look with a torch behind those non-transparent organs to explore the shadowy interior of that opaque creature, to elucidate his obscure corners, his absurd no-thoroughfares, and suddenly to cast a vivid light upon the soul enchained at the extremity of that cave, we should, no doubt, find the unhappy Psyche in some poor, cramped, and ricketty attitude, like those prisoners beneath the Leads of Venice, who grew old bent double in a stone box which was both too low and too short for them.
With a rush of new deter- mination he worked on his sermons all through the week and forgot, in his zeal to reach the ears and the soul of this new listener, both his embarrassment in the pulpit and the necessity of prayer in the study on Sunday mornings.
And now began the real struggle in the soul of the brown-bearded minister.
The soul of man is likened to a charioteer and two steeds, one mortal, the other immortal.
Plato's dualism and the soul of the Early Church Fathers.
Her customers may request for the soul of anyone, famous or not, except for just one name: Kanye West.
When the lab can't find Paul's soul, they rent him the soul of a Russian poet.
To me, the sanctuary is the soul of the black church, and the soul is the sanctuary of our spiritual being.
The soul of Europe will be built upon its diversities, its qualities and its aspirations,' wrote Robert Schuman, one of the fathers of the European Union, in 1963.