His countenance had, perhaps for years, become so set in its contentious expression that it did not soften, even now when he was quiet.
A very contentious gentleman, who said it was his mission to be everybody’s brother but who appeared to be on terms of coolness with the whole of his large family, completed the party.
I wish to represent myself to her through you, because she has a great esteem and respect for her cousin John; and I know you will soften the course I take, even though you disapprove of it; and— and in short," said Richard, who had been hesitating through these words, "I—I don’t like to represent myself in this litigious, contentious, doubting character to a confiding girl like Ada," I told him that he was more like himself in those latter words than in anything he had said yet.
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We started with the most contentious item on the agenda.