Mrs. Peniston rose abruptly, and, advancing to the ormolu clock surmounted by a helmeted Minerva, which throned on the chimney-piece between two malachite vases, passed her lace handkerchief between the helmet and its visor.
Lily had tried to mitigate this charmless background by a few frivolous touches, in the shape of a lace-decked toilet table and a little painted desk surmounted by photographs; but the futility of the attempt struck her as she looked about the room.
Every step she took seemed in fact to carry her farther from the region where, once or twice, he and she had met for an illumined moment; and the recognition of this fact, when its first pang had been surmounted, produced in him a sense of negative relief.
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In this way an incident, which most had felt could never be surmounted and which no doubt would destroy the marriage, was cemented over.
Michael Ondaatje -- Running in the Family
I repeated Chairman Mao’s quotation, "Be resolute, fear no sacrifice, and surmount every difficulty to win victory."