Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
1845, Thomas [Noon] Talfourd, Report of the Proceedings Connected with the Grant Soirée of the Manchester Athenæum, Held on Thursday, October 23rd, 1845. From the Manchester Guardian of Saturday, October 25th, 1845. Printed for the Directors, Manchester: Cave and Sever, Printers, 18, St. Ann's Street, OCLC263688495, page 16:
For although party's worn-out moulds have been shivered, and names which have flashed and thundered as the watchwords of unnumbered struggles for power are now fast waning into history, it is too much to hope, perhaps to desire, until the education of mankind shall more nearly approach its completion, that strong differences of opinion and feeling should cease to agitate the scenes on which freemen are called to discharge political duties.
But while he jested thus, / A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act. / Remembering how we three presented Maid, / Or Nymph, or Goddess, at high tide of feast, / In masque or pageant at my father's court.
The Isabella [Isabella, or the Pot of Basil], then, is a perfect treasure-house of graceful and felicitous words and images: almost in every stanza there occurs one of those vivid and picturesque turns of expression, by which the object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind, and which thrill the reader with a sudden delight.
Oft have I ſeaſoned ſavory periods / With ſugar'd words, to delude Guſtus' taſte, / And oft embelliſh'd my entreative phraſe, / Limning and flaſhing it with various dyes, / To draw proud Viſus to me by the eyes: […]
The varlet ſaw, when to the flood he came, / How without ſtop or ſtay he fiercely lept, / And deep himſelfe beducked in the ſame, / That in the lake his loftie creſt was ſteept, / Ne of his ſafetie ſeemed care he kept, / But with his raging armes he rudely flaſhd / The waves about, and all his armour ſwept, / That all the bloud and filth away was waſht, / Yet ſtill he bet the water, and the billows daſht.
[F]or Empire and Greatneſs it importeth moſt, that a Nation do profeſs Arms as their principal Honour, Study and Occupation: […] The Fabrick of the State of Sparta was wholly (though not wiſely) framed and compoſed to that Scope and End. The Perſians and Macedonians had it for a flaſh. The Galls, Germans, Goths, Saxons, Normans, and others had it for a time.
[B]reath his faults ſo quaintly, / That they may ſeeme the taints of liberty; / The flaſh and out-breake of a fiery minde, / A ſauagenes in vnreclaim'd bloud of generall aſſault.
1817, William Wirt, “section I”, in Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, Philadelphia, Pa.: Published by James Webster, No. 10, S. Eighth Street. William Brown, printer, Prune-street, OCLC761448, page 6:
I cannot learn that he [Patrick Henry] gave, in his youth, any evidence of that precocity which sometimes distinguishes uncommon genius. His companions recollect no instance of premature wit, no striking sentiment, no flash of fancy, no remarkable beauty or strength of expression; and no indication, however slight, either of that impassioned love of liberty, or of that adventurous daring and intrepidity, which marked, so strongly, his future character.
Fabio Capello insisted [Wayne] Rooney was in the right frame of mind to play in stormy Podgorica despite his father's arrest on Thursday in a probe into alleged betting irregularities, but his flash of temper – when he kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic – suggested otherwise.
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“flash”, in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–.
For the sense ‘a short period of time’, the 1858Notes and Queries of Martim de Albuquerque was consulted. From page 437 of the sixth volume of the second series, published in London by Bell & Dally, 186 Fleet Street, in 1858 :