He was sitting on a bench before the fire, with his feet on the stove hearth, and in one hand was holding close up to his face that little negro idol of his; peering hard into its face, and with a jack-knife gently whittling away at its nose, meanwhile humming to himself in his heathenish way.
To what the remaining difference was due it is difficult to say with certitude; there are some who argue that the tendency of prices to fall is inherent, and that the constant whittling away of intermediaries' profits is sufficient explanation, while bi-metallists have maintained that the phenomenon is clearly to be traced to the action of the German government in demonetizing silver in 1872.
She knocked away his next attempt to reach her, fully aware he was distracting her physically while whittling down her resistance mentally.
But even mathematics Mr. Keith made interesting; he succeeded in whittling problems small enough to get through my brain.
The whittling away of its formal or organizing rubrics, as e.g., sameness into likeness, is disconcerting to science wherever the significance of the process is realized.