Careful Words

softness (n.)

Soft-heartedness, in times like these,

Shows sof'ness in the upper story.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891): The Biglow Papers. Second Series. No. vii.

  Who shall silence all the airs and madrigals that whisper softness in chambers?

John Milton (1608-1674): Areopagitica.

For contemplation he and valour form'd,

For softness she and sweet attractive grace;

He for God only, she for God in him.

His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd

Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks

Round from his parted forelock manly hung

Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book iv. Line 297.