According to Clark, the “hypertrophic forms of masculinity” then prevalent favored “unyielding forcefulness” over “suppleness.”
I do not have the suppleness of 20 but I have something much more important… And you see that when you see the show.
He was slim, with a fair and carefully tended beard, blue eyes and all the suppleness of youth.
He ran off as if his limbs had regained their youthful strength and suppleness.
He was a little stiff in the joints and moved rather slowly, but what was wanting in suppleness was certainly made up in dignity.
He lacked alike the sagacity, the foresight, and the suppleness of Leopold.
But to return to Lelio Torelli; he had succeeded wonderfully in all the exercises that require strength and suppleness of limb.
In adroit resource and suppleness no diplomatist could match him.
I had noted her strength and suppleness of limb the very first day I had seen her; and she gave marvellous proof of it now.
On either side there was an equality of strength, agility, and suppleness.
c.1300, from Old French souple "pliant, flexible," from Gallo-Romance *supples, from Latin supplex (genitive supplicis) "submissive, humbly begging," literally "bending, kneeling down," thought to be an altered form of *supplacos "humbly pleading, appeasing," from sub "under" + placare "appease" (see placate).