He's hardened—or, if he was always hard, he doesn't care any longer whether he wears the velvet glove or not.
He could protrude a feline set of claws from his velvet glove.
While it lasted we literally and constantly meet with the “iron hand under the velvet glove.”
The iron hand should fitly be concealed beneath the velvet glove.
Over the steel hand of sleepless selfishness John drew the velvet glove of good manners and nice speech.
Therein lies the secret of all power: the velvet glove and the iron hand may be an old saying, but it is a truth never old.
And he struck the right hand that was covered with the velvet glove with cruel violence on to the oaken table.
Colonel Selborne understood Japanese methods well enough to know there was a hand of iron under the velvet glove.
The tone was almost trifling in its lightness, but Alan Hawke recognized the hand of iron in the velvet glove.
He had the iron hand of Woodbridge, with a velvet glove of suavity, which the other lacked.