An Irish Secretary needs the hand of iron in the velvet glove.
He could protrude a feline set of claws from his velvet glove.
Too much of the ‘velvet glove’ and too little of the ‘iron hand,’ eh?
Like his friend Bernadotte, he wears a velvet glove upon his iron hand.
It took a lighter touch—the hand of iron in the velvet glove, as it were.
The iron hand should fitly be concealed beneath the velvet glove.
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.
Colonel Selborne understood Japanese methods well enough to know there was a hand of iron under the velvet glove.
While it lasted we literally and constantly meet with the “iron hand under the velvet glove.”
The true Gentleman is the scientific mixture of strength and courtesy—the manifestation of "the iron hand in the velvet glove."