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Abortive   Listen
noun
Abortive  n.  
1.
That which is born or brought forth prematurely; an abortion. (Obs.)
2.
A fruitless effort or issue. (Obs.)
3.
(Med.) A medicine to which is attributed the property of causing abortion; also called an abortifacient.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Abortive" Quotes from Famous Books



... English possession in the neighborhood of Calais, and Ardres, which belonged to France. But, so soon as Charles V., at that time in Spain, was informed of this design, he used all his efforts to make it abortive. Henry, however, stood firm; not that he had resolved to knit himself closely with Francis I. against the new emperor, whom, a few months previously, he had shown alacrity in felicitating upon his accession to the empire, but he was unwilling to fail in his promise to the King of France, and ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume IV. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... abortive attempts of this kind, I tried at last the substitution of laudanum for alcohol. It was a most fatal move! for the final result was a bondage of which previously I had not even a conception. At first, however, I seemed as though lifted out of the pit into Paradise. ...
— The Opium Habit • Horace B. Day

... attempt to proceed further would look like a vindictive persecution; and he ceased after this to take part in the case. He congratulated himself upon this withdrawal when further proceedings (in 1868) led to abortive results. ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... The whole bombardment was a grand joke. In the Law Courts, where the Criminal Sessions were being conducted in the ordinary way, the lawyers waxed witty. The witnesses responded. Even the prisoners laughed sorrowfully as each abortive boom rang out. It was a superb joke. The judge let fall some funny things and the jury smiled—without prejudice. His lordship said it was a novel experience for him, as indeed it was for all of us, who were to live and learn that—the ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... tribe, it will be remembered, was the one which successfully resisted the Boers under President Burger and Commandant Paul Kruger—a successful resistance which was one of the troubles leading directly to the abortive annexation of the Transvaal. The Secocoeni tribe were afterwards conquered by British troops, and handed over to the tender mercies of the Boer Government upon the ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... high-booted, and possibly his fangs were not powerful enough to penetrate a boot, but, anyhow, he never made the attempt; he tried to snap at the hands instead, and as he could only jump up a foot or so, he continued making a series of abortive little leaps, each futile attempt at reaching his aggressor's hands adding to the creature's insane rage. When the escuerzo was beside himself with fury, the pupil would dip his stick into the oily residue of his pipe, and hold it out to the toad, who would fasten on to it like a mad creature, only ...
— Here, There And Everywhere • Lord Frederic Hamilton

... and died—victim of the revolt of outraged Nature. A little before the end they sent for me. I said to the man: 'A child would have saved her!' And he—I can hear him now, answering: 'Ah! but that would have nullified all the use and purpose of our example for humanity.' The idiot—the abortive, impossible, dreary idiot! And if ever there was a woman intended by wholesome Nature to bear and nurture babes, it was that woman, who died to prove the possibility of carrying on the business of living according ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... directed their course to the more northern parts of the continent, had been among the first adventurers to North America. Their voyages of discovery are of a very early date, and their attempts to establish a colony were among the first which were made. After several abortive efforts, a permanent settlement was made in Canada, in the year 1604, and the foundation of Quebec was laid in the year 1608. In November 1603, Henry IV. appointed De Mont lieutenant-general of that part of the territory which he claimed, lying in North America, between the 40th and 46th degrees ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 1 (of 5) • John Marshall

... stood up with ashen under-lip, to say that such a scheme, it seemed to him, must remain for ever abortive, unless enforced by ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... of his reign; such as, the unlimited permission of building castles; his raising the siege of a weak place where the Empress was shut up, and must, in a few days, have fallen into his hands; his employing the Flemings in his wars, and favouring them above his own subjects; and lastly, that abortive project of crowning his son, which procured him at once the hatred and contempt of the clergy, by discovering an inclination to violence and injustice that he durst not pursue: whereas, it was nothing else but an effect of that hasty and sudden disposition usually ascribed to those of his ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... and 1678 it became the fashion, partly as a reaction against the liberties of the late Elizabethan blank verse, and partly under French influence, to write drama in heroic couplets. But the undertaking soon proved abortive. ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... tone. Lead me to one of your garden-seats: out of hearing to Dr. Middleton, I beg. He mesmerizes me, he makes me talk Latin. I was curiously susceptible last night. I know I shall everlastingly associate him with an abortive entertainment and solos on ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... been advised not to interfere with the chief of his people, and he had (after one abortive and painful experience) obeyed his superiors, accepting the hut tax which was sent to him (and which was obviously and ...
— The Keepers of the King's Peace • Edgar Wallace

... the end of this abortive colony in 1587 to the beginning of the first permanent colony in 1607, constitute a period that saw the close of one age and the opening of another in every relation ...
— Elizabethan Sea Dogs • William Wood

... gathered that a deep and artful plan was to be submitted to the chiefs by their leader; but little did he imagine it was of the finished nature it now proved to be. Any other than the present attempt, the vigilance and prudence of his experienced father, he felt, would have rendered abortive; but there was so much speciousness in the pleas that were to be advanced in furtherance of their assumed object, he could not but admit the almost certainty of ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... Dominick and Harman, were reserved to fates not less abortive and wretched. The first entered the navy as surgeon-mate, but was discharged for drunkenness. He died in penury, an outcast. Harman became a portrait painter in New York, but he lost his strength of body and mind, and finally perished ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... to a long deserted camp— interesting testimony to the diligence and patience of the deceased occupants was obtained. It was evident that the sea had been largely drawn upon for supplies, if only on account of the many abortive and abandoned attempts at fishhooks in more or less advanced stages of completion. The brittleness of the fabric and the crudeness of the tools employed had evidently put the patience of the makers to severe task, who for one satisfactory hook must have contemplated many disappointments. The art ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... up for this abortive experiment, he proposed to take her portrait by a scientific process of his own invention. It was to be effected by rays of light striking upon a polished plate of metal. Georgiana assented—but, on looking at the result, was affrighted to find the features of the portrait blurred ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... said as an afterthought. The man regarded his back for a moment, was struck with an idea, began an abortive gesture, sighed, gave it up, and went on ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... w-with nine-ninet-teen out of t-twenty.' — 'And affected stuttering for humour: replied our landlord, tho', God knows, there is an affinity betwixt them.' It seems, this wag, after having made some abortive attempts in plain speaking, had recourse to this defect, by means of which he frequently extorted the laugh of the company, without the least expence of genius; and that imperfection, which he had at first counterfeited, ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... council of Daimios. It had passed the stage resembling a mere deliberative meeting or quiet Quaker conference, where, for hours perhaps, nobody opens his mouth. It now bore an aspect of a political club meeting. But it was a quiet, peaceful, obedient debating society. It has left the record of its abortive undertakings in the "Kogisho Nishi" or journal of "Parliament." The Kogisho was dissolved in the year of its birth. And the indifference of the public about its dissolution proves how small an ...
— The Constitutional Development of Japan 1863-1881 • Toyokichi Iyenaga

... Mary grew daily more infatuated with him. They were married in July 1565, and the great conspiracy against Elizabeth and Protestantism was complete. Already the Scottish Protestant lords were in a panic, and after an abortive rising, they fled before Mary's bold attack, taking ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... loathsome, that Mr. Lithgow waited with anxious expectation for the day, which, by putting an end to his life, would also end his torments. But his melancholy expectations were, by the interposition of Providence, happily rendered abortive, and his deliverance obtained ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... off the evening before the day when the abortive struggle between Dumay and Modeste had taken place. The happy girl was impatiently awaiting Sunday, when her eyes were to vindicate or condemn her heart and her actions,—a solemn moment in the life of any woman, and which three months of close communion of souls now rendered as romantic ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... far east, in Central and Further Asia, by the discoveries of Marco Polo and the Friar preachers following on the tracks of the earlier Moslem travellers. The first of these was a Northern secret, soon forgotten, or an abortive development, cut short by the Tartars; the second was an Arabic secret, jealously guarded as a commercial right; the third alone added much direct new knowledge to the main part of ...
— Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. • C. Raymond Beazley

... their opponents. The Turks were compelled to row their galleys against this wind and the heavy sea it raised. In vain they attacked the Christians with reckless valor, fighting under the eye of their fiery sovereign. The skill of their enemy rendered all their attacks abortive. In vain one squadron attempted to impede the progress of the Christians, while another endeavored to run alongside and carry them by boarding. Every Turkish galley that opposed their progress was crushed under the weight of their heavy hulls, while those that endeavored to board had their ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... done his utmost to justify the actions of Hudson Lowe, but no one can read his work without feeling that the historian was conscious all through of an abortive task. He reproduces in vain the instructions and correspondence between Lowe and his Government, and the letters and conversations with Napoleon and members of his household, and deduces from these that the Governor could not have acted otherwise than in the manner he did. It is easy to ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... half-century following the abortive efforts of Cartier and Roberval, the French authorities had made no serious or successful attempt to plant a colony in the New World. That is not surprising, for there were troubles in plenty at home. Huguenots and Catholics were at each other's throats; the wars of the Fronde convulsed ...
— The Seigneurs of Old Canada: - A Chronicle of New-World Feudalism • William Bennett Munro

... at Algiers and Tunis, there was a recognized medium of negotiation of which the relations took advantage. As will presently be seen, the office of consul in those days carried with it little of the power or dignity that becomes it now, and the efforts of the consul were often abortive. ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... course of the Victoria Nile into Lake Albert. Although he had accomplished a great work since his arrival, his efforts to put down the slave trade were thwarted by Ismail Pasha Yacoub, governor-general of the Soudan, and were likely to prove abortive so long as the Soudan remained a distinct government from that of the equatorial provinces. He, therefore, at the end of 1876, resigned his appointment and returned to England. Strong pressure was put upon him by the khedive to return, and on January ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 of 8 • Various

... had nothing whatever to amuse her, and he was a very welcome interruption. And, upon the whole, she liked her grandson. She had paid his gambling-debts twice, she had taken the greatest interest in his various duels, and sided passionately with him in one abortive love-affair. ...
— The Bow of Orange Ribbon - A Romance of New York • Amelia E. Barr

... Indeed, I have seen captains laugh very heartily at these exquisite comic thrusts which were intended to shape the policy of himself and his officers towards the crew. If the captain happened to be a person of no humour and without the sense of music this method of conveyance was abortive, but it went on all the same until nature forced a glimpse into his hazy mind of what it all meant! Happily there are few sailors who inherit such a defective nature. It is a good thing that some of these thrilling old songs have been preserved to us. Even if they do not convey ...
— Windjammers and Sea Tramps • Walter Runciman

... Whatever you may think, a campaign at Twickenham furnishes as little matter for a letter as an abortive one in Flanders. I can't say indeed that my generals wear black wigs, but they have long full- bottomed hoods which cover as little ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... diary which I kept at the time. A few extracts from the latter will carry me on to those scenes which are indelibly fixed in every detail upon my memory. I proceed, then, from the morning which followed our abortive chase of the convict and our other strange ...
— Hound of the Baskervilles • Authur Conan Doyle

... churches of their own, include them within the pale of social order, subject them to the restraints of law,—do this, and you will at once tranquillize the insurgents. All other measures will prove abortive, and ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... fighting, the rapidly growing importance of artillery, and the increase of the mercenary soldier, had rendered the lower nobility, as an institution, a factor in the political situation which was fast becoming negligible. The abortive campaign of Franz von Sickingen in 1523 only showed its hopeless weakness. The Reichsregiment, or Imperial governing council, a body instituted by Maximilian, had lamentably failed to effect anything towards cementing together the various parts of the unwieldy fabric. Finally, at the Reichstag ...
— German Culture Past and Present • Ernest Belfort Bax

... round the neighbouring hill before—splash! bang!—fifty feet up into the air drove the dilatory fountain, with a fury which amply avenged the affront put upon it, and more than vindicated my good opinion. All our endeavours, however, to photograph the eruption proved abortive. We had already attempted both Strokr and the Great Geysir, but in the case of the latter the exhibition was always concluded before the plate could be got ready; and although, as far as Strokr is concerned, you ...
— Letters From High Latitudes • The Marquess of Dufferin (Lord Dufferin)

... sobered the Polish people and brought them to a full realizing sense of the necessity of radical political reform. But the shameful and hypocritical attitude of the neighboring sovereigns continued to render their every effort abortive. For another twenty-one years the wretched country struggled on, a victim of selfish foreign tutelage. Although both Frederick and Maria Theresa died in the interval, their successors proved themselves quite as willing to cooeperate with the implacable tsarina. In 1793 Russia and Prussia effected ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... come freely now stand empty. There had long been complaint of its inadequacy; Oxford had set the example of a special edifice, and as far back as 1857 a Building Fund had been started, which, however, dragged on an abortive existence from year to year, a constant matter of gibes. 'Can the North restore the Union?' Mr. Trevelyan asked. 'Never, sir; they have no Building Fund'; and the punning jest brought down ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... the man who had suggested to Egnatius Capito the formation of his conspiracy against Commodus; and to have planned for him the inclusion in it of all undetected survivors of the members of Lucilla's abortive conspiracy of the year before; to have offered yourself as the most likely man to succeed in assassinating Commodus, as he held you in high regard for some exploit in some roadside affray in Sabinum; to have pretended illness as a ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... Steele: its darksome streets and foul alleys, its hovels and various habitations. And this knowledge he utilized to the best advantage, always to find that his efforts came to naught. The snares he set before possible hiding-places proved abortive; the artifices he employed to uncover the quarry in maze or labyrinth were fruitless. The man had appeared like a vision from the past, and vanished. Whither? Out of the country, once more? Over the seas? Had he taken quick alarm at Steele's ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... obstacles prove insurmountable. In fine, there are few men who do not look back in secret to some period of their {p.226} youth, at which a sincere and early affection was repulsed or betrayed, or became abortive from opposing circumstances. It is these little passages of secret history, which leave a tinge of romance in every bosom, scarce permitting us, even in the most busy or the most advanced period of life, to listen with total indifference to a ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... Clings to the roof, or creeps along the floor; By puffs concipient some in ether flit, And soar in bravos from the thundering pit; Some forth on ticket-nights {66} from tradesmen break, To mar the actor they design to make; While some this mortal life abortive miss, Crush'd by a groan, or strangled by a hiss. So, when "Dog's-meat" re-echoes through the streets, Rush sympathetic dogs from their retreats, Beam with bright blaze their supplicating eyes, Sink their hind-legs, ascend their joyful cries; Each, wild with hope, and maddening ...
— Rejected Addresses: or, The New Theatrum Poetarum • James and Horace Smith

... "Yantic," accomplished nothing. The station was not reached, practically no supplies were landed, the "Proteus" was nipped by the ice and sunk, and the remnant of the expedition came supinely home, reporting utter failure. It is impossible to acquit the commanders of the two ships engaged in this abortive relief expedition of a lack of determination, a paucity of courage, complete incompetence. They simply left Greely to his fate while time still remained for his rescue, or at least for the convenient deposit of the vast store of provisions they brought ...
— American Merchant Ships and Sailors • Willis J. Abbot

... a God of absolute and unbounded love, therefore I believe in a loving anger of His, which will and must devour and destroy all which is decayed, monstrous, abortive, in His universe, till all enemies shall be put under His feet, to be pardoned surely, if they confess themselves in the wrong and open their eyes to the truth. And God shall be All in All. Those last ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, Barred over us, prohibit all egress. These passed, if any pass, the void profound Of unessential Night receives him next, Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf. If thence he scape, into whatever world, Or unknown region, what remains him less Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape? But I should ill become this throne, O Peers, And this imperial sovereignty, adorned With ...
— Paradise Lost • John Milton

... Alizarine Company. These patents expire in about two months, and the lecturer explained that an attempt made by the German manufacturers to further monopolize this industry (even after the expiry of the patent) proved abortive. He also stated that alizarine, 20 per cent. quality, is sold to-day at 2s 6d. per lb., but that if the price were reduced by one-half there will still be a handsome profit to makers, and that the United Kingdom ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883 • Various

... the trenches during the abortive gas attack on December 19th, but was not affected by the gas, which passed just behind it. To face ...
— Short History of the London Rifle Brigade • Unknown

... modern types. Two new and very powerful organisms have appeared, and merit the closest attention. One is the fish, the remote ancestor of the birds and mammals that will one day rule the earth. The other may be the ancestor of the fish itself, or it may be one of the many abortive outcomes and unsuccessful experiments of the stirring life of the time. And while these new types are themselves a result of the great and stimulating changes which we have reviewed and the incessant struggle for food and safety, they in turn enormously ...
— The Story of Evolution • Joseph McCabe

... time. Katie was so thoroughly shocked that she did not know which way to look; Norman, who had recovered his good-humour, and Alaric, could not refrain from smiling as they caught the eyes of the two girls; and Mrs. Woodward made sundry little abortive efforts to wake her uncle with her foot. Altogether abortive they were not, for the captain would open his eyes and gaze at her for a moment in the most good-natured, lack-lustre manner conceivable; but then, ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... In company with his brother John, and another man named Ekron, he prepared to enter the thicket where the lion was concealed, and persuaded three of the mulattos to follow in rear, and be ready to fire if their assault should prove abortive. ...
— The Settler and the Savage • R.M. Ballantyne

... the flats swung the long skirmish line, picturesque in the variety of its undress, Cutler striding vociferous in its wake, while a bugler ran himself out of breath, far to the eastward front, to puff feeble and abortive breath into unresponsive copper. And still the same flutter of distant, scattering shots came drifting back from the brakes and canons in the rocky wilds beyond the stream. The guard still pursued and the ...
— An Apache Princess - A Tale of the Indian Frontier • Charles King

... whisked a couple of attentive waiters to the table, and in the twinkling of an eye—even an American eye—a place was laid for the Prince, with duplicates of all our abortive ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... the Birth of a few Evenings, which, tho' it be the Offspring of the Night, is not the Abortive of Darkness, but will make it self known to be the Son of Apollo, with a certain ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... life, was a grievous thing. The more she thought of it, the less easy seemed the justification of her desire for obscurity. From regarding it as a high instinct she passed into a humour that gave that desire the appearance of a whim. But could she really set in train events, which, if not abortive, would take her to ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... they turned up for me on my order to send me any queer educational advertisements: 'Wanted—Daily lessons in Latin speech from competent Spanish scholar. Write, Box 347, Banner office.' That is from the New York Banner of April third, shortly after the strange caller's second abortive attempt to get ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... time to subdue his Passions, establish his Soul in Virtue, and come up to the Perfection of his Nature, before he is hurried off the Stage. Would an infinitely wise Being make such glorious Creatures for so mean a Purpose? Can he delight in the Production of such abortive Intelligences, such short-lived reasonable Beings? Would he give us Talents that are not to be exerted? Capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that Wisdom which shines through all his Works, in the Formation of Man, without looking on this World as only a Nursery ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... and an ashen cheek. Any expert will prove that. I can never believe that any one would be lured to destruction by those birds of paradise whom one has met in the stuffy, over-gilded, and, happily, abortive night-clubs and cabarets. If a consensus were taken, I think it would be found that wickedness gaily apparelled is seldom successful. It is the subtle and the sinister, the dark and half-known, that make the big appeal. ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... the abortive rising was no sooner over than the whole affair took an entirely new aspect and passed through a completely new phase when it came to deciding what should be thought of the incident and what should be done ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... scurry before the Bourbons scuttled out of Paris in 1814, Bourrienne was made Prefet of the Police for a few days, his tenure of that post being signalised by the abortive attempt to arrest Fouche, the only effect of which was to drive that wily minister into the arms of ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... his readings marked only by their general tameness and mediocrity, be sure of this, he will speedily find himself talking only to empty benches, his enterprise will cease and determine, his name will no longer prove an attraction. Abortive adventures of this kind have in ...
— Charles Dickens as a Reader • Charles Kent

... mentioned the retinues that accompany most of the intellectuals: ushers, bearers, valets, extraneous tentacles and muscles, as it were, to replace the abortive physical powers of these hypertrophied minds. Porters almost invariably accompany them. There are also extremely swift messengers with spider-like legs and 'hands' for grasping parachutes, and attendants with vocal organs that could well nigh wake the dead. Apart from their controlling ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... to them is proved by the desperate but abortive attempts they made to break through in the ...
— 1914 • John French, Viscount of Ypres

... central current rushed: the wind Sighed through the tawny sedge. 'So fleets our life— Like yonder gloomy stream; so sighs our age— Like yonder sapless sedge!' Thus Laurence mused Standing on that sad margin all alone, His twenty years of gladsome English toil Ending at last abortive. 'Stream well-loved, Here on thy margin standing saw I first, My head by chance uplifting from my book, King Ethelbert's strong countenance; he is dead; And, next him, riding through the April gleams, Bertha, his Queen, with face so lit by love Its lustre smote the beggar as she passed And changed ...
— Legends of the Saxon Saints • Aubrey de Vere

... an unseen, eternal world. That is to say, man is a being who, if not actually immortal, is called by the very law and necessity of his being to live as if he were immortal. Unless life be utterly abortive, having neither rhyme nor reason, the soul of man is itself the one sure proof and prophet ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... step nearer Mr. Job Pratt, and the letter was reluctantly yielded; though not until the widow Martin had made a nervous but abortive snatch at it. ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... connection, though looking at myth in a more general way, as an allegory, picturing inner truths: "Alfred de Vigny has said that legend is frequently more true than history, because legend recounts not acts which are often incomplete and abortive, but the genius itself of great men and great nations. It is pre-eminently to the Gospel that this beautiful thought is applicable, for the Gospel is not merely the narration of what has been; it is the sublime narration of what is and what always will be. Ever will the Saviour ...
— Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries • Annie Besant

... consisted of attempts made by alternate threats and bribes to induce the chiefs to transform the clan organisation by the acceptance of English institutions. But any systematic endeavours to complete the transformation were soon rendered abortive by being coupled with huge confiscations of land. The policy of converting the members of the clans into freeholders was subordinated to the policy of planting British colonists. After this there was no question of fusion of races or institutions. Plantations ...
— Ireland In The New Century • Horace Plunkett

... drawing-rooms where she still appeared—and what were they but marriage markets?—one or two affairs did spring up—tentative approachments on the part of scions of wealth. They were destined to prove abortive. One of these youths, Pedro Ricer Marcado, a Brazilian, educated at Oxford, promised much for sincerity and feeling until he learned that Berenice was poor in her own right—and what else? Some one had whispered something in his ear. Again there was a certain ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... by the grant to the House of Representatives of the power to impeach the President of the United States; but they are aware that the resort to that expedient might, in the present condition of public affairs, prove abortive. They see the irreconcilable difference of opinion and of action between the legislative and executive departments of the government is but sympathetic with the same discordant views and feelings among the people. To them alone ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... are three horses and a mule, all four under saddle, with bridles on; these attached to the branches of a tree. There is no providence in this, but rather neglect. Since the purpose for which they were caparisoned has proved abortive, they remain so only ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... whole world. He did not want to be acclaimed by many nations, but to see suffering and poverty and squalor clean banished from the earth. And he believed that with the power of the State at his back, and with the wealth now squandered in a hundred abortive directions in his hands, he could have given us a glad and unashamed England even in a few years. He knew this and believed it with all his heart. And he held that his dictatorship would have hurt no just man. He suffered ...
— The Authoritative Life of General William Booth • George Scott Railton

... powers divine! spare all this noise, This rack of heaven, and speak your fatal pleasure. Why breaks yon dark and dusky orb away? Why from the bleeding womb of monstrous night, Burst forth such myriads of abortive stars? Ha! my Jocasta, look! the silver moon! A settling crimson stains her beauteous face! She's all o'er blood! and look, behold again, What mean the mystic heavens she journies on? A vast eclipse darkens the labouring planet:— Sound there, sound all our instruments of war; Clarions ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... with him. That unfortunate minister had, indeed, the highest esteem for Borrego, and had intended raising him to the station of minister of finance, when the revolution of the Granja occurring, of course rendered abortive this project, with perhaps many others of a similar kind ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... with tents, stages and booths, with Punch and Judys, quack doctors, mountebanks and monkeys, and cages containing wild animals of various kinds. The shouting of people, the cry of beasts, the beating of drums, the discord of the abortive attempts at music, producing such a triumph of discord as beggars description. 'Verily,' thought I, 'time cannot have diminished the ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... probabilities are that in America as in Europe the road to any permanent international settlement will be piled mountain high with dead bodies, and will be traveled, if at all, only after a series of abortive and costly experiments. But remote and precarious as is the establishment of any American international system, it is not for American statesmen necessarily either an impracticable, an irrelevant, or an unworthy object. Fail though we may in the will, the intelligence, or the power to carry it out, ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... to the tool that fills, with paradoxical vacancy, the throne! Nothing but the sharpest essence of villany, compounded with the strongest distillation of folly, could have produced a menstruum that would have effected a separation. The Congress in 1774 administered an abortive medicine to independence, by prohibiting the importation of goods, and the succeeding Congress rendered the dose still more dangerous by continuing it. Had independence been a settled system with America, (as Britain has advanced,) she ought to have doubled her importation, and prohibited ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... the general fact of a robbery. She now related the case more circumstantially; and both were struck with it, as at this moment a very heavy misfortune. Not only might her own perilous journey, and the whole purposes of the emperor embarked upon it, be thus rendered abortive; but their common enemies would by this time be possessed of the whole information which had been so critically lost to their own party, and perhaps would have it in their power to make use of themselves as instruments for defeating ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... thyself, instead of me; For how can heavenly wisdom prove An instrument to earthly love? Know'st thou not yet, that men commence Thy votaries for want of sense? Nor shall Vanessa be the theme To manage thy abortive scheme: She'll prove the greatest of thy foes; And yet I scorn to interpose, But, using neither skill nor force, Leave all things to their natural course. The goddess thus pronounced her doom: When, lo! Vanessa ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... a child in his tribe which was deformed from his birth. He had an abortive toe where his knee should have been; some said to his mother, "Kill him;" but she replied, "How can I kill my son?" He grew up and had many fine sons and daughters, but none deformed like himself: this was ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868 • David Livingstone

... dwelling upon such abortive disparagement, the only importance of which arises from its being annexed to and associated with a standard political text-book, let us refresh our memories, our patriotism, our best sympathies of mind and heart, by tracing once more the services and ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... temper, and the cowpunchers all liked him. When a drunken cowboy, who had been a colonel in the Confederate army, accosted him one day in Joe Ferris's store with the object apparently of starting a fight, it was Sewall's quiet good nature that made his efforts abortive. ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... September 18th) declares that "the plot has been entirely exploded, which was shallow; and had the attempt been made to carry it into execution, but little resistance would have been required to render the scheme entirely abortive." But it is necessary to remember that this is no more than the Charleston newspapers said at the very crisis of Denmark Vesey's formidable plot. "Last evening," wrote a lady from Charleston in 1822, "twenty-five hundred of our ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... that a man may have typhoid while still on his legs. Twenty, maybe thirty years ago I had abortive typhoid, and was going about with it, had had it some days before it knocked me over. Well, England and France and Italy have caught the disease already. England may seem to you to be untouched, but ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... Sievewright's wife was an ugly shrew, as he remembered to have heard afterwards. He made a long face, but, in truth, felt scarcely more sorrowful than a mute at a funeral. These first passions of men and women are mostly abortive; and are dead almost before they are born. Esmond could repeat, to his last day, some of the doggerel lines in which his muse bewailed his pretty lass; not without shame to remember how bad the verses were, and how good he thought them; how false the grief, and yet how ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the Civil War the great majority of legal practitioners obtained their preparation in a law office. Though the University of Pennsylvania attempted to establish a law school in 1791, and Columbia in 1797, both attempts were abortive, and it remained for Harvard to establish the first permanent law school in 1817. Even this was but a feeble affair until Justice Joseph Story became associated with it in 1830. Up to 1870 but three terms of ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... throne is not in itself improbable. Indeed, it is possible that many such plots were entered into by Egyptian patriots during the long ages of their country's bondage. But ancient history tells us little of the abortive ...
— Cleopatra • H. Rider Haggard

... European, American and Indian pharmacopoeias is emmenagogue, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, excitant, diaphoretic, antiseptic and abortive. It contains an essential oil, and rutinic acid (C25H28O15, Borntrager), starch, gum, etc. The essential oil is greenish-yellow, thick, acrid and bitter; specific gravity 0.911. It boils at 228, is slightly soluble in water, and soluble in absolute alcohol. It is promptly ...
— The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines • T. H. Pardo de Tavera

... following petition: "The undersigned, members of the Chamber of Deputies which was made the object of the criminal attempt of December 9, have the honor to address to the President of the Republic a last appeal in favor of the condemned."[10] It has long been the custom in France not to punish an abortive crime with the death penalty, and it was generally believed that Vaillant's sentence would be changed to life imprisonment. President Carnot, however, refused to extend any mercy, ...
— Violence and the Labor Movement • Robert Hunter

... their fire produced a considerable effect on both the town and shipping, and obliged the Spanish admirals to remove their fleet out of shell-range. This attack, like the first, ended in an encounter between the gun-boats. The third attempt, which was to have taken place on the 8th, was rendered abortive by a strong gale ...
— Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez, Vol. I • Sir John Ross

... alternative. Yes, it was quite as bad as that—death at her own hands was preferable. Balked, outwitted, the plans of the criminal coterie, of which Danglar appeared to be the head, rendered again and again abortive, and believing it all due to the White Moll, all of Danglar's shrewd, unscrupulous cunning would be centered on the task of running her down; and if, added to this, he discovered that she was masquerading as Gypsy Nan, one of their own inner ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... which we call crystals take on the form of regular geometrical solids? Or, again, are they, as others thought, the products of the germs of animals and of the seeds of plants which have lost their way, as it were, in the bowels of the earth, and have achieved only an imperfect and abortive development? It is easy to sneer at our ancestors for being disposed to reject the first in favour of one or other of the last two hypotheses; but it is much more profitable to try to discover why they, who were really not one whit less sensible persons than our excellent selves, should have ...
— The Rise and Progress of Palaeontology - Essay #2 from "Science and Hebrew Tradition" • Thomas Henry Huxley

... with the little hand upon his wrist, 'that my attempts to advance myself at home have been baffled and rendered abortive. I will not say by whom, Mary, for that would give pain to us both. But so it is. Have you heard him speak of late of any relative of mine or his, called Pecksniff? Only tell me what I ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... intercourse is not improved by parade, but quite the contrary; real friends, and the pleasantest kind of acquaintance, those who like to be social, are repulsed by it. The failure therefore is general, involving the loss of nearly all that is valuable in society, by an abortive attempt to become fashionable. ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... with joy, had been the expedition of Delvile to open to him his plan, than was his own, though only goaded by desperation, to make some effort with Cecilia for rendering it abortive. Nor could all his self-denial, the command which he held over his passions, nor the rigour with which his feelings were made subservient to his interest, in this sudden hour of trial, avail to preserve his equanimity. The refinements of hypocrisy, and ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... "Young Pretender," also as the "Young Chevalier" and "Bonnie Prince Charlie," was born in Rome in 1720. From his earliest years he was the hope of the Jacobites, as the political descendants of the partisans of James II were called. In 1743 Charles headed an abortive expedition for the invasion of England from France. In August, 1745, he landed with seven followers in the Hebrides, and on the 19th raised the standard of his father in Glenfinnan, Scotland. There at once the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... Hamley's property; that very piece for which he had had the Government grant, but which now lay neglected, and only half-drained, with stacks of mossy tiles, and lines of up-turned furrows telling of abortive plans. It was not often that the squire rode in this direction now-a-days; but the cottage of a man who had been the squire's gamekeeper in those more prosperous days when the Hamleys could afford to preserve, was close to the rush-grown ground. This old servant ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... with respect to the fair orphan having thus proved abortive, he lost no time in bewailing his miscarriage, but had immediate recourse to other means of improving his small fortune, which, at this period, amounted to near two hundred pounds. Whatever inclination he had to resume the character he had formerly borne in the polite world, ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... mailed foot upon English soil. The afforestation of the district, however, and its conversion into a royal demesne had clipped off a large section of his estate, while other parts had been confiscated as a punishment for his supposed complicity in an abortive Saxon rising. The fate of the ancestor had been typical of that of his descendants. During three hundred years their domains had gradually contracted, sometimes through royal or feudal encroachment, and sometimes through such gifts to the Church as that with which Alleyne's ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... unauthorized action of the late United States minister in receiving into his official residence two persons who had just failed in an attempt at revolution and against whom criminal charges were pending growing out of a former abortive disturbance. The doctrine of asylum as applied to this case is not sanctioned by the best precedents, and when allowed tends to encourage sedition and strife. Under no circumstances can the representatives of this ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... new recruit's real name proved utterly unmanageable on the lips of our French attendants, and Henry Chatillon, after various abortive attempts to pronounce it, one day coolly christened him Tete Rouge, in honor of his red curls. He had at different times been clerk of a Mississippi steamboat, and agent in a trading establishment at Nauvoo, besides ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... would have Her Majesty go thither. It is to give efficacy to the love she bears the King and his family, in being there the powerful advocate to check the fallacious march of a foreign army to invade us for the subjection of the French nation. All these external attempts will prove abortive, and only tend to exasperate the French to crime and madness. Here I coincide with my coadjutors, Barnave, Duport, De Lameth, etc. The principle on which the re-establishment of the order and tranquillity of ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... was now brought up, and Carroll's brigade struck the rebels on the left, and doubled them back on the centre, capturing a great many prisoners and confusing and rendering abortive Hill's attack in front. Hill sent for his reserves to come up, and three rebel brigades were thrown against Carroll, who was supported by the remainder of French's division and a brigade from Humphrey's division of Meade's corps, ...
— Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - Campaigns of the Civil War - VI • Abner Doubleday

... Lord maintained an unbroken silence. He seemed as though He heard not, but was absorbed in some other scenes from those transpiring around. What need was there for Him to interpose, when all the charges proved abortive? He was, moreover, waiting till the Father gave Him the signal to ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... the variety comes afterwards, and they are just as distinguishable, the officers say, as so many whites. Most of them are wholly raw, but there are many who have already been for months in camp in the abortive "Hunter Regiment," yet in that loose kind of way which, like average militia-training, is a doubtful advantage. I notice that some companies, too, look darker than others, though all are purer African than ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... reached the gloomy library of the eminently respectable club, where he was accustomed, before dining, to study the evening papers and to write his letters, the choice had been made; and after one or two abortive efforts, he composed to his satisfaction a diplomatic epistle, which he addressed to Oswyn (with whom he enjoyed a nodding acquaintance) at the restaurant in ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... is impossible to express the abortive attempt at a bow which accompanied this salutation,—"I want to know if the minister ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... dwellers whom he walked in rapture to behold; and the painter, not as now, shaping from shadow and in solitude the dim glories of his heart, caught at once his inspiration from the glow of earth and its living wanderers, and, lo, the canvas breathed! Oh! what are the dull realities and the abortive offspring of this altered and humbled world—the world of meaner and dwarfish men—to him whose realms are peopled ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... prevented him from acknowledging and retrieving an error while retrieval was possible. The Persians, we may be sure, grew dispirited under such a leader; and the Egyptians naturally took heart. It seems to have been shortly after the return of Cambyses from his abortive expedition against Ethiopia that symptoms of an intention to revolt began to manifest themselves in Egypt. The priests declared an incarnation of Apis, and the whole country burst out into rejoicings. It was probably now that Psammenitus, who had ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... Capac, he set about acquiring an influence over the rude inhabitants of the Virginia shores, which might enable him to test the efficiency of his favorite system. But his exertions were abortive, and he became convinced of the folly of his early speculations on human nature; his unsophisticated scholars, affecting to admire him, overreached him on all occasions, and then laughed at him. He embarked in commercial speculations; this proved a failure, and he stopped ...
— The Emigrant - or Reflections While Descending the Ohio • Frederick William Thomas

... opposition to human philosophy and so-called natural science. He annulled the laws of matter, showing them to be laws of mortal mind, not of God. He showed the need of changing this mind and its abortive laws. He demanded a change of consciousness and evidence, and effected this change through the higher laws of God. The palsied hand moved, despite the boastful sense of physical law and order. Jesus stooped not to human consciousness, nor to the evidence of the senses. He heeded ...
— Unity of Good • Mary Baker Eddy

... recrossing the bridge. The reconnoissance was a success in one way —that is, in finding out that the enemy was at the point supposed by, General Pope; but it also had a tendency to accelerate Beauregard's retreat, for in a day or two his whole line fell back as far south as Guntown, thus rendering abortive the plans for bagging a large ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... that it was auriferous, furnished the most accessible timber to build the town, at prices which amply remunerated him. The practical schemes of experienced men, the wildest visions of daring dreams delayed or abortive for want of capital, eventually fell into his hands. Men sneered at his methods, but bought his shares. Some who affected to regard him simply as a man of money were content to get only his name to any enterprise. Courted by his superiors, quoted ...
— A Millionaire of Rough-and-Ready • Bret Harte

... campaign of Seti had opposed merely a passing obstacle to its expansion, and had not succeeded in discouraging its ambitions, for its rulers still nursed the hope of being able one day to conquer Syria as far as the isthmus. The check received at Qodshu, the abortive attempts to foment rebellion in Galilee and the Shephelah, the obstinate persistence with which Ramses and his army returned year after year to the attack, the presence of the enemy at Tunipa, on the banks of the Euphrates, and in the provinces ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... this abortive effort was the establishment of the notorious "Dead Line." A few days later a gang of negros came in and drove a line of stakes down at a distance of twenty feet from the stockade. They nailed upon ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... that Napoleon recognized the advantages of the abortive attempt at Savona. "You are all noodles," said he to his ecclesiastical counsellors, "you do not understand your position. It will then be for me to extricate you from the affair; I am about to arrange everything." He dictated upon the ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... so should still discourage all I could, unless otherwise directed by His Majesty and their Lordships. It might be feared that they would beat us out of the trade itself by underselling us, which they were able to do.' With the exception, however, of an abortive effort by this governor, the Irish wool manufacture was in no degree impeded, and was indeed mentioned with special favour in many Acts of Parliament; and it was in a great degree on the faith of this ...
— Handbook of Home Rule (1887) • W. E. Gladstone et al.

... attention suddenly grew despicable. By one of those caprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge. In this mood of mind I betook myself to the mathematics and the branches of study appertaining to that ...
— Frankenstein - or The Modern Prometheus • Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

... which the wind blows down, while they are green, Show good works have by trials spoiled been. Those that abide, while ripe upon the tree, Show, in a good man, some ripe fruit will be. Behold then how abortive some fruits are, Which at the first most promising appear. The frost, the wind, the worm, with time doth show, There flows, from much appearance, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... ideas, have an influence upon human actions, and sometimes even determine them, by a process analogous to that of suggestion upon a hypnotized person, and this is so because of the tendency in every idea to resolve itself into action—an idea being simply an inchoate or abortive act. It was this notion that suggested to Fouillee his theory of idea-forces. But ordinarily ideas are forces which we accommodate to other forces, deeper ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... or pistillate. Hermaphrodite: Said of a flower having both stamens and pistils. Fertile: Said of a flower capable of bearing seed without pollen from another flower. Sterile: Said of a flower without or with abortive pistils. Perfect: Said of a flower having both stamens and pistils. Imperfect: Said of a flower wanting either stamens or pistils. Peduncle: The stalk of a flower-cluster. Pedicel: The stalk of each ...
— Manual of American Grape-Growing • U. P. Hedrick



Words linked to "Abortive" :   stillborn, unsuccessful, abort, unfruitful



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