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Action   Listen
noun
Action  n.  
1.
A process or condition of acting or moving, as opposed to rest; the doing of something; exertion of power or force, as when one body acts on another; the effect of power exerted on one body by another; agency; activity; operation; as, the action of heat; a man of action. "One wise in council, one in action brave."
2.
An act; a thing done; a deed; an enterprise. (plural): Habitual deeds; hence, conduct; behavior; demeanor. "The Lord is a Good of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."
3.
The event or connected series of events, either real or imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.
4.
Movement; as, the horse has a spirited action.
5.
(Mech.) Effective motion; also, mechanism; as, the breech action of a gun.
6.
(Physiol.) Any one of the active processes going on in an organism; the performance of a function; as, the action of the heart, the muscles, or the gastric juice.
7.
(Orat.) Gesticulation; the external deportment of the speaker, or the suiting of his attitude, voice, gestures, and countenance, to the subject, or to the feelings.
8.
(Paint. & Sculp.) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
9.
(Law)
(a)
A suit or process, by which a demand is made of a right in a court of justice; in a broad sense, a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, or the punishment of a public offense.
(b)
A right of action; as, the law gives an action for every claim.
10.
(Com.) A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds; hence, in the plural, equivalent to stocks. (A Gallicism) (Obs.) "The Euripus of funds and actions."
11.
An engagement between troops in war, whether on land or water; a battle; a fight; as, a general action, a partial action.
12.
(Music) The mechanical contrivance by means of which the impulse of the player's finger is transmitted to the strings of a pianoforte or to the valve of an organ pipe.
Chose in action. (Law) See Chose.
Quantity of action (Physics), the product of the mass of a body by the space it runs through, and its velocity.
Synonyms: Action, Act. In many cases action and act are synonymous; but some distinction is observable. Action involves the mode or process of acting, and is usually viewed as occupying some time in doing. Act has more reference to the effect, or the operation as complete. "To poke the fire is an act, to reconcile friends who have quarreled is a praiseworthy action."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Action" Quotes from Famous Books



... not as an officer, but as a private friend. When we arrived in a high northern latitude I was viewing the objects around me with the telescope which I introduced to your notice in my Gibraltar adventures. I thought I saw two large white bears in violent action upon a body of ice considerably above the masts, and about half a league distance. I immediately took my carbine, slung it across my shoulder, and ascended the ice. When I arrived at the top, the unevenness of the surface made my approach to those animals troublesome and hazardous beyond expression: ...
— The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen • Rudolph Erich Raspe

... search in his pocket he produced a roll of strong cord. Unwinding this, he approached the Saw-Horse and tied the cord around its neck, afterward fastening the other end to a large tree. The Saw-Horse, not understanding the action, stepped backward and snapped the string easily; but it made ...
— The Marvelous Land of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... carelessly in the postscript, "a-propos, you have paid me L.50 on account." On the contrary, you find that Mr. Cochrane Johnstone took a stamped receipt at the time; then we have the architect called, as in an action on a quantum meruit; and architects have most magnificent ideas of plans and money, and he tells you, that two or three hundred pounds would not have been too much for such a design as that. Gentlemen, I think we are all as well qualified to ...
— The Trial of Charles Random de Berenger, Sir Thomas Cochrane, • William Brodie Gurney

... this House proposes to go forward to action in a way that, upon their oaths, they declare to be right and proper, and in their judgment is to be vindicated, you say that is tyranny! But it is not tyranny for you in a minority forsooth to say, unless it goes just the way we want it, it shall not go at all. That is to say, in ...
— Bay State Monthly, Volume II. No. 4, January, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... tell. If it were I, I should think you were punished enough by having disgraced the name of Merrifield by such a dishonourable action.' ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... acquisition, starting with the original capacity for imperfect speech found in the physiological structure of man. This is accompanied by certain tendencies of thought and life which furnish the psychical notion of language-formation. These represent the foundations of language, and upon this, through action and experience, the superstructure of language has been built. There has been a continuous evolution from simple ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... all our knowledge. From the day he leaves school and enters the University a man ought to make up his mind that in many things he must either remain altogether ignorant, or be satisfied with knowledge at second-hand. Thus only can he clear the decks for action. And the sooner he finds out what his own work is to be, the more useful and delightful will be his life at the University and later. There are few men who have a passion for all knowledge; there is hardly one who has not a hobby of his own. Those so-called hobbies ought to be utilized, and ...
— Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. • F. Max Mueller

... choice of one unwilling to take a share of its dangers. Indeed, unless the chiefs had complied with the young Adventurer's proposal to lead the van in person, it does not appear that he could have been deeper in the action. ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought; And enterprises of great pith and moment, With this regard, their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3 - Sorrow and Consolation • Various

... said the marquis: "I have had under my command a magnificent regiment. Very often have I experienced the energetic and exquisite enjoyment of command! At my word my squadrons put themselves in action; bugles blared, my officers, glittering in golden embroidery, galloped everywhere to repeat my orders: all my brave soldiers, burning with courage, and cicatrized by battles, obeyed my signal; and I felt proud and ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... So far, I have not yet met with any one in whom the dreaming faculty appears to be either so strongly or so strangely developed as in myself. Most dreams, even when of unusual vividness and lucidity, betray a want of coherence in their action, and an incongruity of detail ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... who first took energetic action toward an election. She stood up, and spoke with a tone ...
— Making People Happy • Thompson Buchanan

... their local chieftains, and suffered their fidelity to the Crown to determine their own. They had as yet done little more than keep the war out of their own county; but the march of a small Parliamentary force under Lord Stamford upon Launceston forced them into action. In May 1643 a little band of Cornishmen gathered round the chivalrous Sir Bevil Greenvil, "so destitute of provisions that the best officers had but a biscuit a day," and with only a handful of powder for the whole force; but, starving and outnumbered as they were, they ...
— History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8) - Puritan England, 1642-1660; The Revolution, 1660-1683 • John Richard Green

... derived from the Latin verbum, which signifies a word. By specific application it is applied to those words only which express action, correctly understood; the same as Bible, derived from the Greek "biblos" means literally the book, but, by way of eminence, is applied to the ...
— Lectures on Language - As Particularly Connected with English Grammar. • William S. Balch

... as by the sound of feet tramping along the decks and down the ladders with the steaming ample store of provisions, such as set up and brace the seaman's frame, and give it vigor for any amount of physical action. ...
— The World of Waters - A Peaceful Progress o'er the Unpathed Sea • Mrs. David Osborne

... of action is a pine-wood on the Norwegian mountains. Round about it are seen steep and uneven rocks. The top of the hindermost and highest is ...
— The Death of Balder • Johannes Ewald

... answered something it was not always to the purpose; he accused her of not hearing what he said, but she would have it that she did, and then he tried to test her by proofs and questions. It did not matter for anything that was spoken or done; speech and action of whatever sort were mere masks of their young joy in each other, so that when he said, after he had quoted some lines befitting the scene they looked out on; "Now was that from Tennyson or from Tupper?" and she answered, "Neither; it was from Shakespeare," they joined, in ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... with such speed, and, if we may so express it, with such simultaneity of action, that the bold smuggler stood before the astonished inmates almost as soon as they could leap from their chairs. Cuttance ducked to evade a terrific blow which Oliver aimed at him with his fist, and in another instant grappled with him. Tregarthen rushed ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... that there is urgent need of discipline. Any effort at social control demands it. The army succeeds as it does because of its discipline. Wherever a group of individuals undertake action in common, every member must be willing to sink interests of self in welfare of others. As was pointed out in the chapter on Individual Differences, a class is made up of all kinds of individuals. They vary in capacity, in ideals, ...
— Principles of Teaching • Adam S. Bennion

... into the law of the Nazarite when the days of his separation were fulfilled. The first thing that strikes our notice is, "He shall be brought," not, he shall come. Why is this? and why is it that the law is so explicit as to every detail of ritual and service, scarcely leaving any room for voluntary action?—we say scarcely, because in the twenty-first verse there is one little clause, "Beside that that his hand shall get," which does leave room for additional tokens ...
— Separation and Service - or Thoughts on Numbers VI, VII. • James Hudson Taylor

... columnar basalt, and one could see beautiful designs of jammed and twisted columns as well as caves with whole and half pillars very much like a miniature Giant's Causeway. Bands of bright yellow occurred in the rich brown of the cliffs, caused, the geologists think, by the action of salts on the brown rock. In places the cliffs overhung. In places, the sea had eaten long low caves deep under them, and continued to break into them over a shelving beach. Icicles hung pendant everywhere, and from ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... forming a new capital of that empire in the East, made the Church no longer subject to one temporal government. The same act tested the spiritual Primacy of the Church. It called it forth to a larger and more complicated action. I have in a former volume followed at considerable length the series of events the issue of which was, after Arian heretics had played upon eastern jealousy and tyrannical emperors during fifty years, to strengthen the action of the Primacy. But assuredly had that Primacy been artificial, ...
— The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI - The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I • Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

... newspaper will be unpatriotic, and the press will be infallible. One religion will be played off against another, and the Charter against the King. The press will hold up the magistracy to scorn for meting out rigorous justice to the press, and applaud its action when it serves the cause of party hatred. The most sensational fictions will be invented to increase the circulation; Journalism will descend to mountebanks' tricks worthy of Bobeche; Journalism would serve up its ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... people who approach more or less nearly to wild beasts. For the advancement of science, murderers should not be hanged, but should be kept as interesting cases of insanity. Much might be learned by carefully observing the action of their minds upon ordinary occasions. As for homicides, or manslaughterers,—I wish we could use the English word,—they are less attractive as a study, and I do not care what becomes of them. The brain of a freshly killed tiger would ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... burns the white hot metal, and the temperature increases. The action is exactly similar to what happens in a fire box under forced draft. And in both cases some parts of the material burn easier and more quickly than others. Thus it is that some of the impurities in the pig iron—including ...
— The Working of Steel - Annealing, Heat Treating and Hardening of Carbon and Alloy Steel • Fred H. Colvin

... was overcast with dark and gloomy clouds, rendering more than usually vivid the flashes of the guns as they poured forth their death-dealing shot into the town. At length it became difficult to work them, and the admiral gave the signal to discontinue the action. ...
— The Three Admirals • W.H.G. Kingston

... gallant youth of Britain, Gather to your country's call, On your hearts her name is written, Rise to help her, one and all! Cast away each feud and faction, Brood not over wrong nor ill, Rouse your virtues into action, For we love our country still, Hail, Britannia! hail, Britannia! Raise that thrilling shout once more, Rise, Britannia! rule, Britannia! ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... Roger drew his pistol, an action which was quickly followed by our hero, for both understood that the criminals before ...
— Dave Porter and His Double - The Disapperarance of the Basswood Fortune • Edward Stratemeyer

... be mapped out as thoroughly as a Presidential campaign is organized here in our country. The purpose of a Presidential campaign is really stupendous in its object and sweep. It is to influence quickly, up to the point of decisive action, the individual opinion of millions of men, spread over millions of square miles, and that, too, in the face of a vigorous opposing campaign to influence them the other way. The whole vast district of country is mapped out and organized ...
— Quiet Talks with World Winners • S. D. Gordon

... nations. The Ministerialist, on the other hand, holds that we should, if possible, employ a machinery called the League of Nations; with the object of securing Peace, to which he is much attached. The Ministerialist demands that strong action should be taken to reduce Unemployment; but the Liberal does not scruple to retort that Unemployment is an evil, against which strong action must be taken. The Liberal thinks that we ought to revive our Trade, thus thwarting and throwing himself across the path ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... a short, sharp gasp. That look ahead had scared him. He was doing all he could to slow down, and was doing magnificently, for the reverse action moved to a charm. Still, he saw that after dashing fully two hundred yards down the siding, the natural momentum would carry the train fully one-third that ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... held office. The proposed limitation would destroy the idea of property now so generally connected with official station, and although individual distress may be some times produced, it would, by promoting that rotation which constitutes a leading principle in the republican creed, give healthful action ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... mother-weakness," she said, leaning against him and looking away at a purple cloud that hung low over the moor. "But it seems to me, by putting on the curb, you keep only his body from those influences. They would tug all the stronger in his soul. Not healthy and alive with joy of action, but cramped up and aching, like your legs when there is no room to stretch them. Then there would come impatience, turning his heart more to India, more away from you. Father had that kind of thwarting when young—so I know. Dearest one, ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... teacher. "By his action thy father hath but secured thy inheritance to thee, if thou art wise enough to avail thyself of his understanding. Thus thought he when he felt the hand of death approaching. 'My son is away; when I am dead he will not be here to take ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... says that the Liffy has had several men killed in action, I have no doubt that a stout lad like Larry will not be refused; so you may tell him that when he volunteers, I'll answer for his being accepted," ...
— Paddy Finn • W. H. G. Kingston

... restlessness and agitation rather than continuous action, Glyndon was aroused by a visitor who seemed to exercise the most salutary influence over him. His sister, an orphan with himself, had resided in the country with her aunt. In the early years of hope and home he had loved this girl, much younger than himself, with all ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... friends. Both primarily (if they were) to be laid at thy door. What poor excuses will good hearts make for the evils they are put upon by bad hearts!—But 'tis no wonder that he who can sit down premeditatedly to do a bad action, will content himself with a bad excuse: and yet what fools must he suppose the rest of the world to be, if he imagines them as easy to be imposed upon as he can impose ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... period of dramatic literature, not stopping till we come to the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century, to the "Princesse de Cleves," to "Clarissa Harlowe," nay, really, to "The Nouvelle Heloise." For even in Shakespeare there is always interest and importance in the action and reaction of subsidiary characters, in the event, in the accidental; there is intrigue, chance, misunderstanding, fate—active agencies of which Othello and Hamlet, King Lear and Romeo, are helpless victims; there is, ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... of the perfections of the ideal man. Not to be impulsive, not to be spurred hither and thither by each desire that in turn comes upper-most, but to be self-restrained, self-balanced, governed by the joint decision of the feelings in council assembled, before whom every action shall have been fully debated, and calmly determined—that it is which education, moral education at least, strives ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... and last naval Governor, Bligh, is more often remembered in connection with the Bounty mutiny than for his governorship of New South Wales. He was deposed by the military in 1808, for his action in endeavouring to suppress the improper traffic in rum which was being carried on by the officers of the New South Wales Regiment. This second mutiny, of which he was the victim, certainly cannot be blamed against the honesty of his administration; and the assertion, so often repeated, ...
— The Beginning Of The Sea Story Of Australia - 1901 • Louis Becke

... think alike, they tend to act alike; unison in thinking begets unison in action. It is often said that the man and wife who have spent years together have grown to resemble each other; but the resemblance is probably in actions rather than in looks; the fact is that they have had common goals of thinking throughout the many years they have lived together and so ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... taboo. If the supposed evil necessarily followed a breach of taboo, the taboo would not be a taboo but a precept of morality or common sense. It is not a taboo to say, "Do not put your hand in the fire"; it is a rule of common sense, because the forbidden action entails a real, not an imaginary evil. In short, those negative precepts which we call taboo are just as vain and futile as those positive precepts which we call sorcery. The two things are merely opposite sides or poles of one great disastrous fallacy, a mistaken conception of the association ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... whether there was murder in the heart of the grim old warrior at the recollection. Of course that would not be strange, for many a time officers have been actually shot in action by ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... looking back into this my Journal, I find that I am at a loss to know whether I pass my Time well or ill; and indeed never thought of considering how I did it before I perused your Speculation upon that Subject. I scarce find a single Action in these five Days that I can thoroughly approve of, except the working upon the Violet-Leaf, which I am resolved to finish the first Day I am at leisure. As for Mr. Froth and Veny I did not think they took up so much of my Time and Thoughts, as I find ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... intention. Some part of his remarkable talent depended upon this faculty of thoroughly considering a resolution before proceeding to carry it out; and it is a part of every really great talent in every branch of creative art, for it is the result of a great continuity in the action of the mind combined with the power of concentration and the virtue of reticence. Many a work has appeared to the world to be the spontaneous creation of transcendent genius, which has, in reality, been conceived, ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... regarding the Venezuela question, with the Foreign Office. The whole affair, as initiated by ourselves, was, in proportion to the German claims, much too elaborate. The first suggestion which led to the common action on the part of the British and ourselves, came from the English side; but we should have been wiser, from the point of view of our own advantage, if we had not listened to the suggestion. It was absolutely clear from the start that the American Government would raise objections ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... was Elisha, the son of Shaphat. He was ploughing the fields around his home with twelve yoke of oxen. As he passed him, Elijah cast his well-known mantle upon Elisha, who recognized in the action that from that time he was to be the attendant and friend of the prophet. Bidding his father and mother goodbye, Elisha followed Elijah, thus beginning a long period of service ...
— The Man Who Did Not Die - The Story of Elijah • J. H. Willard

... threatened the newer members of his family, still shouted hoarsely. Philidor stopped in the dressing tent and spoke a few words to the Signora, made his way across the arena, peering over Cleofonte's shoulder, and then, his course of action chosen, slipped quickly ...
— Madcap • George Gibbs

... King Ferdinand and his governing clique had made this decision months before, it is nevertheless a fact that it was probably the blundering diplomacy of the Allies which was responsible for this action on the part of the Bulgarians. Under all circumstances King Ferdinand would probably have favored the Teutons, since by birth and early training he is an Austrian and, moreover, as he once expressed himself publicly, he was firmly convinced that the Teutons would ultimately win. But the Bulgarian ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume V (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... default of that sum, $5000, that Tulitz, commonly called the Baron Tulitz, alias d'Ercevenne, commonly called the Marquis d'Ercevenne, was committed to the Tombs Prison to await the action of the Grand Jury. At this time Tulitz—I call him Tulitz without intending any partiality for that name over the alias of d'Ercevenne, but merely because Tulitz is a shorter word to write. I doubt if he had any preference between them himself, ...
— Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York • Lemuel Ely Quigg

... granted.—Scripture, however, declares the highest divinity to be without (bodily) organs of action[309]; so, for instance, in the passage, 'It is without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind' (B/ri/. Up. III, 8, 8). Being such, how should it be able to produce effects, although it may be endowed with all powers? For we know (from mantras, arthavadas, &c.) that the gods and ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 1 • George Thibaut

... ordeal or to battle by the sworn testimony of the chosen representatives, the good men and true, of the neighbourhood. But the custom was not yet governed by any positive and inviolable rules, and the action of the King's Court in this respect was imperfectly developed, uncertain, ...
— Henry the Second • Mrs. J. R. Green

... of February, 1651, the Duke, urged very importunately by the Princes' party informing him that their liberty depended on it, told them that he was going to perform an action which would remove all their diffidence. He sent immediately for the Keeper of the Seals, Marechal Villeroi; and Tellier, and bade them tell the Queen that he would never come to the Palais Royal as long as ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... with a sad and afflictedly afflicted Mind, restored this Treasure of Treasures to him, the Lord and Possessor, who gave the same into my hand for a very short space of time; and yet I did that (after the manner of Men overcoming themselves) not without the greatest action of thanks, as was fit in such a Case. Afterward I asked him, how it came to pass, (since I had otherwise read, that the Stones of Philosophers, were endowed with a Rubinate, or Purple Colour) that this his Philosophick Stone was tinged with a Sulphureous Colour? He answered me thus: O Sir; this ...
— The Golden Calf, Which the World Adores, and Desires • John Frederick Helvetius

... with an intelligence developed at the best and hardest of all schools, where hunger is the usher, awaited, not word, but action from his master; and had ...
— The Velvet Glove • Henry Seton Merriman

... suppressed. Then when the republican movements of 1848 shook Europe, he had participated in the third Italian revolution of that year; and again he had seen Italy put down, this time by the intervention of the French, whose Louis Napoleon sought by this action to win the friendship of the Catholic clergy in France. The hated Austrians now ruled Lombardy and Venice. In Rome, now that the Pope again had temporal, power, the political affairs of the city were in the hands of Cardinal Antonelli, who suppressed political agitation with great ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... their interest, direct or indirect, and concentrate the same in one focus upon the head and heart of Sir Barnaby Blueblazes, vice—admiral of the red squadrons a Lord of the Admiralty, and one of the old plain K.B.'s (for he flourished before the time when a gallant action or two tagged half of the letters of the alphabet to a man's name, like the tail of a paper kite), in order that he might be graciously pleased to have me placed on the quarterdeck of one of his Majesty's ships ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... oldfield lark with a yellow brest and a black spot on the croop; tho this differs from ours in the form of the tail which is pointed being formed of feathers of unequal length; the beak is somewhat longer and more curved and the note differs considerably; however in size, action, and colours there is no perceptable difference; or at least none that strikes my eye. after reaching our camp we kindled our fires and examined the meat which Capt. Clark had left, but found only a small proportion of it, the wolves had taken ...
— The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Meriwether Lewis et al

... ministers, of colonial governors, and of private individuals had remained without effect To Benjamin Franklin was committed the task of drawing up a scheme which should at the same time satisfy the colonial assemblies and the mother government. The advantages of such an union were obvious. Combined action meant speedy victory; separate defence meant that much of the border would be exposed to invasion. Franklin hoped to take advantage of the pressure of the war to induce the colonies to accept a permanent union. His draft, therefore, provided for a "President General," who ...
— Formation of the Union • Albert Bushnell Hart

... daughter of George Alston. It was an undertaking before which Lorry's spirit quailed, but it was part of the obligation she had assumed. Though she had accepted the idea, the translation from contemplation to action was slow. In fact she might have stayed contemplating had not a conversation one night with Chrystie nerved her ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... they availed themselves of it, partly to impose of their own accord taxes on luxury which differed only in form from penalties on it, partly to abridge or withdraw the political privileges of the burgess who was reported to have been guilty of any infamous action.(3) The extent to which this surveillance was already carried is shown by the fact that penalties of this nature were inflicted for the negligent cultivation of a man's own land, and that such a man as Publius Cornelius Rufinus (consul in 464, 477) ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... in her heart. Bowing her head once more, she earnestly prayed that if she could not yet feel right towards her aunt, she might be kept at least from acting or speaking wrong. Poor Ellen! In the heart is the spring of action; and she found it ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... are issued in monthly installments of from four to six lessons at a time—a year's issue covering fifty-two lessons—one for each week of the year. Members of the Vitosophy Club make a practice of taking each lesson as a subject of thought and action for one week, carefully conforming conduct and observation to it for self-improvement and experiment, with ...
— How to Become Rich - A Treatise on Phrenology, Choice of Professions and Matrimony • William Windsor

... opinion clear from this blot. I have quoted one passage in which Lauder hints at Stair's partiality for Argyll. In another case in which Argyll was concerned he observes, 'Every on saw that would be the fate of that action, considering the pershewar's probable intres in the President.'[24] In 1672 when, as he considered, a well-established rule of law had been unsettled, he writes, 'This is a miserable and pittiful way of wenting our wit, by shaking the very foundations ...
— Publications of the Scottish History Society, Vol. 36 • Sir John Lauder

... to curb the colonising instinct of the Teutonic people. The formation of the German Colonial Society at Frankfurt in December 1882, and the immense success attending its propaganda, spurred on the statesmen of Berlin to take action. They looked longingly (as they still do) towards Brazil, in whose southern districts their people had settled in large numbers; but over all that land the Monroe Doctrine spread its sheltering wings. A war with the United States would have been madness, and Germany therefore turned to Polynesia ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... hers, carried it to a distance from the noble group, and placed it close to a board partition which separated the studio from the extreme end of the attic, where all broken casts, defaced canvases and the winter supply of wood were kept. Amelie's action caused a murmur of surprise, which did not prevent her from accomplishing the change by rolling hastily to the side of the easel the stool, the box of colors, and even the picture by Prudhon, which the absent pupil was copying. ...
— Vendetta • Honore de Balzac

... not been long among the lodges before the quick eye of one caught sight of their two heads above the ridge. A warning cry was uttered, and in a moment every one of the dismounted hunters was back in his saddle and ready for action. One or two galloped off towards the meat-train, which had not yet come into camp, while others rode to and fro, exhibiting symptoms ...
— The White Chief - A Legend of Northern Mexico • Mayne Reid

... All through the book explanation forestalls objection, while old friends find new information and new reasons for half-understood methods. Such are the accumulating exposition of the Hampton idea, and the description of circumstances and resources which condition all action, and determine the measure of progress. Those who know and love this wonderful place will be gratified at the stress laid on the 'Hampton spirit' of service as the explanation of its success, as well ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 • Various

... while I walked by his side, with my rifle ready for action. When the Indians saw how much Arthur was hurt, they appeared to feel compassion for him, and expressed their sorrow by signs. When we ordered them to shove off, they obeyed at once, and willingly paddled on ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... causation. With nothing more than a superstitious basis, charms, incantations, dances, images, ceremonies, and shrines have a wonderful influence for healing. They divert the mind from the ailment, and stimulate a strong faith which awakens the recuperative forces to action, and ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... Volcanic action has been the agent of many of the islands to the westward, where several still active volcanoes exist. Many of those in that direction are clothed with the richest vegetation. They are inhabited ...
— The Cruise of the Dainty - Rovings in the Pacific • William H. G. Kingston

... assumed its usual expression; and entirely himself again, he went on to state, in a precise, business-like way, the views he had resolved upon for future action. ...
— Captain Brand of the "Centipede" • H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

... one of many evidences that the intellect's essence is practical. Intent is action in the sphere of thought; it corresponds to transition and derivation in the natural world. Analytic psychology is obliged to ignore intent, for it is obliged to regard it merely as a feeling; but while the feeling of intent is a fact like any other, intent itself is ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... check upon the poor solitary orphan, that while those females who have parents, or brothers, or riches, to defend their indiscretions, that the orphan must depend solely upon character. How immensely important, therefore, that every action, every word, every thought, be regulated by the strictest purity, and that every movement meet the approbation of ...
— American Cookery - The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables • Amelia Simmons

... begin this letter to you I must ask that you take no action whatever until you have seen my attorney—he will be yours from now on. I have never mentioned him to you before; it was not necessary and would only have brought you curiosity which I could not have satisfied. But now, I am afraid, the doors ...
— The Cross-Cut • Courtney Ryley Cooper

... you mean—a better man?" he quickly wanted to know. "Let me tell you, Spike's a pretty good man right now for his weight. You ought to see him in action once! Don't let any one fool you about that boy! What do you expect at a ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... but brooding had to be abandoned as too expensive, and he proceeded to study optics. He gave a very accurate explanation of the action of the human eye, and made many hypotheses, some of them shrewd and close to the mark, concerning the law of refraction of light in dense media: but though several minor points of interest turned up, nothing of the first magnitude came out of this ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... spear in both hands. He was fighting for his life, and he knew it. He heard the voices of the women feebly praying. He saw only the glowing eyes under the bed and heard the growling in higher pitch as the Beast was nearing action. He steadied himself by a great effort and plunged the spear with all the force he ...
— Animal Heroes • Ernest Thompson Seton

... should have left entirely undeveloped to so late a period as the early seventies a great island of 35,000 square miles which lies within sight of its shores. The wonder is that an attempt on Yezo[234] was not made by the Russians, who, but for the vigorous action of a British naval commander, would undoubtedly have taken possession of the island of Tsushima, 700 miles farther south and midway between Japan and Korea. Up to the time of the fall of the Shogun the revenue of the lords of Yezo was ...
— The Foundations of Japan • J.W. Robertson Scott

... in that moment she had become capable of the action. She had been growing as none, not Mary, still less herself, knew, under the heavy snows of affliction, and this was her first blossom. Not many of my readers will mistake me, I trust. Had it been in Letty pride that refused help from such an old friend, that pride I should count no blossom, ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... river in front of him at a smart pace. She now slackened her speed so much as to allow him to pass her. Karl Steinmetz noticed the action. He noticed most things—this dull German. Presently she passed him again. She dropped her umbrella, and before picking it up described a circle with it—a manoeuvre remarkably like a signal. Then she turned abruptly and looked into his face, displaying a pleasing little round physiognomy ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... mistake, dear?" Her movements were like those of a character in a play who is made to fill in an awkward pause with some mechanical action. ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... the planters and gentlemen of the river counties of Mississippi, fifty years ago—nowhere women more refined, yet affable; so modest, yet frank and open in their social intercourse; so dignified, without austerity; so chaste and pure in sentiment and action, without prudery or affectation, as the mothers, wives, and daughters ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... or when covenanters feast, they should have more grace, than meat at their tables: or if (through the blessing of God) their meat be much, their temperance should be more. The covenant yields us much business, and calls to action: excess soils our gifts, and damps our spirits, fitting us for sleep, not for work. In and by this covenant, we (who were almost carried into spiritual and corporal slavery) are called to strive for the mastery. Let us therefore (as this word and the apostle's rule instruct us) "Be ...
— The Covenants And The Covenanters - Covenants, Sermons, and Documents of the Covenanted Reformation • Various

... 'I knew we should get action sooner or later. It's the puma over again. Now we are all right. Now I have something to work on. "Monkey Menaces Countryside." "Long Island Summer Colony in Panic." "Mad ...
— Uneasy Money • P.G. Wodehouse

... you have paid us in believing that we still play fair." There was in both his tone and action a touch of the bluff heartiness of the naval officer, which was natural to him, and showed that he had thrown off all restraint. "But do not, I beg of you, do this again, even in England. These are desperate times; ...
— L. P. M. - The End of the Great War • J. Stewart Barney

... principle, Countess, don't you know. He wants to harden his cranium, in case he loses his hat some day in action." ...
— The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood • Arthur Griffiths

... to issue an order that for every Union soldier killed in violation of the laws of war a rebel soldier should be executed; and for every one enslaved a rebel soldier should be placed at hard labor on the public works. Happily, however, little or no action ever became necessary in pursuance of this order. The Southerners either did not in fact wreak their vengeance in fulfillment of their furious vows, or else covered their doings so that they could not ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II • John T. Morse

... familiar with the politics of this country, knows its history by heart, and is in every respect probably as well qualified to act as its Chief Magistrate as any man in the nation. He is a man of ideas, of action, and has positive qualities. He would not wait for something to turn up, and things would not have to wait long for him to turn ...
— The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume VIII. - Interviews • Robert Green Ingersoll

... in maturer life, he writes something high and good, then if he wants his wise child to live, he must consent to die himself with the foolish one. It is much the same with one who has become notorious through the doing of some base or foolish action. If he repent, rise to better things, and write a noble book, he must not claim it as if it could elevate him. It must go forth on its own merits, or it will not be recognised for what it is, only for what he is or was. No, if a man wants to bring in new thoughts or work elevating ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... Kanaka; who had glared so murderously at Mellus. Those eyes had been familiar; something about them had made him grip his pistol, an impulse at which afterward he had laughed. But now he knew the reason for that half-involuntary action. Despite the beard and mustache covering the lower portion of his face completely; despite the low-pulled hat, the disguising ulster, ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... dissenters at the hearing of this cause, is what, I am told, hath not been charged to the account of their prudence or moderation; because that action hath been censured as a mark of triumph and insult before the victory is complete; since neither of these bills hath yet passed the House of Commons, and some are pleased to think it not impossible that they may be rejected. Neither do I hear, that there is ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... dares to make his coup public, he must be sure that there will be no foreign interference. So, he must establish a deputy in Washington. A relatively few chosen men, completely enslaved, could hold back our Government from any action. Leaders in Congress, and members of the Cabinet, working, in defense of The Master because his defeat would mean their madness.... He would demand no treason of them at first. He would require simply that he should not be interfered with. But his plans include the appointment of ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 • Various

... communicating knowledge. Those who would truly understand the infant system, must think for themselves, and observe the workings of the young mind, mark the intellectual principles which first develope themselves, strive to understand the simple laws of mental action; and all this that they may know how to teach in accordance with them. When this is fairly done, perhaps the whole that is recorded in this book, may be thought more valuable than it is at present, and be found a not unworthy subject to devote a ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... Lives of the Berkeleys, ii. 5. There is no doubt the lease system was growing in the thirteenth century. About 1240 the writ Quare ejecit infra terminum protected the person of a tenant for a term of years, who formerly had been regarded as having no more than a personal right enforceable by an action of covenant. Vinogradoff, Villeinage in England, p. 330; but leases for lives and not for years seem the rule ...
— A Short History of English Agriculture • W. H. R. Curtler

... "It is true, you are moon sick, as we have always called you, and to such a one much must be forgiven which would have to be reckoned differently to a well man. I have myself however always inclined to this disease." In fact the entire action, loving and losing, the development and solution of the plot, takes place almost exclusively under the light of the moon. At the conclusion, when the hero finds the beloved given up for lost, he cannot refrain from the outcry: "Yes, the moonlight ...
— Sleep Walking and Moon Walking - A Medico-Literary Study • Isidor Isaak Sadger

... him until the sudden evening chill which comes with the dusk of the frontier roused us to action. ...
— Land of the Burnt Thigh • Edith Eudora Kohl

... still preserved in the Casa Buonarroti at Florence, is, so to speak, in fermentation with powerful half-realised conceptions, audacities of foreshortening, attempts at intricate grouping, violent dramatic action and expression. No previous tradition, unless it was the genius of Greek or Greco-Roman antiquity, supplied Michelangelo with the motive force for this prentice-piece in sculpture. Donatello and other Florentines worked under different sympathies ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... from their horses and set free, had it not been for the consideration that undue precipitation might ruin the main cause. But the sight of human blood shed in a righteous cause is the spur of the brave, and goads him to action beyond all else. Quite silent we kept when that troop rode past us on their way to prison, though we were a gathering crowd not only of some of the best of Virginia, but some of her worst and most uncontrolled of indenture white slaves, and convicts, but something ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... Threaten—don't cajole. Soft or kind words won't go with that type of man. Threaten, and when you have managed to extract a promise be on hand with ropes to see that he keeps his word. I don't like to advise arbitrary methods, but what else is to be done? The enemy is armed and ready for action right now. They're just waiting for a peaceful moment. Don't let them find it. Be ready. Fight. I'm your mayor, and ready to do all I can, but I stand alone with a mere pitiful veto right. You help me and I'll help you. You fight for me ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... than 'twill out of action be, Will pray to stay, though but a while with thee; One night, one hour, one moment, will it cry, Embrace me in thy bosom, else I die: Time to repent [saith it] I will allow, And help, if to repent thou know'st not how. But if you give it ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... about thirty, slight in build, rather languid in his movements, conventionally dressed but without any gloss or scrupulous finish, and in manners peculiarly gentle. His countenance, naturally grave, expressed the man of thought rather than of action; its traits, at the same time, preserved a curious youthfulness, enhanced by the fact of his wearing neither moustache nor beard; when he smiled, it was with an almost boyish frankness, irresistible in its appeal ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... seriousness of his conceptions, the bold sweep of his lines, and, above all, in the impression of motion which he conveys, he has much in common with the great Italian master. Like Michelangelo, Millet gives first preference to the dramatic moment when action is imminent. The Sower is in the act of casting the seed into the ground, as David is in the act of stretching his sling. As we look, we seem to see the hand complete its motion. So also the Gleaners, the Women Filling the Water-Bottles, and the Potato ...
— Jean Francois Millet • Estelle M. Hurll

... as interfering with Providence. We are beyond that now, and have become capable of recognising that Providence works through the common sense of individual brains. We limit population just as much by deferring marriage from prudential motives as by any action that may be taken after it.... Apart from certain methods of limitation, the morality of which is gravely questioned by many, there are certain easily-understood physiological laws of the subject, the failure to know and to observe which is inexcusable on the part either of men or women ...
— Annie Besant - An Autobiography • Annie Besant

... nothing suspicious in that gentleman's movements. He seemed to be making no effort to secure employment, but, on the other hand, there was little of interest in what he did do. Again the stone wall of negative action. ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... to punish. Without the aid of the bayonets of the United States Alabama is an anarchy. The best men of Alabama have either shed their blood in the late war, emigrated, or become wholly incapacitated by their former action from now taking part in the government of the State. The more sensible portion of the people tremble at the idea of the military force being eliminated, for, whatever may be their hatred of the United States soldier, in ...
— Report on the Condition of the South • Carl Schurz

... and I stood and smoked upon it, listening to the ripple of the half-golden, half-shadowy water, watching the revolutions of the green old wheel. I had laid out my plan of action. On my return to the inn I would insist on an interview with Miss Falconer, and would tell her that either she must return with me to Paris or that the police of Bleau—I supposed it had ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... lay down, and thereafter surrendered himself to that utter reaction which birds, who live more intensely in action than almost any other creatures, have brought to an apparently exaggerated pitch. He did not sleep, but he did not move, and every muscle in him, every fiber, every nerve, faculty, organ, was surrendered utterly ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... hitherto been fine, changed with the last quarter of the moon. The sea rolled heavily, and the wind at intervals rose almost to a storm, but happily blew from the south-west, and thus aided the steamer's progress. The captain as often as possible put up his sails, and under the double action of steam and sail the vessel made rapid progress along the coasts of Anam and Cochin China. Owing to the defective construction of the Rangoon, however, unusual precautions became necessary in unfavourable weather; but ...
— Around the World in 80 Days • Jules Verne

... of the world—my conscience forbids it—so I must try to make an honest man of you in the interest of my own safety. If you are in good circumstances, I shall have nothing to fear. Now you can understand my course of action. As a proof that my offer is in earnest, take my pocket-book. You will find in it the necessary journey expenses to Trieste, and probably as much as what you owe to Scaramelli. At Trieste you will find a letter which gives you further directions. And now we will part—one to the right, and the ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... aware of the danger he was in, he was our prisoner. I will not attempt to depict the grief and anger of the family of this unfortunate young man when the object of our visit was made known; but their resentment of our action was just what might have been expected from people who believed implicitly in the innocence of their child, and regarded any attempt to deprive him of his liberty as an ...
— The Burglar's Fate And The Detectives • Allan Pinkerton

... as most directly tended to the public welfare, being imprinted on the hearts of their youth by a good discipline, would be sure to remain, and would find a stronger security, than any compulsion would be, in the principles of action formed in them by their best lawgiver, education. And as for things of lesser importance, as pecuniary contracts, and such like, the forms of which have to be changed as occasion requires, he thought it the best way to prescribe ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... Loos-La Bassee sector there was a lively artillery action. We demolished some earthworks in the vicinity of Hulluch. Some of our trenches near ...
— Kitchener's Mob - Adventures of an American in the British Army • James Norman Hall

... confers upon the creature the ability to transfer its body from place to place. In some animals, the weight of the body is sustained by immersion in a fluid as dense as itself. It is then carried about with very little expenditure of effort, either by the waving action of vibratile cilia scattered over its external surface, or by the oar-like movement of certain portions of its frame especially adapted to the purpose. In other animals, the weight of the body rests directly upon the ground, and has, therefore, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 437 - Volume 17, New Series, May 15, 1852 • Various

... his favor; he talked a great deal; had commanded a regiment of the Russian Imperial Elites of the Guard (in which he still was) at the battle of Leipsic and throughout the campaign; been engaged in every action from the Borodino to the capture of Paris; wounded two or three times; fought a French Officer in the Bois de Boulogne, and got his finger cut abominably; visited London and Portsmouth with his Emperor, dined with the Regent, &c. He told me many interesting anecdotes and particulars, ...
— Before and after Waterloo - Letters from Edward Stanley, sometime Bishop of Norwich (1802;1814;1814) • Edward Stanley

... without prolonging his life. Surely, this was a high price to pay for snubbing Zuleika... Yes, he must revert without more ado to his first scheme. He must die in the manner that he had blazoned forth. And he must do it with a good grace, none knowing he was not glad; else the action lost all dignity. True, this was no way to be a saviour. But only by not dying at all could he have set a really potent example.... He remembered the look that had come into Oover's eyes just now at the notion of his unfaith. Perhaps he would have been ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... forces, and might thus be driven to risk all in an engagement upon terms the most disadvantageous. On the contrary, if joined in Wiltshire by the expected aids, he might confidently offer battle to the royal army; and, provided he could bring them to an action before they were strengthened by new reinforcements, there was no unreasonable prospect of success. The latter plan was therefore adopted, and no sooner adopted than put in execution. The army was in motion without delay, and being before Bath on the ...
— A History of the Early Part of the Reign of James the Second • Charles James Fox

... not lost a moment, yet the conflict was decided when he appeared on the scene of action; for when he approached the camp the Amalekites had already broken through his father's troops, cut it off from them, and ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... might have discerned, that in Harriet's visits, or gifts of charity, she was actuated by a vain-glorious feeling of pride and self-satisfaction at the benefits she was conferring, which, in the sight of the All-wise Judge, must have cancelled the merit of her good action; while, on the contrary, Mary's heart turned in humble thankfulness to God for allowing her to be the instrument of His mercy, not unaccompanied by a prayer, to assist her endeavours to perform her duty in that station of life to which it might please Him to call her. We shall see, presently, ...
— The Young Lord and Other Tales - to which is added Victorine Durocher • Camilla Toulmin

... is this reckless parade and apotheosis of such men of action that accounts for Gorki's huge success in comparison with many another, and with the writers of the preceding generation. It is for this that the young minds of his native country rally round him—the country that is loaded with ...
— Maxim Gorki • Hans Ostwald

... her, that her every word and action were calculated to make a deep-rooted impression upon me, she would have shrugged her shoulders pettishly, I doubt not, and declared that it was "not her fault," that "some people were enough ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... the given circumstances, did this course of action seem to me, that I promptly decided no other would have been feasible. The thing for me to do, therefore, was to find out what trains left San Francisco during the night time. I thought I might calculate upon the fellow's having boarded a passenger train ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson



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