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Impotency   Listen
noun
Impotency, Impotence  n.  
1.
The quality or condition of being impotent; lack of strength or power, animal, intellectual, or moral; weakness; feebleness; inability; imbecility. "Some were poor by impotency of nature; as young fatherless children, old decrepit persons, idiots, and cripples." "O, impotence of mind in body strong!"
2.
Lack of self-restraint or self-control. (R.)
3.
(Law & Med.) Lack of procreative power; inability to copulate, or beget children; also, sometimes, sterility; barrenness; specifically, in males: The inability to achieve or sustain a penile erection; erectile dysfunction.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Impotency" Quotes from Famous Books



... exaggeration of his governing forces, through the deterioration of his deep-seated organs, through the gradual impoverishment of his vital tissues is condemned to commit inconsiderate acts, to debility, to impotency, amidst sounder and better-balanced neighbors! In the organization, which France effected for herself at the beginning of the (19th) century, all the general lines of her contemporary history were traced. Her political revolutions, social Utopias, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... thou lookest so closely at yonder shining world?" demanded Il Maledetto, with the superiority that the mariner afloat is wont successfully to assume over the unhappy wight of a landsman, who is very liable to admit his own impotency on the novel and dangerous element:—"the astrologer himself would ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... clitoris, nor urinary meatus. Mauriceau performed nymphotomy on a woman whose nymphae were so long as to render coitus difficult. Morand quotes a case of congenital malformation of the nymphae, to which he attributed impotency. ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... The discovery that he was not altogether such a hero as he had fancied himself, had dawned upon him very distinctly by the end of his first year; and the events of the long vacation had confirmed the impression, and pretty well taken all the conceit out of him for the time. The impotency of his own will, even when he was bent on doing the right thing, his want of insight and foresight in whatever matter he took in hand, the unruliness of his temper and passions just at the moments when it behooved ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... "the destruction of every arbitrary power that can separately, secretly and of its single choice disturb the peace of the world, or, if it cannot be presently destroyed, at least its reduction to virtual impotency." He declared that the power which had hitherto controlled the German nation was of the sort thus described, and that its alteration actually constituted a condition precedent ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... everlasting which God has prepared for His children, but also because it gives life. It approaches man, dead in trespasses and sins, and quickens him into new life. It removes from the mind of man its natural blindness and from the will of man its innate impotency. It regenerates all the dead powers of the soul, and makes man walk in newness of life. The difficulty which original sin has created is not greater than the means and instruments which God has provided for coping with it. "God hath concluded all in ...
— Luther Examined and Reexamined - A Review of Catholic Criticism and a Plea for Revaluation • W. H. T. Dau

... under his impotency, Captain Callomb came out of his tent one morning, and strolled across the curved bridge to the town proper. He knew that the Grand Jury was convening, and he meant to sit as a spectator in the court-house and study ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... occurred in the lives of the wandering Ichabod and Camilla, which had been forgotten; but the memory of that day, the overwhelming, incontestible knowledge of the impotency of wee, restless, inconsequent man, ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... king of the Matsyas then tested Vrihannala in dancing, music, and other fine arts, and consulting with his various ministers forthwith caused him to be examined by women. And learning that this impotency was of a permanent nature, he sent him to the maiden's apartments. And there the mighty Arjuna began giving lessons in singing and instrumental music to the daughter of Virata, her friends, and her waiting-maids, and soon won their ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... multitude of sins." The abuse of the conjugal relation produces the most serious results to both parties, and is a prolific source of some of the gravest forms of disease. Prostatorrhea, spermatorrhea, impotency, hypochondria, and general debility of the generative organs, arise from ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... of infertility, as with other fruits, is the impotency of pollen on the pistils of the same variety. There are a few cases in which pollen does not seem to be formed abundantly, but these are very few. There are a few cases, also, in which the pistil does not become receptive until after the pollen has lost its vitality; ...
— Manual of American Grape-Growing • U. P. Hedrick

... time, to produce a thoroughly emasculating effect both upon their mind and character. "Multifarious reading," said Robertson, of Brighton, "weakens the mind like smoking, and is an excuse for its lying dormant. It is the idlest of all idlenesses, and leaves more of impotency than any other." ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... submitted to these twelve arbiters, a conviction would certainly have resulted and the death penalty would have been imposed. But the law, rigid, passionless, even-eyed, has thrust in between you and the wrath of your fellows and saved you from it. I do not cry out against the impotency of the law; it is perhaps as wise as imperfect humanity could make it. I deplore, rather, the genius of evil men who, by cunning design, are enabled to slip through the fingers of this law. I have no word of censure or admonition for you, Victor Ancona. The law of New York compels me ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... nearly always, brutally cruel, at least to those friends who survive. Parents know what it is to sit with bated breath and despairing heart beside the bed of a sinking child. Seconds seem hours, and hours weeks. The impotency to succour, the powerlessness to save, the dumb despair, the overwhelming grief, all these are sorrowful realities. How vividly are they pictured by Zola. And, added to this keenness of grief in the case of Helene Grandjean, was the sense that her fault had contributed to the illness ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... Looking at the masses of humanity, driven this way and that way, the Christian teaching is apt to be forgotten that for each individual soul there is a vocation as real as if that soul were alone upon the planet. Yet it is a fact. We are blinded to it and can hardly believe it, because of the impotency of our little intellects to conceive a destiny which shall take care of every atom of life on the globe: we are compelled to think that in such vast crowds of people as we behold, individuals must elude the eye of the Maker, ...
— Mark Rutherford's Deliverance • Mark Rutherford

... of degradation and impotency into which have fallen Syria, and that vast Peninsula which extends westward of the Euphrates, after having occupied so proud a place in the page of history, from the earliest traditionary periods down to the time ...
— Sketches • Benjamin Disraeli

... only like the raking of a few Ashes over live Coals, which in a little time break forth again, and burn more violently. My Husband's Impotency being now about Seventy, grew daily more upon him; and my desires after that due Benevolence he could not give me, still increas'd, so that what he cou'd not do for me, I was under a necessity of getting done ...
— The London-Bawd: With Her Character and Life - Discovering the Various and Subtle Intrigues of Lewd Women • Anonymous

... own States? Not at all. But the government of the United States is clothed with power to act with imperial sovereignty in the one case, while in the other its authority is limited to the degree of utter impotency, in certain circumstances. The State sovereignty excludes the Federal over most matters of dealing between man and man, and if the State laws are properly enforced there is not likely to be any ground of complaint, but ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... without success. The Republic has marched on and on, and its step has exalted freedom and humanity. We are undergoing the same ordeal as did our predecessors nearly a century ago. We are following the course they blazed. They triumphed. Will their successors falter and plead organic impotency in the nation? Surely after 125 years of achievement for mankind we will not now surrender our equality with other powers on matters fundamental and essential to nationality. With no such purpose was the nation created. In no such spirit has it developed its full and independent sovereignty. ...
— Messages and Papers of William McKinley V.2. • William McKinley

... protesting against wrong, passionately inculcating new and higher ideas of right, denouncing the darkness of the false gods, calling on all men to worship the cross and adore the mysteries of the true God? Compare now the impotency of the Protestant missionary, squatting in gross comfort with wife and babes among the savages he has come to convert, preaching a disputatious doctrine, wrangling openly with the rival sent by some other sect—compare this impotency with the success that follows the devoted ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 2 of 3) - Essay 4: Joseph de Maistre • John Morley

... latter fact, the feeling of helpless impotency, that fired McGee's brain with reckless daring and sent him boring through the fog ...
— Aces Up • Covington Clarke

... which we have heard. Would they not act with more consistency, in urging the establishment of the latter, as no less necessary to guard the Union against the future powers and resources of a body constructed like the existing Congress, than to save it from the dangers threatened by the present impotency of that Assembly? I mean not, by any thing here said, to throw censure on the measures which have been pursued by Congress. I am sensible they could not have done otherwise. The public interest, the necessity of the case, imposed upon them the task of overleaping their ...
— The Federalist Papers

... times, however, when good men, though aware of this passing tendency of human efforts, and of the thankless impotency of a struggle against the public voice—that vox populi which wise men (so-called) have pronounced to be also vox Dei—will nevertheless return to what they believe to be a useful though unvalued ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847 • Various

... kneeling with the rest of your subjects before your Majesty as her restored King. We forget not our ineptness as to those approaches; we at present owne such impotence as renders us unable to excuse our impotency of speaking unto our Lord the King; yet contemplating such a King, who hath also seen adversity, that he knoweth the hearts of exiles, who himself hath been an exile, the aspect of Majesty extraordinarily influenced animateth ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... had ever experienced before, the unceasing groans of the sick within, the semi-weekly procession bearing one after another of their diminishing numbers to the grave, the mystery that hung over the disease, and the impotency of all remedies, we know were prominent features in the picture. But the imagination seeks in vain for more than a single circumstance that could throw upon it a beam of modifying and softening light, and that was the presence of the brave Champlain, who bore all without a murmur, ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 1 • Samuel de Champlain

... those who will read this sentence with tears, and with complaint. I know there are those whose existence has been a long struggle with sickness and trial—whose lives have been crowded with great griefs and disappointments—who sit in darkness and impotency while the world rolls by them. They have seen no joy and felt no content since childhood, and many of them look with genuine pity upon children, because the careless creatures do not know into what a heritage of sin and sorrow they are entering. I have only to say ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... independence, the most violent enemy to the supremacy of this country, dream of its immediate execution. Still let her not lull herself into a false security; let her not measure the forbearance of the colony by its own impotency and insignificance. Despair always begets resources, and inspires an unnatural vigor. The enmity of the most feeble becomes formidable, when it has justice ranged under its banners, and ought not to be excited without necessity. Besides, is ...
— Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land • William Charles Wentworth

... manlier active part, of doing good. Of which since I have been a witness and subject, not to tell you some times, that by your influence and example I have attained to such a step of goodness, as to be thankful, were both to accuse your power and judgment of impotency ...
— A Letter Book - Selected with an Introduction on the History and Art of Letter-Writing • George Saintsbury

... 3. Impotentia (agenesia). Impotency much seldomer happens to the male sex than sterility to the female sex. Sometimes a temporary impotence occurs from bashfulness, or the interference of some voluntary exertion in the production of an effect, which should be performed alone by ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. II - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... men stared at each other in blank impotency. Meantime the scarecrow was showing signs of returning consciousness and a message was dispatched for the physician. On his way he met Barnett, who asked and received permission to accompany him. The stranger was tossing restlessly in his bunk, opening and shutting his parched mouth in silent, ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... orthodox for a great part of the Continent. While Charles vigorously put down the revolted Spaniards, Luther gained new proselytes in Germany; so that the very greatness of the sovereignty was the cause of his impotency; and while Charles's extent of dominion thus fostered the growing Reformation, his sense of honor proved the safeguard of its apostle. The intrepid Luther, boldly venturing to appear and plead its cause before the representative power of Germany assembled at the Diet of Worms, was protected ...
— Holland - The History of the Netherlands • Thomas Colley Grattan

... Indian plains,—such a thought would never have crossed him; he was far too thorough a soldier not then to have been not only satisfied, but happy. What made his life in the barracks of Algiers so bitter were the impotency, the subjection, the compelled obedience to a bidding that he knew often capricious and unjust as it was cruel; which were so unendurable to his natural pride, yet to which he had hitherto rendered undeviating adhesion and submission, less for his own sake than for that of the men around him, who, ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... capitals of the world, Rome and Constantinople, the same means have been employed to the same ends, the unity of the dogma to obtain unrestricted power. The vicar of St. Peter and the heir of the calif have fallen thereby into identical impotency. ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... not lead to this end,—to frame and fashion thy soul to an union and communion with him in love; if it do not discover thyself unto thyself, that in that light of God's glorious majesty thou mayest distinctly behold thy own vileness and wretched misery, thy darkness and deadness and utter impotency. The angels that Isaiah saw attending God in the temple, had wings covering their faces, and wings covering their feet. Those excellent spirits who must cover their feet from us, because we cannot behold their glory, as Moses behoved to be veiled, yet they ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... Miss Kindermann herself that "She did not wish to let herself be carried away by sentiment," and that she would seek all possible proofs which were good logically. Having excluded the hypothesis of deceit, it is a further proof of the sheer impotency of the theory of signals, when regard is had to the available amount of the material observed and recorded in the authoress, if we ask how is it possible to imagine that she (knowing very well, as she says, the suspicion resting on the method) in a year or more of work with Lola should not ...
— Lola - The Thought and Speech of Animals • Henny Kindermann

... turning to those who stood within the chamber, "you have seen to-day the impotency of Issus—the gods are impotent. Issus is no god. She is a cruel and wicked old woman, who has deceived and played upon you for ages. Take her. John Carter, Prince of Helium, would not contaminate his hand with her blood," and with that I pushed the raving beast, ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the impotency of unsupported intellect. Ten-talent men have often known more than they would do. The children of genius have not always lived up to their moral light. Burns' mind ran swiftly forward, but his will followed afar off. If the poet's forehead was in the clouds, ...
— The Investment of Influence - A Study of Social Sympathy and Service • Newell Dwight Hillis

... this far-seeing President's day, the Transvaal, after fourteen years of doubtful independence, reached in 1877 its lowest depths of financial and political impotency. Its valiant burghers were vanquished in one serious conflict with the natives; and, emboldened thereby, the Zulus were audaciously threatening to eat them up, when Shepstone appeared upon the scene. "I thank my father Shepstone for his restraining message," ...
— With the Guards' Brigade from Bloemfontein to Koomati Poort and Back • Edward P. Lowry

... counties were resolved to frustrate them. It is now perceived that every expectation from the tenderness which had been hitherto pursued was unavailing, and that further delay could only create an opinion of impotency or irresolution in the Government. Legal process was therefore delivered to the marshal against the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of George Washington • George Washington

... distinguished Paine, the rebellious Needleman;—some of whom may be chosen. As is most fit; for a Convention of this kind. In a word, Seven Hundred and Forty-five unshackled sovereigns, admired of the universe, shall replace this hapless impotency of a Legislative,—out of which, it is likely, the best members, and the Mountain in mass, may be re-elected. Roland is getting ready the Salles des Cent Suisses, as preliminary rendezvous for them; in that void Palace of the Tuileries, now void and National, and ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... Bishop Fitzgerald (Aids to Faith, Essay ii. Sec. 7) stigmatises the impotency and turbulence of Convocation, but entirely ignores the practical agenda referred to above. See Cardwell's Synodalia, ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... case the opening is at the side or upper part of the prepuce, cause it to balloon out until a sufficient quantity is thrown out so as to distend, the opening as well as the prepuce, before it can find its way out; in such cases impotency is liable to be as complete as in those cases of stricture wherein the seminal fluid is forced backward into the bladder. Having given this general view of the effects of phimosis as it may affect man in the ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... beneath these effusions of grief. She suffered horribly from these long monologues which she was compelled to listen to at every instant, and which always brought the murder of Camille before her eyes. She could not pardon, she never departed from the implacable thought of vengeance that her impotency rendered more keen, and all day long she had to listen to pleas for pardon, and ...
— Therese Raquin • Emile Zola

... to be reduced to impotency by the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Poland, which should ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... however, a peace resulting from a cool and dispassionate appeal to reason, and not from any convictions of right or wrong; it has its origin in the head, and not in the heart. Impotency and policy gave it birth, and impotency, policy and hope keep it alive. It is not inspired by any higher motives than these, and higher motives could hardly be expected to follow immediately in the footsteps of armed insurrection. ...
— Report on the Condition of the South • Carl Schurz

... gonfalons of virginity. It is a difficult business, finding a woman. A modest one will offend my intellect. A shameless one will harass my virility. A stupid one will be unable to appreciate my largess. An intelligent one will penetrate my impotency. ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... to mind and looks around on what is now taking place, and one experiences horror less at the abominations of war than at that which is the most horrible of all horrors—the consciousness of the impotency of human reason. That which alone distinguishes man from the animal, that which constitutes his merit—his reason—is found to be an unnecessary, and not only a useless, but a pernicious addition, which simply impedes action, like a bridle fallen from ...
— "Bethink Yourselves" • Leo Tolstoy

... a private apartment, and for a long time conversed with him alone. Here the tzar had opened before him, in the clearest manner, the intolerable burdens of the people, the oppression of the nobles, the impotency of the laws, the venality of the judges, the corruption which pervaded all departments of the government, legislative, executive and judiciary. The noble conspirator, whose mind was illumined with those views of human rights which, from the ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... wheel back here after the operation." He motioned for her to bend closer for the sound of his voice was becoming weaker. "In my field I've seen a lot of crazy reactions to loss of basic ability. Personality reversals brought about by loss of hearing, impotency, or even the inability to bear a child." He stroked the back of her hand with his finger. "Bart Neely without a voice-box might be a stranger. I'm not sure you'd like him. I don't think I'd ...
— The Alternate Plan • Gerry Maddren

... moment there came into the face of the old Nomad the look it had not worn for many a day. The self-exiled ruler had paid a heavy price for his daughter's vow, though he had never acknowledged it to himself. His self-ordained impotency, in a camp that was never moved, within walls which never rose with the sunset and fell with the morning; where his feet trod the same roadway day after day; where no man asked for justice or sought his counsel or fell back on his protection; where he drank from the same spring ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... suffering from extreme fatigue could neither sleep nor eat. She could only weep. She had spent her life taking care of an invalid girl who had recently died. Now her hands were empty. Like many a mother whose family has grown up, she had no outlet for her mothering instinct, and her sense of impotency expressed itself in the only way it knew how,—through her body. As there is never any lack of unselfish work to be done, or of people who need mothering, she soon found herself and learned how to sublimate ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... used his lawyer's training for dubious enough purposes, advising the Earl of Somerset in the dark business of his divorce and re-marriage. And, in a mournful pause in the midst of many harrowing concerns, he writes to a friend: 'When I must shipwreck, I would fain do it in a sea where mine own impotency might have some excuse; not in a sullen, weedy lake, where I could not have so much as exercise for my swimming. Therefore I would fain do something, but that I cannot tell what is no wonder.' 'Though I be in such a planetary and erratic fortune ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... particular interest in the unique performance. Here they were, but little better situated than at Oneida. True, they were no longer ill-treated and food was plentiful, but they were held here in a captivity no less irksome. They were prisoners of impotency. Chance and the god of whims had put them upon a sorry highway to the heart's desire. It mattered nothing that madame had said plainly that she loved none of them. The conceit of man is such that, like hope, it dies only when he dies. Perhaps the poet's heart was the ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... of Utica, who in Africa killed himself after the great victory that Julius Caesar had. St. Austine well declareth in his work De civitate Dei that there was no strength nor magnanimity in his destruction of himself, but plain pusillanimity and impotency of stomach. For he was forced to do it because his heart was too feeble to bear the beholding of another man's glory or the suffering of other worldly calamities that he feared should fall on himself. So ...
— Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation - With Modifications To Obsolete Language By Monica Stevens • Thomas More

... Germain left at eleven o'clock for a modest furnished apartment. Let us sum up in a few words the practical or theoretical ideas we have endeavored to place in relief in this episode of a prison life. We shall esteem ourselves very happy if we have shown the insufficiency, the impotency, and the danger of imprisonment in common. The disproportion which exists between the appreciation and punishment of certain crimes, and those of certain other offenses. And, finally, the material impossibility for the poorer classes to enjoy the benefits ...
— Mysteries of Paris, V3 • Eugene Sue

... something entirely remote from her surroundings. The carelessness of her attitude seemed to him rather masculine than feminine. His impulse to break up the constraint was chilled, and once more the exasperating sense of his own impotency returned to him. He could not help contrasting Katharine with his vision of the engaging, whimsical Cassandra; Katharine undemonstrative, inconsiderate, silent, and yet so notable that he could never ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... in regard to morality, Augustine showed that the gods were no examples to follow. He ridicules their morals and their offices as severely as he points out their impotency to bestow happiness. He shows the absurdity and inconsistency of tolerating players in their delineation of the vices and follies of deities for the amusement of the people in the theatre, while the priests performed the same obscenities as religious rites in the temples which were upheld by the ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... of thus producing a most undesirable variation, since in animals the process may be carried far enough to produce barrenness. Instances are not wanting, particularly among the more recent improved short-horns, of impotency among the males and of barrenness among the females; and in some cases where the latter have borne calves, they have failed to secrete sufficient milk for their nourishment. Impotency in bulls of ...
— Cattle and Their Diseases • Robert Jennings

... is it that in these days such men become rogues? How is it that we see in such frightful instances the impotency of educated men to withstand the allurements of wealth? Men are not now more keen after the pleasures which wealth can buy than were their forefathers. One would rather say that they are less so. The rich labour now, and work with an assiduity that often puts to shame the sweat ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... get settled somehow, to get out of the quandary he found himself in. But how? He felt unable to move his limbs. He had seen a little creature caught in bird-lime, and the sight was a nightmare to him. He began to feel mad with the rage of impotency. ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... But the impotency which marks some of the stock arguments against tobacco extends to most of those in favor of it. My friend assures me that every one needs some narcotic, that the American brain is too active, and that the influence of tobacco is quieting,—great ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... the generative act, may be defined as—the aptitude or ability to beget; and Impotency, the negation or absence of ...
— Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction • John Davenport

... to cure a crafty lame man.] Our Generall hauing compassion of his impotency, thought good (if it were possible) to cure him thereof: wherefore he caused a souldier to shoote at him with his Caleeuer, which grased before his face. The counterfeit villeine deliuerly fled, without any impediment at all, and got him to his bow ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation, Vol. XII., America, Part I. • Richard Hakluyt

... always follow intercourse of the male and female. Impotency in the male and sterility ...
— Common Diseases of Farm Animals • R. A. Craig, D. V. M.

... money, or any means of establishing the domination of the king, his brother, and of supporting his own renown, he took a disgust to a position which offered him no issue. Accustomed, hitherto, to rapid and brilliant enterprises, he desponded at his impotency; and already a prey to gnawing cares, which were leading him slowly to the tomb, ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... had scarcely heard what Cairy had been saying. His sickening sense of failure, of impotency, when he wished most for strength, had been succeeded by rage against the man, not because of his fluent argument, but because of himself; not against his theory of license, but against him. He saw Isabelle's life broken on the point of this glib egotism. ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... privation which lasted nearly seven years. I seemed to myself cast down like Nebuchadnezzar, to live among beasts; a deplorable state, yet of the greatest advantage to me, by the use which divine wisdom made of it. This state of emptiness, darkness, and impotency, went far beyond any trials I had ever yet met. I have since experienced, that the prayer of the heart when it appears most dry and barren, nevertheless is not ineffectual nor offered in vain. God gives what is best for us, though not ...
— The Autobiography of Madame Guyon • Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon

... At least one effort more, and a strong one, I will make—Alas! I am weary of this promising. My braggart strength is impotency, or little better. But I will do my best; and truth, sincerity, and good intent must ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... rose up hotly within him, and strove with his love, and out of it there came a sickening sense of impotency which assailed his very soul. All his life he had had tangibilities to deal with. This was something in the air, and already he felt the apprehension of being baffled here, where he wrought for his heart ...
— A Daughter of To-Day • Sara Jeannette Duncan (aka Mrs. Everard Cotes)

... might crumble under our hands piece by piece. What we are contending for in this matter is of the very essence of the things that have made America a sovereign nation. She cannot yield them without conceding her own impotency as a Nation and making virtual surrender of her independent position among the ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... man, and consequently a sinner; and this may be a punishment to you for your sins: indeed in this sense it may be esteemed as a good, yea, as the greatest good, which satisfies the anger of Heaven, and averts that wrath which cannot continue without our destruction. Thirdly, our impotency of relieving ourselves demonstrates the folly and absurdity of our complaints: for whom do we resist, or against whom do we complain, but a power from whose shafts no armour can guard us, no speed can fly?—a power which ...
— Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 • Henry Fielding

... rooted in his fundamental conception of the fatherhood of God, and its corollary the brotherhood of men. It was his lofty idea of the infinite worth of human nature and of the inherent greatness of the human soul, in contrast with the then prevailing doctrines of human vileness and impotency, which made him resent with such indignation the wrongs of slavery, intemperance, and war, and urge with such ardor every effort to deliver men from poverty and ignorance, and to make them gentler and ...
— Four American Leaders • Charles William Eliot

... absorbed by this sense of impotency, and now, after the stormy excitement of the last few hours, the deepest depression took possession of his mind. Exhausted, unstrung, full of loathing of himself and life, he sank down on ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... first time, too, that he gave a deep consideration to the condition of the Christian Church, revealed in otherworld judgment to be one of spiritual devastation and impotency. To serve in the revelation of "doctrine for a New Church" became his Divinely appointed work. He forwent his reputation as a man of science, gave up his assessorship, cleared his desk of everything ...
— The Gist of Swedenborg • Emanuel Swedenborg

... somewhat idiotic," said the Doctor; "in fact, all those lancers are what we mildly term unfortunates. I suspect that the captain had begun to realize the impotency of his command in front of Enfield rifles. I fancy that he was frightened, and that he blustered ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... whose hand the Crown Prince, Frederick, thrice divorced, has sought in vain; for, he failing heirs, Holstein passes from the present dynasty to the Ducal House of Augustenburg. This political flaw is, while I write, being adjusted by the Danish Senate, as the impotency of Frederick, now reigning Sovereign of Denmark, has been pretty well admitted. The company took no heed of the royal presence, but walked and talked, and stood with hats on; and when I observed to my late excitable friend in spectacles, that the English behaved not ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... more difficult role to play perhaps makes it the nobler part, after all. The world sings of the bravery of men who go forth to battle; we older women know that it takes no less courage to let them go and to content ourselves in our impotency, while they are spurred on by the excitement which is denied to us. Those of us whom experience has tested know this, but this realization cannot yet have come ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... pestered animal, a well-meaning cow worried by dogs. He had a mad feeling against his rifle, which could only be used against one life at a time. He wished to rush forward and strangle with his fingers. He craved a power that would enable him to make a world-sweeping gesture and brush all back. His impotency appeared to him, and made his rage into that of a ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane

... kept waving his jacket, then turned to watch the sharks; his horror may be imagined when he saw three of these terrific monsters swim past the boat, exactly in the direction of his companion; he splashed his jacket in the water to scare them away, but they seemed quite aware of the impotency of the attack, and lazily pursued their course. The man swam well and strongly. There was no doubt he would pass within hail of the brig, provided the sharks did not interfere, and he, knowing that they would not be long in following him, kept kicking ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... some dear, sweet child, that might have been his companion throughout all his life. At times it seemed to him impossible that his art should fail him in this manner, and again and again he would put himself at his easel, only to experience afresh the return of the numbness in his brain, the impotency of his fingers. ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... of two velvet lips that covered them (that would have tempted any sober man living of my own age, to have been a little loose in his thoughts, and to have enjoyed a painful pleasure amidst his impotency) lose all their virtue, all their force and efficacy, by having an ugly cast of boldness very discernibly spread out at large over ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... her supper with toothless impotency, renewed her youth vicariously, and, while she quarrelled with her daughter from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, she added the last straw to the burden of the distracted suitors by announcing what a comfort Eudora was ...
— Judith Of The Plains • Marie Manning

... power to compel confidence in others. When they go into the presence of a man of personality they lose their self-confidence and all of the pent-up courage which drove them forward flies out at the window. Their weakness multiplies with each failure until finally "the jig is up"—their impotency ...
— Laugh and Live • Douglas Fairbanks

... me with the awful frenzy that so often goes with impotency, such a frenzy as the damned in hell may know. I forgot in that hour my precept that under no conditions should a gentleman give way to anger. In a blind access of fury I flung myself across the table and caught that villainous cheat by the throat, before any there could put ...
— Bardelys the Magnificent • Rafael Sabatini

... church stands was surrounded by the soldiers who are distributed in the missions, in order to add more effect to the counsels of the monks; and those Indians who were not entirely satisfied with respect to the consequences of the dance, and the impotency of the evil spirit, were brought to the festivity. The oldest and most timid of the Indians, however, imbued all the rest with a superstitious dread; all resolved to flee al monte, and the missionary ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... at a small table near by, and I took a common wooden chair which he thrust forward with his foot. I was looking around at the sordid scene, filled with a bitter sense of my own impotency to aid my missing friend, when that occurred which set my heart beating wildly at once with hope and excitement. Fletcher must have seen something of this in ...
— The Hand Of Fu-Manchu - Being a New Phase in the Activities of Fu-Manchu, the Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... bosom of "OLD CONNECTICUT." She didn't strike the officer, or utter a single complaint in his hearing, but sat down as if she had been a spile driven through the top of the coach, and let the vinegar run out of her eyes in pure impotency of ...
— Punchinello, Volume 2, No. 37, December 10, 1870 • Various

... he was oppressed by a feeling of the unattainable in his relations with Ellen. Even to himself he could not explain the contradiction between the constant longing for more ample and stable conditions, for triumph and victory, and his impotency at home, where his fortunes were declining. He wearied himself in trying to puzzle it out, and he was seized by a desire that he might become indifferent to the whole matter. He felt no inclination to drink, but none the less something was working convulsively within him; a certain ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... and statements are to be found in every stage of approach to this final condition. Every time there is an impotency or unreality in their enunciation, they are borne a step nearer the sepulchre. If the smirking politician, who wishes to delude me into voting for him, bid me his bland "Good-morning," not only does he draw a film of eclipse over the sun, and cast a shadow on city ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... handled by him, is placed in a dish of water, and is stirred violently. Soon the victim begins to feel the effect of this treatment, and within a few hours becomes insane. To make him lame, it is only necessary to place poison on articles recently touched by his feet. Death or impotency can be produced by placing poison on his garments. A fly is named after a person, and is placed in a bamboo tube. This is set near the fire, and in a short time the victim of the plot is seized with fever. Likewise magical chants and dances, carried on beneath a house, may bring death ...
— The Tinguian - Social, Religious, and Economic Life of a Philippine Tribe • Fay-Cooper Cole

... the war with England was the discovery by the Chinese of the impotency of their rulers. No sooner had the lawless among them seen the ease with which a few foreigners dictated terms to the hitherto formidable mandarins, than they took to the sea as pirates. In a short space of time the coast became so infested by these marauders, that ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 • Various

... beneath his breath, and ground his heel into the dust in the impotency of his rage. He tried to remember all that the Pater had said to him half an hour ago about forbearance ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... authorities at Washington remained incredulous, stunned into impotency, while the din of murder filled the world, a few mere men, fed up on the mess, sickened while awaiting executive galvanization, and started ...
— Barbarians • Robert W. Chambers

... secretary the truth flashed upon me. I realized I was completely in his power, and with a sense of my own impotency my rage and hatred increased. Forgetful of the weapon in his hand and almost blind with fury, I sprang towards him, intending to throttle him—to strangle him—until he should plead for mercy. Instantly he raised the revolver in warning, but not before I had seized his wrist, turning the weapon ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... subjugation of which he had spoken with such lightness and such inconsideration, instead of dreading, despised his boasts and defied his threats. Indeed, never before did the Cabinet of St. James more opportunely expose the reality of his impotency, the impertinence of his menaces, and the folly of his parade for the invasion of your country, than by declaring all the ports containing his invincible armada in a state of blockade. I have heard from an officer who witnessed his fury when in May, 1799, he was compelled to retreat from before ...
— Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete - Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London • Lewis Goldsmith

... these cases we do not have abortions or monstrosities, but more or less harmonious forms often of great functional activity, endowed with marked viability and generative prepotency, except in the case of hybrids, when we often find even a more marked generative impotency. ...
— On the Genesis of Species • St. George Mivart

... understood this restlessness of hers, this sense of impotency, this secret rancor at contemplation of congenial forms of success! He, by some minute fault, some tiny slip of fate, had long ago been doomed to these same sensations. In the morning of youth, when gazing toward the future, he had seen the world at his ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... be detected; the amorous Parts are certainly more valuable than any other principal Parts of the Body, as they afford the greatest pleasure of Life; and there is always the greatest Difficulty attends the Discoveries of Impotency, (which is less obnoxious) and nothing but the Force of the Law executed by a lascivious Female, in the State of Matrimony, will occasion a Record of a want of Substance ...
— Tractus de Hermaphrodites • Giles Jacob

... day would receive a harsher term, retained his large "practice" to the last, and died—still a young man—of the very disease to which he professed to be superior, thus conclusively proving better than anything else could have done the utter impotency of ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... rock-ribbed mountains,—all men were free and equal, in a camaraderie of personal effort. In this primitive democracy, every man demanded for himself what he saw others getting. The pretender, the hypocrite, the sham, the humbug soon went to the wall, exposed in the nakedness of his own impotency. Humour is a salutary aid in the struggle of the individual with the contrasts of life; indeed it may be said to be born of the perception of those contrasts. In a degree no whit inferior to the variegated river life, the life of the West furnished ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... seductive, shone like an army of fireflies against the deep cool background of the night. She stood there with white set face and nervously clenched fingers. The echo of those kindly words seemed still to ring in her ears. She was crushed with a sense of her own terrible impotency. A failure! She must write herself down a failure! At her age, with her ambitions, with her artistic temperament and creative instincts, she was yet to be denied all coherent means of expression. She was to fall back amongst the ruck, a young woman of talent, content perhaps to ...
— Anna the Adventuress • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... race were at the commencement of their social career—in the first ages of civilization—they would perhaps be excusable for founding some hope of social good upon human science, upon the legislation of man; but long experience has proved the impotency of human legislation, and shown clearly that the world has nothing to hope from ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... myriads of Suns, rolling along in their appointed orbits, and thus on and on throughout eternity. What an idea of the limitless extent of Creative Power—filling up infinite space with the evidences of His Almighty Presence! The human mind feels its utter impotency in endeavouring to grasp such ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... nature at the farthest distance imaginable from complacency, and spleenishness from placidness, and animosity and turbulence from humanity and kindness. For the latter of these proceed from generosity and fortitude, but the former from impotency and baseness. The deity is not therefore constrained by either anger or kindnesses; but that is because it is natural to it to be kind and aiding, and unnatural to be angry and hurtful. But the great Jove, ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... not enabled to recover from the sense of impotency thus created by being referred to "intuition." Bergson is not the first to try this way out. It would be misleading, no doubt, to identify him with the members of the Scottish School of a hundred years ago or with Jacobi; he reaches his conclusion in another way, ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... declared that this striking magnanimity of his at this time was due to the calumnies of Antony and of Lepidus and was intended to lay the blame of former unjust behavior upon them alone. Others said that since he was unable in any way to collect the debts he made of the people's impotency a favor that cost him nothing. In spite of this various talk that gained currency in different quarters they now resolved that a house be presented to him from the public treasury. He had made the place on the Palatine which he had ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. III • Cassius Dio

... and no support. Their correspondence was always filled with complaints, the justice of which was always admitted by the Court of Directors; but this admission of the existence of the evil showed only the impotence of those who were to administer the remedy. The authority of the Court of Directors, resisted with success in so capital an instance as that of the resignation, was not likely to be respected in any ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... her again. He thought it amusing to enrage an animal which could not reach him, and foamed with fury at its impotence. He went closer, leaving only a step between himself and the point the chain permitted the dog to reach; then he began to creep toward her on all fours and make faces at her. He brayed at her like a donkey, put his ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... the matting-covered floor. His wrists, tied behind him, gave him great pain; and since his ankles were also fastened and the end of the rope drawn taut and attached to that binding his wrists, he was rendered absolutely helpless. For one of his fiery temperament this physical impotence was maddening, and because his own handkerchief had been tied tightly around his head so as to secure between his teeth a wooden stopper of considerable size which possessed an unpleasant chemical taste and smell, even speech ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... not forthwith done. For they show us what we ought to do, but do not give us the power to do it. They were ordained, however, for the purpose of showing man to himself, that through them he may learn his own impotence for good and may despair of his own strength. For this reason they are called the Old ...
— Concerning Christian Liberty - With Letter Of Martin Luther To Pope Leo X. • Martin Luther

... manifold powers and parts, each with its separate mode and means of growth, full of strong vitality, but animated by a restless and unsatisfied spirit, haunted by the sense of problems unsolved, and tormented by conscious impotence to sound the immensities it ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... the shaking floor to give way beneath their feet, or the roof to descend upon them and bury them alive. It was something to remember all his life: his impotence to help himself or his companion in the midst of the calamity, while believing himself face to face with the horror of a ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... fool!" he said savagely to himself, and found an outlet for his irritation in repeating these words aloud. Then, however, as an ETUDE was commenced, with an impotence that struck him as purely vicious, he could endure the torment no longer. He had seen in the BUREAU the particular master, and knew that the latter had not yet come upstairs. Going to the room from which the sounds issued, ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... quietly beside him, her head on his knee, the king's hand buried in her hair, and he himself motionless, without a word, without a sigh, as still as Marie herself,—Charles IX. in the lethargy of impotence, Marie in the stupor of despair which comes to a loving woman when she perceives the boundaries at which ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... iron rock). This bold rock, whose summit is about six thousand five hundred feet above the sea, breasts the driving wind and seems to command the storm. The rushing clouds halt in their mad course upon its crest and curl in sudden impotence around the craggy summits. The deep ravine formed by an opposite mountain is filled with the vanquished mist, which sinks powerless in its dark gorge; and the bright sun, shining from the east, spreads a perpetual rainbow upon the gauze-like cloud of fog ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... James could hardly yet have endured it, but for pleasure and interest in watching his sister's lively good-humour, saucy and determined when the old man was unreasonable, and caressing and affectionate, when he was violent in his impotence; never seeming to hear, see, or regard anything unkind or unpleasant; and absolutely pleased and gratified when her uncle, in his petulance, sometimes ungraciously rejected her services in favour of those of 'Roland,' who, he took it for granted, must, as a man, have more ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... years old, and flame-like and fierily sad. I think she did not know she was sad. But her heart was eaten by some impotence in ...
— Twilight in Italy • D.H. Lawrence

... went in Southey's favour. "The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel," and Byron was reduced to silence. A challenge (sent through Kinnaird, but not delivered) was but a confession of impotence. There was, however, in Southey's letter to the Courier just one sentence too many. Before he concluded he had given "one word of advice to Lord Byron"—"When he attacks me again, let it be in rhyme. For one who has so little command of himself, ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... scream, and sputter, to threaten actions, and to swear about the town that he has been belied and defamed in that he has been accused of bad grammar or a false metaphor, of a dull chapter, or even of a borrowed heroine, will leave on the minds of the public nothing but a sense of irritated impotence. ...
— Autobiography of Anthony Trollope • Anthony Trollope

... amiable and high-minded people into blind paths. Now this is at an end, and, apart from their historic interest, the permanent elements of beauty draw us to them with a delight that does not diminish, as we recede further and further from the impotence of the aspirations which thus married themselves to lofty and stirring words. To say nothing of Rousseau, the father and founder of the nature-worship, which is the nearest approach to a positive side that the Revolution ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 3: Byron • John Morley

... opening of the urethra giving vent to the excretions. Tulpius mentions a case of deficient urethra. In the Ephemerides there is an account of a man who had a constant flow of semen from an abnormal opening in the abdomen. La Peyroma describes a case of impotence due to ejaculation of the spermatic ducts into the bladder instead of into the urethra, but remarks that there was a cicatrix of a wound of the neighboring parts. There are a number of instances in which the urethra has terminated in the rectum. Congenital ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... well-devised, smoothly-launched schemes utterly miscarried. If the brain could only be the hands also! If the hands could only reach out from where the brain pondered and foresaw! But they could not, and so he must trust Commines. Trust Commines! A little gust of anger at his impotence shook him and he shivered, dashing his hands upon the table; it was never safe to trust any one—never! But he was helpless, there was no escape, and in turn Commines must trust one other: trust him with execution, that ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... In consequence of the Revolution of 1688-1689 the sovereign was shorn definitely of a number of important prerogatives. William III., however, was no figure-head, and the crown was far from having been reduced to impotence. Understanding perfectly the conditions upon which he had been received in England, William none the less did not attempt to conceal his innate love of power. He claimed prerogatives which his Whig supporters were loath to acknowledge and he exercised habitually in ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... feel strongly how relative is the value of ideas, words, and even of the loftiest intelligences. I cannot help despising thought, it is so weak; and form, it is so imperfect. I really have, in an acute, incurable form, the sense of human impotence, and of effort which ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... not speak. He, too, was silent for a long time. "They say that French cleverness..." he babbled suddenly, as though in a fever... "that's false, it always has been. Why libel French cleverness? It's simply Russian indolence, our degrading impotence to produce ideas, our revolting parasitism in the rank of nations. Ils sont tout simplement des paresseux, and not French cleverness. Oh, the Russians ought to be extirpated for the good of humanity, like noxious parasites! We've been ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... which had very lately, and with much difficulty, been thoroughly established in Scotland, that he must expect ever after to retain in that kingdom no more than the appearance of majesty. The great men, having proved by so sensible a trial the impotence of law and prerogative, would return to their former licentiousness: the preachers would retain their innate arrogance: and the people, unprotected by justice, would recognize no other authority than that which they found ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. - From Charles I. to Cromwell • David Hume

... his impotence grew upon him he felt something like resentment toward the one who had thwarted his purpose; and so it naturally happened that when they met again at the supper-table, his cool and indifferent manner corresponded with that of Miss Mayhew to a degree that ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... the countenance of the physician while he examined the case in its new presentation. Much as he tried to control the expression of his face, he found it impossible. He felt too deeply concerned, and was too conscious of the frequent impotence of medicine, when administered with ...
— Finger Posts on the Way of Life • T. S. Arthur

... like that must have felt the impotence of his sacrifice before he died, and that ...
— A Phyllis of the Sierras • Bret Harte

... It has stamped with me the extent of their nautical abilities: long may they remain in their present state." The last sentence reveals his intuitive appreciation of the fact that the Spain of that day could in no true sense be the ally of Great Britain; for, at the moment he penned the wish, the impotence or defection of their allies would leave the British fleet actually inferior to the enemy in those waters. He never forgot these impressions, nor the bungling efforts of the Spaniards to form a line of battle. ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... Jean Jacques' lot of late years, but the final revelation of his own impotence was overwhelming. When he began to stir about among his affairs, he was faced by the fact that the law stood in his way. He realized with inward horror his shattered egotism and natural vanity; he saw that ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... atrocious may justly be inquired by your lordships; nor shall I find any difficulty in answering your demand. For, if we extend our view over the whole world, and inquire into the state of all our affairs, we shall find nothing but defeats, miscarriages, and impotence, with their usual consequences, contempt and distrust. We shall discover neither any tokens of that fear among our enemies, which the power of the nation, and the reputation of our former victories, might naturally produce; nor any proofs of that confidence among ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 10. - Parlimentary Debates I. • Samuel Johnson

... which he lays his head to dream of the brilliant future opening before him. If a single coincidence may lead a person of sanguine disposition to believe that he has mastered a disease which had baffled all who were before his time, and on which his contemporaries looked in hopeless impotence, what must be the effect of a series of such coincidences even on a mind of calmer temper! Such series of coincidences will happen, and they may well deceive the very elect. Think of Dr. Rush,—you know what a famous man he was, the very head and front of American medical science in his day, ...
— A Mortal Antipathy • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... by remorseless daring, and yet all now a ruin and a blank; an intellect at war with good, and the good had conquered! But the conviction neither touched the conscience nor enlightened the reason; he felt, it is true, a moody sense of impotence, but it brought rage, not despondency. It was not that he submitted to Good as too powerful to oppose, but that he deemed he had not yet gained all the mastery over the arsenal of Evil. And evil he called it not. Good and evil to him were but subordinate genii at the command ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... an intended contrast in these two clauses more pointed and emphatic in the original than in our Bible, between man's impotence and God's power in the face of the fact of sin. The words of the first clause might be translated, with perhaps a little increase of vividness, 'iniquities are too strong for me'; and the 'Thou' of the next ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the doctrines of this philosophy, and those of revealed truth.... For this philosophy is professedly a scientific demonstration of the impossibility of that 'wisdom in high matters' which the Apostle prohibits us even to attempt; and it proposes, from the limitation of the human powers, from our impotence to comprehend what, however, we must admit, to show articulately why the 'secret things of God,' cannot but be to man 'past finding out.'"[O] Faith in the inconceivable must thus become the ultimate refuge, even of the pantheist and the atheist, no less than of the Christian; ...
— The Philosophy of the Conditioned • H. L. Mansel

... them. They would laugh at him, would they? They would point at him, would they, as the man whose son had run away with an innkeeper's daughter? Well, let them point. They would plot to take the power from his hands, to reduce him to impotence, to make him of no account in the place where he had ruled for years. He had no doubt, now that he saw farther into it, that they had persuaded Falk to run away with that girl. It was the sort of weapon that they would be likely to use, the sort of weapon ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... ministers, from Walpole to Peel,—it has had, from its position, its power, and the talent at its command, every opportunity for doing the best things that a bank could do; and yet behold this record of periodical impotence! Its periodical mischiefs we leave ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... nevertheless, it is the great gift, the power that overcomes, which makes life on a large scale possible, which makes the soldier, the lover, the saint, possible. Most of us are only half alive. Our work is half dead. We deal in creep-mouse sentiment, and call it love. We write pathetically of our impotence to live, and call it resignation. We who have never been young, compare notes with each other on how to remain senile, and call it the art ...
— The Lowest Rung - Together with The Hand on the Latch, St. Luke's Summer and The Understudy • Mary Cholmondeley

... that Divan which leaves no Room for Two; Lest, like the Simple Kurd of whom they tell, I grow perplext, Oh God! 'twixt "I" and "Thou;" If I—this Dignity and Wisdom whence? If Thou—then what this abject Impotence? ...
— Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Salaman and Absal • Omar Khayyam and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... lecture theatre, put his hat on the end of the table as his habit was, and carefully selected a large piece of chalk. It was a joke among his students that he could not lecture without that piece of chalk to fumble in his fingers, and once he had been stricken to impotence by their hiding his supply. He came and looked under his grey eyebrows at the rising tiers of young fresh faces, and spoke with his accustomed studied commonness of phrasing. "Circumstances have arisen—circumstances beyond my control," he said and paused, "which ...
— The Door in the Wall And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... strong. She waited and pondered, and in the meanwhile, when she met Giovanni, she began to treat him with haughty coldness. But Giovanni smiled, and seemed well satisfied that she should at last give over what was to him very like a persecution. Her anger grew hotter from its very impotence. The world ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... but Stanbury could see at once that his mood had greatly changed. He rose slowly, dragging himself up out of his chair, as they came up to him, but shewing as he did so,—and perhaps somewhat assuming,—the impotency of querulous sickness. His wife went to him, and took him by the hand, and placed him back in his chair. He was weak, he said, and had not slept, and suffered from the heat; and then he begged her to give him wine. This ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... whom she overwhelmed with protestations of friendship, which served to mask her real intentions, and meanwhile gave her time to arm herself to the teeth and to make the allies sensible of the fact of their utter impotency against Napoleon unless aided by her. The interests of Austria favored her alliance with France, but Napoleon, instead of confidence, inspired mistrust. Austria, notwithstanding the marriage between him ...
— Germany from the Earliest Period Vol. 4 • Wolfgang Menzel, Trans. Mrs. George Horrocks

... Communism in actual practice than existed in the belligerent European countries during the war years. To my mind this is one of the severest, albeit the most rarely mentioned, indictments of the Bolsheviks' vast communistic programme, since it reveals their impotency to attain their initial aim—the ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto



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