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Inability   Listen
noun
Inability  n.  The quality or state of being unable; lack of ability; lack of sufficient power, strength, resources, or capacity. "It is not from an inability to discover what they ought to do, that men err in practice."
Synonyms: Impotence; incapacity; incompetence; weakness; powerlessness; incapability. See Disability.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Inability" Quotes from Famous Books



... fifth pigeon, that George Carboys left this room voluntarily," returned Cleek; "that the bird brought him a message of such importance it was necessary to leave this house at once, and that, not wishing to leave it unlocked while he was absent, and not—because of the Captain's inability to get back upstairs afterward—having anybody to whom he could appeal to get up and lock it after him, he chose to get out of this window, and to go down by means of that wistaria. I think, too, we may decide that, as ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... to find the pride of his old companion humbled, and to hear him speaking in this altered strain at once, at once, he drove from his breast the inability to contend with its deep ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... eyelids was peopled with creatures and varied by incidents departing from the known and foreseen. Something malevolent pertained to the personalities, something disquieting to the actions; suffering and oppression resulted from his inability to get away from them. They came and went, one scene melted into another, sometimes beautiful, sometimes repulsive, a sickly disagreeableness being common to all, and the fatigue involved with watching the spectacle of them ...
— Aurora the Magnificent • Gertrude Hall

... their losses and inability to see their foes, the Boers kept reducing the distance, creeping from stone to bush and from bush to stone, rendering the defenders' position minute by minute one of ...
— A Dash from Diamond City • George Manville Fenn

... shocked; the men with whom I had for years foregathered were much given to realism of speech, as well as to picturesquely lurid verbal illustration. But this was different; the language of these men was crammed with filth for filth's sake, and flat, pointless profanity. I have no doubt that my inability to avoid expressing disgust made them worse than ...
— Reminiscences of a South African Pioneer • W. C. Scully

... the free instruction of children whose parents can show that they are unable to pay for it, but fees can be enforced in all cases where inability to pay them has not been proved. Large grants have been made by the legislature for school buildings, teachers' salaries, etc., in order to efficiently aid in the development of a thorough and comprehensive system of education ...
— The Land of the Kangaroo - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey through the Great Island Continent • Thomas Wallace Knox

... a more important consideration that several canine species evince (as will be shown in a future chapter) no strong repugnance or inability to breed under confinement; and the incapacity to breed under confinement is one of the commonest bars to domestication. Lastly, savages set the highest value, as we shall see in the chapter on Selection, on ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication - Volume I • Charles Darwin

... not be satisfied with trying to send others as evangelical laborers, but he tried with the greatest seriousness to abandon the glory of the provincialate, in order that he might be employed personally in an expedition so much to divine service, and his inability to accomplish it cost him many a bitter sob. He became a sea of tears, when he thought of the distant kingdoms (also almost in sight) of Japon, Borney, Sumatra, Tunquin, Cochinchina, Mogol, Tartaria, and Persia; for most of those who have their wealth and amenities ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700 • Various

... plantation. I sprang up, determined to leave instantly for Clinton so mother would not be alarmed for our safety; but before I got halfway dressed, Helen Carter came in, and insisted on my remaining, declaring that my sickness and inability to move would prove a protection to the house, and save it from being burned over their heads. Put on that plea, though I have no faith in melting the bowels of compassion of a Yankee, myself, I consented to remain, as Miriam urgently represented the dangers awaiting Clinton. So she tossed ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... its provisions with one exception: he withheld from Archelaus the title of king until he proved his capacity and loyalty; in lieu thereof, he created him ethnarch, and as such permitted him to govern nine years, when, for misconduct and inability to stay the turbulent elements that grew and strengthened around him, he was sent into Gaul ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... afforded no efficient guardian, the failure was supplied by the nomination of the praetor of the city, or the president of the province. But the person whom they named to this public office might be legally excused by insanity or blindness, by ignorance or inability, by previous enmity or adverse interest, by the number of children or guardianships with which he was already burdened, and by the immunities which were granted to the useful labors of magistrates, lawyers, physicians, and professors. Till the infant could speak, and think, he was represented ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... any agreement with the Saracens, or surrendered to them, they swore and cursed and reviled the inhabitants with reproachful language, and compelled them by force to bear them company. The poor people excused their submission to the Saracens by their inability to defend themselves, and told the soldiers that if they did not approve of what they had done, they ought themselves to have come ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... remedies are almost certain to arrest Chronic Dysentery where there is ulceration of the lower portion of the rectum, a peculiar distress felt at the stomach just before stool, with sudden rush of the evacuations and inability to control the inclination even for a few minutes, with a feeling ...
— An Epitome of Homeopathic Healing Art - Containing the New Discoveries and Improvements to the Present Time • B. L. Hill

... to which I have already referred.[94] Irish farmers who have purchased under the Ashbourne Act grow weary of paying instalments which are equivalent to rent. The Irish Cabinet refuses to collect the rent; it urges its absolute inability to pay the sums due to the Imperial Exchequer and asks for remission. Meanwhile the Irish House of Commons passes a resolution supporting the conduct of the Irish Government. The British Ministers are stern, and reject the request of the Irish Cabinet. The Cabinet ...
— A Leap in the Dark - A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the - Bill of 1893 • A.V. Dicey

... common sense, that potent weapon with which women battled successfully with the stern realities of life; and thinking, too, with a dull pain at my heart, that doubtless my darling would suffer by reason of my ignorance and inability. I studied the mass of strange faces about me, thinking to which I would turn for help, if help were needed. After reading them, one after another, and rejecting them, I turned at last to a group in front of me, and singled out one that was addressing ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... deeply moved. He felt painfully conscious of his own inability to comfort in such sorrow; but spoke of God's power to change the heart of the most hardened sinner, his willingness to save, and his promises to those who seek his aid in ...
— Elsie's Girlhood • Martha Finley

... all complex manifestations have a simple basis of origin, so the vast complexity of your national unrest, ill health, inability to think clearly and accurately concerning simple things, really vital things, is easily traceable to the single, actual, active cause—Dishonesty; and that this points with unescapable logic and in just measure to ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... fact, that instances need hardly be cited to prove it. Hence we are told, that tobacco, by deranging the one, disorders the other,—that nervousness, or morbid irritability of the nerves, palpitations and tremulousness, are soon followed by emaciation and dyspepsia, or more or less inability ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... as to this is influenced by our ideas regarding the ultimate constitution of the water is worthy of investigation. All who accept the molecular theory, for instance, will regard our inability to trace the elements of a mixture as due to purely physical limitations. A set of Maxwell's "demons" if bidden to watch the molecules of the water in pail A, one demon being assigned to each molecule, would be ...
— A Librarian's Open Shelf • Arthur E. Bostwick

... dangerous to cross at night in a "dug-out;" but Mr. Low had before him the possibility of our having been assailed by bad characters, or of our having encountered a tiger in the jungle, and of my having been carried off from my inability to climb a tree! ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... I have not been able to go much in the outer world because of my inability to walk or ride in the street cars. But I spent an evening in the year 1907 that I think will ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson

... of the boys, who did not forget their grammar so far as to say "Me!" instead. Really, the eagerness of the boys to play ball had never before been equalled in the memory of any one present, and Will Palmer cooled off some quite warm friends by his inability to choose more than two boys to complete the quartette for a common game of ball. It did the disappointed boys a great deal of good to hear the teacher's bell ring just as Will Palmer "caught himself in" ...
— Harper's Young People, September 14, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... me coffee, and I read till daylight and after, when Wada served me breakfast and helped me dress. He, too, complained of inability to sleep. He had been bunked with Nancy in one of the rooms in the 'midship-house. Wada described the situation. The tiny room, made of steel, was air-tight when the steel door was closed. And Nancy insisted on keeping the door closed. As a result Wada, in the upper bunk, had stifled. ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... of the anarchist's greatest activity was always a republic, not only to emphasize his impartial hatred of all government, but because of the inherent feebleness of that form of government, its inability to protect itself against any kind of aggression by any considerable number of its people having a common malevolent purpose. In a republic the crust that confined the fires of violence and sedition ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... opinion that the Marie Celeste may have been abandoned a considerable distance from the spot at which she was picked up, since a powerful current runs up in that latitude from the African coast. He confesses his inability, however, to advance any hypothesis which can reconcile all the facts of the case. In the utter absence of a clue or grain of evidence, it is to be feared that the fate of the crew of the Marie Celeste ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... this treatise, that comets are nothing but meteors which occasionally appear in our atmosphere, like halos and rainbows, savours so little of the sagacity of Galileo that we should be disposed to question its paternity. His inability to partake in the general interest which these three comets excited, and to employ his powerful telescope in observing their phenomena, and their movements, might have had some slight share in the formation of an opinion which deprived them of their importance as celestial ...
— The Martyrs of Science, or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler • David Brewster

... Knevett carried off his daughter to Jersey, audaciously following them to the station, where he exchanged a grasp of the hand with her in the very sight of the 'grey tyrant father,' who actually gnashed his teeth, in his inability either to knock him down or ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a loan-word in English. In Latin, infans was the coinage of some primitive student of children, of some prehistoric anthropologist, who had a clear conception of "infancy" as "the period of inability to speak,"—for infans signifies neither more nor less than "not speaking, unable to speak." The word, like our "childish," assumed also the meanings "child, young, fresh, new, silly," with a diminutive infantulus. The Latin word infans has its representatives ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... N. impotence; inability, disability; disablement, impuissance, imbecility; incapacity, incapability; inaptitude, ineptitude, incompetence, unproductivity[obs3]; indocility[obs3]; invalidity, disqualification; inefficiency, wastefulness. telum imbelle[Lat], brutum fulmen[Lat], blank, blank cartridge, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... well as each of its separate parts, has certain dimensions, beyond which, under ordinary circumstances, it does not pass, either in the one direction or the other. It may not be easy or possible to state what the limits are, but, practically, this inability to frame a precise limitation is productive of no inconvenience. It is universally admitted that a certain animal attains such and such dimensions, and that one organ has a certain proportionate size as contrasted with another. The same ...
— Vegetable Teratology - An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants • Maxwell T. Masters

... explained to her his precise situation. He set forth his favorable prospects of speedy independence, the obstacle which his mother's secret threw in their way, and his inability to guess any means which might unravel the mystery, and hasten his and her deliverance. The disgrace once removed, he thought, all other impediments to their union ...
— The Story Of Kennett • Bayard Taylor

... find many Negroes, and indeed hundreds of thousands of white men as well, who might vote, but who, through ignorance, or inability or unwillingness to pay the poll-taxes, or from mere ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... "This inability to assist us is really very singular. I had hoped, after Dr. Thornton's report, that we might at last count with some certainty upon arriving at fresh results as to the actual murder. I can see from what you tell ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... might oftener, if we didn't suffer from constitutional inability to recognise ourselves, John. I've thought of this problem, let me tell you, for you are one of many who feel the same. So far as I can see, parents worry about what their children look like to them; but never about what they look ...
— The Spinners • Eden Phillpotts

... sought to cure); then his assistants Phillip Dawson and Jacob Miles; then a multitude of students from the University—carefully chosen for the severity of their symptoms, the longevity of their colds, their tendency to acquire them on little or no provocation, and their utter inability to get rid of them with any known ...
— The Coffin Cure • Alan Edward Nourse

... expressed an utter inability to perceive the connection. Once the iron shutters had closed on Rickman's he felt that he was no more a part of it. Words could not express his abhorrence of the indecent people who insisted on talking shop out of shop hours. And Dicky never had ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... structure of a piece he is undertaking and should be so familiar with the structure that it becomes a form of second nature to him. If the piece is a sonata he should be able to identify the main theme and the secondary theme whenever they appear or whenever any part of them appears. Inability to do this indicates the most ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... dozed off. He was furious with himself for having fallen into the trap; if he had, as he said to himself, lain off the beach in the boat, and questioned the supposed shipwrecked sailors, their inability to reply to him would have at once put him on his guard; as it was, he had walked into the snare as carelessly and confidently as a child might have done. Even more than his own captivity, he regretted the death of his three comrades, which he attributed ...
— A Knight of the White Cross • G.A. Henty

... the most shameless frauds and impositions of this time. In his idleness, his mendacity, and the immeasurable harm he does to the deserving, - dirtying the stream of true benevolence, and muddling the brains of foolish justices, with inability to distinguish between the base coin of distress, and the true currency we have always among us, - he is more worthy of Norfolk Island than three-fourths of the worst characters who are sent there. Under any rational system, he would have been sent ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... bouillabaisse, and threatened her lithe figure with her consumption of retes, the Magyar strudel. All these washed down with Szamorodni or a Hungarian Riesling, the despair of a hundred generations of connoisseurs due to its inability to travel. When liqueurs were called for, barack, the highly distilled apricot brandy which was still the national tipple, was her choice, if not Tokay Aszu, the sweet nectar wine, once allowed only to be consumed by nobility so ...
— Frigid Fracas • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... call a person's attention. I noticed that blood was oozing from the corners of his mouth, and signed to him to open it, when, to my horror, I perceived that he had bitten his tongue completely off; hence his inability to articulate. I then proceeded to examine him all over, but when I touched his body he gave great groans, so that I would fain have left him alone, had I not considered it my duty to act the Good ...
— Jethou - or Crusoe Life in the Channel Isles • E. R. Suffling

... yourselves. Hire the attendant, and tell me her cost so that I can instruct Webster & Co. to add it every month to what they already send. Don't fool away any more time about this. And don't write me any more damned rot about "storms," and inability to pay trivial sums of money and—and—hell and damnation! You see I've read only the first page of your letter; I wouldn't read the rest for a ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... side of the Atlantic than the other, God forbid. I believe we are better, for the American people are a kind, a feeling, and a humane race. But avarice hardens the heart, and distress, when it comes in a mass, overpowers pity for the individual, while inability to aid a multitude induces a carelessness to assist any. A whole community will rush to the rescue of a drowning man, not because his purse can enrich them all (that is too dark a view of human nature), but because he is the sole object of interest. When there are hundreds ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... mischief even in private families, but still more in sovereign ones. A prince, when he attains the age of manhood, and ought to take upon himself the duties of the government, is often obliged to witness a great deal of oppression and misrule, from his inability to persuade his widowed mother to resign the power willingly into his hands. He often tamely submits to see his country ruined, and his family dishonoured, as at Jhansi, before he can bring himself, by some act of desperate resolution, to wrest it from her grasp.[3] In order to prevent ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... of the ostler was literally true with regard to the horse-shoe; at least the blacksmith of the village, to whom we conducted the animal, confessed his inability to shoe him, having none that would fit his hoof: he said it was very probable that we should be obliged to lead the animal to Lugo, which, being a cavalry station, we might perhaps find there what we wanted. He added, however, ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... compounded of the letters L. I. C., or C. I. L., and at the first glance with the connexion of an earl's coronet and a date would appear to present no difficulty respecting the correct appropriation, I must confess my inability to state to whom the monogram belonged. For the name of Arundel I am equally unable to account. No mention whatever is made of this house by Mr. Faulkner; nor does the name of Arundel occur in the parish records of Fulham, although ...
— A Walk from London to Fulham • Thomas Crofton Croker

... fond of deprecating the work of specialists, holding that specialisation tends to narrowness, to inability to see more than one side ...
— The Healthy Life, Vol. V, Nos. 24-28 - The Independent Health Magazine • Various

... another world, and add another power to it that shall keep them apart. That power shall be what is called the force of inertia, which is literally no power at all; it is an inability to originate or change motion. If a body is at rest, inertia is that quality by which it will forever remain so, unless acted upon by some force from without; and if a body is in motion, it will continue on at the same speed, ...
— Recreations in Astronomy - With Directions for Practical Experiments and Telescopic Work • Henry Warren

... about to risk herself by going after them into the city. If that was her intention—and nothing is more probable; for women are very daring, though they are timid—she was stopped, it is most likely, by that curious inability to move a step farther which we have all experienced. We saw her pause, clasp her hands in despair (or it might be in token of farewell to her husband), then, instead of returning, seat herself on the road on the ...
— A Beleaguered City • Mrs. Oliphant

... you have persevered in your idea, and you kept back the necklace, hoping to return it to me at some other time. Madame de la Motte was weak; she knew my inability to pay for it, and my determination not to keep it when I could not pay; she therefore entered into a conspiracy with you. Have I guessed right? Say yes. Let me believe in this slight disobedience to my ...
— The Queen's Necklace • Alexandre Dumas pere

... delighted the heart of a terpsichorean mistress. One pirouette greeted the effect of the white dress; the second, that of the wide straw hat, with its appropriate garland of blossom; the third was partly in celebration of the combined effect, and partly out of sheer inability ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... to the same vast invention, that his similes have been thought too exuberant and full of circumstances. The force of this faculty is seen in nothing more, than in its inability to confine itself to that single circumstance upon which the comparison is grounded: it runs out into embellishments of additional images, which, however, are so managed as not to overpower the main one. His similes are like pictures, where the principal figure has not ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... this unique faculty for yielding a melodious representation of the most intense moments of stationary emotion, was his inability to deal with a dramatic subject. The first episode of S. Catherine's execution, when the wheel was broken and the executioners struck by lightning, is painted in this chapel without energy and with a lack of composition that betrays the master's indifference ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... fairest lands of the Perley inheritance passed to Boone. It was the fireside history of the whole Caribee Valley that the rich contractor had encouraged the ruined gentleman in the excesses that ended the profligate's career; that the two men had staked large sums at play in Bucephalo, and that inability to meet his losses to Boone had caused Dick Perley's flight. He had been seen by one of the village people a year or two before the war in Richmond, and had been heard of in California later, but no word had ever reached his family, not even when his wife died, two years after his exile. ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... process, the air is deprived of its appropriate supply of oxygen, the purification of the blood is interrupted, and it passes without being properly prepared into the brain, producing languor, restlessness, and inability to exercise the intellect and feelings. Whenever, therefore, persons sleep in a close apartment, or remain for a length of time in a crowded or ill-ventilated room, a most pernicious influence is exerted on the brain, and, through this, on the mind. A person who is often exposed to such influences ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... rubbing up my exceedingly rusty knowledge of that language, and arranging one or two effective sentences. Poor Karl's surprise and delight knew no bounds, and he burst forth into a long monologue, to which I could find no readier answers than smiles and nods, hiding my inability to follow up my brilliant beginning under the pretence of being very busy. By the time the gentlemen had stabled and fed the horses and were ready, Karl and I between us had arranged a bright cosy little apartment with a capital tea-dinner on the table. After this meal ...
— Station Amusements • Lady Barker

... thing with one short forefinger, excruciatingly. Wallie waited. He had heard somewhere that Hahn would sit at the piano thus, for hours, the tears running down his cheeks because of the beauty of the music he could remember but not reproduce; and partly because of his own inability to ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... the faces of the youth swelled to such a degree, that they were blind for a number of days. Such a disease they had never before been afflicted with. I had now an opportunity of most solemnly protesting my total inability to injure them in this way, and as the disease had as yet caused no death, I had a hope of being spared. I learned that a majority of the chiefs in council, were for putting me to death, but one of them in particular, protested against it, fearing it might be the ...
— A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board the Ship Globe, of Nantucket, in the Pacific Ocean, Jan. 1824 • William Lay

... relative to the convent, is little and unimportant. The most remarkable circumstance, is the extreme poverty to which the monks were reduced in 1384; when, on being called upon to pay the sum of forty-six shillings and eight-pence, they pleaded their utter inability, and presented to the king the following piteous remonstrance:—"Cette Abbaie, etant frontiere de l'Anglois, n'aiant ni chateau ni defense, a ete arse et mise en un si chetif point, qu'il y a peu de lieux ou ...
— Architectural Antiquities of Normandy • John Sell Cotman

... now extreme. She had had nothing to give to any friends she might have made. Rowcliffe had taken all that was left of her. And now, when intercourse was possible, it was they who had withdrawn. They shared Mr. Grierson's inability to make her out. They had heard rumors; they imagined things; they remembered also. She was the girl who had raced all over the country with Dr. Rowcliffe, the girl whom Dr. Rowcliffe, for all their racing, had not cared to marry. She was ...
— The Three Sisters • May Sinclair

... later on from the long to the short Lee-Metford, left Australia in a sad plight. It was some years before the Home Government were able to supply the orders sent from Australia. All through that time the local forces and rifle club members suffered from inability to obtain up-to-date rifles. As a few thousands of the new rifles arrived they were issued to the partially-paid force, and their discarded ones were passed on to the volunteers, and finally, when actually worn out, to the members of the ...
— The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon • Jose Maria Gordon

... language which is their speech-medium. This being so, most of the white men who live in the Protected Native States are somewhat apt to disregard the effect which their actions have upon the natives, and labour under the common European inability to view matters from the native standpoint. Moreover, we have become accustomed to existing conditions, and thus it is that few, perhaps, realise the precise nature of the work which the British in the Peninsula have set themselves to accomplish. What we are really attempting, ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... resentment of the Regulators, as recorded by Herman Husband in his "Impartial Relation." During this whole period the insurrectionary spirit of the people, who felt themselves deeply aggrieved but recognized their inability to secure redress, took the form of driving local justices from the bench and ...
— The Conquest of the Old Southwest • Archibald Henderson

... almost universal in the South until about 1890, when its outrageous abuses and cruelties aroused the whole country. It still survives over wide areas, and is not only responsible for the impression that the Negro is a natural criminal, but also for the inability of the Southern courts to perform their normal functions after so long a prostitution to ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois

... her at the thought of going down to the crowd at the music. The women made her uncomfortable. It wasn't what they said, but the way they said it; and the endless questions wearied her. She was, as well, continually bothered by her inability to impress upon them how splendid her mother was. Some of them she was certain did not appreciate her. Mrs. Condon at once admitted and was entertained by this, but it disturbed Linda. However, she understood the reason—when any nice men came along they always liked her mother best. ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... resented his behaviour towards me. Fearful of discovery, I had never paid any attention to music since my marriage; I had always pretended that I could not sing. Even my wife was not aware of my talent; and although latterly I had no fear of the kind, yet as I had always stated my inability, I did not choose to bring forth a talent, the reason for concealing which I could not explain even to my wife and mother, without acknowledging the deception of which I had ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Captain Frederick Marryat

... pesticides; salinization, water-logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish ...
— The 1998 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... She did a little high-art needle-work, played Mendelssohn's Lieder, sang three French chansons which her husband liked, slept, and drank orange pekoe. In the consumption of this last article Mrs. Tempest was as bad as a dram-drinker. She declared her inability to support life without that gentle stimulant, and required to be wound up at various hours of her languid day with a dose of her ...
— Vixen, Volume I. • M. E. Braddon

... the very question," said the man in black, "which the ancient British clergy asked of Austin Monk, after they had been fools enough to acknowledge their own inability. 'We don't pretend to work miracles; do you?' 'Oh! dear me, yes,' said Austin; 'we find no difficulty in the matter. We can raise the dead, we can make the blind see; and to convince you, I will give sight ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... and stood in the midst of his family relating it to them. Lucy stopped sewing and her hands dropped in her lap, for the news was such a wonderful surprise to her. Mr. Richmond closed his remarks by saying that he regretted his inability to find George Acton anywhere, and nobody seemed to know what had become of him. To search for him in the cemetery had not occurred ...
— After Long Years and Other Stories • Translated from the German by Sophie A. Miller and Agnes M. Dunne

... some of the difficulties and mistakes attaching to the WILL. Here there are the questions of world-renown, questions known even in Pandemonium—Free-will, Responsibility, Moral Ability, and Inability. It is now suspected, on good grounds, that, on these questions, we have somehow got into a wrong groove—that we are lost in a ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... at Castle St. Angelo the same terms which had been granted to Gaieta. Hallowell perceived, by the overstrained civility of the officers who came off to him, and the compliments which they paid to the English nation, that they were sensible of their own weakness and their inability to offer any effectual resistance; but the French know, that while they are in a condition to serve their government, they can rely upon it for every possible exertion in their support; and this reliance gives ...
— The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson • Robert Southey

... every toadstool, the same result could be achieved in our home-town orchard. When on the march, the army ants are as innocuous at two inches as at two miles. Had I sat where I was for days and for nights, my chief danger would have been demise from sheer chagrin at my inability to grasp the deeper significance of life ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... the soil, thus rendering it by no means an unfrequent case that the small occupiers who owed nothing to him or those above them were forced to see their property applied to the payment of the head rent, in consequence of the inability, neglect, or dishonesty of the middleman, or some other subordinate individual from whom, they held. This was a state of things which Mr. Travers wished to abolish, but to do so, without inflicting injury, however unintentional, or occasioning harshness to the people, was a matter ...
— The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine • William Carleton

... subtlety consoled Em, but still she found it hard to bear up under her apparent inability to do her duty by Lute's critical palate. Once when Lute brought Col. Hi Thomas home to dinner they had chicken pie. The colonel praised it and passed ...
— The Holy Cross and Other Tales • Eugene Field

... those women who wish and mean to do a great deal of good, and cannot tell how to do it. Not that she realised that inability by any means. She was absolutely convinced that nearly all the good done in the Weald of Kent was done by Tabitha Hall, while the real truth was that if Tabitha Hall had been suddenly transported to Botany Bay, or any other distant region, the Weald of Kent would have got along quite as well without ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... when he chose to be so, but was also occasionally supercilious and repellent, and assiduously cultivated smart society. I once asked him, in 1879, why he made his poetry so often obscure, and he replied, frankly, that he did so because he couldn't help it; the inability to put his thoughts in clear phrases had always been a grief to him. This statement was, to me, unexpected, and it has ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... to the voice of his higher nature. Hence the struggle between his tastes and his duties would come and come again, augmented probably by such austere notions as every conscientious man must entertain in proportion to his inability to find God in that in which he might find him. From this inability, inseparable in its varying degrees from the very nature of growth, springs all the asceticism of good men, whose love to God will be the greater as ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... was obvious that he could not possibly go to King's-Hintock for several days at least, and there on the bed he lay, cursing his inability to proceed on an errand so personal and so delicate that no emissary could perform it. What he wished to do was to ascertain from Betty's own lips if her aversion to Reynard was so strong that his presence would be positively distasteful to her. Were that the ...
— A Group of Noble Dames • Thomas Hardy

... light in his eye, which I had no difficulty in understanding. Yet he cannot hear the word the wretched starling murmurs. He only knows it is a word, a name, and he is determined to suppress it. Shall I string the cage up out of this old fellow's reach? His deafness, his inability to communicate with others, the exactness with which he obeys my commands as given him by my colored slides, his attention to my every wish, consequent upon his almost animal love for my person, are necessary to me now, while the bird—Ah! ...
— The Circular Study • Anna Katharine Green

... of Desdemona's temper is turned against her by Iago, so that it suddenly strikes Othello in a new point of view, as the inability to resist temptation; but to us who perceive the character as a whole, this extreme gentleness of nature is yet delineated with such exceeding refinement, that the effect never approaches to feebleness. It is true that once her extreme timidity leads her in a moment of confusion ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... to prosper? Secondly, I would speedily be instructed in that great and heavenly mystery, the powder of projection, which I have been oft promised, but never understood aright by reason of my feeble apprehensions, or inability to accomplish the grand and sublime arcanum. Thirdly, How may I find the treasure which was shown to me in a dream three several times; but where it is ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... were full in his eyes; he almost trembled in his earnestness. He was faint with the strong power of his own conviction, and with his inability to move his sister. But she was shaken. She sat very still for a quarter of an hour or more, while he leaned back, exhausted by his ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... the Alps, men were beginning to test the accepted forms of thought. The first disturbance of his childish faith, and the coincident reading of the Lettres Philosophiques, had been followed by a period of moral perturbation, during which he suffered from that sense of bewilderment, of inability to classify the phenomena of life, that is one of the keenest trials of inexperience. Youth and nature had their way with him, however, and a wholesome reaction of indifference set in. The invisible world of thought and conduct had been the frequent subject of his musings; but the other, tangible ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... from the technical side of the law, not so much by reason of its dry difficulty as through scorn of its admitted weakness, its inability to do more than compromise; through contempt of its pretended beneficences and its frequent inefficiency and harmfulness. In the law he saw plainly the lash of the taskmaster, driving all those yoked together in the horrid compact of society, a master ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... write, and unfortunately she was corroborated in her error by the applause of people who, not being able to read her book, kindly attributed the inability to their own limitations and not to hers, being prompted in this by the suggestion oft repeated by Mrs. Eddy, herself. The resemblance of Mrs. Eddy's thought to that of Jesus was never noticed until Mrs. Eddy first explained the matter. Mrs. Eddy was by no means insane. ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... of the case, and regarded only in the light of a business transaction, it does not appear that the Filipinos were ever offered a solid guarantee for the fulfilment of any of the proposed conditions. But the insuperable difficulty was Spain's inability to comply with the Filipinos' essential condition of recognition of ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... as a theatre. The curtain rose, and the young Count de R—— tripped lightly from behind the scenes, with the most complete self-possession, and at the same time, with great elegance, begun a little address to the audience, apologising for his inability to amuse them as he could have wished, and concluded his address, by singing, with a great deal of action, two French songs. He then skipped nimbly off the stage and returned, leading in the principal actress at the theatre ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... mistake to ascribe the paralysis of Coleridge's powers of constructive imagination exclusively to laudanum. Rather the resort to narcotics and the inability to control his creative faculty are alike symptoms of a temperamental malady which had its roots in his nature close to the seat of that special faculty. Under a favorable conjunction of outward circumstance ...
— Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and Select Poems • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... a deep impression upon the mind of the virtuous Antonia, who waiving every other consideration, would have personally appeared for the vindication of her husband's honour, had not we dissuaded her from such a rash undertaking, by demonstrating her inability to contend with such a powerful antagonist; and representing that her appearance would be infallibly attended with the ruin of Serafina, who would certainly fall into the hands of the villain to whom she had been contracted. We exhorted her to wait patiently for ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... not know precisely what day the Convention will resume the discussion on the trial of Louis XVI., and, on account of my inability to express myself in French, I cannot speak at the tribune, I request permission to deposit in your hands the enclosed paper, which contains my opinion on that subject. I make this demand with so much more eagerness, because circumstances ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... he was thrust forward by one of those impulses it is impossible to translate into words, in which it seems that the heart swells almost to bursting, and before his inability to get away and fly from self, Durtal ended by becoming a child again, by weeping without definite cause, simply from the need of relieving himself ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... all its essential features, is known far beyond the limits of the county, to every single person in the country. I will merely make use of one general observation—that I by no means share in the opinion that has been expressed as to the inability to deal with this state of things. On the contrary, I entertain the most perfect confidence that it is in the power of those who are intrusted with the duty of maintaining the public peace to re-establish order and law and peace in this county. And as my duty ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... was merely a bell; now it is an alarm of fire. So far, however, as the child is lacking in the control of his experiences, he remains largely a mere creature of impulse and instinct, and is occupied with present impressions only. This implies also an inability to set up problems and solve them through a regular process of adjustment, and a consequent lack of power to arrange experiences as guides to action. In the educative process, however, as previously exemplified, we find that the child is not a slave to the passing transient impressions ...
— Ontario Normal School Manuals: Science of Education • Ontario Ministry of Education

... so high, that without much ceremony or mortification, he might have had any piece of his brought upon the stage. Mr. Pope was attentive to his own interest, and if he had not either been conscious of his inability in that province, or too timid to wish the popular approbation, he would certainly have attempted the drama. Neither was he esteemed a very competent judge of what plays were proper or improper for representation. He wrote several letters to the manager ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... upon entering the Mid[-e]wign he lays it upon the ground near the sacred stone, on the side toward the degree post. In case a Mid[-e] is unable to attend he sends his invitation with a statement of the reason of his inability to come. The number of sticks upon the floor are counted, on the morning of the day of initiation, and the number of those present to attend the ceremonies is known before ...
— Seventh Annual Report • Various

... on the ecclesiastical Acts is nothing. In this rich, but irreligious town he can hope for no assistance; the gardener and porter are paid by him; he is obliged for economy's sake to employ Sisters from a convent as cook and linen-keeper. Add to that his inability to keep a carriage, so that he has to hire a conveyance for his pastoral rounds. And how much then do you suppose he has left to live on, if you deduct his charities? Why, he is poorer ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... rare. Even passion has grown sophisticated and deals with phrases. There is more or less artificiality in the exchange of written thoughts. Mme. du Deffand thinks while she writes, and what she sees takes always the color of her own intelligence. She complains of her inability to catch the elusive quality, the clearness, the flexibility of Mme. de Sevigne, whom she longs to rival because Walpole so admires her. But if she lacks the vivacity, the simplicity, the poetic grace of her model, she has qualities ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... the legislative councils of influencing Government and affecting the course of public business, and of recent years he has by speeches and in the press done much to spread the idea of a united and self-respecting India among thousands who had no such conception in their minds. Helped by the inability of the other classes in India to play a prominent part he has assumed the place of leader; but his authority is by no means universally acknowledged and may in ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... so much from inability to begin a conversation that not long ago I took the extreme step of buying a book on the subject. I regret to say that I got but little light or help from it. It was written by the Comtesse de Z—. According to the preface the Comtesse ...
— The Hohenzollerns in America - With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and other impossibilities • Stephen Leacock

... Clementina and little Nan were overcome with distress. The sight of their yard full of all these weeping people was dreadful. Neither of them had any idea how to do away with the trouble, because of their family inability to see their ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... determine from what quarter the Etruscans migrated into Italy; nor is much lost through our inability to answer the question, for this migration belonged at any rate to the infancy of the people, and their historical development began and ended in Italy. No question, however, has been handled with greater zeal than this, in accordance with the principle which induces ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... the separate self appears from the point of view of the conjunct. When our Lord hung upon the cross, the jeering soldiers shouted, "He saved others, himself he cannot save." No, he could not; and his inability seemed to them ridiculous, while it was in reality his glory. His true self he was saving—himself and all mankind—the only self ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of ...
— A Brief History of the United States • Barnes & Co.

... tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Burundi is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year for its failure to provide sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2007; the government's inability to provide adequate protective services to children accused of association with armed groups and to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement activities continue to be causes for concern; Burundi has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... her innocent vanity, he pictured the obstacles that she would find in the character of Mr. Mitrophanis, and urged his own inability to overcome them; he frankly declared that his mediation had compromised his friend's suit, and that the affair was far more difficult than if it had been in her hands from the beginning; he insisted that she alone could retrieve the mistakes ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Polish • Various

... way. I mean—" she paused, sinking into the chair, and betraying, for the first time, a momentary inability to deal becomingly with the situation. "I mean," she resumed smiling, "that it was not an event for them, as ...
— Madame de Treymes • Edith Wharton

... neither the right nor the custom to expect in an older generation, that he should have had more than a sidelong vision of at least one aspect of the community between his poet-hero and a younger race which has had the destiny to produce far more heroes than poets. Commenting upon the inability of the late Mr Courthope to ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... of her who had been Sally Carteret. Mrs. Harlow followed the example of Mrs. Fortescue, whose bridesmaid she had been, and had married within a year the dashing young officer with whom she "stood up" at Mrs. Fortescue's wedding. Mrs. Harlow, like Mrs. Fortescue, showed a marked inability to grow old and was as gay and drank the wine of life as joyously as did ...
— Betty at Fort Blizzard • Molly Elliot Seawell

... Bruce was not the least emphatic, told each other their symptoms in a quiet corner. They described their strange shiverings down the spine; the curious fits of hunger that came on before meals; the dislike to crossing the road when there was an accident; the inability to sleep, sometimes taking the form of complete insomnia for as much as twenty minutes in the early morning. They pitied each other cordially, though neither listened to the other's symptoms, except in exchange for sympathy ...
— Love at Second Sight • Ada Leverson

... meal finally came to an end, on account of Winn's inability to eat any more, the boy was surprised to find how much at home he had been made to feel by the unaffected simplicity and unobtrusive ...
— Raftmates - A Story of the Great River • Kirk Munroe

... include a waste too great to be afforded. The labour requisite to support a family is far lighter' than is usually supposed. (It has come under the author's experience that some of the workmen on an embankment in North Wales, who, in consequence of the inability of the proprietor to pay them, seldom received their wages, have supported large families by cultivating small spots of sterile ground by moonlight. In the notes to Pratt's poem, "Bread, or the Poor", is an account of an industrious labourer who, by working ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... with the cold, the privations of the long winter, and the growing disappointments of her domestic life, saw nothing but overdressing and foolishness in her daughter's new attention to the details of personal appearance. Burdened with her inability to furnish the clothes the family needed, she complained monotonously over every evidence of the young girl's desire to beautify herself. When the mother's complaints became unendurable, the father ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... grant concessions in certain matters, which in reality from an union point of view seemed both unnecessary and undesirable. They may have complain as much as they like of the Norwegian national obstinacy, of their sickly fears of any sort of "confusion"; their inability to comprehend the requirements of the Union; it remained, however, a fact, that it was necessary to take into account, and indeed, it was a duty to respect it to a certain extent, as it originated in no slight degree from feelings fed by the subordinate position Norway had always held in years gone ...
— The Swedish-Norwegian Union Crisis - A History with Documents • Karl Nordlund

... layeth upon the soul the greatest obligations to holiness. What like the apprehension of free forgiveness (and that apprehension must come in through a sight of the greatness of sin, and of inability to do any thing towards satisfaction), to engage the heart of a rebel to love his prince, and to submit to ...
— The Pharisee And The Publican • John Bunyan

... A novice called upon to participate in the exercises of a public banquet, an anniversary, or other entertainment, unless he has an experienced friend to give him a few hints or advice, is apt to be dismayed. He does not even know how to make a start in the work of preparation, and his sense of inability and fear of blundering go far to confuse and paralyze whatever native faculty he may have. A book like this comes to him at such a time as reinforcements to a sorely pressed army in the very crisis of a battle. ...
— Toasts - and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say - the Right Thing in the Right Way • William Pittenger

... England. "One of the strongest reasons for my remaining out of town," he writes, "is to escape the frequency of invitations at late hours, which consume so much precious time, and with the perpetually mortifying consciousness of inability to return the civility in the same manner." The republican simplicity, not to say poverty, forced upon American representatives abroad, was a very different matter in the censorious and unfriendly society of London from what it had been at the kindly disposed Court ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... the whole soul," with an emotion superadded. "The state of shame consists in a certain psychic lameness or inhibition," sometimes accompanied by physical phenomena of paralysis, such as sinking of the head and inability to meet the eye. It is a special case of Lipps's psychic stasis or damming up (psychische Stauung), always produced when the psychic activities are at the same time drawn in two or more different directions. In shame there is always something present in consciousness which conflicts with the ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... gates, and staid four years." The tax returns afford curious documents. We have that of Massaccio:—"Declaration of the means of Tommaso di Giovanni, called Massaccio, and of his brother Giovanni, to the officers of the fisc, detailing their miserable means, inability, and liability—We live in the house of Andrea Macigni, for which we pay ten florins a-year." "The son of this Andrea bound himself apprentice in the studio of Nendi Bicci for two years, in 1458, aged seventeen, to have fifteen florins and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 356, June, 1845 • Various

... found among the Bantu the same child-like faith in all that is proclaimed by traditional authority about things supernatural, and I have found also among them the same hesitation or inability to believe without questioning in all that is laid down in the name of tradition that we see among ourselves. The will to believe is temperamental and general, but the unbeliever is found among the Bantu ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... had the best opportunity of knowing how the fact stood, wrote these words in March, 1862: "That Great Britain did, in the most terrible moment of our domestic trial in struggling with a monstrous social evil she had earnestly professed to abhor, coldly and at once assume our inability to master it, and then become the only foreign nation steadily contributing in every indirect way possible to verify its pre-judgment, will probably be the verdict made up against her by posterity, on a calm comparison of ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... stated in this chapter, viz., that there is no possibility of the present inhabitants of Mexico ever successfully driving back the Apaches and reconquering the northern provinces. Her title to the wild regions of the north, which rests on discovery and colonization, is lost by her utter inability to subdue the Indians and to colonize, after a probation of three hundred years. At this day the whole of the northern provinces lie, like waifs, open to any civilized people to take possession who require an additional ...
— Mexico and its Religion • Robert A. Wilson

... gesture for her father to forbear, while she resumed her seat from farther inability to stand. The two anxious old men followed her example, in ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... zither was—" the Christian name was upon her lips, but she had the wit to catch it back unuttered—"was Mr. Feversham. But he knew no music I remember very well." She laughed with a momentary recollection of Feversham's utter inability to appreciate any music except that which she herself evoked from her violin. "He had no ear. You couldn't invent a discord harsh enough even to attract his attention. He could never have remembered any melody from ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... regard expulsion from it as the greatest of all punishments,—thus being much like those serfs who, in some other countries, are legally bound to the land, and are sold with it; and they are forever in debt, the consequence of reckless indulgence, and of that inability to think of the morrow which is the most prominent characteristic of the inferior races of men. This has caused the existence of the system of peonage, of which so much has been said in this country, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... sixty-five, without having realised, or apparently attempted, any of those plans with which he had dazzled the Persian monarch. Rumour ascribed his death to poison, which he took of his own accord, from a consciousness of his inability to perform his promises; but this report, which was current in the time of Thucydides, is rejected ...
— A Smaller History of Greece • William Smith

... that made by her while in the alleged trance condition. She here stated that, ordinarily, she wrote in the same manner in which people generally write, with her right hand and from left to right. With respect to her inability to transcribe the Latin words until these had been spelled for her, she explained that she was not ...
— Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University • The Seybert Commission

... followed by general fever, loss of consciousness, delirium, sopor while the child is lying in bed, interrupted more or less by sudden cries; boring of the head into the pillow, with copious sweat about the head, having the odor of musk; inability to hold the head erect; squinting of one or both eyes; dilatation of the pupils; gritting of the teeth; protrusion of the tongue; desire to vomit; nausea, retching and vomiting; collapse of the abdominal walls; scanty urine, which ...
— Apis Mellifica - or, The Poison of the Honey-Bee, Considered as a Therapeutic Agent • C. W. Wolf

... cases could be given, showing that some relation exists between various affections of the eyes and ears; thus Liebreich states that out of 241 deaf-mutes in Berlin, no less than fourteen suffered from the rare disease called pigmentary retinitis. Mr. White Cowper and Dr. Earle have remarked that inability to distinguish different colours, or colour-blindness, "is often associated with a corresponding inability ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2) • Charles Darwin

... my occasional inability to practice what I preach, Josephine is correct in her diagnosis that my cast of mind is becoming more philosophic as the years roll on. The consciousness that I am the author of four children (two strapping sons and two tall daughters), anyone of whom may constitute me a grandfather ...
— The Opinions of a Philosopher • Robert Grant

... has consumed his whole estate, and laments over an empty exchequer. He who requites my favors with ingratitude adds to, instead of diminishing, my wealth; and he who cannot return a favor is equally poor, whether his inability arises from poverty of spirit, sordidness of soul, or ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... contented himself with bringing me to temper by degrees, and waiting at the hand of time for those fruits of generosity and courtship, which he since often reproached himself with having gathered much too green, when, yielding to the inability to resist him, and overborne by desires, he had wreaked his passion on a mere lifeless, spiritless body, dead to all purpose of joy, since taking none, it ought to be supposed incapable of giving any. This is, however, certain; my heart never ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... they are disabled in various ways from helping me, and I ought to remember that their help in the commencement of the enterprise was essential in putting the Telegraph into the position it now is [in]; therefore, although they give me now no aid, it is not from unwillingness but from inability, and I shall not grudge them their proportion of its profits, nor do I believe they will be unwilling to reimburse me my expenses, should the Telegraph eventually be purchased by ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... transpired in his absence—from the identification of Waife with William Losely, to Lady Montfort's visit to Fawley, which had taken place two days before, and of which she had informed Lionel by a few hasty lines, stating her inability to soften Mr. Darrell's objections to the alliance between Lionel and Sophy; severely blaming herself that those objections had not more forcibly presented themselves to her own mind, and concluding with expressions of sympathy, and appeals to fortitude, in which, however ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the change in this direction is evidently much more rapid than might be accounted for by the improvement in artificial feeding of infants leading to the survival of daughters of mothers unable to nurse, and transmitting their inability to their children. Mrs. Gilman—having ignored menstruation altogether—makes only one allusion to this vastly important subject, and we shall see to what extent her sanguine assumption is justified. According to her, "A healthy, happy, rightly ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... courteously, but firmly, 'I regret my inability to answer your question. It must be supposed that two such men had some cause for acting as they did, which seemed ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... aloofness of the patrons of the school, the pupils were clearly interested in Jim Irwin's system of rural education. Never had the attendance been so large or regular; and one of the reasons for sessions before nine and after four was the inability of the teacher to attend to the needs of his charges in the five and a half hours ...
— The Brown Mouse • Herbert Quick

... bring the tone out perfectly. Under the influence of the mechanical idea we try to express this feeling in the terms of muscular action. This attempt is never successful; the singer cannot be brought to understand our meaning. Yet it is so clear in our own minds that our inability to express it is extremely tantalizing. We go on, constantly hoping to find a way to define the mechanical processes so clearly indicated to the ear. We always feel that we are just on the verge of the great discovery. ...
— The Psychology of Singing - A Rational Method of Voice Culture Based on a Scientific Analysis of All Systems, Ancient and Modern • David C. Taylor

... predicted a long, southerly storm. I never saw a man so full of prophecy as Mr. Bull. One would have supposed that every hour brought him telegraphic despatches both from the real and the spurious Congress; and that President Lincoln and Jeff. Davis were both convinced of their utter inability to take any steps without the cognizance ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... thus deprived him of the use of his limbs. We gave something to those who were nearest, and on my asking if any Prussian was there to whom I could speak in French, as I wished to express our desire but inability to relieve all, I was conducted through the wards to a miserable being who was seated with his head suspended in a sling from the top of the bed, both legs dreadfully shattered, and unable to support himself ...
— Before and after Waterloo - Letters from Edward Stanley, sometime Bishop of Norwich (1802;1814;1814) • Edward Stanley

... strayed away by herself into the woods or up the hillside. It was partly from shyness that she did so: from a sense of inadequacy that came to her most painfully when her companion, absorbed in his job, forgot her ignorance and her inability to follow his least allusion, and plunged into a monologue on art and life. To avoid the awkwardness of listening with a blank face, and also to escape the surprised stare of the inhabitants of the houses before which he would abruptly pull up their horse and open his sketch-book, ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... is newly created, and that its condition has been arbitrarily fixed by the Divine Power, the student free from prejudice or fear finds it difficult to escape the conclusion that under this plan of creation there is lacking a manifestation of Divine Justice. Even admitting the inability of the finite mind to fully grasp infinite principles, man is still forced to the realization of the manifest inequality and injustice of the relative positions of human beings on earth, providing that the same is thrust arbitrarily upon them; and it would seem that no amount of future ...
— Reincarnation and the Law of Karma - A Study of the Old-New World-Doctrine of Rebirth, and Spiritual Cause and Effect • William Walker Atkinson

... himself. Five years ago he had found himself, as they said; found himself out, he said, when at the age of thirty-three he condemned himself and his art as more decadent than the decadents. Frida Tancred had shown insight when she reproached him with his inability to see anything that he could not paint, or to paint anything that he could not see. She had shown him the vanity of the sensuous aspect, she had forced him to love the intangible, the unseen, till he had almost ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... pioneering madness which had scattered our family, and rebellion toward my father who had kept my mother always on the border, working like a slave long after the time when she should have been taking her ease. Above all, I resented my own failure, my own inability to help in the case. Here was I, established in a distant city, with success just opening her doors to me, and yet still so much the struggler that my will to aid was futile ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... of which we can call the whole world our extended body and use it accordingly. And in this age of science it is our endeavour fully to establish our claim to our world-self. We know all our poverty and sufferings are owing to our inability to realise this legitimate claim of ours. Really, there is no limit to our powers, for we are not outside the universal power which is the expression of universal law. We are on our way to overcome disease and death, to conquer pain and poverty; ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... romance and sympathy with conspicuous success, that more and more the moon was getting him, and that he did hope Diane would remember that he was the disguised Duke of Connecticut. Moreover, his most tantalizing shortcoming up-to-date had seemed to be a total inability to arouse said romance and sympathy, especially sympathy, for, whether or not Diane would believe it, even here in this land of flowers he had encountered frost! Wherefore, having personal knowledge of the success incidental to unwinding a hullabaloo in proper costume, he had purchased one ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... heap of goloshes and old tennis bats, felt with a swelling heart that he was no longer a cat. No more of those undignified four legs, those tiresome pointed ears, so difficult to wash, that furry coat, that contemptible tail, and that terrible inability to express all one's feelings ...
— The Magic World • Edith Nesbit

... any desire to "run the whole show" himself— but simply to his lack of facility in knowing how to delegate work on a large scale. In execution, we all have a blind spot in some part of our eye. President Wilson's was in his inability to use men; and inability, mind you, not a refusal. On the contrary, when any one of us volunteered or insisted upon taking responsibility off his shoulders he was delighted. Throughout the Peace Conference, Mr. Wilson never played politics. I never witnessed ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... Instruments, that hide the artful Delicacy of the Piano, and the soft Voices, nay, even all Voices which will not bawl: They will no longer bear being teased with Unisons[73], the Invention of Ignorance, to hide from the Vulgar the Insufficiency and Inability of many Men and Women Singers: They will recover the instrumental Harmony now lost: They will compose more for the Voice than the Instruments: The part for the Voice will no more have the Mortification ...
— Observations on the Florid Song - or Sentiments on the Ancient and Modern Singers • Pier Francesco Tosi

... teachings had no real bearing upon social progress, they contributed nothing of any scientific value to modern thought, and as Engels carefully shows, the reading of history by these lecturers was vitiated by a lack of scientific grasp, and inability to take a rational view of the great principles ...
— Feuerbach: The roots of the socialist philosophy • Frederick Engels

... arrival, they were met by the English vice-consul, Signor Manuel Caluci, a native of the island, who devoted his house, bed, credit and whole attention to their service; and the survivors unite in declaring their inability to express the obligations under which he laid them. The governor, commandant, bishop and principal people, all shewed equal hospitality, care and friendship, and exerted themselves to render the time agreeable; insomuch that it was with no little regret that these shipwrecked ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... known by outsiders regarding Egbo compared to what there must be to be known, owing to a want of interest or to a sense of inability on the part of most white people to make head or tail out of what seems to them a horrid pagan practice or a farrago ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... companions of human frailty and disappointment through the generations. It is the paradox of such natures that they should express themselves in the very record of their frustration. Amiel may be taken as the type of such writers. In confiding to his Journal his hopeless inability for expressing his high thought, he expressed what is ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... of the brotherhoods announced their inability to reach an agreement they were allowed to return to their respective homes, beyond the borders of the big state, and out of reach of the Illinois conspiracy law. A local man "with sand to fight" was chosen commander-in-chief, ...
— Snow on the Headlight - A Story of the Great Burlington Strike • Cy Warman



Words linked to "Inability" :   incompetency, mental block, incapacity, insensitivity, block, illiteracy, analphabetism, unadaptability, unfitness, incompetence, incapableness, unskillfulness, stupidity, inaptitude, insensitiveness, knowledge, incomprehension, cognition, insufficiency, ability, quality, uncreativeness



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