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Involuntary   Listen
adjective
Involuntary  adj.  
1.
Not having will or the power of choice.
2.
Not under the influence or control of the will; not voluntary; as, the involuntary movements of the body; involuntary muscle fibers.
3.
Not proceeding from choice; done unwillingly; reluctant; compulsory; as, involuntary submission.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Involuntary" Quotes from Famous Books



... complete from utter unconsciousness of fear to the blindest terror. Some ran mechanically, with their eyes set in front as if stiff with fear, expecting each moment to be struck dead, knowing it was useless to try but going on and on because involuntary muscles ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... his astonishment, Maurice saw Schilsky and Louise. He uttered an involuntary exclamation, and Madeleine understood it. She stopped her gossip to say: "You thought she had gone, didn't you? Probably she has only changed her seat. They do that sometimes—he hates PARQUET." And, after a pause: "How cross she looks! She's evidently in a temper about something. I never ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... moment, across the lawn, Rosalie and Duane strolled into view. She saw them, and with a nervous movement, almost involuntary, she turned her ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... pieces being possibly the essay entitled "Poetic Spontaneity", wherein more arguments are advanced in her effort to prove the inferior importance of form and metre in poesy. According to Mrs. Renshaw, the essence of all genuine poetry is a certain spontaneous and involuntary spiritual or psychological perception and expression; incapable of rendition in any prescribed structure, and utterly destroyed by subsequent correction or alteration of any kind. That is, the bard must respond unconsciously to the noble impulse furnished by ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... his involuntary protegee, she exhibited such sweet composure that he caught himself wondering if she really appreciated the seriousness of her parent's predicament; if, for that matter, its true nature were known to her at all. ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... jagged summits, a few leagues before us, most probably inclosed the mysterious object of our anxious and uncertain labors. The small groups of Indians through which we had passed, in the course of the day, had evidently been startled by sheer astonishment, into a sort of passive and involuntary hospitality, but maintained a stark apprehensive reserve in most of their answers to our questions. They spoke a peculiar dialect of the Maya, which I had never heard before, and had great difficulty in comprehending, although several of the Maya Indians of our party understood it familiarly ...
— Memoir of an Eventful Expedition in Central America • Pedro Velasquez

... though the mate was aft on the poop, and nothing prevented them from talking as they passed the buckets to and from the tub under the pump and drove their brooms along the planks. They labored with the haste of men accustomed to be driven hard, with the shuffling, involuntary speed that has nothing in it of free strength or good-will. The big German four-master had gathered from the boarding-houses of Philadelphia a crew representing all the nationalities which breed sailors, and ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... toiling along from the direction of Philadelphia and evidently bending his steps towards Cox's. As Mrs. Maroney saw him coming along sweltering in the sun and bending under the weight of his load of books, she gave an involuntary start, and Madam Imbert, on whose arm she leaned, felt that she was trembling with excitement. Cox stood beside his wife in the door-way with his teeth clinched. His wife looked unutterable things, ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... where he was one day roaming about unarmed, Colonel Putnam met with an adventure which nearly cost him his life and made him the involuntary owner of a negro slave. Seeing a Spaniard beating a black man with a bamboo cane, he darted in with his old time impetuosity, and seizing the stick, wrenched it away from its owner, who, joined by other exasperated Cubans, turned upon the American and compelled ...
— "Old Put" The Patriot • Frederick A. Ober

... to suggest a possible need of hot tea started at hearing his grace break into a sudden and plainly involuntary crow of glee. He had not heard that one before either. Palliser as a little sunbeam brightening the pathway of T. Tembarom, was, in the particular existing circumstances, all that could be desired of fine ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... no bitterness either, rather a sort of pity and the wish to be thought well of. One is reminded now and then of the German captain quartered at Sedan, in Zola's "Debacle," who, while conscious of the strength behind him, yet wanted his involuntary hosts to know that he, too, had been to Paris and knew how to be a galant homme. Men tell you "they've put up a mighty good fight, say!" or speaking of the young French sculptor allowed to go on with his work in the prison camp ...
— Antwerp to Gallipoli - A Year of the War on Many Fronts—and Behind Them • Arthur Ruhl

... dance, and she danced so gracefully that he admired her more and more. Indeed, at supper, which was fortunately early, his admiration quite took away his appetite. For Cinderella, herself, with an involuntary shyness, sought out her sisters; placed herself beside them and offered them all sorts of civil attentions, which coming as they supposed from a stranger, and so magnificent a lady, almost overwhelmed them ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... are in some cases irritable, and great restlessness and involuntary movement, accompanied even with twisting of the neck, shows itself. This will yield to skilful cooling of the spinal nerves with damp ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... a little scream at this startling scene, and I saw her arm clinging to that of her father, by a sort of involuntary movement, as if she would protect him at all hazards. Then she seemed to rally, and from that instant her character assumed an energy, an earnestness, a spirit and an intrepidity that I had least expected in one so mild in aspect, and so ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... interest depend upon its recognition. Acquisition best just where it is most likely to go wrong; that is the state of things. The voluntary use of the visual function gives the best results; but the habitual, involuntary, slipshod use of it gives bad results, and tends to the formation of ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... childhood are accurately and humorously put in again and again: "Here John smiled, as much as to say, 'That would be foolish indeed.' " "Here little Alice spread her hands." "Here Alice's little right foot played an involuntary movement, till, upon my looking grave, it desisted." "Here John expanded all his eyebrows, and tried to look courageous." "Here John slily deposited back upon the plate a bunch of grapes." "Here the children fell a-crying...and prayed me to tell them some stories about their pretty ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... hands; they knew that their heads and shoulders were invisible. All observers except Clewe kept well back from the edge of the frightful hole of light down which they peered; and once, when the weight of the telescope which she held had caused Margaret to make an involuntary step forward, she gave a fearful scream, for she was sure she was going to fall into the bowels of the earth. Clewe, who stood always near by, with his hand upon the lever which controlled the ray, instantly shut off ...
— The Great Stone of Sardis • Frank R. Stockton

... Bridge he became nervously apprehensive. Each unusually quick footstep startled him. Every policeman was carefully avoided, and anything approaching to a shout behind caused him to start into an involuntary run. Despite his utmost efforts to control himself, the strong man was unmanned; a child could have made ...
— Fighting the Flames • R.M. Ballantyne

... door, and Krool entered, his glance enveloping them both in one lightning survey—like the instinct of the dweller in wild places of the earth, who feels danger where all is most quiet, and ever scans the veld or bush with the involuntary vigilance belonging to the life. His look rested on Jasmine for a moment before he spoke, and Stafford inwardly observed that here was an enemy to the young wife whose hatred was deep. He was conscious, too, that Jasmine ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... desirable. But alas! it is not compatible with a Church national, the congregations of which are therefore not gathered nor elected, or with a Church established by law; for law and discipline are mutually destructive of each other, being the same as involuntary and ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... resolutions. When at length you had determined in their favor, and your doors thrown open showed them the figure of their deliverer in the well-earned triumph of his important victory, from the whole of that grave multitude there arose an involuntary burst of gratitude and transport. They jumped upon him like children on a long absent father. They clung about him as captives about their redeemer. All England, all America, joined in his applause. Nor did he seem insensible to the best of all earthly rewards, the love and admiration ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... supposed that these thoughts in their plainly- developed form passed through Linda's mind. It was not that she thought all this, but that she felt it. Such feelings are quite involuntary, whereas one's thoughts are more or less under command. Linda would not have allowed herself to think in this way for worlds; but she could not control ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... he would get up and go into the bedroom for a moment, it might give her a chance. She could feel her heart beating underneath her gown. Every sense was thrilling with excitement; and then, all of a sudden, she had a great surprise. Almost a cry broke from her lips; almost she had taken that swift involuntary movement forward, for she realized suddenly that she was not the only one who was watching Norris Vine. Very softly a man, coatless and in his socks, had stolen out from the bedroom where he had lain concealed, and ...
— The Governors • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... necessity determines our condition, our existence in time, by means of the sensuous. The latter is quite involuntary, and directly it is produced in us we are necessarily passive. In the same manner an internal necessity awakens our personality in connection with sensations, and by its antagonism with them; for consciousness cannot depend on the will, which presupposes it. This primitive manifestation of personality ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... like that!" he cried with involuntary quickness. Indeed, had his hand been red-hot, or ice-cold, or taloned, she could not have turned a more startled, even frightened, ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... hushed, however, at the voice of the auctioneer, who repeated the bid, and whose oscillating hammer threatened to fall in spite of himself by the involuntary movement of his muscles. It seemed as though Dean Felporg, surfeited with the surprises of public auction sales, would be unable ...
— Godfrey Morgan - A Californian Mystery • Jules Verne

... is not in accordance with a constructive eugenic program, then the free imparting of information concerning the prevention of involuntary motherhood must be. But as has been pointed out in these columns again and again, to make this part of a constructive eugenic program is to run up against vicious and barbarous state and federal laws which ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto

... had a sitting with Foster, in which he undoubtedly showed abundant telepathy, and satisfied us that he was fundamentally honest, though not always discriminating between his involuntary impressions, and his natural impulses to help out their coherence ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... urging forward his steed. He stopped at the borders of the moor, and turned towards the scenes so dear to him, where he had passed what of his life had gone by in innocence and peace. For the first time, he felt alone in the world; and a few involuntary tears fell from his eyes—a token of regret due to the memory of departed worth, and a pleasing recollection of scenes endeared to him by many tender associations. Thus in pensive meditation he rode on, undetermined as to his future mode of life. Prior to his setting out, everything had appeared ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17 • Alexander Leighton

... became a sign for more definite results. The hand which tingled, either right or left, indicated whether it were to be paid or received. The particular ear affected was held to indicate good or evil news. Other involuntary movements of the body were also ...
— Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune-Telling by Tea Leaves • 'A Highland Seer'

... very ill: and that at this time his life was one of profligacy, gambling, and poverty. She became with child of you; was cursed by her own parents at that discovery; though she never upbraided, except by her involuntary tears, and the misery depicted on her countenance, the author of ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... instilled into me by both of them. When my childish heart, hungering for affection, inclined me to one of them, the other would seek to inspire me with loathing and contempt for her. In this manor-house, which they bought on the old doctor's death and to which they added the two wings, I was the involuntary torturer and their daily victim. Tormented as a child, and, as a young man, leading the most hideous of lives, I doubt if any one on earth ever ...
— The Eight Strokes of the Clock • Maurice Leblanc

... Chamberlain's nature; and even his Tory friends shuddered at such a manifestation of the real kind of man that lies hidden under Mr. Chamberlain's oily and smooth exterior. At first, he seemed surprised at the visible shock and tremor and involuntary sense of repulsion which this odious suggestion awakened on all sides—then he slowly realized that he had made a mistake; and, for once, this readiest of debaters was nonplussed, and even a ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... an involuntary shiver which he turned off as being from the temperature. "What are you going to show us? for it's getting ...
— Fire Island - Being the Adventures of Uncertain Naturalists in an Unknown Track • G. Manville Fenn

... glad the time has come when the "lions write history." We have been left long enough to gather the character of slavery from the involuntary evidence of the masters. One might, indeed, rest sufficiently satisfied with what, it is evident, must be, in general, the results of such a relation, without seeking farther to find whether they have followed in every instance. Indeed, those who stare at the half-peck ...
— The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - An American Slave • Frederick Douglass

... chosen nucleus and some little elaboration in the admission of new members—whose works might be submitted to the report of a critical jury—such a Guild might be made fairly representative of literary capacity. Election, one may suggest, should be involuntary. There would be a number of literary men, one fears—great men some of them—who would absolutely refuse to work with any such body, and from the first the Guild would have to determine to make such men unwilling members, members to whom all the honours and privileges ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... the poet, of July 21, 1883, affirms that the account is correct in every particular, adding, 'My own explanation of the matter has been that the shrewd Italian felt his way by the involuntary help of my own eyes and face.' The story has been reprinted in the ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... Every man who looked at the Imperial equipage as it passed through the streets, was in danger of being arrested as an assassin. Nobles were suddenly exiled—none knew why, or where. The cloud was thickening round the palace. It is a perilous thing to be the one object on which every eye involuntary turns, as the cause of public evil. Rumours of conspiracy rose and died, and were heard again. In free governments public discontents have room to escape, and they escape. In despotisms they have no room to evaporate, and they condense until they explode. St Petersburg at length became a ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various

... to be lost in the youth, the attentive father saw cause for alarm. Shades of sadness, which gradually assumed a darker character, began to over-cloud the young man's temper. Tears, which seemed involuntary, broken sleep, moonlight wanderings, and a melancholy for which he could assign no reason, seemed to threaten at once his bodily health and the stability of his mind. The Astrologer was consulted by letter, and returned ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... indifferent croupier into a great careless heap, and carrying with them how many hopes, and ambitions, and longings—all crushed and scattered in one brief moment. Madelon half uttered a stifled cry, half made an involuntary movement forward; then, recollecting herself, shrank back, disengaging herself from the crowd. The gap was immediately filled up; no one remarked, or cared for, the poor, despairing child. The brave little ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... silence. Then they burst into a loud laugh, while Joe, suddenly recovering, went crashing into a Scotch reel with energy so great that time and tune were both sacrificed. As if by mutual impulse, Ruby and Dove began to dance! But this was merely a spurt of feeling, more than half-involuntary. In the middle of a bar Joe flung down the fiddle, and, springing up, seized Ruby round the neck and hugged him, an act which made him aware of the fact that he ...
— The Lighthouse • Robert Ballantyne

... and Griffith handed his dame in. He then gave an involuntary sigh, and followed her ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... aware that while he gazed, like a man in a trance, the two young people walked on their way and were on the point of passing beyond reach of eye or ear. He made a sudden involuntary movement as if he would call them back, and for the first time his faithful hiding-place, strained beyond silent endurance, betrayed him with a loud rustle of shaken branches. Ste. Marie shrank back, his heart in his throat. It was too late to retreat now down the ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... SPASMS. An involuntary and painful contraction of the muscles may arise from various causes, and require different modes of treatment. But if no medical assistance be at hand, the application of volatile liniments to the part affected, a ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... motion and sensation in the feet and legs. The lower bowel and bladder are generally involved, and as a result, the patient suffers from constipation, and retention and dribbling of urine. Although completely paralyzed, the patient is often tormented with involuntary movements and ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... a certain brutality that crept into the man's tones occasionally when he addressed her, a certain savage irritability in manner, that told the girl's keen intelligence something; some involuntary sighs of hers as she sat near him, and an increasing look of exhaustion on her face, that told him something. But that ...
— Six Women • Victoria Cross

... for him unbounded loyalty and admiration. But he had never been deceived. He knew that Mrs. Primrose lied as she breathed—politely, but continuously—by her involuntary muscles. Day and night since they had reached New York she had schemed for Nan. She had joined every society, club, and coterie into which she could buy, push, or manoeuvre her way. She had used her Revolutionary ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... Finally one of his involuntary guests toppled over in a faint. Blackbeard was kind enough to haul him to the door and boot him through it. A second man dragged himself thither. A third found voice to supplicate. The witch-fires still smoked and stewed in the pots and Blackbeard had proved that he was the toughest demon ...
— Blackbeard: Buccaneer • Ralph D. Paine

... turned the congregation for a moment into a mere pother of blowing plaid-ends and prancing horses, and the rain followed and was dashed straight into their faces. Men and women panted aloud in the shock of that violent shower-bath; the teeth were bared along all the line in an involuntary grimace; plaids, mantles, and riding-coats were proved vain, and the worshippers felt the water stream on their naked flesh. The minister, reinforcing his great and shrill voice, continued to contend against and triumph ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and the rest of the glorious band, the least of whom has his name written in the Libro d'Oro of the men posterity delighteth to honor. After the men came the women, meek and gentle, yet strong and courageous, and the children, poor little heroes and heroines, involuntary martyrs like the ...
— Standish of Standish - A story of the Pilgrims • Jane G. Austin

... the babu was propelled on an involuntary course, and Warrington proceeded to pinch certain of his fat parts to encourage him to mount the box with greater speed; but his helplessness became so obvious that Warrington turned friend and shoved him up at last, ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... not prey upon each other. Scientists say that the human system has two nerve-centres—one in the brain, to which and from which are telegraphed all movements depending upon the will, and another in the small of the back, the centre of the involuntary operations of respiration, digestion, and so on. It may be fanciful to suppose that in the national system Washington is the one nervous centre and New York the other. And yet it does sometimes seem that the ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... fixed my eyes firmly upon the guide, who was now devoting his attention entirely to his one respectful listener. I was ashamed of my companions, but I couldn't help catching stray fragments of the conversation, and the involuntary mixing of Bertie's affairs with the Religious Wars, and the destruction of Les Baux by Richelieu's soldiers, had a positively weird effect on my mind. Bertie, it seemed—(or was it Richelieu?) was invited to visit at the chateau of a French marquis ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... not when that Thought comes, nor what it is. It is not WE. We do not mould it, shape it, fashion it. It is neither our mechanism nor our invention. It appears spontaneously, flashing, as it were, into the soul, making that soul the involuntary instrument of its utterance to the world. It comes to us, and seems a stranger to us, seeking ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... threshold of the warm firelit room; and then a swift transition of thought carried her back to the dismal little dining-room at Galvaston Terrace, with its black smouldering fire, and the damp clinging to the window-panes, and an involuntary shiver crossed her as she knelt down ...
— Doctor Luttrell's First Patient • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... in danger," said Lahoma, with-drawing from his involuntary embrace. "Don't take ME for Brick! Maybe you're right—but no, I'm sure he wouldn't be willing to stay out in the mountains week after week—and during these cold nights! For it is cold, right now. We must ...
— Lahoma • John Breckenridge Ellis

... Good to hear; hard to act upon. Nevil Sinclair—knowing they would act upon it—let out an involuntary sigh and tightened his hold of the gentle, adoring woman, whose spirit towered so ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... involuntary sense of this haunted antiquity that gives its peculiar expressiveness to the solemn, almost religious quiet of barns and stables, the, so to say, prehistoric hush of brooding, sun-steeped rickyards; and gives, too, a homely, sacerdotal look ...
— October Vagabonds • Richard Le Gallienne

... concluded with a loud note of joy, a long, involuntary suspiration in the darkening room told me that I had been listened to with profound interest; and, although no word was spoken, though I was still a stranger and under a cloud, it was plain that the experiment had succeeded, and that for the ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... o'clock in the evening, while we were dining on the beach, an earthquake shook the island, the glasses jingled together, and all our party were in involuntary see-saw motion, like the Chinese figures. This lasted about ten seconds. Several of us, who had never before experienced the sensation, were much relieved when the shock was over, as it created a suffocating sensation. During the evening there were several other shocks, but none of them ...
— Borneo and the Indian Archipelago - with drawings of costume and scenery • Frank S. Marryat

... be defined as regular modulations of the voice by means of which different inflections can be imparted to the same sound. They may be compared with the half-involuntary modulations which express emotional feeling in our words. To the foreign ear, a Chinese sentence spoken slowly with the tones clearly brought out has a certain sing-song effect. If we speak of the tones as ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... again, as if by an involuntary impulse, at the edge of the forest, and waved their hands in another, and, this time, in a last good-by to the watchers at the fort. Then they plunged into the mighty wilderness, which swept away and away for ...
— The Young Trailers - A Story of Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... others were in a dream. Prayer mastered them by main force. They did not bow, they were bent. There was something involuntary in their condition; they wavered as a sail flaps when the breeze fails. And the haggard group took by degrees, with clasping of hands and prostration of foreheads, attitudes various, yet of humiliation. Some strange reflection of the deep seemed to soften ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... lucky for "Mac." For Eck had once worn a marine hat over his own right eye and, he knew from melancholy experience that the $25 was no government generosity, but "Mac's" own involuntary contribution to his finding and delivery; so managed to slip most of it back ...
— Zone Policeman 88 - A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and its Workers • Harry A. Franck

... with interests, spiritual as well as commercial, interlocking to a degree that no disturbance of any part of the civilized globe can exist without seriously affecting the rest. A disturbance in one quarter must make quite innocent bystanders involuntary victims, to the serious detriment of spiritual peace ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... gentleman poetically expresses it, "has none of the sober grief, no dignity of suppressed anguish, no involuntary tear, no settled meditation on the fate she meant to meet, no amorous warmth turned holy by despair; in short, all is wanting that should have been there, all is there that such a story would have banished from a mind capable of conceiving such complicated ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... grown quite pale; she stood there with dilated eyes, raising herself on her toes with an involuntary movement and ...
— The Son of His Mother • Clara Viebig

... some held it another proof of the ingrained rascality of the man, a trick to suggest lenient construction of his general conduct in the management of the company's finances, others saw in it an interesting example of the involuntary operation of business instincts which persisted at a juncture when the man might be supposed to have been actuated only by ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... indulgence of illicit pleasures, says Dr. S. Pancoast, sooner or later is sure to entail the most loathsome diseases on their votaries. Among these diseases are Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Spermatorrhoea (waste of semen by daily and nightly involuntary emissions), Satyriasis (a species of sexual madness, or a sexual diabolism, causing men to commit rape and other beastly acts and outrages, not only on women and children, but men and animals, as sodomy, pederasty, etc.), Nymphomania (causing women to assail every man they ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... his hand and counts slowly from zero to nine. After that he asks him to think of the second figure, and counts once more. Immediately after he will announce rightly the two digits. Again there is no mystery in it. He knows that the man who thinks of the figure five will make a slight involuntary movement when the five is reached in counting, and the same movement will occur at the seven in the second counting. If he is very well trained, he will not need the touching of the hand; he will perform the same ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... by various routes through the States of Delaware and Maryland, I am fully convinced that there are, at this time, within the jurisdiction of the United States, several thousands of legally free people of color, toiling under the yoke of involuntary servitude, and transmitting the same fate to their posterity! If the probability of this fact could be authenticated to the recognition of the Congress of the United States, it is presumed that its members, ...
— An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans • Lydia Maria Child

... of Boswell's genius: no other biographer of a great writer has unconsciously and unintentionally thrown his hero's own works into the shade. Scott will always have a hundred times as many readers as Lockhart, and Macaulay as Trevelyan. But in this, as in some other ways, Boswell's involuntary greatness has upset the balance of truth. Johnson's writings are now much less read than they deserve to be. For this there are a variety of causes. Fourteen years before he died, William Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth; and fourteen years after his ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... his mind before he was aware of it. He turned with an involuntary start and looked about him. He knew perfectly well what it meant—this thought that had thrust its head up from the instinctive region. He understood, without being able to express it fully, the meaning that betrayed itself in the choice of the adjective. For if he had ignored ...
— Four Weird Tales • Algernon Blackwood

... The sea was now tolerably calm along shore, for the tide was far advanced, and I had hardly swam twenty yards from the mouth of the cove when a Landwithiel fishing-boat came in sight almost within hail. An involuntary prayer came to my lips; I sung out with all the energy which the hope of life could produce; she was alongside in a trice, and in a few minutes I was sailing for Landwithiel Pier, merrily, at the rate of eight ...
— Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 475 - Vol. XVII, No. 475. Saturday, February 5, 1831 • Various

... heartily at their distress, replied, "Your pardon is granted, for the insult was involuntary, though deserved, as I was an impertinent intruder on your privacy; make yourselves easy, and sit down; but you must each of you relate to me your adventures, or some story that you have heard." The cauzee and the fisherman, having recovered from their confusion, ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... through the boy and could not be found; and, as the wound, though through the lungs, was healing in a most satisfactory manner, and would leave no effects, I had no scruples in preventing a conviction that would have punished an involuntary offense by a terrible penalty, which all who know anything of a Turkish prison can anticipate. The governor-general was very angry, and the kaimakam was severely reprimanded, but they could not help themselves. My position under the capitulations was secure, but ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II • William James Stillman

... many of whose sons were at the same time students in the college. "Are you married, Dr. S——-r?" said the bachelor vice-provost, in all the dignity and pride of conscious innocence. "Married!" said the father of ten children, with a start of involuntary horror;—"married?" "Yes sir, married." "Why sir, I am no more married than the Provost." This was quite enough—no further questions were asked, and the head of the University preferred a merciful course towards the offender, ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Vol. 1 • Charles James Lever

... tendency,—my friend, the Professor, especially. Some think it is in humble imitation of Johnson,—some that it is for the sake of the stately sound only. I don't think they get to the bottom of it. It is, I suspect, an instinctive and involuntary effort of the mind to present a thought or image with the three dimensions that belong to every solid,—an unconscious handling of an idea as if it had length, breadth, and thickness. It is a great deal easier to say this than to prove it, and a great deal easier to dispute ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... violent hands on him and keep him at home if he thought on venturing on the expedition that, after all, he might himself discover the key of the cipher, and that then I should be clear at the mere expense of my involuntary abstinence. ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... instant he thought he was under fire and that a huge shell had burst somewhere desperately close to them. He had jumped, his comrades assured him afterwards, a clear foot and a half off the ground, and he himself remembered that his first involuntary glance and thought flashed to the deep ditch that ran ...
— Action Front • Boyd Cable (Ernest Andrew Ewart)

... still cumber themselves with the clumsy armor of a bygone age. On whirls the restless globe through unsounded time, with its cities and its silences, its births and funerals, half light, half shade, but never wholly dark, and sure to swing round into the happy morning at last. With an involuntary smile, one sees Mr. Calhoun letting slip his pack-thread cable with a crooked pin at the end of it to anchor South Carolina upon the bank and shoal ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... Miss Erskine, the first, or the first known to us, of those interesting correspondences with ladies which show him perhaps at his very best. For in them he plays neither jack-pudding, nor coxcomb, nor sentimentalist, nor any of the involuntary counterparts which men in such cases are too apt to play; and they form not the least of his titles to the great name ...
— Sir Walter Scott - Famous Scots Series • George Saintsbury

... that Lee was merely extending his lines, but an hour before noon a battery opened fire from a hill upon the marching Confederate column. Harry and Dalton heard shrapnel whizzing over their heads. After the first involuntary shiver they regained the calm of youthful veterans and rode on ...
— The Star of Gettysburg - A Story of Southern High Tide • Joseph A. Altsheler

... homicidal acts—to subject them "to the common penalties of the law." He maintains that the consequences of murder by a maniac may be as pernicious to society as those of the most criminal and deliberate assassination. The entire inability indicated by this sentiment to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary acts, the result of disease—between motives and consequences—is singularly well shown. Unfortunately it ...
— Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles • Daniel Hack Tuke

... Whether in some involuntary recoil the pilot pressed a wrong control or whether the action of the grass itself snatched the ladder from the ship I don't know; but that last bit attached to the machine was torn free and fell upon the green. It was the only thing to mark the spot where the bowl which had held us had been, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... conversation. Towards the close of the first act, the door of a box which had been hitherto vacant was opened; a lady entered to whom Franz had been introduced in Paris, where indeed, he had imagined she still was. The quick eye of Albert caught the involuntary start with which his friend beheld the new arrival, and, turning to him, he said hastily, "Do you know the woman who has ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... statehood: the ordinance laid down a series of "Articles of Compact" to govern them after they were admitted into the Union. Religious liberty and personal rights were to be secured; general morality and education to be encouraged; and finally it was provided that "there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." The introduction of this clause is due to New England men, who were anxious to form a colony on the Ohio, and who desired to secure the freedom with ...
— Formation of the Union • Albert Bushnell Hart

... did so he was aware of a slight, curious expression in the face he had disliked. The eyelids twitched, the upper lip drew down tight over the teeth, the nostrils widened. It was a sudden contraction and then flexing of the muscles, an involuntary grimace, gone almost as soon as it had come. With murmured thanks, Mayer stretched his hand ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... is free from 'The only begotten Son, all taint of sin, either who is in the bosom of the voluntary or involuntary.'—De Father.'—John i. 18. Profugis. 'The blood of Christ, who 'The Logos the fountain offered himself without of life. spot to God.'—Heb. ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... He sat down at the opposite side of the table, at least seven feet from her, but probably there was the same glow in his eyes which had once frightened Dounia so much. She shuddered and once more looked about her distrustfully. It was an involuntary gesture; she evidently did not wish to betray her uneasiness. But the secluded position of Svidrigailov's lodging had suddenly struck her. She wanted to ask whether his landlady at least were at home, but pride kept ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... been well with the "Wild Geese" had not the unlucky Stockie at this moment, given a loud sneeze. At which some of the minor members of the company giggled. The chief looked sternly at the culprit. He saw Stockie about to repeat the involuntary sneeze and grabbed him by the nose and throat. Too late! The noise had been heard below and the imperative command was given to "come down." Slowly the trap-door was opened and the ladder descended. Then a scuffle ensued to see ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... sacred routine of the day's work to be thus interrupted, for nothing more important than the expected arrival of a strolling urchin, was something Larson would not have believed had he not seen it. Even now he was conscious once or twice of an involuntary desire to rub his eyes to make sure they were ...
— Just David • Eleanor H. Porter

... as fresh and as brightly colored on the cheek-bone as a Nuremberg doll; her eyes were lively and bright; a closely-fitting bodice set off the slenderness of her waist. Her brow and temples were furrowed by a few involuntary wrinkles which, like Ninon, she would fain have banished from her head to her heel, but they persisted in tracing their zigzags in the more conspicuous place. The outlines of the nose had somewhat fallen away, and the tip had reddened, and this was the more awkward because it matched ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... lightning and the thunder were repeated. This time her head was not raised again, and she kept her hand covered over her eyes. Yet whenever the sound of the thunder came, Eleanor's frame answered it by a start. She said nothing; it was merely the involuntary answer of the nerves. The storm was a severe one, and when the severity of it passed a little further off, the torrents of ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume I • Susan Warner

... Lindsay appeared suddenly in that important locality, and repaired to his accustomed quarters at the house of Deacon Rumrill. That worthy person received him with a certain gravity of manner, caused by his recollection of the involuntary transgression into which Mr. Lindsay had led him by his present of Ivanhoe. He was, on the whole, glad to see him, for his finances were not yet wholly recovered from the injury inflicted on them by the devouring element. But he could not forget ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... purpose of each edition of this pamphlet to benefit no favored class, but, according to the apostle's admonition, to "reprove, rebuke, exhort," and with the power and self-sacrificing spirit of Love to correct involuntary as well as ...
— No and Yes • Mary Baker Eddy

... the door, pausing in their several occupations; even Warner's eyes were raised from his book, although his attention was involuntary and grudging. The attitude of the little circle attested the influence which the coming man wielded over every member of it; an influence which extended insensibly to every one with whom Nesbit Thorne's association was intimate. He was ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... having gained permission to go on deck, the three younger boys were out, steadying themselves by anything which came handy, and vastly enjoying the fun of seeing other people lurching about in all sorts of funny antics, all involuntary ...
— The Adventurous Seven - Their Hazardous Undertaking • Bessie Marchant

... doctrine that all feeling and cognition belong to individual experience, and that the mind of the child newly-born is a tabula rasa. The pleasure excited by the perfume of a flower, by certain shades of color, by certain tones of music; the involuntary loathing or fear aroused by the first sight of dangerous or venomous life; even the nameless terror of dreams,—are all inexplicable upon the old-fashioned soul-hypothesis. How deeply-reaching into the life of the race some of these sensations are, such as the ...
— Kokoro - Japanese Inner Life Hints • Lafcadio Hearn

... and discuss a very beautiful passage from a lecture upon Stoicism by Professor Gilbert Murray, which also displays the same characteristic of an involuntary shaping out of God in the forms of denial. It is a passage remarkable for its conscientious and resolute Agnosticism. And it is remarkable too for its blindness to the possibility of separating quite completely the idea of the Infinite Being from ...
— God The Invisible King • Herbert George Wells

... in the body while thought occupied the mind—even if, as more often happens, the blush or smile did not precede and introduce the feeling they suggest, the feeling which in our verbal mythology is said to cause them. No one would be so simple as to suppose that such involuntary signs of feeling spring directly and by miracle out of feeling. They surely continue some previous bodily commotion which determines their material character, so that laughter, for instance, becomes a sign ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... rectum or distal part of the large intestine. Appendages, Uterine. The Fallopian tubes, the ligaments of the uterus, and the ovaries. Atrophy. A progressive diminution in the bulk of an organ or tissue. Automatic. Involuntary, mechanical. ...
— The Four Epochs of Woman's Life • Anna M. Galbraith

... will, presents itself with frequency to my mind; and, since it presents itself to my mind, it is my desire, it is my duty to confess it to you: it would be wrong for me to hide from you even my most secret and involuntary thoughts. You have taught me to analyze the feelings of the soul; to search for their origin, if it be good or evil; to make, in short, a scrupulous examination ...
— Pepita Ximenez • Juan Valera

... began, with an involuntary stiffness, "for calling at this very unceremonious time; but the fact is, ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... gonorrhea and syphilis. To gonorrhea is attributed 80 per cent. of the blindness of children born blind; it is declared to be the cause of 75 per cent. of all the surgical operations for female disorders and of 45 per cent. of involuntary sterility in childless women. Syphilis is the chief cause of feeble-mindedness, paresis, or softening of the brain, and of most ...
— Parent and Child Vol. III., Child Study and Training • Mosiah Hall

... These involuntary reflections prompted him to watch the old man and the Baroness, whose meaning looks and certain sidelong glances cast at Adelaide displeased him. "Am I being duped?" was Hippolyte's last idea—horrible, scathing, for he believed ...
— The Purse • Honore de Balzac

... himself by the involuntary gasp he gave as the lieutenant revealed the secret he had taken so much trouble to surprise. Here was luck with a vengeance! The very information they wanted was being handed to them on a silver platter. But he managed to restrain his emotions, so that no ...
— The Boy Scout Automobilists - or, Jack Danby in the Woods • Robert Maitland

... organic law three fundamental provisions: First, No one who has held any office under the Confederate Government except civil offices merely ministerial, or military office below the rank of colonel, shall vote for or be a member of the Legislature, or shall vote for or be elected governor. Second, Involuntary servitude shall be forever prohibited, and the freedom of all persons in the State guaranteed. Third, No debt, State or Confederate, created in aid of the rebellion shall ever be paid. In the event of a constitution being framed with these provisions inserted, and then adopted by ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... transmuted in the search for larger ethical and spiritual conceptions. An enlarged insight into the possibilities of living tends to slough off selfishness and to make more habitual the occasional, and often involuntary, response to Christlike deeds and ideals. But so ingrained is our earthly nature that, in communities as in nations, periods alternate with periods, and the pendulum swings from laxity to morality, from apathy to piety, ...
— The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut • M. Louise Greene, Ph. D.

... glancing at the two giants, expecting to see some involuntary quiver of eye or nostril answer electrically to this frank revelation of their office; but their countenances (impossible to think of as mere faces) remained expressionless as if carved in stone. Lady MacGregor took nothing ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... hourly insistence of the chime, their most impressive monitor, they talked much more of Him whom they should worship than of various ways to worship him; and the most persistent of all the questions which occupied their attention arose out of the involuntary but continuous effort of one generation after another to define with scientific accuracy and to everybody's satisfaction his exact nature and attributes; in consequence of which efforts there had come to be several most distinct but quite contradictory ideas upon the subject. There ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... The first is found in no other Gospel. As Jesus tasted the first bitterness of his anguish he was heard to pray, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." He did not have in mind simply the soldiers who were involuntary instruments of his death, but rather the Jews who had not fully recognized the enormity of their crime. For them Jesus felt no hatred in his heart. He yearned for their repentance and their salvation. This prayer was a revelation of the matchless grace and mercy of this ...
— The Gospel of Luke, An Exposition • Charles R. Erdman

... clever!" muttered Hans in involuntary admiration, "and to think that I looked and looked too low, beneath the reed. Oh! Hans, though you are old, you ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... caught Hippias in the toils of the voluntary and involuntary, is obliged to confess that he is wandering about in the same labyrinth; he makes the reflection on himself which others would make upon him (compare Protagoras). He does not wonder that he should be in a difficulty, but he wonders ...
— Lesser Hippias • Plato

... that we modify our opinions suggests that our ideas are formed not so much in involuntary self-adjusting mimetic correspondence with the objects that we believe to give rise to them, as by what was in the outset voluntary, conventional arrangement in whatever way we found convenient, of sensation ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... hoaxed, made ridiculous by his own sentimentality. He strode on. But when he reached the farther corner some involuntary impulse turned him back. And again the sound of muffled sobbing came to him from the open window—fainter now, as though an effort had been ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... She spoke of Roderick as she might have done of a person suffering from a serious malady which demanded much tenderness; but if Rowland had found it possible to accuse her of dishonesty he would have said now that she believed appreciably less than she pretended to in her victim's being an involuntary patient. There are women whose love is care-taking and patronizing, and who rather prefer a weak man because he gives them a comfortable sense of strength. It did not in the least please Rowland to believe that Mary Garland was one of these; for he held that ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... off Anita—and then the two girls leaping together upon Miko. It threw him off his balance, and my hanging weight made him topple forward. He took a step to recover himself; his hand with the knife was flung up with an instinctive, involuntary balancing gesture. And as it came swiftly down again, I forced the knife-blade to graze his throat. Its point caught in ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 • Various

... an irregular reception or distribution of nervous power—a convulsive involuntary twitching of some muscle or set of muscles. It is an occasional consequence of distemper that has been unusually severe or imperfectly treated, and sometimes it is seen even after that disease has existed in ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... confessional I have been sitting at, with the inward ear of my soul open, as the multitudinous whisper of my involuntary confidants came back to me like the reduplicated echo of a cry among the ...
— The Professor at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

... said Will Osten, in a low tone, with an involuntary shudder. "Do you think there is much chance of ...
— Sunk at Sea • R.M. Ballantyne

... responded to his words,—a sound like the snarl of wolves, deep, fierce, and passionate. A close observer might perhaps have detected a sudden pallor on Leroy's face as he heard this ominous growl, and an involuntary clenching of the hand on the part of Axel Regor. Max Graub ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... central organ consists of a chain of ganglia, connected by nerve cords, which extends on each side of the spine from the head to the rump. The nerves of this system are distributed to the involuntary muscles, mucous membrane, ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... MacLauren feel daring. She looked up—suddenly—at the other boy—square. To be sure, she looked down quicker, that part being involuntary, as well as the blush that followed. The blush was disconcerting, but the sensation, on the whole, ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... its maker's mind, than any finished work can be. We may discover a greater mass of interesting objects in a painted picture or a carved statue; but we shall never find exactly the same thing, never the involuntary revelation of the artist's soul, the irrefutable witness to his mental and moral qualities, to the mysteries of his genius and to ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... M. Gerbois made an involuntary movement. Now that his daughter was restored to him, he began to see things in their true light. The arrest of his adversary meant half a million to him. Instinctively, he took a step toward the door.... Lupin barred his way, as ...
— The Blonde Lady - Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsne Lupin and the English Detective • Maurice Leblanc

... hand on her shoulder. As she shrank back from his lustrous eyes, with an involuntary scream, a figure sprang out of the dinghy a few feet away. With a single blow, neatly directed to Mr Jackson's ear, Mr Jackson was stretched senseless on the deck. Prince Aribert of Posen stood over him with a revolver. It was probably the greatest ...
— The Grand Babylon Hotel • Arnold Bennett

... gentlemen who insist on the word "obey" in the marriage service should be removed for a clear violation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which says there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude within the United States. As I gave these experiences to Bishop Janes he laughed heartily, and asked me to repeat them to each newcomer. Our little debating society was the center of attraction. One gentleman asked me if our woman suffrage conventions were as entertaining. I told ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... take it. She had come upon him surprisingly, and now, while he stared at her, he was finding her surprising in herself. Under the brim of her hat her face showed gentle and soft, with something of a special kindliness; and, because others were watching her, she had a little involuntary ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... An involuntary groan escaped from Darrell's lips. Slight as was the sound, the man heard it and turned, facing him; the latter was screened by the curtains, and the man, seeing no one, returned to his work, but that brief ...
— At the Time Appointed • A. Maynard Barbour

... involuntary and natural enough nervousness he had shown, for it was nothing more, turned his annoyance on the Major, who by such an insignificant display of coolness, had gained so great an advantage over him in the eyes of the ladies, and made up his opinion that in every ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... ancient promenade, a few scant and hungry-eyed little boys and girls were wandering over this weedy growth, not playing, but moving listlessly to and fro, fantastic in the wild inaptness of their costumes. One of these little creatures wore, with an odd, involuntary jauntiness, the cast-off best dress of some happier child, a gay little garment cut low in the neck and short in the sleeves, which gave her the grotesque effect of having been at a party the night before. Presently came two jaded women, a mother and a grandmother, that appeared, when ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... move of Warren's erstwhile valet—no twitching of facial muscles, no involuntary gesture of nervousness, however slight—escaped Carroll's attention; but with all his watchfulness, the boyish-looking investigator was unostentatious, almost ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... otherwise the rain would soften the fragile edifice of clay and soon lay it low; also, the stump must not be lying on the ground and must be kept at some distance from the dampness of the soil. We see therefore that, without the intervention of man, involuntary in the vast majority of cases and deliberate only on the experimenter's part, the Osmia would hardly ever find a reed-stump suited to the installation of her family. It is to her a casual acquisition, a home unknown to her race before men took it into their heads to cut reeds and make them ...
— Bramble-bees and Others • J. Henri Fabre

... the steamer, he would be likely to examine her; and that would lead to the release of the involuntary passenger. But if the Snapper went through the Providence Channel, the Chateaugay would not be likely to fall in with her. It looked to the unfortunate officer as though he was booked for a rebel prison. He could see no hope of escape, though he was duly grateful for the ...
— Fighting for the Right • Oliver Optic

... foretold. Telling Wilmet was perhaps the worst of it to Felix. True, she forbore to reprove or lament when she understood that the deed was actually accomplished, and saw that he was fatigued and out of spirits; but her 'Indeed! Oh! Felix!' and her involuntary gesture and attitude of dismay, went as far as a volume of reproach and evil augury. He was weary beyond vindicating himself or Edgar; but the next morning, when Wilmet and Angela had started for school, there was a ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... twenty hours behind time. Passepartout, the involuntary cause of this delay, was desperate. ...
— Around the World in 80 Days • Jules Verne

... glances to the right and left, to see if any symptoms of wavering began to show themselves, and to calculate how long it was likely to be before a general rush of his comrades to the rear would either harry him off with involuntary disgrace, or leave him alone and helpless, to be cut down ...
— The Fifteen Decisive Battles of The World From Marathon to Waterloo • Sir Edward Creasy, M.A.

... the talking of women. Presently the talking stopped and the plapping of the bare feet approached the door of the room shutting the two men in. The Squire set it slightly ajar, in spite of Dylks's involuntary, "Oh, don't!" and faced some one close to ...
— The Leatherwood God • William Dean Howells

... is described with singular vividness by the poet Walt Whitman, who was present: "A moment's hush—a scream—the cry of murder—Mrs. Lincoln leaning out of the box, with ashy cheeks and lips, with involuntary cry, pointing to the retreating figure, 'He has killed the President!' And still a moment's strange, incredulous suspense—and then the deluge!—then that mixture of horror, noises, uncertainty—(the sound, somewhere back, ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... spirit as the very best of his men. He could look into their eyes without trouble; and he was not withheld, by any bashful sentimentalism, from recognising what he saw there and unsparingly putting it down upon the canvas. But where people cannot meet without some confusion and a good deal of involuntary humbug, and are occupied, for as long as they are together, with a very different vein of thought, there cannot be much room for intelligent study nor much result in the shape of genuine comprehension. Even women, who understand men so ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... governor was not little at seeing two persons thus appear whom he supposed to be many hundred leagues on their way to England; but so soon as he was convinced of the truth of the vision before him, and learned the melancholy cause, an involuntary tear started from the eye of friendship and compassion, and we were received in the ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 • Matthew Flinders

... capital away from her shores; it cannot diminish poverty; it cannot in its direct effect assuage religious bigotry; it cannot of itself remove agrarian discontent. The Land Purchase Bill, even when discarded, remains an involuntary exposure of the futility of the Gladstonian Constitution, and of the unsoundness of the principle on which the demand for Home Rule rests. No friend of Italy ever suggested that Italian independence should be accompanied by a loan from ...
— England's Case Against Home Rule • Albert Venn Dicey

... of fierce lightning, the last now of the fleeting trail of storm, leaped around us, and in the vivid light I saw the white face turned again with the look of overwhelming desire, of beseeching pathos, that had choked my throat with an involuntary sob when first I saw Sister Maddelena. In the brief interval that ensued after the flash, and before the roaring thunder burst like the crash of battle over the trembling convent, I heard again the sorrowful words, "I cannot sleep," come from the impenetrable darkness. And when the ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... these, some are thrown up by occasions; but others, and often the greater part, follow the habitual train of our associations. It is not to thoughts of the former kind that I refer; it is to those of the latter class—those involuntary thoughts which spring up of themselves in the mind of every person: it is these, not the former, that afford clear indication of the general temper and disposition. The question I would propose to you is, What is the bent ...
— The world's great sermons, Volume 3 - Massillon to Mason • Grenville Kleiser

... "Oh!"—a half-involuntary cry escaped her, and Geoffrey looked up reassuringly as he stroked the horse's neck and checked him for a brief second. Mrs. Seymour and the trooper were somewhat in advance and had almost ...
— An Unwilling Maid • Jeanie Gould Lincoln

... know," said Quimbleton. "Perhaps they have a kind of Third Degree, flash a seidel of beer on you suddenly, and if you make an involuntary gesture of pleasure, you're convicted. Perhaps they've invented an instrument that tells what you think about. Perhaps they just arrest you on suspicion. At any rate all the folks who have been thinking about booze are being collected and sent over ...
— In the Sweet Dry and Dry • Christopher Morley

... being brought up here to me?" exclaimed Constance turning pale, and her involuntary cry would have sufficed to enlighten the accountant had he needed it. "He is being ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... verdict of a coroner's jury has never been known to disqualify any person from serving on a trial jury in a murder case by unduly influencing the opinion, or arousing the passions of such involuntary candidate for the jury box. No jails have been stormed or revolutions started by the verdict of an American coroner's jury, and New York was not destined to have its sensibilities too harshly jarred by a sensational verdict ...
— An American Suffragette • Isaac N. Stevens

... involuntary upon the part of Mickey. He had shown himself, on more than one occasion, to be a faithful sentinel, when serious danger threatened; but he believed that there was nothing to be feared on the present occasion, and, as he was sorely ...
— The Cave in the Mountain • Lieut. R. H. Jayne

... entitled San Kai Ri[27] (Mountain, Sea and Earth), which is a re-reading and explanation of Japanese mythology and tradition as recorded in the Kojiki, by a Ki[o]t[o] priest of the Shin Shu Sect. Of this Dharma, it is said, that he outdid the Roman Regulus who suffered involuntary loss of his eyelids at the hands of the Carthaginians. Dharma cut off his own eyelids, because he could not keep awake.[28] Throwing the offending flesh upon the ground, he saw the tea-plant arise to help holy men to keep vigil. Daruma, as the Japanese ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... according to a strange notion of his own, he explained by maintaining that in certain vessels which are susceptible of an internal pruriency, and thence produce laughter, the blood is set in commotion in consequence of an alteration in the vital spirits, whereby involuntary fits of intoxicating joy and a propensity to dance are occasioned. To this notion he was, no doubt, led from having observed a milder form of St. Vitus's dance, not uncommon in his time, which was accompanied by involuntary laughter; and which bore a resemblance to the hysterical laughter ...
— The Black Death, and The Dancing Mania • Justus Friedrich Karl Hecker

... entity. It occupies the whole human body, and, when not opposed in any way, it has absolute control over all the functions, conditions, and sensations of the body. While the objective mind has control of all our voluntary functions and motions, the subjective mind controls all the silent, involuntary, and vegetative functions. This subjective mind can see without the use of physical eyes. It perceives by intuition. It has the power to communicate with others without the use of ordinary physical means. It can read the thoughts ...
— The Life Radiant • Lilian Whiting



Words linked to "Involuntary" :   vegetative, involuntary muscle, forced, unwilling, reflex, driven, autonomic, freedom from involuntary servitude, involuntary trust, unconscious, unwilled, nonvoluntary, goaded, automatic, reflexive, physiology, unvoluntary



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