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Nothingness   Listen
noun
Nothingness  n.  
1.
Nihility; nonexistence.
2.
The state of being of no value; a thing of no value.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Nothingness" Quotes from Famous Books



... But the true lesson of humility was taught by Newton, when he solved the problem of the world, and revealed the wonderful art displayed therein by the Supreme Architect. Never before, in the history of the human race, was so impressive a conviction made of the almost absolute nothingness of man, when measured on the inconceivably magnificent scale of the universe. No one, it is well known, felt this conviction more deeply than Newton himself. "I have been but as a child," said he, "playing on the sea-shore; now finding ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... massacres in the South; the banks of the Rhone and of the Durance are said to be covered with dead carcases, upon which the dogs are feeding. Garnier de Saintes addresses from the tribune the royalists of France. "Insects," (says he) "return "to your nothingness; ye shall perish, whilst we "shall be masters of the world, with which we will "share our fortune and our liberty." Tallien prophesies, that before three months a counter-revolution will be effected; and he therefore advises his colleagues to make their political ...
— Historical Epochs of the French Revolution • H. Goudemetz

... is easy enough for me to say it does not exist or to believe God never made it, and this would be a step in the right direction; but to annul this error entirely, I must be able to prove to myself, its nonexistence; that means I must fully understand the nothingness of evil under the guise of prejudice, and realize the ever-presence of Good, for if God (Good) is ever present, prejudice, or evil, is never present; now ...
— The Pastor's Son • William W. Walter

... BISHOP PETER came (That was the kindly Bishop's name), He heard these dreadful oaths with shame, And chid their want of dress. (Except a shell—a bangle rare - A feather here—a feather there The South Pacific Negroes wear Their native nothingness.) ...
— Fifty Bab Ballads • William S. Gilbert

... is a base and soulless world. At this moment, I doubt not, he is exacting, that under the masks of a Pantaloon and a Pulcinello there should be a heart glowing with unearthly desires and ideal aspirations, and that Harlequin should out moralise Hamlet upon the nothingness of sublunary things; and should it not be so, the dew will rise into his eyes, and he will turn his back on the whole scene ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... partial understanding of His will and way to Him, and He will be to you wisdom. Bring all the poverty of your natures, all the insufficiency of your religious character, all the inadequacy of your poor work, to your Lord. Feel it all. Let the conviction of your nothingness sink into your soul. Then wait before Him in simple faith, in lowly obedience, and power will come to you equal to your desire and to your duties, and He will put His spirit upon you, and will anoint you to proclaim liberty to ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... got out of the cab, and took a lamp and moved forward into nothingness, and found a railing and some steps, and after climbing the steps saw a star, which proved ultimately to be a light over a swing-door. He pushed open the swing-door, and was ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... attributes new meanings to the words of Parmenides and Heracleitus; but at times the old Eleatic philosophy appears to go beyond him; then the world of phenomena disappears, but the doctrine of ideas is also reduced to nothingness. All of them are nearer to one another than they themselves supposed, and nearer to him than he supposed. All of them are antagonistic to sense and have an affinity to number and measure and a presentiment of ideas. Even in ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... rapid and beneficial effect on these rude materials, and soon elicits manifestations of intelligence, and improves and developes the moral faculties. When one sees what is done by such small means, it is impossible not to reflect with shame and sorrow upon the little, or rather the nothingness, that is accomplished when the material is of the best description, and the means are unlimited,—upon the total absence of any system throughout places of education, either public or private, and consequently at the ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... forward, resting on her hands, stared across the appalling gulf of inky dark, and down into the nothingness. ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... her faded charms at times almost repulsive. And then Josephine had never borne him any children; and without a son to perpetuate his dynasty, the gigantic achievements which he had wrought seemed futile in his eyes, and likely to crumble into nothingness when he ...
— Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete - The Romance of Devotion • Lyndon Orr

... have come to see through them—at least the worst ones and many thousands of them—all these busy little worms of public diplomacy building their faint vague little coral islands of bluff and unbelief far far away from us, out in the great ocean of their nothingness all by themselves. ...
— The Ghost in the White House • Gerald Stanley Lee

... daylight, at night transformed by witchfires of enchantment. The man and woman, in whom vitality was strong, combatted its blighting force, refused to be broken by its power. They desired with vehemence to assert themselves, to rebel, not to submit to the sense of their nothingness. They turned to one another hungry for the life that now was only within themselves. They had passed beyond the limits of the accustomed, were like detached particles gone outside the law of gravity, floating undirected through spaces where ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... mellow were its fruits! how bright its flow'rs! How strong and brave the beings, fit to share It with thee! 'Tis most strange that He, whose hand Fashions such wondrous things, should take delight In striking them to nothingness again! Perchance the author of all evil had Invaded it, and made it quite unfit To be a part of God's great universe. And yet thou lookest as if thou wert beyond The power of temptation to ...
— Mazelli, and Other Poems • George W. Sands

... This disgusted me. If that was the style of classical scholarship at Yale, I knew that there was nothing in it for me. It turned out as my friend said. That glib reciter did become the valedictorian of the class, but stepped from the commencement stage into nothingness, and was never heard of more. Goddard became the editor of one of the most important metropolitan news- papers of the United States, and, before his early death, distinguished himself as a writer ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... teacheth the other,—to be lowly in mind, and esteem every one better than ourselves. To be meek, patient, long-suffering, reason may persuade it, upon the consideration of our own baseness, emptiness, frailty, and nothingness. But this lesson is taught in Christ's school, not from that motive only,—the force of necessity, but from a higher motive,—the constraint of love to Jesus Christ,—"learn of me." Suppose there were no necessity of reason in it, yet affection might be a stronger necessity to persuade conformity ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... all are fled—the car is fled Into the light of heaven, and in their stead A sense of real things comes doubly strong, And, like a muddy stream, would bear along My soul to nothingness: but I will strive Against all doublings, and will keep alive The thought of that same chariot, and the strange Journey ...
— Poems 1817 • John Keats

... blood that gave them a momentary valour. It was from you and your inexhaustible vitality that these collaborating spectres drew what life they possessed; and when they parted from you they shuddered back into their nothingness. Where are the plays, where the romances which Maquet and the rest wrote in their own strength? They are forgotten with last year's snows; they have passed into the wide waste-paper basket of the world. You say of D'Artagnan, when severed from his three friends—from Porthos, ...
— Letters to Dead Authors • Andrew Lang

... profoundly. Roncivalli was one of the most trusted of our committee, an Italian pur sang, a man whose family had suffered from Austrian misrule for half a century back. He represented a house which had been rich and noble, and had been persecuted into nothingness. No man had been louder in denunciation of the Austrian cruelty, no man apparently more sincere. There never lived a man who had more reason for sincerity. My first impression was that he must be spying upon the spies, for my opinion of his patriotism ...
— In Direst Peril • David Christie Murray

... dominion by the energy of the Brahma weapon, the five elements forsook the illustrious Ravana, and were consumed by the Brahma weapon, the physical ingredients of Ravana's body. His flesh and blood were all reduced to nothingness,—so that the ashes even could ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 • Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... lever and the method of the death intended for Locke was revealed. Directly under the suspended rope was a trap-door, which opened. Locke gazed down into blackness, nothingness. An emissary threw some small, heavy object into the yawning hole. For a long time nothing was heard. Then finally, far, far below there came to their ears the sound of a ...
— The Master Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey

... of beauty is a joy forever; Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us; and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... through the streets. The Boche had left the little town alone for some time; they had other things to do with their heavy guns; and all the French population, save those whose homes were reduced to nothingness, had remained. They took no notice of the distant bombardment. It had grown to be a phenomenon of nature like ...
— The Rough Road • William John Locke

... just estimate of the sentiments that all external action causes for him. He very soon sees that no change has been wrought in him, that there is nothing new and nothing greater in the exercise of his physical faculties, and discovers his own real nothingness. Kings, even should they rule over the whole world, are condemned to live in a narrow circle like other men. They must even submit to the conditions of their lot, and their happiness depends upon the personal impressions that they receive. But ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... evidence with a pitiless logic, paid its own tribute—despite the anguish of the heart —to the pioneers of truth whose trail it followed into the Unknown, who had held no Mystery more sacred than Truth itself, who had dared to venture into the nothingness between the ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... untwisting the shreds of my gloves. It seemed as though the world had slipped from under my feet and I was whirling into nothingness. ...
— Arms and the Woman • Harold MacGrath

... no type nor symbol stand, No mediator, were he more divine Than the incarnate Christ. All forms, all priests, I part aside, and hold communion free Beneath the empty sky of noon, with naught Between my nothingness and thy high heavens— Spirit with spirit. O, have mercy, God! Cleanse me from lust and bitterness and pride, Have mercy in accordance with my faith." Long time he lay upon the scorching grass, With his face buried in the tangled weeds. Ah! ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... human pity for their subject. This "honour" determines the actions which are acknowledged and praised by the world, while wounded pity takes refuge in a scarcely expressed, but all the more deeply moving, sublime melancholy, in which we recognise the essence of the world to be terror and nothingness. It is the Catholic religion which tries to bridge over this deep chasm, and nowhere else did it gain such profound significance as here, where the contrast between the world and pity was developed in a more pregnant, more precise, more plastic form than ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 2 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... was she didn't definitely know, but she did know that it concerned some close warm contact with life that she had as yet been unable to make. When she closed her eyes, strong warm hands seemed to come out of nothingness and touch her flushed cheeks. The fingers of the hands were strong like the branches of trees. They touched with the firmness and gentleness of the branches of trees nodding in ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... stupendous subject of contemplation than this has ever been offered to the mind of man. In comparison with the length of time thus required to efface the tiny individual atom, the entire cosmical career of our solar system, or even that of the whole starry galaxy, shrinks into utter nothingness. Whether we shall adopt the conclusion suggested must depend on the extent of our speculative audacity. We have seen wherein its probability consists, but in reasoning upon such a scale we may fitly be cautious ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... faded away to nothingness. If anybody had wondered at Johnny's course—a course that had run through possible dubiousness to hard-and-fast finality—the wonder was now inaudible. If anybody felt in him a lack of fastidiousness, the point was not pressed. The marriage seemed a happy solution, on the whole; and the people ...
— On the Stairs • Henry B. Fuller

... the living self with its special idiosyncrasies you have known so long can have left the body, still more unnatural that it should (as so many now believe) have utterly ceased to exist and become nothingness! ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences Vol 2 (of 2) • James Marchant

... and sing Scornful of man, and from his toils aloof Whose heart's a haunted woodland whispering; Whose thoughts return on tempest-baffled wing; Who hears the cry of God in everything, And storms the gate of nothingness ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... Souramanam, a method of calculating time. Space, Akasa; Swabhavat (q.v.) Sraddha, faith. Sravana, receptivity, listening. Sthula-Sariram, the gross physical body. Sukshmopadhi, fourth and fifth principles (Raja Yoga.) Sunyata, space; nothingness. Suras, elementals of a beneficent order; gods. Surpa, winnower. Suryasiddhanta, a Sanskrit treatise on astronomy. Sushupti Avastha, deep sleep; one of the four aspects of Pranava. Sutra period, one of the periods into which Vedic literature ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... brain is giddy. My pulse vibrates irregularly, and my heart beats with an audible distinctness. I am oppressed with a sense of my own nothingness—an atom, almost invisible, upon the ...
— The Rifle Rangers • Captain Mayne Reid

... from the black cup of sleep. For a few hours all remained opaque to me. Oblivion and nothingness inundated me with their ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Mystic-Humorous Stories • Various

... tabernacle. Yes, the day shall yet come when the intercourse between cities shall be chiefly for purposes of religious improvement—when combinations for political intrigue, or mercantile speculation, which now waken such intensity of interest in our cities, shall dwindle to their comparative nothingness; and when the world's redemption shall assume its proper magnitude; and all be stimulated to more holy devotedness, and more heavenly effort. Oh, what a day, when all our increasing facilities of intercourse with the land, and with ...
— The National Preacher, Vol. 2. No. 6., Nov. 1827 - Or Original Monthly Sermons from Living Ministers • William Patton

... department of morals, is so constructed as to be unreadable. Now it will not be denied that as far as these two factors are concerned—and I repeat they are almost always found in combination—the position of the Book has dwindled almost to nothingness. One could give examples of almost every kind: one could show how poetry, no matter how appreciated or praised, no longer sells. One could show—and this is one of the worst signs of all—how men will buy by the hundred thousand anything ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... was a trying moment for Tad Butler, down there alone in the branches of the pinyon tree, with fifty feet of nothingness beneath him and a sheer wall that extended an ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Rockies • Frank Gee Patchin

... renewing of spirits were perfect, it would be real immortality, and the gift of eternal youth. But the same being imperfect, the animal insensibly loses his strength, decays and grows old, because everything that is created ought to bear a mark of nothingness from which it was drawn; ...
— The Existence of God • Francois de Salignac de La Mothe- Fenelon

... reveal the utter nothingness of this book, from the sale of which "Pope Eddy" is said to have realized, a half-million dollars. Says this modern goddess: "The word Adam is from the Hebrew Adamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness. Divide the name Adam into two syllables, ...
— The Gentleman from Everywhere • James Henry Foss

... supreme agitation. A thousand memories and a thousand thoughts were stirring in me: I was conscious now, as I had not been before, of the past and the present, and these two existed in my mind, yet separated by a great gulf of time—a blank and a nothingness which yet oppressed me with its horrible vastness. How aimless and solitary, how awful my position seemed! It was like that of one beneath whose feet the world suddenly crumbles into ashes and dust, and is scattered throughout the illimitable void, while he survives, blown to ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... Lament," nor whistled "In the Sweet By-and-By." No; he whistled not at all, or, when he did, gay bits of jazz heard at the theatre or in a restaurant the night before. He deceived no one, least of all himself. Sometimes his voice would trail off into nothingness, but he would catch the tune and toss it up again, heavily, as though it ...
— O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919 • Various

... drank full draughts from the black cup of sleep; for an hour or two all remained in obscurity; Oblivion and Nothingness submerged ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... morbid fondness for shutting myself up face to face with my past. I had attributed exceptional importance to myself and had come to think that I was more than other people. But this had gradually become submerged in the positive nothingness of every day. ...
— The Inferno • Henri Barbusse

... this awful time? Nowhere within the ken of the banished youth. In his own feeling Cosmo was outside the city of life—not even among the dogs—outside with bare nothingness—cold negation. Alas for him who had so lately offered to help another to pray, thinking the hour would never come to him when he could not pray! It had COME! He did not try to pray. The thought of prayer did not wake in him! Let no one say he was punished for his overconfidence—for ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... appearing as if they would come down and overwhelm us. During all my nautical career I had never been in an open boat exposed to such a gale, though frequently in a big ship, and even then I have felt the helplessness, the nothingness of man. Still more sensibly now was it brought before me—"He commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, ...
— The Cruise of the Mary Rose - Here and There in the Pacific • William H. G. Kingston

... three times upon the earth, and the magic palace, with all its treasures, vanished away into the nothingness out of which he had called it; and the gnome fled once more to the ...
— The Brown Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... damned? And I? It matters not! The deeper the abyss into which they fling me the better. Can Assa, if he is among the blest, remain in bliss, when he sees to what he has brought me? Oh! they must embalm me—I cannot bear to vanish, and rot and evaporate into nothingness!" ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... but conveyed No sense of meaning in their jargonings; Nor had cognizance from the stammered tones, Answered in turn, in verbal nothingness; The crabbed cynic might no longer rail; Nor those of sober countenance discourse In melancholy and foreboding strains; Nor light and frivolous sons of levity On others perpetrate the humorous jest; Fathers attempted to correct their sons, Who, listening ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... spot where stood her own lover, handsome Stanor, bending his head to overhear a remark from Honor, stroking his blonde moustache. He looked dejected, depressed; but compared with the depth of emotion on the other man's face, such meagre expressions faded into nothingness. The moment during which she gazed at his face held for Pixie the significance of years; then once more her eyes returned to the ...
— The Love Affairs of Pixie • Mrs George de Horne Vaizey

... right, my dear.... 'All is laughter, all is dust, all is nothingness, for the things that are arise out of the unreasonable....' I must get back. Give my love to Frances... and when next you see Gerda do try to persuade her that marriage is one of the things that don't matter and that ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... to identify her thoroughly. I had thought that I loved her, but I had not. It was the Lady of the Ice whom I loved; and, when Marion had revealed herself, then all was plain. After that revelation Nora sank into nothingness, and Marion ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... outgrowth, whose trinity is more like certain elements of Greek theology. Jehovah is the one supernatural power, the creator and lawgiver and immediate cause of all the workings of nature. It is he who shapes the world out of nothingness and who separates the waters from the dry land; he parts the waters of the Red Sea to save the Israelites, and brings them together again to overwhelm the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. It is his voice that thunders from Mt. Sinai, and his finger that traces the commandments to rule ...
— The Doctrine of Evolution - Its Basis and Its Scope • Henry Edward Crampton

... Olive's home. It was about seven in the evening, but all things lay as in the stillness of midnight. They two might have been the only beings in the living world—all else dead and buried under the white snow. And then, lifting itself out of the horizon's black nothingness, arose the great red moon, like an ...
— Olive - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

... day grew toward evening and all nature seemed full of beauty and peace. It can easily be imagined what this drive meant, then, to a fine, sensitive young woman, whose every instinct of youth and freedom and life had been crushed into undeveloped nothingness by years of gray convention in an old-fashioned ...
— The Point of View • Elinor Glyn

... trepidation the American slowly crawled out on the narrow rock. Below him yawned the hot darkness, above hung that black ominous canopy of nothingness. Slowly he advanced on hands and knees, every moment feeling the sharp rock growing narrower, till finally he reached the end. He looked ahead. He could but faintly see the ledge and Branasko's tall form silhouetted ...
— The Land of the Changing Sun • William N. Harben

... on your eerie, ghostly, superstitious side. He brings up into the imagination the malignity and hopelessness of the damned. He seems to people the night with wailing horrors. To a man dying of thirst in the desert, the jackal must just give the final touch of despair that makes death and nothingness seem best. It must be strange to die, surrounded by jackals at their ...
— In Mesopotamia • Martin Swayne

... very telling of which might sear the tongue. If China's poor had a certain apathy which seemed like poise, even in their wretchedness, not so India's, but, rather, a slow-moving misery, a dull progress toward nothing better, with only nothingness and its ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... thought that conceptions like these are calculated rather to depress than to elevate us in the scale of being; that, banished as he is by these contemplations to a corner of creation, and there reduced to an atom, man sinks to nothingness in this infinity of worlds. But a second thought corrects the impression. These vast contemplations are well calculated to inspire awe, but not abasement. Mind and matter are incommensurable. An immortal soul, even while clothed in "this muddy vesture ...
— The Uses of Astronomy - An Oration Delivered at Albany on the 28th of July, 1856 • Edward Everett

... "I have killed this Morhange, who was once a baby, who, like all the others, cost his mother so much trouble with his baby sicknesses. I have put an end to his life, I have reduced to nothingness the monument of love, of tears, of trials overcome and pitfalls escaped, which constitutes a human existence. What ...
— Atlantida • Pierre Benoit

... within me, and shaking my fists I fell to fierce curses and revilings, like any madman, until what with my aching head and lack of breath, I cast myself face down and lay there spent with my futile ravings. Yet even so, bethinking me of all my fine schemes and purposes thus brought to nothingness and myself drifting impotent at the mercy of wind and wave, I sought to spit my puny anger against the God that made me, in blasphemies ...
— Black Bartlemy's Treasure • Jeffrey Farnol

... in them); not only towards no happy goal for him or Mamma, or us, but at last towards hardly any goal at all for anybody! So mad did the affair grow;—and is so madly recorded in those inextricable, dateless, chaotic Books. We have now come to regions of Narrative, which seem to consist of murky Nothingness put on boil; not land, or water, or air, or fire, but a tumultuously whirling commixture of all the four;—of immense extent too. Which must be got crossed, in some human ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume V. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love; then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink. ...
— The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition • Stella G. S. Perry

... time there was silence. Sinan, Lord of Death, seemed to be lost in thought under the black shade of his canopy; the double line of dais stared at nothingness across the passage way; the giant guards stood still as statues; Masouda watched the brethren from beneath her long eye-lashes, while the brethren watched the sharp edge of the shadow of the canopy on the marble floor. They strove to seem unconcerned, but their hearts were ...
— The Brethren • H. Rider Haggard

... the fine, pale face; he could distinguish only the flash of her eyes, surrounded by white mist, as one sees the splendor of the sun on a stormy morning. His temples throbbed cruelly, his sight grew turbid. The sweet stupor, soft and empty as nothingness, was succeeded by a sleep peopled with incoherent visions, of fiery images vibrating against a background of intense blackness, by torture which wrung from his breast groans of fear and cries of anguish. He was delirious. ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... the professor, the latter said, "All Englishmen are ridiculous; and you are a good specimen of the race. Why should you stop on the public highway and talk nothingness to a harmless girl?" ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... and beautiful, with its roots every day for a hundred years in the grave in which the acorn died. Children of God, we must go down deeper into the grave of Jesus. We must cultivate the sense of impotence, and dependence, and nothingness, until our souls walk before God every day in a deep and holy trembling. God keep us from being anything. God teach us to wait on Him, that He may work in us all He wrought in His Son, till Christ Jesus may live out His life in us! For this may God ...
— The Master's Indwelling • Andrew Murray

... the work of Richard Strauss appears to me up to the present. Guntram kills Duke Robert, and immediately lets fall his sword. The frenzied laugh of Zarathustra ends in an avowal of discouraged impotence. The delirious passion of Don Juan dies away in nothingness. Don Quixote when dying forswears his illusions. Even the Hero himself admits the futility of his work, and seeks oblivion in an indifferent Nature. Nietzsche, speaking of the artists of our time, laughs at "those Tantaluses of the will, rebels and enemies of laws, ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... brink, Saw menacing frowns and we were forth again. Time has no instant for the reckoning ought So sudden; 't was as if a lightning flash Threw us within it, and a swifter flash, We riding harmless down its swordlike edge, Shot us fast forth to empty nothingness. ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Jean Ingelow

... stone to my body. I think they—" I had a momentary flash of the scene as Mercer saw it at that instant: the horrid noseless face close to his, the swart bodies moving with amazing agility. And at his very feet, a yawning precipice, holding nothing but darkness, leading down and down into nothingness. ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930 • Various

... for it, with all my strength and all my power. It demands everything; its old cry, "Arise, arise, and follow me;" means giving up possessions, giving away all, making every sacrifice. Before this issue our little lives shrink into nothingness, and we must sink our happiness into the ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... tempting than anything ever I saw abroad in the domains of princes. Its air was charged with peace and order; the little puffs and coils and wisps of silver-grey smoke, coming out of the fireplace into the room, took long to swoon into nothingness ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... did not deceive me. I did not think for a moment that Charles meant to give his daughter to Max. But it answered my purpose by bringing Max to a realization of the nothingness of life in Styria, and opening his eyes to the glorious possibilities that lay in the great world beyond the ...
— Yolanda: Maid of Burgundy • Charles Major

... those moments of amiable weakness which make us all akin, when sublime ambition, the mystical predispositions of genius, the solemn sense of duty, all the heaped-up lore of ages, and the dogmas of a high philosophy alike desert us, or sink into nothingness. The voice of his mother sounded in his ear, and he was haunted by his father's anxious glance. Why was he there? Why was he, the child of a northern isle, in the heart of the Stony Arabia, far from the scene ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... son who is a traitor I disown! For treason is a crime without redress, 'Gainst which all else sinks into nothingness. ...
— Polyuecte • Pierre Corneille

... they topped a little rise. Over in front of them, and on all sides—the desert, vast, illimitable, untrod of man, lay, a desolate expanse of nothingness. ...
— The Girl Aviators on Golden Wings • Margaret Burnham

... was cold; it sapped a man's strength, bit at his brain, weighted his hands and feet, weakened him. It strove to soften him into clay another could remold. Nothingness, darkness, all that was opposed to life and warmth and reality, arose in the night, gathered together ...
— Voodoo Planet • Andrew North

... distinction of day or night. That One breathed calmly, self-supported; then was nothing different from it, or above it. In the beginning darkness existed, enveloped in darkness. All this was undistinguishable water. That One which lay void and wrapped in nothingness was developed by the power of fervour. Desire first arose in It, which was the primal germ of mind (and which) sages, searching with their intellect, have discovered to be the bond which connects entity with non-entity. The ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... never pay. The billions of dollars that went up in the smoke of explosive nothingness would have been sufficient to have made a new world, one almost free from disease and completely free from poverty. Not an earth of fear, chaos, famine, pestilence, the DANSE MACABRE, but one broad land of peace, of prosperity, and ...
— Autobiography of a YOGI • Paramhansa Yogananda

... again to give credit—to be for ever on his guard, especially against his own instinctive movements. Quite unreserved, certainly, he never was again. Almost everywhere he could detect the hollow ring of fundamental nothingness under the apparent surface of things. Irony surely, habitual irony, would be the proper complement thereto, on his part. In his infallible self-possession, you might even fancy him a mere man of ...
— Miscellaneous Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... them up. A few days ago life was as full of rich promise to me as our tropical spring. It is still, though I will never cease to feel the pain of this great sorrow, and yet this horrible pit of death, corruption, and nothingness yawns at my very feet. Mr. Haldane," she said in a still lower and more shuddering tone, "I have a terrible presentiment that I shall perish with this loathsome disease. I may seem to you, who are so quiet and brave, very weak and cowardly; but I shrink from death with a dread which ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... name given now to a habit of feeling, now to a system of opinion; as the former it denotes a tendency to dwell on the dark or gloomy side of things, culminating in a sense of their vanity and nothingness, while in the latter it is applied to all systems of opinion which lay the finger on some black spot in the structure of the life of the world or of the universe, which so long as it remains is thought to render it unworthy ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... of Darth appeared to roll toward the spaceboat again all the bright specks which were ships about them winked out of sight and there were only faraway stars and a vast blackness off to one side like nothingness ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... stop?" "No, my dear." She remembered being amused with that. "Aren't you even coming in?" "I am not. Good-bye. You enjoyed yourself?" "Oh, immensely." "That's what I like," he had said, and "pushed off," as his own phrase went. Atop of that, the return to James, and to nothingness. For nothing happened, except that he had been in a good temper throughout, which may easily have been because she had been in one herself—until the Easter holidays, when he had been very cross indeed. Poor James, to get him to begin to understand Lancelot's bluntness, ...
— Love and Lucy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... shall have the proofs, general, to-day—at once, provided that we thoroughly understand each other. I am ambitious, general, and I have no wish to be driven back for a single day into nothingness, as I should be, if my enemies withdraw their confidence in me. Now I am, at least, a member of the senate; but if the senate is dissolved, and I should subsequently be deposed again from the head of the police, I should be nothing ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... never can man cease to be. Never can he return to that awful center of nothingness, or be absorbed within the bosom of the unmanifested being. On, and on, and on, with Deific power, God moves in ...
— The Light of Egypt, Volume II • Henry O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne

... pint of Moselle; but he had poor appreciation of the excellence of the viands or the delicate fragrance of the wine. The mental monologue still went on, and the young philosopher of the modern school was arguing the favorite modern question of the nothingness of everything, and the folly of taking too much trouble to walk upon a road that went nowhere, or to compass a work ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... valleys without shade, full of a brutal coldness, an intolerable heat, a dazzling light, a darkness that may be felt. Torano, that little town you come upon at the very threshold of the quarries, is like a town of the Middle Age, full of stones and refuse and narrow ways that end in a blind nothingness, and low houses without glass in the windows, and dogs and cats and animals of all sorts, goats and chickens and pigs, among which the people live. Thus busy with the frightful labour among the stones in the heart of the mountains, ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... we couldn't tell what might happen, because, as yet, we was nothing really but supermonkeys. That's what he called our noble race—supermonkeys! So I said yes; and these here philosophers that talked about subject and object and the nothingness of nothing reminded me of monkeys that get hold of a looking-glass and hold it up and look into it, and then sneak one paw round behind the glass to catch the other monkey. So he laughed again and ...
— Ma Pettengill • Harry Leon Wilson

... broiled beneath an untempered sun. Shadeless, grassless, it had been an abomination of desolution and a rallying-place for mosquitoes. Then had come the hand of man. First, the Royal Palm Hotel had sprung into stately existence, out of nothingness. Then other caravansaries. Palm and pine and vivid lawn-grass had followed. The mosquitoes had fled far back to the mangrove swamps. And a rarely beautiful ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... soul—these monstrous elemental Truths that underlie all things. As Father Robert's deep vibrating voice spoke, it appeared to Anthony as if the room, the walls, the house, the world, all shrank to filmy nothingness before the appalling realities of these things. In that strange and profound "Exercise of the senses" he heard the moaning and the blasphemies of the damned, of those rebellious free wills that have enslaved themselves into eternal bondage by a deliberate rejection ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... sky, and the twin towers of the old Mission rose in dazzling whiteness above a wilderness of verdure. The friendly faces on the wharf first merged themselves into a blurred mass of moving atoms, then sank into nothingness. ...
— Polly Oliver's Problem • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... muddy, and the little ridges of fresh earth and roots along its brink were conspicuous. The beaver now went very cautiously, sniffing the air for any hint of peril. After winding along for some twenty or thirty yards, the new canal shoaled out to nothingness behind a screen of alder; and here, in a mess of mud and water, the beaver found one of his comrades hard at work. There was much of the new canal yet to do, and winter ...
— The House in the Water - A Book of Animal Stories • Charles G. D. Roberts

... would like to see the stunt fully developed. I should like to have that lovely wilding growth delicately nurtured into drama as limitless and lawless as life itself, owing no allegiance to plot, submitting to no rule or canon, but going gayly on to nothingness as human existence does, full of gleaming lights, and dark with inconsequent glooms, musical, merry, melancholy, mad, but never-ending as the ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... said to himself, "And is it true that death shall one day overtake me? And who is he that shall make mention of me after death, when time delivereth all things to forgetfulness? When dead, shall I dissolve into nothingness? Or is there life beyond, and another world?" Ever fretting over these and the like considerations, he waxed pale and wasted away, but in the presence of his father, whenever he chanced to come to him, ...
— Barlaam and Ioasaph • St. John of Damascus

... nothingness, and is found heels uppermost in his cruel mistress's water-butt. To Hood, with his grim imagination and his strange fantastic humour, death was meat and drink. It is as though he saw so much of the 'execrable Shape' that at last the ...
— Views and Reviews - Essays in appreciation • William Ernest Henley

... approached the lady without being repelled by the offensive smirk that she assumed, no dependent ever ventured near her without the fear of the scowl that sat naturally (and fearfully, when she pleased) upon her dark and inauspicious brow. What wonder that little Jehu was crushed into nothingness, behind his own counter, under the eye of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... do you say? Life is cruel. Life is a splendid portico—to nothingness. Ah, no! not if in that portico you have stood for a moment, loving and beloved, by the side of Isabel. Life is splendid! life is kind! life is abounding, deep-cupped! and each minute of it ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... Human soul, by God created Out of nothingness yet wrought As of great price, From corruption separated, Sublimated, To glorious perfection brought By skilled device; 8 Plant that in this valley growest Flowers celestial for to give Of fairest scent, Hence to that high hill thou goest Where ...
— Four Plays of Gil Vicente • Gil Vicente

... to say, for, on seeing the grand establishment I had anticipated dwarfed to such very humble proportions, I felt terribly small and contemptible in my own sight. The dignity that I had so recently aired at the old man's expense shrank into nothingness, and I was quite relieved that he did not take advantage of the opportunity to "put me down ...
— On Board the Esmeralda - Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story • John Conroy Hutcheson

... hell, to live in the moon as a disembodied soul in the realm of nothingness, and to remember the earth, where are green grass and red blood, where the air echoes with the roll of the thunder and the kisses of lovers, where life and death exist. And yet something whispered to Michael that he must take refuge among the exiles to that region of annihilation. ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... life, a sick epicure's dream, Incoherent and gross, even grosser had past, Were it not for that cordial and soul-giving beam Which his friendship and wit o'er thy nothingness cast:— ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... dream. I cannot put the glory With which it filled my being, in a story. No one can tell a dream. Now to confess. The dream made daily life a nothingness, Merely a mould which white-hot beauty fills, Pure from some source of passionate joys and skills. And being flooded with my vision thus, Certain of winning, puffed and glorious, Walking upon this earth-top like a king, My judgment went. I did a ...
— Right Royal • John Masefield

... when you are telling them, "These are the chastenings of an all-wise and merciful Providence, sent for some inscrutable but just and beneficent purpose, it may be, to humble our pride, or to punish our unfaithfulness, or to impress us with the sense of our own nothingness and dependence on His mercy," when you are thus addressing your suffering fellow-subjects, and encouraging them to bear without repining the dispensations of Providence, may God grant that by your decision of this night you may have laid in store for yourselves the consolation ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... piteousness of him is like the wailing of a lamb led to the slaughter. Grass is good to graze on, saith lambkin,—other lambs are fair to frisk with,—but alas!— neither grass nor lambs can last, and therefore as lambkin cannot always be lambkin, it bleats its end in Nothingness! But, thank God, there is something stronger and wiser in the ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... blue. Dispersing in air, these mists took all manner of fantastic forms,—ghostly arms seemed to wave and beckon, ghostly hands to unite in prayer,—and fluttering creatures in gossamer draperies of green and crimson, appeared to rise and float, and retire and shrink, to nothingness again in the rainbow drift and sweep of whirling foam. Errington gazed unconcernedly down on the seething abyss. He pushed back his cap from his brow, and let the fresh wind play among his dark, clustering curls. His nerves were steady, and ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... race—a swarming of strength, an endless fountain of life, against which it became impossible to battle. Amid her stupefaction at finding the breach repaired when scarce opened, Constance realized her powerlessness and nothingness, childless as she was fated to remain. And she felt vanquished, overcome with awe, swept away as it were herself; thrust aside by the victorious flow of ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... expectation, what a frightful thing art thou, when kindled more by fear than hope! How dost thou twist thyself round the heart, torturing its pulsations! How dost thou dart unknown pangs all through our feeble mechanism, now seeming to shiver us like broken glass, to nothingness—now giving us a fresh strength, which can do nothing, and so torments us by a sensation, such as the strong man must feel who cannot break his fetters, though they bend in his grasp. Slowly paced ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... forgotten. We may not hide away the dear old gnomes and pixies and fairies in consecrated ground—that is reserved for what has once existed, and so has the right to live again; but for what never existed we can find no sepulchre, for it came out of nothingness, and ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

... achieves a definition of energy, possibly it may borrow the figure: Energy is the inherent effort of every multiplicity to become unity. Adam's poetry was an expression of the effort to reach absorption through love, not through fear; but to do this thoroughly he had to make real to himself his own nothingness; most of all, to annihilate pride; for the loftiest soul can comprehend that an atom,—say, of hydrogen,—which is proud of its personality, will never merge in a molecule of water. The familiar verse: "Oh, why should the spirit ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... lie and dream of nothingness; For visions come From Poppydom Direct at our command: Or, delicate alternative, In open idleness we live, With lyre and lute And silver flute, The life ...
— The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan - The 14 Gilbert And Sullivan Plays • William Schwenk Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

... slender, trembling figure. But something approaching a miracle—a very human miracle—had just happened. All those doubts, fears, indecisions, unexpressed desires, agonies of self-abasement, which might have delayed their understanding and happiness for weeks and months, had been swept into nothingness by the incisive kindliness of Miss Sherwood. In one minute she had said all they might have said in months; there was nothing more to say. There was nothing left of the past to discuss. Before them was only the fact of that immediate ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... a box of tapes. Travis touched the edge of that box gingerly, half expecting it to crumble into nothingness. This was a place long deserted. Stone table, bench, the towers could survive through centuries of abandonment, but these ...
— The Defiant Agents • Andre Alice Norton

... of Bossuet's declamations upon the nothingness of kings, the pitifulness of mortal aims, the crushing ever-ready grip of the hand of God upon the purpose and faculty of man, rather filled the mind with exaltation than really depressed or humiliated it. From Bossuet to Pascal is to pass from the solemn ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 2 of 3) - Essay 1: Vauvenargues • John Morley

... of human hands had wrought destruction so utter and overwhelming. Where masonry walls had been was a vast junk heap; where stout magazines had been bedded down in hard concrete was a crater; where strong barracks had stood was a jumbled, shuffled nothingness. ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... Envoy The Song of the Sword Arabian Nights' Entertainments Bric-e-Brac Ballade of the Toyokuni Colour-Print Ballade of Youth and Age Ballade of Midsummer Days and Nights Ballade of Dead Actors Ballade Made in the Hot Weather Ballade of Truisms Double Ballade of Life and Death Double Ballade of the Nothingness of Things At Queensferry Orientale In Fisherrow Back-View Croquis Attadale, West Highlands From a Window in Princes Street In the Dials The gods are dead Let us be drunk When you are old Beside the idle summer sea The ways of Death ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... charge, moved a mighty, gigantic crevasse, whose sides were the walls of the hives left standing. And still the cube-army moved in, grinding everything it touched to dust, trampling buildings into nothingness, destroying utterly along a front hundreds of miles wide, and as deep as ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 • Various

... especially as the obstacles which had confronted him nearly two years back were now more hope-baffling than ever. For the intervening months had not brought the desirable "thrifle more wit" to his unsteady brother Thady, who, on the contrary, was developing into one of those people whose good-for-nothingness is taken as a matter of course even by themselves; and a bolt was thus, so to speak, drawn across Mick's ...
— Stories by English Authors: Ireland • Various

... Its pasture-lands and meadow-lands, blossom-decked and water-fed, crossed and recrossed by never-ending hedgerows, that stretch away and lose themselves in misty nothingness, are fair as a poet's dream. Birds carol in the white hawthorn and the yellow furze all day long, and the fragrant summer winds that blow lazily across the fields are laden with the perfume ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... be brought about except by our becoming nothing. Nothingness is true prayer, which renders to God "honour, and glory, and power, for ever ...
— A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents • Jeanne Marie Bouvires de la Mot Guyon

... the country; such as the Mawsh-ko-desh, Urons, Ossaw-gees—who formerly occupied Saw-gi-naw bay; and the Odaw gaw-mees, whose principal habitation was about the vicinity of Detroit River. They are entirely vanished into nothingness. Not a single page of their history can be found on record in the history of this country, or hardly an allusion to their existence. My own race, once a very numerous, powerful and warlike tribe of Indians, who proudly trod upon this soil, is also near the end of existence. In a few more ...
— History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan • Andrew J. Blackbird

... human want of understanding. In the folly of Claude there is still a gleam of grace and innocence; there is refreshment in his childishness, and tenderness in his inability. But the folly of Salvator is disgusting in its very nothingness: it is like the vacuity of a plague-room in an hospital, shut up in uncleansed silence, emptied of pain and ...
— The Harbours of England • John Ruskin

... propriety communicate to Congress. But he had apparently failed to satisfy his own conscience in thus summarily reasoning the executive and governmental power of a young, compact, vigorous, and thoroughly organized nation of thirty millions of people into sheer nothingness and impotence. How supremely absurd was the whole national panoply of commerce, credit, coinage, treaty power, judiciary, taxation, militia, army and navy, and Federal fag, if, through the mere joint of a defective law, the hollow reed of a secession ordinance ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... eyes could see how a spider's thread, woven from one tall plant to another, and wavering ever so delicately in the faint breeze, was one moment lit here and there to a line of pure light that merged into nothingness and gleamed out again, while a moment later it might have vanished entirely or else shine its length. The midges, dancing in mid-air, were living sun-motes for one flash, then were swallowed up as suddenly as though they had slipped through into the fourth dimension. A pair of white butterflies, ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... was shuddering rapidly. A peculiar feeling, as if his belly were turned into nothingness, made him want to press his fists into his abdomen. He remained shuddering drunkenly, like a drunken man who is sick, incapable of thought ...
— The Trespasser • D.H. Lawrence

... vanish then? Are you sure of that?—sure, that the nothingness of the grave will be a rest from this troubled nothingness; and that the coiling shadow, which disquiets itself in vain, cannot change into the smoke of the torment that ascends for ever?[250] Will ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... The sun had just risen over the hilltops of Lauzon, throwing aside his drapery of gold, purple, and crimson. The soft haze of the summer morning was floating away into nothingness, leaving every object fresh with dew and magnified in the limpid purity of ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... intensity unfathomable by words my utter nothingness, impotence, and worthlessness in and for myself. I have learned what a sin is against an infinite, imperishable being such as is the soul of man. The consolations, at least the sensible sweetness of hope, I do not possess. On the contrary, the temptation which I have constantly to fight ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... The snow-clads of the latter look down upon it from the west, and far away to the east stands Orizaba, highest peak of Mexico. In the haze of sunset its great mantle of new-fallen snow stood out sharply, darker streaks that ran down through the lower reaches of snow dying out in nothingness, as the mountain did itself, for as a matter of fact the latter was not visible at all, but only the snow that covered its upper heights, surrounded above, below, and on all sides by the thin gray sky of evening. By night there was music in the plaza. But how can there be life and laughter ...
— Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras - Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond • Harry A. Franck

... the Vast, the Deep Beyond all mortal sight, The Nothingness that conceived The worlds of day and night, The Nothingness that heaved Pure sides in virgin sleep, Brought out of Darkness, light; And ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... poured itself out of Niflheim, the place of darkness and dread. And Odin knew that the world must not be left between Surtur, who would destroy it with fire, and Niflheim, that would gather it back to Darkness and Nothingness. He, the eldest of the Gods, would have to win the wisdom that would help ...
— The Children of Odin - The Book of Northern Myths • Padraic Colum

... darkness rang the metallic reverberations from the battering on the four doors all around. The fluid nothingness was a place of fear. Its nerve-shattering, mind-confusing bedlam might have come from the fantastic anvils ...
— The Affair of the Brains • Anthony Gilmore

... at last at a pure and virile faith; but the road to this point is long, and sown thick with obstacles, and at the moment at which we have arrived he had not yet entered upon it, he did not even suspect its existence; all he knew was that pleasure leads to nothingness, to satiety and self-contempt. ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... the darkness was intense, I had to strain my eyes to see the man in front, Stoner. In the darkness he was a nebulous dark bulk that sprang into bold relief when the starlights flared in front. When the flare died out we stumbled forward into pitch dark nothingness. The pathway was barely two feet across, a mere tight-rope in the wide waste, and on either side nothing stood out to give relief to the desolate scene; over us the clouds hung low, shapeless and gloomy, ...
— The Red Horizon • Patrick MacGill

... flawless heaven with the stellar and planetary universe in it, pitiless and passionless eyes perhaps—as Tennyson calls them—and strange fires; but in this case without power to burn and brand their nothingness into the visitors to St. Sennans, who laughed and talked and smoked and took no notice; and, indeed, rather than otherwise, considered that Orion's Belt and Aldebaran had been put there to make it a fine night for them to laugh and ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... They are too often like bomb-shells, that in exploding scatter ruin on all around. They have also been named air-castles, chateaux en Espagne, 'baseless fabrics of a vision.' The baseless fabric of a vision is built of 'airy nothingness;' but men found on a wish, structures that tower to heaven, put real, solid material into them, and when they fall, as fall they must—I'll not attempt to give an idea of the utter desolation they leave, of the waste place they make of the heart, lest you should ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... with by thunderers from the pulpit or indignant fathers of families. Meantime the States-General felt instinctively that the little commonwealth grew richer, the more useful or agreeable things its burghers could call into existence out of nothingness, to be exchanged for the powder and bullets, timber and cordage, requisite for its eternal fight with universal monarchy, and that the richer the burghers grew the more capable they were of paying their taxes. It was not the fault of the States that the insane ambition of Spain and ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... shelter of a high cliff. A fire of driftwood was built and supper cooked. Next morning the sun was melting the ice on the hillsides and the frost had converted the wild grapes that hung above them into clusters of pearls. But the beauty of the scene faded into nothingness when they found they had withstood the cold of the night, while the Crow Creek Agency was just on the other side of the river. The journey was resumed in silence and a few miles below, a glimpse of the Stars and Stripes was caught through ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... salon; and I still lay quiet, feeling as if death were inevitable, but wishing that the agony of death were past. Again faintness stole over me; but just as I was sinking into the horrible feeling of nothingness, I heard Amante's voice ...
— The Grey Woman and other Tales • Mrs. (Elizabeth) Gaskell

... It is not sufficient to possess a woman to impress on her soul a profound and durable mark. Souls are almost impenetrable, a fact showing the cruel emptiness of love. The wise man ought to say to himself, I am nothing in the nothingness which that creature is. To hope that you could leave a remembrance in a woman's heart is equivalent to trying to impress a seal on running water. And therefore let us never nurse the wish to establish ourselves in what is fleeting ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... being of human reason. A spirit has no body; an infinite being is a being which is not finite; a perfect being is a being which is not imperfect. Can any one form any real notions of such a multitude of deficiencies or absence of ideas? That which excludes all idea, can it be anything but nothingness? To pretend that the divine attributes are beyond the understanding of the human mind is to render God unfit for men. If we are assured that God is infinite, we admit that there can be nothing in common between Him and His creatures. To say that God is infinite, ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... nobility, which arrogated to itself all prerogatives and rights, and the more numerous class of burghers, set on the lower step of the social ladder. These latter wanted, not so much to get up to the level of their superiors, as to bring them down to their own, and even precipitate them into the abyss of nothingness below. They have almost succeeded; and the prestige of noble blood has passed away, perhaps forever, in spite of Vico's well- known theory. But the now triumphant burgher in his turn sees the dim mass, lost in the darkness and indistinctness of the lowest pool of humanity, rising up grim ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... over the edge!" As the driver's only response to my command was to grin at us reassuringly over his shoulder, I looked about for a soft place to land. But there was only rock-plated highway whizzing past and on the outside the road dropped sheer away into nothingness. We took the first turn with the near-side wheels in the gutter, the off-side wheels on the bank, and the car tilted at an angle of forty-five degrees. The second bend we navigated at an angle of sixty degrees, the off-side wheels on ...
— The New Frontiers of Freedom from the Alps to the AEgean • Edward Alexander Powell

... sanity, he said to himself, for the sake of the child. Otherwise it would be good to lose all remembrance, to forget, to dream, to lapse into the nothingness of the vacant eye, the down-drooping lid and ...
— The Way of the Wind • Zoe Anderson Norris

... the conscience that for so far less an offence the sister had been thrown aside, the comfort, perhaps, found in her gentle and neglected child obstinately repelled; then the conviction of all earthly vanity and nothingness,—the look on into life, with the chilling sentiment that affection was gone, that he could never trust again, that he was too old to open his arms to new ties; and then, before felt singly, all these thoughts united, and ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... looked, I saw them fade and fade; until, slowly, they resolved into nothingness. Now, I looked again at the candles. They shone wanly, and, even as I watched, grew more unreal, and so vanished. The room was filled, now, with a soft, yet luminous, white twilight, like a gentle mist of light. Beyond this, I could see nothing. ...
— The House on the Borderland • William Hope Hodgson

... riding to Baxter and taking the train from thence to El Paso—his eyes open to what he was doing, both as a self-appointed Samaritan and as a much-wanted individual in the town where Pete lay unconscious, on the very last thin edge of Nothingness. ...
— The Ridin' Kid from Powder River • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... eye, which looks fixedly at me with a diabolical expression. As time goes, it does not remain long; but as agony counts, it seems to take years of my life away with it. It fades as suddenly into grey mist and nothingness as it comes, and, wet with perspiration, and struggling to keep back screams of mad terror, I bury my ...
— The Strand Magazine: Volume VII, Issue 37. January, 1894. - An Illustrated Monthly • Edited by George Newnes

... with the development of metaphysics and visions, until man, in this dungeon of despondency, feeling his heart melt, conceived of abnegation, charity, tender love, gentleness, humility, human brotherhood, here in the idea of universal nothingness and there under that of the fatherhood of God. Look around at the regulative instincts and faculties implanted in a race; in brief, the turn of mind according to which it thinks and acts at the present day; we shall find most frequently that ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... naught? Who, during the invasion of the barbarians, protected the poor against their conquerors? Who, in the middle age, stood between the baron and his serfs? Who, in their monasteries, realized spiritual democracy,—the nothingness of rank and wealth, the practical might of co-operation and self-sacrifice? Who delivered England from the Pope? Who spread throughout every cottage in the land the Bible and Protestantism, the book and the religion which declares that a man's soul is free in the sight of God? Who, at ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... equally impressed with the momentousness of death and of burial fees; he languishes at once for immortal life and for "livings;" he has a fervid attachment to patrons in general, but on the whole prefers the Almighty. He will teach, with something more than official conviction, the nothingness of earthly things; and he will feel something more than private disgust if his meritorious efforts in directing men's attention to another world are not rewarded by substantial preferment in this. His secular man believes in cambric bands and silk stockings as characteristic ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... should succeed in persuading George that he was really guilty—in which case, what would George, the righteous man, counsel? And last and chief of all, what hope of peace to Leopold could he in any of his counsel—except indeed he led him up to the door of death, and urged him into the nothingness behind it? Then what if George should be wrong, and there WAS something behind it? Whatever sort of a something it might be, could the teaching of George be in the smallest measure a preparation for it? Were it not better, so far as the POSSIBILITY which remained untouched ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... due to this short period of intensive training, "under men who were intelligent enough to know just what was needed and just how to go about to secure it"—men not hampered by any pedagogical nonsense or grown stale over a long attempt to discriminate between the "infinity of nothingness and the nothingness of infinity" (as one might summarize a rather common criticism), rather than to the former years of patient toil, and discipline, and accomplishment which had really laid the foundation so well that all were able ...
— On the Firing Line in Education • Adoniram Judson Ladd

... with a warm welcome among the Martians. What a lion I should be!" I looked longingly at the distant planet, the outlines of whose continents and seas appeared most enticing, but when I tried to propel myself in that direction I only kicked against nothingness. ...
— Other Worlds - Their Nature, Possibilities and Habitability in the Light of the Latest Discoveries • Garrett P. Serviss

... and lo! where it had been, stood another city, different, utterly different, only a hundred times more glorious. Out of the prodigal heart of the world-rose were they created, into the black bosom of nothingness were they gathered; whilst others, ever more perfect, pressed into their place. So, too, changed the mountains, and so the trees, while the gulfs became a garden and the fiery lakes a pleasant stream, and from the seed of the strange flowers grew immemorial forests wreathed about ...
— The Ghost Kings • H. Rider Haggard

... But I'd sure like to see any blamed old slide get the best of me, that's all. I'm going to seal that slide down so that it'll stay there for a million years. And when the last trump sounds, and Sonoma Mountain and all the other mountains pass into nothingness, that old slide will be still a-standing there, ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... her car seemed to sail out into nothingness like some weird aerial monster, the headlights streaming uncannily through space—then blackness—and ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... a way out of the darkness, he was obliged to turn back time and again. If gangs of shadows fought with knives at the end of a street which had at first looked promising, what business had shadows cursing or screaming or bleeding? If the madman who enjoined the mob to fight in the service of nothingness was only a mouse dancing on a summit of garbage, why did they cheer? At the end of still another street, a mass rape may not have been in progress; the participants may not have waited sullenly in a long line; a macrocephalic ...
— In the Control Tower • Will Mohler

... again; a universal war is just upon the point of breaking out; all outlets will be shut up. I shall be secure in my nothingness, while you, that will be so absurd as to exist, will envy me. You don't tell me what proficiency you make in the noble science of defence. Don't you start still at the sound of a gun? Have you learned to say ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... her marriage, Jeanne passed calmly and peacefully, as if she were almost exhausted by the number of pleasant hours she had lately had. The morning of the eventful day she had no time to think; she was only conscious of a great sense of nothingness within her, as if beneath her skin, her flesh, and blood, and bones had vanished, and she noticed how her fingers trembled when ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893



Words linked to "Nothingness" :   nonentity, talking, thin air, malarky, malarkey, nonexistence, talk, wind, void, nullity



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