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Calamity   /kəlˈæməti/  /kəlˈæmɪti/   Listen
Calamity

noun
(pl. calamities)
1.
An event resulting in great loss and misfortune.  Synonyms: cataclysm, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy.  "The earthquake was a disaster"



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"Calamity" Quotes from Famous Books



... impregnated the air with brimstone. But they had solemnly sworn to the agreement and Mrs. Busteed had witnessed it, and an oath is an oath. Besides, Mrs. Winslow was inclined to think the whole matter guided by Fate, and, being superstitious as well as romantic, feared dire calamity if Fate was interfered with. It ended in a compromise and, a fortnight later, the Reverend Clarence, keeping his countenance with difficulty, christened a red-faced and protesting infant "Jedidah Edgar ...
— Shavings • Joseph C. Lincoln

... of 1804, Mr. Martyn's plans of becoming a missionary were dampened by the loss of his slender patrimony, and as his sister was also involved in the calamity, it appeared hardly justifiable for him to go away. After some delay his friends obtained for him the position of chaplain to the East India Company, and so the obstacles which ...
— Life of Henry Martyn, Missionary to India and Persia, 1781 to 1812 • Sarah J. Rhea

... appeared at the bar. The Mayor and Generaux Santerre and Wittengoff were at his side. Profound silence pervaded the Assembly. All were touched by the King's dignity and the composure of his looks under so great a reverse of fortune. By nature he had been formed rather to endure calamity with patience than to contend against it with energy. The approach of death could not disturb ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... for Denmark, heaping calamity after calamity upon her. England attacked her in 1801 and 1807, robbing her of her fine fleet and forcing her to enter the European war on the side of Napoleon. The war wrecked her trade, bankrupted her finances ...
— Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark • Jens Christian Aaberg

... played her ghastly metamorphoses in the little chamber. And the figures on the carpet and the figures on the curtain writhed in horrible contortions of glee, as if they rejoiced over a calamity which had ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... "What a terrible calamity that was! I shudder when I think of it," said he. "I was his guest on the night previous, you remember? In fact, I witnessed his wager of the negro girl, Evangelina—the root of the whole tragedy. Well, ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... mountain, higher and better peopled. When we came to the village on the top of it, where the lord lived, we were surprised with the cries and lamentations of men that seemed to suffer or apprehend some dreadful calamity; and were told, upon inquiring the cause, that the inhabitants had been persuaded that we were the devil's missionaries, who came to seduce them from the true religion, that foreseeing some of their neighbours would be ruined by the temptation, they were lamenting the misfortune which was coming ...
— A Voyage to Abyssinia • Jerome Lobo

... scant white cotton curtain of the window, through which the sunshine passed and lay in squares upon the red-tiled floor. He tried to interweave his reflections with hope, but he only half succeeded. What had happened to him seemed to have, in its violence and audacity, the force of a real calamity—the strength and insolence of Destiny herself. It was unnatural and monstrous, and he had no arms against it. At last a sound struck upon the stillness, and he heard ...
— The American • Henry James

... had only died that night!" he muttered, with his eyes upon the floor and every muscle tense with the shock of this last calamity. "Dr. Perry," he moaned suddenly, stretching out one hand in entreaty, and clutching at the table for support with the other, "let me go for to-night. Let me think. My brain is all in a whirl. I'll try to answer to-morrow." ...
— The House of the Whispering Pines • Anna Katharine Green

... not to be; that is the bare bodkin That makes calamity of so long life; For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane, But that the fear of something after death Murders the innocent sleep, Great nature's second course, And makes us rather sling ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... pledged themselves for their personal safety; and Gholam Allee went off to Lucknow to boast of his prowess in seizing them. There he was called upon to pay the balance due, and seeing no disposition to listen to any excuse on the ground of calamity of season, he determined to escape across the Ganges. He wrote to Hamid Allee to suggest that he should do the same, and meet him at Horha, on the bank of the Ganges, on ...
— A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II • William Sleeman

... came as the two genets arrived at the ground—would she follow him, or would he have to follow her? He was determined, anyway, that nothing short of calamity should part them. Yet I don't see, since he never uttered a sound, how she understood him to say that if she would follow him he would find her food, even though she was still hungry, for she had not yet got to trusting him much more than she trusted any ...
— The Way of the Wild • F. St. Mars

... the Land Act, while they occasioned some fretting and exasperation among the land-owners, who are in the habit of regarding every effort of legislation for the benefit of their tenants with a fixed sense of calamity, failed entirely to satisfy the more aggressive and eager of the Irish Parliamentary party. The Land Act had not taken its place upon the statute book before a meeting of representative Irishmen was called in Dublin ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... actions of their ancestors, to awaken in them a spirit of glorious emulation. The other class are devotees of the Mahomedan faith, who travel about the country, singing devout hymns, and performing religious ceremonies, to conciliate the favour of the Almighty; either in averting calamity, or insuring success to any enterprise. Both descriptions of these itinerant bards are much employed and respected by the people, and very liberal contributions are made ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... my whole fortune, which now amounted to at least seven thousand dollars, and turned my back upon this ungrateful town. I am sorry to say that I also left behind me the last of my good luck, as hereafter I was to encounter only one calamity ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... work and interests, appeared long until she came. I saw but little of the outside world. Dale, my sister Agatha, Sir Joshua Oldfield, and Campion were the only friends I met. Dale was ingenuously sympathetic when he head of the calamity. ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others. ...
— The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - An American Slave • Frederick Douglass

... pleased than he was, and almost as absurd, for although the vessel was quietly at anchor so near us, with no sails loose and her boats away, I could not help fearing that she might disappear before we could get to her, or attract the notice of those on board. To prevent such a calamity, I mounted one of the strongest horses and pushed on by myself as rapidly as the heavy nature of the sands would allow, leaving Wylie at his own especial request to bring on the other horses. In a short time I arrived upon the summit ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... West the crisis did not seem so acute. But Clay, now seventy-four years old, and cured of his ambition to be President, was sent back to the Senate in the hope of averting the calamity of a disruption of the Union. Thomas H. Benton, though recently defeated in a campaign for reelection, was still in the Senate. Cass was again a member of the Senate, and he, too, felt that the Union ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd

... Rudolph, for Miss Dimpleton was too little prone to mournful impressions to long reflect on the matter, the troubles of the Morels had ceased; but in the grim reality, a calamity, ten fold severer than their direst poverty, was gathering and forming nearer them, ready to burst upon their heads almost before the gay young couple would return from their stroll. What this great evil was, and what fate befalls other characters yet to be introduced, will presently ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... those operative classes in Lancashire, whom the war ruined for a while, has often been pointed to as showing that the more informed and intelligent workingmen were also for the North. They endured a great calamity without murmuring, because they thought the cause just which had entailed that calamity upon them. Assuming this to be correct, as I believe it to be, the question remains, What was the opinion (or perhaps one should ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... transferred to a jungle station, who immediately after his arrival called in a Baiga priest and asked what forest gods he should worship, and what other steps he should take to keep well and escape calamity. Colonel Ward states that in his time Baigas were commonly called in to give aid when a town or village was attacked by cholera, and further that he had seen the greatest benefit to result from their visit. For the people had so much confidence in their powers and ceremonies that they ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... passion, the overwhelming strength of which she regarded panic-stricken. She seemed to have been asleep all her life, to have stirred restlessly once or twice of late, and now to have waked to consciousness and agony. Love, with women like Ruth, is a great happiness or a great calamity. It is with them indeed for ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... with one another. Pride, contempt for the savage—these two weaknesses stood in their way. And no doubt, now, they consoled themselves with the thought that a dead Iroquois, friendly or otherwise, was no very great calamity. This was a danger, but I did not choose to make it ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... sense of calamity swept over her, and dropping on her knees by the open window she laid her head on her folded arms ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... relates how public and private devotion to the mother of God was held in times of calamity and distress, and how these prayers were heard, and help was granted. Thus originated the exalted titles which Catholics give to the Blessed Virgin, such as Help of Christians, Refuge ...
— The Excellence of the Rosary - Conferences for Devotions in Honor of the Blessed Virgin • M. J. Frings

... as has been done too often, medicated and modified to suit the foolish dogmatism of the moment. Hans Christian Andersen was the last writer of children's stories, properly so called; though, considering how well married to his muse he was, it is a wonder as well as a calamity that he left ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... no means to regard Zwingli as an advocate of war. It appeared to him a calamity; but as a calamity, which cannot always be avoided, for which one must be prepared, and that the times of its coming are determined in the ...
— The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli • Johann Hottinger

... of the firman a duty on imports of 3-1/2 per cent. was to be exacted; but on the other hand no damages were to be claimed for Sir Henry Middleton's piratical exploits, and the company's factories were to be protected by law in event of any calamity ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... country. Again they were prepared to undergo whatever service might be laid upon them in her behalf. They could foresee the arduous tasks and inevitable sufferings of a great war, but had no warning of an impending calamity far worse than those which even war, though always attended with horrors, usually entails. Pericles had lately delivered his great funeral oration at the public interment of soldiers who had fallen for Athens. "The bright colors and tone of cheerful confidence," ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... misfortune vexed these two ladies very little indeed. Pen, who was plunged in his shame and grief in London, and torn with great remorse for thinking of his mother's sorrow, would have wondered, had he seen how easily she bore the calamity. Indeed, calamity is welcome to women if they think it will bring truant affection home again: and if you have reduced your mistress to a crust, depend upon it that she won't repine, and only take a very little ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... laughter is a good index of the character of a man. You like and rejoice with the man whose laugh is free and joyous and full of good will. You fear and dislike him of the sneering laugh. How does God laugh? He says, "I will laugh at their calamity and mock at their misfortune," speaking of some who have sinned. Think of the malice and malignity of that in an infinite God when speaking of the sufferings He is going to impose upon His children. You know that it is said of a Roman emperor that he wrote laws very finely, and ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... climax. The children were not perfectly sure whether, after all, Miss Jones might not tell their mother. They did not wish this to happen, and so long as this calamity was possible they were not complete masters of the poor lady. Then came a morning when they had been extremely naughty, when every game had been played and every triumph scored. Miss Jones, almost in tears, had threatened four times that the Powers Above should be informed. ...
— Jeremy • Hugh Walpole

... dark." With words like these did troubled Venus move Each power of heaven, in vain; yet all were touch'd, And, though the stern decrees of rigid fate To break unable, tokens plain they gave, That some immense calamity was nigh. They tell, that clashing arms 'mid the black clouds, And dreadful horns and trumpets in the heavens Sounded, to warn us of the impious deed. Full of solicitude the earth beheld The pale wan ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... the verge of bankruptcy.[1] The acceptance of the annexation was not unanimous, but it was accepted formally in a somewhat sullen and desponding spirit, as a means of averting further impending calamity and restoring a measure of order and peace. Whether this justified or not the act of annexation I do not pretend to judge. The results, however, for the Republic were for the time, financial relief and prosperity, ...
— Native Races and the War • Josephine Elizabeth Butler

... remaining seven, which had experienced the fury of the flames, displayed a melancholy prospect of ruin and desolation. The vigilance of government appears not to have neglected any of the precautions which might alleviate the sense of so dreadful a calamity. The Imperial gardens were thrown open to the distressed multitude, temporary buildings were erected for their accommodation, and a plentiful supply of corn and provisions was distributed at a very moderate price. [29] The ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... the hatchway after reconnoitering on deck, Chatelard was gone. The ship's cook was rummaging in a sailor's kit that he had drawn from a locker. Jim mentally considered the situation. The seamen had no doubt exaggerated the calamity, but without question there was serious trouble. Were the pumps working? How far were they from shore? If hopelessly distant from shore, were they in the course of passing steamers? Would any one look after Miss Redmond's safety? Monsieur Chatelard had said that she was ...
— The Stolen Singer • Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger

... Thus, on the occasion of the sudden death of Princess Kuro, the voice of the wind was heard to utter mysterious words in the "great void" immediately before the coming of a messenger to announce the event, and the Emperor attributed the calamity to the misconduct of an official who had removed certain persons from ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... around her, unsurprised at her late arrival, filled only with the general calamity. Old men's pipe smoke mingled with odors of food; and when the English soldier had satisfied himself that she belonged to this caldron of humanity, he lifted the corners of his nose and returned to ...
— Marianson - From "Mackinac And Lake Stories", 1899 • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... the same sadness, in a form so aggravated and morbid that the despondency, in me, became despair, and the anxiety horror. The cruel fancy took possession of my mind, installed there by my treacherously imaginative temperament, that some awful calamity was about to befall my dear father; that he, patient, submissive Christian that he was, even meditated suicide; and that shape of fear so shook my soul with terror in the daytime, so filled my dreams with horror in the night, that, as if it were not ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... Ned looked at him anxiously. Had some new calamity befallen them? But Tom's voice sounded more in relief than in alarm. The next ...
— Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice • Victor Appleton

... visitor to that spot finds it covered by the Artillery barracks. Walking through King Street, Westminster, you will not forget the great poet Edmund Spenser, who, a victim to barbarity, died there, in destitution and grief. Ben Jonson's terse record of that calamity says: "The Irish having robbed Spenser's goods and burnt his house and a little child new-born, he and his wife escaped, and after he died, for lack of bread, in King Street." Ben Jonson is closely associated with places that can still ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume I. - Great Britain and Ireland • Various

... be one of my dreary notes, but you must forgive me. Do you ever feel a heavy cloud of apprehension lowering over you, a sensation of approaching calamity, as if you heard the footsteps of a deadly enemy stealthily approaching you? Do you know what it is to lose courage, to fear yourself, life, the future, to long to hear a word of sympathy from a friendly voice, to long to lay hold of a friendly hand? Are you ever like a child in the dark, ...
— The Call of the Blood • Robert Smythe Hichens

... while the old man finished his counsel by reciting a beautiful sura from the Koran. In his mind there had been gathering the conviction that there was more truth than he had at first imagined in his daring prophecy, in his foretelling of the calamity which was to befall all Christian countries. He had been perfectly accurate on the subject of his own journey, that it had not been successful in regard to the treasure of Akhnaton. He had seen with extraordinary clearness all which had happened, even to the reading of his heart. It was unnecessary ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... danger threatened her. The people were in wrath and threatened violence to Nero and his court, for it was popularly believed that the city had been set on fire at the emperor's instigation. The coward, Nero, was startled and thoroughly alarmed, and welcomed gladly the suggestion that the calamity should be blamed on the Christians, who were viewed with great suspicion by the common people, and obliged even then to live in hiding. In order to clear himself and to divert the people's minds, he instituted at once against the Christians the most horrible persecutions ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... furnish houses of suitable character and with the requisite promptness, she offered to assume charge, and she erected with the funds of the Association three large apartment houses, which afforded comfortable lodgings for many houseless people. She was among the first to arrive on the scene of calamity, bringing with her Dr. Hubbell, the Field Officer of the Red Cross Association, and a staff of skilled assistants. She made her own organization for relief work in every form, disposing of the large resources ...
— A Story of the Red Cross - Glimpses of Field Work • Clara Barton

... to say, a man in love sees everything through a false medium. It must be a dreadful calamity to be in love. ...
— Gryll Grange • Thomas Love Peacock

... dreadful times these be!" said Katy, when they paused for breath themselves. "I know'd that calamity was about to befall, ever sin' the streak of blood was ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... satisfactory subjects. They met at the post office or at the drug store and gazed into each other's eyes. And, what was the most astonishing thing about it all, their secret remained undiscovered. Undiscovered, that is to say, by those by whom discovery would have meant calamity. The gossips among the townspeople winked and chuckled and cal'lated Fletcher Fosdick had better look out or his girl would be took into the firm of Z. Snow and Co. Issachar Price uttered sarcastic and sly innuendoes. Jane ...
— The Portygee • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... can tell the story in my own way; for tell it I must, and the manuscript will be a comfort to me when I am old and my memory and imagination begin to fail. Not that I ever expect to forget, because that would be a calamity; but I want to put down the events of the day and night in the Kut Sang while they are ...
— The Devil's Admiral • Frederick Ferdinand Moore

... his native town, he promptly refused; and when the Cardinal peremptorily insisted that he should do it, he replied, "My Lord, if you continue to urge me, I will cut off the thumb of my right hand before your face, for I never will consent to perpetuate the calamity and disgrace ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) • S. Spooner

... first dishonored, we had seen it uplifted and restored with imposing ceremonies, amid the shouts of a race redeemed and set free. To-day we had returned to find New York as mournful as Charleston. A national calamity had filled the land with mourning. From every flag-staff the "stars and stripes," shrouded in black, drooped at half-mast. From the houses of rich and poor alike, hung the emblems of the universal sorrow. It is estimated that not less than five hundred thousand people, the representatives of all ...
— The Flag Replaced on Sumter - A Personal Narrative • William A. Spicer

... the stairs like a man possessed. Heavy with such a foreboding of calamity as I had not known for two years, I followed him—along the hall and out into the road. The very peace and beauty of the night in some way increased my mental agitation. The sky was lighted almost tropically ...
— The Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... drifted. No other word will describe the process. Some powerful but sensitive minds, like that of Goethe—with whose works she was so familiar—have been driven or torn from their anchorage by some sudden and desolating calamity; but with George Eliot it was quite otherwise. She was a gentle English girl, born on a farm, and passionately attached to the quiet beauty of the countryside. She delighted in the village green, the rectory garden, the fields waving with golden buttercups, ...
— A Handful of Stars - Texts That Have Moved Great Minds • Frank W. Boreham

... own time the Madonna di Custonaci reigns upon the Mountain, and is Protectress of the whole comune. Her sacred picture is normally in her sanctuary down at Custonaci, about 15 kilometres distant, but when any general calamity afflicts the district, it is brought up to the Matrice or Mother Church of the comune on Mount Eryx. On these occasions three days of humiliation are proclaimed, priests and men, their heads crowned with thorns, their necks encircled with ...
— Diversions in Sicily • H. Festing Jones

... Cyril was able to do so. The Plague had still spread, but so slowly that people began to hope that the City would be spared any great calamity, for they were well on in July, and in another six weeks the heat of summer would be passed. Some of those who had gone into the country returned, more shops had been opened, and the panic had ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... be a calamity howler," went on the foreman; "but we've got to face this thing. We'd better get ready to vamoose if Tom Swift doesn't reach here in time to fire that shot—and he doesn't ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... of reaching the side, and devoted his attention to straight, hard riding. There were a few steers ahead of him, and he had a faint hope that if he could get ahead of them he might be able to direct their course through Devil's Hole and thus avert the calamity that threatened. ...
— Square Deal Sanderson • Charles Alden Seltzer

... all the countries of Europe—nor have the Scots degenerated from the stubborn courage with which their ancestors for two thousand years maintained their independence against a superior enemy. Even if London had been lost, we would not, under so great a calamity, have despaired of the freedom of the country; for the war would in all probability have assumed that popular and national character which sooner or later wears out an invading army. Neither does the confidence with which Bonaparte affirms the conviction of his winning the first battle, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Supplementary Number, Issue 263, 1827 • Various

... destructive passion, which like envy is 'the rottenness of the bones.' Anger and fear are more violent, but this is more fixed: it sinks deep into the mind, and often proves fatal. It may generally be conquered at the beginning of any calamity; but when it has gained strength, all attempts to remove it are ineffectual. Life may be dragged out for a few years, but it is impossible that any one should enjoy health, whose mind is bowed down with grief and trouble. In this case some betake themselves to drinking, ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... them! Moreover, the ghost's gaze must now fall on nothing; that would be too appalling (without doubt I was mad). Its gaze must meet something, otherwise it would travel out into space further and further till it had left all the stars and waggled aimless in the ether. The notion of such a calamity was unbearable. Besides, I was hungry for that gaze. My eyes desired those eyes: if that glance did not press against them, they would burst from my head and roll on the floor, and I should be compelled to go down on my hands and knees and grope in search for them. ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... depriving his hearers of an ounce of meaning. But you cannot do that with Johnson. Words that add neither information nor argument to what has gone before are exceptionally rare in him. Take his style at its worst. "It is therefore to me a severe aggravation of a calamity, when it is such as in the common opinion will not justify the acerbity of exclamation, or support the solemnity of vocal grief." Heavier writing there could scarcely be. But every word has its duty to do. The supposed speaker has been saying that he is, like Sancho Panza, quite ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... a proud sensitiveness, almost a shame, over his calamity, which he would have been at a loss to explain. All day long, when men came to view the scene of disaster, he tried to avoid them. He shrank in spirit even ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... over 13 tons, Glendinning declares that an aircraft built from his designs could sail round the world without the slightest danger of calamity."—Glasgow Herald. ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 8, 1914 • Various

... not brought them into some show of order or formation?' asked Saxon. 'They are straggling along the road like a line of geese upon a common when Michaelmas is nigh. Have you no fears? Is it not written that your calamity cometh suddenly—suddenly shall you be broken down ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... standstill, and had to remain in the bay for a considerable time. When at last we moved slowly outwards, the hoarse whistle of the St. Magnus was sounded at short intervals, to avoid collision with any other craft. It had a strangely mournful sound, suggestive of a funeral or some great calamity, and we should almost have preferred being in a storm, when we could have seen the danger, rather than creeping along in the fog and darkness, with a constant dread of colliding with some other boat or with one of the dangerous ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... taboo) and muru, laughable as they seem to us, tended to preserve public health, to ensure respect for authority, and to prevent any undue accumulation of goods and chattels in the hands of one man. Under the law of muru a man smitten by sudden calamity was politely plundered of all his possessions. It was the principle under which the wounded shark is torn to pieces by its fellows, and under which the merchant wrecked on the Cornish coast in bye-gone days was stripped of anything the waves had spared. Among the Maoris, however, ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... imagery. Nothing can, in my view, be sadder than his attempts at consolation for the loss of friends. Witness his Ode to Virgil on the death of Quintilius. He tells his illustrious friend simply that his calamity is without hope, irretrievable and eternal; that it is idle to implore the gods to restore the dead; and that, although his lyre may be more sweet than that of Orpheus, he cannot reanimate the shadow of his ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... worke whole nights & dayes, lye downe on the bare ground, & not allwayes that hap, the breech in the watter, the feare in the buttocks, to have the belly empty, the wearinesse in the bones, and drowsinesse of the body by the bad weather that you are to suffer, having nothing to keepe you from such calamity. ...
— Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson • Peter Esprit Radisson

... and the horses, cattle, machinery, everything he had was covered with mortgages. Caesar worked like a slave, and his family toiled along with him. At last the crash came; he was driven out of his home; the farm and all had been lost for the price of a pair of horses. Right on the heels of this calamity, Caesar learned that his eldest daughter—a beautiful, dark-eyed girl—had been seduced by a lawyer—the agent of the money-lender—and would in a few months become a mother. Then all the devil that lay hid in the depths of the man's nature broke forth. That night the lawyer was attacked in his bed ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... wondered whether she was dead in her anger with him or still alive. As if in answer to this thought, half of remorse and half of hope, with a soft flutter and oblique flight, a big owl, whose appalling cry: "Ya-acabo! Ya-acabo!—it is finished; it is finished"—announces calamity and death in the popular belief, drifted vaguely like a large dark ball across his path. In the downfall of all the realities that made his force, he was affected by the superstition, and shuddered slightly. Signora Teresa must have died, then. ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... been won, fanning their enthusiasm by impersonating at once Achilles and Homer, recruiting while relating the Odyssey of the expedition in glowing colours. Ralph always scoffed, and when I had no scheme on foot they went back to him. Having surveyed the boat and predicted calamity, he departed, leaving a circle of quaint and youthful figures around the Petrel in the shed: Gene Hollister, romantically inclined, yet somewhat hampered by a strict parental supervision; Ralph's cousin ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... a day of mourning and of grief, both in Boulogne and the camp. The inhabitants and soldiers covered the beach, searching anxiously among the bodies which the waves incessantly cast upon the shore; and the Emperor groaned over this terrible calamity, which in his inmost heart he could not fail to attribute to his own obstinacy. By his orders agents entrusted with gold went through the city and camp, stopping the murmurs which were ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... deliver this to you is faithful and sure. You will receive it from a friend who knows and has shared my sorrows. I know not by what accident she has hitherto been spared. I call this accident fortunate; she regards it as a calamity. 'Is it not disgraceful to live,' said she yesterday, 'when all who are good have the honor of dying?' May Heaven, as the reward of her courage, refuse her the fatal ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... to throw any light upon the future. And thereafter in due time there was born to me, not the nectar of a son, but this lump of grief in the form of a daughter. And as if her sex were not enough[13], her almost inconceivable beauty and accomplishments have only added to my calamity: nay, they are the very root of it, and the essence of its sting. For all has come to pass, exactly as that testy old rishi said. For though she is, as thou seest, beautiful as the moon, and like it, full of arts[14], and above all, a dancer that would turn even Tumburu green with envy, ...
— An Essence Of The Dusk, 5th Edition • F. W. Bain

... in "On the Sublime," that all men take a certain satisfaction in the disasters of others. Just as Frenchmen lift their hats when a funeral passes and thank God that they are not in the hearse, so do we in the presence of calamity thank Heaven that it ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... attainment. How refreshing to escape from this hospital atmosphere into the free air, blowing whither it lists, and to fling oneself carelessly upon existence, as Sir George Birdwood, for instance, has done! He also wrote to the Times, but in a very different tone. Like another Gulliver, he pictured the calamity of millionaires living on till their heirs are senile. It is all nonsense, he said, to prescribe rules for life. One of his oldest friends drank a bottle of cognac a day, and, as for himself—well, we know that he is eighty, has lived ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... submitting herself to the man's wishes, as she had always been ready to submit herself to his words. Had she been able always to keep her neck in the dust under his foot, their married life might have been passed without outward calamity, and it is possible that he might still have lived. But if she erred, surely she had been scourged for her error with scorpions. As she sat at his bedside watching him, she thought of her wasted ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... Wilson," by his daughter, Mrs. Gordon, a letter from De Quincey, under date of February, 1824, is given, which says: "As to myself—though I have written not as one who labors under much depression of mind—the fact is, I do so. At this time calamity presses upon me with a heavy hand. I am quite free of opium, but it has left the liver, which is the Achilles heel of almost every human fabric, subject to affections which are tremendous for the weight of wretchedness attached to them. To fence with these with the one hand, ...
— The Opium Habit • Horace B. Day

... induced to leave St. Anne's Hill on the understanding that he would have to remain only two nights in town. When he heard that the debate was postponed owing to Pitt's indisposition, he was, Lord Holland relates, "silent and overcome, as if the intelligence of some great calamity had reached his ears. I saw tears steal down his cheeks; so vexed was he at being detained from his garden, his books, and his cheerful life in the country." On another occasion, begged to go to town, Fox answered ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... unconscious form of Clym, he murmured, "I am afraid that you don't value your prize, Clym... He ought to be happier than I in one thing at least. He may know what it is to come down in the world, and to be afflicted with a great personal calamity; but he probably doesn't know what it is to lose ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... motherhood, in the new form that these must take on if new conditions are to be met. It was as if the motherhood of the country had said in so many words: "Social conditions are changing, but we are still the mothers of the new generation. Society is threatened with this calamity, that they will pass beyond our care before the needs and claims of childhood have been satisfied. As individuals we are now powerless. Let us see what cooeperation will do to right conditions that are ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... the bat form an idea of the sunlight, or the carp of the motion of wings? If his Celestial Majesty had commanded a discussion on the Superior Woman and the virtues which should adorn her, some sentiments not wholly unworthy might have been offered. But this is a calamity. They come unexpectedly, springing up like mushrooms, and this one is probably due to the lack of virtue of the inelegant and unintellectual person who is ...
— The Ninth Vibration And Other Stories • L. Adams Beck

... path on her way home and fell asleep. And the sun had gone down before she reached the well, and in the night the water broke out and filled all the plain, and what was land is now water." This, then, was the origin of Loch Awe. It is a little like the Australian account of the Deluge. That calamity was produced by a man's showing a woman the mystic turndun, a native sacred toy. Instantly water broke out of the earth ...
— Angling Sketches • Andrew Lang

... grow more gloomy by reason of the difficulties of mastication. I once read the story of an Englishman who hanged himself because they had brought him his tea without sugar. There are hours in life when the most trifling cross takes the form of a calamity. Our tempers are like an opera-glass, which makes the object small or great according to the end you ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Hangchow, in the bay of the same name, south of Shanghai. On 19th March he succeeded in capturing the Chinese city, but the Tartar portion held out, and a relieving army compelled Chung Wang to retire. What seemed an unredeemed calamity proved a stroke of good fortune, for the Imperialists had sent their best troops to pursue him, and thus materially weakened the force before Nanking. Chung Wang saw his chance, and while the Imperialists ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume I • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... that fell upon him became the calamity of our whole nation, for it elevated the hopes of conquering the Romans on the part of those who desired war. But another cause of the revolt arose in Syria from the cruel treatment of the Jews in many cities, where they showed not the least disposition towards rebellion. About 13,000 ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... later questioning we learn the MElu, or MElE, is the most powerful of all the natural spirits and that his help is sought in times of calamity and at ...
— The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao - The R. F. Cummings Philippine Expedition • Fay-Cooper Cole

... to a great resort of gamblers to play. There the dice, beautiful as the eyes of gazelles, were being thrown constantly. And Calamity seemed to be looking on, thinking: "Whom shall I embrace?" And the loud shouts of angry gamblers seemed to suggest the question: "Who is there that would not be fleeced here, were he ...
— Twenty-two Goblins • Unknown

... perished after an absence from home, some a few weeks, others for months, instead of greeting their friends, were hurried into eternity so near their own homes, under such aggravated circumstances. And then what a terrible disappointment to survivors! Many families as well as individuals were by this calamity not only bereft of friends, but of their property—some reduced to ...
— Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters - Volume 3 • Various

... our wonted confidence. I had beheld with my own eyes the lifeless corpse of our implacable adversary. Thus, in a moment, had terminated his long and flagitious career. His restless indignation, his malignant projects, that had so long occupied the stage and been so fertile of calamity, were now ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... gone into hysterics, or fainted away, and that was the way he came to throw the ink at her—she was so very much shocked, and so would he be—and really she felt the misfortune to the beautiful new sofa-cover as a most serious calamity and ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a great calamity was impending over the nation was even at that time acknowledged by every intelligent citizen. It had already made itself felt throughout the length and breadth of the land. The necessary consequences of the alarm thus produced were most deplorable. The imports fell off with a rapidity never ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 4 (of 4) of Volume 5: James Buchanan • James D. Richardson

... intensely affected by the merest trifles. A little thing shadows their life for days. The want of some little convenience, some personal gratification, some outward form or ornament, will blight a day's joy. They can often bear a great calamity better than a small disappointment, because they nerve themselves to meet the former, and yield to the latter without an effort to resist. Mole-hills are magnified into mountains, and in the shadow of these mountains they sit down and weep. The very things they ought to have sometimes ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... the interests of employers and employees are irreconcilably opposed, not identical, is false, Socialist rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. As soon as a calamity threatens capital—for instance, a rise in raw cotton or a cotton famine—masters and men are seen to be in the same boat and devise combined measures for meeting the difficulty. The doctrine of the Class War is opposed to ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... of Russia as well as of Finland. In fact, the proposals of February 15 struck at the root of the constitution, subjecting it in all important matters to the will of the autocrat at St. Petersburg. At once the Finns saw the full extent of the calamity. They observed the following Sunday as a day of mourning; the people of Helsingfors, the capital, gathered around the statue of Alexander II., the organiser of their liberties, as a mute appeal to the generous ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... done. Among other changes the marginal kiva, which was nearly in line with the proposed improvements, was removed. This was done despite the protest of the older men, and their predictions of dire calamity sure to follow such sacrilege. A new site was selected close by and the newly acquired knowledge of the use of powder was utilized in blasting out the excavation for this subterranean chamber. It is altogether probable that the sites of all former kivas were ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... water, then," cried Drew, setting the example and pouring some of the cool fluid between the lips of first Panton, and then of the mate. But it was some minutes before it had the slightest effect, and there was a time when it seemed as if a fresh calamity was to be added to their ...
— Fire Island - Being the Adventures of Uncertain Naturalists in an Unknown Track • G. Manville Fenn

... their pride has been deeply wounded; and the women especially regard you with feelings of malignant hatred. I have good reason for fearing that they may try to excuse their inhuman way of speaking of you, by making public the calamity of your slave-birth. What deplorable influence might be exercised on your husband's mind, by such an exposure as this, I will not stop to inquire. It will be more to the purpose to say that I am able to offer you a sure means of protecting yourself—through information which I have ...
— The Guilty River • Wilkie Collins

... suddenly sprang up as if in fear. And fear had in fact seized him. Suppose he forgot those belongings on the rack? Suppose, sublimely careless, he descended from the train and left them there? What a calamity! And similar misadventures had happened to him before. It was the cheese that disquieted him. No one would be sufficiently unprincipled to steal the coffin, and he would ultimately recover it at the lost luggage office, babies' coffins not abounding on the North Staffordshire Railway. ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... thou dost not understand when thou readest thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation: for there be secrets of religion which are not known till they be felt and are not felt but in the Day of a great calamity!" (a piece of wisdom with application to other experiences besides religious ones). I think this will read well in the language of the East. As also "In ...
— Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books • Horatia K. F. Eden

... cellar and the well" which Holmes marked as the ultimate monuments, the last witnesses, to the existence of our more transitory habitations. It is the law of the patient sun that everything under it shall decay, and if by reason of some swift calamity, some fiery cataclysm, the perishable shall be overtaken by a fate that fixes it in unwasting arrest, it cannot be felt that the law has been set aside in the interest of men's happiness or cheerfulness. Neither Pompeii ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... she finally prohibited it under pain of her displeasure. A report even reached Their Royal Highnesses, that the Prince of Peace had demanded their separation and separate confinement. Nothing could, therefore, be effected to impede the progress of wickedness and calamity, but by some temporary measure of severity. In this disagreeable dilemma, it was resolved by the cabal to send the Queen to a convent, until her favourite had been arrested and imprisoned; to declare the Prince of Asturias Regent during the King's illness ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... but by love of gain and pleasure, passions so strong that "I fear, for such men as we are it is better to serve than to be free. If our appetites were let loose altogether against our neighbours, they would be like wild beasts uncaged, and bring a deluge of calamity on the whole civilised world." Melancholy words, and appropriate to our own age, when cleverness is almost universal, and genius rare indeed, and the choice between liberty and servitude hard to make, were ...
— On the Sublime • Longinus

... gate in an automobile set at its highest speed, and as he saw Roscoe he made a gesture singularly eloquent of calamity, and was lost at once in a cloud of dust down the street. Edith had followed part of the way down the drive, and it could be seen that she was crying bitterly. She lifted both arms to Roscoe, ...
— The Turmoil - A Novel • Booth Tarkington

... believe the man in jest. Too much solemnity and sorrow both were discernible in his worn and rugged features, hewn grandly as if from granite, to admit of a hope like this. His words were earnest, and some great calamity was in store, I could not doubt, or at least he apprehended such. For some time he replied not, then, slowing pointing to the base of the stricken mainmast, which still showed an elevation of some inches above the deck, he revealed to me the truth ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... voyage which she had been making. She was on her way from China to England. Her father lived in England, but she had passed her life in Hong-Kong, having been brought up there by the old nurse, who had accompanied her on her voyage until that fearful calamity. ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... which, on another occasion, he taught God's preference for a contrite sinner over a complacent saint (Luke xviii. 9-14). When reminded of Pilate's outrage upon certain Galilean worshippers, he used the calamity to warn his hearers that personal godliness was the only protection which could secure them against a more serious outbreak of the hostility of the Roman power (Luke xiii. 1-9); and it was probably in reply to such an appeal ...
— The Life of Jesus of Nazareth • Rush Rhees

... Edith's hand, and the two women sat down side by side, shedding tears together, rather from a sense of the general woe and bitterness of life than for poignant grief for the present calamity. It was not much they said at first. Neither was of the talkative order of women, finding comfort in the mere utterance of words. They grew together, sustained by giving and receiving tenderness, and each ...
— The Pagans • Arlo Bates

... inflexibility of resistance for the confidence of affection. The cheerfulness of her entrance upon womanhood, had been darkened, by an attendance upon the death-bed of her mother, and the still more afflicting calamity of her eldest sister. Her exertions to create a joint independence for her sisters and herself, had been attended, neither with the success, nor the pleasure, she had hoped from them. Her first youthful passion, her friendship for Fanny, had encountered many disappointments, ...
— Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman • William Godwin

... of the situation—the practical, home, filial side. It was strange how, as the affair advanced, he was more and more conscious of his father. It was as though he were an outsider, a friend of his father's, but no relation to the family, who watched a calamity approach ever more closely and was powerless to stop it. Although he was only a boy he realised very sufficiently his father's love for him and pride in him. He realized, too, his father's dependence upon his ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... be made on that instrument, all whose strings are screwed up at first to their utmost stretch, and to the same sound? But this is not the worst: for the characters likewise bear a part in the general calamity, if you consider the passions as embodied in them; for it follows of necessity, that no man can be distinguished from another by his discourse, when every man is ranting, swaggering, and exclaiming with the same excess: as if it were the only business of all the characters ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... it was a fine afternoon. He made the kind of joke that calamity always forced from him, by some perversion ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair

... of the servants, among whom was Julia's nurse, and almost all the inhabitants of the village, closed the procession. I watched the funeral train till it was out of sight, and for the first time I forgot myself, for a few minutes, and my own dreadful share in this calamity, and thought only of my aunt, and of her misery. I called to mind too the image of that child, whom I had so often nursed to sleep in her infancy, whom I had carried in my arms, and held to my bosom. When I pictured to myself the little body laid in its narrow ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... sigh; "I will set out, but I shall leave the members of my legation here as yet, for I do not yet give up the hope that it may be possible for the two courts to avoid a declaration of war; and to spare such a calamity to two countries that have such good ...
— Andreas Hofer • Lousia Muhlbach

... knowing of what he was suspected, was conveyed to a place of confinement, whither the most strenuous enquiries of his friends had been unable to trace him. Who the enemy was, that had occasioned him this calamity, he had not been able to guess, unless, indeed, it was Montoni, on whom his suspicions rested, and not only with much ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe



Words linked to "Calamity" :   misfortune, meltdown, force majeure, inevitable accident, disaster, apocalypse, cataclysm, kiss of death, famine, act of God, unavoidable casualty, visitation, tidal wave, bad luck, catastrophe, calamitous, vis major, plague, tsunami



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