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Catastrophe   /kətˈæstrəfi/   Listen
Catastrophe

noun
1.
An event resulting in great loss and misfortune.  Synonyms: calamity, cataclysm, disaster, tragedy.  "The earthquake was a disaster"
2.
A state of extreme (usually irremediable) ruin and misfortune.  Synonym: disaster.  "His policies were a disaster"
3.
A sudden violent change in the earth's surface.  Synonym: cataclysm.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Catastrophe" Quotes from Famous Books



... a raised seat of stone, about the size of a Grecian couch, at one end. The only sign that life had been here, was the perfect snow-white skeleton of a goat, which had probably not perceived the opening as it grazed on the hill above, and had fallen headlong. Ages perhaps had elapsed since this catastrophe; and the ruin it had made above, had been repaired by the growth of vegetation during ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... in reviewing Hugh Miller's 'Testimony of the Rocks,' finds in some of his gorgeous speculations premonitions of that mental aberration which ended his life, and does not hesitate to attribute the final catastrophe to the overworking of his powers in the service of pretentious and unsanctified science. Noble and true-hearted son of the Church though he was, and though laboring with herculean strength to set the Bible and science in harmony, he has not escaped the envenomed shafts of a portion ...
— Continental Monthly, Volume 5, Issue 4 • Various

... me to a cordial reply, and we fell into a discussion of the catastrophe. Her English was so sadly perverted and her voice so guttural that I could make out her meaning only with the greatest exercise of the imagination. But it was to the effect that the fire had started in a room on the top floor, whither poor old ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... she had tacitly devolved so great a responsibility, went forward to the promenade in front of the saloon, in hopes of learning something more of the catastrophe from the people whom he had already found ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... the ship neared the scene of the catastrophe. "Not likely," answered the first lieutenant; "but we can but look for them." The ship's way was stopped, and a boat being lowered pulled towards the shore. Here and there a few fragments of the ...
— The Three Commanders • W.H.G. Kingston

... ruins! Those officers who were in pursuit of Lomellino were so astounded by the sudden din and the column of flame, that they remained rooted to the spot where they had turned to gaze on the evidence of the catastrophe: and Lomellino had succeeded in effecting a safe and unobserved return ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... as you know, is a very loyal worker. She's president of the society here. She did what she could to prevent the catastrophe, but she was powerless. Then she resigned. This was Rally Day, you know. The women from all the county churches came in. There must have been two hundred of them. We looked forward to a very profitable meeting. I prayed the opening prayer myself. Then I had some calls to make. It ...
— The Co-Citizens • Corra Harris

... do it," scolded Bobby, rushing forward, though of course he couldn't have known that Dot meditated such a catastrophe. In fact, that small girl was more surprised than any ...
— Four Little Blossoms on Apple Tree Island • Mabel C. Hawley

... I expect to be censured. As Bainbridge drew toward what I suppose would, under any circumstances, have been his close, I was sitting with my face toward Arthur, and the actions of that unpolished gem told me that the catastrophe was at hand. Those who say that "the expected never happens" misinform us; for the expected very frequently does happen. The wretched boy did not—would not—look at me, and I could not, of course, interrupt the flow of eloquence that poured from the lips of Bainbridge. ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... have outlasted their vitality,—at some unexpected moment, there must come a terrible crash. The sole reason why I should desire it to happen in my day is, that I might be there to see! But the ruin of my own country is, perhaps, all that I am destined to witness; and that immense catastrophe (though I am strong in the faith that there is a national lifetime of a thousand years in us yet) would serve any man well enough as his final spectacle ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... carriage, with the other waved his hat, and shouted, "Vive le Roi!" In another instant I saw him stagger; a pike was darted into his bosom, and he fell dead under the wheel. Before the confusion of this frightful catastrophe had subsided, a casement was opened immediately above my head, and a woman, superbly dressed, rushed out on the balcony waving a white scarf, and crying, "Vive Marie Antoinette!" The muskets of the escort were turned upon her, and a volley was fired at ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... are capable of wielding by simply—it is so very simple now—simply transferring our personalities to the higher plane. What if we were to do wrong? We might involve the whole world in some unspeakable catastrophe." ...
— The Mummy and Miss Nitocris - A Phantasy of the Fourth Dimension • George Griffith

... of course approached the minimum to start with. Now Bernadine wore only a wisp of nylon perched precariously on one breast and part of a ribbon that had once been a belt. Discovering the catastrophe, she shrieked once and leaped into the pool any-which-way, covering her breasts with her hands and hiding in water up ...
— Masters of Space • Edward Elmer Smith

... know that this spot has been the scene of a catastrophe fearful to look back upon, in the annals ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... diction, placed before a female writer. But if, disdaining the construction of sentences,—the precise decorum of the cold grammarian,—she has caught the spirit of her author,—if, in every altered scene,—still adhering to the nice propriety of his meaning, and still keeping in view his great catastrophe,—she has agitated her audience with all the various passions he depicted, the rigid criticism of the closet will be but a slender abatement of the pleasure resulting from the sanction of an ...
— Lover's Vows • Mrs. Inchbald

... of Quebec—Montmagny, D'Ailleboust, and D'Argenson—pleaded with the home authorities to send reinforcements for their feeble garrison, by whom alone Quebec hoped to escape the ever-dreaded catastrophe. Through press of home affairs, and official neglect and indifference, these requests continued to be disregarded. Reprisals were taken against the Iroquois whenever opportunities occurred; but even ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... either with the Holy Spirit of Ormazd or with Ormazd himself. He is the all destroying Satan, the source of all evil in the world and, like Ormazd, exists since the beginning of the world. Eventually, in the great world catastrophe, he will be defeated by Ormazd and disappear. The later sect of the Zervanites held that both were visible manifestations of the primeval principle Zruvan akarana (Infinite ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... No catastrophe had befallen during my absence. The same peaceful sunny Sunday reigned in Gatun; new-laundered laborers were still lolling in the shade of the camps, West Indians were still batting at interminable balls with their elongated paddles in the faint hope of deciding ...
— Zone Policeman 88 - A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and its Workers • Harry A. Franck

... party in the cabin that afternoon. The painful impression made by this catastrophe was heightened by the knowledge that it might have been prevented. The steamer amidships was filled up to her rail with coal, and the boy was thrown overboard by a sudden lurch while walking upon ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... hear, whether I wrote or not. I had come to this wisdom too late. I fully believe that, as far as my ability to prevent the catastrophe was concerned, I was then and there a possessed person—a slave of spirits—as utterly bound to do the will of my magnetizers as ever a 'subject' was. Though I cannot be persuaded that all these beings, from whom unseen I had heard so much, were 'only evil continually,' ...
— Continental Monthly, Volume 5, Issue 4 • Various

... centralization, which proscribes liberty as manifestly as night obscures the day. As for my part, gentlemen, there are two things which I love equally—liberty and France. Well, then, as I believe in God, do I believe that both must perish in the throes of some convulsive catastrophe if all the life of the nation shall continue to be concentrated in the brain, and the great reform for which I call is not made: if a vast system of local franchise, if provincial institutions, largely independent and conformable to the modern spirit, are not soon ...
— Monsieur de Camors, Complete • Octave Feuillet

... housekeeper, who ruled him with a rod of iron, and insulted Mrs. Austin and others, undertook to manage me in the same way, and got packed off in consequence, though I did all I could to keep the secret, and prevent the catastrophe; but he insisted on knowing why I left him, and he applied to the secretaries, who were witnesses of the whole transaction. The philosopher was indignant, and insisted on her making me a suitable apology. I said I wanted no apology, having made up my mind to go ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... suddenly surprised by an overwhelming body of insurgents, who must have rushed in and massacred them before the soldiers could stand to their arms. If any white people in the neighbourhood had escaped with their lives, they must have gone away and not dared to return to the scene of the catastrophe. ...
— The Missing Ship - The Log of the "Ouzel" Galley • W. H. G. Kingston

... through all these vicissitudes, and his presence alone preserved intact the rights of the state over which he reigned as sovereign. If any disaster befell his worshippers, his temple was the spot where the survivors of the catastrophe rallied around him, their religion preventing them from mixing with the inhabitants of neighbouring towns and from becoming lost among them. The survivors multiplied with that extraordinary rapidity which is the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... twice every day; and the result was pretty uniform, viz., that my brother and I terminated the battle by insisting upon our undoubted right to run away. Magna Charta, I should fancy, secures that great right to every man; else, surely, it is sadly defective. But out of this catastrophe to most of our skirmishes, and to all our pitched battles except one, grew a standing schism between my brother and myself. My unlimited obedience had respect to action, but not to opinion. Loyalty to my brother did not rest upon ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... continue to hold out? Ten thousand Spaniards still surrounded the walls, and at any moment might break in, and massacre and rapine would sweep over her native city. Night and day she prayed that the dreaded catastrophe might be averted, yet day after day passed, and the fleet lay in sight of the walls, but too far distant for their cannon to reach the enemy. Even Admiral Boisot was in despair. He despatched a letter to the Prince, stating his belief that if the spring tides, soon to ...
— The Lily of Leyden • W.H.G. Kingston

... to imply that the family had lost nothing, the boys being the only sufferers. And it was a bit staggering—all their work and machinery and tools and plans utterly ruined—the lathe and drill a heap of twisted iron. It was with a rueful face that Bill surveyed the catastrophe. ...
— Radio Boys Cronies • Wayne Whipple and S. F. Aaron

... general," Allister was fond of saying, "plans in two ways: for an absolute victory and for an absolute defeat. The one enables him to squeeze the last ounce of success out of a triumph; the other keeps a failure from turning into a catastrophe." ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... act, and deplore the violent death of the "lordly" brute who, out of his selfish and wicked recklessness, had snatched away the life of an only child from its father without care or compunction. But it was the fearful swiftness of the catastrophe that affected Helmsley most,—that, and what seemed to him, the needless cruelty of fate. Only last night he had seen Tom o' the Gleam for the first time—only last night he had admired the physical symmetry and grace ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... Mr. Haswell was induced by his desire for gain to visit you and how you had most mysteriously predicted his blindness. Now, there is no such thing as telepathy, at least in this case. How then was I to explain it? What could cause such a catastrophe naturally? Why, only those rays invisible to the human eye, but which make this piece of willemite glow—the ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... showed Aunt Clara letters from people who'd employed him, lots of Americans whose names we've heard, and some we're acquainted with. The tragic thing is, that he finds difficulty in getting engaged because of his face. I've felt guilty ever since I called it a catastrophe. Of course it is; but I said it to be funny, which was cruel. And we deserve to punish ourselves by keeping the poor wretch a few days, or more, if ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... region; and the bilingual mongrel peoples, that arose in subsequent times out of the remains of the native Italians and Achaeans and the more recent immigrants of Sabellian descent, never attained any real prosperity. This catastrophe, however, belongs in point of time ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... through an immense depth of conglomerate formation, a hundred feet of bowlders and pebbles cemented together by integrant particles which appear to have been washed down from the mountains-probably during the subsidence of the deluge, for even if that great catastrophe were a comparatively local occurrence, instead of a universal flood, as some profess to believe, we are now gradually creeping up toward Ararat, so that this particular region was undoubtedly submerged. What appear to be petrified ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... a white man of blood untainted, must answer for this final tragic catastrophe! Without me, perhaps, the sachems of the three clans might submit to the will of the League, for even the surly Onondagas had now heeded the League-Call—yes, even the Tuscaroras, too. And as for those Delaware dogs, they had come, belly-dragging, cringing to ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... pity you should have come too late for the catastrophe, when you had seen all the preface! Five days ago Bella and Charley made their great coup, ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... of our wounded, and many of our surgeons, with rare courage, remained there to take charge of them, for it required some nerve to run the risk of being sent to Libby prison when the fight was over, a catastrophe which has often happened to our medical officers. Among the rest, the chief surgeons of the First Corps, Doctor Theodore Heard and Doctor Thomas H. Bache, refused to leave their patients, and in consequence of the hasty retreat of the enemy ...
— Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - Campaigns of the Civil War - VI • Abner Doubleday

... sense of all humanity honeycombed with millions upon millions of small sorrows, absorbing joys and hopes and fears, and in spite of them all the Great Life sweeping on, with no Great Death to check its course, no immense catastrophe, all these little troubles like mere tiny specks of foam upon the surface of ...
— His Family • Ernest Poole

... of the stairway, saw this catastrophe, but did not smile. He turned on his heel, and made his way slowly around the corner of the passage into the other part of the building, and paused at the open doorway of the Honourable Hilary's outer office. By the street windows ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... the first to realize the extent of the catastrophe, and in a short while chairs and life-preservers and tables—everything that could float—had been tossed into the sea to the struggling immortals therein. On board the Gehenna, those who had not cast themselves into the waters, under the cool direction of Holmes and Bonaparte, ...
— The Pursuit of the House-Boat • John Kendrick Bangs

... not been answered by any growl of thunder; the storm did not at once move up and the heavens above were still clear and sunny by day, and starry-kirtled at night. But here and there were those who, like Hermann on the first announcement of the catastrophe, scented trouble, and Michael, going to see Aunt Barbara one afternoon early in the second week of July, found that she was ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... short memory, does not remember the catastrophe. She was three at the time of it. She was in the nursery when the blow fell, and presently her mother came in looking very distracted and wild, and caught the little girl's face between her hands, and looked into it, and turned it this way ...
— The Spread Eagle and Other Stories • Gouverneur Morris

... of despair arose from those still on board the ill-fated "Trident" when this catastrophe happened. During the next half-hour the rocket apparatus was plied with great success, but although most of the women and children were saved by it (and by the boat before it was disabled), there were still upwards of fifty ...
— The Lifeboat • R.M. Ballantyne

... at that time the general topic of conversation at Paris.]—and what do you think of it? Let me know, for I am determined to form my taste upon yours. I hear that the situations and incidents are well brought on, and the catastrophe unexpected and surprising, but the verses bad. I suppose it is the subject of all conversations at Paris, where both women and men are judges and critics of all such performances; such conversations, that both form and improve the taste, and whet the judgment; are surely preferable ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... May! Still no steamer had come, but the mosquitoes had—bloodthirsty beyond any the temperate climates know. It was clear that some catastrophe had befallen the Woodworth boats. And Nig had been lured away by his quondam master! No, they had not gone back to the gulch—that was too easy. The man had a mind to keep the dog, and, since he was not allowed to buy him, he would do ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... Position after position—fortress after fortress—city after city—declared impregnable by the Government up to the very last moment, fell suddenly and mysteriously; only to expose, when too late, the chain of grievous errors that inseparably linked the catastrophe ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... catastrophe my sister joins in the appeal I am making. I hope, in the course of the next six months, to be able to repay the loan. But it is absolutely necessary to obtain the money at once, for my creditors ...
— The Substitute Prisoner • Max Marcin

... the catastrophe. How Pentheus, arrived within sight of the orderly Maenads, was not satisfied, but desired a higher station from which to view their unseemly life. Then a wonder: the stranger bent down an ash tree, and seating Pentheus in a fork of it let the tree return to its position, ...
— Story of Orestes - A Condensation of the Trilogy • Richard G. Moulton

... and Alexius was solemnly crowned with his father in the dome of St. Sophia. In the first days of his reign, the people, already blessed with the restoration of plenty and peace, was delighted by the joyful catastrophe of the tragedy; and the discontent of the nobles, their regret, and their fears, were covered by the polished surface of pleasure and loyalty The mixture of two discordant nations in the same capital might have been pregnant ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... down. At the close of the day the French were in possession of the enemy's ground, but the Russians, unbroken in their order, had only retreated to a second line of defence. Both sides claimed the victory; neither had won it. It was no catastrophe such as Napoleon required for the decision of the war, it was no triumph sufficient to save Russia from the necessity of abandoning its capital. Kutusoff had sustained too heavy a loss to face the French beneath the walls of Moscow. Peace was no nearer for the ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... the methods, even could we borrow the results, of wisdom older than all our civilization by myriads or hundreds of myriads of years. But would not the sudden advent of larger knowledge from some elder planet prove for us, by reason, of the present moral condition of mankind, nothing less than a catastrophe?—might it not even result in the extinction of the ...
— The Romance of the Milky Way - And Other Studies & Stories • Lafcadio Hearn

... no intention of stopping, only just long enough to see the place and make arrangements for the prosecution of my journey; but this catastrophe hurried my departure, and at the end of three days we were both mounted on mules, travelling over hot, bare plains, with the sun pouring down until one's brain seemed scorched; and when at last water was reached, it was thick and muddy-looking, so that, but ...
— The Golden Magnet • George Manville Fenn

... trusty messenger, by whom, or by whose means, they were publicly delivered to the bishops in the presence of their attendants. It was a precipitate and unfortunate measure, and probably the occasion of the catastrophe which followed. The prelates, caught in their own snare, burst into loud complaints against his love of power and thirst of revenge; they accused him to the young King of violating the royal privileges, and wishing to tear the crown from his head; and they hastened to Normandy to demand redress from ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... Schontz to beg the loan of some plate, telling her what had happened to Lousteau. After making the child welcome to all she had, Madame Schontz went off to her friend Malaga, that Cardot might be warned of the catastrophe that had befallen ...
— Parisians in the Country - The Illustrious Gaudissart, and The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... Harriet, do I now think of the impending fate of Dorothy; but oh, the difference between the sudden catastrophe in the one case, and the foreknowledge granted in the other! Time, whose awful uses our blind security so habitually forgets, is granted to her, with its inestimable value marked on it by the finger of death, undimmed by the busy hands ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... became closely bound. Propinquity bred intimacy. Shortly afterwards Camillo's mother died, and in this catastrophe, for such it was, the other two showed themselves to be genuine friends of his. Villela took charge of the interment, of the church services and the settlement of the affairs of the deceased; Rita dispensed consolation, and ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... man saw nothing for it, as they rode on, save a grim contest between them which could end in what? What could he do with her? They were riding away fresh from this awful catastrophe, and she was not saying a word! She had even asked him why he had come there! How was he to subdue her, when the very act of trapping her had failed to do so? His ruse, while so successful materially, had failed so utterly spiritually. They reached the house, and Aileen got out. The old ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... an end of mine," remarked Challenger, "for science is not dead, and this catastrophe in itself will offer us many most ...
— The Poison Belt • Arthur Conan Doyle

... and patted her hand; then added, "We must go and beg pardon, I suppose; I should not wonder if the catastrophe had damaged Aunt Jane the most; and if so, I don't know what ...
— Countess Kate • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to fan up her wrath anew, and she started in to talk at him again. Under which circumstances, perhaps it was just as well that a couple of heavy bangs overhead and a series of appalling yells, betokening a nursery catastrophe, should cut short her eloquence, and start ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... (about 1712-1732) not more than eight or nine of Shakspeare's plays were acted, whereas Garrick annually gave the public seventeen or eighteen. Romeo and Juliet had lain neglected near 80 years, when in 1748-9 Garrick brought it out, or rather a hash of it. 'Otway had made some alteration in the catastrophe, which Mr. Garrick greatly improved by the addition of a scene, which was written with a spirit not unworthy of Shakespeare himself.' Ib. p. 125. Murphy (Life of Garrick, p. 100), writing of this alteration, says:—'The catastrophe, as it now stands, is the most affecting ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... been apprehensive that the evacuation of Egypt was unavoidable. The last news he had received from that country was not very encouraging, and created a presentiment of the approach of the dreaded catastrophe. He, however, published the contrary; but it was then of great importance that, an account of the evacuation should not reach England until the preliminaries of peace were signed, for which purpose M. Otto was exerting all his industry and talent. ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... prey to the convulsions of famine, rebellion, and pillage. And yet all sleep at this moment, and their peaceful slumbers are not disturbed for a single instant by the prospect of such a frightful catastrophe. On the other hand, eighty departments have been laboring to-day, without concert, without any mutual understanding, for the provisioning ...
— Supply and Demand • Hubert D. Henderson

... the day before New Year's Eve. Views were divided as to the nature of the coming catastrophe—whether it would come as a flood or as an earthquake. Most of the people remained outside their houses, some on the plain, others on the hills; all with ...
— Historical Miniatures • August Strindberg

... the meaning of this paper stands for a more or less excusable mistake. A ship may be "driven ashore" by stress of weather. It is a catastrophe, a defeat. To be "run ashore" has the littleness, poignancy, and bitterness of ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... hitherto occupied by them; and, instead of trusting everybody, put no faith in any one. This conduct ultimately recoiled upon themselves; their shares fell in value; some of them became bankrupt, while the others had a hard struggle to avoid that catastrophe; and the public lost all confidence in banks and bankers. The worst part of the tale remains to be told; namely, that many widows and orphans, whose all was invested in bank shares, were utterly ruined and reduced to destitution ...
— Trade and Travel in the Far East - or Recollections of twenty-one years passed in Java, - Singapore, Australia and China. • G. F. Davidson

... moralising philosopher may find food for contemplation in such a scene and such a catastrophe. He may see, in the lofty and decaying trunks, the hoary relics and representatives of a generation of better and greater spirits than those who lead the destinies of his own,—spirits, left not more as monuments of the past than as models for the imitation ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... Benjamin, she was quite sure, did not expect anything of the kind. But— Then Lizzie paused, and Mr. Benjamin, with the sweetest and wittiest of smiles, suggested that perhaps Miss Greystock was going to be married. Lizzie, with a pretty maiden blush, admitted that such a catastrophe was probable. She had been asked in marriage by Sir Florian Eustace. Now Mr. Benjamin knew, as all the world knew, that Sir Florian Eustace was a very rich man indeed; a man in no degree embarrassed, and ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... be speaking is a Hebrew who chanced to be present at Gaza when the, incidents related took place. After the catastrophe he rushes to Manoah, the father of Samson, to whom and his assembled friends he relates what he saw. ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... most healthful place of recreation to be in; and, cleaving the dense smoke, you ascend into sunlight. Perhaps you stroll to some place where the air is better, but which may still have a story quite as exciting as the catastrophe of the imperial bakehouse: perhaps to Bertholdsdorf; a pretty little market-town with a tall-steepled church, and a half ruined battlement, situated on the hill slope about six miles to the south of Vienna. It ...
— A Tramp's Wallet - stored by an English goldsmith during his wanderings in Germany and France • William Duthie

... which I had looked for so much profit to my art, had ended in a catastrophe of which I did not then even measure the extent. It was nearly two years before I recovered from the attack at Neuchatel enough to work regularly, and these circumstances threw me still further from my chosen career. More exciting and absorbing occupation called me, and I obeyed, whether ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... ex his duobus altero nobis infestissimo, altero nobis amicissimo, licebit singula coniicere, quae sunt horum simillima. Etenim, ut nostrorum illa fuit Epistasis turbulenta, sic nostrorum haec evasit divina Catastrophe. ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... Mrs. Hawker, you have been-duly warned of the catastrophe- character of this point, on which woman is said never to have been wooed in vain. Here are Captain Truck and myself, ready at any moment to use these carving knives, faute des Bowies, in order to show our desperate devotion; and I deem it no more than prudent in you, not to smile again this ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... contact. And this he gave her simply, ungrudgingly, with a high purity of understanding, guiltless of any shadow of embarrassment or any after-thought. Their lighter, somewhat enigmatic relation of the earlier evening was extinguished, swamped by the catastrophe of Charles Verity's illness. Exactly in how far she gauged the gravity of that illness and its only too likely result, or merely wept, unnerved by the distressing outward aspect of it, Carteret could not determine. But he divined, and rightly, that she was in process of ranging herself, ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... obtained the prussic acid, nor why she had selected that particular moment for its use. I ought to add, that CASANUOVA left England before the inquest, and has never returned. On the mystery of the final catastrophe the manuscript throws no light. It ends abruptly. But the whole tone of it leads me to believe, that in some unexplained manner Sir CHARLES himself had been instrumental in causing his wife's death. But you, no doubt, know, and could tell us ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892 • Various

... period. It used to be thought that there was a mysterious blank or gulf between the Old and the New Stone Age. The Palaeolithic culture seemed to come to an abrupt close, and the Neolithic culture was sharply distinguished from it. It was suspected that some great catastrophe had destroyed the Palaeolithic race in Europe, and a new race entered as the adverse conditions were removed. This was especially held to be the case in England. The old Palaeolithic race had never reached Ireland, which seems to have been cut oft from the Continent during the Ice-Age, ...
— The Story of Evolution • Joseph McCabe

... can be no harm in hearing what the fellow has to say. It may be about some threatened invasion of the savages; and as protectors of the people, you, ayudante, know it's our duty to do whatever we can for warding off such a catastrophe." ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... during which the policy of the Union in its relations with Europe constituted the principal basis of our own political divisions, and the most arduous part of the action of the Federal Government. With the catastrophe in which the wars of the French Revolution terminated, and our own subsequent peace with Great Britain, this baneful weed of party strife was uprooted. From that time no difference of principle, connected with the theory of government, or with our intercourse ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... I had been brought to safety. After that he spoke no more, for his mind began to labour heavily with his coming speech. His lips kept muttering, his eye wandered, and I began to prepare myself for a second catastrophe. I tried to think of something to say myself, but my mind was dry as a stone. The next thing I knew we had drawn up outside a door in a street, and were being welcomed by some noisy gentlemen with rosettes. The hall had about five hundred in ...
— The Thirty-nine Steps • John Buchan

... was stuck into the kidneys, and which was the occasion of his speedy and dreadful death. A few days after this, my best greyhound was stuck in the loins, in the like barbarous manner, which brought on the same kind of speedy and agonizing death; and this was the catastrophe of these two noted dogs, which had been much talked of, and were famous amongst sportsmen, as being most perfect in their kind. Some time after this, their game-keeper, in company with his nephew, buried two ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... War, believing the catastrophe was coming, she took instructions from an R.A.M.C. staff sergeant-major in all the intricacies of yellow, blue, and red tickets, and of forms from A to Z, or rather, from the first wound to the burial, required by the R.A.M.C. The result was ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... outlines that her mistress has left undefined. Thus, in the present tale, though it would have been far more convenient not to have spread the story over such a length of time, and to have made the catastrophe depend upon the heroes and heroines, instead of keeping them mere ineffective spectators, or only engaged in imaginary adventures for which a precedent can be found, it has been necessary to stretch out their narrative, so as to be at least consistent with the ...
— Stray Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Bumpus, who seemed to be almost smothered under the folds of his blanket, which he must have had up over his head at the time the catastrophe came upon them. ...
— The Boy Scouts in the Maine Woods - The New Test for the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... to school when thirty years old to exchange the trade of war, into which he had wandered in the folly of youth, for a profession that harmonized better with his gentle, thoughtful nature. That this war had now, twenty years later, turned him into a soldier again was a misfortune, a catastrophe which had overtaken him, as it had all the others, without any fault of his or theirs. Yet there was nothing to do but to reconcile himself to it; and first of all he had to avoid that constant hair-splitting. Why torment himself so with questions? Some man had to stay ...
— Men in War • Andreas Latzko

... The catastrophe—for to me it was no less a thing—had come upon me so suddenly that I was fairly stunned. From sheer force of habit I went over to the church and knelt before the altar; but I could not pray; I could only ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... construction loan of three million dollars, and the first section of line, extending from Piermont on the Hudson to Goshen, was put into operation in September, 1841. In the following year the company became financially embarrassed and was placed in the hands of receivers. This catastrophe delayed further progress for years, and it was not until 1846 that sufficient new capital was raised to go on with the work. The original estimate of the cost for building the entire line of 485 miles had been three million dollars, but already the road had cost over six millions and only a small ...
— The Railroad Builders - A Chronicle of the Welding of the States, Volume 38 in The - Chronicles of America Series • John Moody

... the rest of the day in the sort of aniantissement which that sort of headache often produces, and in the meantime everybody held tete-a-tetes. The Colonel held his peace about the will, not half crediting such a catastrophe, and thinking one matter at a time quite enough for his brain; but he talked to the Professor, to Janet, to Allen, and to Bobus, and tried to come to a knowledge of the bridegroom's history, and to decide what course ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to him to unburden his mind, and Riddell encouraged him to do it. He told all the sad history of the failures, and follies, and sins which had reached their catastrophe that day; and the captain, on his side, in his quiet manly way, strove all he could to infuse some hope for the future, and courage to ...
— The Willoughby Captains • Talbot Baines Reed

... that it is sublime to stand on the shore and behold a shipwreck. It is sublime only as one's personal interests and feelings are not engaged. It would not be sublime if it were possible for the spectator to aid in averting the catastrophe; it would not be sublime if one's friends were aboard the ship. One is able to appreciate beauty only as one is able to detach one's self from what is immediate and practical, and by virtue of this detachment, ...
— The Enjoyment of Art • Carleton Noyes

... contemporaries of most of the existing sea-shells. Since they lived, no very great change in the form of the land can have taken place. What, then, has exterminated so many species and whole genera? The mind at first is irresistibly hurried into the belief of some great catastrophe; but thus to destroy animals, both large and small, in Southern Patagonia, in Brazil, on the Cordillera of Peru, in North America up to Behring's Straits, we must shake the entire framework of the globe. An ...
— The Voyage of the Beagle • Charles Darwin

... Ernest's catastrophe had come about so gradually no one had suspected it. He was reading a letter from Alice, who wrote a fine close hand, when his father noticed that he was holding the paper almost to his eyes. An examination revealed the fact that the poor eyes were sadly ...
— Chicken Little Jane • Lily Munsell Ritchie

... boy away from her. Nora, however, had never assented to this, partly from a conviction of her own ignorance, not knowing what might be the power of a husband in such a matter, and partly thinking that any argument would be good and fair by which she could induce her sister to avoid a catastrophe so terrible as that which ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... within the city, excepting Hector, the field is cleared for the most important and decisive action in the poem; that is, the battle between Achilles and Hector, and the death of the latter. This part of the story is managed with singular skill. It seems as if the poet, feeling the importance of the catastrophe, wished to withdraw from view the personages of less consequence, and to concentrate our attention upon those two alone. The poetic action and description are narrowed in extent, but deepened in interest. The fate of Troy is impending; the irreversible decree of Jupiter is about ...
— The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse • Homer

... Keeler's face, there was enough in it to make several ordinary scrimped faces. Besides large physical proportions, there was enough in it of generosity, enough of whole-heartedness, a world of sympathy. The great catastrophe of her life had affected the muscles of her face so that although she enunciated her words very distinctly, she had a slow, automatic way ...
— Cape Cod Folks • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... Polly's week of housekeeping might have ended, nor how substantial her castle in the air might have grown, had not a catastrophe occurred to her of a double ...
— Polly - A New-Fashioned Girl • L. T. Meade

... Another catastrophe from too fierce zeal on the part of the tithingman is recorded. An old farmer, worn out with a hard Saturday's work at sheep-washing, fell asleep ere the hour-glass had once been turned. Though he was a man of dignity, for he sat in his own pew, he could not escape the rod of ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... in the middle of the company, the harlequin down on his left knee, and the columbine standing on his right knee, with her arms curved over her head. Unlike their dancing, which is charmingly graceful, their attitudinizing is hardly a success, and threatens to end in a catastrophe.) ...
— You Never Can Tell • [George] Bernard Shaw

... give; But some fierce Naga nightly haunts the spot Whose poisoned breath no man can breathe and live." "Fear not for me," the Buddha answered him, "For I this night will make my dwelling there." "Do as you will," Kasyapa doubtful said, "But much I fear some dire catastrophe." Now mighty Mara, spirit of the air, The prince of darkness, roaming through the earth Had found this grotto in the sacred grove, And as a Naga there kept nightly watch For those who sought deliverance from his power, Who, when the master ...
— The Dawn and the Day • Henry Thayer Niles

... without any thing occurring that could lead to a developement of this dreadful catastrophe. All search after the lady was now given up, and nothing but the remembrance of the unhappy affair remained. At length the hour arrived, when this dreadful mystery was explained, which displayed one of the most diabolical and desperate transactions ...
— Apparitions; or, The Mystery of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and Haunted Houses Developed • Joseph Taylor

... that awaits me without a murmur; but the sentence of the law which delivers my body to the executioner will, through the ministry of the law, labour in its own vindication, to consign my character to obloquy; for there must be guilt somewhere, whether in the sentence of the court, or in the catastrophe, time must determine. A man in my situation has not only to encounter the difficulties of fortune, and the force of power over minds which it has corrupted or subjugated, but the difficulties of established prejudice. The man dies, but his memory lives. That mine may not perish, that ...
— Speeches from the Dock, Part I • Various

... this weapon to be six times stronger and the animal ten times more powerful; launch it at the rate of twenty miles an hour, and you obtain a shock capable of producing the catastrophe required. Until further information, therefore, I shall maintain it to be a sea-unicorn of colossal dimensions, armed not with a halberd, but with a real spur, as the armoured frigates, or the 'rams' of war, whose massiveness and motive power ...
— Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea • Jules Verne

... I drank tea with Johnson at Dr. Taylor's, where he had dined. He entertained us with an account of a tragedy written by a Dr. Kennedy, (not the Lisbon physician.) 'The catastrophe of it (said he) was, that a King, who was jealous of his Queen with his prime-minister, castrated himself[672]. This tragedy was actually shewn about in manuscript to several people, and, amongst others, to Mr. Fitzherbert, who repeated to me two lines ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... at the baseness of such enjoyment, she clung to it from habit or from corruption, and each day she hungered after them the more, exhausting all felicity in wishing for too much of it. She accused Leon of her baffled hopes, as if he had betrayed her; and she even longed for some catastrophe that would bring about their separation, since she had not the courage to make up ...
— The Public vs. M. Gustave Flaubert • Various

... friction on board of the Bronx; and Captain Passford felt even more elastic than usual. Doubtless the capture he had just made afforded him a good deal of inspiration; but the fact that the mystery of the deaf mute and the second lieutenant had been solved, and the unfathomable catastrophe which their presence on board threatened had been escaped was a great ...
— On The Blockade - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray Afloat • Oliver Optic

... contained a long letter, written on the night of her return to Beckendorff's; she had stayed up the whole night writing. It was to have been forwarded to Vivian, in case of their not being able to meet. In the enclosure were a few hurried lines, written since the catastrophe. They were these: "May this safely reach you! Can you ever forgive me? The enclosed, you will see, was intended for you, in case of our not meeting. It anticipated sorrow; yet what were its ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... impotent condition of those men of great hereditary estates, who indeed dislike the designs that are carried on, but whose dislike is rather that of spectators than of parties that may be concerned in the catastrophe of the piece. But riches do not in all cases secure even an inert and passive resistance. There are always in that description men whose fortunes, when their minds are once vitiated by passion or by evil principle, are by no means a security ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... Perkins, both of whom observed the foetid effluvia and regarded them as being emitted from the premises in the occupation of Krook, the unfortunate deceased. All this and a great deal more the two gentlemen who have formed an amicable partnership in the melancholy catastrophe write down on the spot; and the boy population of the court (out of bed in a moment) swarm up the shutters of the Sol's Arms parlour, to behold the tops of their heads while they ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... intermixed with yellow and red bandanna, like the flags of different nations. After such a salutation, the celebrated Story-Teller felt almost ashamed to produce so humble an affair as Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe. ...
— Passages From a Relinquised Work (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... are better supported in Dryden than in Shakespeare. We have no low buffoonery in the former, such as disgraces Enobarbus, and is hardly redeemed by his affecting catastrophe. Even the Egyptian Alexas acquires some respectability, from his patriotic attachment to the interests of his country, and from his skill as a wily courtier. He expresses, by a beautiful image, the effeminate attachment to life, appropriated to his character ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... for any less dogmatic philosophy than his own or for any less sweeping social change than that he expected. Moderate social reform to him was but temporizing; indeed, it was evil, inasmuch as it helped to postpone the inevitable, but in the end, beneficent catastrophe of the social revolution. A step-by-step movement toward socialism, state socialism,[19] even of a pretty sweeping character, was, to the old-time Marxians, not really socialism at all. A valid reason for this attitude was found in the extremely limited manhood suffrage ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... were tragic. Evidently he felt that their absence was a matter of immense importance, was a catastrophe. ...
— The Call of the Blood • Robert Smythe Hichens

... after the above catastrophe, and as the recollection of it was nearly effaced by Miss Jumpheavy's abduction of Ensign Downley, our friend, Mr. Waffles, on visiting his stud at the four o'clock stable-hour, found a most respectable, middle-aged, rosy-gilled, better-sort-of-farmer-looking ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... by itself, for the jar caused the hammer to come down; the gun went off, sending the bullet downwards through the heart of the unfortunate man, who fell dead upon the ground. Eldredge[1] stood stupefied, looking at the catastrophe which had ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... look a little backwards to those circumstances which led to the catastrophe mentioned at the end ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... was written Ali Pasha was still living; but the prediction which it implies was soon after verified, and he closed his stern and energetic life with a catastrophe worthy of its guilt and bravery. He voluntarily perished by firing a powder-magazine, when surrounded, beyond all chance of escape, by the troops of the Sultan his master, whose ...
— The Life of Lord Byron • John Galt

... in itself, it was more important to describe a disaster after it had occurred than to endeavor to prevent the occurrence; but, as a business man, he knew perfectly well that his patrons would read an account giving all of the sickening detail of a terrible catastrophe, while few, if any, would wade through a dry discussion of the means for protecting the public from just such disasters. The public is always very indignant with the effect, but does not care to trouble itself with the cause; but the effect never will be prevented ...
— Bridge Disasters in America - The Cause and the Remedy • George L. Vose

... that much above and below the imaginary plane cutting the sun at its equator, from which the earth and other larger planets vary but little. This no doubt is due to the near approach and disturbing attraction of some large comet, or else it was flung above or below the ordinary plane in the catastrophe that we think befell the large planet that doubtless formerly existed where we now find this swarm. You can see that its path makes a considerable angle to the plane of the ecliptic, and that it is ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds • J. J. Astor



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