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Drifting   /drˈɪftɪŋ/   Listen
Drifting

noun
1.
Aimless wandering from place to place.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Drifting" Quotes from Famous Books



... light burning in the room in the widow's house; and all night long she debated the matter until her head ached. She could reach but one conclusion: Henry was to leave the day after to-morrow. If any communication should ever be opened between them she must begin it. It was as if she had seen him drifting away from her forever, and must throw him a rope. I think even such a woman's-right man as yourself would hardly justify her, however, in taking ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... the thin line came irregularly spurts of smoke, and the spattering of rifle shots. It reminded me of an old picture of the field of Antietam, spiritless in itself, but here made alive by the movement, the noise, the drifting smoke, and the gray monotone. I watched it while the captain explained tomorrow's work; then, glad that today had not fallen to our lot, we marched on, taking up our route step in the soft sand of an old ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... of the "Illustrated News," not long since, there was what professed to be a view of Manchester. It represented a thousand tall factory-chimneys rising out of a gray mist, and surmounted by a heavy, drifting cloud of smoke. And in truth a view not very different from this was presented to any one who, standing at the entrance of the Palace of the Exhibition of Art Treasures, turned and looked back before going within. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... of revulsion had seized Frank Merriwell. Of a sudden he had perceived whither he was drifting. He realized what false steps he had already taken, and he was ...
— Frank Merriwell's Chums • Burt L. Standish

... drifting into a state of some annoyance. Stafford was very courteous and attentive, but he drank nothing, and apparently proposed to dine off dry bread. When she began to question him about his former parish, instead of showing the gratitude that might be expected, he ...
— Father Stafford • Anthony Hope

... you know, Uncle Sam has some valuable seal islands in the Aleutian group. Maybe, during the war the Japs or Russians have got careless about drifting around that way and carrying off a few hundred skins. Might ...
— Lost In The Air • Roy J. Snell

... lose consciousness. It seemed that I was frozen, and drifting off half into a nightmare sleep. Great metal arms were gathering Mary and me from the ground. Lifting ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various

... crabbed man they picture thee, Old winter, with a rugged beard as gray As the long moss upon the apple-tree; Blue-lipt, an ice-drop at thy sharp blue nose, Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows. They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth, Old winter! seated in thy great armed-chair, Watching the children at their Christmas mirth; Or circled by them as thy lips declare Some merry jest, ...
— In The Yule-Log Glow, Vol. IV (of IV) • Harrison S. Morris

... as Derec crumpled from the pistol bolt. There was thick, strangling smoke. Hoddan disappeared. When the thickest smoke drifted away there was nothing to be seen but Derec, lying on the ground, and thinner smoke drifting ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... had been bright during the early part of the day, but clouds were now drifting rapidly over the sky, and I continued riding on towards the north-west until the sun became totally obscured. I still believed that I could direct my course right. To trot was unbearable, but I thought that I might venture on ...
— Adventures in the Far West • W.H.G. Kingston

... "In July, 1861, I was in Washington, where I merely said to President Lincoln: 'Everything is drifting into the war, and I guess you will have to put me in the army.' (He was in the Indian service at ...
— The Lincoln Story Book • Henry L. Williams

... this kind may be considered absolutely safe, although certainly there is the contingent risk of a town, after bor- rowing up to its full powers, drifting into decay from the loss of its staple trade, and so finding itself unable to meet its obligations. The in- vestor should, however, find no difficulty in discovering where such a ...
— Everybody's Guide to Money Matters • William Cotton, F.S.A.

... apparently wandered from the road; they turned aside and moved in a small circle along the river; in the wind and drifting snow, it is quite easy to go astray. They moved on and on as long as the horses ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... porch, run your astonished eye down the damp, water-soaked wooden steps to the moist brick pavement below, and so on to the beds of crocuses blooming beneath the clustering palms and orange trees, before you could realize (in spite of the drifting snow heaped up on the door-steps of her house outside—some of it still on your shoes) that you were in Miss Felicia's tropical garden, attached to Miss Felicia's Geneseo house, and not in the back yard of some old home in the ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... aimed at a partial conquest. He had been hearing of Britain ever since he came to Gaul, and knew it to be a refuge for his Celtic enemies and a secret source of their strength. He set sail from the Portus Ittius (mod. Wissant, some twelve miles W. of Calais) and after drifting some way to the N.E., made his way to his former landing-place, probably near Romney. Some severe fighting followed, till at length Caesar crossed the Thames (apparently between Kingston and Brentford) and entered the country of Cassivellaunus, who gave ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... striking; for if they have any inclination out of the perpendicular, it is rather towards than from the road. It is indeed impossible, when you stand under the shade of this lofty barrier, and look up to the clouds drifting over it, to fancy that it is not in the act of toppling down upon your head. We had not as yet emerged from the land of castles, for, as in yesterday's route, almost every little town possessed some vestige ...
— Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone - Made During the Year 1819 • John Hughes

... to have no limit: at all events, he has been met with swimming about in open water full twenty miles from either ice or land. He has been often seen much further from shore, drifting upon masses of ice; but it is doubtful whether he cared much for the footing thus afforded him. It is quite possible he can swim as long as it pleases him, or until his strength may become exhausted by hunger. While going through ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... remained erect, and more insensible than the stones of the terrace. He looked down upon her quivering at his feet, and felt a kind of joy on seeing her suffer for his divinity whom he himself could not wholly embrace. The birds were already singing, a cold wind was blowing, and little clouds were drifting in the paling sky. ...
— Salammbo • Gustave Flaubert

... a City of Dreams, the Lagoon turned by the moon into a sheet of silver, lights like great fireflies stealing over the water, ghostly gondolas gliding past,—then we were the real Lotus Eaters drifting to the only Lotus Land where all things ...
— Nights - Rome, Venice, in the Aesthetic Eighties; London, Paris, in the Fighting Nineties • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... be less than two centuries old, yet the completeness of destruction is such that over most of its area no standing wall is seen, and the outlines of the houses and groups are indicated mainly by low ridges and masses of broken-down masonry, partly covered by the drifting sands. The group of rooms that forms the south east side of the pueblo is an exception to the general rule. Here fragmentary walls of rough masonry stand to a height, in some cases, of 8 feet above the debris. The character ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... thus spoken departed to the immortals, but he toward the plain—for the bidding of gods was strong upon him—went onward; and all the plain was filled with water-flood, and many beautiful arms and corpses of slain youths were drifting there. So upward sprang his knees as he rushed against the stream right on, nor stayed him the wide-flowing River, for Athene put great strength in him. Neither did Skamandros slacken his fierceness, but yet more ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

... some disused trenches, past a lonely burial-place horribly torn and bespattered by shell fire, and up a wide desolate rise. "This will do very well," said the colonel, marking his map. He looked up at the grey sky and the heavy drifting clouds, and added, "We'll be ...
— Pushed and the Return Push • George Herbert Fosdike Nichols, (AKA Quex)

... yards. As his mad eyes softened and filmed, he saw once more, perhaps,—or so the heavy-hearted keeper who had slain him would have us believe,—the shadowy plains unrolling under the wild sky, and the hosts of his vanished kindred drifting past into ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... mountains downwards a rich olive was produced by the powdery snow and the grass, which olive was warmed with a little brown, and in this way harmoniously combined, by insensible gradations, with the white. The drifting took away the monotony of snow; and the whole vale of Grasmere, seen from the terrace walk in Easedale, was as varied, perhaps more so, than even in the pomp of autumn. In the distance was Loughrigg-Fell, ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... at the period; her husband held an important official position there, and by virtue of this, and of her own beauty and tact, her house soon became the centre of the Anglo-Saxon society ever drifting in and out of the city. The women disliked her, and copied her. The men spoke slightingly of her to their wives, lightly of her to each other, and made idiots of themselves when they were alone with her. She laughed at them ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... drifting away from our point," I said. "The question really is whether, as art expands, the principles become fewer or more numerous. My own belief is that the principles do become fewer, but the varieties of expression ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... as the others. None of them had given her the consolation she sought. She did not want to be told of the past. If Hugh was gone forever, then with him had gone all her love of living, her courage, all her better self. She wanted to be lifted out of the despair, the dazed aimless drifting from day to day, longing at night for the morning, and in the morning for the fall of night, which had been her life since his death. If somebody could assure her that it was not all over, that he was somewhere, not too far away, unchanged from what ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... clouds were snow-white, tumbling, ever-moving, and between them the sky showed blue and deep. Grass, leaf, weed and flower were in the richness that comes to the green things of the earth just before that full tide of summer whose foam is drifting thistle down. The air was clear and the mountains seemed to have brushed the haze from their faces and drawn nearer that they, too, might better see the doings ...
— A Knight of the Cumberland • John Fox Jr.

... fire-brigade, which averted a dangerous conflagration. On another occasion, voyaging in the Mediterranean, he quelled a mutiny on board an Italian ship, when captain and mates were powerless, and the vessel drifting on the rocks, by commanding sailors and passengers to fall on their knees and pray to the Virgin,—adopting the idiom of their religion as well as their speech, of which he was ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... anxiety came upon her by degrees. In what way would her husband receive Hepworth Closs? How would he accept the position the two persons out yonder were drifting into? Would he consent to a union which even her partiality admitted as unsuitable, or would he, in his cold, calm way, plant his foot upon their hearts and crush her ...
— The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals • Ann S. Stephens

... ta'en the parting kiss, O'er the mountains he is gane; And with him is a' my bliss, Nought but griefs with me remain. Spare my luve, ye winds that blaw, Plashy sleets and beating rain! Spare my luve, thou feathery snaw, Drifting o'er the frozen plain. ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... landscape rose 470 More wild and waste and desolate than where The white bear, drifting on a field of ice, Howls to her sundered cubs with piteous rage ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... represented as 'the sheet-anchor of Indian chronology' that 'nothing will ever shake'—it is to be feared that as regards India, the chronological ship of the Sanskritists has already broken from her moorings and gone adrift with all her precious freight of conjectures and hypotheses. She is drifting into danger. We are at the end of a cycle—geological and other—and at the beginning of another. Cataclysm is to follow cataclysm. The pent-up forces are bursting out in many quarters; and not only will men be swallowed up or slain by thousands, 'new' land appear and 'old' subside, ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... after the lapse of fifty years, feel compelled to say that it was not. The struggle represented no great principles, begot no far-reaching consequences. It was not inspired by the "holy glee" with which in Wordsworth's sonnet Liberty fights against a tyrant, but by the faltering boldness, the drifting, purposeless unresolve of statesmen who did not desire it, and by the irrational violence of a Press which did not understand it. It was not a necessary war; its avowed object would have been attained within a few weeks or months by bloodless European concert. It was not a glorious war; crippled ...
— Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake • Rev. W. Tuckwell

... have caught something of their spirit and have been with you in heart. We bless the day which brought you to us; for your kindly words to women, and to men for women, have lifted the fog, and the veiling mists are drifting away, leaving us a clearer view of our duty not only to humanity but to ourselves. You have left ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... the Union gunboats and three rams were now disabled; the latter drifting down with the current under the guns of Fort Pillow. Those remaining were five in number, and only two gunboats, the Benton and Carondelet, were actually engaged, the St. Louis just approaching. The enemy now retired, giving as a reason that the Union gunboats were taking position in water too ...
— The Gulf and Inland Waters - The Navy in the Civil War. Volume 3. • A. T. Mahan

... Amos Adams came drifting in to borrow a book. He moved slowly, a sort of gray wraith almost discarnate and apart from things of the earth. Brotherton, looking at the old man, felt a candor one might have in addressing a state of mind. So the big ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... boats out after them. As night came on, we were huddled together in the forecastle, wondering about their fate, while the old fishermen told stories of the fog and its fearful toll of human life. It seemed a terrible thing for the old man and his boy to be out there, drifting no one knew where; and though we were accustomed to danger, there was a gloomy crew and little sleep on our schooner that night. In the morning the weather cleared and soon our missing boat came alongside; we received them as men ...
— Out of the Fog • C. K. Ober

... rear flew the inscrutable sea-ravens. And every morning, perched on our stays, rows of these birds were seen; and spite of our hootings, for a long time obstinately clung to the hemp, as though they deemed our ship some drifting, uninhabited craft; a thing appointed to desolation, and therefore fit roosting-place for their homeless selves. And heaved and heaved, still unrestingly heaved the black sea, as if its vast tides were a conscience; and the great mundane soul were in anguish and remorse for the long sin ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... of her mind drifting back to that crazy notion of an evil spirit wandering to seek a home; as the hermit-crab, dispossessed of one shell, goes in search of another. After a lull which had looked for a moment like coming sleep, she said with an astonishing calmness:—"But do you not see, Phoebe dear, do you not ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... Big River—great, grave, green pines, white earth and a blood-red sunset! The low log-cabins of the lumber camps were smothered in snow; they were fringed with pendant ice at the eaves, and banked high with drifts, and all window-frosted. The trails were thigh deep and drifting. The pines—their great fall imminent, now—flaunted long, black arms in the gale; they creaked, they swished, they droned, they crackled with frost. It was coming on dusk. The deeper reaches of the forest were already dark. Horses and teamsters, sawyers, road-monkeys, axemen, ...
— Christmas Eve at Swamp's End • Norman Duncan

... pack-animal and the dusty hat and stoop shoulders of a man. They are symbols of mystery. They rise briefly against the skyline, they are gone into the grey distance. Something beckons or something drives. They are lost to human sight, perhaps to human memory, like a couple of chips drifting out into the ocean. Patient time may witness their return; it is still likely that soon another incarnation will have closed for man and beast, that they will have left to mark their passing a few glisteningly white bones, polished untiringly by tiny sand-chisels in the grip of the ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory

... mirror. She was not too old to be admired, although her daughter was fifteen. The dream of Alfredo, Count Martellini, was to make a Nile voyage in her company. People would talk, of course. People always talk scandal about somebody. The pretty woman, with her insatiable vanity, was already drifting on a rapid current from which there was no escape. Well, she was not alone. All the gay ladies and men of her acquaintance were also afloat on the same perilous stream. By and by they would reach the Niagara brink; then, ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 7 • Various

... a bed, and awake in an open boat drifting out to sea, is startling. Waring was not without experiences, startling and so forth, but this exceeded former sensations; when a bear had him, for instance, he at least understood it, but this was not a bear, but a boat. He examined the craft as well as he could in the ...
— Castle Nowhere • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... then we all came in together and on bob sleds. There were four mules for each sleigh, so not much attention was paid to the great depth of snow. Both horses knew when we got to the bridge and gave Bryant trouble. Every bit of the trail out had been obliterated by drifting snow, and I still wonder how these animals recognized the precise spot when the snow was level ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... drifting edge of the smoke could be seen the frigate and the spars of the privateer; and sticking out of the water, a jagged mizzen—all that was left ...
— The Gentleman - A Romance of the Sea • Alfred Ollivant

... have to face hard truths and take strong steps, but we have not done so. Instead we have drifted, and that drifting has eroded our resources, fractured our economy, and shaken our confidence. Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. Americans have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people, and we must bring to our task today the vision and ...
— United States Presidents' Inaugural Speeches - From Washington to George W. Bush • Various

... observe the submarine cottages of the caddice-worms, the larvae of the Plicipennes. Their small cylindrical cases built around themselves, composed of flags, sticks, grass, and withered leaves, shells, and pebbles, in form and color like the wrecks which strew the bottom,—now drifting along over the pebbly bottom, now whirling in tiny eddies and dashing down steep falls, or sweeping rapidly along with the current, or else swaying to and fro at the end of some grass-blade or root. Anon they will leave their sunken habitations, and, crawling up the stems of plants, or to the ...
— Excursions • Henry D. Thoreau

... agkura, which Vossius considers is from ogke, a crook or hook), an instrument of iron or other heavy material used for holding ships or boats in any locality required, and preventing them from drifting by winds, tides, currents or other causes. This is done by the anchor, after it is let go from the ship by means of the cable, fixing itself in the ground and there holding the ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... these beds of rustling verdure were cut in an infinity of well-defined geometric forms. Seen from an eminence and at a distance, this arrangement gave a singular effect. In the midst of these native garden-beds were cut distinct and narrow alleys, where the drifting sands were packed like artificial paths. It is unnecessary to add that the soft footways, notwithstanding their advertisement of verdure and shade, proved to be ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. • Various

... this attractive unreality fell upon it about nightfall, when the extravagant roofs were dark against the afterglow and the whole insane village seemed as separate as a drifting cloud. This again was more strongly true of the many nights of local festivity, when the little gardens were often illuminated, and the big Chinese lanterns glowed in the dwarfish trees like some fierce and monstrous fruit. And this was strongest of all on one particular evening, ...
— The Man Who Was Thursday - A Nightmare • G. K. Chesterton

... temptation. Your seventh son of a seventh son friend here has read my palm O. K. I want to go back. Not in the summer, when the inn blazes like Broadway every evening, and I can sit here and listen to the latest comic opera tunes come drifting up from the casino, and go down and mingle with the muslin brigade any time I want, and see the sympathetic look in their eyes as they buy my postals. It ain't then I want to go back. It's when fall comes, and the trees on the mountain are bare, and ...
— Seven Keys to Baldpate • Earl Derr Biggers

... doctrine that no limits can be placed on one's career if he has once learned the alphabet and has push; that there are no barriers that can say to aspiring talent, "Thus far, and no farther." Encouragement is its keynote; it aims to arouse to honorable exertion those who are drifting without aim, to awaken dormant ambitions in those who have grown discouraged in the struggle ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... struggling against the drowsiness that was urging him to relax from his drifting support and let himself go to the bottom, to sleep ... to sleep forever! His shoes and clothing were continuing to pull and tug with even greater force. They became an undulating shroud, growing heavier and heavier, surging and ...
— Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) - A Novel • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... had piled up fast. What promised to be a heavy storm had become a reality, and it was whirling and drifting dreadfully. You must remember that I had on my ...
— Five Little Peppers at School • Margaret Sidney

... narrow tributary of the river, floundered, splashed, and flurried into deep water, while the awestruck individual with the rifle was too astounded to fire a shot. He may tell, too, of another instance of good luck on the part of the crocodile. How, drifting down silently with the ebb, the black boy indicated the presence of game on a slide overhung by a deep verandah of mud; how a shot was fired and a big log splashed into the water and the little one remained bearing the bullet-wound, the real ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... establishment of Girolamo Magagnati, so delicate and intricate was the work that had been ordered from him; and the gondoliers, meanwhile, in their splendid liveries, held converse with other gondoliers in lazily drifting barks, with hatchments of other noble houses embroidered on their sleeves; and their tones were strident and quarrelsome, or self-complacent and patronizing, as the quality of the silken sashes which displayed the color ...
— A Golden Book of Venice • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... Island, fairly marooned amid the sweep of the great river, with Indian-haunted land stretching for leagues on every side. A mere handful of troops was quartered there, technically two companies of infantry, yet numbering barely enough for one; and this in spite of rumors daily drifting to us that the Sacs and Foxes, with their main village just below, were already becoming restless and warlike, inflamed by the slow approach of white settlers into the valley of the Rock. Indeed, so short was the garrison ...
— The Devil's Own - A Romance of the Black Hawk War • Randall Parrish

... has once again quickened in our midst the idea of the State, has revived the spirit of patriotism, has restored the national unity, and has reenforced the principle of civic service. We can see under the revealing searchlight of the war the anarchy towards which we have been drifting during the ...
— Freedom In Service - Six Essays on Matters Concerning Britain's Safety and Good Government • Fossey John Cobb Hearnshaw

... them reach it. I see some who, on attaining a certain height, cease to go up and even lose ground, although moving their legs forward with all the nimbleness of which they are capable. The more they struggle upwards, the faster they come down. This drifting, which neutralizes the distance covered and even converts it into a retrogression, is ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... took a curious plan of showing Ricardo how little interest, after all, there is in performing the most wonderful exploits without any real difficulty or danger. They were drifting before a light breeze on a hill lake; Ricardo was fishing, and Jaqueline was sculling a stroke now and then, just to keep the boat right with the wind. Ricardo had very bad sport, when suddenly the trout ...
— Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia - being the adventures of Prince Prigio's son • Andrew Lang

... aim of this book is the perhaps too bold one—to map out a future for the Canadian nation, which has been hitherto drifting without any plan. ...
— The Young Seigneur - Or, Nation-Making • Wilfrid Chateauclair

... Bunker had rowed the boat about a mile up the inlet, and now the anchor was tossed over the side, to keep the craft from drifting with ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's • Laura Lee Hope

... whither my path led, I beheld it winding along the edge of the cliff to an apparently endless distance, until, as I gazed steadily on the extreme limit of my view, I saw the grey mist from the sea here and there break and roll up into great masses of slow-drifting cloud, in the intervals of which I caught the white gleam of sunlit snow. And these intervals continually closed up to open again in fresh places higher up, disclosing peak upon peak of a range of mountains ...
— Dreams and Dream Stories • Anna (Bonus) Kingsford

... They spent the afternoon drifting about in a little sailing boat. The beautiful lake produced far less impression upon Arthur than the gray and muddy Arve. He had grown up beside the Mediterranean, and was accustomed to blue ripples; but he had a positive passion for swiftly moving water, and the hurried ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... is!" cried old Abe, as he pointed out to sea. "There she is, blowing and drifting in fast. And right toward the Dolphin Rocks, too—the worst place on the beach!" They all gazed toward the doomed vessel, that was now much nearer shore. Blake even thought he could descry figures on deck, clinging to the ...
— The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast • Victor Appleton

... children,—of the reason for the large percentage of undeveloped and subnormal children who are brought to our schools, and the larger number who do not reach maturity. ... Underfed boys and ignorant boys are the ones who turn to Bolshevism. We can not stand pat and let things drift without their drifting not to the "good old days" ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... day break, on the bleak seabeach, A fisherman stood aghast, To see the form of a maiden fair Lashed close to a drifting mast. ...
— McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... at the tiller smoking. He was in that mood of vacant obliviousness of the ordinary affairs of life which long drifting on calm seas induces. The helplessness of man in a sailing-ship, when the wind fails him, begets a kind of fatalistic acceptance of the inevitable, which is the nearest thing to peace that any of us ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... upon Scotland which drew Protestant after Protestant to her side; while the tide of French Calvinism was suddenly rolled back by the rise of a Catholic party under the leadership of the Guises. Under Catharine of Medicis France had seemed to be slowly drifting to the side of Protestantism. While the queen-mother strove to preserve a religious truce the attitude of the Huguenots was that of men sure of success. Their head, the king of Navarre, boasted that before ...
— History of the English People - Volume 4 (of 8) • John Richard Green

... and heavily,— Seaward the tide setteth steady and stern;— Oh, my proud ship!—she has missed the still haven! see, Baffled and drifting, far out she is borne!— Far from the shore, and the weak arms that helplessly, Wildly, are stretched toward the lessening sail!— Far, far from shore, and the white hands that hopelessly Flutter in vain in ...
— Poems of the Heart and Home • Mrs. J.C. Yule (Pamela S. Vining)

... himself shortly after eight at pause by the gate to the Bohun place. The night was dark and murmurous with a sibilant wind that sent the leaves drifting, softly clashing one with another. At the far end of the straight brick walk, up through the formal grounds, he could just see the glimmer of the stately columns, and, between them, to one side, a little twinkling light. The gate was closed, but he tried it and found it on the latch. He entered ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... in vain. The wind arose; the sea roared; and, as with the mighty shock of an earthquake, it split and cracked with a tremendous and overwhelming sound. The work was soon finished; in a few minutes a tumultuous sea rolled between me and my enemy, and I was left drifting on a scattered piece of ice that was continually lessening and thus preparing for me a hideous death. In this manner many appalling hours passed; several of my dogs died, and I myself was about to sink under the accumulation ...
— Frankenstein - or The Modern Prometheus • Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

... to be drifting away into the realms of sleep, and all around her were confusion and bewilderment. The window, across which the woodbine was growing, changed places with the door; the floor rose up and bowed to her, while the room was ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... by a perennial drifting polar icepack that, on average, is about 3 meters thick, although pressure ridges may be three times that thickness; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... get on: we sadly want to beat another barque which started a couple of hours after us from Natal, and we are barely drifting a knot an hour. It is not in the least too hot. D'Urban was very sultry when we left, but I have been shivering ever since in my holland gown, thinking fondly and regretfully of serge skirts and a sealskin jacket down in the hold. It may ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... to his perplexity, a light fog was drifting over the plain from the southeast, shutting out what little view there was ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Texas - Or, The Veiled Riddle of the Plains • Frank Gee Patchin

... nothing much after all, neither more nor less than what may be seen any day drifting hither and thither amongst scraps and straws upon the surface of a stream—only a child's sailor-hat, which had once been white, but was now sadly discoloured, soaked with water, and hanging almost in pieces. A faded blue ribbon dangled from its battered brim, bearing on its surface in tarnished ...
— Two Little Travellers - A Story for Girls • Frances Browne Arthur

... coast, near to Southport, now a modern bathing-place of great resort, described in the first series of this work, might be seen, some few years ago, a ruined barn, cottage, and other farmyard appurtenances, around which the loose and drifting sand was accumulated, covering, at the same time, some acres of scanty pasture, once held under lease and occupation by an honest fisherman, who earned a comfortable, if not an easy subsistence, from his amphibious pursuits. The thatched roofs were ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... well! and echoed wide Your voices sing through the Christmas-tide, And wintry winds emblend their tones At the minster-eaves with the organ groans: The carols meet with laughter sweet In a gay embrace mid the drifting sleet. ...
— In The Yule-Log Glow—Book 3 - Christmas Poems from 'round the World • Various

... off and flung away was, that his thoughts were all abroad. It was much too soon yet to be glad. He was like a ship floated off the rock it had struck on, a rock like to have been its ruin, but yet which had kept it steady. It was drifting now, and not answering ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... and joyously, could have used to the utmost the exceptional powers of her body and soul, but, handicapped by the ideals of her sex, and lacking the rare guidance that might have saved her, she was drifting, busy with work she detested, or equally unsatisfied in idleness, sometimes lazily diverted and soothed by the passing hour, and sometimes stung to her very soul by longings ...
— Saturday's Child • Kathleen Norris

... a very strong inclination to take her in his arms and shower tenderness upon her; but if he has been drifting that way for the past week, he is rudely awakened now. He looks at her helplessly. If she would only cry; the girls he has seen have been ready ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... was very windy. We could not go out for the drifting sand, without being thickly veiled. I walked to the beach, near the soldiers' burying-ground, and stood two hours watching the waves as they lashed the bars of sand. Their briny spray bedewed the graves of soldiers, who had fallen far away from their kindred and their ...
— A Woman's Life-Work - Labors and Experiences • Laura S. Haviland

... Senlis, wave by wave, roll'd on the Norman flood, And Frank on Frank went drifting down the weltering tide of blood; There was not left in all the land a castle wall to fire, And not a wife but wailed a lord, a child but mourned a sire. To Charles the king, the mitred monks, the mailed barons flew, While, shaking ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... out of the last break of the wady, the traveller had passed the boundary of El Belka, the ancient Ammon. It was morning-time. Before him was the sun, half curtained in fleecy mist; before him also spread the desert; not the realm of drifting sands, which was farther on, but the region where the herbage began to dwarf; where the surface is strewn with boulders of granite, and gray and brown stones, interspersed with languishing acacias and tufts of camel-grass. ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... took all the children out on the afterdeck, to remove the first edge of their curiosity, I saw that there was at least an ominous change in the weather. The morning had been mild, with a lull in the usual March winds. Now a scud of clouds was drifting swiftly in from the eastward, and chilly, fitful gusts began to moan and sigh about us. A storm was evidently coming, and my hope was that we might reach our haven before it began. I kept my fears to myself, and we watched the long lines of carts converging toward the gang-planks of our own and ...
— Driven Back to Eden • E. P. Roe

... in fact, drifting away from her a little more each day, by all the glances he cast upon Annette. He himself did not attempt to see clearly into the depths of his heart. He felt, indeed, that fermentation of love, that irresistible attraction; but he would not understand, ...
— Strong as Death • Guy de Maupassant

... corner of the desk and took out a cigarette. At least it looked like a cigarette. He snapped his fingers and lighted it from a little flame that sprang up, blowing clouds of bright green smoke from his mouth. The smoke hung lazily, drifting into vague patterns and then began to coalesce into a green houri without costume. He ...
— The Sky Is Falling • Lester del Rey

... our captain was nearly in a fight over it. However, no more; and whatever you think, my dear fellow, do not suppose me angry with you or -; although I was ANNOYED AT THE CIRCUMSTANCE - a very different thing. But it is difficult to conduct life by letter, and I continually feel I may be drifting into some matter of offence, in which my ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and see all clear for a run of the anchors, Mr. Leach, should you set within a mile of the shore," called out the captain, as they pulled off from the vessel's side. "The ship is drifting along the land, but the wind you have will hardly do more than meet the send of the sea, which is on shore: should any thing go wrong show an ensign at the head of ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... resolved never to part with him. Since then we have had great years together. We have been hungry and happy together, and together we have played by the cabin, faced danger in the wilds, slept peacefully among the flowers, followed the trails by starlight, and cuddled down in winter's drifting snow. ...
— Wild Life on the Rockies • Enos A. Mills

... world, man in his march across the deserts of Time had left felicity and the golden age far beyond him, and Rousseau's vision of Humanity as starting upon a wrong track, and drifting ever farther from the path of its peace, had charmed the melancholy or the despair of Virgil and his great master in verse and speculation, ...
— The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe • J. A. Cramb

... trivial adventures; chief of these an ambiguous encounter with a gruff-voiced invisible creature speaking in a strange dialect that seemed at first a strange tongue, a thick flow of speech with the drifting corpses of English Words therein, the dialect of the latter-day vile. Then another voice drew near, a girl's voice singing, "tralala tralala." She spoke to Graham, her English touched with something of the same quality. She professed to have lost her sister, she blundered needlessly into him he ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... protecting our left was most apparent, and the next day the drifting in that direction was to be continued. This movement in the presence of the enemy, who at all points was actively seeking an opportunity to penetrate our line and interpose a column between its right and left, was most dangerous. ...
— The Memoirs of General Philip H. Sheridan, Vol. I., Part 2 • P. H. Sheridan

... icy barrier to the northward, to be carried by the current south into the warm waters, where they would gradually melt away. So heavy were some of the shocks received, in spite of all watchfulness, care, and orders to go astern, that Captain Marsham was at one time for following the example of the drifting floes and going south. But there was the knowledge that somewhere, not far from where they were creeping along, the almost unknown island of Jan Mayen must lie; and it seemed a pity to leave it now, when the first time the sun appeared they would be able to learn ...
— Steve Young • George Manville Fenn

... been drifting since the coming of the pale socialist of Galilee; and this is why I hate Him, and deny His divinity. His divinity is falling, it is evanescent in sight of the goal He dreamed; again He is denied by His disciples. Poor fallen God! I, who hold nought else pitiful, pity Thee, ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... clothes. Stooping, she saw that the grass was bloody. Following the drops and smears, she saw that the watery margin of the bank was bloody. Following the current with her eyes, she saw a bloody face turned up towards the moon, and drifting away. ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... whistle, and to a mocking-bird echoing it; and to the fiddling of grasshoppers, the whispers of trees, the quiet, soft movement of the swamp water. The long thoughts that came to him in the open crossed his mind as clouds cross the sky, idly, moving slowly, breaking up and drifting with the wind. A bee buzzed about a spike of blue lobelia; ants moved up and down the trunk of the oak-tree; birds and butterflies came and went. With his hands under his head, Peter lay so motionless that a great brown water-snake glided upon a ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... memory. The East was in her brain, the glow of the skies, the gleam of the desert, the swish of the Nile, the cry of the sweet-seller, the song of the dance-girl, the strain of the darabukkeh, the call of the skis. She saw again the ghiassas drifting down the great river, laden with dourha; she saw the mosque of the blue tiles with its placid fountain, and its handful of worshippers praying by the olive-tree. She watched the moon rise above the immobile Sphinx, she looked down on the banqueters ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... its low swelling base, was smoothly laden with loose fresh snow, presenting a most glorious mass of winter mountain scenery, in the midst of which I scrambled and reveled or lay snugly snowbound, enjoying the fertile clouds and the snow-bloom in all their growing, drifting grandeur. ...
— Steep Trails • John Muir

... life that close with the fever-dream of youthful passion, and leave untold those years of the real burthen of manhood, and still more the tranquil brightness when toil has been overlived, and the setting sun gilds the clouds that are drifting away. ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... it seemed as if water never had been so still before. It appeared impossible that anything uncanny should hide beneath that lovely mirror; and yet when some floating wisp of reeds suddenly coiled itself around my neck, or some unknown thing, drifting deeper, coldly touched my foot, it gave that undefinable sense of shudder which every swimmer knows, and which especially appeals to the imagination by night. Sometimes a slight sip of brackish water would enter my lips,—for I naturally ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... committed a similar fault to that against which I warned you, sir, and did not fire far enough ahead. However, it may serve to show your attendant the difference between the tail of a pigeon and an oak leaf," and I pointed to one of the feathers of the poor bird, which was still drifting to ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... Fred fought his way in safety until probably one-third of the distance was passed. Then he saw the great blunder he had made in trying to cross while the current was so high. The constant fighting with the floating stumps and trees caused them to lose so much ground—or rather water—that they were drifting frightfully close to the rapids, whose roar grew plainer every moment. But he had gone so far that it was as safe to keep on as to turn back, and so he dipped the paddle and swung it with ...
— The Hunters of the Ozark • Edward S. Ellis

... which chiefly attracted my attention was that which represented the monster steamer complete, with all its appendages and complement of passengers, in its majestic flight through the air. Below it were the drifting clouds. Its course lay quite above the storms and hurricanes and conflicting wind-currents which vex the lower strata of the atmosphere, where it comes in contact with the earth's uneven surface, and is kept in motion by the contractions and expansions of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... to me, I made another flight—and one that was in space more than in time. It did not surprise me, but I took it as the most natural thing in the world when I seemed to rise and go floating away through the air. It was still sunset-time, but I could see clearly enough as I went drifting at a height of several hundred yards above a vast desolated space near the junction of two rivers. Perhaps, however, "desolated" is not the word I should use; I should say, rather, "shattered, pulverized, ...
— Flight Through Tomorrow • Stanton Arthur Coblentz

... to attract the attention of the intended victim of the U-boat, the drifting man had attracted the attention of the captain of the submarine, and it was this boat to which his cold-stiffened body was hauled a few minutes later. It was a time before his numb ...
— Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights • Kelly Miller

... course and the tripper lose his way. There was always one consolation, however, and that was that the greater the storm the sooner it was over. Another thing I should remember when travelling on a lake or over an open country, in a violent snow-storm—I should allow for drifting, much in the same way as one would if travelling ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... the little park, a carpenter was repairing the roof of a house and, from where she sat, the woman could see the long ladder resting against the eaves. A boy with his shepherd dog came romping along the walk under the trees as irresponsible as the drifting leaves. The squirrels scampered away; the boy and dog whirled on; and the woman, from the world into which she had entered because she must, went far away into the world of childhood. From her day of toil in a world that denied her womanhood she went back ...
— Their Yesterdays • Harold Bell Wright

... in the cabin, conversing thus earnestly, there had well nigh been a serious misfortune. The ship, White Bear, of 1000 tons burthen, and three others of the English fleet, all tangled together, came drifting with the tide against the Ark. There were many yards carried away; much tackle spoiled, and for a time there was great danger; in the opinion of Winter, that some of the very best ships in the fleet would be crippled and quite destroyed on the eve of a general engagement. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... look yer, don't you stop at that! Ye just put me up some samples like of anythin' you think mout be likely to hit. I'll go in for a fair show, and then meander in every now and then, betwixt times, to let you know. Ye don't mind my drifting in here, do ye? It's about ez likely a place ez I struck since I've left the Sacramento boat, and my hotel, just round the corner. Ye just sample me a bit o' everythin'; don't mind the expense. I'll take YOUR word for it. The way you—a young fellow—jest ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... is the only elective State. Its people are not here because their mothers happened to be here at the time; not as refugees; not as ne'er-do-wells, drifting to do no better; not even, in bulk, as joining the scrimmage for more money. They have come by deliberate choice, and a larger proportion of them, and more single-heartedly, for home's sake than in any other as large migration ...
— The California Birthday Book • Various

... Mateki Derevni in Russia, having traveled 1,117 miles in 31-1/2 hours. The first attempt at constructing a dirigible balloon or airship was made by M. Giffard, a Frenchman, in 1852. The bag was spindle-shaped and 144 feet from point to point. Though it could be steered without drifting the motor was too weak to propel it. Giffard had many imitations in the spindle-shaped envelope construction, but it was a long time before ...
— Marvels of Modern Science • Paul Severing

... rejecting petitions in Whitehall. All these things, of course, together with the long lines of little gray houses in Camden Town, long lines of carts with bobtail horses rattling over Blackfriars' Bridge, long smells drifting behind taxicabs—all these things were as delightful and as stimulating to the soul as the clouds that trailed the heavens, the fronds of the lilac, and Leonardo's Cartoon in the Diploma Gallery. All were equal manifestations of that energy in ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... already. But, you and I are drifting from my task. I wish that you would take me to call on Miss Marigold, in my present lack of disguise. I do not care for that ancient garb any longer. It was stretching the chances rather far, but thanks to the darkness, the champagne, and good fortune, I succeeded in impersonating ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... left Obed Stackpole's cabin with his booty his heart was filled with exultation. He had been drifting about for years, the football of fortune, oftener down than up, and had more than once known what it was to pass an entire day without food. And all this because he had never been willing to settle down to steady work or honest industry. He had set out in life with a dislike ...
— In A New World - or, Among The Gold Fields Of Australia • Horatio Alger

... the process chiefly takes place in that portion of the nucleus which is turned towards the sun, the vapour escaping in that direction. 3rd, That when so emitted, it is prevented from proceeding in the direction originally impressed upon it, by some force directed from the sun, drifting it back and carrying it out to vast distances behind the nucleus forming ...
— Aether and Gravitation • William George Hooper

... foot across their dead, firing into the embrasures, reloading, firing again, and at last falling in their turn, a little in advance of those who had fallen before. Soon the smoke was dense enough to cover all. It settled down upon the attack and, drifting back, involved the defense. The gunners could hardly see to serve their pieces, and when occasional figures of the enemy appeared upon the parapet—having had the good luck to get near enough to it, ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... chamber one day, he opened the window, and unfortunately a strong gust of wind carried several pages of MS. which were lying on his table into the street. A priest who happened to be passing the house examined one or two of the drifting poems, and, discovering that they were impious, denounced Petit to the authorities. His rooms furnished a large supply of similar work, and, as we have said, the poet paid the penalty for his rashness at ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... the first evening breezes were drifting down the dark ravines that swept round the city, the little party of sight-seers slowly climbed the steep lanes that led toward Mount Moriah on which the Temple stood. Built of white marble and glittering with gold, it dazzled the eyes of little village-bred Naomi ...
— Christmas Light • Ethel Calvert Phillips

... stood, for a wonder in this part of town, ran a fairly straight course. At its western foot he could make out through the drifting flakes where a squat structure suggestive of a North River freight dock interrupted the sky line. In his immediate vicinity the street was lined with tall bleak fronts of jobbing houses, all dark and all shuttered. Looking the other way, which would ...
— The Life of the Party • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... stripling. Over this old Scandinavian heaven, as over all ethnic celestial abodes, the dark Destinies lorded it with unquestioned sway. From the four corners of the world, at last, were to fly the snow-flakes of the dread Fimbul, Winter, blotting the sun, and moaning and drifting night and day. Three times was Winter to come and go, bringing to men and gods "a storm-age, a wolf-age." Then cometh Ragnaroek, the Twilight of the Gods! Odin mounts his war-steed. The vast ash Yggdrasil begins to shiver through all its height. The beatified heroes of Valhalla, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... common silence, but he imagined somehow a resolution in the stenographer not to let the book go unsearched till she had grasped the full iniquity of that episode and felt all its ennobling force. He was not consoled when another lady came in and, after drifting unmolestedly about (it was the primary rule of the place not to follow people up), stopped before the side shelf where the book was ranged in dozens and scores. She took a copy from the neat ranks, and opened it; then she lifted her head by chance and caught sight of her plume in one of ...
— The Daughter of the Storage - And Other Things in Prose and Verse • William Dean Howells

... were in a state of uncertainty in regard to the situation which allowed them to do nothing. They waited for half an hour, when the leadsman reported that the water was shoaling, which indicated that the Teaser was drifting towards the island. ...
— Within The Enemy's Lines - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... the days when George the Third was king. The hero gets into certain scrapes, and at the sea-coast makes the acquaintance of Jack o' Lanthorn. Drifting out to sea in an open boat they discover in a singular manner the approach of the Spanish fleet, and Jack accompanies the hero of the tale to report what they have seen. Seized by a press-gang they are taken off to sea, and eventually take part in ...
— Historic Boys - Their Endeavours, Their Achievements, and Their Times • Elbridge Streeter Brooks

... road towards Arden; and once more Clarissa saw the things that she had dreamed of so often in her narrow white bed in the bleak dormitory at Belforet. Every hedge-row and clump of trees from which the withered leaves were drifting in the autumn wind, every white-walled cottage with moss-grown thatch and rustic garden, woke a faint rapture in her breast. It was home. She remembered her old friends the cottagers, and wondered whether goody Mason were still ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... opens with a phrase (m) of threefold meaning. It is clearly derived from the second phrase of the first love-theme (a, page 274); it is a realistic representation in music of Tristan's stertorous breathing; it expresses his delirious state of mind—chiefly, however, in the upward-drifting thirds and fourths with which it ends at each occurrence. Then comes the music associated with his suffering and the "lady leech." The whole passage is then repeated, and afterwards we get the shepherd's pipe (n). This forms the prelude, and the music of the short ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... soul at last Dawned the pure ray by which I saw those traits, The spirit's own, that harmonized so well With all the outward showed of good and noble. Strange that he took no notice of the way My very life was drifting! But to him I seemed a child, and his paternal airs Froze ...
— The Woman Who Dared • Epes Sargent

... diabolical intensity, that they touch the granite substratum of what is eternal in human passion. The smell of rain-drenched moors, the crying of the wind in the Scotch firs, the long lines of black rooks drifting across the twilight,—these things become, in the savage style of this extraordinary girl, the very symbols and tokens of the ...
— One Hundred Best Books • John Cowper Powys

... capital the arsenal was under a picked guard and the autocrat was said to be preparing for a resort to arms. A few mountaineers were seen drifting about the streets, and the State offices—"just a-lookin' aroun' to see if their votes was a-goin' to be counted ...
— The Heart Of The Hills • John Fox, Jr.



Words linked to "Drifting" :   wandering, roving, drift, vagabondage, unsettled



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