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Emptiness   /ˈɛmptinəs/  /ˈɛmtinəs/   Listen
Emptiness

noun
1.
The state of containing nothing.
2.
Having an empty stomach.
3.
An empty area or space.  Synonyms: vacancy, vacuum, void.  "The emptiness of outer space" , "Without their support he'll be ruling in a vacuum"
4.
The quality of being valueless or futile.  Synonym: vanity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Emptiness" Quotes from Famous Books



... down here, too. The cellars under the school were enormous. Castle-like, the great, rambling building had been constructed by a man with more imagination than money. The latter ran out before his castle on the cliff was completed. After years of emptiness, Dr. Beulah Prescott had obtained it and made it into what it now was—a ...
— Nan Sherwood at Rose Ranch • Annie Roe Carr

... And she had not reached that point of renunciation at which she would have been satisfied with having a wise husband: she wished, poor child, to be wise herself. Miss Brooke was certainly very naive with all her alleged cleverness. Celia, whose mind had never been thought too powerful, saw the emptiness of other people's pretensions much more readily. To have in general but little feeling, seems to be the only security against feeling too much on ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... victim to a kind of nostalgia; he regrets the many sights to be seen for nothing in Paris. The isolation, the darkened days, the suffering that affects the mind and spirits even more than the body, the emptiness of the life,—all these things tend to induce him to cling to the human being who waits on him as a drowned man clings to a plank; and this especially if the bachelor patient's character is as weak as his nature is sensitive ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... realized this and had made Hatty her special charge and duty; but now there was a gap in her daily life, a sense of emptiness and desolation. There was no need now to hurry through her morning's task that she might sit with Hatty. When she went out, there was no Hatty to watch for her return and listen to all her descriptions of what she ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... humanity condemn that zeal Which tends to aggravate and not to heal? 70 Doth not discretion warn thee of disgrace, And danger, grinning, stare thee in the face, Loud as the drum, which, spreading terror round, From emptiness acquires the power of sound? Doth not the voice of Norton[120] strike thy ear, And the pale Mansfield[121] chill thy soul with fear? Dost thou, fond man, believe thyself secure Because thou'rt honest, and because thou'rt poor? Dost thou on ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... circulated; and the admiration, which it has attracted, in almost every country of Europe, proves, that, with all its depression and sadness, it does utter a voice, that meets with an assenting answer in the hearts of all who have tried life, and found its emptiness. Johnson's view of our lot on earth was always gloomy, and the circumstances, under which Rasselas was composed, were calculated to add a deepened tinge of melancholy to its speculations on human folly, misery, or malignity. Many of the subjects ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... pools. The contrast of what is with what might be probably accounts for this. To step, for instance, at the place under notice, from the hedge of the plantation into the adjoining pale thoroughfare, and pause amid its emptiness for a moment, was to exchange by the act of a single stride the simple absence of human companionship for an ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... At first it was a kind of heaviness in my feet, and a light sensation in my head, and a curious kind of emptiness—nervous exhaustion, ...
— Love's Shadow • Ada Leverson

... furniture wherein things are secreted, full of drawers fitted into each other; one hurts himself, breaks his nails in opening them, and then finds within only some withered flower, a few grains of dust—or emptiness! And then perhaps he felt afraid of learning too much about ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert

... October found me still at Coblenz, lingering amongst the valleys and vineyards, and loath to exchange them for the autumnal fogs and emptiness of London. Thither, however, I was compelled to return; and I endeavoured to console myself for the necessity by discovering that the green Rhine grew brown, the trees scant of leaves, the evenings ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... of La Vie de Jesus. Among a people moderately familiar with the narratives of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke, and St John ... there would have been no need to refute it. Every one would have seen, without assistance, its flagrant falsifications, its gross sophisms, its absolute emptiness. This deep-seated and complex evil, this enervation of the Christian spirit, this anaemia (cette anemie) of so many among us, are an object of sorrowful anxiety (preoccupation) for the Catholic ...
— To My Younger Brethren - Chapters on Pastoral Life and Work • Handley C. G. Moule

... In the shrouded emptiness of the London night he felt himself free again. He came into possession of himself and found that he could think with his old definite clearness. In the last few hours events had rushed him off his feet; he had no sooner realized their significance than he had discovered ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... Conventions of Society, I find a little trying. It does not harmonise with the retired, peaceful existence to which I am accustomed (and at my time of life, I think, entitled), in which it is my humble endeavour to wean myself from this earth which is so full of Emptiness and to prepare myself for that other and better Home into which we must all resign ourselves to enter. And happy, indeed, my dear Rupert, such of us as will be found worthy; for come to it we all must, and the longer we live, the sooner we ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... are book cases sprinkled with the sparse library of a country lawyer, but lately plethoric, like the thin body which has departed in its coffin. They are taking away Mr. Lincoln's private effects, to deposit them wheresoever his family may abide, and the emptiness of the place, on this sunny Sunday, revives that feeling of desolation from which the land has scarce recovered. I rise from my seat and examine the maps; they are from the coast survey and engineer departments, ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... was cold, dull, grey; there was a feeling of rain in the air. To my amazement, I found no one under the oak; I walked several times round it, went up to the edge of the wood, turned back again, peered anxiously into the darkness.... All was emptiness. I waited a little, then several times I uttered the name, Alice, each time a little louder,... but she did not appear. I felt sad, almost sick at heart; my previous apprehensions vanished; I could not resign myself ...
— Dream Tales and Prose Poems • Ivan Turgenev

... likewise upon the emptiness of his pockets, turned over the papers in his pocket-book, and convinced himself of the state of absolute destitution in which he was about to ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... it make the weight and wonder less, If, lifted from immortal shoulders down, The worlds were cast on seas of emptiness ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Jean Ingelow

... about in the rain, I looked in at the open door of our lost home. Two N.C.O.'s were sitting over our stove, lost, lonely in the elongated emptiness; longing, I knew, to be with their comrades bellowing in an adjacent hut. And so I understood and knew at length how Camp Commandants manage the maintenance and improvement of their domain. I devote myself now to warning the simple-hearted gunner against unfurnished huts and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Dec. 5, 1917 • Various

... so; it presents a salutary contrast to what, unfortunately, meets our eyes every day in the newspapers and magazines. Look at the gilded and painted exterior displayed by any large community, and think what it really conceals!—emptiness and rottenness, if I may say so; no foundation of morality beneath it. In a word, these large communities of ours ...
— Pillars of Society • Henrik Ibsen

... came into Balzac's life at a psychological moment. From his youth, his longing was "to be famous and to be loved." Having found the emptiness of a life of fame alone, having apparently grown weary of the poor Duchesse d'Abrantes, about to cease his intimacy with Madame de Berny, having been rejected by Mademoiselle de Trumilly, and having suffered ...
— Women in the Life of Balzac • Juanita Helm Floyd

... whom he mourned. The poetic view he takes of death, and the lofty scorn he displays towards his calumniators, are as a prophecy on his own destiny when received among immortal names, and the poisonous breath of critics has vanished into emptiness ...
— Notes to the Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley • Mary W. Shelley

... of the Scythian Songs is without introduction. Whether the waste, darkness, earthquake and emptiness described are imminent or have happened is still left uncertain, as in the previous songs. The Prophet speaks, but as before the Voice of God peals out at ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... generations earlier, the redoubtable Mrs. Aphra Behn had led. She preserved the old romantic manner, a kind of corruption of the splendid Scudery and Calprenede folly of the middle of the seventeenth century. All that distinguished her was her vehement exuberance and the emptiness of the field. Ann Lang was young, and instinctively attracted to the study of the passion of love. She must read something, and there was nothing but Eliza ...
— Gossip in a Library • Edmund Gosse

... thing! How I should have liked to have seen her. Did she open her purse and exhibit its emptiness to the company at large? Did she stand on a chair and lecture the frivolous people who assemble in that house on the emptiness of life? Oh, how I wish I could have looked ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... attire, red eyes and swollen faces bespoke plainly enough the bereavement they had just suffered. Silent, indifferent to everything and everybody, their hands spread out on their knees, they stared into the ghastly emptiness, vainly seeking consolation for their shattered dream, ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... talked, and the soldiers filled their canteens and drank deep and long, like camels who, after days of travel through the land of 'thirst and emptiness,' have reached the green oasis and the desert spring, a black corporal of the 24th Infantry walked wearily up to the 'water hole.' He was muddy and bedraggled. He carried no cup or canteen, and stretched ...
— The Colored Regulars in the United States Army • T. G. Steward

... It would have been impossible to her to express in words how greatly she missed the companionship of the gentle old man who had so long been the object of her care. There was a sense of desolate emptiness in the little cottage such as had not so deeply affected her for years—not indeed since the first months following immediately on her own father's death. That Angus Reay kept away was, she knew, care for her on his part. Solitary woman as she was, the villagers, ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... The emptiness and uncertainty of all those systems, whether venerable for their antiquity, or agreeable for their novelty, he has evidently shown; and not only declared, but proved, that we are entirely ignorant of the principles of things, and that ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... had another very remarkable difference from almost all Gothic churches: there were no graves there. Its emptiness in this respect is due to no revolutionary or Huguenot desecration. Once indeed, about this very time, a popular military leader had been interred with honour, within the precinct of the high altar itself. But not long ...
— Gaston de Latour: an unfinished romance • Walter Horatio Pater

... never been reckoned a person of importance by her family, but now that she was gone, there remained a terrible emptiness where she had been. She was one of those unselfish, good-natured members of households to whom falls the stocking-mending, the errand-going, the fetching and carrying, the filling of gaps generally; and at every turn Deb and Frances missed her unobtrusive ministrations, which they ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... 'munitions of rocks' and the unsheltered security of these Damascene gardens! What fools to leave the heights and come down into the plain! Think of the contrast between the sufficiency of God and the emptiness of the substitutes. Forgetfulness of Him and preference of creatures cannot be put into language which does ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... the waiter's eye upon him. (Should he ask for credit? They might be frightfully disagreeable in such a cockney resort as this.) "Tut, tut," said Mr. Brumley, and then—a little late for it—resorted to and discovered the emptiness of his sovereign purse. He realized that this was out of the picture at this stage, felt his ears and nose and cheeks grow hot and pink. The waiter's colleague across the room became interested in ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... instance, if a man sees that he is too keen in the pursuit of honour, let him think over its right use, the end for which it should be pursued, and the means whereby he may attain it. Let him not think of its misuse, and its emptiness, and the fickleness of mankind, and the like, whereof no man thinks except through a morbidness of disposition; with thoughts like these do the most ambitious most torment themselves, when they despair of gaining the distinctions they hanker after, and in ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... the stranger's evening prayer. My body shakes with weeping as I pray, Thinking on all I love that are not there, So desolately absent far away— My Love and Friend, and my own land and home. O aching emptiness of evening skies! O foolish heart, what tempted thee to roam So far away from the Beloved's eyes! To the Beloved's country I belong— I am a stranger in this foreign place; Strange are its streets, and strange ...
— October Vagabonds • Richard Le Gallienne

... table, and opened it. I felt among the things at the top of it, but failed to touch the cigar-case. I shoved my hand in deeper, and stirred the things about, but still I did not reach it. A cold wave swept down my spine, and a sort of emptiness came to the pit of my stomach. Then I turned red-hot, and the sweat sprung out all over me. I wet my lips with my tongue, and said to myself, 'Don't be an ass. Pull yourself together, pull yourself together. Take the things out, one at a time. It's there, ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... he felt again irresistibly the recent presence of the crew. And again he found silence and emptiness and a disorder that told of a fear-stricken flight. The odor that sickened and nauseated the exploring man was everywhere. He was glad to gain the freedom of the wind-swept deck and rid his lungs of the vile breath within ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 • Various

... who had admitted me, or any other person, I flung open the door through which I had come, and ran down the passage leading towards the main part of the house. In through the second and wider one I went, opening a door here and there, but finding only darkness and emptiness beyond. ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... what I feel for you," she answered in an agonized voice, her fingers tightening over the backs of her white hands. "If reverence be love—if trust be love, infinite and absolute trust—if gratitude be love—if emptiness after you are gone be a sign of it—yes, I love you. If the power to see clearly only through you, to interpret myself only by your aid be love, I acknowledge it. I tell you so freely, as of your right to ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... an old kit-bag, into which we packed a few necessaries. When we insisted upon Johnson accepting this, he shrugged his shoulders and turned the palms of his hands upwards, as if to show their emptiness. ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... reading." "The strange thing about my reading is this," said he, "I look at a sentence and understand it, but I am aware of something, either at the back of my head or behind me, which says, 'All this is futile stuff and nonsense: give it up, it's not for you; you are condemned to everlasting emptiness, and your life will never know any more fulness ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... sat, overwhelmed by all that she had done and had left undone. The emptiness and silence of the house brought to her a sense of loneliness. The street outside was empty and silent too, except for two old women who walked by with heavy, dragging steps. One of the two was talking in a patient, pathetic voice, but loudly, for ...
— The Making of Mona • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... the singer was warm-hearted and full of the very sap of human kindness. The minister was so absorbed in his own full-hearted praise that he was scarce conscious that he was almost alone in the chill emptiness of the church. Indeed, a strange feeling stole upon him, that he heard his wife's voice singing the solemn gladness of the last verse along with him, as they had sung it together near forty years ago when she had first come to ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... eyes off the raw patch of emptiness in the sky, where a few stars seemed to be vanishing. "Your character? ...
— The Sky Is Falling • Lester del Rey

... and so he resolutely turned his back upon the steaming urn, and the tempting pile of eatables by which it was surrounded. In watching the endless streams of passengers steadily ebbing and flowing past him, he almost forgot the emptiness of his stomach. Where could they all be going to, or coming from? Did people always travel in such overwhelming numbers, that it seemed as though the whole world were on the move, or was this some special occasion? He thought the latter ...
— Cab and Caboose - The Story of a Railroad Boy • Kirk Munroe

... prolific of images and arguments, teeming, bursting, with something, much, too much, to say, and well witting how to say it: none of your poor devils compulsory from poverty—Plutus help them!—whose penury of pocket is (pardon me) too often equitably balanced by their emptiness of head; and far less one of the lady's-maid school, who will glory in describing a dish of cutlets at Calais, or an ill-trimmed bonnet, or the contents of an old maid's reticule, or of a young gentleman's portmanteau, or those rare occasions for sentimentality, moonlight, ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... changed the whole city for him! Every light that gleamed, every sound that rose up, seemed to hold for him a terrible vital meaning. And he knew that all the time he had been living in Constantinople it had been to him a horrible city of roaring emptiness, and he knew that now, in a moment, it had become the true center of the world. He was amazed and he was horrified by the power and intensity of the love within him. In this moment he knew it for an undying thing. Nothing could kill it, no ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... wrathfully. "Puff puff, puff, thou thing of straw and emptiness! thou rag or two! thou meal-bag! thou pumpkin-head! thou nothing! Where shall I find a name vile enough to call thee by? Puff, I say, and suck in thy fantastic life along with the smoke, else I snatch the pipe from thy mouth and hurl ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... stood on the brink of black emptiness. To live without love; her whole nature, every life-habit, changed! Oh, no, no, no! So the cold water sets ...
— Life at High Tide - Harper's Novelettes • Various

... really cognisable to the senses presented itself in the shape of a shallow recess, some four feet by two, utterly unfurnished, save with some inches of accumulated dust and rubbish, that made it a work of great peril to grope out the fact of its otherwise absolute emptiness. This discovery like many other notable enterprises seemed to lead to nothing. I stepped out of my den, reeking with spoils which I would much rather have left undisturbed ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... floors are of marble. One side of any room intended for noonday retirement is generally laid open to a quadrangle, in the centre of which there dances the jet of a fountain. There is no furniture that can interfere with the cool, palace-like emptiness of the apartments. A divan (which is a low and doubly broad sofa) runs round the three walled sides of the room. A few Persian carpets (which ought to be called Persian rugs, for that is the word which indicates their shape and dimensions) are sometimes thrown about ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... his loneliness; and together they crossed some hills. Why, there be my camels, as I'm alive! the camel-driver cried. Joseph had brought him luck, for in a valley close at hand the camels were found, staring into emptiness. Strange abstractions! Joseph said to himself, and then to the camel-driver: since I have found your camels, who knows but that you may tell me of one Jesus, an Essene from the cenoby on the eastern bank of the Jordan? A shepherd of these hills? the ...
— The Brook Kerith - A Syrian story • George Moore

... first meets when it rises, and is the association of sunrise in the minds of those who keep the world alive: but not in the wretched minds of townsmen, and least of all in the minds of journalists, who know nothing of morning save that it is a time of jaded emptiness when you have just done prophesying (for the hundredth time) the approaching end of the world, when the floors are beginning to tremble with machinery, and when, in a weary kind of way, one feels hungry and alone: a nasty life ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... where he could spare and pass by a jest, was nobly censorious. No man ever spoke more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his (its) own graces . . . The fear of every man that heard him was lest ...
— Is Shakespeare Dead? - from my Autobiography • Mark Twain

... strifes among the Corinthians he meets by showing that Christ himself is the only head of the church, that all gifts are from him, and are to be used to his glory in the edification of believers. Chaps. 1:13, 14, 30, 31; 3:5-23. The vain-glorious boasting of their leaders he exposes by showing the emptiness and impotence of their pretended wisdom in comparison with the doctrine of Christ crucified, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God for the salvation of all that believe, without regard to the distinctions of worldly rank. ...
— Companion to the Bible • E. P. Barrows

... beautiful leader of society, awoke at once to a new life. The soul of whose existence she had been almost as unconscious as Fouque's Undine, began to assert its powers, and the gay and fashionable woman, no longer ennuyed by the emptiness and frivolity of life, found her thoughts and hands alike fully occupied, and rose into a sphere of life and action, of which, a month before, she would have ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... moment both girls had vanished as if by magic, the sparrows were away on the roof, and the pigeons in flight. The servants in the yard stopped their work. Raisky looked in amazement on the emptiness and at the ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... tune after tune until his breath failed him, and an exhausted grunt of the drone—in the middle of a coronach, followed by an abrupt pause, revealed the emptiness of both lungs and bag. Then first he remembered his object, forgotten the moment ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... under the table; when young women thought of nothing but beaux, and were exhibited by their fond mothers as so much live-stock to be delivered to the highest bidder; and when dowagers, whose flirting season was over, spent all their time at the card-table. Nowhere were the absurdities and emptiness of polite society so fully exposed as at these three fashionable resorts. Even the frivolity of Dublin paled in comparison. Mary's health improved in England. The Irish climate seems to have specially disagreed with her. But notwithstanding the much-needed improvement in her ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... forces to Africa to be paid off. He obeyed; but as he knew the men, he prudently embarked them in small subdivisions, that the authorities might pay them off by troops or might at least separate them, and thereupon he laid down his command. But all his precautions were thwarted not so much by the emptiness of the exchequer, as by the collegiate method of transacting business and the folly of the bureaucracy. They waited till the whole army was once more united in Libya, and then endeavoured to curtail the pay promised to the men. Of course a mutiny ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... gradually like a great unripe fruit. All around the sunken sun it was like a lemon; round all the east it was a sort of golden green, more suggestive of a greengage; but the whole had still the emptiness of daylight and none of the secrecy of dusk. Tumbled here and there across this gold and pale green were shards and shattered masses of inky purple cloud, which seemed falling towards the earth in every kind ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... that many ills which the sufferer believes entirely physical can be reached and eradicated by "ministering to a mind diseased," by persuading the sick man continually to suggest to himself ideas of health and hope and happiness and usefulness, instead of brooding upon the emptiness and unanswered needs of his life or upon his failing physical powers. Mrs. Eddy's sect, more than any other one of the cults which believe in and practise this method of bettering the patient's physical ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... no doubt, felt when he went to Kensington and encountered the melancholy, reproachful eyes of his cousin. Yes! it is a foolish position to be in; but it is also melancholy to look into a house you have once lived in, and see black casements and emptiness where once shone the fires of welcome. Melancholy? Yes; but, ha! how bitter, how melancholy, how absurd to look up as you pass sentimentally by No. 13, and see somebody else grinning out of window, and evidently on the best terms with the landlady. I always feel hurt, even at an inn which I frequent, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... so often underlies the characters of honest and simple men, he had continued throughout his married life to believe that his wife's affection, if neither very deep nor very high, was centred upon himself and upon Gilbert. Any man a whit less true and straightforward would have found out the utter emptiness of such belief within a year. Goda had been bitterly disappointed by the result of her marriage, so far as her real tastes and ambitions were concerned. She had dreamt of a court; she was condemned to the country. She loved gayety; she was ...
— Via Crucis • F. Marion Crawford

... Within is emptiness: the sunlight falls On faded journals papering its walls; On advertisement chromos, torn with time, Around a hearth where wasps and spiders build.— The house is dead; meseems that night of crime It, too, was ...
— Weeds by the Wall - Verses • Madison J. Cawein

... dropped from out the heaven; so this precious pearl no longer gleams among the jewels of society, and there she breathes in a foreign land, among strange faces and stranger customs, and, when she thinks of what is past, laughs at some present emptiness, and tries to persuade her withering heart that the mind is independent of country, and blood, and opinion. And her father's face no longer shines with its proud love, and her mother's voice no longer ...
— The Young Duke • Benjamin Disraeli

... ruins of every portico where rhetoricians have for three thousand years paraphrased in ten tongues the words of Solomon, "All is vanity;" to return to one's native shores a used-up man, persuaded of the emptiness of all things save the overhanging firmament and the never-fading stars; to scatter the fancies of too credulous youth by a contemptuous smile, or a lesson of bitter experience, and yet, while boasting a victory over all human fallacies and weaknesses, to be enslaved by the ...
— The Cross of Berny • Emile de Girardin

... perhaps, that she might tire of her solitude and come down to Naples, if only for a few days; or at least, that something might happen to break what promised to be a long separation. He longed for a sight of her, and said so now and then, for letter-writing could not fill up the aching emptiness she had left in his already empty life. He had not her occupations and interests to absorb his days and make each hour seem too short, and, moreover, he loved her, whereas she was not at all ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... entirely to quit the earth. I passed several hours with him, and he knew how to reach my heart, even while condemning my faults. He caused me to feel humiliated for my sins, without crushing me, or driving me to despair; he showed me the futility of all human things, the sadness and emptiness of all pleasures arising from vanity and self-love.... Indeed, during a few moments, I thought seriously of consecrating my life entirely to God, and of becoming a gray nun in the convent under the Abbe ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 5, November, 1863 • Various

... no chairs, have the appearance of being almost empty. In the centre of this emptiness at Gagri church two trestles were put up, and the open coffin placed upon them; in the coffin, lying in a bed of fresh flowers and dressed in delicate white garments, was a little dead child. The coffin was perfectly ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... his physical death. No doubt his mere bodily well-being would go on increasing after the struggle was over; but what of his maimed and thwarted intellect, the mind-emptiness of a man who had known the greatest of mortal joys, mental creation? What of the haunting knowledge throughout a possibly long life, of having deliberately done a ...
— The Gorgeous Isle - A Romance; Scene: Nevis, B.W.I. 1842 • Gertrude Atherton

... eight-and-twentieth) we lived seduced and seducing, deceived and deceiving, in divers lusts; openly, by sciences which they call liberal; secretly, with a false-named religion; here proud, there superstitious, every where vain. Here, hunting after the emptiness of popular praise, down even to theatrical applauses, and poetic prizes, and strifes for grassy garlands, and the follies of shows, and the intemperance of desires. There, desiring to be cleansed from these defilements, by carrying food to those who were called "elect" and "holy," out ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... for reply. "Don't you ever get weary with the emptiness of it all, the everlasting round, the dullness? Don't you ever want to get away from Deal, and know people and ...
— The Inn at the Red Oak • Latta Griswold

... always been my pasture; and so far from growing old enough to quarrel with their emptiness, I almost think there is no wisdom comparable to that of exchanging what is called the realities of life for dreams. Old castles, old pictures, old histories and the babble of old people make one live back into centuries that cannot disappoint one. One holds fast and surely what is past. ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... last," he said, as they sat together in the melancholy gas-light of the room which had been denuded of its piano. That removal had left an emptiness so distressing to Mr. and Mrs. Vertrees that neither of them had crossed the threshold since the dark day; but the gas-light, though from a single jet, shed no melancholy upon Bibbs, nor could any room ...
— The Turmoil - A Novel • Booth Tarkington

... murmured; "heavenly good!" Then she nestled among the cushions on the window seat, and, shielded by the heavy curtains from the emptiness of the ...
— Janet of the Dunes • Harriet T. Comstock

... anxious to form a new church, or sect, or some kind of religious organisation! How childish of you! The existing Churches are the most wonderful vessels—some in gold, others in silver or pottery—made by thousands of years and generations. I know your dissatisfaction comes because of the emptiness of those vessels and not because of their ugliness. Well then, pour the divine wine into them and they will please you just as the vessels in Cana of Galilee pleased the thirsty people around the ...
— The Agony of the Church (1917) • Nikolaj Velimirovic

... latterly, since his wife's death, Colonel Gainsborough had taken earnestly to the fine, spirited young man; welcomed his presence when he came; and at last, partly out of sympathy, partly out of sheer loneliness and emptiness of life, he had offered to read the classics with him, in preparation for college. And this for several months now they had been doing; so that William was a daily visitor in ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... drink before he spoke again. "But Dworken is never down for long. Dis time it is show business. You remember, how I haf always been by de t'eater so fascinated? Well, I decided to open a show here in Luna City. T'ink of all the travelers, bored stiff by space and de emptiness thereof, who pass through here during the season. Even if only half of them go to my show, it ...
— Show Business • William C. Boyd

... watched the girlish figure as if it were a symbol of their early aspirations dawning freshly from the dimness of their past. More than one old man thought again of some little maid whose love made his boyish days a pleasant memory to him now. More than one smiling fop felt the emptiness of his smooth speech, when the truthful eyes looked up into his own; and more than one pale woman sighed regretfully within herself, "I, too, was ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... which provoked him to such a degree, that, starting up, he swore Fathom could not have mentioned any object in nature that he himself resembled so much as a drum, which was exactly typified by his emptiness and sound, with this difference, however, that a drum was never noisy till beaten, whereas the Count would never be quiet, until he should have undergone the same discipline. So saying, he laid his hand upon his sword with a menacing look, and walked out as if in expectation ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... the impenetrable wall of the dark, straining his ears to catch some little sound through the silence. But there was nothing to see save the black forms of houses and the pear trees in Pollard's yard, shapeless, sinister shadows something darker than the emptiness against which they stood; no sound save his horse's breathing, the faint creak of his own saddle leather, the low jingle ...
— Six Feet Four • Jackson Gregory

... clouds —The Captain's call to the steersman to turn the ship to an unnamed shore, For that time is over—the stagnant time in the port— Where the same old merchandise is bought and sold in an endless round, Where dead things drift in the exhaustion and emptiness of truth. ...
— Fruit-Gathering • Rabindranath Tagore

... hungry bear, it seems," remarked Fred, as he watched the progress of the work, "if we may judge from the emptiness of her stomach." ...
— The World of Ice • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... rested no more peacefully than he that night, and when in the gray of dawn she looked searchingly into his face across the kitchen table, she could read nothing from the stony emptiness that kept guard ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... made on a fresh young mind. But so many are dashed to pieces, it appears to me of late to be a maelstrom that engulfs everything in its resistless and terrible sweep. Fortune, health, peace, reputation, all are caught and swept away; but the worst is its heartlessness—and its emptiness." ...
— Gordon Keith • Thomas Nelson Page

... collected your audience, just at the moment when their minds are erect with expectation, let it be reported that a state criminal of high rank is on the point of being executed in the adjoining square; in a moment the emptiness of the theatre would demonstrate the comparative weakness of the imitative arts, and proclaim the triumph of the real sympathy. I believe that this notion of our having a simple pain in the reality, yet a delight in the representation, arises from hence, that we do not sufficiently ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... there, where Kings and Princes had held audience—watched by their womenfolk through fretted screens—was neither roof nor walls; only a group of marble pillars, as it were assembled in ghostly conference. The stark silence and emptiness—not of yesterday, but of centuries—smote him with a personal pang. From end to end of the rock it brooded; a haunting presence,—tutelary goddess of Chitor. There is an emptiness of the open desert, of an untrodden snowfield that lifts the soul and sets it face to face with God; ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... up in his private office. It opened from another larger room that had once been tenanted but was now empty. The emptiness of the great chamber, with its small bed and simple furnishings, both attracted and repelled him, as was witnessed by the fact that he frequently rose and closed the door, only to rise again directly and open it again. Each time he did this he peered all about the ...
— Dorothy's House Party • Evelyn Raymond

... influences of the Spirit of Grace, and the ordinary workings of a rational nature not yet reprobated, he is at times the subject of internal stirrings and aspirations that indicate the greatness and glory of the heights whence he fell. Under the power of an awakened conscience, and feeling the emptiness of the world, and the aching void within him, man wishes for something better than he has, or than he is. The minds of the more thoughtful of the ancient pagans were the subjects of these impulses, and aspirations; and they confess their utter inability ...
— Sermons to the Natural Man • William G.T. Shedd

... conclusively shown that this law, instead of visiting us with disability to transcend phenomena, operates as a revelation of what exists beyond. "The finite body cut out before our visual perception, or embraced by the hands, lies as an island in the emptiness around, and without comparative reference to this can not be represented: the same experience which gives us the definite object gives us also the infinite space; and both terms—the limited appearance and the unlimited ground—are apprehended with ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... gotten, from human wisdom, from wealth, from worldly pleasure, from worldly honor, only to find that all was "vanity and vexation of spirit." It is what a man, with the knowledge of a holy God, and that He will bring all into judgment, has learned of the emptiness of things "under the sun" and of the whole duty of man to "fear ...
— The Bible Book by Book - A Manual for the Outline Study of the Bible by Books • Josiah Blake Tidwell

... had been driving as it seemed to them a long while, and had got off the paving-stones of the sleep-shrouded town and were out on a winding road with what they could just see was a low wall on their left beyond which was a great black emptiness and the sound of the sea. On their right was something close and steep and high and black—rocks, they whispered ...
— The Enchanted April • Elizabeth von Arnim

... laundry, the first six girls all answered they were happy because the "work takes up your mind," and generally added, "It's awful lonesome at home," or "there is an awful emptiness at home." However, one girl with nine brothers and sisters was happy in the collar packing room just because "it was so awful lonesome"—she could enjoy her own thoughts. An Irishwoman at another laundry ...
— Working With the Working Woman • Cornelia Stratton Parker

... acted as they did. There must have been, nevertheless, a considerable scene. The idealist driven into squalid actualities deserves a martyr's crown. In one single misfortune he suffers all the calamities of the human race, and in one personal horror he sees the death, emptiness, and corruption of all human endeavours. In this exaggeration, these mystics show their genius; they suffer too much in order that ordinary people may suffer a little less. Poor Orange! He is certainly ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... knocker again, and the noise volleyed in the emptiness beyond. Then with a sudden exclamation he put out ...
— Sailor's Knots (Entire Collection) • W.W. Jacobs

... pleasant toil in libraries was over, the last folio closed by those industrious hands, the last manuscript collated, and the last flower picked for the herbarium, he who here so tenderly sang of the emptiness of earthly honors and the nothingness of worldly success should be buried humbly near those whom he best loved, and where all the moral of his teaching might be perpetually illustrated. I wondered, as I stood there, whether Horace Walpole ever thought it worth his while, for the sake of that ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors - Vol. II Great Britain And Ireland, Part Two • Francis W. Halsey

... put forward verbal or analytic propositions, or truisms, as information (except, of course, in explaining terms to the uninstructed), shows that we are not thinking what we say; for else we must become aware of our own emptiness. Every step forward in knowledge is expressed in a real or synthetic proposition; and it is only by means of such propositions that information can be given (except as to the meaning of words) or that an argument or train of reasoning can make ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... featureless abyss. Immermann intensely disliked it. He was, as he said, a lover of men; the worship of nature drained and exhausted the sympathies, the wills and the spirits of men. The passages in which Klingsor himself, in his moments of despair, and Merlin expose the emptiness of this philosophy, are among the best philosophic statements of the play. They are, how ever, too exhaustive. But they are good philosophy, if they are bad drama and poetry. Klingsor ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... vanities, and all is vanity! Let us raise the veil of deception that shrouds the emptiness of human joy. Alvira has now gratified her heart's desires in everything she could have under the sun. She had beauty, wealth, and fame, but she was like the pretty moth that hovers around the flame of the ...
— Alvira: the Heroine of Vesuvius • A. J. O'Reilly

... management to any advantage, I resolved to transfer my business in the mission to an agent, and move on the place with my wife. Then came a fatal hour for me. Into my darkened soul, into the comfortless, emptiness of my life, entered the ...
— Sister Carmen • M. Corvus

... both religious and political idealism produced a curious cold air of emptiness and real subconscious agnosticism such as is extremely unusual in the history of mankind. It is what Mr. Wells, with his usual verbal delicacy and accuracy, spoke of as that ironical silence that follows a great controversy. It is what ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... window. Even as Ranulph was about to knock and call the poor vagrant's name, the clac-clac stopped, and then there came a sniffing at the shutters as a dog sniffs at the door of a larder. Following the sniffing came a guttural noise of emptiness and desire. Now there was no mistake; it was the half-witted fellow beyond all doubt, and he could help him—Dormy Jamais should help him: he should go and warn the Governor and the soldiers at the Hospital, while he himself would speed to Gorey in search ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... throwing a poetical charm over the quiet narrow circle of domestic life. She is almost invariably successful in her female characters, but when she attempts to draw those of men, her creations are mere caricatures, full of emptiness and improbability. Her habit of indulging in a sort of aimless and objectless philosophizing vein, a propos of nothing at all, is also found highly wearisome. For my part, it has often given me an attack of nausea. She labours, however, diligently to improve herself; and, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. Were others angry: I excused them too; Well might they rage, I gave them but their due. A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find; But each man's secret standard in his mind, That casting-weight pride adds to emptiness, This, who can gratify? for who can guess? The bard whom pilfered pastorals renown, Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown, Just writes to make his barrenness appear, And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year; He, who still wanting, ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... "Woe from Wit" ("Gore ot Uma"), and introduce to the stage types which had never, hitherto, appeared in Russian comedy, because no one had looked deep enough into Russian hearts, or been capable of limning, impartially and with fidelity to nature, the emptiness and vanity of the characters and aims ...
— A Survey of Russian Literature, with Selections • Isabel Florence Hapgood

... listening, and yet listening, till all possible chance was over of catching any longer the sound of his steps. No more tears; only a great aching emptiness. The unhoped-for chance had been hers, and she had lost it knowingly. What ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... the matter short, Jenny, I'll carry over the little bit of supper that I was going to eat. For dinner I have tasted none, and it may be my young pretty Mistress Marget will eat a morsel with me; for it is mere emptiness, Mistress Jenny, that often puts these fancies of illness into young folk's heads." So saying, she put the silver posset-cup with the ale into Jenny's hands and assuming her mantle with the alacrity of one determined to sacrifice inclination to duty, she hid the stewpan ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... was the emptiness of the streets. I had always imagined Portsmouth to be a populous town . . . but possibly its inhabitants were congregated around the fair, towards which we set ourselves to steer, guided by the tunding of distant drums. It mattered little If we lost our bearings, since ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... told of the collapse of the town's prosperity. She saw without compassion the graying hair, the tired eyes of anxiety, the lines of brooding and despondency deepening in faces she remembered as carefree and hopeful, the look of resignation that comes to the weaklings who have lost their grip, the emptiness of burned-out passion, the weary languor of repeated failure—she saw it all through the eyes of her ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... Dominic than the refuted Paynim philosopher who (with a movement, by the way, as obvious as it is clever) tears out a leaf from his own book? And I have touched only on the value of these frescoes as allegories. Not to speak of the emptiness of the one and the confusion of the other, as compositions, there is not a figure in either which has tactile values,—that is to ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... two antitheses of my text; and the other is no less profound and significant. 'He was rich; He became poor.' In this connection 'rich' can only mean possessed of the Divine fulness and independence; and 'poor' can only mean possessed of human infirmity, dependence, and emptiness. And so to Jesus of Nazareth, to be born was impoverishment. If there is nothing more in His birth than in the birth of each of us, the words are grotesquely inappropriate to the facts of the case. For as between nothingness, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... we know not what to feel. When death foils love we know not what to know. Now did his doubt hope, now did his hope doubt. Now what his wish dreamed the dream's sense did flout And to a sullen emptiness congeal. Then again the gods fanned love's ...
— Antinous: A Poem • Fernando Antonio Nogueira Pessoa

... from Scott's romances or Dickens's sympathetic extravagances, it will seem hard and repellant. But men who, like Thackeray, have seen life and tasted its bitterness and felt its hollowness, know how to prize it. Thackeray does not merely expose the cant, the emptiness, the self-seeking, the false pretenses, flunkeyism, and snobbery—the "mean admiration of mean things"—in the great world of London society: his keen, unsparing vision detects the base alloy in the purest natures. There are no "heroes" in his ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... air they soar and skim, Whose voices make the emptiness of light A windy palace. Quavering from the brim Of dawn, and bold with song at edge of night, They clutch their leafy pinnacles and sing Scornful of man, and from his toils aloof Whose heart's a haunted woodland whispering; Whose thoughts return on tempest-baffled ...
— Counter-Attack and Other Poems • Siegfried Sassoon

... Lord Bardolph. For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads: one power against the French, And one against Glendower; perforce a third Must take up us: so is the unfirm king In three divided; and his coffers sound With hollow poverty and emptiness. ...
— King Henry IV, Second Part • William Shakespeare [Chiswick edition]

... waving trees, the shelter and fountains, seemed to promise a place of delicate delights; and there were some of those who landed there, who, on seeing the pale cliff behind, believed, with a deep curiosity, that some very sacred and beautiful thing must there be enshrined. But it was the emptiness of the further land, Hugh thought, that made it imperative to guard the mystery. In that bare land indeed he himself seemed to pace, bitterly pondering; he would even kneel on the bare rocks, and hold out his hands in intense entreaty to ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... excitement? Let the wind baffle and drop in a heavy tide- way just as you are sailing your little sloop through a narrow draw-bridge. Behold your sails, upon which you are depending, flap with sudden emptiness, and then see the impish wind, with a haul of eight points, fill your jib aback with a gusty puff. Around she goes, and sweeps, not through the open draw, but broadside on against the solid piles. Hear the roar of the tide, sucking through the trestle. And hear and see ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... thought—treasures whence should issue a unique satisfaction for passion and desire, hours of poetry to outweigh years, joys to make a man serve a lifetime for one gracious gesture,—all this is to be buried in the tedium of a tame, commonplace marriage, to vanish in the emptiness of an existence which you will come to loath! I hate your children before they are born. ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... I say a word about Kedsty. It may be, some day, that you will know. And then you will not like me. For nearly four years before I saw you that day I had been in a desolation. It was a terrible place. It ate my heart and soul out with its ugliness, its loneliness, its emptiness. A little while longer and I would have died. Then the thing happened that brought me away. Can you guess ...
— The Valley of Silent Men • James Oliver Curwood

... could place. The old order had passed away, and no new order had, as yet, effectively disclosed itself. He had not formulated all this, or even consciously recognised the modification of his own attitude. Nevertheless he felt the gnawing ache of inward emptiness. It effectually broke up the torpor which had held him. It made him very restless. It reawoke in him an inclination ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... into the kitchen with a quaking heart. It was empty and still. Its very emptiness and stillness seemed to reproach her. There stood the desk—she ran across to it, pulled the indentures from her pocket, put them in their old place, and shut the lid down. There they staid till the full and just time ...
— The Adventures of Ann - Stories of Colonial Times • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... his great satisfaction he saw around him the very things that would render it seaworthy. Bobbing about on the waves, and at no great distance, were half a dozen empty water-casks. There had been too many of them aboard the slaver: since their emptiness was the original cause of the catastrophe that had ensued. But there were not too many for Snowball's present purpose; and, after paddling first to one and then another, he secured each in turn, and lashed them to his raft, ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... dram was our forlorn hope, but it only created a passing comfort, which soon went off leaving our bodies more chill and dejected than before. My head swam with feverish emptiness. I seemed suddenly possessed by a feeling of wild independence—seeing nothing, fearing nothing. Presently, this died away, and I fell back in utter helplessness, ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... a congeries of living souls were a strangling limitation. There are certain human temperaments, and my own is one of them, whose aesthetic sense demands the existence of vast interminable spaces of air, of water, of earth, of fire, or even of blank emptiness. To such a temperament it might seem as though to be jostled throughout eternity by other living souls were to be shut up in an unescapable prison. And when to this unending population of fellow-denizens ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... in the night, how sweet, sweet, sweet the flowers seem— But oh, the emptiness of dawn that ...
— Fires of Driftwood • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... began to see into the emptiness of earthly greatness, and found himself touched with the love of heavenly things. But these first impressions of grace had not all their effect immediately: he made frequent reflections within himself, of what the man of God had said to him; and it was not without many ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume XVI. (of 18) - The Life of St. Francis Xavier • John Dryden

... sources. Learn, then, to check this mean propensity. Despise such thoughts whenever you are tempted to indulge them. Recollect that this low curiosity is the combined result of idleness, ignorance, emptiness, and ill-nature; and fly to useful occupation, as the most successful antidote against the evil. Nor let it be forgotten that such impertinent remarks as these come directly under the description of those 'idle words,' of which an account must be given ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... brought with them out of the Arctic silence and carried with them into the greater silence beyond. A little cloud of steam enveloped them as they moved, the moisture from the breath of nine moving creatures in a waste of emptiness. ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... wide awake, staring in horror at the vibrating bulkheads of the deserted little mail ship. For a moment his conscious barriers against reality were so completely down that he felt mortally terrified and overwhelmed by the vast emptiness about him. For a moment the mad idea swept into his mind that perhaps the universe was just another illusion, an echo of man's own ...
— Rescue Squad • Thomas J. O'Hara

... her hands.] Yes, but I cannot bear the solitude— the emptiness! I cannot bear the ...
— John Gabriel Borkman • Henrik Ibsen



Words linked to "Emptiness" :   vacancy, condition, vacuity, status, hollowness, hungriness, blankness, hunger, void, fullness, worthlessness, empty, ineptitude, space



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