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Instability   /ˌɪnstəbˈɪlɪti/   Listen
Instability

noun
(pl. instabilities)
1.
An unstable order.
2.
Unreliability attributable to being unstable.
3.
A lack of balance or state of disequilibrium.  Synonyms: imbalance, unbalance.
4.
The quality or attribute of being unstable and irresolute.  Synonym: unstableness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Instability" Quotes from Famous Books



... I am weary of tailors, let me reflect a little upon that divine art of which they are the professors. Alas, for the instability of all human sciences! A few short months ago, in the first edition of this memorable Work, I laid down rules for costume, the value of which, Fashion begins already to destroy. The thoughts which I shall now embody, shall be out of the reach of ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... physiological sphere, the formation of an organism and a fully developed brain; in the psychologic order, the antagonism between the pure subjectivity of the imagination and the objectivity of ratiocinative processes; in other words, between mental instability and stability. As for the results, they appear only in the third period, the resultant of ...
— Essay on the Creative Imagination • Th. Ribot

... is a life of peace. Emotional instability and wretchedness have been displaced by habitual right feeling. Stabilizing her emotions has not impoverished, but enriched her nature. She has mastered the art of enjoying, for self-interests have expanded into love for service. To-day she is a capable, efficient, ...
— Our Nervous Friends - Illustrating the Mastery of Nervousness • Robert S. Carroll

... must all lay it continually and with uttermost humiliation to heart that we all have Captain Anything's opportunism, his self-interest, his insincerity, his instability, and his secret deceitfulness in ourselves. That man knows little of himself who does not despise and hate himself for his secret self-seeking even in the service of God. For, how the love of praise will seduce and corrupt this man, and ...
— Bunyan Characters - Third Series - The Holy War • Alexander Whyte

... so overcome by the news, which is beyond her utmost expectations, that she answers the messenger, "Thou'rt mad to say it:" and on receiving her husband's account of the predictions of the Witches, conscious of his instability of purpose, and that her presence is necessary to goad him on to the consummation of ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... Why, it must be catchin'! Four in the same 'ouse! (He goes back to the hearth, quite lost before the instability of the human intellect in a ...
— Candida • George Bernard Shaw

... Cambridge mathematician produced to show that a flying machine was bound to pitch fearfully, that as it flew on its pitching must increase until up went its nose, down went its tail, and it fell like a knife. We exaggerated every possibility of instability. We imagined that when the aeroplane wasn't "kicking up ahind and afore" it would be heeling over to the lightest side wind. A sneeze might upset it. We contrasted our poor human equipment with the instinctive balance of a ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... Subject to instability In a moment falls to the ground, And as it has the brilliancy of glass ...
— The Court of the Empress Josephine • Imbert de Saint-Amand

... calling for intervention on the part of the government. However we interpret these figures (and I believe them to mean that wheat sold at from twelve cents to eighty cents a bushel) they certainly indicate a tremendous instability in prices, due to the poor communications and backward methods of agriculture, making years of plenty alternate with years of hunger. In the case of Wittenberg, the lower level was nearer the normal, for in 1527 wheat was there sold at twenty cents a bushel. In other parts of Germany it was ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... own instability of character. I feel myself the victim of a thousand plans and purposes, which change as soon and as often as they are made. I am afraid, sir, I ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... of the men of that city did not abide very firmly by any one resolution. Filippo could have shown a little model that he had in his possession, but he did not wish to show it, having recognized the small intelligence of the Consuls, the envy of the craftsmen, and the instability of the citizens, who favoured now one and now another, according as it pleased each man best; and I do not marvel at this, since every man in that city professes to know as much in these matters as the experienced ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 2, Berna to Michelozzo Michelozzi • Giorgio Vasari

... was only that of a great danger happily averted, broke in on the flush of all that was best worth having and doing in existence, and seemed to utter a warning against the instability of life at its brightest and fairest. There was stag-hunting on Ascot Heath, at which the Queen and the Prince were to be present. He was to join in the hunt and she was to follow with Prince Ernest in a pony phaeton. As she stood by a window in Windsor Castle, she saw Prince Albert canter ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... a young lady is in such a state of affliction, the first thing to be done is to sit down and cry for two hours or more, which Mary accomplished in the most thorough manner; in the mean while making many reflections on the instability of human friendships, and resolving never to trust any one again as long as she lived, and thinking that this was a cold and hollow-hearted world, together with many other things she had read in books, but never realized so forcibly ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... many as four schools. Few teachers, the report showed, have taught more than one or two years in a school, while the average teaching life of a rural teacher is three and three quarters school years. The instability of the profession is so great that it is necessary for the state of South Dakota to recruit annually about one third of its total teaching ...
— A Stake in the Land • Peter Alexander Speek

... the self, Bergson recognizes that we have much to gain by keeping up the illusion through which we make our conscious states share in the reciprocal externality of outer things, because this distinctness and solidification enables us to give them fixed names in spite of their instability, and distinct names in spite of their interpenetration. Above all it enables us to objectify them, to throw them out into the current of social life. But just for this very reason we are in danger of living our lives superficially and of covering up our real self. We are generally content ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... laboratory, and being on easy terms in the house, I went up to him. The laboratory, however, was empty. I stared for a minute at the Time Machine and put out my hand and touched the lever. At that the squat substantial-looking mass swayed like a bough shaken by the wind. Its instability startled me extremely, and I had a queer reminiscence of the childish days when I used to be forbidden to meddle. I came back through the corridor. The Time Traveller met me in the smoking-room. He was coming from the house. ...
— The Time Machine • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... the conflict between its social realities and its moral and legal basis, and, second, the insecurity to which it condemns free citizens; the fact, that is, that the few possessors can grant or withhold livelihood from the many non-possessors. There are only three solutions of this instability. These are, the distributive solution, the collectivist solution, and the servile solution. Of these three stable social arrangements the reformer, owing to the Christian traditions of society, will not advocate the ...
— Hilaire Belloc - The Man and His Work • C. Creighton Mandell

... the observation is rendered very difficult on account of the intense heat produced. Nevertheless there can be no doubt that all kinds of carbon are fused under the molecular bombardment, but the liquid state must be one of great instability. Of all the bodies tried there were two which withstood best—diamond and carborundum. These two showed up about equally, but the latter was preferable, for many reasons. As it is more than likely that this body is not yet generally ...
— Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High - Frequency • Nikola Tesla

... say the original tree, while others put the clause on the original grafted tree. Nuts taken from such trees and planted produce the second generation trees. These may be equal, may be superior, or may be inferior to the original stock. It is this very variation and instability that makes the seedling to a more or less ...
— Walnut Growing in Oregon • Various

... a double-dealer of the profoundly cautious stamp that is never caught by the bait of a present satisfaction, nor entangled by a personal attachment, after his first initiation into the strategy of self-seeking and the instability of the human heart. So, from the very first, he had put little trust in Cointet. He foresaw that his marriage negotiations might very easily be broken off, saw also that in that case he could not ...
— Eve and David • Honore de Balzac

... again on the heath. Edgar, still attired as a lunatic, soliloquizes in stilted terms about the instability of fortune and the advantages of a humble lot. Then there comes to him somehow into the very place on the heath where he is, his father, the blinded Gloucester, led by an old man. In that characteristic Shakespearean language,—the chief peculiarity of which is that the thoughts are bred either ...
— Tolstoy on Shakespeare - A Critical Essay on Shakespeare • Leo Tolstoy

... injury. There was some reason, however, to doubt the efficacy of this protection; for, as the spring-tides approached, the numerous grounded masses around the shores of the bay began to evince symptoms of instability, one or two having fallen over, and others turned round; so that these masses might be looked upon rather as dangerous neighbours, likely to create a premature disruption of the ice, than as the means of security, which, in seas not subject to any considerable rise of tide, they had so often ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... works, and likewise made figures of every sort, animals, buildings, grotesques, and landscapes, all so beautiful, that since his day whosoever has aimed at catholicity has imitated him. It is a marvellous thing and a fearsome to see from the example of this master the instability of Fortune and what she can bring to pass, causing men to become excellent in some profession from whom something quite different might have been expected, to the no small vexation of those who have laboured in vain for many years at the same art. It is ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 05 ( of 10) Andrea da Fiesole to Lorenzo Lotto • Giorgio Vasari

... objection to regal government is its instability, proceeding from a variety of causes. Where monarchy is found in its greatest intensity, as in Morocco and Turkey, this observation is illustrated in a very pointed manner, and indeed is more or less striking as governments are more or less despotic. The reason is obvious: as the monarch is ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... disobedience was gradually spreading among the Russian troops. "The development of a further success is being jeopardized by the instability and moral weakness of certain detachments. Particularly noteworthy was the gallant conduct of the officers, great numbers of them perishing during the fulfillment of their duties," says the official Russian statement. On the upper course of the Sereth, from Zalovce ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... him, as he sat there within three yards of its granite base, like the impersonation of repose in the midst of turmoil; of peace surrounded by war; of calm and solid self-possession in the midst of fretful and raging instability. ...
— The Lighthouse • Robert Ballantyne

... grief. This procedure perfectly symbolizes a distracted mind; it undoubtedly suggests a superior point of view, from which the tribulations of an insignificant individual are seen to be insignificant; but in a larger sense it symbolizes the very instability and waywardness of Heine himself. His emotions were unquestionably deep and recurrent, but they were not constant. His devotion to ideals did not preclude indulgence in very unideal pleasures; and ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... objectionable. I happened to be upon the Continent when the last change of Government in this country took place; and I must say it appeared to me, that a most painful impression was created in foreign states with respect to the instability of the administrative system of this country by these frequent changes of administration. I do think, indeed, that not the least of the many calamities which this war has brought upon us is the fact, that it has had a tendency in many quarters ...
— Letters and Journals of James, Eighth Earl of Elgin • James, Eighth Earl of Elgin

... Philip could be prejudiced against Margaret by any man or woman on earth, or any devil in hell, there must be an instability in his character to which Margaret's happiness must not be committed. Hope was not sure of this. There were circumstances of temptation, modes of delusion, under which the faith of a seraph might sink. But worse still, Hester said, was his conduct of ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... by prudential considerations, and is always asking, Will it pay? is the incarnation of fickleness, instability, and feebleness. The apparent strength of the selfish will is usually a hollow sham. But truth, right, and love are motives stronger than death. And the will, dominated by these, gives the body to be burned. The man of the future will ...
— The Whence and the Whither of Man • John Mason Tyler

... chasse of the Virgin. She went, was absent a week, and returned with a face all radiant with joy and pleasure. Her lamentations ceased, and, in nine months afterwards, she brought forth a son. But, oh! the instability of human joys! The babe, so long desired and so greatly beloved, survived but a few months. Two years passed over the heads of the disconsolate couple, and no second child appeared to cheer their fire-side. A third year passed away with the same result, and the lady once more ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... carriage jars the windows. Rattling refers directly to the sound produced by shaking. To joggle is to shake slightly; as, a passing touch joggles the desk on which one is writing. A thing trembles that shakes perceptibly and with an appearance of uncertainty and instability, as a person under the influence of fear; a thing shivers when all its particles are stirred with a slight but pervading tremulous motion, as a human body under the influence of cold; shuddering is a more pronounced movement of a similar kind, in ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... understanding of men. In the latter, if common reason ventures to depart from the laws of experience and from the perceptions of the senses, it falls into mere inconceivabilities and self-contradictions, at least into a chaos of uncertainty, obscurity, and instability. But in the practical sphere it is just when the common understanding excludes all sensible springs from practical laws that its power of judgement begins to show itself to advantage. It then becomes even subtle, whether it be that it chicanes with its own conscience or with other claims respecting ...
— Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals • Immanuel Kant

... suspicions of Marie; who, aware of the popularity of the Prince, was easily persuaded to believe that these demonstrations were pregnant with danger to the interests of her son; and, aware of the instability of her own position, the prejudices which were entertained against her person, and the ambition of the great nobles, she listened with avidity to the suggestions of MM. de Soissons, d'Epernon, and de Joyeuse, that she should effect the arrest of Conde before he had ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... side of existence. The Greeks invented tragedy, the poetical reflection of the severity of fate. Would any modern audience be found, which would be prepared to sit for a whole summer day listening eagerly to the grand expression by such poets as Aeschylus and Sophocles of the power of Nemesis, the instability of all prosperity, the misfortunes which hunt those who have the ill luck to displease the gods? Surely not. And not in Greek tragedy only, but in elegiac poetry and in epigram, we find perfect reflections of our most gloomy moods. But for such expressions of sorrow ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... with what was no better than common or, rather, uncommon murder. Two things were evident on the plane of my own recognition—that he had succeeded in holding the illusive affections of Ena, no small accomplishment in view of her neurotic emotional instability, and that the elder Meekers had an interest in the most worldly of all commodities, not exceeded by their devotion to the immaculate ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... Sulla, in 78, CRASSUS and LEPIDUS were chosen Consuls; but such was the instability of the times that they were sworn not to raise an army during their consulship. Lepidus attempted to evade his oath by going to Gaul, and, when summoned by the Senate to return, marched against the city at the head of his forces. He was defeated by Crassus ...
— History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD • Robert F. Pennell

... drink in this sad and moving tale, indulge one tear. Remember the instability of sublunary things, and judge no man ...
— Trial of Mary Blandy • William Roughead

... authority grew more and more powerful. Did a question arise as to the qualities of a strange plant, it was Rufus Dawes who could pronounce upon it. Were fish to be caught, it was Rufus Dawes who caught them. Did Mrs. Vickers complain of the instability of her brushwood hut, it was Rufus Dawes who worked a wicker shield, and plastering it with clay, produced a wall that defied the keenest wind. He made cups out of pine-knots, and plates out of bark-strips. He worked harder than any three men. Nothing daunted him, nothing discouraged him. When ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... asks what test there is that this kind of sudden conversion is not from God, as instability and frequent change are the test, on the other hand, in disproof of the divinity of the conversions just now mentioned, I answer,—its moroseness, inhumanity, and unfitness for this world. Men who change ...
— Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII (of 8) • John Henry Newman

... short flights to the troubled waters. Of her firm footing she was exultingly proud. She stood high, close to danger, without giddiness. If at intervals her soul flew out like lightning from the rift (a mere shot of involuntary fancy, it seemed to her), the suspicion of instability made her draw on her treasury of impressions of the mornings at Lugano—her loftiest, purest, dearest; and these reinforced her. She did not ask herself why she should have to seek them for aid. In other respects her mind was alert and held no sly ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... that the study of geology teaches us that is more certain or more impressive than the extreme instability of the earth's surface. Everywhere beneath our feet we find proofs that what is land has been sea, and that where oceans now spread out has once been land; and that this change from sea to land, and from land to sea, has taken place, not once or twice only, but again and again, during ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume II. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... nourished on anatomical study is of course permeated with the suggestion of the vagueness and instability of biological species. A biological species is quite obviously a great number of unique individuals which is separable from other biological species only by the fact that an enormous number of other linking individuals are inaccessible in time—are in other words dead and gone—and each new ...
— First and Last Things • H. G. Wells

... falling into his companion's vein, and helping him out with an illustration which Donatello himself could not have put into shape, "to convert this saloon into a chapel; and when the priest tells his hearers of the instability of earthly joys, and would show how drearily they vanish, he may point to these pictures, that were so joyous and are so dismal. He could not illustrate his theme so ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... diseases We say a good marriage because no one says to the contrary We set too much value upon ourselves We still carry our fetters along with us We take other men's knowledge and opinions upon trust Weakness and instability of a private and particular fancy Weigh, as wise: men should, the burden of obligation Well, and what if it had been death itself? Were more ambitious of a great reputation than of a good one What a man says should be what he thinks ...
— Quotes and Images From The Works of Michel De Montaigne • Michel De Montaigne

... greater revelation of Nature's glories, even in a sunset hour, than in one of these moments of glow before the darkness of storm. And in a man's life there is sometimes an episode so bright, so full of promise, that we feel its perfection to be the measure of its instability. ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... "has a reputation for instability of character which it does not deserve. It simply pays impartial attention to a breeze or a hurricane. In fact, it's alive to anything that's going in the wind line. We call a weather-cock fickle and a man wide-awake for doing the same thing." He ...
— Blue Goose • Frank Lewis Nason

... That the number of atoms which can be associated in a ring by single affinities is limited there can be no doubt, but there is not yet sufficient evidence to show where the limit must be placed. Baeyer has suggested that his hypothesis may also be applied to explain the instability of acetylene and its derivatives, and the still greater instability ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1 - "Chtelet" to "Chicago" • Various

... still swinging and swaying and developing when King George was being crowned. Close upon that event came a wave of social discontent, the great railway strike, a curious sense of social and political instability, and the first beginnings ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... of its offshore oil resources, Cameroon has one of the highest incomes per capita in tropical Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as political instability, a top-heavy civil service, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise. The development of the oil sector led rapid economic growth between 1970 and 1985. Growth came to an abrupt halt in 1986 ...
— The 1993 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... The four factors of personal goodness II. Unconsciousness III. Reflex action IV. Conscious experience V. Self-consciousness VI. Its degrees VII. Its acquisition VIII. Its instability ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... something irresistibly affecting in the earnestness with which he expresses that passion; something which adds most deeply to the interest which its expression is calculated to excite, by reminding one of the instability of human enjoyment, and of the many misfortunes which the course of life may bring with it to destroy the visions of inexperienced affection. We have already mentioned, that in the expression of profound emotion and deep suffering, the countenance of Talma ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... personal attendants whom I have questioned are ignorant of the direction she hath taken. They declare that she escaped within ten minutes of the blowing up of the palace-gate. The catastrophe alarmed her, and she saw in the fall of these defences the instability of her throne." ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... expeditionary force to the 38th moon that the Nirvans themselves refused to visit. They tried to dissuade us but, being of a much younger species, we were less plagued by caution and went anyway. The mountains of this little moon are up to fifteen miles high, causing a state of instability that is chronic. Walking down those alabaster valleys was a more awesome experience than any galactic vista I have ever encountered. Our aesthetic sense proved stronger than common sense alertness and seven of us were buried in ...
— Man Made • Albert R. Teichner

... is difficult to control from its instability; it is but little used. The impressions successfully produced by this mixture are very brilliant, and possess a ...
— American Handbook of the Daguerrotype • Samuel D. Humphrey

... feet beneath us; and I have raced in pitchy nights on the western rivers in tinder-box boats, that seemed shaking to pieces away from their red-hot furnaces; but I do not recall any piece of travel that gave the same sense of the instability of railroad affairs as that ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... all temptations to evil is instability of temper and want of trust in God; for even as a ship without a helm is tossed about by the waves, so is a man who is careless and infirm of purpose tempted, now on this side, now on that. As fire testeth ...
— The Imitation of Christ • Thomas a Kempis

... striking example of the instability of human prosperity. He was once the wealthiest man of his time in Scotland, a merchant in an extensive line of commerce, and a farmer of the public revenue; insomuch that, about 1640, he estimated his ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... decreed through the first military division; 5. The Council of State is dissolved; 6. The Minister of the Interior is charged with the execution of the present decree." The appeal to the people contained these further propositions; "Persuaded that the instability of power, that the preponderance of a single Assembly, are the permanent causes of trouble and discord. I submit to your suffrages the fundamental basis of a constitution which the Assemblies will develop hereafter—1. A responsible chief named for ten years; 2. The Ministers dependent on the executive ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... appurtenances, &c., to hold to himself, his heirs and assigns for ever," and that he, the said Edward, "can give and grant to the said Robert, bishop, an annual rent of 28 pounds 6s. 8d." We have, however, in this case an illustration of the instability even of royal decrees, in that on the demise of that worthy prince, to whom the realm and Church of England owe so much, his successor, Queen Mary, in the very next year, A.D. 1553, cancelled this sale, and a document exists at Carlisle {21a} showing that she "granted a licence," probably ...
— A History of Horncastle - from the earliest period to the present time • James Conway Walter

... their beautiful eyes. All wish them so well, and they wish so well to all; everything good in life seems as if it came from themselves. They have favourable gales in life—it was so with Eva. Even her weakness, a desire to please, which easily went too far, and an instability of character which was very dangerous to her, exhibited themselves only on their pleasing side, within the circle of her family and of her acquaintance, and helped to make her ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... an age of rationalism and unbelief, men's thoughts were turned toward God, and human helplessness and earth's instability were recognized. ...
— Our Day - In the Light of Prophecy • W. A. Spicer

... good lack, to think of the instability of human affairs! Nothing certain in this world—most deceived when ...
— St. Patrick's Day • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... instability of youth, when unrestrained by authority, is here exemplified, in an odd adventure Natura embarked in with two nuns, after the death of his ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... so very difficult to deal with. I didn't see her for some time." Frank did not say—perhaps, he did not know—that his engagement had been broken off through his own instability and weakness of character. The young lady, whom he called Nellie, had told him she would wait if he would elect a profession and work for a place in it. But Frank had not been able to forego late hours and restaurants, and Nellie had married some one who could. "You know I converted ...
— Spring Days • George Moore

... conformity of opinion, and fellowship of study, should finally part in acrimonious opposition. Such a controversy was "bellum plusquam CIVILE," as Lucan expresses it. Why could not faction find other advocates? But among the uncertainties of the human state, we are doomed to number the instability of friendship. Of this dispute I have little knowledge but from the "Biographia Britannica." "The Old Whig" is not inserted in Addison's works: nor is it mentioned by Tickell in his Life; why it was omitted, the biographers doubtless give the true reason—the ...
— Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift • Samuel Johnson

... of supernatural circumstances? I will not say that there are no witches; but ever since the difficulty of convicting them has been recognized in the island, they all seem to have disappeared, as though the evidence of the times gone by had been but an illusion. This shows the instability of all ...
— Witchcraft and Devil Lore in the Channel Islands • John Linwood Pitts

... commanding thought of a statesman. He had a true sentiment in politics, and he was able also to see practical issues clearly; but his mind was analytical rather than constructive, and his restlessness of life was indicative of a certain instability of temper which kept him uneasily employed about many things rather than steadfast and single-minded. It would be too much to say that he failed as a political writer, and fell back on his philological and school-master studies; yet it is very likely that, in the various ...
— Noah Webster - American Men of Letters • Horace E. Scudder

... pain. Let fancy be the guiding faculty of her nature, and in what sins must she inevitably be involved. Its aerial flights will bear her above the beaten, common-sense, road of duty, and make her the prey of a fatal instability and its attendant mortifications, follies, and sorrows. Her acute feelings, and tender affections need a moral counterpoise. The sudden sickness of the loved will else overwhelm her, and unfit her for the service she owes ...
— The Young Maiden • A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey

... satire in the closing line of the note in which she intercedes for him. "The great friendship you have for Mme. de Grignan," she writes, "makes it necessary to show some for her brother."—But we have glimpses of his weakness and instability in many of his mother's intimate letters. In the end, however, having exhausted the pleasures of life and felt the bitterness of its disappointments, he took refuge in devotion, and died in the odor of sanctity, after the example of ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... who has been handicapped by illness and lack of opportunity, the child who is inherently dull and backward, must be distinguished from the child with nervous instability or definite mental defect. Wherever possible, the training suitable for various improvable types of children should be arranged in connection with the ordinary public schools. But the curriculum must be modified to suit the ...
— Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders • W. H. Triggs, Donald McGavin, Frederick Truby King, J. Sands Elliot, Ada G. Patterson, C.E. Matthews

... that it might perhaps last long enough to admit of Bonaparte sending off a courier to London and receiving the reply if he were kicked back. Or more probably, France would fall under a military despotism, "of the actual and manifest instability of which you seem to entertain no doubt." In answer to Pitt's statement "that we ought not to commit ourselves by any declaration that the restoration of royalty is the sine qua non condition of peace," Canning advised him to issue a declaration "that ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... ultimate result would be, when the supply for customs shall have been coined and the first effervescence has passed away, the emission of silver far below the standard of gold; and when the people become tired of it, disgusted or ruined by its instability, as they soon would be, a fresh clamor may be expected for the remonetization of gold, and another clipping or debasing of gold coins may follow to bring them again into circulation on the basis of silver equivalency. In this slippery descent there can be ...
— American Eloquence, Volume IV. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... shade grayer than those of Felix), and a forehead bald from justness and knowing where to lay his hand on papers. His face was thinner, his head narrower, than his brother's, and he had acquired a way of making those he looked at doubt themselves and feel the sudden instability of all their facts. He was—as has been said—thinking. His brother Stanley had wired to him that morning: "Am motoring up to-day on business; can you get Felix to come at six o'clock and talk over the position at Tod's?" What position at Tod's? He had indeed heard something ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... applied to us for three generations, has permanently shaped and fixed us as we are, for better or for worse. If, for a century, it sustains us, it represses us for a century. We have contracted the infirmities it imports—stoppage of development, instability of internal balance, disorders of the intellect and of the will, fixed ideas and ideas that are false. These ideas are ours; therefore we hold on to them, or, rather, they have taken hold of us. To get rid of them, to impose the necessary ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... period, for we can readily understand why men of all races should flock to the mistress of the world; but the same phenomenon of a large population of foreigners and denizens meets us in the very earliest records of the Roman State. No doubt, the instability of society in ancient Italy, composed as it was in great measure of robber tribes, gave men considerable inducement to locate themselves in the territory of any community strong enough to protect ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... Lugans. In a word, the conviction of weakness was the only alloying influence to the pleasure of his tour, the one absinthe-drop that lent bitterness to the honeyed wine. It was not only the consciousness of the wrong act and its possible results, but horror at the instability of moral principle which it showed, and a deep fear lest the same weakness should prove a snare and a ruin to him in ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... number of men would clamp on the jaws of their peavies and carry the logs bodily to the water. In this active work the men were everywhere across the surface of the river. They pushed and heaved from the instability of the floating logs as easily as though they had possessed beneath their feet the advantages of solid land. When they wanted to go from one place to another across the clear water they had various methods ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... of external causes in the case of the production of new varieties or species. The accumulation might be limited to the life-time of a single individual, or embrace that of two or more generations. In the end a degree of instability in the equilibrium of one or more characters might be attained, great enough for a character to give way under a small shock produced by changed conditions of life. The character would then be thrown over from the old state of ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... Shakespeare is speaking rather than Laertes? Or when the player-king discourses for more than twenty lines on the instability of human purpose, and when King Claudius afterwards insists to Laertes on the same subject at almost equal length, who does not see that Shakespeare, thinking but little of dramatic fitness, wishes in part simply ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... Beginning of our wisdom, Which is Thy Wisdom, born of Thyself, equal unto Thee and coeternal, that is, in Thy Son, createdst heaven and earth. Much now have we said of the Heaven of heavens, and of the earth invisible and without form, and of the darksome deep, in reference to the wandering instability of its spiritual deformity, unless it had been converted unto Him, from Whom it had its then degree of life, and by His enlightening became a beauteous life, and the heaven of that heaven, which was afterwards set between water and water. And under the name of God, I now held the Father, ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... evening, took on new and almost terrible proportions, causing her intelligence, nay, her heart itself, to reach out, as never before, in search of some sure rock and house of defense against the disintegrating apprehension of universal instability and illusion. ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... leading to the instability of civilizations has been the concentration of wealth, power, privilege, comfort and security in the hands of a minority, in sharp contrast with poverty and insecurity among the less well-placed majority. ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... one's home on trek is (we can argue) a stirring tonic, a kind of private rehearsal of the Last Judgment, when the sheep shall be divided from the shoats. What could be a more convincing reminder of the instability of man's affairs than the harrowing upheaval of our cherished properties? Those dark angels, the moving men, how heartless they seem in their brisk and resolute dispassion—yet how exactly they prefigure the implacable sternness of the ultimate shepherds. A strange life is theirs, taking ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... of the month Ivan received a letter from Kashkine, explaining these things, giving a minute plan of the arrangements, and eagerly congratulating Ivan on his assured triumph. For, well as he knew his friend's instability, Constantine never for an instant doubted that Ivan would consent to appear at a reunion for which, as Kashkine knew, he had been longing, bitterly, ever since the sudden accession to his father's wealth and title ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... in life, and afterwards over his misfortunes, would no doubt serve him again, and restore him to his lost situation: 'for,' said I, 'we both of us have seen enough of life in Persia to have ascertained its extreme instability. When events depend upon the will of one man, he may with as much consistency order you back from exile, as he did the plucking your beard and the thrusting you forth from the city. There is a reaction in misfortune which frequently produces increased prosperity. ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... conspicuous figures of his time, a man of brilliant abilities, a great orator, one who distinguished himself without effort in any sphere of activity he chose to enter, but whose natural gifts were marred by a restless ambition and instability of character fatal to real greatness. Clarendon describes him as "the only man I ever knew of such incomparable parts that was none the wiser for any experience or misfortune that befell him," and records his extraordinary facility ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... Pope, who loved men of letters—that the destruction of St. Peter's, afterward ruthlessly carried out by succeeding popes, was in his plan, on the pretext, so constantly employed, and possibly believed in, of the instability of the ancient building. But there is no absolute certainty of evidence, and at all events he might have repented, for he certainly did not do that deed. He began the tribune, however, in the ancient church, which may have been a preparation for the entire renewal of the edifice; and ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... legislation may be contemplated, which first gives the critic the opportunity of denying the validity of the end as well as the efficiency of the means. If the new agriculturist was meant to be an element of strength to the Roman State, to save it from the selfishness of a narrow oligarchy, the instability of a city mob and the corruption of both, to defend the conquests which the city had won or to push her empire further, it was necessary to prove that he could be of utility both as a voting unit and as a soldier in the legions. His capacity for performing ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... mid-air companionship of this outreaching skeleton-arm served only to heighten the giddiness and seeming instability of the south- side overhang. From across the broad gap, the eye followed the curve of the bottom-chords of the north cantilever away down into the abyss toward the far shore of the strait, where the lofty towers upreared ...
— Out of the Primitive • Robert Ames Bennet

... indicate the importance which attaches to the early training of childhood. Among the children even of the well-to-do often enough the hygiene of the mind is overlooked, and faulty management produces restlessness, instability, and hyper-sensitiveness, which pass insensibly into neuropathy in ...
— The Nervous Child • Hector Charles Cameron

... is called the Lighthouse of Salvador, because it explodes regularly every twenty minutes. The lesser living vents are called infernillos—little hells. Altogether it looks like Central America, as a whole, with its revolutions and its physical and political instability, must be a very ...
— Ranching, Sport and Travel • Thomas Carson

... of the theological faculty, Beda, or Bedier, reign without a rival in the academic halls. Pierre Caroli, one of the doctors invited by Briconnet to Meaux, a clever wrangler, and never better pleased than when involved in controversy, albeit a man of shallow religious convictions and signal instability, wearied out by his counter-plots the illustrious heresy-hunter. When forbidden to preach, Caroli opened a course of lectures upon the Psalms in the College de Cambray. Having then been interdicted from continuing his prelections, he made ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... Colonel Pyncheon, at the epoch of his death, seemed destined to as fortunate a permanence as can anywise consist with the inherent instability of human affairs. It might fairly be anticipated that the progress of time would rather increase and ripen their prosperity, than wear away and destroy it. For, not only had his son and heir come into ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... half-way, and its wisdom courage not to shrink from danger, but to redouble its efforts with opposition. Its humanity, if it has much, is magnanimity to spare the vanquished, exulting in power but not prone to mischief, with good sense enough to be aware of the instability of fortune, and with some regard to reputation. What may serve as a criterion to try this question by is the following consideration, that we sometimes find as remarkable a deficiency of the speculative faculty coupled with great strength of will ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... Scotty entered manhood a wonderful thing happened in the Highlands, something that amazed the neighbours and convinced them of the instability of all things, particularly of a woman's resolution, for Kirsty John promised to marry the Weaver. All these weary years, as faithful as the sun and as untiring, Jimmie had been climbing the hills ...
— The Silver Maple • Marian Keith

... proofs of vigour and bravery, had newly mounted a throne, which he had acquired by faction, from which he had excluded a very ancient royal family, and which was likely to totter under him by its own instability, much more if shaken by any violent external impulse; and he hoped, that the very circumstance of his crossing the sea, quitting his own country, and leaving himself no hopes of retreat, as it would astonish the enemy ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... renewal, save it be in that other life which is endless and boundless. Thus saith Cide Hamete the Mahometan philosopher; for there are many that by the light of nature alone, without the light of faith, have a comprehension of the fleeting nature and instability of this present life and the endless duration of that eternal life we hope for; but our author is here speaking of the rapidity with which Sancho's government came to an end, melted away, disappeared, vanished as it were in smoke and shadow. For as he lay in bed on the night ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... Mr. Micawber, putting out his hand, 'this is indeed a meeting which is calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the instability and uncertainty of all human—in short, it is a most extraordinary meeting. Walking along the street, reflecting upon the probability of something turning up (of which I am at present rather sanguine), ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... the evidence of the senses, or the deductions of the mere understanding from that evidence? Exactly the reverse: he disdained to argue even against Transubstantiation on such a ground, well knowing and loudly proclaiming its utter weakness and instability. But it was a leading principle in all his moral and intellectual views to assert the existence in all men equally of a power or faculty superior to, and independent of, the external senses: in this power or faculty he recognized that image ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... is that at the height of the American crisis in the 1760's, when the real seeds of the Revolution were being sown, the instability of the British parliamentary government precluded a consistent and rational approach to American problems. Lacking internal cohesion, the English government could not meet the threat of external division. It also means that the colonists, especially the Virginians, ...
— The Road to Independence: Virginia 1763-1783 • Virginia State Dept. of Education

... The bare possibility that he might treat her so again made return seem out of the question. And her unhappiness struck deeper than the fear of the moment. For the first time she realised her own instability of feeling and purpose; and with the realisation came a new paralysing fear ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... between two sects of Hindu devotees, the Jogis and the Suniasis, for the possession of the rich harvest of gold, jewels, and stuffs, brought to the shrine of the saint by pious pilgrims. Another sign of the instability of his rule awaited him at Delhi, for he found that a state prisoner had eluded the vigilance of the governor, and that the governor, apprehensive of the imperial displeasure, had quitted the city, ...
— Rulers of India: Akbar • George Bruce Malleson

... to prove the original and permanent distinctness of species is, that varieties produced in a state of domesticity are more or less unstable, and often have a tendency, if left to themselves, to return to the normal form of the parent species; and this instability is considered to be a distinctive peculiarity of all varieties, even of those occurring among wild animals in a state of nature, and to constitute a provision for preserving unchanged the ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... brahmins, who stood immovable in rows on each side of her throne, became impatient: they talked about the fickleness of the sex, the impossibility of inducing them to make up their minds; they whispered wise saws and sayings from Ferdistan and others, about the caprice of women, and the instability of their natures, and the more their legs ached from such perpetual demand upon their support, the more bitter did they become in their remarks. Poor, prosing old fools! the beauteous princess had long made up her mind, and had never swerved from ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... spectacles against his nose to allay the irritation they had caused by their persistent pressure during the interview he had been holding with the representative of another firm: an interview in which he had disguised his sense of his client's moral instability by preserving the most impressive physical immobility. The air of the room struck cold on him, and he went to the fireplace and put on some coal, and sat down on a high stool where he could feel the warmth. He gloomed over it, pressing his hands on his thighs; decidedly Todd was ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... relative stability of the bullets. This is a matter of the greatest importance as regards the regularity or otherwise of the wounding power of the projectile, and, as far as my experience went, I believe the Mauser to far exceed the Lee-Metford in instability of structure. ...
— Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900 • George Henry Makins

... the hand of Death. Slowly but surely the Destroyer came and claimed the young life. It was a sweet, calm evening when the summons came. The sea was like glass, with only that long, gentle swell which tells even in the profoundest calm of Ocean's instability. The sky was intensely blue, save on the western horizon, where the sun turned it into gold. It seemed as if all Nature were quietly indifferent to the sufferings of the shipwrecked men, some of whom had reached that terrible condition of starvation ...
— Charlie to the Rescue • R.M. Ballantyne

... by professors of the art, and by amateurs; which principles happening at a particular period to be the most just and accurate of their kind, produce in that age some preeminent professors, and a number of good ones. These principles change through the instability of all human affairs, and the age partakes in the change. I may add that these happy periods never occur without the circumstance of a number of princes and influential individuals rivalling each other in the encouragement of works of taste; and amidst these ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects, and Curiosities of Art, (Vol. 2 of 3) • Shearjashub Spooner

... who still bent on one knee on the hearth, watching with smiling eyes the triumphs of his fire-making. It seemed to him afterwards that his judgment was strangely at fault; he perceived naught of import in the shallow brightness of the young man's eyes, like the polished surface of jet; in the instability of his jealousy, his anger; in his hap-hazard, mercurial temperament. Once he might have noted how flat were the spaces beneath the eyes, how few were the lines that defined the lid, the socket, the curve of the cheekbone, the bridge of ...
— The Phantoms Of The Foot-Bridge - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... that which reigned here before the late revolution. Ooroo, the dethroned monarch of Ulietea, was still alive when we were at Huaheine, where he resides, a royal wanderer, furnishing, in his person, an instance of the instability of power; but, what is more remarkable, of the respect paid by these people to particular families, and to the customs which have once conferred sovereignty; for they suffer Ooroo to preserve all the ensigns which they appropriate to ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 • Robert Kerr

... element of truth in each of these comments. It is unquestionably true that a large number of these men register by their actions instability, irregularity and general shiftlessness. Some of these cases are inexcusable, and the only reason for their connection with the industry is the fact that they were brought from the South, where they were voluntarily idle, by agents of employers. The importation ...
— Negro Migration during the War • Emmett J. Scott

... kingdom of Lydia, is situated on the river Pactolus, in the fertile plain below Mount Tmolus. Wealth, pomp, and luxury characterised this city from very ancient times. The story of Croesus, its last King, is frequently alluded to by historians, as affording a remarkable example of the instability of human greatness. This Monarch considered himself the happiest of human beings, but being checked by the philosopher Solon for his arrogance, he was offended, and dismissed the sage from his Court with disgrace. Not long afterwards, led away by the ambiguous ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... renewed our acquaintance. He sat down beside me, on one of the tomb-stones over which we had leaped in our juvenile sports, and we talked together about our boyish days, and held edifying discourse on the instability of all sublunary things, as instanced in the scene around us. He was rich in historic lore, as to the events of the last thirty years and the circumference of thirty miles, and from him I learned the appalling revolution that was taking ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... towards a condition of ultimate levelness, a kind of final homogeneity. And this brings to our mind the hypothesis, not only so much used but abused by Spencer, of a primordial homogeneity, and his fantastic theory of the instability of the homogeneous. An instability that required the atheological agnosticism of Spencer in order to explain the inexplicable transition from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. For how, without any action from without, can any heterogeneity emerge from perfect and absolute homogeneity? ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... development sets in. There is a rapid growth of new nerve connections which occasions both physiological and psychological unrest.[151] An important point to bear in mind, also, is that all periods of rapid development involve conditions of relative instability—one is, in fact, only the obverse side of the other. Dr. Mercier says that with girls "more or less decided manifestations of hysteria are the rule," and with both sexes this instability involves ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... again, withdrew them again; was directed to the blockading of England, failed; thought Egypt better, and then changed its mind. It was but yesterday in the mood that this cartoon suggests; to-morrow its mood will have utterly changed again, probably to a whine, perhaps to a scream. Such instability is rare in the history of nations which purpose a conquest of others, and it is a very ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... safety through many dangers. This imaginative power is possessed as a rule, though in ways that differ considerably, by the second type of pupil we have described—the restless, impatient man. But in his case this quality is, more often than not, marred by his instability; by the lack of that judgment which is so necessary to counterbalance imagination, but which is, unfortunately, not so ...
— Learning to Fly - A Practical Manual for Beginners • Claude Grahame-White

... a daunting challenge. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid. On the brighter side, the government is addressing these issues with assistance ...
— The 2002 CIA World Factbook • US Government

... equally rash and gratuitous to suppose, even if it be a delusion, that an institute, which has thus enlisted the sympathies of so many of the greatest minds of all races and of all ages—which is alone stable and progressive amidst instability and fluctuation,—will soon come to an end. Still more absurdly premature is it to raise a paean over its fall, upon every new attack upon it, when it has already survived so many. This, in fact, is a tone which, though every age renews it, ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... had she not suffered the first summer after her marriage! And now the hot weather was coming again. That was not the root of the trouble, however—Bridget was honest enough to confess it. The root lay in herself—in her own instability of purpose, her mercurial temperament. She had been born with that temperament. All the O'Haras loved change—hungered after strong sensation. She was spoiling now for ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... demoralization of the community. It generates excessive competition, which of necessity generates fraud. Trade is turned to gambling; and a spirit of mad speculation exposes public and private interests to a disastrous instability. It is, then, no part of the philanthropy which would elevate the laboring body, to exempt them from manual toil. In truth, a wise philanthropy would, if possible, persuade all men of all conditions to mix up a measure of this toil with their other pursuits. ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... the seventeenth than even in any section of the sixteenth century. But, doubtless, the main reason was the revolutionary character of the times. Morality is at all periods fearfully shaken by intestine wars, and by instability in a government. The actual duration of war in England was not indeed longer than three and a half years, viz. from Edgehill fight, in the autumn of 1642, to the defeat of the king's last force under Sir Jacob Astley at Stow-in-the-wolds in the spring of 1646. Any other fighting in that century ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... pray for the prosperity of that people who had abjur'd him. Young as Horatio was, and gay by nature, he sometimes loved to indulge the most serious meditations; and this place, as well as the condition of those he served, remonstrating to him the instability of all human greatness, he made this general reflection, that there was nothing truly valuable but virtue, because the owner could be deprived of that only by himself, and not by either the ...
— The Fortunate Foundlings • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... immutable! But what is it that occasions the continual instability in this world, which you claim as His empire? Is any state subject to more frequent and cruel revolutions than that of this unknown monarch? How can we attribute to an immutable God, powerful enough to give solidity to His works, the government ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... against every thing that adorned the country. Many Roman medals of Vespasian, Adrian, &c. have been found about it. I hardly know a more interesting place to visit than Melrose and its neighbourhood; while the abbey affords a fine moral lesson on the instability and perishableness of even the most magnificent works raised by human skill ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 290 - Volume X. No. 290. Saturday, December 29, 1827. • Various

... a manner it was not difficult to see that something more was at stake than the arrest of a single man. This was so; the real issue was whether the king, with whose instability it was difficult to cope, should fall back into the hands of his old advisers or not. My arrest was a move in the game intended as a counterblast to the victory which M. de Rambouillet had gained when he persuaded ...
— A Gentleman of France • Stanley Weyman

... did not care deeply for any man. She had liked to talk to Louis Raincy—at one time perhaps more than to any man. But in the background of her mind there had always lurked a warning of his instability. ...
— Patsy • S. R. Crockett

... elaborate, do not seem to be an integral part of the design. They have been called a kind of architectural confectionery, and the criticism is just. The fact that the battlements and pinnacles project a few inches over the walls of the towers, only adds to the air of weakness and instability of the whole. Nowhere else surely has a Gothic architect approached so closely to the ideals of his "churchwarden" imitators of ...
— The Cathedral Church of York - Bell's Cathedrals: A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief - History of the Archi-Episcopal See • A. Clutton-Brock

... with its strong predilection for theology and metaphysics on one side, and for poetry and romance on the other. Hard, dry and practical in its attitude to the ordinary affairs of life, it is apt to catch fire from a sudden enthusiasm, as if volatility were its dominant note and instability its only fixed attribute. And so it has come about that side by side with tomes of Calvinistic divinity, there has been transmitted to Scotsmen an equally characteristic product of the mind of their race—a body of folksong, of ballad poetry, of legend and of story in that quaint ...
— Scotland's Mark on America • George Fraser Black

... youth and beauty cut down in their flower; of the innocent paying for the guilty; of the victim marked by fate as the expiation for others. One might say that he came into the world only to give a lasting example of the instability of human greatness. When he was at the point of death, worn out with suffering, he said sadly, "My birth and my death comprise my whole history." But this short story is perhaps richer in instruction than the longest reigns. The Emperor's ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... is natural. It consists in this—that we are, in a great part of our nature, immersed in the finite and perishing. "When we look at the things which are seen," which "are temporal," we have an inward feeling of instability—nothing substantial. Therefore it is said, "In Adam all die," for the Adam, the first man in all of us, is the animal soul. "The first man is of the earth, earthy." The law of our life is, that it comes from our love. When we love the finite, ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... of nine heavens, each a revolving crystalline sphere, enclosed in another; without them, the boundless Empyrean. The first or innermost heaven, of the Moon, revolved by the angels, is the habitat of wills imperfect through instability. The second, of Mercury, revolved by the Archangels, is the abode of wills imperfect through love of fame. The third, of Venus, revolved by the Principalities, is the abode of wills imperfect through excess of human ...
— National Epics • Kate Milner Rabb

... first should be told by those infamous judges, who pronounced his unparalleled sentence, that he was an elective prince; elected by his people, and therefore accountable to them, in his own proper person, for his conduct. The confusion, instability, and madness, which followed the fatal catastrophe of that pious and unfortunate prince, will be a standing argument in favour of hereditary monarchy to all future ages; as they proved at last to the then deluded people: who, in order to recover that ...
— Commentaries on the Laws of England - Book the First • William Blackstone

... the circumstances in which the election is made. Not every generation in a nation is free to choose its polity: but the choice and institution of the fathers binds the children. Up to a certain point ancestral settlements must be respected, or instability ensues, and anarchy is not far off. Thus the spirit of freedom should always act as Burke says, "as if in ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... splendor, and of sudden, hopeless ruin. "There was never a man so magnificent, there was never a man so unfortunate," say the lively gentlemen and ladies in their Memoires. His story is told to point the old and dreary moral of the instability of human prosperity. It is, indeed, like a tale of the "Arabian Nights." The Dervish is made Grand Vizier. He marries the Sultan's daughter. His palace owes its magical beauty to the Genies. The ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... to overcome in the building of this road, of a kind never met with by railroad engineers before. Chief among these were the lack of water and the instability of the roadway, the wind at times manifesting an awkward disposition to blow out the foundation from under the ties, at other times to bury the whole road under acres of ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... that the sense of responsibility lay heavy upon him; but that, without inquiry into the alleged disaster, without the smallest attempt to retrieve it, he should have left his comrades in the lurch and taken the easiest way of escape, is surely a proof of almost criminal instability. The Republic lost in him an ardent patriot, but ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... after all, be in error. Perhaps the weakest degree of such an admission, and one which allows to the conceding party a semblance of victory, is illustrated in the "last word" of one who has boldly maintained a proposition on the strength of individual recollection, but begins to recognize the instability of his position: "I either witnessed the occurrence or dreamt it." This is sufficient to prove that, with all people's boasting about the infallibility of memory, there are many who have a shrewd suspicion that some of its ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... Galicia'' or "of Oviedo'' during the weakness of the Omayyad princes of Cordova. ALPHONSO IV. (924-931) has a faint personality. He resigned the crown to his brother Ramiro and went into a religious house. A certain instability of character is revealed by the fact that he took up arms against Ramiro, having repented of his renunciation of the world. He was defeated, blinded and sent back to die in the cloister of Sahagun. It fell to ALPHONSO V. ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... claims that it is the superior body. This absence of the proper demarcation of the powers of the Senate, of the Chamber of Deputies, and of the ministers necessarily leads to conflict; conflict is but a step from instability, and instability is ...
— The Arena - Volume 18, No. 92, July, 1897 • Various

... that he was carrying on a regular correspondence with this lady at Swansea all the time he was paying such pointed attention to you; and now the abrupt way in which he has cut her off, and the evident wandering instability of his mind is no favourable symptom at all. I shall not have many opportunities of observing him for a month to come. As for the next fortnight, he will be sedulously engaged in preparing for his ordination, and the fortnight ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... I interpret the fundamental feeling which impelled the North to take up arms: "Better one stout tussle for the idea of Unity, than a facile acquiescence in the idea, of Multiplicity, with all its sequels of instability, distrust, rivalry, and rancour. Better for our children, if not for us, one great expenditure of blood and gold, than never-ending threats and rumours of war, commercial conflicts, political complications, frontiers to be safeguarded, bureaucracies to be financed." Of course I do ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... which comprised the fortunes of Wolsey. The eventful life of the Cardinal, checkered as it was by the vicissitudes of fortune, his sudden elevation, and finally his more sudden fall and death, display an appalling picture of "the instability of human affairs." This prelate and statesman, who even aspired to the Papal throne itself, "was an honest poore man's sonne in the towne of Ipswiche,"[1] who having received a good education, and being endowed with great capacity, soon rose to fill the highest ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume XII, No. 347, Saturday, December 20, 1828. • Various

... should have full expression of levelness and precision; and farther, that, if possible, the eye should not be suffered to rest on the points of junction of the stones, which would give an effect of instability. Both these objects are accomplished by attracting the eye to two rolls, separated by a deep hollow, in the member d itself. The bold projections of their mouldings entirely prevent the attention from being drawn to the ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... Hall is the best fitted to preside over the administration of the larger, and more fertile country of beef and pudding; while she of the tee-totum (placed in that precarious position, we presume, to express her instability, since these new lights were struck out) claims a more limited but equally respectful homage, within her ancient jurisdiction—sua paupera regna—the Land of Cakes. If this compromise does not appease ...
— Political Pamphlets • George Saintsbury

... peace found the relinquished territory held by us in trust for the inhabitants, maintaining, under the direction of the Executive, such government and control therein as should conserve public order, restore the productive conditions of peace so long disturbed by the instability and disorder which prevailed for the greater part of the preceding three decades, and build up that tranquil development of the domestic state whereby alone can be realized the high purpose, as proclaimed in the joint ...
— Messages and Papers of William McKinley V.2. • William McKinley

... then went on of itself,—as a match may start a fire which consumes a whole town. And qualitatively as well as quantitatively the effect may be absolutely incommensurable with the cause. We find this condition of things in ail organic matter. Chemists are distracted by the difficulties which the instability of albuminoid compounds opposes to their study. Two specimens, treated in what outwardly seem scrupulously identical conditions, behave in quite different ways. You know about the invisible factors of fermentation, and how the fate of a jar of milk—whether it turn into a ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James



Words linked to "Instability" :   balance, undependability, unreliability, stableness, unreliableness, disorder, stability, shakiness, undependableness, disequilibrium, unsteadiness



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