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Precarious   /prikˈɛriəs/   Listen
Precarious

adjective
1.
Affording no ease or reassurance.  Synonym: unstable.
2.
Fraught with danger.  Synonyms: parlous, perilous, touch-and-go.  "A parlous journey on stormy seas" , "A perilous voyage across the Atlantic in a small boat" , "The precarious life of an undersea diver" , "Dangerous surgery followed by a touch-and-go recovery"
3.
Not secure; beset with difficulties.  Synonym: shaky.



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"Precarious" Quotes from Famous Books



... quick succession by Homo Sum, The Sisters, The Emperor, and all that long line of brilliant pictures of antiquity. He began his series of tales of the middle ages and the dawn of the modern era in 1881 with The Burgomaster's Wife. In 1889 the precarious state of his health forced him to resign ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... circular interior hall, a greater surprise was in store for them. It was found that the only entrance to the body of the hall was along a narrow ledge against the bare wall some distance from the floor, which obliged the guests to walk slowly, in single file, along this precarious strip, giving them the attitudes of an Egyptian frieze, which was suggested in the original plaster above them. It is needless to say that, while the effect was ingenious and striking from the centre of the room, where the Princess stood with a few personal friends, ...
— New Burlesques • Bret Harte

... have been compelled, therefore, to leave college, had it not been for the occasional contributions of friends, the foremost among whom was his generous and warm-hearted uncle Contarine. Still these supplies were so scanty and precarious that in the intervals between them he was put to great straits. He had two college associates from whom he would occasionally borrow small sums; one was an early schoolmate, by the name of Beatty; the other a ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... to gratify his curiosity, there existed yet another incentive which induced him to undertake this expedition. The precarious nature of his high position in Nepaul urged on him the good policy, if not the necessity, of a visit to England, for he doubtless felt, and with good reason, that the Native Durbar would be inclined to respect a man who had been honoured with an interview ...
— A Journey to Katmandu • Laurence Oliphant

... used that slogan, however. From the first declaration of hostilities in Europe he realized the precarious position of the United States and the possibility that, whether we would or not, we might be swept into the conflict. As early as August, 1914, he expressed his anxious apprehension that "something might occur on the high seas which would make our neutrality ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... universities, of our commercial and professional offices, whose occupations, whatever they are, are entirely remote from the direct needs and meanings of life; or again of the vast masses who inhabit the mean streets of our great towns, ignorant, ill-grown, unskilled, and in a chronic state of most precarious and uncertain employment. What would these populations do in any case of national crisis—say in a case of serious war or famine or huge bankruptcy of trade or multitudinous invasion by Chinese or Japanese, or of total collapse ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... according to Mill, can we ever calculate with security what undiscoverable conditions may suddenly bring about an unexpected event contrary to previous experience. The uniformity of Nature, as Mr. Stephen remarks, is thus made exceedingly precarious; and to the practical intelligence, which looks for some basis that cannot be argued about, there is still something to be said for Intuition. And when Mill, still in search of some precise formula, undertook to interpret persistent sequences ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... a fund for emergencies of this sort, and some outside aid might be looked for; but such supplies are in their nature precarious and soon exhausted. It is a noticeable feature of strikes that the moment the workman's pay stops his living expenses increase. Even the more economical becomes improvident. If he has money, the tobacco shop and the tavern are likely to get more of it than the butcher's cart. ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... nature-philosophy. Only a few years ago the cosmic ether was to the majority of scientists an imponderable something, of which, strictly speaking, absolutely nothing was known, and which could be admitted provisionally only as a precarious working hypothesis. All this was changed when Heinrich Hertz (1888) demonstrated the nature of electrical energy, by his beautiful experiments establishing the conjecture of Faraday that light and heat, electricity and magnetism, are closely related phenomena of one single set ...
— Monism as Connecting Religion and Science • Ernst Haeckel

... extensive experience and knowledge of the West, was the guide and authority on all matters regarding their travels. He generally kept watch during the night, obtaining what sleep he could through the day. The latter, however, was generally very precarious, as at sight of every horseman or cloud of smoke, they generally awakened him, so as to be sure and ...
— The Huge Hunter - Or, the Steam Man of the Prairies • Edward S. Ellis

... this auspicious moment. I may say it is the proudest moment of my life to be able to stand on this mantelpiece and look down on you all, to feel myself enrolled a member of such an august corps. I may say I feel myself elevated at this present moment, but as, gentlemen, there is no saying, in the precarious situation I am now placed, how long I may be in a position to contemplate the elegance of his majesty and court, I hasten to propose that his majesty's health be eaten in plum-cake, and that if I ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... which was followed by a fever, which became more alarming every day. Thus, in addition to the loss of one of their children, Mr and Mrs Campbell were threatened with being deprived of two more; for their nieces were regarded as such, and Alfred was in a very precarious state. The wounds had assumed such an angry appearance, that Mr Campbell was fearful of mortification. This accumulated distress had, however, one good effect upon them. The danger of losing Emma and Alfred so occupied ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... the inkstand was a Testimonial to be presented after the Address; and the gentlemen who occupied the three private carriages were all eminent members of the religious society which Mr. Thorpe had served in the capacity of Secretary, and from which he was now obliged to secede in consequence of the precarious state of his health. ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... fell upon Foy, upbraiding him for his roughness, begging him to remember that if he were not careful he might kill his brother, whose arteries were understood to be in a most precarious condition, till the poor man covered his ears with his hands and waited till he saw their ...
— Lysbeth - A Tale Of The Dutch • H. Rider Haggard

... question to solve; and the mere fact of its being strongly presented to his mind by all that he had seen and heard, was not encouraging. He sat down at the deserted board, and becoming more and more despondent, as he thought of all the uncertainties and difficulties of his precarious ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... patriots are made, having, in his early life, been reared in Pennsylvania, even though he first saw the light near Campbletown, Scotland, in 1748. His father (who moved to America in 1753) was a poor farmer, and Hugh received his schooling under precarious conditions, as many boys of that time did. We are given pictures of him, trudging thirty miles in all kinds of weather, in order to borrow books and newspapers, and we are told that, being quick in the learning of languages, he made ...
— The Battle of Bunkers-Hill • Hugh Henry Brackenridge

... to have gone abroad; but the indisposition of his mother made him unwilling to leave the kingdom till her health seemed in a situation less precarious. That time, however, came not; the Winter advanced, and she grew evidently worse. He gave over, therefore, his design till the next Spring, when, if she were able, it was her desire to try the South of France for her recovery, whither he meant ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... unsatisfactory condition of those who have risen to distinction by undue paths, and the outworks and bulwarks of fiction and falsehood, by which they are under the necessity of surrounding and defending their precarious advantages. But she was not called upon, she thought, to unveil her sister's original history—it would restore no right to any one, for she was usurping none—it would only destroy her happiness, and degrade her in the public estimation. Had she been ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... consumed with indignation that Laurier should pass them by to associate with his former enemies. They did not realize the political necessity that controlled Laurier's course. Laurier had great need to hold his new allies for his position in Quebec for the first year or so of office was precarious. The Manitoba school question had still to be settled. Laurier was political realist enough to know that he would have to take what he could get and this he would have to dress up and present to the public as his own child. He knew that the bishops, chagrined, ...
— Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics • J. W. Dafoe

... square masses of naked rock (sandstone), sometimes towering, and rounded, sometimes pyramidal, sometimes in truncated cones, sometimes in circular ridges, with sharp, rugged, naked backs, with but little vegetation anywhere visible, except it obtained a precarious tenure in the fissured crown of some gigantic hill-top, whither some soil had fallen, or at the base of the reddish ochre scarps which everywhere lifted their ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... like a costume; every attitude implied a presence-chamber or a ball-room. The girls complained that in private theatricals no combination of disguises could reduce Kate to the ranks, nor give her the "make-up" of a waiting-maid. Yet as her father was a New York merchant of the precarious or spasmodic description, she had been used from childhood to the wildest fluctuations of wardrobe;—a year of Paris dresses,—then another year spent in making over ancient finery, that never looked like either finery ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... came out first—a priest with a pointed nose and great cheek-bones, whom we have met before at the great dejeuners. On bad terms with his bishop, he had left the diocese where he had been engaged, and in the precarious position of an unattached priest—for the clergy have their Bohemians too—he was glad to teach the little Jansoulets, recently turned out of the Bourdaloue College. With his arrogant, solemn air, overweighted with responsibilities, which would ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... declining in energy and health, and his income was very small. She worked long hours over her fancy work, but the prices paid for it at the shops were so small that she felt with a growing despondency it was but a precarious means of support. Their first month in the old mansion was drawing to a close, and they had been compelled to draw slightly on the small sum of ready money still remaining after paying for their summer's board. They still had a few ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... picked up an odd sum now and then by a "Sunday story." He has always been an anonymous writer. He has never had sufficient intellectual character to do anything well. The downward side of middle age finds him afflicted with various physical ailments, entirely dependent upon a precarious position at a moderate salary, without influential friends, completely disillusioned, with a mediocre mind now much fagged, devoid of high ambition, and with a most unstimulating prospect before him. His attitude toward the business of book reviewing is that he wishes he had gone ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... evidence is always precarious." This canon he illustrates by several examples: "If a reading is in accordance with the general style of the writer, it may be said on the one side that this fact is in its favor, and on the other that an ...
— Companion to the Bible • E. P. Barrows

... for it is to New England[43] that we are indebted for the public library as well as the public school. It is not, however, economically possible for every small community to support a permanent local library, and many of those established have a precarious existence and are maintained only through the devotion of public-spirited individuals. To meet the need of isolated neighborhoods a few county libraries, notably in Washington County, Maryland, and a few counties in Delaware and Minnesota, have made use of book-wagons ...
— The Farmer and His Community • Dwight Sanderson

... to answer. But she did not dare to equivocate as to her precarious state. And where the use, when a few hours would probably see the end ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... their penalty who did not use the Book of Common Prayer, and adhere strictly to the ritual of the Church of England. The oligarchical power of the bishops was restored, and two thousand ministers were driven from their livings, and compelled to seek a precarious support. Many other acts of flagrant injustice were passed by a subservient parliament, and cruelly carried into execution by unfeeling judges. But the religious persecution of dissenters was not consummated until the reign of James under whose favor or direction the inhuman Jeffreys inflicted ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... zig-zag path, sloping sharply downward at an angle of some sixty-five degrees, paved with broad stones, and flanked on either side by houses, no two of which occupied the same level, and which seemed to realize their precarious footing, and hug the rift in which they were planted ...
— In the High Valley - Being the fifth and last volume of the Katy Did series • Susan Coolidge

... morning Nan was better, and although for days she was in a very precarious state, and had to be kept as quiet as possible, yet Miss Danesbury's great dread that fever would set in had passed away. The doctor said, however, that Nan had barely escaped real injury to her brain, and that it would be many a day before she would ...
— A World of Girls - The Story of a School • L. T. Meade

... family, who had enjoyed a valuable freehold, perhaps near 500 years, were obliged to pay rent, homage, suit and service, attend the Lord's court at Dudley every three weeks, be called into the field at pleasure, and after all, possess a precarious tenure ...
— An History of Birmingham (1783) • William Hutton

... the columns of the 'Penny Banner' for which he worked, and so grotesquely and persistently reduced all the problems of the time to terms of nitrogen and albumen, that curt dismissal came upon him, and for a time Dora saw nothing but her precarious earnings between them and starvation. It was then also that, by virtue of that queer charm he could always exercise when he pleased, he laid hold on a young Radical manufacturer and got out of him a loan of 200 pounds for ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... and effect a ready sale. There is beyond this a numerous class of what may be described as 'book-ghouls,' or men who make it a business to haunt the cheap bookstalls and bag the better-class or more saleable books and hawk them around to the shops, and so make a few shillings on which to support a precarious existence, in which beer and tobacco are the sole delights. We once met a man who did a roaring trade of this description, chiefly with the British Museum. He took notes of every book that struck him as being ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... existence in 1812—a victim, says Hughes, of the condition of public apathy which brought about in the same year a reconstruction of the older organization under the joint title of the Oil and Water Color Society, and which eked out a precarious existence until the birth of the association now known as the Royal Institute ...
— Outdoor Sketching - Four Talks Given before the Art Institute of Chicago; The Scammon Lectures, 1914 • Francis Hopkinson Smith

... chances against them. In Turkey, where the place, where the fortune, where the head itself are so insecure that scarcely any have died in their beds for ages, so that the bowstring is the natural death of bashaws, yet in no country is power and distinction (precarious enough, God knows, in all) sought for with such boundless avidity,—as if the value of place was enhanced by the danger and insecurity of its tenure. Nothing will ever make a seat in this House not an object of ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... of great powers can permanently bury himself, no matter how obscure the position which he chooses. Sooner or later the world will find him out, and he will be lifted to his rightful place. When General Grant occupied a desk in the office of a lawyer in St. Louis, and made a precarious living by collecting bills, it didn't look as if Fame had a niche for him; but occasion came, and lifted him to distinction. So I must confess that the young graduate seemed to be making a mistake when, turning his back upon Williams College, he sought ...
— From Canal Boy to President - Or The Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... voyage, and escaped on a raft with one other passenger: how they had drifted far south, before waves and current, till they were cast at last on this wretched island: how they remained there for a month or two, picking up a precarious living on roots and berries and eggs of sea-birds: and how at last, one day, he had come back from hunting limpets and sea-urchins on the shore of a lonely bay—to find, to his amazement, his companion gone, and himself left alone on that desolate island. His fellow-castaway, he knew then, ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... his headquarters at Panama. De Soto, accompanied by a single dragoon, who like himself was an admirable horseman, rode with the utmost possible dispatch to Panama, where he informed the governor of the disasters which had befallen the expedition, and of the precarious condition in which he had left the remnant of the troops. He also made such representation of the military conduct of General Espinosa as to induce the governor to remove him from the command and send General Herman Ponce to take his place. ...
— Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi - American Pioneers and Patriots • John S. C. Abbott

... anxious expectation. The Parliament certainly meets on Thursday. I think, from the style of their language, and particularly from Lord Shelburne's trying to make me pledge you to it, that they are confident of a peace; and certainly, if they have it not, their situation is very precarious, to say no more of it. If they do meet Parliament with a peace, I am persuaded they will stand their ground. The country gentlemen hold in general rather a friendly language than otherwise. I shall certainly now stay over ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... prominent varieties; the life of pleasure or sensuality,—the political life, aspiring to honour,—and the contemplative life. The first is the life of the brutes, although countenanced by men high in power. The second is too precarious, as depending on others, and is besides only a means to an end—namely, our consciousness of our own merits; for the ambitious man seeks to be honoured for his virtue and by good judges—thus showing that he too regards virtue as the superior good. ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... Newfoundland, recognized as belonging to Great Britain. The French colonists were allowed to remain, but during the course of the eighteenth century they combined with the Amerindians (who liked the French and disliked the British) and made the position of the British colonists so precarious that they were finally expelled and obliged to transfer themselves to Louisiana and Canada. This was the departure of the Acadians so ...
— Pioneers in Canada • Sir Harry Johnston

... up to a certain point, and that a changing of the captain-general or of the alcalde can cause great evils, and change the aspect of so pleasing a picture? Yes, it is a lamentable truth; and I shall do what is in my power so that your lot may be less precarious, and so that the government which rules you may be so organized that you may be as little as possible subject to the injustice and avarice of men; and so that, wherever you see a Spaniard, you may salute him with ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 28 of 55) • Various

... and directly accountable to Man. A reforming Pope is a lucky accident, and dull indeed must be the brain which believes in the possibility of a long succession of reforming Popes, or which can regard as other than precarious and unstable the discordant combination of a constitutional ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... think—who was feebly trying to shield the lad. This was such excellent sport that more was thought expedient. A charge of shot was fired into the father's legs, and as one knee-joint is injured, the elder Quirke's condition is precarious even without his broken ribs and other injuries. The cowardly hounds then left, in their horrid disguise adding a new terror to the lonely night. The evening's entertainment was not yet over. They crossed a couple of fields to a house where dwelt Quirke's married son. They burst open ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... me, for it's the last chance you'll have. I have you absolutely at my mercy. I've caught you! You are trapped!" There was no doubting that the girl believed what she said, and the Senator's affairs were in a sufficiently precarious ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... Economy a Study at School. First Reason why it should be so made. State of Domestic Service precarious. Second Reason. Examples illustrating. Third Reason. Questions asked. First Objection; how answered. Next Objection; how answered. Next Objection; ...
— A Treatise on Domestic Economy - For the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School • Catherine Esther Beecher

... the whole. This doubt as to a personal future life will unquestionably increase. Let traditional teachers beware how they venture to shift the moral law from its immutable basis in the will of God to a precarious poise on the selfish hope and fear of man. The sole safety, the ultimate desideratum, is perception of ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... to rule, and that no other outcome could even be considered by Nature. This is one of the remnants of ignorance certain religions have left: but it's odd that men who don't believe in Easter should still believe this. For the facts are of course this is a hard and precarious world, where every mistake and infirmity must be ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day

... more than an ordinary interest for Sophie. Her eyes brightened when I entered, and her manner towards me was so gentle and so confiding, that I could not help fancying that the feelings I had for her were returned. Then I began to ask myself the question, Have I, with the precarious profession I have to depend on, without a name or family, with only one friend able to assist me, any right to attempt to win the affections of a young girl accustomed to all the luxuries of a rich planter's establishment? or is it indeed likely that ...
— Charley Laurel - A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land • W. H. G. Kingston

... exacted from the tenantry in general the performance of duty-labor to such an extent, that his immense agricultural farms were managed with little expense to himself. If a poor man's corn were drop ripe, or his hay in a precarious state, or his turf undrawn, he must suffer his oats, hay, and turf, to be lost, in order to secure the crops of the agent. If he had spirit to refuse, he must expect to become a martyr to his resentment. In renewing leases his extortions were exorbitant; ...
— The Poor Scholar - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... I must be content to stand aside, but on your return from sea it will be my turn, and I shall be hurt and grieved indeed if you do not allow me an opportunity of proving my gratitude to you. As to the career you speak of, it is a precarious one. There are indeed many English and Scotch officers who have risen to high rank and honour in foreign service; but to every one that so succeeds, how many fall unnoticed, and lie in unmarked graves, in well-nigh every country in Europe? Were you like so many of your age, bent merely on ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... success of this work; and Minna herself seemed not disinclined to yield to my hopes in this respect. We had reason to be concerned as to how matters would pan out for us at the beginning of the spring, for this season is always a bad one in which to start such precarious theatrical enterprises. In spite of royal support and the participation of the theatre committee in the general management of the theatre, our worthy director's state of perennial bankruptcy suffered no alteration, and it seemed as if his theatrical ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... La Pampanga. As, however, the provinces are frequently visited with dreadful hurricanes (called in the country, baguios), desolated by locusts, and exposed to the effects of the great irregularities of nature, which, in these climes, often acts in extreme, the crops of this grain are precarious, or at least, no reliance can be placed on a certain surplus allowing an annual exportation to China. On this account, rice cannot be placed in the list of those articles which give support to ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... look down upon the people? Because a nobleman will never be one of the lower classes. Why are the Turks generally kinder and more hospitable than ourselves? Because, under their wholly arbitrary system of government, the rank and wealth of individuals are always uncertain and precarious, so that they do not regard poverty and degradation as conditions with which they have no concern; to-morrow, any one may himself be in the same position as those on whom he bestows alms to-day. This thought, which occurs again and again in eastern romances, lends them a certain ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... whom Don Francesco had called "not exactly a liberal." He tallied with that description. A wicked old face! He was blear-eyed, brown as a mummy, and so fat that his legs had long ago ceased to be any use save as a precarious support while standing. He rode, in gorgeous apparel, on a milk-white donkey which was led by two pretty choristers in blue. Attached to the end of a long pole, a green umbrella of Gargantuan proportions, adorned with red tassels, protected his wrinkled head from the rays of the sun. ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... on an instrument for catching them. He makes the net by mere labor, but he catches the fish by means of labor and the net. Without such instruments to aid in production a dense population could not live at all, and a very sparse one could live only in a meager and precarious way. If the instruments are artificially made, or if they are furnished by nature in limited amounts, they are forms of wealth, or goods; but as their function is not to minister directly to consumers' ...
— Essentials of Economic Theory - As Applied to Modern Problems of Industry and Public Policy • John Bates Clark

... long in bringing in a report that there was not an armed man visible, the whole of the fighting element having retreated with the rajah, as soon as it was seen that the guns were retaken. But our numbers were so small, and the position so precarious, that Brace used every precaution, throwing out posts in the two directions from which danger was likely to approach, while the men were rested and refreshed, and a search made for ammunition, of which there was none too ...
— Gil the Gunner - The Youngest Officer in the East • George Manville Fenn

... was not asked at any time by the military what had become of the Government flag, and he was able to keep it in safety until his position on the Committee became precarious and made it dangerous for him to preserve this precious relic of the past at his ...
— The Petticoat Commando - Boer Women in Secret Service • Johanna Brandt

... stock, and a good trade; that he regularly examined his stock every half year, and he found that it was in a flourishing state. My answer was, the man lives a very debauched life, and therefore his affairs must be in a precarious state; but the quaker was inflexible, and nothing was done in the matter. The brewer continued his debauched course, and neglected and quarrelled with his family, and my uncle Powell continued his confidence. ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 2 • Henry Hunt

... objection, the precarious nature of the business. You might sometimes go a month, perhaps, without selling a sketch, and meanwhile your expenses would go on. I think, however, that I have found a way of obviating this objection. I have a friend—Mr. Bushnell—who is in the real estate ...
— Chester Rand - or The New Path to Fortune • Horatio Alger, Jr

... Th' afflicting rod, or break the general law? Shall he who soars, inspired by loftier views, Life's little cares and little pains refuse? Shall he not rather feel a double share Of mortal woe, when doubly arm'd to bear? "Hard is his fate who builds his peace of mind On the precarious mercy of mankind; Who hopes for wild and visionary things, And mounts o'er unknown seas with vent'rous wings; But as, of various evils that befall The human race, some portion goes to all; To him perhaps the milder lot's assigned ...
— The Library • George Crabbe

... my own were confirmed. It seemed that Laura's constitution was not fit, Janet averred, to bear these irregular hours, early and late; and she plaintively dwelt on the untasted oatmeal in the morning, the insufficient luncheon, the precarious dinner, the excessive walking, the evening damps. There was coming to be a look about her such as her mother had, who died at thirty. As for Marian—but here the complaint suddenly stopped; it would have required far stronger provocation ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... out Jorian and Boris, and, having carried in the bread and wine, we three sat down to the remains of the stew. Indeed, I saw but little difference as to quantity from the time that Jorian had taken it in. For maids' appetites when they are anyways in love are precarious, but, after they are assured of their love's return, then the back hunger comes upon them and the larder is made ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... better than it had been in the summer. I had my strength again, although the long confinement had told on me. But my position was precarious enough. I had my pay from the Ella, and nothing else. And McWhirter, with a monthly stipend from his hospital of twenty-five dollars, was not much ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... the oasis there are some large gardens which belong to the poor, who are allowed to eat the dates and cultivate patches of the gardens. I think also the Sanctuaries sometimes give alms in the way of the ancient monasteries. These are miserable and precarious resources. Nevertheless, before the Turks so fleeced the inhabitants, I question if there were any poor person ever likely to die of starvation, for the rich members of families provide for the poor, and rich friends for poor friends, and ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... Julia's sailing, our conditions began to be a little precarious. We were without any regular supply of food; the arrival of ships was growing less frequent; and, what was worse yet, all the natives but good old Captain Bob began to tire of us. Nor was this to be wondered at; we were obliged to live upon their benevolence, ...
— Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas • Herman Melville

... which made Paris the center of attention for astonished and alarmed Europe. Cherubini's connection had been with the aristocracy, and now they were fleeing in a mad panic or mounting the scaffold. His livelihood became precarious, and he suffered severely during the first five years of anarchy. His seclusion was passed in studying music, the physical sciences, drawing, and botany; and his acquaintance was wisely confined to a few musicians like himself. Once, indeed, his having learned the violin as a child ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... in the precarious position of sitting upon a limb in a rather complicated network of small branches and foliage, hanging onto his motorcycle for dear life, while the buoyant float went swirling and ...
— Tom Slade Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... the shoulder, knocking him from his precarious hold upon the frantically plunging horse. Freed of the weight of both girl and lion the pony raced ahead toward safety. Numa tore and struck at the missile in his shoulder but could not dislodge it. Then ...
— The Son of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... nestling beside the road, struggling for a precarious existence, frail wild flowers of delicate shades, surrounded by vigorous ferns and creeping vines, showing that Nature has her poetic moods even among these deserted regions. Now we came upon a crystal stream of water, winding and fretting ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... points out that a very large number, probably the majority of scholars, were not well provided for. They eked out their precarious allowances by begging, by learning handicrafts, and by "picking up the various doles at funerals and commemoration masses, where such needy miserables were always to be found."[1] Such students would not be likely to have many or perhaps any books. "The stock ...
— Old English Libraries, The Making, Collection, and Use of Books • Ernest A. Savage

... eye!—and there is the poor wife, the doting mother, who has never suspected anything, or at least has clung always to the hope which you are just going to wrench away from her!—I must tell Iris that I think her poor friend is in a precarious state. She seems ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... position became extremely precarious, for I was now on the black list and being searched for. While previously my connection with the Mission had been a protection, now it was just the opposite. I could not very well remain in our apartment and we all scattered, except ...
— Nelka - Mrs. Helen de Smirnoff Moukhanoff, 1878-1963, a Biographical Sketch • Michael Moukhanoff

... loneliness. A childless widow in delicate health, whose paternal family had been for the most part cruelly robbed, exiled, or destroyed by the reigning Pope and his family, she felt her own situation a most unprotected and precarious one, since the least jealousy or misunderstanding might bring upon her, too, the ill-will of the Borgias, which had proved so fatal to the rest of her race. No comfort in life remained to her but her religion, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 54, April, 1862 • Various

... so-called humour led him to make these low appeals to the witless. And even as he looked the cross-eyed man entered the scene. Garbed in the weirdly misfitting clothes of a waiter, holding aloft a loaded tray of dishes, he entered on roller skates, to halt before Baird with his uplifted tray at a precarious balance. ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... heavy job of work need example. If you wish me to weep, be grieved yourself first of all. Soltikof angrily wipes his countenance at this point, and insists on a few tears from Daun. Without metaphor, Soltikof has shot away all his present ammunition, his staff of bread is quite precarious in these parts; and Soltikof thinks always, 'Is it my business, then, or is ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... upon the muscular organization in obtaining it; a fact of which the lower animal world is full of illustrations. The life of the forest and desert hunters is one of incessant activity, and their food supply is precarious. The Hottentots, on the contrary, take life easily and are inclined to indolence, their herds supplying them with food in abundance with little exertion. They retain enough of the primeval strain to be fond of hunting, and while thus engaged display the activity of their ancestral ...
— Man And His Ancestor - A Study In Evolution • Charles Morris

... while he tenderly cherished a knee, and an elbow. He had been on the brink of tears for a moment, but meeting Bellew's quizzical gaze, he manfully repressed the weakness, and, lifting the small, and somewhat weather-beaten cap that found a precarious perch at the back of his curly head, he gravely wished Bellew ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... Denboro, the village eight miles above East Harniss, in his "power dory," or gasoline boat, the Lady May. The Lady May was a relic of the time before Issy was assistant depot master, when he gained a precarious living by quahauging, separating the reluctant bivalve from its muddy house on the bay bottom with an iron rake, the handle of which was forty feet long. Issy had been seized with a desire to try quahauging once more, hence his holiday. The rake was ...
— The Depot Master • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Their precarious life seemed to concern the yellowtails very little, if at all. All living beings, without doubt, are afraid of death. Nevertheless, some of the species I saw huddle together as though they knew they were created for the larger fishes, and wished to give the ...
— Sailing Alone Around The World • Joshua Slocum

... more children than might have been expected, considering their precarious means of support and their wandering life. This inconvenience is however balanced by the wonderful facility with which their females undergo the operations of child-birth. In the most advanced state of pregnancy ...
— History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I. • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

... it not universal? Why has it all this time been withheld from nations even more in need of it than those to whom it was given? Are we to suppose that the salvation of these myriads was a matter of indifference to their Creator, or that Heaven preferred the slow and precarious working of the missionary to the instantaneous action of its own fiat? This is the question which scepticism asks, and which the great author of the "Analogy of Religion" fails ...
— The Religious Situation • Goldwin Smith

... reasons, wished to have few dependents about him—partly in order that he might be near his old friend, Dr. Garden, who was established in the neighbourhood, and whose society and advice were necessary to Mr. Strange's life. That life was, it appeared, held by this suffering gentleman on a precarious tenure. It was ebbing away fast with each passing hour. The servant already spoke of his master in the past tense, describing him to me as a young gentleman not more than five-and-thirty years of age, with a young ...
— Mugby Junction • Charles Dickens

... however, was in a precarious condition. There could be nothing permanent under such a regime, for permanency of government is necessary to the advancement of civilization. The government was non-progressive. It allowed no freedom of the people and gave no incentive to advancement, and it was a detriment many times to the progressive ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... grave demeanor, but a graceful deportment. I could not but regard her with deep interest, knowing what important concerns depended upon the life of this fragile little being, and to what a stormy and precarious career she might be destined. Her solitary position, also, separated from all her kindred except her little sister, a mere effigy of royalty in the hands of statesmen, and surrounded by the formalities and ceremonials of ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... changed the entire situation. The capture of his two regiments made General Bliss's situation decidedly precarious. His case was not hopeless yet, by any means, since, as the attacking force, the Blue army had been the stronger to begin with, because the War Department had so arranged matters that the advantage of position favored the Red forces sufficiently to make up for the superior force of General ...
— The Boy Scout Automobilists - or, Jack Danby in the Woods • Robert Maitland

... little out of focus, and though I admit her precarious position in the heart of Europe, she exaggerates the necessity for her autocratic military government to meet the situation. That philosophical and literary radical Lord Morley, now wearing a coronet, in the land where logic is a foundling and compromise a darling, writes: "A weak ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... a miserable and most precarious plight, indeed; and I could not help wondering how they had possibly managed to cling for so many hours to so insecure a refuge—assuming, of course, that the brig had capsized on the previous ...
— The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" • Harry Collingwood

... correct one; but we have no clue to guide us with certainty to the causes of their rupture. In after-life they were reconciled, though the intimacy of early friendship never appears to have been restored between them. (49) Scott says of Walpole, that , his temper was precarious;" and we may, perhaps, affirm the same of Gray. At all events, they were persons of such different characters, that their not agreeing could not be surprising. What could be more opposite than "the self-sequestered, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... you at all of anyone: all inside the house is a simmer of peace and quiet, with blinds drawn down against the heat the whole day long. No callers; and as for me, I never call elsewhere. The gossips about here eke out a precarious existence by washing each other's dirty linen in public: and the process never seems to result in ...
— An Englishwoman's Love-Letters • Anonymous

... square after square, with Peter listening gravely, his head bent. And square after square it was borne in on him what a precarious future stretched before this girl beside him, how very slender her resources, how more than ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... Endicott would have liked to prolong the argument. As a matter of fact, neither she nor her husband counted the risks of a midnight fracas of great moment to themselves: they had so very little to lose. A precarious existence based on illicit deeds of all sorts had rendered them hard ...
— The Nest of the Sparrowhawk • Baroness Orczy

... the water on the lee-side, well out of the wake, letting it run until it gets beyond the eddies, then a person holding the glass turns it up just as the first mark, or stray-line, goes out, from which the knots begin to be reckoned. The log is, however, at best, a precarious way of computing, and must be corrected by experience. The inventor of it is not known, and no mention is made of it till the year 1607, in an East India voyage, published by Purchas. The mode before, and even now in some colliers, and in native craft in the ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... and by posterity with the epithet of Cruel, had filled with blood and murder his kingdom and his own family; and having incurred the universal hatred of his subjects, he kept from present terror alone, an anxious and precarious possession of the throne. His nobles fell every day the victims of his severity: he put to death several of his natural brothers, from groundless jealousy: each murder, by multiplying his enemies, became the occasion ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part B. - From Henry III. to Richard III. • David Hume

... and Lothian; provinces which they were not legally entitled to inhabit[34], and which, therefore, they pillaged with as little remorse as if they had belonged to a foreign country. This strange, precarious, and adventurous mode of life, led by the borderers, was not without its pleasures, and seems, in all probability, hardly so disagreeable to us, as the monotony of regulated society must have been to those, who had been long accustomed to a state of rapine. ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3) • Walter Scott

... demanding attention, gave her financial backing when necessary, moral support upon all occasions, and was ever her most interested friend and faithful ally. She received also the sympathy and assistance of her mother, who, no matter how heavy the domestic burdens, or how precarious her own health, was never willing that she should take any time from her public work to give to the duties of home, although she ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 1 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... these noblemen had been long contemplating the possibility of James's return to Scotland. Like the Earl of Errol, they had been dissatisfied with the prudence of the Duke of Hamilton, whose policy it had been to postpone the risk of a precarious undertaking, and whose foresight was acknowledged when it was too late. Lord John Drummond, Lord Kilsyth, and Lord Linlithgow, had been all deeply concerned in the schemes and speculations which had ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... an island from the natives in 1651. On this island they built a small fort, called St. Andre, from which they traded to several factories up the river[4]. Besides the Courlanders, the French and the Dutch carried on a very precarious trade on the river. In the early part of 1659, as a result of the war in the northern part of Europe, the duke of Courland became a prisoner of the king of Sweden. Under these circumstances the Amsterdam chamber of the Dutch West India Company[5] induced the Duke's commissioner, ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919 • Various

... were marching during great heat, insufficiently supplied in every way, and how they suffered from manifold hardships, has been described in von Scherer's dissertation. The Westphalian corps was in as precarious a condition as the Wuerttembergian, as in fact the whole army and the Westphalian battalions were already reduced to one-half their former number. Many soldiers had remained behind on account of ...
— Napoleon's Campaign in Russia Anno 1812 • Achilles Rose

... the Night, a volume of poems which contained the "Coplas de Manrique" and the translations, with a selection from the verses of the Literary Gazette, which the author playfully reclaims in a note from their vagabond and precarious existence in the corners of newspapers —gathering his children from wanderings in lanes and alleys, and introducing them decorously to the world. A few later poems were added, and these, with the Hyperion, ...
— Literary and Social Essays • George William Curtis

... in deserts, but she had not. They might even hate each other, and she might quit him. Even if they were to leave Europe, a race of devils would be propagated upon the earth, who might make the very existence of man precarious ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol VIII • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... bound by a very dear friend of mine, now alas! in precarious health!—the Marquis of Bridlington," said Mr. Albany Todd—an audible groan from Harold Jupp; an imploring glance from Millie Splay, and to her immense relief the butler ushered in Harry Luttrell. He was ...
— The Summons • A.E.W. Mason

... that was Roland Marleigh's," Crispin muttered. "Heigho! Life is precarious as the fall of a die at best an ephemeral business. To-night you say the house that was Roland Marleigh's; presently men will be saying the house that the Ashburns lived—aye, and died—in. Give you good ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... "They'll have plenty of good land to grow potatoes, and oats, instead of water, which produces them a precarious living from wild-fowl and fish, and ruins no end of them with rheumatism ...
— Dick o' the Fens - A Tale of the Great East Swamp • George Manville Fenn

... more often manifested—even though unconsciously—in women. Women who have no love for their husbands are nevertheless often fiercely jealous, because consciously or unconsciously they are afraid that their husbands may desert them for other women, and that they may thus find themselves in a precarious economic condition. ...
— Woman - Her Sex and Love Life • William J. Robinson

... general hatred upon Calderon. But his extraordinary address and vigorous energies, his perfect mastery of the science of intrigue, not only sustained, but continued to augment, his power. Though the king was yet in the prime of middle age, his health was infirm and his life precarious. Calderon had contrived, while preserving the favour of the reigning monarch, to establish himself as the friend and companion of the heir apparent. In this, indeed, he had affected to yield to the policy of the king himself; for Philip the Third had a wholesome terror ...
— Calderon The Courtier - A Tale • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... to do an average day's work. When this period arrives employers of labour often discharge him in order to make way for younger and more vigorous men. If his home, as sometimes happens, is broken up by the death of his wife, his existence becomes a very lonely and precarious one. An odd job now and again is all he can get to do, and even these jobs are often hard to find. His sons and daughters are too heavily encumbered with large families to be capable of rendering any effective assistance, and the Union looms gloomily in the ...
— Crime and Its Causes • William Douglas Morrison

... utmost importance to get safely over the precarious part of the 'road' before the seasonal going-out of the sea-ice. To wait until all the ice should go out and enable the ship to sail to Hut Point would have meant long uncertainty and delay. As it happened, ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... long enough to sum you up as a sulky puppy," he said. "If you had any sort of gumption you would realize that you occupy a singularly precarious position. Were it not for the lucky accident that my colleague and I were on the spot this morning it is more than likely that the county police would have arrested you at sight. Don't give us any ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... of the original front had been handed over to the 29th Division, and the 6th Division now held a rectangular strip 2,500 yards by 7,000 yards, with the head at Cantaing and Noyelles, and the rear in the Hindenburg Main Line. The 29th Division had a precarious hold of the ground across the canal on the right, and the Guards Division was having hard fighting at ...
— A Short History of the 6th Division - Aug. 1914-March 1919 • Thomas Owen Marden

... of his life, the precarious occupation of a country school teacher. It was then, as it still is in many thinly settled parts of the country, an almost nomadic profession, a teacher seldom remaining more than one or two years in the same place. ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... of receiving succour from the Bridgewater having become very feeble, after two days of moderate weather had elapsed, I called a council of all the officers, to deliberate upon the best means of relieving ourselves from the precarious situation in which our misfortune, and captain Palmer's want of energy and humanity had left us exposed; and it was finally determined, that an officer and crew in the largest of the two six-oared cutters, should endeavour to get to Sandy Cape, sixty-three leagues ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 • Matthew Flinders

... the Escolta, already bordered by American signs—and saloons,—and rendered even more than usually precarious by American drinks, the blue-shirted boys wandered, open-eyed, marvelling much to find 'twixt twelve and two the shutters up in all the shops not conducted, as were the bars, on the American plan, while from some, still more Oriental, the sun and ...
— Ray's Daughter - A Story of Manila • Charles King

... did not like the titles of some of my books, and inquired whether I really wanted them for my defence. I replied that I did. "Then," said he to the chief warder, "they may all be brought up, but you must take care they don't get about." At half-past eight, according to the rules, I retired to my precarious and uncomfortable couch; a few minutes later my gas was turned off, and I was left in almost total darkness to seek the sleep which I soon found. Thus ended my first day ...
— Prisoner for Blasphemy • G. W. [George William] Foote

... the Doctor, who was quite as angry. "How dare you come here, disturbing my patients, and turning the place into a bear-garden just because you have dropped your idiotic eyeglass and broken it? Do you know I have poor fellows in the next room in a precarious state?" ...
— Fix Bay'nets - The Regiment in the Hills • George Manville Fenn

... enough to be anything," said Carol frankly. "Maybe you'll make it go, after all. I should like to have an author in the family and since Lark's lost interest, I suppose it will have to be you. I couldn't think of risking my complexion at such a precarious livelihood. But if you get stuck, I'll be glad to help you out a little. I really have an imagination myself, though ...
— Prudence Says So • Ethel Hueston

... booksellers to speculate, and buy an increased supply of books on special terms. Speculation has now almost ceased in consequence of the enormous number of books published, which makes it difficult for a bookseller to keep a large stock of any single work, and renders the life of a new book so precarious that the demand for it may at any moment come to a ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... should there be Industry in a Country where all Property is precarious? What Subject will sow his Land that his Prince may reap the whole Harvest? Parsimony and Frugality must be Strangers to such a People; for will any Man save to-day what he has Reason to fear will be taken from him to-morrow? And ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... raged for about thirty-six hours, overturning our covered cart and threatening to sweep ourselves and our tents away. We had to load down our tent ropes with bags of earth, stones, sod, the bodies of our carts, wheels, boxes, and anything we could find, and even then we had but a precarious existence. Every now and then, by day and by night, there would arise a shout from the one tent or the other, and amid the roar of the wind we heard cries for the hammer and the spare tent pins. We managed to fix ourselves without being blown away, and when the ...
— James Gilmour of Mongolia - His diaries, letters, and reports • James Gilmour

... if in continuation of the precipitous cliff on which it is based. Originally, the only mode of ingress was by a narrow portal in the very wall which overtopped the precipice, opening upon a ledge of rock which afforded a precarious pathway, cautiously intersected, however, by a deep trench cut with great labour in the living rock; so that, in its original state, and before the introduction of artillery into the art of war, this tower might have been pronounced, and that not presumptuously, ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume I. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... out of the gymnasium unnoticed. This was the first time he had heard the particulars concerning that game, although on Saturday the surprising information had been telephoned to Oakdale that Wyndham had been barely able to squeeze out a precarious victory on her own grounds. As Eliot had stated, the Clearporters were batters to be feared, and Phil was now in no condition to be unruffled by this ...
— Rival Pitchers of Oakdale • Morgan Scott

... present. Thanks to poor old Dick the Firm is in rather a precarious condition! Another six months over, and we may be perfectly all right. No! I must stick on, and get another partner. And look here, Gladys, you know I let you do pretty nearly everything you like. But let me beg of you not to be too friendly with that young Davenport. I caught him looking very ...
— The Sorcery Club • Elliott O'Donnell

... servant's set of bedroom furniture. Do with a set! He was a gloomy man with (I should judge) some internal pain. I tried to tell him that there was quite a lot of middle-class people like myself in the country, people of limited or precarious means, whose existence he seemed to ignore; assured him some of them led quite beautiful lives. But he had no ideas beyond wardrobes. I quite forgot the business of shopping in an attempt to kindle a little human enthusiasm ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... blue eye, first attracted his envious notice; his steady, contented industry excited in him a desire to pervert a workman whose daily life was a practical argument against the doctrines of socialism, by which Offitt made a part of his precarious living; and after he had met Maud Matchin and had felt, as such natures will, the force of her beauty, his instinctive hate became an active, though secret, hostility. She had come one evening with Sleeny to a spiritualist conference frequented by Offitt, and he had at once ...
— The Bread-winners - A Social Study • John Hay

... was the dominant power of Asia during the most interesting period of Jewish history, until taken by Cyaxares the Median. The limits of the empire varied at different times, for the conquered States which composed it were held together by a precarious tenure. But even in its greatest strength it was inferior in size and power to the Empire of Cyrus. To check rebellion,—a source of constant trouble and weakness,—the warlike monarchs were obliged to reconquer, imposing not only tribute and fealty, but overrunning ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... regained his balance upon his precarious seat by this time, and he finished with a ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... however, of his incessant toil, Lamarck's position continued to be most precarious. He lived by his pen, as a publisher's hack, and it was with difficulty that he obtained even the poorly paid post of keeper of the king's cabinet of dried plants. Like most other naturalists he had thus ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... courage have in thousands of cases brought our people to their proper place in the social scale, but it is only too often the case that adverse circumstances compel the great bulk of them to have recourse to the hardest, the most precarious, and the worst paid employments to be found ...
— The Life Story of an Old Rebel • John Denvir

... and poorest of the inhabitants of Scotland, and at a period when their daily meal must have been always scanty, and frequently precarious, one luxury seems to have established itself, which has unaccountably found its way into every part of the world. We mean tobacco. The inhabitants of Scotland, and especially of the Highlands, are notorious for their fondness for snuff; ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume XII. F, No. 325, August 2, 1828. • Various

... soul is weak, . . . . . . . . But if I cannot plant resolve on hope, It will stand firm on certainty of woe. . . . Hopes have precarious life; But faithfulness can feed on suffering, And knows no disappointment. Trust in me. If it were needed, this poor trembling hand Should grasp the torch—strive not to let it fall, Though it were ...
— The Ethics of George Eliot's Works • John Crombie Brown

... of $79,864,100 of such surplus was applied to the payment of the principal and interest of the 3 per cent bonds still outstanding, and which were then payable at the option of the Government. The precarious condition of financial affairs among the people still needing relief, immediately after the 30th day of June, 1887, the remainder of the 3 per cent bonds then outstanding, amounting with principal and interest to the sum of $18,877,500, were called in and applied to the sinking-fund contribution ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... divine order of things, declares the possession of a great many children to be a blessing only when it really is so! And the other set of Hebraisers, have they not to learn that if they call their private acquaintances imprudent and unlucky, when, with no means of support for them or with precarious means, they have a large family of children, then they ought not to call the State well managed and prosperous merely because its manufactures and its citizens multiply, if the manufactures, which bring new citizens into existence just as ...
— Culture and Anarchy • Matthew Arnold

... the South have swelled the tide of prejudice until it has almost revolutionized public sentiment, which has given birth to severe legislative enactments in some of the States, and almost ruined our interests and prospects in others, in which, in the opinion of your Committee, our situation is more precarious than it has been at any other period since ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... and 'to give an oracle', two ways of helping people in an emergency. Sometimes a tribe might happen to have a real ancestor buried in the neighbourhood; if so, his tomb would be an oracle. More often perhaps, for the memories of savage tribes are very precarious, there would be no well-recorded personal tomb. The oracle would be at some place sacred to the Chthonian people in general, or to some particular personification of them, a Delphi or a cave of Trophonius, a place ...
— Five Stages of Greek Religion • Gilbert Murray

... recognised by their physical type in modern England. "It is quite possible," says Mr. Freeman, "that even at the end of the sixth century there may have been within the English frontier inaccessible points where detached bodies of Welshmen still retained a precarious independence." Sir F. Palgrave has collected passages tending to show that parties of independent Welshmen held out in the Fens till a very late period; and this conclusion is admitted by Mr. Freeman ...
— Early Britain - Anglo-Saxon Britain • Grant Allen

... done. Sealing was no longer the regular, systematic pursuit it had been on that island, but had become precarious and changeful. At times, the men met with good success; then, days would occur in which not a single creature, of any of the different species, would be taken. The Vineyard schooner was not more than half-full, and the season was fast drawing ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... wherewith to cover his nakedness. The civilized nations of the present day were in their origin savages composed of erratic tribes,—mere wanderers who were occupied with war; employed in, the chace; painfully obliged to seek precarious subsistence by hunting in those woods which the industry of their successors has cleared; which their labour has covered with yellow waving ears of nutritious corn; in time they have become stationary: ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... had greatly excited Mrs. Bundlecombe, who had for some time past been in that precarious state in which any excitement, however slight, is dangerous. She was completely happy, because she had jumped to the conclusion that Lettice would henceforth do for Alan all that she herself would ...
— Name and Fame - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... open, and upon the rough floor the snow-water from the recent thaw had collected in puddles and frozen, rendering the footing precarious. ...
— The Promise - A Tale of the Great Northwest • James B. Hendryx

... images are more domestic, quiet, leisurely. No severe, wasting labor is demanded before corn and milk for wife and little ones are wrung from reluctant clods. No danger is there of sons or daughters being obliged to quit their homes and roam over foreign lands for a precarious and beggarly subsistence. No prairie-boy will ever carry about a hand-organ and a monkey, or see his sister yoked to the plough, by the side of horse or ox. Blessed be God that there are still places where grinding poverty is unfelt and unfeared! "Riches fineless" belong to these deep, soft fields, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... moreover, of a precarious, risky parasitism, wherein the Meloid is not sure of finding its food, which the Sitaris finds so deftly, getting itself carried by the Anthophora, after being born at the very entrance to the Bee's galleries and leaving its retreat only to slip ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... voice—albeit a faint one—could not be other than a recent occupant of the small boat he had seen disappear. This person must have leaped upward at the critical moment, and caught one of the taut strands upon which he had somehow managed to hoist himself and to which he now clung desperately. It was a precarious position and one that the motion of the yacht made but ...
— A Man and His Money • Frederic Stewart Isham

... may need it yet," asserted Mr. Parker. "I have been making some observations just now, and the island is in a very precarious state. It is, I believe, resting on only a slim foundation, and the least shock may break that off, and send it into the sea. That is what my ...
— Tom Swift and his Wireless Message • Victor Appleton

... passion of the mind for unknown good, but experience.—The forest of Arden in As You Like It can alone compare with the mountain scenes in Cymbeline: yet how different the contemplative quiet of the one from the enterprising boldness and precarious mode of subsistence in the other! Shakespeare not only lets us into the minds of his characters, but gives a tone and colour to the scenes he describes from the feelings of their imaginary inhabitants. He at the same time preserves the utmost propriety of action and passion, and gives all their ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... under the rule of some eight or ten overseers, and the brutal surveillance of a company of Libyan or negro mercenary troops. The least political disturbance in Egypt, an unsuccessful campaign, or any untoward incident of a troubled reign, sufficed to break up the precarious stability of these remote establishments. The Bedawin at once attacked the colony; the workmen deserted; the guards, weary of exile, hastened back to the valley of the Nile, and all was at ...
— Manual Of Egyptian Archaeology And Guide To The Study Of Antiquities In Egypt • Gaston Camille Charles Maspero

... and the right of Great Britain to manage British affairs will not prevent the dismemberment of England. Home Rule, such as it is for England, means at best a totally different thing from Home Rule for Ireland. In the case of England it means a limited and precarious control of legislation for Great Britain by British members of Parliament. In the case of Ireland it means the real and substantial and exclusive government of Ireland by an Irish Ministry and ...
— A Leap in the Dark - A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the - Bill of 1893 • A.V. Dicey

... there is something in the still sails of one of those inventions of man's industry peculiarly eloquent of repose: the rest seems typical of the repose of our own passions, short and uncertain, contrary to their natural ordination; and doubly impressive from the feeling which admonishes us how precarious is the stillness, how utterly dependent on every wind rising at any moment and from any quarter of the heavens! They saw before them no living forms, save of one or two peasants ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton



Words linked to "Precarious" :   unsafe, dangerous, insecure, uneasy



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