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Swiftness   /swˈɪftnəs/   Listen
Swiftness

noun
1.
A rate (usually rapid) at which something happens.  Synonyms: fastness, speed.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Swiftness" Quotes from Famous Books



... a large one. In it were not only braves, but also squaws and pappooses, and a few negroes. They trooped along with the unhurried swiftness and easy disarray of men and women who have journeyed for many days and have many days ...
— Four American Indians - King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola • Edson L. Whitney

... Even a sudden anger against Valentine came to him,—against Valentine for the protection he had given through so many years. For had he not been protecting Julian against joy? and does not the capacity for joy pass away with a tragic swiftness? As Faust was transformed into youth, and the ballet danced in the market-place, Julian ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... in my hand, on which Timour had just been sitting, and I had time to thrust it into his face. Thrice with incredible swiftness he struck the iron-chair, right, left, and right, as a cat strikes, then seized it in his teeth. At the same moment I brought my loaded whip heavily ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... separated them; half that distance lay between the Girl and the cage. With the swiftness of an arrow sprung from the bow she had leaped into life and crossed that space. In a tenth part of a second David would have been at her side. He was that tenth of a second too late. A gleaming shaft, she had passed between the bars and a tumult of horrified voices rose above the roar ...
— The Courage of Marge O'Doone • James Oliver Curwood

... shows clearly the impact of science upon popular imagination. The imagination of man had expanded with the expanding universe. Brunt takes care to indicate the vast distance between the earth and the moon by subtle mathematical suggestion. Although both travelers flew "with incredible swiftness," the eighteenth-century flyers found that it was "about a Month before we came into the Attraction of the Moon." Brunt's account of the preparation for the ascent into the orb of the moon is almost as careful as a modern account ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... hole." Of course it was expected that Donohue would now try to deceive him by tempting him with a curve that would be wide of the plate; but Jack had signaled for a third one straight, and it came with swiftness. ...
— Jack Winters' Baseball Team - Or, The Rivals of the Diamond • Mark Overton

... knuckles across one fellow's face who refused to move from his path, and as soon as his insult was returned by the latter with a thrust of the dagger. A rush was made upon him, on which he made a face at them, shook his fist, and leaping on one side, ran with great swiftness to an open space in advance. From his quarrelsome humour rather than from fear, he raised a cry of alarm; on which two or three fellow-soldiers made their appearance from similar dens of intoxication and vice, and came up to the rescue. The mob assailed ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... merely a kind of insane swiftness. Browning is not like Meredith, anxious to pause and examine the sensations of the combatants, nor does he become obscure through this anxiety. He is only so anxious to get his man to the bottom of the stairs quickly that he leaves out about ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... notwithstanding the swiftness with which he passed as has been described, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance observed and noted all these trifles, and though he made the attempt, he was unable to follow him, for it was not granted to the feebleness of Rocinante to make way over such rough ground, he being, moreover, ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... Mrs. Tarns with swiftness darted up the steps and inserted a large, fat, wet hand between the raised knocker and its bed. It was the sublime gesture of a martyr, and her large brown eyes gazed submissively, yet firmly, at Mr. Batchgrew with the look ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... bathing-suit, bright blue like the discarded cloak, the red rubber cap binding the bronze hair—she must have donned the ridiculous thing with incredible swiftness while he batted an eye—might have been utterly becoming in other eyes than those of Steve Packard. Now that they merely told him that he was a blundering ass, he was conscious solely of a desire to pick ...
— Man to Man • Jackson Gregory

... Dogs. He had not listned long before he saw the Apparition of a milk-white Steed, with a young Man on the Back of it, advancing upon full Stretch after the Souls of about an hundred Beagles that were hunting down the Ghost of an Hare, which ran away before them with an unspeakable Swiftness. As the Man on the milk-white Steed came by him, he looked upon him very attentively, and found him to be the young Prince Nicharagua, who died about Half a Year before, and, by reason of his great Vertues, was at ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... not remind us of the rapidity of life; they decline insensibly with ourselves; but those which we behold again, after having for some years lost sight of them, impress us powerfully with the idea of that swiftness with which the tide of our days flows on. Paul was no less overwhelmed and affected at the sight of this great papaw tree, loaded with fruit, than is the traveller, when, after a long absence from his own country, he finds not his contemporaries, but their children, ...
— Paul and Virginia • Bernardin de Saint Pierre

... them as they lay before me with a hunter's pride and satisfaction, but mingled with a feeling of pity for such beautiful and utterly helpless creatures. The giraffe, although from sixteen to twenty feet in height, is perfectly defenceless, and can only trust to the swiftness of its pace and the extraordinary power of vision, for its means of protection. The eye of this animal is the most beautiful exaggeration of that of the gazelle, while the color of the reddish-orange hide, mottled with darker spots, changes ...
— In the Heart of Africa • Samuel White Baker

... indeed? If a wireless telegraph instrument, sending its call into space, may be answered with lightning-like swiftness by another a thousand miles away, why should not a thought, without the clumsy medium of speech, instantly respond to another thought from a mind in harmony ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... into her quarry. When at length her father the king learned that the beautiful huntress, of whom all men spoke as of one only a little lower than Diana, was none other than his daughter, he was not slow to own her as his child. So proud was he of her beauty and grace, and of her marvellous swiftness of foot and skill in the chase, that he would fain have married her to one of the great ones of Greece, but Atalanta had consulted an oracle. "Marry not," said the oracle. "To thee marriage must ...
— A Book of Myths • Jean Lang

... her no more; it was easy for people to disappear in Rome. But this incident in the arena was remembered and talked about for many years afterward. The fact that a girl was possessed of such extraordinary swiftness that she would have been able to escape from a wild beast, by means of her speed alone, had she been in an open plain, was considered one of the most interesting natural wonders which had been brought to the notice of the Roman people by the ...
— The Vizier of the Two-Horned Alexander • Frank R. Stockton

... them, turned in fury and charged with swiftness incredible, and the deer stampeded headlong through ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... fields, it undoubtedly is the case. It is claimed that, generally speaking, woman is endowed with qualities that man is deficient in, and vice versa: the male method of reasoning is reflective and vigorous, woman's, on the contrary, distinguishes itself by swiftness of perception and quickness of execution. Certain it is that woman finds her way more quickly in complicated situations, and has more tact than man. Ellis, who gathered vast materials upon this question, turned to a series of persons, who had male and female students under their ...
— Woman under socialism • August Bebel

... sort, accompanied by the eloquence of poets, has gone a great way to put humanity in error; nay, in many philosophies the error has been embodied and laid down with every circumstance of logic; although in real life the bustle and swiftness, in leaving people little time to think, have not left them time enough to go dangerously wrong ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not what you ask; they are the most precious things I have. The coat will keep you invisible, the cap will tell you all you want to know, the sword cuts asunder whatever you strike, and the shoes are of extraordinary swiftness. But you have been very serviceable to me, therefore take them with all my heart." Jack thanked his uncle, and then went off with them. He soon overtook his master and they quickly arrived at the house of the lady the Prince sought, who, finding the Prince to be a suitor, prepared ...
— Childhood's Favorites and Fairy Stories - The Young Folks Treasury, Volume 1 • Various

... strike him. Burrowing into his bunk and disrupting it in his eagerness, he secured a writing-pad and pencil, and sitting down at the table, began to write with swiftness and certitude. ...
— The Faith of Men • Jack London

... quickness, and to the arts thus acquired he added cunning tricks of offence and defence of his own contriving. He had a peculiar aptitude for wrestling and pugilism, delighted secretly in his strength and swiftness, and would walk five miles to plunge like a porpoise ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... of the Alps to deliver death to their victims with a merciful swiftness, but here the rule failed. These men suffered the bitterest death that has been recorded in the history of those mountains, freighted as that history is with ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... was necessary to change all things with a rapidity matching the change of moods and fancies which altered at the rate of the automobiles which dashed here and there and everywhere, through country roads, through town, through remote places with an unsparing swiftness which set a new pace ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... you, with two poles, like those of chairmen, was the vehicle; on which is secured a sort of elbow chair, in which the traveller sits. A man before, another behind, carry this open machine with so much swiftness, that they are continually running and skipping, like wild goats, from rock to rock, the four miles of that ascent. If a traveller were not prepossessed that these mountaineers are the surest-footed carriers in the universe, he would be in continual apprehensions ...
— The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Volume 4 (of 7) • Samuel Richardson

... curves to meet other growing mountains of snow. The lowland wind, at first a mere breeze playfully teasing the north wind, like a child that kicks the bed-sheets before falling asleep, increased its force and swiftness, and scattered huge mountains of snow, but the steadily rising drone of the north wind soon mastered the situation. Like silver grain strewn by an unseen hand the snow fell obliquely in steady streams over the land. A great calm followed. The long Dobrudgean winter had started. In the dim steady ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... ladies' inclosure was a rustle of many-colored scarves waving in the air. At the striking of the shields the contending steeds rushed from the post with the swiftness of a swallow's flight. But before the white steed of the plains had gone halfway round, Fergus and the wild horse of the mountains had passed the winning post, greeted by such cheers as had never before been heard on the ...
— The Golden Spears - And Other Fairy Tales • Edmund Leamy

... soldiers had leaped from their swinging beds of hide, and headed by their captain had reached the church they were there to defend. Through plaza and corridors sped and shrieked the savage tribe, whose invasion had been made with the swiftness and cunning of their race. The doors had not been hung in the church, and the naked figures ran in upon the heels of the soldiers, waving torches and yelling like the soulless fiends they were. The few neophytes who retained spirit enough to fight after the bleaching ...
— The Splendid Idle Forties - Stories of Old California • Gertrude Atherton

... lightness of hand, the latter then, taking up a tougher bow, shot showers of shafts at thy son. As those lines of arrows advanced for compassing the death of Duryodhana, the latter, O king, cut them in pieces, at which the troops shouted loudly. With great swiftness, the Kuru king afflicted Satyaki with three and seventy shafts, equipped with wings of gold and steeped in oil and shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch. All those arrows of Duryodhana, as also his bow, with arrow fixed thereon, Satyaki quickly ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... Diomedes and Odysseus parted to let him pass between them; then cutting off his retreat they closed on him and captured him. They learned how the Trojan host was quartered; at the extremity of it was Rhesus, the newly arrived Thracian King, whose white horses were a marvel of beauty and swiftness. In return for his information Dolon begged them to spare his life, but Diomedes deemed it safer to slay him. The two Greeks penetrated the Thracian encampment, where they slew many warriors and escaped with the horses back to ...
— Authors of Greece • T. W. Lumb

... to talk upon the subject which interested him above all others, the smartness and swiftness of his yacht. 'I am trying to persuade your mother and aunt to go for a cruise with me, and ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... cliffs is called the Canyon of Desolation. It is ninety-seven miles long, and immediately at its foot is Gray Canyon, thirty-six miles long. Then comes Gunnison Valley, and it was there that Powell was to return to us. The first indication of descending waters was a slight swiftness, the river having narrowed up to its canyon-character. At one place it doubled back on itself, forming in the bend a splendid amphitheatre which was called after Sumner of the former party. This beautiful wall, ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... and clean, Sublime, contemplative, serene, Strong, constant, pleasant, wise! Bright effluence of exceeding grace; Best man! the swiftness and the race, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... the life, without, to his knowledge, any fear of suffering for it himself. What is to prevent him, being the man he is, from going straight to his end, on those conditions? Will the skill in rowing, the swiftness in running, the admirable capacity and endurance in other physical exercises, which he has attained, by a strenuous cultivation in this kind that has excluded any similarly strenuous cultivation in other kinds—will these physical attainments help him ...
— Man and Wife • Wilkie Collins

... was," says one of my informants, "a good hand at marbles, and could drive one farther than most boys. He also excelled at 'Bases,' a game which requires considerable swiftness of foot."] ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. I. (of VI.) - With his Letters and Journals. • Thomas Moore

... capelin (Mallotus villosus, one of Salmonidae), are provided with a ridge of closely-set, brush-like scales, by the aid of which two males, one on each side, hold the female, whilst she runs with great swiftness on the sandy beach, and there deposits her spawn. (2. The 'American Naturalist,' April 1871, p. 119.) The widely distinct Monacanthus scopas presents a somewhat analogous structure. The male, as Dr. Gunther informs me, has a cluster of stiff, straight spines, like those ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... find a marked and progressive descent of the apex toward the equator with the increasing swiftness of the objects serving for its determination, leading to the suspicion that the most northerly may be the most genuine position, because the one least affected ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891 • Various

... rippling torch upon the breeze Of his own glorious swiftness: in the grass He bruised no feathery stalk, and through the trees I ...
— Spirits in Bondage • (AKA Clive Hamilton) C. S. Lewis

... of the sheet, were additional corroboration. It was almost unimaginable that the letter should have come again to his hand. He realized the importance and significance of the sheet of paper with the swiftness of a lightning flash; but beyond the intelligence conveyed by the letter itself there was still the darkness to grope in. His wits had never worked so rapidly in his life; he felt his heart beating uncomfortably; the perspiration broke out upon his forehead, ...
— A Hoosier Chronicle • Meredith Nicholson

... deep, tremulous sound of Niagara tells of its vicinity, there is no unusual appearance till within about a mile, when the waters begin to ripple and hasten on; a little further it dashes down a magnificent rapid, then again becomes tranquil and glassy, but glides past with astonishing swiftness. There are numberless points whence the fall of this great river may be well seen: the best is Table Rock, at the top of the cataract; the most wonderful is the recess between the falling flood and the ...
— The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Warburton

... of the nighthawk is free and graceful in the extreme. Soaring through space without any apparent motion of its wings, suddenly it darts with amazing swiftness like an erratic bat after the fly, mosquito, beetle, or moth that falls within the range of its truly ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... greater and ever greater swiftness, the signal star crept nearer; and now even the flames were visible, and now behind them he caught dim sight of ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... branches that bore the fruit. When we entered the forest, we saw a great number of apes of several sizes, who fled as soon as they perceived us and climbed up to the tops of the trees with surprising swiftness. ...
— The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book • Various

... understood the tone, if not the words. He seemed completely reassured, and advanced a step or two nearer. With the utmost swiftness and dexterity, combined with an astonishing gentleness,—making no gesture which might excite Roger's suspicion,—Sandy Flash thrust his hand into the holsters, smiled mockingly, cut the straps of the ...
— The Story Of Kennett • Bayard Taylor

... consequently signified the almighty power of GOD. The Ash is the Universe, its twigs are the Ether, spread over the World-all; the eagle is the Infinite glance, penetrating heaven and earth; and the squirrel the medium by which the deeds and condition of the Gods are brought to men. The stags, whose swiftness betokens the restless, rapid passions of man, are the ailments of the soul; and the green leaves which they devour, are sound, healthy thoughts.' According to Hauch (Die Nordische Mythenlehre, Leipsic, 1847, p. 28), these swift stags are the four winds of heaven ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 2, No 6, December 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... committed in the territory of Milan. The legions were commanded to follow, with as much expedition as those heavy bodies were capable of exerting, the rapid flight of an enemy whose infantry and cavalry moved with almost equal swiftness. A few days afterwards, the emperor himself marched to the relief of Italy, at the head of a chosen body of auxiliaries, (among whom were the hostages and cavalry of the Vandals,) and of all the Praetorian guards who had served in the wars ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... constituency and was now wandering in the Far East. But Paul, confident in his destiny, did not doubt that he would be selected. And then, within the next fortnight—for bye-elections during a Parliamentary session are matters of sweeping swiftness—would come the great battle, the great decisive battle of his life, and he would win. He must win. His kingdom was at stake—the dream kingdom of his life into which he would enter with his loved and won Princess on his arm. He poured splendid foolishness ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... horse, Let your swiftness not fail me! My hounds, you are staunch And you will not betray me! Hoo-loo! Faster, faster! Now, at him, my children!"... Gavril Afanasich Springs up, wildly shouting, His arms waving madly, He dances around them! 370 He's certainly after A ...
— Who Can Be Happy And Free In Russia? • Nicholas Nekrassov

... shape burst out of the vapour, and grew with astonishing swiftness into dim tiers of slanted sailcloth swaying above a strip of hull that moved amidst a broad white smear of foam. It was a brig under fore-course and topsails, and as Agatha watched her she sank to her tilted bowsprit, and a big grey and white ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... hills, as though an earthquake had passed through that section; and, believing that this would afford him a better opportunity of eluding his foes, he turned in that direction and strained every nerve to reach it. As for Edith herself, she seemed fired with supernatural strength, and sped with a swiftness of which she never dreamed herself capable. Seeing this, the Rifleman attempted to draw the charge out of his gun and reload it. It was a work of great difficulty to do this while running, but he succeeded ...
— The Riflemen of the Miami • Edward S. Ellis

... respect man stands, I conceive, distinguished from, and superior to, all other earthly creatures; it is this privilege which, while he is inferior in strength to some, in swiftness to others; without horns or claws or tusks to attack them, or even to defend himself against them, hath made him master of them all. Indeed, in other views, however vain men may be of their abilities, they are greatly inferior to ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... hesitated, Gilbert got up quickly from his seat and went to the door of the box. "I'll come with you, Jimphy!" he said, and then, almost pushing Lord Jasper in front of him, he went out, closing the door of the box behind him. Henry stared at the door for a second or two, nonplussed by the swiftness of Gilbert's action, and then he turned to Lady Cecily. A look of vexation on her face instantly disappeared ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... horrible occurrence flew with lightning swiftness through the neighbourhood and to Warsaw. Nobody doubted that there was some connexion between the crime and the singular occurrence at the ball, although it was impossible to say what that connexion was. Every attempt ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... desperate fellow had seized the handle of the stiletto with both hands in a determined effort to withdraw it and die. I had had no time to order my faculties to the movement of a muscle, when Entrefort, with incredible alertness and swiftness, had Arnold's wrists. Slowly Arnold ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... ambitious and famous of all Carlyle's writings, and in many respects his best, was not received by the public with the enthusiam it ought to have awakened. It was not appreciated by the people at large. "Ordinary readers were not enraptured by the Iliad swiftness and vividness of the narrative, its sustained passion, the flow of poetry, the touches of grandeur and tenderness, and the masterly touches by which he made the great actors stand out in their individuality." It ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... boulder thundered in his wake, until, at the bottom George scrambled to his feet and stood motionless, looking back. His head sank lower as he saw Wiley watching him and he slunk down closer to the ground, then with the swiftness of a panther that has marked down its prey he turned and ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... made a soldier's breeze of it; the wind, besides, was stronger inside than without under the lee of the land; and the stolen schooner opened out successive objects with the swiftness of a panorama, so that the adventurers stood speechless. The flag spoke for itself; it was no frayed and weathered trophy that had beaten itself to pieces on the post, flying over desolation; and to make assurance ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... one law, one Church, one State, Russian in language, Russian in creed, Russian in all the labyrinthine grades of its civic, military, and municipal life—this was the dream to the realization of which the thirty crowded years of his reign were consecrated. There is grandeur as well as swiftness of decision in the manner in which he encounters and quells the insurrection of the 26th December. Then, true to the immemorial example of tyrants, he found employment for sedition in war. He tore from Persia in a single campaign two rich provinces and ...
— The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe • J. A. Cramb

... hair in the swiftness of her progress blown out in a black mist from her brow. Her face, dirty and smoke-smeared, struck ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... did enter, and, with a swiftness of perception that belied the vacuous stare of the fishlike eyes, took in the situation at a glance; for LeFroy had already hinted to her of the relation which existed between his erstwhile superior and this girl from the land ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... half a minute it became apparent that there was going to be no counter-attack. The dashing swiftness of the assault had apparently had the effect of depriving the marauder of his entire stock of breath. He was gurgling to himself in a pained sort of way and making no effort to rise. Archie, feeling that it would be ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... was coatless, barelegged, bare-headed, all his white hair blowing. But he moved with the swiftness of a young man, and his step was no blind man's step. As soon as he reached the deck he spied and snatched up the rifle that was leaning against the skylight—it was Asoki's rifle, left behind when that worthy went to supervise Carew's departure—and ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... improvements are few, wages will rise; but profits must suffer a fall. In this country, where population has not yet increased so as to press seriously against subsistence, and where capital increases with incredible swiftness, these cases are often exemplified. The extraordinary resources of the newer States have permitted an unlimited increase of population, and capital has found no difficulty in finding an investment. But yet those States which have been burdened with the disabilities of the old slave ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... course of generations into another, in consequence merely of the experience of wants calling for the exercise of faculties in a particular direction, by which exercise new developments of organs took place, ending in variations sufficient to constitute new species. In this way the swiftness of the antelope, the claws and teeth of the lion, the trunk of the elephant, the long neck of the giraffe have been produced, it is supposed, by a certain plastic character in the construction of animals, operated upon for a long course of ages by the attempts which these animals make to attain ...
— An Expository Outline of the "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" • Anonymous

... in flame. Afar up the wood-crowned hill, the overtopping trees shot forth pinnacles and walls and streamers of arrowy fire. The entire hill-side was an ocean of glowing and surging fiery billows. Favored by the gale, the conflagration spread with lightning swiftness over an illimitable extent of country, filling the atmosphere with driving clouds of suffocating fume, and leaving a broad and blackened trail of spectral trunks shorn of limbs and foliage, smoking and burning, to mark the immense sweep of ...
— Thirty-Seven Days of Peril - from Scribner's Monthly Vol III Nov. 1871 • Truman Everts

... your rules! Abide by them and your woes will surely disappear with a swiftness that will ...
— The Woman Beautiful - or, The Art of Beauty Culture • Helen Follett Stevans

... of mankind at length Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place A limit to the giant's untamed strength, Or curb its swiftness in the forward race? Far, like the comet's way through infinite space, Stretches the long untraveled path of light Into the depths of ages; we may trace Distant, the brightening glory of its flight, Till the receding rays are ...
— Opening Ceremonies of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, May 24, 1883 • William C. Kingsley

... sooner did his foot touch the great oaken sill than with a sheep-like jump he had cleared his skirts of the gate, and now across the open clearing, in the center of which stood the fort, he was clipping away with a swiftness perfectly marvelous in one of his age. Splendidly done, my fine rogue! How the mother of a well-ordered family of precise boys and prim girls would like to have the mending of your morals—i.e., the switching of your skedaddling young legs—this ...
— Burl • Morrison Heady

... canoes are made out of a hollowed tree, or, as they are termed in many ports of India, "dug-outs." They are long and narrow, and are capable of being propelled with great swiftness. Although very easy to capsize, they are constantly loaded till so deep that at the least inclination the water pours over the gunwale, and one man is usually employed baling with a scoop made out of a banana leaf. Custom, however, makes them so used to keep the equilibrium, that you often ...
— Borneo and the Indian Archipelago - with drawings of costume and scenery • Frank S. Marryat

... says: 'It is interesting to point to places in which Lucretius or his predecessors had really anticipated modern scientific research. Thus Lucretius recognises that in a vacuum every body, no matter what its weight, falls with equal swiftness; the circulation of the sap in the vegetable world is known to him, and he describes falling stars, aerolites, etc., as the unused material of the universe.' The great truth that matter is not destroyed but only changes ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... swum, for man can swim through breakers which canoes and surf-boards cannot surmount; but to ride the backs of the waves, rise out of the foam to stand full length in the air above, and with heels winged with the swiftness of horses to fly shoreward, was what made sport for them and brought them out from ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... reason was that the General Staffs of both the French and the British Armies had advised that the campaign would probably be one in which swiftness in moving troops would prove the determining factor. Heavy artillery, and even any large number of the ponderous machine-guns of that period (the Lewis gun had not yet appeared), would have been a serious impediment to such mobility. What was anticipated ...
— Before the War • Viscount Richard Burton Haldane

... word flashed into his mind—a picture from some book he had once read. The eyes, the lightfoot swiftness—yes, a gazelle. He shouted the word aloud, victoriously, as he raced after her ...
— The Song Of The Blood-Red Flower • Johannes Linnankoski

... He soon returned, saying that he could not find him, but had shot a buzzard instead. Being required to produce the bird in proof of his assertion, he said he believed that he was not quite dead, but he must be hurt, from the swiftness with which he ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... shot like a star, with incredible swiftness, from the rising to the setting sun, was meditating to bring the luster of his arms into Italy.... He had heard of the Roman power in Italy."—"Morals," chap. on "Fortune of the Romans," ...
— Our Day - In the Light of Prophecy • W. A. Spicer

... lightning he jumped into the car and shut off the switch, but the imprisoned air was already heavy with the deadly fumes and his head swam. Shutting off the switch would not save him; nothing would save him unless his mind and body acted together with lightning swiftness. ...
— Pee-wee Harris on the Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... receded behind it, more and more. What was his astonishment when he just peeped out, by way of caution, to see that the person who had opened it was—not Job Trotter, but a servant-girl with a candle in her hand! Mr. Pickwick drew in his head again, with the swiftness displayed by that admirable melodramatic performer, Punch, when he lies in wait for the flat-headed comedian with ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... canoes, killing their occupants as they flounder in the water. I suppose that the crocodile of Borneo more nearly approaches the giant saurians of prehistoric times than anything alive to-day. Imagine, if you please, a creature as large as a ship's launch, with the swiftness and ferocity of a man-eating shark, the cunning of a snake, a body so heavily armored with scales that it is impervious to everything save the most high-powered bullets, a tail that is capable of knocking down an ox, and a pair of jaws that can ...
— Where the Strange Trails Go Down • E. Alexander Powell

... all other derelictions from the excellence of God. The lines, once unparalleled, would, without a check, go further apart for all eternity; albeit, the primal deviation arose in time. The aerolite, dropping slowly at first, increases in swiftness as it multiplies the fathoms of descent: and if the abyss be really bottomless, how impossible a check or ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... battles to be fought and races to be won, but no longer against 'each other.' And strength and swiftness to win them; but no longer any strong and swift. There is weakness and cowardice, but no longer any cowards or weaklings. The good and the bad and the worst and the best—it is all mixed up. But ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... size and splendour comes the Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica). As its appearance exhibits a near approach to the gallinaceous birds, so do its habits. It lives chiefly on the ground, runs with great swiftness, and flies up into a tree when disturbed. A nest found here was of the rude platform construction usually found among the pigeon family; it was built in a tree about ten feet from the ground, and contained a single white egg. The most common of the family, however, is one of the nutmeg pigeons, ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... they outdoubled them in numbers. Between every wild clutch came a peck of beak and a buffet of pinion in the face. Generally the bird would, with sharp-clapping wings, dart its whole body, with the swiftness of an arrow, against its singled mark, yet so as to glance aloft the same instant, and descend skimming; much as the thin stone, shot with horizontal cast of arm, having touched and torn the surface of the lake, ascends to skim, ...
— The Princess and the Curdie • George MacDonald

... abdomen of a man. A stroke from one of the paws would fracture his skull, while a wound from the tusk in almost any part of the body must prove certainly fatal. Fortunately, the kargynda has not the swiftness of movement belonging to nearly all our feline races, otherwise its skins, the most valuable prize of the Martial hunter, would yearly be taken at a terrible cost of life. Two of these creatures were said to be reposing in a thick jungle of reeds bordering ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... belonging to water, earth, and air. And since he was very fanciful and took great delight, as it has been said, in painting animals to perfection, he showed in certain lions, who are seeking to bite each other, the great ferocity that is in them, and swiftness and fear in some stags and fallow-deer; not to mention that the birds and fishes, with their feathers and scales, are most lifelike. He made there the Creation of man and of woman, and their Fall, with a beautiful manner and with good and careful execution. And in this work he took delight ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 2, Berna to Michelozzo Michelozzi • Giorgio Vasari

... arrival, the Fellatas should so opportunely seize upon a town, through which they were to pass, and that the information of the inroad of so dreaded an enemy should not have reached Katunga at an earlier period, when intelligence of no moment whatever flies through the country with the swiftness of an arrow from the bow. There was also another strong inducement, which operated upon the mind of the Landers, to expedite their departure, and that was, that from some circumstances which had occurred, ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... in disaster; the final disruption of his party and the loss of old friends who had followed him in victory or defeat; these recollections must have been much in his mind during this year of afterglow. The end was fitting in its swiftness and dignity. No lingering, painful illness, but a swift stroke and a happy release. "Nothing is here for tears; nothing ...
— Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics • J. W. Dafoe

... make, Cecilia.' He surprised her with her Christian name, which kindled in her the secret of something he expected from that ride on the downs. Compare you the Alps with them? If you could jump on the back of an eagle, you might. The Alps have height. But the downs have swiftness. Those long stretching lines of the downs are greyhounds in full career. To look at them is to set the blood racing! Speed is on the downs, glorious motion, odorous air of sea and herb, exquisite as in the isles of Greece. And the Continental travelling ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... out of sight again with the swiftness of a darting swallow. His cousin was talking at high speed. Rogers had lost a great deal of ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... will usher in a new era, of the means of gathering, and of the higher uses of national wealth. A magnificent national fund, accumulated for the benefit, education, refinement and enjoyment of all. The swiftness of its accumulation and the magnitude of its billions, will become the marvel of the world! By contrast, all former standards of the wealth of nations, will fade and shrink to insignificance! Why must this prove true? Because, under the beneficent reign of co-operative ...
— Solaris Farm - A Story of the Twentieth Century • Milan C. Edson

... the paquet had boasted much, before we sailed, of the swiftness of his ship; unfortunately, when we came to sea, she proved the dullest of ninety-six sail, to his no small mortification. After many conjectures respecting the cause, when we were near another ship almost as dull as ours, which, however, gain'd upon us, the ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... nothing but hope as she sat curled up in a corner, only wishing vaguely, from time to time, that her head would not ache so much, and that she did not feel so very, very tired. She had a great confidence in the swiftness of the train, which was every moment increasing the distance between herself and Liege, and so, as she thought, lessening the chances of her being discovered in case of pursuit; and yet, when it stopped at length at the well-remembered Spa station, she lingered a moment ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... Come, Jack." Yvonne rose to her feet, more like a snake than ever in her flexibility and swiftness, and held Isabel to her for a moment, her arm round her young friend's waist. "But if you pin any more buttonholes into Captain Hyde's coat," the last low murmur was only for Isabel's ear, "he will infallibly kiss you: so now you ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... with a strong wind from the west-southwest with full sails, the current allowed them to go not more than a mile and a half per hour, which shows that the current must go at least six miles at the middle of the channel. The swiftness of the current, the fact that the launch had not returned and that night was coming on, made it necessary to seek for an anchorage; this was done with great care and precaution; as the force of the wind made it necessary to have full sail, it was feared that ...
— The March of Portola • Zoeth S. Eldredge

... proposal sent by David to his father brought the old vinegrower from Marsac into the Place du Murier with the swiftness of the raven that scents ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... agreeable to his Maker, does not perceive that there are stages in his life when his existence is more uncertain and much more weak than that of the other animals, or even of some inanimate things. Man is unwilling to admit that he possesses not the strength of the lion, nor the swiftness of the stag, nor the durability of an oak, nor the solidity of marble or metal. He believes himself the greatest favorite, the most sublime, the most noble; he believes himself superior to all other animals because he ...
— Letters to Eugenia - or, a Preservative Against Religious Prejudices • Baron d'Holbach

... become honorable men and fathers, yet who in college days regard it as heroic to sneak out and break things, and as humorous to lead countryside girls astray in sordid amours. The more cloistered the seat of learning, the more vicious are the active boys, to keep up with the swiftness of life forces. The Turk's gang painted the statues of the Memorial Arch; they stole signs; they were the creators of noises unexpected and intolerable, during ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... to him and tell him of the Indian in the cabin before he arrive. If he come on them there, and they kill him! Oh, let me go quickly." At the thought of him, and the danger he might meet, all her fears of the men "rouge" returned upon her, and she was gone, passing with incredible swiftness over the rough way, to try to intercept him before he could ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... extreme thinness of his chest and the slenderness of his limbs might as aptly have been called the hatchet-handle. But, so far from being unfit for the hardy pursuits of a hunter, he was gifted with the activity of a greyhound, and the swiftness and bottom of a race-horse. His name was Sneak Punk, which was always abbreviated to merely Sneak, for his general success in creeping up to the unsuspecting game of whatsoever kind he might be hunting, while others could not meet with such ...
— Wild Western Scenes • John Beauchamp Jones

... out of his embrace, sprang to her feet, and ran with remarkable swiftness a distance that was twice as long as the one he had staked off; she did not fall; she did not want to fall; ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... some time; and now, eyes are exploring eagerly the vast realms those doors unclose, and hesitating only in which first to set foot. You may send the 'Stones of Venice' too; I foresee that it will be useful; and the 'Seven Lamps of Architecture.' I am catching my breath, with the swiftness of the way we go on. It is astonishing, what all clustered round a view of Milan Cathedral yesterday. By the way, Philip,—no hurry,—but by and by a stereoscope would be a good thing here. Let it be a little hand-glass, not a great instrument of unvarying routine ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... scorpions), but Thy Logos, O Lord, which heals all things." Later, when he describes the destruction of the first-born in Egypt, he rises in a paean to a finer poetical flight: "When tranquil silence folded all things, and night in her own swiftness was in the midst of her course, Thy all-powerful Logos leaped from heaven, from his royal throne, a stern warrior into the midst of the doomed land, bearing as a sharp sword Thy Divine commandment, and having taken his stand filled all things with death: and he touched heaven and walked upon earth." ...
— Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria • Norman Bentwich

... familiar melody echoed through the dreary vault, my bitter wrath against her partially lessened; with the swiftness of my southern temperament a certain compassion stirred my soul. She was no longer quite the same woman who had wronged and betrayed me—she had the helplessness and fearful innocence of madness—in that condition I could not have hurt a hair of her head. I stepped hastily forward—I resolved ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli

... the inclination (by the bye, I think that's half a mistake). Never mind, your inclination to fish and my desire to be the tigress at the Zoological Gardens have nothing whatever in common. I admire and envy the wild beast's swiftness and strength, but if I had them I don't think I would tear human beings to bits unless I were she, which was not what I wished to be, only as strong and agile as she; do you see? I am in a great hurry, dear, and have written you ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... wolf struck in with the swiftness of lightning, and his jaws came together with the sharpness of steel striking steel. They missed by an inch. In that same instant Kazan darted in to the side, and like knives his teeth gashed ...
— Kazan • James Oliver Curwood

... graceful figure was scarcely a moment in repose; it leaped and darted, the bright cloak waving, inviting, the bright sword glittering in the sun—it toyed with death and peril, evading both with an exultant grace and swiftness marvellous to behold, and rousing the on-lookers to shouts of joy and triumph. Even old Jovita wakened to a touch of fire which seemed like a renewal of her long-past youth. Jose and Manuel joined their cries with the rest. Pepita ...
— The Pretty Sister Of Jose - 1889 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... display of emotion, unless—He had avoided looking at the lady in black, feeling that to do so were to play with temptation; but the attraction was too strong for him, and he glanced at her with a look of which the swiftness showed how strongly she affected him. It seemed to him that there was a faint flush of indignation upon her face; and he cast down his eyes, smitten by the conviction that there was an intimate sympathy ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... made so many joyful hearts as the invention of mechanical music. It has brought light, peace, gladness, and the gift of self-expression to every third or fourth flat, villa, and lonely farmhouse in the land. Its voice has literally gone out through all the earth, and with a swiftness more like that of light than ...
— The Joyful Heart • Robert Haven Schauffler

... about the 20th of October. As if pointedly to irritate Henry, he had placed himself under the conduct of the Duke of Albany.[624] He was followed two days later by his fair niece, Catherine de Medici; and the preparations for the marriage were commenced with the utmost swiftness and secrecy. The conditions of the contract were not allowed to transpire, but they were concluded in three days; and on this 25th of October the pope bestowed his precious present on the Duke of Orleans, he himself performing the nuptial ceremony, and accompanying ...
— The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3) • James Anthony Froude

... the best salve. How goes on Sir Ralph's black charger, Dragon? A brave horse that, Peter, and the only one in your master's whole stud to compare with my Robin! But Dragon, though of high courage and great swiftness, has not the strength and endurance of Robin—neither can he leap so well. Why, Robin would almost clear the Calder, Peter, and makes nothing of Smithies Brook, near Downham, and you know how wide that stream is. I once ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... active young men armed with fire-hardened spears, tottering along with incredible swiftness on his two spindle legs, Kwaque had fallen exhausted at Daughtry's feet and looked up at him with the beseeching eyes of a deer fleeing from the hounds. Daughtry had inquired into the matter, and the inquiry was violent; for he had a wholesome fear of germs and bacilli, and when the two active ...
— Michael, Brother of Jerry • Jack London

... it, so I asked her: "four?" and she replied with four raps. I asked for five, and she answered correctly. I was now confident that she did understand; but what mystified me was the celerity with which her answers were given, for allowing even that she had understood, this swiftness seemed incomprehensible, and I decided to form no opinion until I had tested her with higher numbers, and should be in a position to discount the possibility ...
— Lola - The Thought and Speech of Animals • Henny Kindermann

... and pointed the way by which the astonished delegation might find a safe and swift way of exit. They passed out in speechless astonishment, and sent their big chief to browbeat and bully the young upstart into submission. The incredible swiftness with which he returned left the question open as to how he got out of the District Attorney's office. He claimed to have bowed himself politely out the door—but, from the condition of his clothes and the rumpled state of his hair, ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... not exert his utmost speed, like one who finds himself in danger, or who is frightened, but preserved just such a rate as to encourage Tressilian to continue the chase, and then darted away from him with the swiftness of the wind, when his pursuer supposed he had nearly run him down, doubling at the same time, and winding, so as always to keep near the ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... smote on the doors of England with the hammers of earthquake, and a white smoke went up into the black heavens. There one could thoroughly realise what an awful thing a wave really is. I talk like other people about the rushing swiftness of a wave. But the horrible thing about a wave is its hideous slowness. It lifts its load of water laboriously: in that style at once slow and slippery in which a Titan might lift a load of rock and ...
— Tremendous Trifles • G. K. Chesterton

... a snatch at a dressing-gown, which I rescued from the conglomerate heap before he could push me away. Then, with the garment hung over my arm, I stood by helplessly with Joseph, while Innocentina and the Boy, with incredible swiftness and skill, set about the business from which I had been dismissed. Somewhat after this fashion must the work of Creation have been done, when there was ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... to his outer door, and he knew that she stood there, listening, her head against the panel. When she was satisfied she slipped, with the swiftness of familiarity with her surroundings, to the stand beside his bed, and turned on the lamp. In the shaded light he saw that she wore a dark cape, with its hood drawn over her head. In some strange fashion the maid, even the woman, was lost, and she stood, strange, mysterious, ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... hath to silver turn'd; O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing! His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd, But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing: Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen; Duty, faith, love, are ...
— Book of English Verse • Bulchevy

... possess not merely the present but the future, and can rise or fall from a past of glory or of shame. Movement, that problem of the visible arts, can be truly realised by Literature alone. It is Literature that shows us the body in its swiftness and the soul in its ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... she have learned his situation? He thought it was impossible; and that impossibility compelled an erratic hope of his present liberty having sprung from the goodness of Miss Beaufort to pass by him with a painful swiftness. ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... and follow me on foot. Notwithstanding this, I had no thought of giving in, and determined, should my horse fall, that I would try the speed of my legs. I could run as fast as most Indians, boasting as they do of their swiftness of foot. Some distance before me appeared a wood, bordering a stream: I determined to try and gain it, and dismounting, to leave my poor horse to his fate, when I would make my way along the bank, and then cross the stream, if it was sufficiently shallow to allow me to ford it, so that the Indians ...
— With Axe and Rifle • W.H.G. Kingston

... the life of the consul was discovered. Napoleon suspected it to have originated with the Bourbons; and the death of the young Duke d'Enghien, a son of the Prince of Conde, without pity or justice, was intended to strike with terror all who were plotting for his downfall. The swiftness with which it was done, the darkness under the walls of Vincennes, the lantern on the breast of the victim, and the file of soldiers at midnight, all conspired to warn conspirators of the fate awaiting them. It was the critical moment at hand which turned ...
— A Short History of France • Mary Platt Parmele

... gave no further grace. His fingers tightened on the man's throat and the desperate face went black. Then, keeping the fellow ever before him, he suddenly flung him into the air by the waist, shifting holds with tigerish swiftness, and caught him by the ankles as he came down. He whirled the unfortunate wretch once, and three men went down under the terrible blow; the rest scattered with furious howls, bespattered with the blood of their ...
— The Pirate Woman • Aylward Edward Dingle

... "I never had it in my head that any man should stand before me as a shield, but still as things are thou must have thy way; but for all that, with my gift of wit and my swiftness I may be of some use to thee, and not harmless ...
— Njal's Saga • Unknown Icelanders

... yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being cross-garter'd; and in this she manifests herself to my love, and with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits of her liking. I thank my stars, I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-garter'd, even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove and my stars be praised! ...
— Twelfth Night; or, What You Will • William Shakespeare [Hudson edition]

... refused to move, and commenced to harangue the soldier in a language he supposed to be Russian. There must have been something wrong about it, for after a few words of conversation the sentry rushed at him with the bayonet fixed, and but for the swiftness of his heels there might have been a tragedy. He immediately called at the Admiral's office, informed him of what had occurred, and requested that he should be escorted where he desired to go. An officer was sent with him, and when they got to the sentry ...
— Looking Seaward Again • Walter Runciman

... rain was falling in torrents when the modern Charlemagne, unable to move, was borne in a litter by the light of torches across steep mountain paths with a swiftness most surprising; terror adding wings to the footsteps of his bearers, lest they and their gouty burden should fall into the hands of the heretic army, said to be in pursuit. But pursuit was soon given ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 9 • Various

... quarrel. She was very strong, fond of sports, and of chasing the wild animals. She wore a short skirt, which allowed freedom of motion to her limbs. Then she ranged over the hills and valleys with wonderful swiftness. So rapid were her movements that many people likened her to the cold mountain stream, that leaps down from the high peaks and over the rocks, foaming and dashing to the lowlands. They gave the same ...
— Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks • William Elliot Griffis

... profane history the extent and swiftness of his conquests, the intrepidity of his courage, the wisdom of his views and designs; his greatness of soul, his noble generosity; his truly paternal affection for his subjects; and, on their part, the grateful returns of love and tenderness, which made them consider him rather ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... dominion, but the sphere of the other or diverse was distributed into seven unequal orbits, having intervals in ratios of twos and threes, three of either sort, and he bade the orbits move in opposite directions to one another—three of them, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, with equal swiftness, and the remaining four—the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, with unequal swiftness to the three and to one another, but all ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... the text, the notes, and the literal translation, while he turned up the vocabulary for ludibrium, when his attention, wandering dangerously near the top of the page, fell over the edge and escaped with incredible swiftness down ...
— Love and Mr. Lewisham • H. G. Wells



Words linked to "Swiftness" :   hurry, execution speed, graduality, hurriedness, pace, haste, gradualness, rate, swift, fast, precipitation, slow, hastiness



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