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Totter   /tˈɑtər/   Listen
Totter

verb
(past & past part. tottered; pres. part. tottering)
1.
Move without being stable, as if threatening to fall.
2.
Walk unsteadily.  Synonyms: coggle, dodder, paddle, toddle, waddle.
3.
Move unsteadily, with a rocking motion.  Synonyms: seesaw, teeter.



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"Totter" Quotes from Famous Books



... the imaginary sorrows of another? And again—but ha!—why that flash of delight and terror?—that sudden suffusion of red over thy face and neck—and even now, that paleness like death! Thy heart, thy heart—why does it throb, and why do thy knees totter? Alas! it is even so; the Endymion of thy dreams, as beautiful as even thou thyself in thy purple dawn of womanhood,—he from whom thou now shrinkest, yet whom thou dreadest not to meet, is approaching, and bears in his beauty the charm ...
— Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... up with assistance from the bed-post and totter feebly to an arm-chair by the fire, where I sit in a dressing-gown and weep. What for? I couldn't say, except that it seems a fit ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 18, 1917 • Various

... moan, and groan, and roll his eyes, and reel and totter about; and when the stranger was close at hand, down he sprawled before him, with a shriek, and began to writhe and wallow in the dirt, in ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... arrows, and again he takes his station. An arrow issues forth, and takes effect on a weak side of Thomas. Symptoms of dissolution appear—the cohesion of the system is loosened—the Schoolmen begin to totter; the Stagyrite trembles; Philosophy rocks to its centre; and, before it can be seen whether time will do anything to heal their wounds, another arrow is planted in the schism of their ontology; the mighty structure ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... to make anybody's heart ache to see these two poor little things, when they first got strong enough to totter about after this fever; so weak they felt, they could hardly stand; and they cried more than half the time, thinking about their papa and mamma, dead and buried without their even being able to kiss them once for good-by. The ...
— The Hunter Cats of Connorloa • Helen Jackson

... My wistful eyes on two fair images, Both crown'd with stars and high among the stars, - The Virgin Mother standing with her child High up on one of those dark minster-fronts - Till she began to totter, and the child Clung to the mother, and sent out a cry Which mixt with little Margaret's, and I woke, And my dream awed me: ...
— Alfred Tennyson • Andrew Lang

... suddenly and entirely; else the foolish, short-lived multitude and mob of mortals will be enraged with one who seems their brother, yet whose countenance will never be furrowed with his age, nor his knees totter, nor his force be abated; their little brevity will be rebuked by his age-long endurance, above whom the oaken roof-tree of a thousand years would crumble, while still he would be hale and strong. So that this house, or any other, would be but a resting-place of ...
— Septimius Felton - or, The Elixir of Life • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... scarcely ever known to leave her own premises. There also her little great-grandson Peter first learned to walk, and as she slowly passed from one alcove to the other, resting in each when she reached it, he would take hold of her high staff and totter beside her, always bestowing on her as much as he could of his company, and early showing a preference for her over his aunt and even over ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... of such as are loyal to Your Majesty. The fidelity of the army, too, is threatened. Ere long, the forces of the Crown will become a prey to profound disaffection; and where could we look for help, should this occur and this last bulwark totter? ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... mother, and what does it mean? His father remains alive! So, come to his aid—you cannot ask him to do everything alone. You must make an end of me! The old trunk still looks rugged, doesn't it? But it has begun to totter already—it will not cost you much trouble to fell it! You need not reach for the ax. You have a pretty face—I have never praised you, but today I will tell you, so that you may acquire courage and confidence. Your eyes, nose, mouth are surely admired! Become—You understand me?—Or ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... if I live, there may visit me from the blue as I totter among the flower-beds an aeroplane of so scandalous a crudity and immaturity that all the countryside, long since weary of the sight and sound of flying machines, then so common that every cottager will ...
— A Boswell of Baghdad - With Diversions • E. V. Lucas

... master, and began a rhythmic blow-answering-blow contest with the fragrant earth and the demon within the man. For at least an hour the two old friends worked up and down the long bed, until I could see father begin to totter with weakness. ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... John, We clamb the hill thegither; And mony a canty day, John, We've had wi' ane anither: Now we maun totter down, John, But hand in hand we'll go; And sleep thegither at the foot, ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... of execution. There is now only wanting, to accomplish the whole declaration before mentioned, a sedition-bill, which we shall certainly soon see proposed. The object of that, is the suppression of the whig presses. Bache's has been particularly named. That paper and also Carey's totter for want of subscriptions. We should really exert ourselves to procure them, for if these papers fall, republicanism will be entirely brow-beaten. Carey's paper comes out three times a week, at five dollars. The meeting ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... the woman. An involuntary shudder passed through Nathaniel as he looked at them. They were old—so old that the man's shrivelled hands were like those of a skeleton; his giant frame seemed about to totter into ruin, his eyes were sunken until his face gave the horror of a death mask. Was it possible that these people were the father and mother of Marion—and of Neil? As he stepped to the threshold they timidly drew back from him. In a single glance Nathaniel ...
— The Courage of Captain Plum • James Oliver Curwood

... comes With flickering flame; Shines from his sword The Val-god's sun. The stony hills are dashed together, The giantesses totter; Men tread the path of Hel, ...
— Myths of the Norsemen - From the Eddas and Sagas • H. A. Guerber

... Valliere raised herself from the ground, and extended her arms, as if to follow and detain him; but when, having violently closed the door, the sound of his retreating footsteps could be heard in the distance, she had hardly sufficient strength left to totter toward and fall at the foot of her crucifix. There she remained, brokenhearted, absorbed and overwhelmed by her grief, forgetful of and indifferent to everything but her profound grief itself—a grief which she could not comprehend otherwise than by instinct and acute sensation. In the ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... an old hag, who was just placing on her crooked shoulders her bag of pickings, and who was turning to totter off, "that Betsy Jennings desarves it—was she ever married? ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... that on all things lays his lenient hand, Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand. Consistent in our follies and our sins, Here honest Nature ends as she begins. Old politicians chew on wisdom past, And totter on in business to the last; As weak, as earnest, and as gravely out, As sober Lanesb'row dancing in the gout. Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace Has made the father of a nameless race, Shoved from the wall perhaps, or rudely pressed By his own son, ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... out for eighteen months. Then it began to totter. The financial world stood bewildered. It had always been reckoned one of the safest banks in the country. People asked what could be the cause. I knew well enough, but ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... wistful gaze on the alabaster shell dimly glimmering among the low palms, to my astonishment it seemed to totter. I thought that it must be a mere illusion of weary eyes, or that the effect was created by a cloud obscuring the starlight. But again the white shell moved against the dark green background, this time swaying ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... The flowers that 'neath my footsteps smiled Now meet my gaze no more. I stand beneath this giant oak! It was an aged tree, Hollowed by time's resistless stroke, When life was green with me. Its lofty head it proudly rears To greet the summer sky, Whilst, bending with the weight of years, I feebly totter by. And hushed are all the thousand songs That filled these branches high: Echo no more for me prolongs The woodland minstrelsy. Silence has gathered round life's hall; My friends are in the clay; I hear no more the footsteps fall, That ...
— Enthusiasm and Other Poems • Susanna Moodie

... attention was paid to it this time. "I cannot describe the mad rush," he said. "At first it looked like dust. That must have been the spray. I could see houses going down before it like a child's play blocks set on edge in a row. As it came nearer I could see houses totter for a moment, then rise and the next moment be crushed like egg shells ...
— The Johnstown Horror • James Herbert Walker

... brilliant panegyric of the dead statesman, and his speech was eloquent and displayed great taste. He was so ill, however, from weakness of heart that he was barely able to totter to his place and to ask the indulgence of the speaker while he rested, before offering his oration. He was too sick for the sad duty imposed upon him, but he preferred to pay this last tribute to his friend. ...
— The Grand Old Man • Richard B. Cook

... form. His gaze remaining fixed and fascinated on this object, distinguished at last a dark face with two gleaming eyes surmounted by horns. All Peter Rorke's vaunted courage deserted him; conscience-stricken and smitten by sudden agonising fears, he uttered a shrill quavering scream and began to totter down the hill with all the speed ...
— North, South and Over the Sea • M.E. Francis (Mrs. Francis Blundell)

... and leaped, but too hurriedly. If he had gone quietly to work it would have been different; as it was, he cleared the gulf and landed on the other side, but without throwing himself forward sufficiently to recover himself, and Ned uttered a cry of horror as he saw the lad apparently about to totter ...
— Jack at Sea - All Work and no Play made him a Dull Boy • George Manville Fenn

... torrent, and with the crashing, groaning, and even screaming of the trees in the glen whose boughs were tormented by the gale. Within the house, windows clattered, and doors clapped, and the walls, though sufficiently substantial for a building of the kind, seemed to me to totter in the tempest. ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... had been torturing himself needlessly. She herself had spoken of trust. Should that trust totter for an instant, would not the faintest possible hint be sufficient to re-establish it ...
— Antony Gray,—Gardener • Leslie Moore

... wet," said little Gluck; "I'll just let him in for a quarter of an hour." Round he went to the door, and opened it; and as the little gentleman walked in, through the house came a gust of wind that made the old chimneys totter. ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V2 • Charles H. Sylvester

... military action abroad. On several occasions they even publicly expressed their sympathies and approval of this action. For nearly three years they prevented the opening of the Austrian Parliament which would have been to their prejudice. Only after the Russian Revolution, when Austria began to totter and her rulers were apprehensive lest events in Russia should have a repercussion in the Dual Monarchy, did the Czechs decide to speak out and exerted pressure to bring about the opening of the Reichsrat, where they ...
— Independent Bohemia • Vladimir Nosek

... there? Elliott could quite clearly imagine what Aunt Margaret, Stannard's mother, would say to that question. She had never especially cared for Aunt Margaret. As Elliott looked at Bruce Fearing, one of the pillars of her familiar world began to totter. Actually, she could think of no particularly good reason why, when she had heard his story, she should proceed to shun him. His history simply didn't seem to matter, except to make her sorry for him; and yet she couldn't be really sorry for a boy who had ...
— The Camerons of Highboro • Beth B. Gilchrist

... house." "Vamonos," (Let us go) hiccoughed the fiscal. "Manana," (to-morrow) hiccoughed the presidente. The fiscal stormed; the presidente threatened him with jail, ordered him home, and with a body-guard for our protection led us to our room. Scarcely able to totter, the presidente assured us that drunken men were dangerous and ought not to be trusted; at the same time he produced his bottle and offered us a drop to warm us. It required tact and time to get rid ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... people in the hour of peril, careless who suffered in defenceless Rome, while he was secure in fortified Ravenna. Such was the man under whom the mightiest of the world's structures was doomed to totter to its fall! Such was the figure destined to close a scene which Time and Glory had united to hallow and adorn! Raised and supported by a superhuman daring, that invested the nauseous horrors of incessant bloodshed with a rude and appalling ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... of the limitations of different laws. It is the discord of the part with the whole. It is the antagonism of the soul with God. But the perpetual preservation of a perfectly balanced antagonism with God is inconceivable. It must vary, totter, grow either worse or better. If it grows worse, it will finally destroy itself, the aberrant individuality or malign insurgence vanishing in the totality of force, as the filth of our sewers vanishes purely in the purity of the ocean. If it grows better, its improvement will finally ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... thou high Dunedin! Shalt thou totter to thy fall; Though thy bravest and thy strongest Are not there to man the wall. No, not yet! the ancient spirit Of our fathers hath not gone; Take it to thee as a buckler Better far than steel or ...
— Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems • W.E. Aytoun

... active little girl, and her quick running soon deprived her of breath. Oh, what a distance lay between that hay-field and the house! At last the lawn was gained, then the gravel sweep, then the side-door. She could only totter upstairs, and by the time she reached Miss Nelson's room she was ...
— The Children of Wilton Chase • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... the entrance of these ancient catacombs, and who, in their age and infirmity, seem waiting here, to be buried themselves, are members of a curious body, called the Royal Hospital, who are the official attendants at funerals. Two of these old specters totter away, with lighted tapers, to show the caverns of death—as unconcerned as if they were immortal. They were used as burying-places for three hundred years; and, in one part, is a large pit full of skulls and bones, said to be the sad remains of a great mortality occasioned by a plague. In the rest, ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Vol VIII - Italy and Greece, Part Two • Various

... and lashing their poor beasts with their sabers till the horses' flanks ran blood. Just as they neared Cecil they had knocked aside and trampled over a worn out old colon, of age too feeble for him to totter in time from their path. Cecil had reined up and shouted to them to pause; they, inflamed with the perilous drink, and senseless with the fury which seems to possess every Arab once started in ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... stab at her heart. At this juncture Jose appeared from out the shadows of the garden beyond the patio and hurriedly approached them. She heard him say something in Spanish which she did not understand. Then, all became blurred before her eyes. She felt herself begin to sway and totter—she fainted. ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... lived long enough to have plucked the flowers of life and come to the berries,—which are not always sad-colored, but sometimes golden-hued as the crocus of April, or rosy-cheeked as the damask of June; a man who staggered against books as a baby, and will totter against them, if he lives to decrepitude; with a brain full of tingling thoughts, such as they are, as a limb which we call "asleep," because it is so particularly awake, is of pricking points; presenting a key-board of nerve-pulps, not ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... sensorial power of irritation is much exhausted, or its production much diminished; the sensorial power of sensation appears for a time to be increased; as in intoxication there exists a kind of delirium and quick flow of ideas, and yet the person becomes so weak as to totter as he walks; but this delirium is owing to the defect of voluntary power to correct the streams of ideas by intuitive analogy, as in dreams: see Zoonomia: and thus also those who are enfeebled by habits of much vinous potation, or even by age alone, are liable to weep at shaking hands ...
— The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes • Erasmus Darwin

... strength, health, house and lands, all are gone. And yet these losses have not had power to bow that palsied head to the grave. Morning by morning she rises without a hope, night by night she lies down vacant or apathetic; and the utmost use she can make of the day is to totter three or four times across the floor by the assistance of her staff. Yet, though we wonder that she is still permitted to cumber the ground, joyless and weary, "the tomb of her dead self," we look at this dry leaf, and think how green it once was, and how ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... Diaz could not resist. He dared not throw the weight of his armies against them, for he must hold the south. And through the south the flame would spread despite. The people would rise. The defenses of city after city would crumple up. State after state would totter down. And at last, from every side, the victorious armies of the Revolution would close in on the City of ...
— The Night-Born • Jack London

... contemptuously so called, and they answered to these names. I remember Cree best as a battered old weaver, who bent forward as he walked, with his arms hanging limp as if ready to grasp the shafts of the barrow behind which it was his life to totter uphill and downhill, a rope of yarn suspended round his shaking neck, and fastened to the shafts, assisting him to bear the yoke and slowly strangling him. By and by there came a time when the barrow and the weaver seemed both palsy-stricken, and Cree, gasping ...
— Auld Licht Idylls • J. M. Barrie

... of Charlie and the servant, Clarence was gradually prepared to go ashore. He was exceedingly weak, could scarcely totter across the deck; and it was with some difficulty that they at last succeeded in placing him safely in the boat. After they landed, a carriage was soon procured, and in a short time thereafter Clarence was comfortably established in ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... well they would one day return and embrace all the prejudices which they had combated. And when they did venture to make a stir on a little scandal, or loudly to declare war on some idol of the day,—who was beginning to totter,—they took care never to burn their boats: in case of danger they re-embarked. Whatever then might be the issue of the campaign,—when it was finished it was a long time before war would break out again: the Philistines could sleep in peace. All that these new Davidsbuendler wanted to do was ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... pulsed with electricity. A cock crowed feebly in the village. Then at a rippling splash of the drums and the sudden screaming of the wizards, they began to push the idol. The base had already been loosened in the earth by the slaves. The idol began to totter. Louder screeched the magicians; faster fled the drums. Slowly the idol leaned and subsided on to the shoulders of Kawa Kendi. Grasping the mass firmly upon his bent back, he bore the burden out of the ...
— Witch-Doctors • Charles Beadle

... gentleman and those ladies ask me again? No, no; they will forget poor old Twoshoes." Goody! For shame of yourself! Do not be cynical. Do not mistrust your fellow-creatures. What? Has the Christmas morning dawned upon thee ninety times? For four-score and ten years has it been thy lot to totter on this earth, hungry and obscure? Peace and good-will to thee, let us say at this Christmas season. Come, drink, eat, rest awhile at our hearth, thou poor old pilgrim! And of the bread which God's bounty gives us, I pray, brother reader, we may not forget ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... house in a miserable street. It was, I verily believe, one of the most wretched quarters I have ever seen,—houses that must have been sordid and hideous enough when new, that had gathered foulness with every year, and now seemed to lean and totter to their fall. 'I live up there,' said Black, pointing to the tiles, 'not in the front,—in the back. I am very quiet there. I won't ask you to come in now, ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Mystic-Humorous Stories • Various

... stream. This soon led to a request from France that we should withdraw our troops from the Rio Grande and to negotiations for the withdrawal of theirs. Finally Bazaine was withdrawn from Mexico by order of the French Government. From that day the empire began to totter. Mexico was then able to maintain her ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... have to bend, Wherever the darkey may go; A few more days, and the trouble all will end, In the field where the sugar-canes grow. A few more days for to tote the weary load,— No matter, 'twill never be light; A few more days till we totter on the road:— Then my old Kentucky ...
— Poems Every Child Should Know - The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library • Various

... time a silvery yacht glided across a silvery sea, while in far-off Azuria a throne did totter and fall; but ten thousand loyal subjects smiled in their sleep that night at a strangely happy dream, wherein their little Princess was pressing upon the lips of an unknown beggar the seal of her ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... every day—trying to hide their littleness by the nasty mass of false hair—or what does duty for it; and by the ugly and useless hat which is stuck upon it, making the head thereby look ridiculously large and heavy; and by the high heels on which they totter onward, having forgotten, or never learnt, the simple art of walking; their bodies tilted forward in that ungraceful attitude which is called—why that name of all others?—a "Grecian bend;" seemingly kept on their feet, and kept together at all, in that strange attitude, by tight stays which prevented ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... out to see what kind of weather it was for the market, and with a sudden pang, she remembered her old father, and how, on such a day, he would totter to the open door, and there sit in the sunshine, grateful for the same warmth for which his old dog was grateful. When she came home from the market, she would make a wreath of white holly to put ...
— Women of the Country • Gertrude Bone

... woman with a wounded neck to lay his trembling old head on her shoulder as they sat on a little straw in the bottom of a native cart. He had reached that venerable period of life when men can barely totter to their doors to enjoy the sunshine, and when beholders regard them with irresistible feelings of tenderness and reverence. War had taught the old man how to stand erect once more—though it was but a spasmodic effort—and his poor fingers were clasped round the hilt of an old ...
— In the Track of the Troops • R.M. Ballantyne

... building continued to rise. It did not totter; it simply rose in its entirety, leaving the gaping hole into which, decades ago, it had been built. It rose straight into the sky, apparently of its own volition. No rays of light, no supernatural agencies could ...
— Lords of the Stratosphere • Arthur J. Burks

... take care of the head, not only because it is so pretty but because of its knowledge. Though we totter on the edge of atomic destruction I have a strange feeling of optimism—for the first time since ...
— Planet of the Damned • Harry Harrison

... Francesca Ziani. It is now her turn. Her cruel parents remain unsubdued and unsoftened by her deep and touching sorrows. She is made to rise, to totter forward to the altar, scarcely conscious of any thing, except, perhaps, that the worthless, but wealthy, Ulric Barberigo is at her side. Once more the mournful spectacle restores to the spectators all their better feelings. They perceive, they feel the cruelty ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 5 November 1848 • Various

... tradition and heredity, to the regular use of water. But I fear the good Father will hardly strain his authority so far. An edict to wash would mean blue ructions in Tipperary, open rebellion would ensue, and the mighty Catholic Church would totter to its fall. The threat to wash would be an untold terrorism, the use of soap an outrage which could only be atoned by blood. And Father Humphreys (if he knew the words) might truly say Cui bono? Why wash? Is not soap an enemy to the faith? Do not the people suit our purpose ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... a cry escaped our men as we saw the foremast begin to totter. Another sea came and over it went, carrying the shrieking wretches clinging to it away in its embrace. Though good swimmers, in vain they attempted to reach the mainmast. The next sea swept them away to leeward. Their fate might be ours, however, ...
— In the Eastern Seas • W.H.G. Kingston

... dry, and in others contained a little muddy and stagnated water. Within the enclosure of this moat, I could only discover a pile of ruins, and several walls, the upper part of which seemed to overhang their foundations, and to totter to their ruin. After having entered however with my conductor through an archway, and passed along a winding passage that was perfectly dark, we came ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... my Son? thou lyest; I never got a Parasite, a Coward. I seeke the Prince or bend in base submission! Ile seeke my grave first. Yf I needes must fall And that the fatall howre is cast of Barnavelt, Just like a strong demolishd Tower ile totter And fright the neighbour Cuntries with my murmour. My ruyns shall reach all: the valiant Soldier, Whose eies are unacquainted but with anger, Shall weep for me because I fedd and noursd him; Princes shall mourne my losse, ...
— A Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. II • Various

... meal provided for them by the State, and in a few hours experience the anguish of the slowly killing poison; an intense thirst urges them to the fountains, but the water only serves to dilute and render it more potent: their bodies swell, they totter, fall, try to recover their feet, but cannot; then piteously howling are carried off in the height of a titanic convulsion. Often on returning at this season from an evening party, we discern dark receding forms and hear voices too, "visae canes ululare ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... had gone beyond Morrison to the man sitting beside him and at the sight of that loved figure the old man began to tremble. His voice lowered to a whisper and he began to totter forward. ...
— The Littlest Rebel • Edward Peple

... I'm not so sure he was his own worst enemy. He was bad enough enemy to his own flesh and blood. Ah well, he'll spend no more money, anyhow. No, he went sudden, didn't he? But he was getting very frail, if you noticed. Oh yes, why he fair seemed to totter down to Lumley. Do you reckon as that place pays its way? What, the Endeavour?—they say it does. They say it makes a nice bit. Well, it's mostly pretty full. Ay, it is. Perhaps it won't be now Mr. Houghton's gone. Perhaps not. I wonder if he will leave much. I'm sure ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... springing at its head, and dashing with inaudible fury along the bottom, seemed to gleam placidly amongst the rounded forms of inky bushes and pale boulders below our path. Enormous eddies of wind from above made us stop short and totter breathless, ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... with him who carried it; then, when the regiment had taken flight, he saw him returning with his conquest in his arms. On reaching the marshal he threw the colors at his feet; opening his mouth to speak, instead of words, it was blood that came to his lips. The marshal saw him totter in his saddle, and advanced to support him, but before he had time to do so Albert had fallen; a ball had pierced his breast. The marshal sprung from his horse, but the brave young man lay dead on the standard he had just taken. The Duc d'Orleans arrived the day after the battle. He regretted ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... resting place, where virtuous old age may throw down his pains and aches, wipe off his old scores, and begin anew on an innocent and happy state that shall last for ever. What weakness to wish to live to such ghastly dotage, as to frighten the children, and make even the dogs to bark at us as we totter along the streets. Most certainly then, there is a time when, to a good man, death is a great mercy even to his body; and as to his soul, why should he tremble about that? Who can doubt that God created us to be happy; ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... in being received so affectionately by his lovely niece, which was indeed more than he deserved. He simpered and pursed up his lips so that his moustache was all of a totter, and groaned and whined, not with pain, but simply and solely with ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... a back-handed but violent blow on the mouth, that caused him to totter, and which left the impression of its weight in the starting blood ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... the Gotham Trust and the Trust Company of the Republic were now blocks in length; and every hour one heard of runs upon new institutions. There were women wringing their hands and crying in nervous excitement; there were old people, scarcely able to totter; there were people who had risen from sick-beds, and who stood all through the day and night, shivering ...
— The Moneychangers • Upton Sinclair

... 11th and 12th of August of that year, the mountain appeared to be wholly enveloped in a remarkable luminous cloud. The inhabitants fled in consternation; but before they could all escape, the mountain began to totter, and the greater part of it tumbled down and disappeared. The crash with which it fell was dreadful, the noise resembling the discharge of volleys of artillery. Besides that part of the mountain which thus fell in, a large extent of ground ...
— Wonders of Creation • Anonymous

... thought to be a place of great security, and all the merchant vessels in the port were filled with people, who passed the night between the 4th and 5th on board, expecting every instant to see St. Paul's totter, and the towers of Westminster Abbey rock in the wind and fall amid a cloud of dust. The greater part of the fugitives returned on the following day, convinced that the prophet was a false one; but many judged it more prudent to allow a week to elapse before they trusted ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... to see to, and the horses to feed at night: and all, old and young, and sickly, labor to the last extent of their powers. The peasants toil so, that on every occasion, the mowers, before the end of the third stint, whether weak, young, or old, can hardly walk as they totter past the last rows, and only with difficulty are they able to rise after the breathing-spell; and the women, often pregnant, or nursing infants, work in the same way. The toil is intense and incessant. ...
— The Moscow Census - From "What to do?" • Lyof N. Tolstoi

... stern deprecation, Andrew Fraser saw the girl totter and her head fall upon the bosom of the woman who had "sorrowed of her sorrows" in all the years of the lonely colorless infancy, childhood, and budding womanhood! The old bookworm clung to the papers as if that "documentary evidence" was an ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... no need to say that. Darya Alexandrovna had seen that as soon as he glanced into her face; and she felt sorry for him, and her faith in the innocence of her friend began to totter. ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... and a general prosperity appeared to testify to the blessings of the peace which had so lately been bestowed upon it. An external repose deceived the eye, for within raged all the elements of discord. If the foundations of religion totter in a country they totter not alone; the audacity which begins with things sacred ends with things profane. The successful attack upon the hierarchy had awakened a spirit of boldness, and a desire to assail authority in general, and to test laws as well as dogmas—duties as well as opinions. The ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... the approach, and the battering ram was soon placed in position, while a strong body of archers prevented the defenders showing themselves above the parapet. The wall was of far less strength than that which the Romans had before encountered, and soon began to totter before the blows of the battering ram. The Jews, indeed, were indifferent as to its fall; for they knew that the possession of the inner town was of slight importance to them, and that its fall would not greatly facilitate the ...
— For the Temple - A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem • G. A. Henty

... misty plaint of the Unconceived! O crystal incuriousness of the monad! The faint swarming toward the light and the rending of the sphere of hope, frustrate, inutile. I am the seed called Life; I am he, I am she. We walk, swim, totter, and blend. Through the ages I lay in the vast basin of Time; I am called by Fate into the Now. On pulsing terraces, under a moon blood-red, I dreamed of the mighty confluence. About me were my kinsfolk. Full of dumb ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... of the long revel reel and totter along the galleries of the castle; the bridegroom hastens to his bride with ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... fastened a piece of telegraph wire to one side of the ladder, passed it loosely around the tree, and fastened it to the other side. Then, as the ladder was gradually raised, the wire slipped along up the tree, and when the ladder was in position it could not fall, although it might shake and totter a little. However, strong arms at the bottom held it pretty steady, and Harry was enabled to nail on his insulators with comparative ease, and in ...
— What Might Have Been Expected • Frank R. Stockton

... wringing of hands the bride for the bridegroom loud wails; When, now of all her children bereft, the desperate mother Furious curses the day on which she bore, and was born ... when Weary with hollower eye, amid the carcases totter Even the buriers ... till the sent Death-angel, descending, Thoughtful on thunder-clouds, beholds all lonesome and silent, Gazes the wide desolation, and long broods ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... doors, triumphant in the result of my labors, while I was admiring the princely air with which little Armand helped baby to totter along the path you know, I saw a carriage coming, and tried to get them out of the way. The children tumbled into a dirty puddle, and lo! my works of art are ruined! We had to take them back and change their things. ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... to totter. She let herself sink upon the sofa, and re-read the letter that shook in ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... as for adjusting the boundaries of Transatlantic empires. When once its place has been thoroughly ascertained and carefully recorded, the brazen circle with which that useful work was done may moulder, the marble pillar may totter on its base, and the astronomer himself survive only in the gratitude of posterity; but the record remains, and transfuses all its own exactness into every determination which takes it for a groundwork, giving to inferior instruments—nay, even to temporary contrivances, and to the observations ...
— Great Astronomers • R. S. Ball

... Fate. No need for him to complicate matters when here were pawns enough to play the game for him. No need for him to do anything except give them their initial velocity and let them tumble into one another and totter or fall. Leila said, laughingly: "Oh, you are too late, Howard. We are dining with Mr. Plank at Riverside Inn. What in the world are you doing in town ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... failing animal heat; but I do not acknowledge that it is necessarily a change for the better—I daresay it is deplorably for the worse. I have no choice in the business, and can no more resist this tendency of my mind than I could prevent my body from beginning to totter and decay. If I am spared (as the phrase runs) I shall doubtless outlive some troublesome desires; but I am in no hurry about that; nor, when the time comes, shall I plume myself on the immunity. Just in the same way, I do not ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... cab-stand, was a well-dressed man of about his own age, grey-haired, not very tall, and rather stout. They saw this person go up to Clerambault—it all passed so quickly that they had no time even to cry out. There was a brief exchange of words, an arm raised, a shot!—they saw him totter, ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... I should live to say it," said Berry, "but, after what I've gone through this morning, if Planchet were to totter in this afternoon, laden with at once cheap and pretentious goods, I should fall upon ...
— Jonah and Co. • Dornford Yates

... man would have played that part about as natural as a bull buffalo, but he fooled himself into believin' it, an' his voice was purty shaky at the end. Barbie's eyes filled up with tears, an' when he stopped an' began to totter feebly toward the house, she ran up an' threw her arms about his neck, an' said. "Dad. I just hate you—you don't play fair. You start the game under one set o' rules an' then when you get the worst of it you just simply crawfish. When ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... to say, for nothing in particular followed upon its exhibition, unless the discharge of another gun from the pursuing ship might be taken as a reply. And this time the shot went home to its mark; for as the observers turned their glasses upon the chase, her mainmast was seen to totter and fall by the board, cut short off by the deck. Luckily the spar did not go over the side, but lay, fore-and-aft, inboard; otherwise the rigging might have fouled the propeller and brought the ship to ...
— With Airship and Submarine - A Tale of Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... as I turned, I saw him slyly laugh, shaking his keys. When he perceived that I was looking at him, he smiled at me, making signs of friendship. He must have some secret project, and we are in the hands of a master whose reason begins to totter.... To-morrow we shall be far away.... Yonder there are wonderful countries that resemble thine.... Astolaine has already provided for our flight ...
— Pelleas and Melisande • Maurice Maeterlinck

... shuddered and seemed to totter in space, as if something, some mighty force, had struck the ship a terrific blow. The needle swung swiftly backward, reached one mile a second, dipped to ...
— Empire • Clifford Donald Simak

... short a storm of thanks, "if you'll be good enough to give me just one more glass of champagne, I think I'll totter home." ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... peasant Exhausted by hunger, 180 And swayed by the wind. Restrained are his movements And slow. After singing "The Hungry One," thirsting They make for the bucket, One after another Like geese in a file. They stagger and totter As people half-famished, A drink will restore them. 190 "Come, let us be joyful!" The deacon is saying. His youngest son, Grisha, Approaches the peasants. ...
— Who Can Be Happy And Free In Russia? • Nicholas Nekrassov

... jo, John, We clamb the hill thegither; And mony a cantie day, John, We've had wi' ane anither: Now we maun totter down, John, And hand in hand we'll go, And sleep thegither at the foot, John ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... "hear their voices! There are a thousand witnesses in this house untortured, unsuborned. I tell you, the guilt of innocent blood will lie on you, great Duke—on you counsellors of evil things, if you condemn this maid. Your throne, Duke Otho, shall totter and fall, and your life's sun shall set in a sea ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... than Bonivon ran to the window, hoping thereby to make his escape. But the iron bars were too firmly fixed—no matter how hard he pulled, tugged and wrenched, they remained as immovable as ever. Then his heart began to palpitate, his hair to bristle up, and his knees to totter; his thoughts were full of speculations as to how he would be killed and what it would feel like to be eaten alive. His conscience, too, rising up in judgment against him, added its own paroxysms of dismay, ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... a fortnight before Charlie, still very weak and feeble, was able to totter from his room to that in which Hossein was lying. He himself knew nothing of what had passed after he fell. The conflict had, to him, been little more than a dream. Awakened from sleep by the sound of his assailants, as they dropped from the ropes, he had leaped ...
— With Clive in India - Or, The Beginnings of an Empire • G. A. Henty

... enjoyed it at first. But the strength engendered by excitement soon began to fail. The long weary journey helped to make things worse, and when at last they arrived at the journey's end, and went with Miss Love and Minnie to the lodging, poor Laronde had scarcely strength left to totter to his wife's bedside. This was fortunate, however, for he was the better able ...
— The Middy and the Moors - An Algerine Story • R.M. Ballantyne

... hither and thither, holding up his eyelids with his hands, and scarcely able to totter along, while his snowy beard now fell to his knees, but found nothing except a dilapidated old chest, which he opened. It seemed empty, but as he raised the lid a voice from the bottom said: "Welcome, if you had kept me waiting ...
— Roumanian Fairy Tales • Various

... necessary language of thought; but one could play with the toys of childhood, including Ming porcelain, salons of painting, operas and theatres, beaux-arts and Gothic architecture, theology and anarchy, in any jumble of time; or totter about with Joe Stickney, talking Greek philosophy or recent poetry, or studying "Louise" at the Opera Comique, or discussing the charm of youth and the Seine with Bay Lodge and his exquisite young wife. Paris remained ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... on board different vessels. They were unable to escape with the men, owing to that abominable practice of cramping their feet: several of them were not able to move without assistance, in fact, they might all be said to totter, rather than walk. Twenty of these poor women were sent on board the vessel I was in; they were hauled on board by the hair, and treated in a ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... Dennis and Capt. Akers sailed away in high hope from Port Colborne, they probably built the fairy air castles which were doomed to totter and fall before night. It did not seem to occur to them that Col. Peacocke's sanction to, and co-operation in, their change of plan would be necessary to ensure success. Therefore their disappointment must have been great when they found that Lieut.-Col. Booker failed to arrive at Fort ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... I go?" said Maria Vittoria, rebelliously. "Say what you have said to me to her! Speak to her of the ignominy which will befall the King! Tell her how his cause will totter! Why talk of this to me? If she loves the King, your words will persuade her. For on my life they have ...
— Clementina • A.E.W. Mason

... thane-troop thither did turn him: The wise-mooded son of Wonred was powerless To give a return-blow to the age-hoary man, But his head-shielding helmet first hewed he to pieces, That flecked with gore perforce he did totter, 30 Fell to the earth; not fey was he yet then, But up did he spring though an ...
— Beowulf - An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem • The Heyne-Socin

... knows that the divine arm will be outstretched. God will establish Zion; or, as the word might be translated, God will hold it erect, as if with a strong hand grasping some pole or banner-staff that else would totter and fall—He will keep it up, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... have air!" Mr. Marrapit staggered to the window. "I reel before this sudden assault. For nine years at ruinous cost I have supported you. Must I sell my house? Am I never to be free? Must I totter always through life with you upon my bowed back? I ...
— Once Aboard The Lugger • Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson

... Lieutenant Barclay," the colonel of the staff said. "Ride slowly, and keep close beside him; so as to catch him, if you see him totter. You will find the surgeons ...
— The Young Franc Tireurs - And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War • G. A. Henty

... battle-shout—pealed above the bellowing stadium. Even as he cried it, all saw his form draw upward as might Prometheus's unchained. They saw the fingers of the Spartan unclasp. They saw his bloody face upturned and torn with helpless agony. They saw his great form totter, topple, fall. The last dust cloud, and into it the ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... to be just at that moment, the ice-islands were not so large, but quite as high, and consequently were more easily agitated. While the whole panorama was bowing and rocking, pinnacles, arches, walls and all, seeming about to totter from their bases, there came a wave sweeping down the passage that lifted them high in the air, some fifty feet at least, and bore them along like pieces of cork, fully a hundred yards. Other waves succeeded, though of less height and force; when, gradually, the water regained ...
— The Sea Lions - The Lost Sealers • James Fenimore Cooper

... countless throats a shout, On rolling wings leaps madly out; A yell, a raging roar, that flies On bounding winds o'er hill and glen, And 'round the land electrifies A thousand living miles of men! A mammoth stir, A sudden dash, Swift whip and spur Together clash, And wheels on wheels that totter crash! They're off! They're off! Away, away, In mad array! No stop nor stay! The hurried charge they ride to-day Would shame and scoff The Tartar, Turk and Romanoff! The race is on; The host is gone; The thronging legions madly ride O'er hill and dale, With hurried pace ...
— Oklahoma and Other Poems • Freeman E. Miller

... drilled him at the manual of arms for about 20 minutes. Large beads of perspiration rolled down his face—he began to totter on his feet—and I gave the command "rest". He had not taken his ...
— Company 'A', corps of engineers, U.S.A., 1846-'48, in the Mexican war • Gustavus Woodson Smith

... imprudent, as he had need at all hours of his best intelligence. Let it not be understood that he was tipsy. He was a man whom wine did not often affect after that fashion. But it made him, who was arrogant before, tower in his arrogance till he was almost sure to totter. It was probably at some moment after dinner that Lord Alfred decided upon buying the cutting whip of which he had spoken. Melmotte went with his wife and daughter to the India Office, and soon left them ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... he must have witnessed about him in that time," thought Charles. "How he must have seen kingdoms totter and fall, and how many changes of habits, of manners, and of customs must he have become a spectator of. Renewing too, ever and anon, his fearful ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... watched a contest of this sort before. She cried out in alarm when she saw a man, fully dressed, at a signal totter off the deck of the judges' motor boat. Someone next ...
— Keineth • Jane D. Abbott

... arise very early in the morning; totter down-stairs in a state of somnambulism; take the simulacrum of a meal by the glimmer of one lamp in the deserted coffee-room; and find yourself by seven o'clock outside in a belated moonlight and a freezing chill. The mail ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... something in your bob's-worth of refined entertainment who drifts about saying, 'Yes, madam,' and all that sort of thing? Well, then that's just the thing. Topping! I knew I could rely on you, old bird. I'll get Lucille to ship her round to your address when she arrives. I fancy she's due to totter in somewhere in the next few days. Well, ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... I be struck into a very great trembling, insomuch that at sometimes I could, for whole days together, feel my very body, as well as my mind, to shake and totter under the sense of this dreadful judgment of God, that should fall on those that have sinned that most fearful and unpardonable sin. I felt also such a clogging and heat at my stomach, by reason of this my terror, ...
— Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners • John Bunyan

... brim of a hat only, and his long, unkempt gray hair comes through. But all the air is full of warmth and of peace; and, beyond his village church, there is, at last, light indeed. His horses lag in the furrow, and his own limbs totter and fail: but one comes to help him. 'It is a long field,' says Death; 'but we'll get to the end of it to-day,—you ...
— Ariadne Florentina - Six Lectures on Wood and Metal Engraving • John Ruskin

... would have answered the purpose better had I been allowed to continue in the narrow way of obscure poverty!" Now that the enervating influence of a more prosperous atmosphere had weakened his courage, and cooled the ardor of his piety, his faith began to totter like an old wall. His religious beliefs seemed to have been wrecked by the same storm which had destroyed his passionate hopes of love, and left him stranded and forlorn without either haven or pilot, blown hither and thither ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... perhaps, to sit up stiff on a woman's arm, or starting for a trial crawl over mother earth; and of them we remark that there is another little Ryan or Quigley; while the former stay sunning themselves so inertly, or totter about so shakily, that we notice at once how much old Sheridan, or the Widow Joyce, has failed since last year. These babies and grandparents often associate a good deal with one another at the stage when the old body is still capable of "keepin' an eye on the child," and ...
— Strangers at Lisconnel • Barlow Jane

... chests were empty—there was not an atom of money left. As if this were not misery enough, he perceived, with inexpressible grief, that the rafters of the house, the wainscoting of the rooms, were beginning to totter and crack so fearful, that it would be impossible to reside much longer beneath them. And oh, sorrow upon sorrow! those unpleasant gentlemen, the lawyers, were daily asking payment, and threatening an execution. Klaus grew very wretched. Breathing ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Vol. 56, No. 346, August, 1844 • Various

... of Bath, Fine as the Burmese jewell'd Rath,{2} Pray totter o'er your Bond-street path, A respite ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... unless—unless, indeed—the head of the House, unable to bring his mind to the reduction of its enterprises, and positively refusing to believe that it is, or can be, in any position but the position in which he has always represented it to himself, should urge it beyond its strength. Then it would totter.' ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... Hart, she was very quickly put out of the way. The stroke which had prostrated her, at the outset, did not seem to be one from which she could very readily recover. The only thing which she did was to totter to the room early in the morning, so as to find out how the Earl was, and then to totter hack again until the next morning. Mrs. Hart thus was incapable; and Zillah was not very much better. Since ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... troubles all the world, was forgotten in his composition. Had he had but two grains (nay, half a grain) of it, he could never have supported himself upon those two spider's strings, which served him (in the latter part of his unmixed existence) as legs. A doubt or a scruple must have made him totter, a sigh have puffed him down; the weight of a frown had staggered him, a wrinkle made him lose his balance. But on he went, scrambling upon those airy stilts of his, with Robin Good-Fellow, "thorough brake, thorough briar," reckless of a scratched ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... intently to the story of the Dyak who saw the dead man totter and fall. He gave some quick order. Followed by a score or more of his men he walked rapidly to the foot of the cliff where they found the ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... over those rugged knife-edged ridges was so perilous, that Dale went slowly and cautiously; and when he reached each stopping-place he held on till Saxe had passed down to him. Once the boy seemed to totter as he was passing from one of the rocks to the other, over a patch of snow between them; but the firm strain upon the rope gave him support, and he reached the rock and began ...
— The Crystal Hunters - A Boy's Adventures in the Higher Alps • George Manville Fenn



Words linked to "Totter" :   sway, walk, rock, move, shake



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