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Unstable   /ənstˈeɪbəl/   Listen
Unstable

adjective
1.
Lacking stability or fixity or firmness.  "The tower proved to be unstable in the high wind" , "An unstable world economy"
2.
Highly or violently reactive.
3.
Affording no ease or reassurance.  Synonym: precarious.
4.
Suffering from severe mental illness.  Synonyms: mentally ill, unsound.
5.
Disposed to psychological variability.
6.
Subject to change; variable.  Synonym: fluid.  "Everything was unstable following the coup"



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"Unstable" Quotes from Famous Books



... lamentations? We are perhaps indebted for the fine geniuses who have honored humanity to beds which are solidly constructed; and the turbulent population which caused the French Revolution were conceived perhaps upon a multitude of tottering couches, with twisted and unstable legs; while the Orientals, who are such a beautiful race, have a unique method of making their beds. I vote ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... that an exothermic substance is stable, for it tends to remain as it is unless heat is supplied to it, or work is done upon it; whereas, according to its degree of endothermicity, an endothermic substance is more or less unstable, for it is always ready to emit heat, or to do work, as soon as an opportunity is given to it to decompose. The theoretical and practical results of this circumstance will be elaborated in Chapter VI., when the endothermic nature of acetylene ...
— Acetylene, The Principles Of Its Generation And Use • F. H. Leeds and W. J. Atkinson Butterfield

... the document and bowing, "this is a noble reward; but everything in the world is unstable, and the man who happened to fall into disgrace with your majesty might ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... lies not in the voice Of numbers; England's not the world, nor is Thy parliament the focus, which collects The vast opinion of the human race. This present England is no more the future Than 'tis the past; as inclination changes, Thus ever ebbs and flows the unstable tide Of public judgment. Say not, then, that thou Must act as stern necessity compels, That thou must yield to the importunate Petitions of thy people; every hour Thou canst experience that thy will is free. Make trial, and declare thou hatest blood, And that thou wilt protect ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... beauty there sprang up the feeling of jealousy, which is a tempest in the sea of love, a piece of soot that falls into the pottage of the bliss of lovers—which is a serpent that bites, a worm that gnaws, a gall that poisons, a frost that kills, making life always restless, the mind unstable, the heart ever suspicious. So, calling the fairy, he said to her, "I am obliged, my heart, to be away from home for two or three days; Heaven knows with how much grief I tear myself from you, who are my soul; and Heaven knows too whether, ere I set out, my life ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... divided them, and to prevent them from committing foolish or rash acts likely to compromise British prestige in Africa. The refugees were for the most boisterous people. They insisted upon being heard, and expected the whole world to agree with their conclusions, however unstable these might be. It was absolutely useless to talk reason to a refugee; he refused to listen to you, but considered that, as he had been—as he would put it—compelled to leave that modern paradise, the ...
— Cecil Rhodes - Man and Empire-Maker • Princess Catherine Radziwill

... and reviled in private conversation. Instances were every where repeated of his fraud, warice, and extortion; his insolence, cruelty, ambition, and misconduct; even his courage was called in question; and this consummate general was represented as the lowest of mankind. So unstable is the popularity of every character that fluctuates between two opposite tides ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... been perfectly legal. By what arts he had succeeded in inducing her to elope with him, we can only judge from his previous proceedings; but this is certain, that resentment toward Stone, who, she probably believed, had unfairly trapped her, was as likely to move her impulsive and unstable spirit, as any other motive. Add to this, the wound given to her vanity by the sudden departure of her young husband upon a long campaign, with the acuteness given to this feeling by the arts of Cutler, and we shall not be at a loss to explain ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... doctrine. "The difference," says this writer, "between mind in the lower animals and in man is a difference in degree only; it is not a specific difference." Mental phenomena, apparently so various and unstable in the individual, are reduced at once to regularity, and become subject to calculation, if considered in the mass. This shows, that, like the phenomena of the weather, they are under the presidency of natural laws. The phrenologists are the only persons who have followed the order of nature in the ...
— A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' • Francis Bowen

... belief that misery in this world, or damnation in the next, or both, are threatened by the continuance of the state of things in which they have been brought up. But when they do attain that conviction, society becomes as unstable as a package of dynamite, and a very small matter will produce the explosion which sends it back ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... testimony, that, at the period of Shakespeare's entrance upon London life, it was a common practice for those lawyers whom want of success or an unstable disposition impelled to a change in their avocation to devote themselves to writing or translating plays; and this statement is not only sustained by all that we know of the customs of the time to which it refers, but is strongly confirmed by the notably frequent ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... unstable nervous systems are especially harmed by these poisons. A family history of nervously inclined people calls for ...
— How to Live - Rules for Healthful Living Based on Modern Science • Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk

... charge of the usurpation of government by an "aristocracy." Incontrovertible proof of this charge was found in special legislation chartering banks and other corporations. The banks were indicted upon two counts. First, the unstable bank paper money defrauded the wage earner of a considerable portion of the purchasing power of his wages. Second, banks restricted competition and shut off avenues for the "man on the make." The latter accusation may be understood only if we keep in mind that ...
— A History of Trade Unionism in the United States • Selig Perlman

... with an expression of unstable satisfaction, as of one who has solved a problem by a distrusted method. Presently he rose and swallowed a glass of whisky from a full bottle on the counter, ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... out. The red wrath! It has undone me in this, my present life. Because of it, a few short weeks hence, I shall be led from this cell to a high place with unstable flooring, graced above by a well-stretched rope; and there they will hang me by the neck until I am dead. The red wrath always has undone me in all my lives; for the red wrath is my disastrous catastrophic heritage from the time of the slimy things ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... humor, shaking with laughter over the complete crushing of Edith, with whom he felt himself quite even in the contest that had endured so long. Next morning it would be Sonia's turn. Ah, what a despicable thing is man's love, how unstable and profitless! No wonder Honora valued it so lightly. How Horace Endicott had raved over this whited sepulcher five years ago, believed in her, sworn by her virtue and truth! And to-day he regarded her without feeling, neither love nor hate, perfect indifference ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... (13)receiving the wages of unrighteousness, as they who account reveling for a day pleasure; spots, and blemishes, reveling in their own deceits while feasting with you; (14)having eyes full of the adulteress, and that cease not from sin; alluring unstable souls; having a heart exercised in covetousness; children of a curse; (15)forsaking the right way, they went astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, (16)but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... think, more wise,— Some doubloons from the window threw, And render'd thus the count untrue. The padlock'd room permitted Its owner, when he quitted, To leave his money on the table. One day, bethought this monkey wise To make the whole a sacrifice To Neptune on his throne unstable. I could not well award the prize Between the monkey's and the miser's pleasure Derived from that devoted treasure. One day, then, left alone, That animal, to mischief prone, Coin after coin detach'd, A gold jacobus ...
— A Hundred Fables of La Fontaine • Jean de La Fontaine

... capable of dealing with these barbaric "Administered Territories"? A day may come when Tripoli, Nigeria, the French and the Belgian Congo will be all under one supreme control. We may be laying the foundations of such a system to-day unawares. The unstable and fluctuating conferences of the Allies to-day, their repeated experiences of the disadvantages of evanescent and discontinuous co-ordinations, may press them almost unconsciously toward this building up of things ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... startled. He did not care! This was the most conclusive proof possible that he no longer cared; and the thought of it did not make her happy. Clearly Love was not, after all, a limitless dominion, without other bounds than those set by the farthest stars, but a narrow, dark, and unstable realm. That these two should dwell in the same town, walk the same street, at the same hour, without any desire to see and speak to each other, ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... of its fine qualities, though without sinking anywhere near insanity, criminality, or pauperism. The Rousseaus still exercised their craft with success; they were on the whole esteemed; Jean-Jacques's father was generally liked, but he was somewhat unstable, romantic, with no strong sense of duty, hot-tempered, easily taking offence. The mother, from a modern standpoint, was an attractive, highly accomplished, and admirable woman. In her neighbours' eyes she was not quite Puritanical enough, ...
— Essays in War-Time - Further Studies In The Task Of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... collection of our own selves from time to time, no great purpose is carried out, and no great work can be done; and that it is the bustle and hurry of our modern life which causes shallow thought, unstable purpose, and wasted energy, in too many who would be better and wiser, stronger and happier, if they would devote more time to silence and meditation; if they would commune with their own heart in their chamber, and be still. Even in art and ...
— The Hermits • Charles Kingsley

... and he tells me that there are so many things concur to make him and his Fellow Commissioners unable to go through the King's work that he do despair of it, every body becoming an enemy to them in their retrenchments, and the King unstable, the debts great and the King's present occasions for money great and many and pressing, the bankers broke and every body keeping in their money, while the times are doubtful what will stand. But he says had they come in two ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... been burdened with it. But the indiscriminate admission of the truth, after the lapse of years, would, he believed, simply bring back the old despair, and paralyze what had always been a frail vitality. And as to Hester, the sudden divulgence of it might easily upset the unstable balance in her of mind and nerve and drive her at once into some madness. He must protect ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... he was a puzzle to all who knew him, and had he died at this time he would only have left behind him the reputation of being one of the most brilliant, gifted, and honest, but at the same time one of the most unstable, eccentric, and ill ...
— The Bravest of the Brave - or, with Peterborough in Spain • G. A. Henty

... should be unstable is what we ought to expect from the general instability of the organism due to the rapidity of growth and the remarkable developmental changes that are crowded into these few years. Rapidity of growth and increase of weight ...
— Youth and Sex • Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly

... conscious kaleidoscope which in each movement represents the multiform life and the moving grace of all life's elements. He is an ego insatiably hungry for the non-ego, every moment rendering it and expressing it in images more vital than life itself, which is always unstable and fugitive. "Any man," said Mr. G—— one day, in one of those conversations which he lights up with intense look and vivid gesture, "any man, not overcome by a sorrow so heavy that it absorbs all the faculties, who is bored in the midst ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... deep breath he clutched the tap root a foot higher and tried his weight upon it. It held like a rope. He pulled himself a foot higher from the waters. Once more, and then he found that he had command of his legs and could dig his feet into the unstable clay. Then, inch by inch, scarce daring to hope, he pulled himself up, up until he was free of the flood and between him and the ground above only a scant yard remained. Below him the rushing torrents roared, as though angry ...
— The New Boy at Hilltop • Ralph Henry Barbour

... salts of silver is that, being very unstable, i. e., ready to undergo a molecular change, the undulations produced in the ether, which pervades all space, and the potential action or moving power of light is sufficient to disturb their normal chemical composition; it liberates some of the chlorine, iodine, or bromine, as the case may ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 288 - July 9, 1881 • Various

... these feats of tight-rope balance, they stood upright and graceful, quite unconscious of themselves, their bodies accustomed by long habit to nice and instant obedience to the almost unconscious impulses of the brain. Only their eyes, intent, preoccupied, blazed out by sheer will-power the unstable path their owners should follow. Once at the forefront of the drive, the men began vigorously to urge the logs forward. This they accomplished almost entirely by main strength, for the sluggish current gave them little aid. Under ...
— The Riverman • Stewart Edward White

... apply at the printer's, and was sent from there to Brabazon Lodge, which was a suburban establishment, in a chilly aristocratic quarter. An imposing edifice, Brabazon Lodge, built of stone, and most uncompromisingly devoid of superfluous ornament. No mock minarets or unstable towers at Brabazon Lodge,—a substantial mansion in a substantial garden behind substantial iron gates, and so solid in its appointments that it was quite a task for Dolly to raise the substantial lion's head which ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... needful that the Christian Churches should set forth in creeds and confessions the doctrines which they believe the Scriptures affirm. They are bound not only to accept Scripture as the rule of faith, but to make known the sense in which they understand it. As unlearned and unstable men wrest and subvert the Sacred Writings, it is fitting that those who are learned and not unstable should publish sound expositions of their contents. In the light of creeds, converts are enabled to test their own position, and to put to proof ...
— Exposition of the Apostles Creed • James Dodds

... if something was weighing him down. Of course this was the spirit, which had to be removed before a cure could be effected. The Manga-anito danced around the patient and bad him dance and turn somersaults. This was to make the spirit sorry he had chosen such an unstable abiding place. Finally she took hold of his hands, gave a mighty tug and then dropped back stiff. The spirit had passed from the body of ...
— Negritos of Zambales • William Allan Reed

... this usurper, who was not of the royal family, was short and unfortunate: he was defeated by the West Saxons, and killed by his own subjects, the East Angles [q]. Ludican, his successor, underwent the same fate [r]; and Wiglaff, who mounted this unstable throne, and found every thing in the utmost confusion, could not withstand the fortune of Egbert, who united all the Saxon kingdoms into one great monarchy. [FN [o] Ingulph. p. 6. [p] Ibid. p. 7. Brompton, p. 776 [q] Ingulph. p. 7. [r] ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... the soft, warm hand which had bestowed its benediction on his cheek, and held it in childish attitude, swinging at his side. No word was said as they faced back to the unstable city, their shadows trailing them, long and grotesque, like the sins of men which come after them, and gambol and grimace for all the world to see but those ...
— Claim Number One • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... one addicted to drinking. The mind of the drunkard is unable to retain a single chain of thought, but gropes about with idle questionings. The intellect is debased. Judgment is impossible, for the unstable mind cannot think, ...
— A Practical Physiology • Albert F. Blaisdell

... shouldering peak lifts through a rent. Mornings after the heavy snows are steely blue, two-edged with cold, divinely fresh and still, and these are times to go up to the pine borders. There you may find floundering in the unstable drifts "tainted wethers" of the wild sheep, faint from age and hunger; easy prey. Even the deer make slow going in the thick fresh snow, and once we found a wolverine going blind and feebly ...
— The Land of Little Rain • Mary Austin

... The unstable and perishable nature of stock and credit, however, renders them unfit to be trusted to as the principal funds of that sure, steady, and permanent revenue, which can alone give security and dignity to government. The government of no great nation, that was advanced ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... crowd. The tall young newcomer was forcing his way through, shouldering men right and left without ceremony or gentleness. When he broke through into the ring, Beauty Smith was just in the act of delivering another kick. All his weight was on one foot, and he was in a state of unstable equilibrium. At that moment the newcomer's fist landed a smashing blow full in his face. Beauty Smith's remaining leg left the ground, and his whole body seemed to lift into the air as he turned over backward and struck the snow. The newcomer turned ...
— White Fang • Jack London

... liberally and upbraids not, and it shall be given him. [1:6]But let him ask in faith, not doubting; for he that doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and agitated. [1:7]For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing from the Lord, [1:8]a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. [1:9]But let the brother that is humble rejoice in his exaltation, [1:10]and the rich in his humiliation, for he shall pass away like a flower of the grass. [1:11]For the sun rose hot, and withered the grass, ...
— The New Testament • Various

... much liberty as I can make a good use of, now I am an old maid; and when I was a young one I had, I dare say, more than was good for me. If I were still young, perhaps I should not make this confession; but so many women are fond of government, I suppose, because they are not fit for it. To be unstable and capricious, I really think, is but too characteristic of our sex; and there is, perhaps, no animal so much indebted to subordination for its good behavior as woman. I have soberly and uniformly maintained this doctrine ever since I have ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... she found she could say no more at all. She had hoped that when she stated these things she would convince him, and, behold, all she had done was to shake her own convictions so that they fell clattering round her like an unstable card-house. Desperately she looked again at him, wondering if she had convinced him at all, and then again she looked, wondering if she should see contempt in his eyes. After that she stood still and silent, and her ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... hour of the closing twilight, and under these icy winds that come to us mercilessly from the neighbouring deserts. And yet how adorable it is, this kiosk of Philae, in this the abandonment that precedes its downfall! Its columns placed, as it were, upon something unstable, become thereby more slender, seem to raise higher still the stone foliage of their capitals. A veritable kiosk of dreamland now, which one feels is about to disappear for ever under these waters which ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... by a deputy-governor, Lieutenant-Colonel Armstrong,—a person of ardent impulses and unstable disposition. He applied himself with great zeal and apparent confidence to accomplishing the task in which his principal had failed. In fact, he succeeded in 1726 in persuading the inhabitants about Annapolis to take the oath, with a proviso that they should not be called upon for military service; ...
— A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I - France and England in North America • Francis Parkman

... three weeks for the problem to be seen as the ultimately simple thing it really was. Bordman had called it a circular problem, but he hadn't seen its true circularity. It was actually—like all circular problems—inherently an unstable set of conditions. It began to fall apart when he saw that mere ...
— Sand Doom • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... happened. But no; I had just set down as legibly as possible the title, author, and size of a certain work on Roman Antiquities, when, in replacing the penholder, which is attached there by a small brass chain, some inattentiveness, some want of care, my ill-luck, in short, led me to set it down in unstable equilibrium on the edge of the desk. It tumbled-I heard the little chain rattle-it tumbled farther-then stopped short. The mischief was done. The sudden jerk, as it pulled up, had detached an enormous drop of ink from ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... "I am not so sure about that. You see, their Government is so very unstable. The country itself is rich enough in mineral wealth, if that is what you mean." All the while Howard stood there with his mouth agape, and I felt like shoving my fist ...
— In a Steamer Chair And Other Stories • Robert Barr

... bespread, which formed a defence from the invading draughts. She extended her feet, delectably shod, to the cordial heat. She ungloved her hands, but retained about her neck her long fur boa. The unstable flames half revealed, while the warding boa half submerged, her face— a youthful face, altogether feminine, clearly moulded and calm with beauty's unchallenged confidence. Chivalry and manhood were here vying ...
— Heart of the West • O. Henry

... majority, the greater part, with the Athenians, spending their time only to hear and see something new, gadding about to change their ways, going in the ways of Egypt and Assyria, to drink the waters of Shichor and the river, unstable souls, like so many light combustibles wrapt up by the eddies of a whirlwind, tossed hither and thither till utterly dissipated.—The doctrine of original sin[14] is by several denied, others are pulling down the very hedges of church government, ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... bestowed without stint upon monumental mansions for the indwelling of the most pitiable and afflicted of the children of men, safe from the pitiless storms of adverse environment without which are so harshly violent to the morbidly sensitive and unstable insane mind; an age in which he who strikes a needless shackle from human form or heart, or removes a cause of human torture, psychical or physical, is regarded as a greater moral hero than he who, by storm or strategy of war taketh a resisting fortress; ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 488, May 9, 1885 • Various

... from her walk in good spirits. She felt it an honor to be chosen as a companion by a grown young lady, and Miss Alex had been very entertaining as they walked about the park under the beech trees. In these days Charlotte's ideals were in an unstable state. On the one hand, she admired Lucile, longed to be Carlotta and the heroine of romantic adventures. On the other, she recognized a certain distinction in Alexina's severe style, and felt ...
— The Pleasant Street Partnership - A Neighborhood Story • Mary F. Leonard

... something to which she had not referred—why had she married Harry Underwood? Why, after the terrible experience of her first marriage, had she risked linking her life with an unstable creature like the man who was ...
— Revelations of a Wife - The Story of a Honeymoon • Adele Garrison

... themselves to create incurable confusion again in the healing wounds of Ireland, and feuds and frantic folly broke out at every point of the social and political edifice. And then a bomb burst at Sarajevo that silenced all this tumult. The unstable polity of Europe heeled over like a ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... wasn't the first time she'd been rebuked for her unstable temperament. She was meek and abashed; yet it is not uninteresting to know one possesses an unstable temperament which must be looked after lest it prove dangerous. The picnic was as dull as she had feared it would be. She usually liked ...
— Missy • Dana Gatlin

... which after many years' absence was given up for lost. The last that had been heard of her was a shadowy report of her having touched at some of those unstable islands in the far Pacific, whose eccentric wanderings are carefully noted in each new edition of the South-Sea charts. After a long interval, however, 'The Perseverance'—for that was her name—was spoken somewhere in the vicinity of the ends of the earth, cruising along as leisurely ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... Maria Dmitrievna. There are, unfortunately, some who are—of an unstable character; and then there is a certain time of life—and, besides, good principles have not been instilled into ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... degenerative psychoses. In a recent work on the subject of psychogenesis he upholds his former views, and believes he has been able to separate his cases into three distinct groups. The first group comprises certain unstable individuals who show a tendency to the development of simple paranoid psychoses. It concerns patients of a very labile make-up with increased affective reactions, with marked tendencies to impulsions and antisocial acts. These cases are characterized ...
— Studies in Forensic Psychiatry • Bernard Glueck

... believed—made sly, dishonest love to Annie-Many-Ponies, for whose physical and moral welfare Luck would be held responsible. Bill had deliberately chosen to steal rather than work for honest wages, and had preferred the unstable friendship of Ramon Chavez to the cleaner life in Luck's company. He did not credit Bill Holmes with anything stronger than a weak-souled treachery. Ramon, he told himself while he made his way down the arroyo side, was at least ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... high walls between the classes and the masses, so-called, and that erected in self-defence by the exploited is the higher and more difficult to climb. On the one side is a disciplined, fortified Gibraltar, held by the gentry; then comes a singularly barren and unstable neutral zone; and on the other side is the vast chaotic mass. In Under Town, I notice, a gentleman is always gen'leman, a workman or tramp is man, but the fringers, the inhabitants of the neutral zone, are called persons. For example: "That man what used to work for the council is driving ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... Miss Schump, with fear of a rather growing and sickening sense of dizziness and of the wavy and unstable outline of things, slipped quietly and unobtrusively out into the hallway, her craving for air not to be gainsaid. The door to the little bedroom stood open, her pink scarf uppermost on the cot-edge. She stood for an instant in the doorway, regarding ...
— Humoresque - A Laugh On Life With A Tear Behind It • Fannie Hurst

... portion of the most powerful chieftains in his realm as a usurper. He was liable, at any time, on some sudden change of fortune, to be expelled from his dominions. His position, in a word, though for the time being very exalted, was too precarious and unstable, and his personal claims to high social rank were too equivocal, to justify her trusting her destiny in his hands. In a word, Matilda's answer to William's proposals was an absolute refusal ...
— William the Conqueror - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... was a queer combination of weakness and strength. He was physically brave but a moral coward. The motherless son of a man wholly immersed in business, he had been much neglected in his youth and his unstable character was largely the result of this neglect. On leaving college he refused a business career planned for him by his father, who cast him off with scornful indifference, and save for a slim temporary allowance promised to disinherit ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... then existing, but were to determine for all time the extension or restriction of their social systems and political tendencies in vast distant regions yet unoccupied by civilized man, or still in unstable political tenure. The balance of world power, in short, was in question, and that not merely as every occurrence, large or small, contributes its something to a general result, but on a grand and decisive scale. The phrase "world politics," if not yet invented, ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... France, but Rousseau still maintains his influence, and boasts his imitators. Rousseau was the worse man of the two; perhaps he was also the more dangerous writer. But his reputation is more durable, and sinks deeper into the heart of his nation; and the danger of his unstable and capricious doctrines has passed away. In Voltaire we behold the fate of all writers purely destructive; their uses cease with the evils they denounce. But Rousseau sought to construct as well as to destroy; and though nothing could well be more absurd than his constructions, ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... meaning of Pilate's famous question, 'What IS Truth?' WE know what it is, as generally accepted—a few so called facts which in a thousand years will all be contradicted, mixed up with a few finite opinions propounded by unstable minded men. In brief, Truth, according to the world, is simply whatever the world is pleased to consider as Truth for the time being. 'Tis a somewhat slight thing to stake ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... first described by Hayem, later by Bizzozero, as a third formed element of normal blood. They are roundish or oval discs free from haemoglobin. They are extremely unstable under mechanical, thermal, and chemical influences. Their size amounts to some 3 mu. Specially characteristic is their tendency, the result of their extraordinary stickiness, to run together into largish clumps, ...
— Histology of the Blood - Normal and Pathological • Paul Ehrlich

... depression, the placing of the foundations is a simple matter of digging or blasting out a big hole and laying courses of masonry; but if a pier is to be built in water, or the land on which the towers are to stand is unstable, then the ...
— Stories of Inventors - The Adventures Of Inventors And Engineers • Russell Doubleday

... Azerbaijan and Turkey have blockaded pipeline and railroad traffic to Armenia for its support of the Karabakh Armenians. This has left Armenia with chronic energy shortages because of a lack of capacity and frequent disruptions of natural gas deliveries through unstable Georgia, as well as difficulties in obtaining other types of fuel. In addition, bread is strictly rationed and there are shortages of other goods. In 1994, the economy seemed to bottom out. The government has managed to increase its financial and budgetary discipline, ...
— The 1995 CIA World Factbook • United States Central Intelligence Agency

... went below and sought their berths. To new voyagers there is in the first night at sea something so novel, so wild, so weird, so really unearthly, that few, if any, can sleep. They have left the old, still, safe land far behind, and are out in the dark upon the strange, unstable, perilous sea. It is a new element, a new world, a new life; and the novelty, the restlessness, and even the dangers, have a fascination that charms the imagination and banishes repose. A few voyages cure one of these fancies; but this ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... way. Her mind had never grasped the nature and character of specialized knowledge. History, physics, chemistry, botany, geology, and sociology were not fixed departments in her brain as they were in Lester's and Letty's. Instead there was the feeling that the world moved in some strange, unstable way. Apparently no one knew clearly what it was all about. People were born and died. Some believed that the world had been made six thousand years before; some that it was millions of years old. Was it all blind chance, or was there some guiding intelligence—a ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... before the trial, which is the subject of the following republication, took place, the hamlet of Thornton, in the parish of Coxwold, in the adjoining county of York, gave birth to one who was destined so utterly to demolish the unstable and already shaken and tottering structure which Bodin, Delrio, and their followers had set up, as not to leave one stone of that unhallowed edifice remaining upon another. Of the various course of ...
— Discovery of Witches - The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster • Thomas Potts

... The earth seemed a huge automobile. And it sped with her down an endless white track through the universe. Looming, ghostly, ghastly, spectral forms of cacti plants, large as pine-trees, stabbed her with giant spikes. She became an unstable being in a shapeless, colorless, soundless cosmos of unrelated things, but always rushing, even to meet the darkness that haunted ...
— The Light of Western Stars • Zane Grey

... by one of the windows he was again foiled; it was much too small. At length, after a great deal of ineffectual wriggling and struggling—which occasioned serious inconvenience and anxiety to the human supports who were with the utmost difficulty maintaining a state of very unstable equilibrium beneath his feet—his patience completely failed him, and, in a fit of childish anger and spite, he sent a series of truly blood- curdling yells echoing into the interior of the pilot-house. These cries were of course distinctly heard by ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... realise, and until the intimate relationship existing between nutrition and pathology has been investigated, we shall not see much progress towards the extermination of disease. Medical science by its curative methods is simply pruning the evil, which, meanwhile, is sending its roots deeper into the unstable organisms in which ...
— No Animal Food - and Nutrition and Diet with Vegetable Recipes • Rupert H. Wheldon

... great murderers. But sinful as Sir Lancelot was, since he went into the quest he never slew man, nor shall, till he come into Camelot again. For he has taken upon him to forsake sin. And were he not so unstable, he should be the next to achieve it, after Galahad his son. Yet shall he die an holy man, and in earthly sinful men ...
— The Book of Romance • Various

... sky,—and Blythe felt an uncomfortable sense of premonition and wrong as the thought of Amadis de Jocelyn came into his head and stayed there. What was he that he should creep into the unspoiled sphere of a woman's opening life? A painter, something of a genius in his line, but erratic and unstable in his character,—known more or less for several "affairs of gallantry" which had slipped off his easy conscience like water off a duck's back,—not a highly cultured man by any means, because ignorant of many of the finer things in art and letters, and without ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... character by and by, when the work of grace in him was finished. The new name was a prophecy of the man that was to be, the man that Jesus would make of him. Now he was only Simon—rash, impulsive, self-confident, vain, and therefore weak and unstable. ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... powder it contains and by the resistance of the metal. So of the way life breaks into individuals and species. It depends, we think, on two series of causes: the resistance life meets from inert matter, and the explosive force—due to an unstable balance of tendencies—which life bears ...
— Creative Evolution • Henri Bergson

... and a particular reason for dreading the evils to come, which easily surpasses all the evils that have been mentioned. It is that which the Apostle portrays in I. Corinthians x, when he says, "He that standeth, let him take heed lest he fall." [1 Cor. 19:12] So unstable is our footing, and so powerful our foe, armed with our own strength (that is, the weapons of our flesh and all our evil lusts), attended by the countless armies of the world, its delights and pleasures on the right hand, its hardships and the plots of wicked men on the ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... injure oneself, since it was composed of "every particular man." The sovereign power was unlimited, and was not to be questioned. Whether monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy was the form of government was unimportant, though Hobbes preferred monarchy, because popular assemblies were unstable and apt to need dictators. Civil laws were the standard of right and wrong, and obedience to autocracy was better than the resistance which led to civil war or anarchy—the very things that induced men to establish sovereignty. ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... present the spectacle of unbridled folly—nay, they would go mad. And I may say, further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will ...
— The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Studies in Pessimism • Arthur Schopenhauer

... Reis, Rials, Cruzadoes, Sequins, Pice, Budgerooks, and Dollars of different values were all brought into the official accounts. In 1718, the confusion was increased by a tin coinage called Deccanees.[1] The conversion of sums from one coinage to another, many of them of unstable value, must have been an everlasting trouble.[2] In August we find Harvey writing to the Council to say that he had at Tellicherry a chest of pillar dollars weighing 289 lbs. 3 ozs. 10 dwts., which he requests may be paid into the Company's ...
— The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago • John Biddulph

... it was not love, nor passion, but something more important; and of the few beautiful cold women, into whose eyes there would flash suddenly a fierce expression, a stubborn desire to take, to snatch from life more than it can give; they were no longer in their first youth, they were capricious, unstable, domineering, imprudent, and when Gomov became cold toward them then their beauty roused him to hatred, and the lace on their lingerie reminded him of the scales ...
— The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories • Anton Tchekoff

... with several modifications. The envelope was increased in length and was united to the keel by means of a covering of silk fabric in place of the net, four suspension bands being again used. A large bow elevator was mounted which made the ship rather unstable. A few flights were accomplished, but the ship proved of little ...
— British Airships, Past, Present, and Future • George Whale

... show that the cause has been identical with the case among the most obscure of mankind, viz.: That a degenerated nerve condition has been inherited which renders the sufferer specially susceptible to this and allied neuroses, such as epilepsy, idiocy and suicide. The inheritance of an unstable nervous system makes the individual easily affected by what I must call 'alcoholic surroundings.' In other words, the provocation to drink which would have no influence upon an ordinary, stable nervous organization, ...
— What a Young Woman Ought to Know • Mary Wood-Allen

... Treatment.—In view of the unstable quality of the chondroma, especially of its liability to become malignant, it should be removed as soon as it is recognised. In those projecting from the surface of a bone, both the tumour and its capsule should be removed. If in the interior, a sufficient amount of the ...
— Manual of Surgery - Volume First: General Surgery. Sixth Edition. • Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

... the rights of the citizen; and not the man as a whole. You do not create the living being; you do not fashion the living clay, as God did in the Bible; you make regulations. Individual worth, on which some pretend to rely, is relative and unstable, and no one is a judge of it. In a well-organized entirety, it cultivates and improves itself automatically. But that magnificent anarchy cannot, at the inception of the human Charter, take the place ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... even where the life has been what is counted happy. He insisted on sending her home in his auto, himself taking a taxi to the Players' where the supper was given. The moment she was alone for the short ride home, her gayety evaporated like a delicious but unstable perfume. ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... will lead to jealousies, quarrels, and all sorts of marital woes. But, the situation once mastered, by the most loving and accurate of scientific methods of procedure, a happy married life is certain to result. Otherwise, the "married state" will always be in a condition of "unstable equilibrium." So let every bride and bridegroom begin, from the first, to try to establish the greatly to be desired accomplishment. If anything further on this point should be ...
— Sane Sex Life and Sane Sex Living • H.W. Long

... another man was not the thing Hollister resented. He resented only the fact that her glow of love for him had not endured, that it had gone out like an untended fire. But for some inscrutable reason that had happened. He had built a dream-house on an unstable foundation. It had tumbled down. ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... insects there are obviously a capacity for labor, and co-operative labor at that, which could carry them far. We all know that they have a marked genius: great gifts of their own. In a civilization of super-ants or bees, there would have been no problem of the hungry unemployed, no poverty, no unstable government, no riots, no strikes for short hours, no derision of eugenics, no thieves, ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... into powder with its own movement, or had become heaped into slushy hummocks of pumice-like sponginess and the consistency of broken glass. And everywhere around me I could discern the chilly, gaping smile of blue crevices which caught at my feet, and rendered the tread of my boot-soles unstable. And ever, as we marched, could the voices of Boev and the old soldier be heard speaking in antiphony, like two pipes being fluted by one and the ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... them at first, and they were still rather fearful to her imagination. This evening, as heir musing eye watched them rise and fall, her childish fancy likened them to the up-springing chances of life, uncertain, unstable, alike too much for her skill and her strength to manage. She was not more helpless before the attacks of the one than of the other. But then that calm blue heaven that hung over the sea. It was like the heaven of power and love above her destinies; only this was far higher, ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... it lasted, produced an unpleasant effect upon our young hunters. Should the jaguar also attack them, their destruction might be accounted as certain; for the great cat would either strike them down from their unstable porch, or claw them to death if they continued to cling to it. Of course, to fall down among the peccaries would be death, equally certain ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... treatment of Luna in the case of the stolen ore had cleared his path of difficulties he would have been forced by current events to a rude awakening. He had been neither flattered nor deceived. He knew very well that a prop put under an unstable boulder may obscure the manifestation of gravity; but he never deceived himself with the thought that it had been eliminated. The warming-up process, recommended by Pierre, was being actively exploited. Scarcely a day passed but some annoying accident at the mine or mill occurred, ...
— Blue Goose • Frank Lewis Nason

... army, alike formidable for its numbers, its discipline, and its equipments,—aided in its operations by a numerous fleet, and conducted by commanders of skill and experience, was opposed a force, unstable in its nature,—incapable, from its structure, of receiving discipline,—and inferior to its enemy, in numbers, in arms, and in every military equipment. It consisted, when General Howe landed on Staten Island, of ten thousand ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5) • John Marshall

... the heavily laden komatik, was slow, and the overfed dogs required constant urging. Completely engrossed with the capture and skinning of the bear, both Toby and Charley had quite forgotten about the unstable condition of the ice. Now they were aware that the wind was blowing considerably harder than when they had started. Charley was the first to speak ...
— Left on the Labrador - A Tale of Adventure Down North • Dillon Wallace

... principle was adopted which has become known as cujus regio ejus religio—that is to say, each prince or imperial city should choose between Catholicism and Lutheranism; and thereafter all inhabitants must conform, or, if unwilling to do so, must expatriate themselves. The unstable equilibrium of the empire was thus transferred to the individual states, and each was threatened with internal revolution whenever there was a change in the prevailing religious views of the inhabitants or the personal beliefs of ...
— European Background Of American History - (Vol. I of The American Nation: A History) • Edward Potts Cheyney

... speak of them at all. Ferrier's affections were deep and silent. He had not found it possible to love the mother without loving the son—had played, indeed, a father's part to him since Henry Marsham's death. He knew the brilliant, flawed, unstable, attractive fellow through and through. But his knowledge left him still vulnerable. He thought little of Oliver's political capacity; and, for all his affection, had no great admiration for his character. Yet ...
— The Testing of Diana Mallory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... if not uncanny, spectacle then. His countenance was covered by a glass mask such as the chemist dons while preparing or studying some highly unstable and dangerous substance. Even more than death he feared pain and disfigurement. His method of dealing with Christopher's clock had been carefully thought out. In the rainproof coat which he wore was a respirator, oxygenated, as well as sundry ...
— Till the Clock Stops • John Joy Bell

... width, with an inclination of about 20 deg. N., 51 deg. E. As soon as I had gratified the first feelings of curiosity, I descended, and each man ascended in his turn; for I would only allow one at a time to mount the unstable and precarious slab, which, it seemed, a breath would hurl into the abyss below. We mounted the barometer in the snow of the summit, and, fixing a ramrod in a crevice, unfurled the national flag to wave in the breeze, ...
— Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea • James O. Brayman

... Secretary of State and the Viceroy were primarily concerned to study. India is, and probably must always remain, essentially an agricultural country, and its economics must always suffer from the exceptionally unstable conditions to which, except within the relatively small areas available for irrigation, dependence upon a precarious rainfall condemns even the most industrious agricultural population. Many circumstances had combined to retard the ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... water, a narrow platform had been formed by the dislodged portion of the rock. Under the most favourable conditions exceedingly expert canoemen might succeed in making a landing here, but it was plain that the foothold offered was so narrow and so unstable that any attempt to make a landing upon it would prove perilous and more than ...
— The Gaunt Gray Wolf - A Tale of Adventure With Ungava Bob • Dillon Wallace

... that riches are unstable and void (asara) give according to the moral precepts, to Bhikshus, Brahmins, the poor and friends for there is ...
— A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 • Surendranath Dasgupta

... speak freely, you and I who serf him. We know that maybe der deputies serf because they enjoy it. But der subjects? Dey serf because dey fear. Andt fear is intolerable. A man who is afraid is in an unstable gondition. Sooner or later he is going to stop fearing because he gets used to it—when Der Master will haff no more hold on him—or else he is going to stop fearing because he ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science July 1930 • Various

... sub-ways for the passage of trade-vehicles across the Park, with an aggregate length of two miles, and twenty-one miles of walk. As an item of city property, Central Park is at present valued at six million dollars; but this, of course, is quite a nominal and unstable valuation. The worth of the Park to New York property in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... I could not help making anticipations. Fancy revelled in the wild and dreamy regions of the moon. Imagination, feeling herself for once unshackled, roamed at will among the ever-changing wonders of a shadowy and unstable land. Now there were hoary and time-honored forests, and craggy precipices, and waterfalls tumbling with a loud noise into abysses without a bottom. Then I came suddenly into still noonday solitudes, where no wind of heaven ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... a picture, and fascinates the eye as music does the ear. It still keeps its strong fortifications drawn around it, to which the broad and deep Scheldt is like a string to a bow, mindful of the unstable state of Europe. While Berlin is only a vast camp of soldiers, every less city must daily beat its drums, and call its muster-roll. From the tower here one looks upon the cockpit of Europe. And yet Antwerp ought to have rest: she has had tumult enough in her time. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... as one-sided, and negates its other, which, being equally one-sided, negates it; and, since this situation remains unstable, the two contradictory terms have together, according to Hegel, to engender a higher truth of which they both appear as indispensable members, mutually mediating aspects of that higher concept of situation ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... floating southward from the frozen North, is gradually undermined by warmer seas, and, become at last unstable, churns the sea to yeast for miles around by the mighty rockings that portend its overturn, so the barbaric industrial and social system, which has come down to us from savage antiquity, undermined by the modern humane spirit, riddled by the criticism ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... round, on preventing their neighbours from being divorced, on conscientious objection, Greek roots, Church dogma, paradox and superiority to everybody else, with other forms of ego-mania—all are unstable compared with him or her whose fixed idea is the possession of some her or him. And though Fleur, those chilly summer days, pursued the scattered life of a little Forsyte whose frocks are paid for, and whose business is pleasure, she was—as Winifred would have said in the ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... to the lady on the water. Cold February, a little sloop, and the bleak roadstead at the mouth of the Rappahannock brought but few comforts to the anxious wife, who sat muffled upon that unstable deck, watching the opposite shore, whilst the ceaseless plash of the waves breaking upon her ear numbered the minutes that marked the weary hours, and the hours that marked the still more weary day. She watched for the party who had galloped into ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... Hommes. Plains, houses, roof-tops, spires, all were swimming in a sea of golden light; nothing seemed quite real or solid, so vast was the prospect and so ethereal was the medium through which we saw it. Perhaps it was the great contrast between that shimmering, unstable city below, that reeked and balanced itself like some human creature whose dazzled vision had made its footing insecure—it may be that it was this note of contrast which invested this vast structure bestriding the hill, with such astonishing grandeur. I have known few, if any, other churches ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... constitution, contains in each molecule, 298 atoms of carbon, 49 of nitrogen, 2 of sulphur, 228 of hydrogen, and 92 of oxygen—in all, 669 atoms; or, more strictly speaking, equivalents. And these two substances are so unstable as to decompose at quite ordinary temperatures; as that to which the outside of a joint of roast meat is exposed. Thus it is manifest that the present chemical heterogeneity of the Earth's surface has arisen by degrees, as the decrease of heat has permitted; and that ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... not, of course, represent the number of men in the field at any one time. It is an estimate of the numbers of all who bore arms against the British troops at any time whatever during the campaign. The Boer army numerically was the most unstable known to history,[78] varying in strength as it varied in fortune in the field, varying even with the weather, or with that mercurial mental condition of which, in irregular forces, the numbers present at the front best mark the barometer. ...
— History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 v. 1 (of 4) - Compiled by Direction of His Majesty's Government • Frederick Maurice

... which the logs floated like a patterned brown carpet. Men with pike poles were working there; and even at a distance Bobby caught the dip and rise, and the flash of white water as the rivermen ran here and there over the unstable footing. ...
— The Adventures of Bobby Orde • Stewart Edward White

... of his left there the day before. There was a copy of a Methodist paper lying near it. He took it up and tore it across with passion. But his rage was not so much with the paper. It was his own worthless, unstable, miserable self he would have rent if he could. The wreck of ideal hopes, the defacement of that fair image of itself which every healthy youth bears about with it, could not have been more ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... and those of his lay flock who will choose to adopt the sentiments of his discourse?—For this plain reason: Because it is natural I should; because we are so made as to be affected at such spectacles with melancholy sentiments upon the unstable condition of mortal prosperity, and the tremendous uncertainty of human greatness; because in those natural feelings we learn great lessons; because in events like these our passions instruct our reason; because, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... rule, that if he were dethroned he would have to answer for all his abuse of power—he cannot but believe in the necessity and even sacredness of the existing order. The higher and the more profitable a man's position, the more unstable it becomes, and the more terrible and dangerous a fall from it for him, the more firmly the man believes in the existing order, and therefore with the more ease of conscience can such a man perpetrate cruel and wicked acts, as though they ...
— The Kingdom of God is within you • Leo Tolstoy

... and is, both dangerous and unstable. Not only is it sensitive to flame or spark, but it absorbs moisture from the air. In other words, it was no easy matter to "keep your powder dry." During the middle 1700's, Spaniards on a Florida river outpost ...
— Artillery Through the Ages - A Short Illustrated History of Cannon, Emphasizing Types Used in America • Albert Manucy

... first few shots the boys found the difficulty which Jesse had prophesied, for shooting from an unstable platform is always difficult. They had the added advantage, however, of being able to tell where their bullets were falling. As they were all firing close together, and were using rifles of the same caliber, it was difficult ...
— The Young Alaskans on the Trail • Emerson Hough

... lime is more efficient than simple slaked or unslaked lime, as it destroys spores. It is the ordinary bleaching powder of commerce and is quite unstable, hence old preparations, unless sealed, are of little value. A 5 per cent solution is sufficiently strong for all spore-bearing bacteria (3 ounces in 2 quarts of water). It may be efficiently applied to the walls and floor of an infected ...
— Special Report on Diseases of Cattle • U.S. Department of Agriculture

... of a day that I am destined never to forget. Long, rosy streamers of light broke through the forest, shaking, quivering, like unstable beams from celestial search-lights. Mist floated upward from marsh and lake; and through it the spectral palms loomed, drooping fronds ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... particularly under laughing gas, many people are conscious of a detachment from their bodies, and of experiences at a distance. I have myself seen very clearly my wife and children inside a cab while I was senseless in the dentist's chair. Again, when a man is fainting or dying, and his system in an unstable condition, it is asserted in very many definite instances that he can, and does, manifest himself to others at a distance. These phantasms of the living, which have been so carefully explored and docketed by Messrs. ...
— The Vital Message • Arthur Conan Doyle

... sympathy and respect of men; and the rewards of his toil may be paid in money, fame, or consciousness of earnest effort. The first of these may sometimes be gained without Sincerity. Fame may also, for a time, be erected on an unstable ground, though it will inevitably be destroyed again. But the last and not least reward is to be gained by every one without fear of failure, without risk of change. Sincere work is good work, be it never so humble; and sincere work is not only an indestructible delight ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... course, two kinds of equilibrium—stable and unstable—according as the social and political system is in a healthy or unhealthy state. If a body is in stable equilibrium, and any slight motion takes place, the body will return immediately to its former position; but if in unstable, it will decline further and further away from its original position, and be entirely upset. So a healthy and sound conservative equilibrium is not disturbed by outside forces, and the State will resume its former position of stability and rest when the opposing force is withdrawn. But ...
— The Romance of Mathematics • P. Hampson

... drifting fast into the middle of the lake; the oar was swimming far away from her. She saw no one on the shore; and, indeed, if she had, it would have been of no service to her. Cut off from all assistance, she was floating on the faithless, unstable element. ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... absolutism. This abatement of its claims began in the last century with agnosticism. It was then conceded that there is an order other than that of natural science; but this order was held to be inaccessible to human knowledge. Such a theory is essentially unstable because it employs principles which define a non-natural order, but refuses to credit them or call them knowledge. The agnostic is in the paradoxical position of one who knows of an unknowable world. Present-day naturalism is more circumspect. It has interested itself in ...
— The Approach to Philosophy • Ralph Barton Perry

... Carroll, nor any of those who assisted them, had a clear recollection of what they did. Somehow they reached the boulder; somehow they plied ax or iron-hooked peevy, while the unstable, foam-lapped platform rocked beneath their feet. Every movement entailed a peril no one could calculate; but they toiled savagely on. When Vane began to swing a hammer above a drill, or from whom he got it, he did ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... state rights view, and drew the resolutions of the Virginia legislature declaring the Alien and Sedition laws "utterly null and void and of no effect," so that he has also been called the "Father of Nullification." However unstable his opinions may have been, there is no questioning his patriotism or the purity of ...
— American Men of Action • Burton E. Stevenson

... was prompted both by his virtues and his limitations, would not on the whole have been unacceptable to the mass of the Southern whites. Left wholly to themselves, those States would soon have righted themselves from the unstable equilibrium in which they had been placed by the imposition of an ignorant electorate. Natural forces,—just or unjust, benignant or cruel,—would soon have reversed the order. But the nation at large ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... him. He had disobeyed orders and retreated. It was the end of him. He went to the rear, thence to a court-martial, thence to dismissal and to a solitary life with a well-founded suspicion of treason hanging about him. He was an intelligent, quick-witted, unstable man, much overrated because he was an English officer among a colonial people. He was ever treated magnanimously by Washington after the day of battle at Monmouth, but he then disappeared from the ...
— George Washington, Vol. I • Henry Cabot Lodge

... stately by, they all walked so gracefully, Balancing their bodies on lithe unstable hips, As if music moved them that swelled in their bosoms And was pizzicatti at ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... may crumble," he said. "Since I am speaking frankly of one thing, Captain Prescott, I may speak likewise of another. Have you ever thought how unstable may prove this Southern Confederacy for which we are spending ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... the Variation of Species, and they must be considered as indications of very widespread though little noticed phenomena. He speaks of the curious little carabideous beetles of the genus Notiophilus as being "extremely unstable both in their sculpture and hue;" of the common Calathus mollis as having "the hind wings at one time ample, at another rudimentary, and at a third nearly obsolete;" and of the same irregularity as to the wings being characteristic of many Orthoptera ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... on their doubtful quest. Be that as it may, his attitude did not encourage light conversation. Even Coke withheld some jibe at the unfortunate mate's expense. A chill silence fell on the little group. The more imaginative among them were calculating the exact kind of lurch taken by the unstable raft that would ...
— The Stowaway Girl • Louis Tracy

... should we fix our hopes on that which is not abiding—on things that can perish, on things that we must lose? Let us not run this awful risk. Do not impoverish or darken life here; do not condemn yourselves to unfruitful toil, to unsatisfied desires, to unguarded calamities, to unstable possessions; but come, as sinful men ought to come, to Jesus Christ for pardon and for life. Then, in due season, you will reap if you faint not; and the harvest will not be little, but 'some sixty-fold and some an hundred-fold'; then you will 'hunger no ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... you have given what you had to your parents, and disappointed the poor; you do not deserve to be received into the company of those who make profession of holy poverty. You commenced by the flesh, which is an unstable foundation for a spiritual edifice." This carnal and animal man returned to his parents, resumed his property, and rather than give it to the poor, he gave up the good purpose ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... human operation shares in the power of the Divine. Hence, as he says in a certain epistle (Ad Caium iv), "what is of man He works beyond man; and this is shown by the Virgin conceiving supernaturally and by the unstable waters bearing up the weight of bodily feet." Now it is clear that to be begotten belongs to human nature, and likewise to walk; yet both were in Christ supernaturally. So, too, He wrought Divine things humanly, ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... said for even so stringent a policy as this. An unstable home, with a worthless father an intermittent member of the household, is as bad an environment as children can have—its very fluctuations making for nervous instability and a wrong point of view later on. There is a possibility that other would-be deserters may ...
— Broken Homes - A Study of Family Desertion and its Social Treatment • Joanna C. Colcord

... all like that," continued Mrs. Forest, with her air of one fulfilling an unpleasant duty—"all except Max, who is frankly objectionable. Gay, debonnaire, fascinating, I grant you, but so deplorably unstable. Those boys—well, I have never dared to encourage them here, for I know too well what it would mean. If you are really thinking of buying their old home for yourself and Chris, do be on your guard or you will never keep them ...
— The Rocks of Valpre • Ethel May Dell

... the current situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; much of this trafficking occurs within the country's unstable eastern provinces and is perpetrated by armed groups outside government control tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Democratic Republic of the Congo is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2007; while ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... no sentiment of the human mind, unless it is self esteem, that is capable of resting on so unstable a foundation as hope. Hendrik had now been absent more than twenty-four hours. The chances were a hundred to one against their ever seeing him again, either dead or alive; and ...
— The Giraffe Hunters • Mayne Reid

... fallings back into oblivion, brilliant shootings through of strange meteors; and in the tide of fluctuation, the things that were established or traditional upon this coast of chance were mere islands in the wash of ocean. It was amazing, it was almost frightening, the fluid, unstable quality of life; the rapid, inconsequent changes; yet it was also this very quality of transformation that most stirred ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... statement to the men who run the trains on its lines which includes these words: 'Taking one drink of intoxicating liquor is like running passed the red light. It is unsafe. The possible line between safety and danger in the use of alcoholic drink is dangerously unstable. Safety lies back of total abstinence. The normal man has no legitimate use for alcohol as a beverage, and he has no right to render himself abnormal by its use when lives are dependent upon his ...
— Crayon and Character: Truth Made Clear Through Eye and Ear - Or, Ten-Minute Talks with Colored Chalks • B.J. Griswold

... the season of stinging gnats and breathless days. The Sacs were always filthy in camp or journeying, and I turned coward at the food I was obliged to eat. But I did not dare leave them and trust them to come alone. They were a fierce, sullen people, unstable as hyenas, but they were terrible in war. I had won some power over them, and they followed me with the eyes of snarling dogs. But they would not have gone a mile without my ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... "unstable opposite," Posthumus, demands his ring back again, but as soon as Iachimo swears that he had the bracelet from her arm, Posthumus swings round again to belief from sheer rapidity of thought. Again Philario will ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... giving, serving, disciplining the body. But after two or three attempts they become indolent and fail to accomplish the undertaking. Their ardor subsides with the gratification of their curiosity. Such people become unstable and weak. ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... Dunnam said sympathetically. "One of the most unjust rules of modern education in the opinion of many, but no way of changing it unless the educators themselves did it. Since they all passed O.K. in stability, they think everyone else should. Maybe they're afraid they would be considered unstable if they wanted to ...
— Unthinkable • Roger Phillips Graham

... character and career were brought into view. He was headstrong, impulsive, and opinionated. If he had the strength of a giant in battle, he lacked the wisdom of the sage in council. If he was irresistible in his own appropriate sphere of moral and economic discussion, he was uncertain and unstable when he ventured beyond its limits. He was a powerful agitator and a matchless leader of debate, rather than a master of government. Those who most admired his honesty, courage, and power in the realm of his true greatness, ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... uncomfortable, unstable chairs, and the noise of their uneasy movements sent squeaks up and down the building as though it had been a barn ...
— The Prelude to Adventure • Hugh Walpole

... and appeal to the forbearance of a woman in this matter who has made cross-loves and crooked entanglements her trade for years? I thank ye, Giles, for finding it out; but it makes my plan the harder that she should have belonged to that unstable tribe." ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... if I can give any idea to one who has not seen it what a snow slide really is; how it sweeps away every vestige of trees, grass, and roots, and leaves a surface of shirting, unstable earth almost as treacherous ...
— A Woman Tenderfoot • Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

... Teufelsdrockh; "the same viscera, tissues, livers, lights, and other life-tackle, are there: examine their spiritual mechanism; the same great Need, great Greed, and little Faculty; nay ten to one but the Carman, who understands draught-cattle, the rimming of wheels, something of the laws of unstable and stable equilibrium, with other branches of wagon-science, and has actually put forth his hand and operated on Nature, is the more cunningly gifted of the two. Whence, then, their so unspeakable difference? From Clothes." Much also we shall omit about ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... down stream. Gavin seized the rope, but it pressed against his body, and would have pushed him off his feet had not Tosh cut it. The trunk of the tree that had fallen on Rob Dow was next dragged to the bank and an endeavor made to form a sloping bridge of it. The island, however, was now soft and unstable, and, though the trunk was successfully lowered, it only knocked lumps off the island, and finally it had to be let go, as the weavers could not pull it back. It splashed into the water, and was at once whirled out of sight. Some of the ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... appear of what unstable materials is composed the land of that temporary country. It will also be evident, that, by removing the sand banks of this coast, the whole of this low country would be swallowed by the sea, notwithstanding every effort that the power of man could ...
— Theory of the Earth, Volume 2 (of 4) • James Hutton

... pouting disappointment of Cressida, which is just like that of a spoilt child which has lost its sugar-plum, without tenderness, passions, or poetry: and, in short, perfectly characteristic of that vain, fickle, dissolute, heartless woman,—"unstable as water." ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... by the co-operation of all these factors. It needs a broad and well-constructed basis in order to be effective. In the Manchurian War at the critical moment, when the Japanese attacking strength seemed spent, the Russian military system broke down, because its foundation was unstable; the State had fallen into political and moral ruin, and the very army was tainted ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... is due to myself, to you, my father, that he leaves this country knowing how thorough is my self-reproach for the past, and my wish that his absence may be eternal. I believe that I do really wish it, but see how my poor frame is shaken! I must have more strength or my heart will be unstable like-wise." Florence held up her clasped hands that were trembling like leaves in the autumn wind as ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 2 August 1848 • Various

... habitable earth by Izanami and Izanagi, whose names mean the Male-Who-Invites and the Female-Who-Invites. The heavenly kami commanded these two gods to consolidate and give birth to the drifting land. Standing on the floating bridge of heaven, the male plunged his jewel-spear into the unstable waters beneath, stirring them until they gurgled and congealed. When he drew forth the spear, the drops trickling from its point formed an island, ever afterward called Onokoro-jima, or the Island of the Congealed Drop. Upon this island they descended. The creative ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... the change was one of dynasty only, not of regime, albeit Louis-Philippe posed rather as a plebiscitary monarch. Balzac's clericalism and royalism, which ultimately became so crystallized, were at this date in a position of unstable equilibrium. At one moment his criticisms have an air of condemning the monarchic principle, at another they point to his being a pillar of the ancient system of things. On this occasion he was twitted ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton



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