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Vacillation   /vˌæsəlˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Vacillation

noun
1.
Indecision in speech or action.  Synonyms: hesitation, wavering.
2.
Changing location by moving back and forth.  Synonyms: swing, swinging.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Vacillation" Quotes from Famous Books



... quickness of wrist; he had seen many a man lay down his gun for good and all. His own action was not final. Of late he had done the same thing many times and this last time it seemed a little harder to do, a little more indicative of vacillation. There were reasons why Belding's gun held ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... dost thou find thy heart?" said the prophet. "Steadfast in the faith," said he. "Then," answered Mohammed, "if they repeat their cruelty, thou mayest repeat thy words." He also had himself an hour of vacillation. Tired of the severe and seemingly hopeless struggle with the Koreish, and seeing no way of overcoming their bitter hostility, he bethought himself of the method of compromise, more than seven centuries before ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... the public and mine 'excellent wife' cannot find it out), I had already pacified myself and subsided back to Albemarle Street, as my yesterday's yepistle will have informed you. But I thought that I had explained my causes of bile—at least to you. Some instances of vacillation, occasional neglect, and troublesome sincerity, real or imagined, are sufficient to put your truly great author and man into a passion. But reflection, with some aid from hellebore, hath already cured me 'pro tempore;' and, if it had not, a request from ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... fortune, domestic affliction, and other things almost compelled him to write from hand to mouth—to take whatever commission offered itself: whereas the, if not immediate, speedy and tremendous success of Pickwick put the booksellers entirely at Dickens's feet. Still, a certain vacillation—an uncertainty of design not often accompanying genius like his—must be acknowledged in Thackeray. For a time he hesitated between pen and pencil, the latter of which implements he fortunately never abandoned, though the former was his predestined wand. Then he ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... British policy with regard to the Boers, making it out to be ever greedy of power. The contrary is the truth. A vacillating and timid policy has been England's great mistake in South Africa; it is this very vacillation that has ...
— Boer Politics • Yves Guyot

... his speeches there was neither carelessness nor vacillation. Less finished advocates turn aside to indulge themselves in playing with an illustration or a favourite proposition, at the risk of betraying the distinction between their own natural train of thought and their immediate argument. ...
— Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, Volume 2 • Robert Ornsby

... attribute of the divine nature is proposed as holding forth a pattern for us to follow, and the faith in it as tending to make us in a measure steadfast like Himself, as when Paul indignantly rebuts his enemies' charge of levity of purpose and vacillation, and avers that 'as God is faithful, our word toward you is not yea and nay' (2 ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... knew well that Alexander is hesitating," exclaimed Napoleon, triumphantly. "He dares not attack me, and his vacillation will give me time to complete my preparations, and surround him so closely that he cannot escape. While he is still dreaming at the Kremlin of the possibility of peace, I shall be at the gates, and ask him in the thunder of my cannon whether he will submit, or bury himself beneath ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... for the words they had that hour listened to, from one who, young as she was, had learned to think, and to act, with a sound judgment, and bold independence in the cause of truth, which shamed them in their vacillation. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848 • Various

... arms—he loved to direct and control. In very early life he showed much skill and tact as an officer in the Canadian campaign; but he wanted those moral traits which give dignity and decision to character, and confidence to the public mind. His vacillation of opinion, as well as of conduct, was convincing proof that he acted without principle, and was influenced by his own selfish views. Man, to be great, must act always from principle. Principle, like truth, is a straight edge, will admit of no obliquity, is always the same, and under all circumstances: ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... felt it to be most important that they should not err this time. As they hung in admiration over the sleeping babes, one of them remarked a circumstance that at once decided their preference and put an end to their vacillation: one of the little heroes held his hand tightly closed; the tiny, mottled palm of the other was wide open as it lay upon his snowy breast. 'He will be a liberal and bold knight,' said one of the Bearnais, 'and will best suit us as a head.' This infant ...
— A Midsummer Drive Through The Pyrenees • Edwin Asa Dix

... did not last. The dream she had once had of playing to an audience and seeing only Lancelot Vane in the first row of the pit applauding and eager to congratulate her, was gone. She was done with him for ever. So she told herself. And to strengthen this resolve she recalled his weaknesses, his vacillation, his distrust in himself, his lapses into inebriety. Yet no sooner had she gone over his sins than she felt pity and inclined to forgiveness. But not forgiveness for his faithlessness. That ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... conviction of the strength of her own feelings, a sudden horror of the wickedness of falsifying them, and a sudden appreciation of the hollowness of worldly ambition when brought face to face with death. There was no hesitating vacillation in Sibyl's character. She had been self-deceived, but, as soon as she felt the truth, she threw aside errors with all her might, and gave herself up boldly, wholly and heartily to her new life. Aunt Faith understood her niece thoroughly, and she knew there would be no danger of a relapse into ...
— The Old Stone House • Anne March

... change of government, disappeared forever. The controllers that succeeded Necker only plunged deeper and deeper into debt and deficit. It is needless to follow them in their flounderings. A long experience of the vacillation of the government both as to persons and as to systems had discouraged the hopes of conscientious patriotism, and strengthened the opposition to reform of all those who were interested in abuses. From the well-meaning king, if left to his own ways, nothing more could be hoped. ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... this unfaltering sternness of life. There was no futile hesitation between doom and pity. Therefore, he could submit and have faith. If each man by his crying could swerve the slow, sheer universe, what a doom of guilt he might gain. If Life could swerve from its orbit for pity, what terror of vacillation; and who would wish to bear the responsibility ...
— The Trespasser • D.H. Lawrence

... that a person loves, desires, or hates a thing which we love, desire, or hate, we shall on that account love, desire, or hate the thing more intensely. If, on the other hand, we imagine that he is averse to the thing we love, or loves the thing to which we are averse, then we shall suffer vacillation of mind. Hence every one strives to the utmost to induce others to love what he loves and to hate what he hates. This effort is called ambition, which prompts each person to desire that others should live according to his way of thinking. But if all thus act, then all hinder ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... bravery, to their able leader, and finally to Persian vacillation and cowardice, this little army had now reached a place of safety. It was long, however, before they got back to their native country, and when they did, they were not to arrive at its shores asleep, on shipboard, as the much wandering ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... loved you as his own soul, and his soul were knit with yours—to use the words of Scripture—he would not demand this consistency, because each man must know and feel his own immeasurable vacillation and inconsistency; and if he had complete sympathy with another, he would not be greatly surprised or vexed ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... from their honeymoon she felt it incumbent upon her to light the drawing-room lamps and extract her best silver from the Safe Deposit vaults. Mrs. Peniston's rare entertainments were preceded by days of heart-rending vacillation as to every detail of the feast, from the seating of the guests to the pattern of the table-cloth, and in the course of one of these preliminary discussions she had imprudently suggested to her cousin ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... is a higher good than that of action, and that this higher good belongs to the whole world as it is in reality. In this way the twofold attitude and the apparent vacillation of mysticism ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... far into the night, Herald Square was filled with a surging throng watching the bulletins from the chamber of death. It was a dignified end. There must have been a good deal of innate nobility in William McKinley. With all his vacillation and infirmity of political purpose, he must have been a man whose mind was saturated with fine thoughts, for to the very last, in those hours of weakness when the will no longer sways and each word is the half-unconscious muttering of the true self, he shone forth with unexpected ...
— Two Thousand Miles On An Automobile • Arthur Jerome Eddy

... In Congress was vacillation, discord, vacuity; while the people were goaded to the absurd charge, that some of its members were traitors! But the great diplomat has graven the truth, that an error may be worse than a crime; and the errors of the Confederate Congress—from ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... Iranian table-land. A new race had arisen in their rear, that of the Cimmerians and Scythians, which, issuing in irresistible waves from the gorges of the Caucasus, threatened to overwhelm the whole ancient world of the East. The stream, after a moment's vacillation, took a westerly direction, and flooded Asia Minor from one end to the other. Some tribes, however, which had detached themselves from the main movement sought an outlet towards the south-east, on to the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 7 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... the most unwise thing. He was a northern man with southern principles, and this may have unfitted him to see things in their true relations. He certainly was putty in the hands of those who wished to destroy the Union, and his vacillation precisely accomplished what they wished. Had he possessed the firmness and spirit of John A. Dix, who ordered,—"If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot;" had he had a modicum of the patriotism of Andrew Jackson; ...
— The Life of Abraham Lincoln • Henry Ketcham

... Sultan. Turkey had no interest in the religious questions at issue, and she pursued a wavering course between the disputing powers, fearing to offend either of them. Russia at last began openly to threaten Turkey, and, finding vacillation and diplomacy no longer availing for a postponement of the conflict, the Sultan declared ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... that prevents my spirit from being completely at rest is the longing, that becomes every day more ardent within me, to embrace that life to which, without a moment's vacillation, I have been for years inclined. It seems to me that, in those moments when I feel myself so near to the realization of the constant dream of my life, it is something like a profanation to allow my mind to be distracted by other objects. So much does ...
— Pepita Ximenez • Juan Valera

... to encumber itself with expensive and useless dormitories, and the faculty has in the main left the students to themselves. But whenever interference became necessary, it has acted promptly, without undue haste or severity, and also without vacillation. Here, at least, we do not find the ruinous practice of suspending a student one week, only to take him back the next. The mere existence, then, of the Sheffield Scientific—to say nothing of its success—by the side of the powerful corporation of Yale College is fatal to every argument in favor ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... the Caesars, in baser and more primitive times, found posing as a divine superman somewhat difficult and disconcerting. Shakespeare subtly suggests this when he makes his Caesar talk like a god and act with the vacillation of a child. ...
— The Evidence in the Case • James M. Beck

... before them, ignores Buddhism in his romance called Vasavadatta. But Bhartrihari, the still popular gnomic poet, was a Buddhist. It is true that he oscillated between the court and the cloister no less than seven times, but this vacillation seems to have been due to the weakness of the flesh, not to any change of convictions. For our purpose the gist of this literature is that Hinduism in many forms, some of them very unorthodox, was becoming ...
— Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... history of, troubles of Scotland under, Bruce, Edward, besieges Stirling Castle, commands a division at Bannockburn, his invasion of Ireland, death, Bruce, Robert, lays claim to the crown of Scotland, Bruce, Robert, the younger, joins Wallace, lives in allegiance to Edward I., Bruce, Robert III., vacillation of his early conduct, his murder of the Red Comyn; revolts against Edward I.; coronation at Scone; his excommunication; his disaster at Methven; wanderings, and adventures; escape from the Lorns; defeats Aymer de Valence; his progress in the recovery of ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... thousands who are lying on the bloody battle-fields of Jena and Auerstadt, and accusing the duke of having murdered them! You had better pity Prussia's misfortunes and disgrace, which have been brought about by the duke! For, I tell you, the indecision, vacillation, and timidity of the duke were the sole causes of our terrible disaster. All of us felt and knew it. None of the younger officers and generals had any doubt about it; every one knew that those old gentlemen, who had outlived their own glory, and still believed ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... well. Madeline had frequent occasion for private comment on the advantages of a temperament that could find satisfaction in dancing through whole programmes at the very door, so to speak, of the criminal courts; and it can not be denied that this capacity of Mrs. Innes's went far to increase the vacillation with which Miss Anderson considered her duty towards that lady. If she had shown traces of a single hour of genuine suffering, there would have been an end to Madeline's hesitation. But beyond an occasional watchful glance at conversations ...
— The Pool in the Desert • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... revolution, provided only that, instead of another Louis the Sixteenth, a Leopold of Belgium, or a Frederick the Great were king.[28] With the last mentioned on the throne, there would assuredly be no repetition of that vacillation of purpose which rocked the cradle and fostered the growth of popular fury till it culminated in a Reign of Terror. Since, then, there cannot be either a repetition of the same circumstances to act upon men, or a reproduction of the ...
— Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics - With Some of Their Applications • William Thomas Thornton

... throb of the engine grew faint a figure in European clothes and a long-tasselled chechia crept out from the dark of a door arch along the street. It advanced toward the gate. It started back at a sound. It rallied again, a figure bedeviled by vacillation. It came as far as the well in the centre ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... Graham is dissatisfied and unfriendly. It seems he has been heard complaining of vacillation, &c., on the part of the Government, and does ...
— A Political Diary 1828-1830, Volume II • Edward Law (Lord Ellenborough)

... the same, and numerous bungalows—former residences of the officers—were still on fire. The heat from the burning embers was intense, and as we passed slowly by we viewed, with anger in our hearts, the lamentable results of the timidity and vacillation, the irresolution and ...
— A Narrative Of The Siege Of Delhi - With An Account Of The Mutiny At Ferozepore In 1857 • Charles John Griffiths

... frivolous, impulsive people, virile, yet lacking the accredited determination and persistency of the Teuton. This impression has been a great mistake. The faces of the men and women of France alike show no sign of vacillation. The French are counting the terrific cost, as becomes the thriftiest of nations, expecting to collect a bill that in their opinion has been running since the Franco-Prussian war and through the humiliating and irksome years which followed under the "favored nation" ...
— A Journey Through France in War Time • Joseph G. Butler, Jr.

... Liberal party in Europe. Mr. Burgers' reserve is much to be regretted, as a few sidelights thrown on the Boer character at that period might have helped to educate the Liberal party of whom he spoke, and thereby saved much of the vacillation of policy for which the ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... assiduity and tenderness, exhibiting in her frank features those changing emotions of joy and regret which occasionally beset her, as her active mind dwelt on the decided step she had just taken, with the contending doubts and hopes, and possibly with some of the mental vacillation, that was natural ...
— The Prairie • J. Fenimore Cooper

... he brusquely ordered. Her vacillation promptly vanished, and she resolutely mounted the steps. She put out her hand to ring, but the door flew silently open and a ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... smiles and say nothing; at other times with tears in his eyes he would swear with far resounding, multitudinous oaths to accompany the Gryphon. One day Wolseley's pocket-book and a tooth-brush would be packed in tin; next day they would be unpacked. The vacillation was awful; it amounted to an agony; it involved all the circles; the newspapers ...
— Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series • George Robert Aberigh-Mackay

... listened, and he murmured to himself: She has fallen into the snare, by avowing her vacillation, and allowing herself to debate, instead of repudiating my proposal: and now it will be my own fault, if I cannot turn the scale in my own favour, by playing on her agitated heart. And he said coldly: Ha! then, as I thought, it is Babhru who causes all the trouble; and he it is, whom ...
— Bubbles of the Foam • Unknown

... no hesitation or vacillation in the decisive treatment of the guilty, this warning is especially intended to ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... referred to, seems to me to have been the most potent influence in determining his method of work during the Peace Conference. He seemed to think that, having marked out a definite plan of action, any deviation from it would show intellectual weakness or vacillation of purpose. Even when there could be no doubt that in view of changed conditions it was wise to change a policy, which he had openly adopted or approved, he clung to it with peculiar tenacity refusing or merely failing ...
— The Peace Negotiations • Robert Lansing

... is the event which determined the issue of the conflict. It put an end to the vacillation of France. The French government had to recover the position it had lost in the last war, and watched the course of events for evidence that American resistance was not about to collapse. At the end of 1777 the victory of Saratoga supplied the requisite proof. Volunteers ...
— Lectures on Modern history • Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

... 1255 he enjoined Bishop and Inquisitor to interpret in consultation any obscurities in the laws against heresy, and to administer the lighter penalties of deprivation of office and preferment. This recognition of episcopal jurisdiction was annulled by Alexander IV, who, after some vacillation, in 1257 rendered the Inquisition independent by releasing it from the necessity of consulting with the Bishops even in cases of obstinate and confessed heretics, and this he repeated in 1260. Then there was a ...
— The Inquisition - A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church • E. Vacandard

... could not forget the greatness of his services to the cause of Reform. If the dissolution had come two or three years earlier, the Government might have gone to the country without fear; but in 1841, both at home and abroad, their blunders and their vacillation had alienated confidence, and it was not difficult to forecast the result. The General Election brought Lord John a personal triumph. He was presented with a requisition signed by several thousand persons, asking ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... lawyer would say, in analogy to a well-known term, "Coke upon Littleton,") produced an effect upon their minds which may be easily imagined. It was while their minds were under these two soothing influences, i. e. of the insolence of Huckaback and the vacillation of Frankpledge, that Mr. Gammon had penned the note to Titmouse, (surely, under the circumstances, one of extraordinary temper and forbearance,) which had occasioned him the agonies I have been attempting faintly to describe;—and that Quirk, ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... vacillation of the Venetian Senate, Vienna was exciting the population of its States on the mainland to rise against the French. The Venetian Government had always exhibited an extreme aversion to the French Revolution, which had been violently condemned at Venice. ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... on them," said Sandie, laughing a little at her pretty confusion. "As I told you, there is often no other to be had. And a sailor cannot afford to change his course; he must see to it that he is right at first. Vacillation would ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... evidence against them so obviously called for conviction, that the Ministry was forced to appeal from this decision. The verdict was set aside; but such was the government's vacillation, that it hesitated to punish excesses that might on the morrow be regarded as virtues. The accused were cited before the tribunal of Ain, in the city of Bourg, where dwelt a majority of their friends, relatives, abettors and accomplices. The Ministry sought to propitiate the one party by ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas, pere

... administration of James Buchanan to meet these acts of war? The answer to this question is a most painful confession of feebleness, vacillation and dishonor. It was shown conclusively that Floyd, the Secretary of War, during 1860 transferred from Springfield and other armories to southern arsenals 65,000 percussion muskets, 40,000 altered ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... speed through the water. Her slight timbers creaked and groaned with the increased pressure put upon them by the heavy drag of the boats in tow, and Dyer laid his hand apprehensively upon the painter of the leading boat, strained as taut as a bar; but it was no time for vacillation, the obscurity and the increased strength of the wind were almost worth men's lives at such a moment, and George, who was tending the boat's mainsheet, hung on to every inch of it, like grim death. ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... recognised me and was trying to make up her mind whether, in view of the complication of Mr. Dod, to bow or not. But the woman who hesitates is lost, even though she be a British matron of massive prejudices and a figure to match. In Mrs. Portheris's instant of vacillation, I stepped forward with such enthusiasm that she was compelled to take down her pince nez and hold out a superior hand. I took it warmly, and turned to my parents with a joy which was not in the least affected. "Momma," I ...
— A Voyage of Consolation - (being in the nature of a sequel to the experiences of 'An - American girl in London') • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... of vacillation I remained for some time, but in the end curiosity and a fugitive hope gained the day, and taking my cap, I ...
— My Lady Caprice • Jeffrey Farnol

... break the spell. Detained in the Court till past three, and came home just in time to escape a terrible squall. I am a good deal jaded, and will not work till after dinner. There is a sort of drowsy vacillation of mind attends fatigue with me. I can command my pen as the school copy recommends, but cannot equally command my thought, and often write one word for another. Read a little volume called The Omen[185]—very well written—deep and ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... at all times to expressions of a menacing and ruthless character, at once astounded and appalled the accomplices. They left the room in hasty confusion; and Brandon, now alone, walked with uneven steps (the alarming weakness and vacillation of which he did not himself feel) to and fro the apartment. The hell of his breast was stamped upon his features, but he uttered only ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Grey on this subject fills more than half a large volume, or rather his secretary's correspondence, for he kept a very clever man to write what he thought, or at least what those about him thought. It is a strange instance of high-placed weakness and conscientious vacillation. After endless letters the king consents to make a REASONABLE number of peers if required to pass the second reading of the Reform Bill, but owing to desertion of the "Waverers" from the Tories, the second reading ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... terms, an order must be definite and must be the expression of a fixed decision. Ambiguity or vagueness indicates either a vacillation or the inability to formulate ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... the exact counterpart of Luther. He appealed to the limited few, Luther to the masses; he to the educated and higher classes, Luther to the ignorant and lowly; he was a man of reflection, Luther a man of action. The apparent vacillation of Erasmus may have been due to ill health, to the influence of the Pope, to the ties of the Church in which he had been reared, to the satisfaction he found in his eminent literary position, and to his ...
— History of Education • Levi Seeley

... had been willing to believe; and even now she could not absolutely cease to entertain some hopes of the results of Oliver's return, nor silence one lingering fancy that Louis might yet wait unbound; although she told herself of his vacillation between herself and Isabel, of his father's influence, and of the certainty that he would see many more worthy of his love than herself. Not any one who could love him so well—oh no! But when Mary found her thoughts taking this turn, she rose up as she ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... are, these great antagonists and their fellow-senators show the right Roman nature at need. Marius sleeping quietly under the menace of death; his heroic son, with his little band of soldiers, committing suicide rather than surrender at Praeneste; Octavius scorning to imitate the vacillation and cowardice of his colleagues; Sylla plunging back alone into battle, that his example may reanimate the courage of his fleeing army: these are scenes that recall the best traditions of Rome. They are taken from Plutarch, it is true; but they ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... good sense of the people says, and it is this common sense which will triumph in the end over all vacillation, and will, in spite of everything, assert its way ...
— Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915 • New York Times

... the revolution. But a conviction of the necessity of immediate change gradually came to all. The Czar himself brought matters to an issue. His vacillation, his appointment of ministers who were not only reactionary, but were suspected of being German tools, were too much for even honest supporters of the Imperial regime. Some of these reactionaries, it is true, were easily driven from power. In ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... she wait for him (for it is a man to a certainty)?' resumed the elder of the smokers, at the end of several minutes of silence, when, full of vacillation and doubt, she became lost to view behind some bushes. 'Will she reappear?' The smoking went on, and up she came into open ground ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... who had not meant to allow this, took umbrage, and entered into correspondence with Bussy in the Deccan. Clive had full knowledge of his various intrigues, which were carried on with the vacillation of a character as weak as it was treacherous; and seeing no hope of settled peace or trade under the rule of this man, entered into an extensive conspiracy for his dethronement, the details of which need not be given. The result was that war broke out again, and that Clive ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... touched by the light of a high hope, many have seceded. Some have become voluptuaries; some mere family men, who think it is quite life enough to win bread for half a dozen people, and treat them decently; others are lost through indolence and vacillation. Yet ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... was at no time given to vacillation. All his methods were, as a rule, very direct. Underneath his easy nonchalance he was of a very decided nature. His thin face at times could suddenly become very keen. His true character was hidden by the ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... profitably employed. In the needlessly frequent change of occupations, there is at each beginning and ending a loss of the working power, which can neither start on a new career at full speed, nor arrest itself without previous slackening. This waste is made still greater by the suspense or vacillation of purpose of those who not only have no settled plans of industry, but often know not what to do, or are liable, so soon as they are occupied in one way, to feel themselves irresistibly drawn ...
— A Manual of Moral Philosophy • Andrew Preston Peabody

... kept in check by an enemy not by half as strong. 4th. Every initiative which our diplomacy tried abroad was wholly unsuccessful, and we are obliged to submit to new international principles inaugurated at our cost; and, summing up, instead of a broad, decided, general policy, we have vacillation, inaction, tricks, and expedients. The people fret, and so will the Congress. Nations are as individuals; any partial disturbance in a part of the body occasions a general chill. Nature makes efforts to check the beginning of disease, and so do nations. In the human organism nature ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... "People are everywhere murmuring and whispering that beneath the surface of things powerful undercurrents are flowing which invisibly sway the policy of the secret council, and the public believes that this accounts for the sinister vacillation and ...
— The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference • Emile Joseph Dillon

... trouble seemed less formidable if it could only be put off a little. Edmonds, who knew with what kind of man he had to deal, said nothing further, and quietly reached out for another cigar. He saw vacillation in his victim's manner. ...
— Masters of the Wheat-Lands • Harold Bindloss

... prorogued the weakness and vacillation of the ministry had been very apparent. From the moment of Earl Grey's resignation, indeed, the want of intrinsic power had rendered them dependent on O'Connell and his faction. And this very support ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... temper, and did not readily brook opposition, especially when that seemed to him to be the result of stupidity or of prejudice rather than of reason, and his own reason was of a very clear, decided, and exact order. He had little sympathy with vacillation of any kind, whether it arose from mere infirmity of purpose or from the temperament which delights in balancing opposing considerations. ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... I. (q.v.), whose full name is generally read Sharru-kenu-sha-ali, and interpreted as "the legitimate king of the city," the question has recently been raised whether we ought not to read "Sharru-kenu-shar-ri" and interpret as "the legitimate king rules"—an illustration of the vacillation still prevailing in this ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... one man who knows his own mind—Caiaphas, the high priest. He has no doubt as to what is the right thing to do. He has the advantage of a perfectly clear and single purpose, and no sort of restraint of conscience or delicacy keeps him from speaking it out. He is impatient at their vacillation, and he brushes it all aside with the brusque and contemptuous speech: 'Ye know nothing at all!' 'The one point of view for us to take is that of our own interests. Let us have that clearly understood; when we once ask what is "expedient for us," there will be no ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. John Chapters I to XIV • Alexander Maclaren

... words ensued. Lady Kirton accused him of wishing to sacrifice them to his own selfish gratification. Lord Hartledon felt uncomfortable at the accusation. One of the best-hearted men living, he did nothing in his vacillation. He would go in the evening, he said to himself, when they could not ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... all, her dream was coming true. Here in this old room of an old house, where other generations had made courtly love, he would tell her that resolution had come to his heart, driving out weak vacillation, and resolution spelt her name. It was worth having been lonely for. Here were just the two of them in the light of a fire ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... he not merely relieved Amherstburgh, the key of Upper Canada, from all immediate danger, but at a single blow annihilated the American power throughout that extensive frontier. That this bold measure, powerfully contrasted as it was with his own previous vacillation of purpose, had greatly tended to intimidate the American General, and to render him distrustful of his own resources, there can be little doubt. The destructive fire from the well served breaching batteries, was moreover instanced as an ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... friend, George Talboys, had died in my arms, and I had buried him in this quiet church, in one corner of the vaults over which I tread to-day, how much anguish of mind, vacillation and torment I might have escaped," thought Robert Audley, as he read the faded inscriptions upon tablets of discolored marble; "I should have known his fate—I should have known his fate! Ah, how much there would have been in that. It is this miserable uncertainty, this horrible suspicion which ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... cigar. "Bernstorff said, or is said to have said—I do not count him among my acquaintances—that on that night this supercanaille showed symptoms of what I think I have seen described as vacillation. That is quite on the cards. It bears out my theory. In any event the fellow had his ambitions. He wanted to descend into the red halls of history disguised. He might have succeeded. History is very careless and to-day barely recalls that at five o'clock on the morning succeeding ...
— The Paliser case • Edgar Saltus

... the Gap that had sheltered Nan for many years seemed never so empty as the night she left it with de Spain. In spite of his vacillation, her uncle was deeply attached to her. She made his home for him. He had never quite understood it before, but the realization came only too soon after he had lost her. And his resentment against Gale as the cause of her leaving deepened with every hour ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... solitary men, beginning with Dud Dudley in the reign of James I., and ending a century later with Darby of Coalbrookdale. Practically these heroic men had all their contemporaries against them. Public opinion attacked them through private persecution and violence. The apathy and vacillation of governments left them without defence; and had governments then represented public opinion completely, and had also controlled all labour and capital, the discovery in question, which was retarded for three generations, ...
— A Critical Examination of Socialism • William Hurrell Mallock

... interests you; you possess all those things after which I am seeking. Pity from you would be more precious to me than passionate love from any other woman. Your hand upon my heart—I know—would cause a second youth to spring up in me far purer than the first and stronger. The ceaseless vacillation which makes up the sum of my inner life would find rest and stability in you. My unsatisfied and restless spirit, harried by a perpetual warfare between attraction and repulsion, eternally and irremediably alone, would find in yours a haven of refuge against the doubts which contaminate ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... variability, inconstancy, instability, vacillation, convertibility, transmutability, mobility, impermanence; volatility, irresolution, fickleness, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... he not taken matters into his own keeping without apology. Another thing; the pressure of his hand over hers remained a sensation still—a strong, steady, masterful imprint lacking hesitation or vacillation. She was as conscious of it as though her hand still tightened under his—and she was conscious, too, that nothing of his touch had offended; that there had arisen in her no tremor of instinctive recoil. For never before had she touched or suffered a touch from a man, even ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... aptitude of mind to the deed, would I hang my friend, Undy Scott, the member of Parliament for the Tillietudlem burghs, if I could but get at his throat for such a purpose! Hang him! aye, as high as Haman! In this there would be no regret, no vacillation of purpose, no doubt as to the propriety of the sacrifice, no feeling that I was so treating him, not for his own desert, but ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... would of course have reported matters to the High Commissioner. The President's unyielding mood before he heard of Dr. Jameson's start, and his change afterwards, the state of demoralization in Pretoria, the unpreparedness of the State Artillery, and the vacillation of General Joubert, the condition of alarm in which the President was during that night of suspense before the surrender, when Chief Justice Kotze sat with him to aid and cheer, and when the old white horse stood saddled in the stable in case ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... which arises from two contrary emotions, is called "vacillation"; it stands to the emotions in the same relation as doubt does to the imagination (II. xliv. note); vacillation and doubt do not differ one from the other, except as greater differs from less. But we must bear in mind that I ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... had suffered himself to be persuaded into joining in a species of amusement for which he cared nothing, by a mere word from a woman for whom he cared less, but whom he had half determined to marry, and who had wholly determined to marry him. He, who hated vacillation, had been dangling for four-and-twenty hours like a pendulum, or, as he said to himself, like an ass between two bundles of hay. At one moment he meant to marry Donna Tullia, and at another he loathed the thought; now he felt that ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... sense," as he phrased it, from this adamantine pioneer. Such a man naturally arrogated and obtained great weight among his fellows, and perhaps his lack of vacillation furthered this preeminence. He was a good man in the main as well as forceful, but an early and a very apt expression of the demagogue. And as he tolerated amongst his mental furniture no illusions ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... but not alarmed. One phase of the situation stood out clearly in her practical mind—his poverty and the impossibility of any immediate marriage. Before that obstacle could be removed she felt sure his natural vacillation regarding women would save him. He would forget her ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... a certain extent, upon the war; Elizabeth, after long vacillation, having at length agreed to send six thousand men to hold the towns of Havre, Dieppe, and Rouen, providing these three towns were handed over to her; thus evincing the same calculating greed that marked her subsequent dealings with the Dutch, in ...
— Saint Bartholomew's Eve - A Tale of the Huguenot WarS • G. A. Henty

... just appeared. I read it with care and great interest. It took hold upon me; and gave me at once the clear, definite, and strong conception of the church which, through all the storm and strain of a most critical period, has proved for me entirely adequate to every emergency, and saved me from all vacillation. I did not, however, love the extreme rigour of the book in its treatment of non-episcopal communions. It was not very long after this, I think in 1842, that I reduced into form my convictions of the large and important range of subjects ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... had, since their arrival, been in a state of vacillation, constantly consulting the oracles, and unable to make up his mind whether to fight them, or to receive them with honor. He had, when he heard that they were going to Cholula, first issued orders that ...
— By Right of Conquest - Or, With Cortez in Mexico • G. A. Henty

... He held it with the nervous clutch of a weak nature until overmastered by two grim men who gradually hypnotized his will. The turning-point for Buchanan, and the last poor crisis in his inglorious career, came on Sunday, December 30th. Before that day arrived, his vacillation had moved his friends to pity and his enemies to scorn. One of his best friends wrote privately, "The President is pale with fear"; and the hostile point of view found expression in such comments as this, "Buchanan, it is said, divides his time between praying and crying. Such a perfect imbecile ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... he does not yet understand what {92} he is trying to explain, and for that reason the being whom he creates is portentous, but not human. To understand this, you need only compare Richard with Macbeth. In Macbeth we have a host of different forces—ambition, superstition, poetry, remorse, vacillation, affection, despair—all struggling together as they might in you or me; and it is this mingling of feelings with which we all can sympathize that makes him, in spite of all his crimes, a human being like ourselves. But in Richard there is no human complexity. His is the fearful ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... Such a result was of course out of the question. Moreover, the Cortes of Tarragon, which happened then to be in session, and which required the royal attention, supplied the monarch with a fresh excuse for indulging in his habitual vacillation. Meantime, by way of obtaining additional counsel in so grave an emergency, he transmitted the letters of the nobles, together with the other papers, to the Duke of Alva, and requested his opinion on the subject. Alva replied with the roar ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... which involves the cooperation of two different men or parties, where both parties have anything like equal power or voice in its direction, there is almost sure to be a certain amount of bickering, quarreling, and vacillation, and the success of the enterprise suffers accordingly. If, however, either one of the parties has the entire direction, the enterprise will progress consistently and probably harmoniously, even although the wrong one of the two parties may ...
— Shop Management • Frederick Winslow Taylor

... mob paused at the iron gates of the churchyard, but it was more a pause of surprise than one of vacillation, because they saw that those iron gates were closed, which had not been the case within the memory of the ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... that he had not brought him at all, but that it was part of his delusion; secondly, with the conviction that without his horse he could neither proceed on the course suggested by Harkutt, nor take another more vague one that was dimly in his mind. Yet in his hopeless vacillation it seemed a relief that now neither was practicable, and that he need do nothing. Perhaps it was ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... clear vision, foresaw the jealousies and international complications that would arise through a political marriage of this character. This, and his unwillingness to part with Josephine, is a conclusion that may reasonably account for the vacillation that was so pronounced ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... be done with the enemy? They already outnumbered the English; and some fifteen hundred of Desmond's wild Irish hovered in the forests round, ready to side with the winning party, or even to attack the English at the least sign of vacillation or fear. They could not carry the Spaniards away with them, for they had neither shipping nor food, not even handcuffs enough for them; and as Mackworth told Winter when he proposed it, the only ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... scene with moist eyes. He was generally a man of prompt decision, and he well knew that he would incur by this act the charge of vacillation. It was a noble self-denial in him to be willing to do so, but it would have required an iron heart to resist such earnest supplications, and he was more than repaid when he saw how much anguish he had removed by yielding to ...
— Eric • Frederic William Farrar

... she drew herself away and shivered. She knew she was wicked now—very, very wicked—but it was again characteristic of her that having made her decision there was no vacillation about her. The die was cast—for that night they were to be happy, and all the rest of her life should be ...
— Beyond The Rocks - A Love Story • Elinor Glyn

... and tolerant without being weak, and capable of strenuous devotion to hard work. These things bespeak an industrious, efficient, and tractable king, such as the Norwegians, who would equally resent either vacillation or ...
— Norwegian Life • Ethlyn T. Clough

... my second blunder in Weimar. I was afraid to be alone with Goethe for an entire evening, and after considerable vacillation decided not to go. Several elements combined to produce this fear. In the first place, it seemed to me that there was nothing within the whole range of my intellect worthy of being displayed before Goethe. Secondly, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... that—respect, esteem, perhaps a tender bewilderment—mere brotherly love. And in that particular instance her intended got angry at my civility. I know I was wrong; and, to confess the truth, I am ashamed of that transaction—it taught me a lesson; and, but for the confounded vacillation of my taste and temper, I might perhaps have been a Benedick before this. You may think it puppyism, if you please; but I am really sorry when I make an impression, and resolve never to attempt it again: but the next fine voice, ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... the existence of God—from the motion of matter in itself at rest, and from the finality of the world—are only designed, as he declares by letter, to confute the materialists, and derive their impregnability entirely from the inner evidence of feeling, which amid the vacillation of the reason pro and con gives ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... said, "I think I will take your advice." He was half ashamed thus to speak, because he was about to do something for which his conscience strongly condemned him, and also because he felt he was manifesting weakness and vacillation in the presence of one whom he, in his heart, despised, and who, after this, would hold similar sentiments in regard to himself. "I do feel a little unlike myself this morning, and as the wind is rather squally, and the captain says when we shoot out beyond the point the lake will be wild, ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... knew that the parting was not for long, and that from whatever high place she looked down she would know that. He was satisfied. He looked on his work and found it good. There was no trace of weakness nor of vacillation in the man who sat across from him at the table, or slammed in and out of the house after his ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... COMPLEX CHANGE % 149. Changeableness. — N. changeableness &c. adj.; mutability, inconstancy; versatility, mobility; instability, unstable equilibrium; vacillation &c. (irresolution) 605; fluctuation, vicissitude; alternation &c. (oscillation) 314. restlessness &x. adj. fidgets, disquiet; disquietude, inquietude; unrest; agitation &c. 315. moon, Proteus, chameleon, quicksilver, shifting sands, weathercock, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... inshedding of light through his vaulted roof, and all the endless fantasy of abstract line,[69] were still in the power of his ardent and fantastic spirit. Much he achieved; and yet in the effort of his overtaxed invention, restrained from its proper food, he made his architecture a glittering vacillation of undisciplined enchantment, and left the lustre of its edifices to wither like a startling dream, whose beauty we may indeed feel, and whose instruction we may receive, but must smile at its inconsistency, and mourn over ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... very humble and sheepish and self-conscious when they are in love, curious mixtures of determination and vacillation; about eighty per cent, however, being determination. But they lose for once their sex solidarity, and play the game every man for himself. Roughly speaking (although who can speak roughly of them then? Or at any time?) they divide into three types of lovers. There ...
— 'Oh, Well, You Know How Women Are!' AND 'Isn't That Just Like a Man!' • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... these numbered more than seventy, he was to the front and led in person. His somewhat undisciplined army, had in it many brave men; but even such men were very reluctant at times to face these desperate odds. Whenever they showed signs of vacillation he would take one of the men by the arm, and lead him into the very thick of the fight. He always went unarmed even when foremost in the breach. He never saw danger. A shower of bullets was no more to him than a shower of hailstones; he carried one weapon only, and that was a little cane, ...
— General Gordon - Saint and Soldier • J. Wardle

... the eighteenth century Russia was governed by the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. In her own time, and for a long while afterward, her real capacity was obscured by her apparent indolence, her fondness for display, and her seeming vacillation; but now a very high place is accorded her in the history of Russian rulers. She softened the brutality that had reigned supreme in Russia. She patronized the arts. Her armies twice defeated Frederick the Great and raided his capital, Berlin. Had ...
— Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete - The Romance of Devotion • Lyndon Orr

... he won't go, Mr Neverbend," cried my wife. But, though the words were determined, there was a certain vacillation in the tone of her voice which ...
— The Fixed Period • Anthony Trollope

... and great alarm to the little group of sagaciously wilful men which exercises genuine sovereignty over the country, and this alternation of emotions showed itself, by way of the newspapers and other such bawdy agencies, in the vacillation of public opinion. The fundamental platitudes of the nation were used both for him and against him, and always with immense effect. One year he was the last living defender of the liberties fought for by the Fathers; the next year he was an anarchist. Roosevelt ...
— The American Credo - A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind • George Jean Nathan

... Irene, regarding him with mock sternness, "we don't allow that kind of thing. It is shameful vacillation—I love a long word—What's the other word I was trying for?—still longer—I mean, tergiversation! it comes from tergum and verso, and means turning the back. It is rude to turn your ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... to resort to demonology for an explanation of this phenomenon, the less so as they could not identify the sun or the moon with a demon. The conflict of these different points of view accounts for the peculiar vacillation in the Christian conception of paganism. On one hand, we meet with crude conceptions, according to which the pagan gods are just like so many demons; they are specially prominent when pagan miracles ...
— Atheism in Pagan Antiquity • A. B. Drachmann

... abilities, and one might be as illustrious by crime as by genius. Such were not the teachings of the Pere; but they were the lessons that Paris dinned into my ears unceasingly. Reputation, character, was of no avail, in a social condition where all was change and vacillation. What was idolized one day, was execrated the next. The hero of yesterday, was the object of popular vengeance to-day. The success of the passing hour ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... that morbid impotence which develops itself in their superstitious fancies. The pilots had not given up the hope of vanquishing the storm, and D——, who knew the disposition of his countrymen, did not yet dread their vacillation; but we did. Nothing seemed possible to save us, but the interposition of Heaven; for the storm-jib and reefed foresail were the only sails on the cutter, and they were barely sufficient, in such a sea, to give her steerage ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... England was the dullest and most perverse of human beings. The folly of James, his incapacity to read the characters of men and the signs of the times, his obstinacy, always most offensively displayed when wisdom enjoined concession, his vacillation, always exhibited most pitiably in emergencies which required firmness, had made him an outcast from England, and might, if his counsels were blindly followed, bring great calamities on France. As a legitimate sovereign expelled by rebels, as a confessor of the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... either class as much as possible. Her friends would have wished her more discriminating in her opinions, but she never obtruded these upon others. Personally, no woman could be more respected by her intimates; there was nothing low or trivial in her character and turn of mind—no shadow of vacillation in her principles or her feelings. Mrs. Stanley and her young friend Hazlehurst, much as they esteemed and respected each other, disagreed on many subjects. Harry made a point of looking at both sides of a question; ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... received a letter from the father of my fiancee, telling me that her perplexities and distress of mind over our marriage had so increased that they feared for her reason if she were not set at rest. I took the next steamer, and ended the vacillation by insisting on being married at once. Nothing but a morbid self-depreciation had prevented her from coming to a decision in the matter long before, and there was no other solution than to assume command and impose my will. We were married two days after my landing, and returned to Paris ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... organism and his new ideals, that civil war which disturbs the peace of his conscience all his life, has the result, of paralyzing all his energies, and aided by the severity of the climate, makes of that eternal vacillation, of the doubts in his brain, the origin of his ...
— The Indolence of the Filipino • Jose Rizal

... ability and more for strength and vigour of analysis. The central seat of character is the mind. A man of weak character thinks vaguely, a man of clear intellectual decisions acts with precision and is free from vacillation. A country of educated men acts coherently, smites swiftly, plans ahead; a country of confused education is a country of ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... subordinate leaders. The certain and inevitable disorder, which a body of troops always presents in action, is with the moral effect of modern appliances, becoming greater every day. In the midst of the confusion and the vacillation of firing lines, men and commanding ...
— Battle Studies • Colonel Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq

... mad." Later on he adds: "It has been my object, through you and your authority, to execute vengeance for myself and you too, letting malignant fellows know that there are other demigods alive beside Raffael da Urbino and his 'prentices." The vacillation of Leo in this business, and his desire to make things pleasant, are characteristic of the man, who acted just in the same way while negotiating ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... "I've come back again to my former opinion; you're not very shrewd. And you think you ought to have had Eugene's letters to read? Why, my poor fellow you would have spoilt everything, with your perpetual vacillation. You never can make up your mind. You are ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... born of the European family was the first to perish, because she had thwarted all the ends of social union; because she had united the turbulence of democratic to the exclusiveness of aristocratical societies; because she had the vacillation of a republic without its energy, and the oppression of a monarchy without its stability. Such a system neither could nor ought to be maintained; the internal feuds of Poland were more fatal to human happiness than the despotism of Russia; and the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... self-possession, with which I should have made my advances had my heart not been as deeply engaged as I now felt it. Alas! My courage was gone; there was too much at stake, and I preferred, now, that the time was come, any suspense, any vacillation, to the ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... could exceed the vacillation and confusion that reigned in the English cabinet at that time. The forces of England were frittered away in small and objectless expeditions, the plans of action were changed with every report sent either by the interested leaders of insurrectionary movements in Spain, ...
— With Moore At Corunna • G. A. Henty

... should be the advocate and leader of this war was the one inspiration of Narbonne, and, had the King persevered in this, he might have saved himself and his throne. But, with his fatal vacillation, after having entered upon military preparations and committed himself to Narbonne's policy, he suddenly abandoned him as he had abandoned so many of his advisers. Grave replaced the dismissed and chagrined young minister, and Dumouriez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took into his ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... relative beauty. At other times again, he is a hedonist, and makes it to consist of pure pleasure, that is, of pleasure with no shadow of pain; or he finds it in measure and proportion, or in the very sound, the very colour itself. The reason for all this vacillation of definition lay in Plato's exclusion of the artistic or mimetic fact from the domain of the higher spiritual activities. The Hippias major expresses this uncertainty more completely than any of the other dialogues. ...
— Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic • Benedetto Croce

... warned Lodovico to beware of assassins and prisoners, since, to his certain knowledge, the "new king has paid large sums of money to several Neapolitans of bad repute, who have been sent to Milan on some evil errand." After much vacillation on the Pope's part, and prolonged negotiations with both France and Naples, he was induced by the Orsini, who were staunch allies of the house of Aragon, to grant Alfonso the investiture of Naples, and to send his son, Cardinal Juan Borgia, to officiate at his coronation. ...
— Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497 • Julia Mary Cartwright

... this radical mistake became the parent of monstrous delusions. The ecclesiastical writers who flourished towards the end of the second and beginning of the third century exhibit a considerable amount of inconsistency and vacillation when they touch upon the subject; [641:2] but, half a century afterwards, the language currently employed is much bolder and more decided. At that time Cyprian does not hesitate to express himself in the strongest terms of high-church exclusiveness. "All," says he, "are adversaries ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... seemed a very long one to Adela Branston, whose mind was disturbed by the consciousness that she was doing a foolish thing. Many times during the journey, she was on the point of stopping the man and telling him to drive back to Cavendish-square; but in spite of these moments of doubt and vacillation she suffered the vehicle to proceed, and only stopped the man when they ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... utterly uninformed especially in foreign affairs. The one remaining hope, the permanent officials, especially of the Foreign Office, were less and less listened to; latterly he held too that even the Foreign Office had lost its old sure touch. Hence a constant vacillation in our policies which weakened England's position and made certain some ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... the mouths which craved only bread. He felt that the ideal must yield to the real, the remote to what was near; and the work of Italian deliverance remained incomplete. It was his very devotion to the one principle which brought the reproach of vacillation upon him." ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... meet glibly predicted moments of so-called "maximum peril." The threat we face is not sporadic or dated: It is continuous. Hence we must not be swayed in our calculations either by groundless fear or by complacency. We must avoid extremes, for vacillation between extremes is inefficient, costly, and destructive of morale. In these days of unceasing technological advance, we must plan our defense expenditures systematically and with care, fully recognizing that obsolescence compels the never-ending replacement ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... almost always some hesitation when a Governor begins to reign. He is the Prime Minister of the Bank Cabinet; and when so important a functionary changes, naturally much else changes too. If the Governor be weak, this kind of vacillation and hesitation continues throughout his term of office. The usual defect then is, that the Bank of England does not raise the rate of interest sufficiently quickly. It does raise it; in the end it takes the alarm, but it does not take the alarm sufficiently ...
— Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market • Walter Bagehot

... everything, but this comes of being (what the violent Whigs suspect him of being) half a Tory. Measures are concocted upon ultra principles in the Cabinet, and then as his influence is exerted, and his wishes are obliged to be consulted, they are modified and altered, and this gives a character of vacillation to the conduct of Government, and exhibits a degree of weakness and infirmity of purpose which prevents their being strong or popular or respectable. Nobody, however, can say that they are obstinate, for they are eternally giving ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... do with their might whatsoever their hands or their tongues or their feet find to do. A half-and-half performance of the right is just about as mischievous as the perpetration of the wrong. It is vacillation, hesitation, lack of will, feebleness of purpose, imperfect execution, that works ill in all life. Be monarch of all you survey. If a woman decides to do her own housework, let her go in royally among her pots and kettles, ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... constantly to enlarge their sphere of action; hence it is almost impossible that such a government should not ultimately succeed, because it acts with a fixed principle and a constant will, upon men, whose position, whose notions, and whose desires are in continual vacillation. It frequently happens that the members of the community promote the influence of the central power without intending it. Democratic ages are periods of experiment, innovation, and adventure. At such times there are always a multitude ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 2 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... a bow, then he spoke energetically and rapidly, pressing his advantage before the other's weakness should lead him into fresh vacillation. ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... Couch sent to obtain permission to remain, but it was peremptorily refused. Hooker soon afterward changed his mind and countermanded his first order, but it was then too late; our troops had left the ridge and the enemy were in possession of it. There was too much vacillation at headquarters. Slocum, who was pressing the enemy back, was very much vexed when he received the order, but obeyed it, and retreated without being molested. It is true, Wright's brigade had formed on his right, but the advance of the Eleventh Corps would have taken ...
— Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - Campaigns of the Civil War - VI • Abner Doubleday

... was all of no use—Nature would have her way—and in the middle of 1736, David Hume, aged twenty-three, without a profession or any assured means of earning a guinea; and having doubtless, by his apparent vacillation, but real tenacity of purpose, once more earned the title of "wake-minded" at home; betook himself to ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... the contract was signed, sealed, and delivered. The opera world was kept fevered by such artifices as stories of broken pledges, long diplomatic pour parlera, special messengers, hesitation, and vacillation, kept up during many months. Lumley in his "Reminiscences" has described how no stone was left unturned, not a trait of the young singer's character, public or private, left un-exploite, by which sympathy and admiration ...
— Great Singers, Second Series - Malibran To Titiens • George T. Ferris

... fear of man, his time-serving, and vacillation in the day of difficult duty, hear his own humiliating confessions: 'Jan. 20, 1662.—My perplexity continues as to whether I shall move now or not, stay or return, hold by Lauderdale, or make use of ...
— Samuel Rutherford - and some of his correspondents • Alexander Whyte

... have communicated to us, the very critical state in which the country now is, and above all the duty which I owe to her Majesty under the present circumstances, has made a most strong impression upon my mind. At the risk, therefore, of imputation of vacillation or of any other motive by others, may I ask of you to give me a few hours' time for further reflection, before finally deciding upon the course which I may feel it to be my duty to pursue? Believe me, my dear Sir Robert, ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 • Queen Victoria

... escaping with Lassiter and Jane; still, every time he was with Fay the girl and her beauty and her love were so wonderful that he put off the ordeal till the next night. As time flew by he excused his vacillation on the score that winter was not a good time to try to cross the desert. There was no grass for the mustangs, except in well-known valleys, and these he must shun. Spring would soon come. So the days passed, ...
— The Rainbow Trail • Zane Grey

... to others seemed to himself sanctioned by his own insensibility to fear, and contempt for bodily pain, smiled with bitter scorn at the apparent vacillation and weakness of the prisoner: but, as he delighted not in torture merely for torture's sake, he motioned to the guards to release the Israelite; and replied in a voice unnaturally mild and kindly, considering ...
— Leila or, The Siege of Granada, Book II. • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... both a considerable help in some ways and a very great hindrance in others. Her excitement and joy were spurs, inspirations; but she was utterly impracticable in her ideas, and she flitted from one plan to another with bewildering vacillation. Moreover, he fancied that she grew more eager, youthful, and sweet; and he marked that it was far easier to watch her and listen to her than it was to work. Therefore he gave her tasks that necessitated her going often to the cave where he had ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... last two steps would not be conceded without restriction if the question were one involving conscious deliberation, but as these logical consequences are supposed to follow from the unconscious, which takes the right step unfailingly without vacillation or delay so long as the premises are similar, the ensuing desires and the instincts to adopt the means for their ...
— Unconscious Memory • Samuel Butler



Words linked to "Vacillation" :   indecision, irresolution, vacillate, hesitation, movement, indecisiveness, move, motion



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