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Incapacity   Listen
noun
Incapacity  n.  (pl. incapacities)  
1.
Lack of capacity; lack of physical or intellectual power; inability.
2.
(Law) Lack of legal ability or competency to do, give, transmit, or receive something; inability; disqualification; as, the inacapacity of minors to make binding contracts, etc.
Synonyms: Inability; incapability; incompetency; unfitness; disqualification; disability.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Incapacity" Quotes from Famous Books



... Statesman, he would unite in wedlock dissimilar natures—the passionate with the dull, the courageous with the gentle. And the virtuous tyrant of the Statesman, who has no place in the Republic, again appears. In this, as in all his writings, he has the strongest sense of the degeneracy and incapacity of the ...
— Laws • Plato

... the wave of an insane resolution swelled in her bosom and subsided before she said, "Cowardice, incapacity ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... such as this? Who has not experience of those dark days when the ungrateful canvas refuses to come right, and the artist sits down before it and calls himself a fraud? We may even say that these fits of incapacity and blank despondency are part of the cost of all creative work. They may be intensified by terror for the family exchequer. The day passes in strenuous but futile effort, and the man asks himself, "What will happen to me and mine if this kind of thing continues?" Stevenson, we are allowed ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... likewise discern them personally: nay, you shall have a buffon or pantomimus will express as many as he pleaseth. Nothing more variable than the differing sounds of words; yet men have found the way to reduce them to a few simple letters. So that it is not the insufficiency or incapacity of man's mind, but it is the remote standing or placing thereof that breedeth these mazes and incomprehensions; for as the sense afar off is full of mistaking, but is exact at hand, so is it of the understanding, ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... have the advantage of years but the older one has the advantage of experience and knowledge. Now if this older man could carry along with him that spirit of youth which actuated his earlier activities he would be prepared against incapacity. Our fate hangs on how we conduct ourselves in youth. The world has great need of the sober, thoughtful men above the fifty line. By right of experience and knowledge they should become our leaders in the shaping of our policies. It is all a matter of how ...
— Laugh and Live • Douglas Fairbanks

... itself be respected, or even be treated with common decency, at home.' J. H. Burton's Hume, ii. 479. On the 30th of this month of April—four days after the conversation in the text—John Home recorded:—'Mr. Hume cannot give any reason for the incapacity and want of genius, civil and military, which marks ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... the sort of an ass who is storing up information and solving vast and intricate problems in order to be kind to my superiors when, struck with panic at their own tardily discovered incapacity, they rush to me in a body to ask me how ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... With what abandonment of self she was wont to cast her whole dependence on Napoleon, may be seen in a letter addressed to Pope Pius VII. In it she says: "My first sentiment—one to which all others are subservient—is a conviction of my own weakness and incapacity. Of myself I am but little; or, to speak more correctly, my only value is derived from the extraordinary man to whom I am united. This inward conviction, which occasionally humbles my pride, eventually affords ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... feast the nobility and gentry, or at least by men who were willing to purchase social eclat with a lavish outlay of money. Under Charles II. the 'readings' were too often nothing better than scandalous exhibitions of mental incapacity: and having sunk into disrepute, they died out before ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... theatre or a cheap dancing place, or a kinematograph story, or a dinner or a bet. They wander about after that is spent. Begging is prevented by the police of the ways. Besides, no one gives. They come back again the next day or the day after—brought back by the same incapacity that brought them first. At last their proper clothing wears out, or their rags get so shabby that they are ashamed. Then they must work for months to get fresh. If they want fresh. A great number of ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... with all law and all reason he must be regarded as a thief. He had taken and used and spent that which he ought to have known was not his own;—which he would have known not to be his own but for some terrible incapacity with which God had afflicted him. What then must be the result? His mind was clear enough about this. If the jury could see everything and know everything,—as he would wish that they should do; and if this bishop's commission, and the bishop himself, and the Court of Arches with its judge, ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... the world, other than ours, where an officer guilty of such conduct, whether it came from incapacity or cowardice, would not have been promptly cashiered and probably shot. This would have been true, as in the case of Admiral Keppel, if his fault had been merely a failure to attack. But Butler's fault was an ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... in harmony; a harmony clouded at intervals, it is true, first by Priscilla's disappointment about the cottage, then by a certain restiveness she showed before the more blatant inefficiencies of the Baker housekeeping, then by a marked and ever recurring incapacity to adapt herself to her new environment, and lastly and very heavily when Fritzing in the course of conversation let drop the fact that he had said she was Maria-Theresa. This was a very black cloud and hung about for a long while; but it too passed away ultimately in a compromise ...
— The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight • Elizabeth von Arnim

... the Powers threatened by Napoleon at once come forward and acted with vigour, these ends might, even now, have been attained. But Austria merely renewed her offers of mediation, a well-meaning but hopeless proposal. England, a prey to official incapacity, joined the league, promised help in men and money, and did little or nothing except send fruitless expeditions to Alexandria and the Dardanelles with the aim of forcing the Turks to a peace with ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... made their incapacity plain. The execution of the King had filled them with alarm, and with hatred against the ruder and more robust party who had forced that startling act of vengeance upon them. Puny social disgusts prevented them from co-operating with Danton or with Robespierre. Prussia and Austria ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... lectures, these masters are assiduously employed. Our curiosity may inquire what number of professors has been instituted at Oxford? (for I shall now confine myself to my own university;) by whom are they appointed, and what may be the probable chances of merit or incapacity; how many are stationed to the three faculties, and how many are left for the liberal arts? what is the form, and what the substance, of their lessons? But all these questions are silenced by one short and singular answer, "That in the University of Oxford, the greater part of the ...
— Memoirs of My Life and Writings • Edward Gibbon

... evaporation and rain. In theology, this perverted ingenuity has made still wilder work. From the time of Irenaeus and Origen down to the present day, there has not been a single generation in which great divines have not been led into the most absurd expositions of Scripture, by mere incapacity to distinguish analogies proper, to use the scholastic phrase, from analogies metaphorical. [See some interesting remarks on this subject in Bishop Berkeley's Minute Philosopher, Dialogue iv.] It is curious that Bacon has himself mentioned ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... for all this knowledge; do you really think they are? Or is it better to leave them untouched, spontaneous. Hadn't they better be animals, simple animals, crude, violent, ANYTHING, rather than this self-consciousness, this incapacity to ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... hundred yards or so, he stopped his machine, grabbed his trusty weapon, which he had hardly learned to shoot, strung it, nocked an arrow, and ran back to take a shot at the animal in question. His eagerness and obvious incapacity so amused the gay company in the machine, that they cheered him on with ...
— Hunting with the Bow and Arrow • Saxton Pope

... the utter incapacity of the body that affects to issue its mandates to the Courts. In England it is a Parliament, but then it represents the intelligence of the country, and in Switzerland the same; in the Transvaal it is a ...
— Boer Politics • Yves Guyot

... (at the intercession of Sir Christopher) of a part of the punishment of one Ratcliffe, who had incurred the vengeance of the law, and also of the indulgence shown to Philip Joy. At the head of these malcontents was the Assistant Spikeman—one who, by his evil propensities and incapacity to appreciate the noble sentiments of Winthrop, stood to him in a certain relation of hostility. For there is no law more prevailing than that evil hates good, compelled thereto by the very constitution of its nature. Indeed, it is evil by reason ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... calculated to transform the respect due to his genius into a strong personal liking. Schubert was, in truth, a child of nature, one whom to know was to love; for his faults might be summed up into a general incapacity to understand his own interests, and it might be said of him as truly as of any one that he was no man's enemy save his own, thus reversing Shakespeare's words, the good which he did lives after him; the evil ...
— Among the Great Masters of Music - Scenes in the Lives of Famous Musicians • Walter Rowlands

... suspended by a reed, as is still done at Rome. The execution of this painting is coarse and careless in the extreme, yet there is a spirit and freedom of touch which has hit off the character of the objects represented, and forbids us to impute the negligence which is displayed to incapacity. Another object of interest in the kitchen is a stove for stews and similar preparations, very much like those charcoal stoves which are seen in extensive kitchens at the present day. Before it lie a knife, strainers, and a strange-looking ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... can and does believe all the preceeding facts, if he still 'can't believe' as to the cruelties of slaveholders, it would be barbarous to tantalize his incapacity either with evidence or argument. Let him have the benefit of the act in such ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... you do or say, consciously or unconsciously, you are selling ideas about your capability or your incapacity. You are making more or less definite impressions—you are affecting your opportunities to succeed, and are forming good or bad habits—all the time. Control the effects of your words, tones, and acts by saying and doing, consciously and intelligently, ...
— Certain Success • Norval A. Hawkins

... under, which teechus to be kind 'to our' fello animals and pleze Our masters—I will. Only include by adding that dogs like cake? which Shoes how like they are to boys who have kind masters that they strive to pleas in ewery way in Their incapacity as the righter of this esay strives ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... has learnt what poetry is before making up his mind what it ought to be. It is a common fault of writers upon prosody that they set out to discover the laws of music without ever training their ears to apprehend music. They theorise very plausibly at large, but they betray their incapacity so soon as they proceed to scan a difficult line. Professor Saintsbury never fails in this way. He knows a good line from a bad one, and he knows how a good line ought to be read, even though he may sometimes be doubtful how it ought to be scanned. He has, therefore, ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... to strict sanitary measures in cases of epidemics, and the lively protests which are provoked here on some occasions by other provisions tending to end some public calamity, thinking they see in this disposition of mind an indication of our incapacity to govern ourselves.... ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... illustrating the misery that results from overpopulation, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that the population is pressing on the soil. On the contrary, we find ample physical resources sufficient to support the entire population, and we also find evidence of human injustice, incapacity, and corruption sufficient to account for the poverty and misery that exist in these countries. This was especially so in Ireland during the first half of the nineteenth century. [17] Moreover, so far from high birth-rates being the cause of poverty, we shall find that poverty is one of ...
— Birth Control • Halliday G. Sutherland

... consequently off the Colonel's, responsibility after responsibility. There were some painful scenes, of course, such as the departure of Mr. Hood, which never would have occurred had not Eliphalet proved without question the incapacity of the ancient manager. Mr. Hopper only narrowed his lids when the Colonel pensioned Mr. Hood. But the Colonel had a will before which, when roused, even Mr. Hopper trembled. So that Eliphalet was always polite to Ephum, and careful never to say anything ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... Court; all have become venal; and all distinction of rank is broken up. Your Ministers are without genius and capacity since the dismissal of MM. d'Argenson and de Machault. You alone cannot judge of their incapacity, because they lay before you what has been prepared by skilful clerks, but which they pass as their own. They provide only for the necessity of the day, but there is no spirit of government in their acts. ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... incapacity to resist the temptation which clung to him, he again sent a messenger to Madame ...
— Sentimental Education, Volume II - The History of a Young Man • Gustave Flaubert

... in countries where the regal power has no one to contradict it; even the justice of a king leads him to place barriers around him, by keeping every one in his place; and it was almost without example in Prussia, to find a man deprived of his civil or military employments on account of incapacity. What an advantage therefore ought not the French army to have, composed almost entirely of men born of the revolution, like the soldiers of Cadmus from the teeth of the dragon! What an advantage it had over those old commanders of the Prussian fortified ...
— Ten Years' Exile • Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne (Baroness) de Stael-Holstein

... this poor fellow, on his own behalf, and on the part of his fellow—prisoners, complains of the incapacity of the sworn interpreter, and requests that I may be made the channel of communication ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... has habitually given as well as received much not the least of the pangs of separation arises from the incapacity to render any further direct service. It fortified Browning's heart to know that much could be done, and in ways which his wife would have approved and desired, for her child. And as he himself had been also her care, it was his business now to see that his life ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... might be selfish, unfeeling; but the fundamental incapacity for gratitude in girls of Polly's class will probably surprise and pain their mistresses until the end of the world. After all, Polly was right. An attempt to clear Raoul by telling the superficial truth must involve terrible ...
— The Westcotes • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... pavements and crowds are willing to take counsel of common-sense and learn the business practically and thoroughly, why should they not succeed? But let no one imagine that horticulture is the final resort of ignorance, indolence, or incapacity, physical or mental. Impostors palm themselves off on the world daily; a credulous public takes poisonous nostrums by the ton and butt; but Nature recognizes error every time, and quietly thwarts those who try to wrong her, either wilfully ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... of all this?' Anna Vassilyevna was thinking. (She could not guess that the preceding evening at the English club a discussion had arisen in a corner of the smoking-room as to the incapacity of Russians to make speeches. 'Which of us can speak? Mention any one!' one of the disputants had exclaimed. 'Well, Stahov, for instance,' had answered the other, pointing to Nikolai Artemyevitch, who stood up on the ...
— On the Eve • Ivan Turgenev

... the ownership of land limited to a comparatively few persons, corruption and rapacity on the part of public officials, general improvement checked and the country impoverished by frequent insurrections and revolutions, that indicate incapacity for stable and ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... hard speech; partly deserved, but running over into that wherein she should not have been blamed,—the precinct of her step-mother's own busy and self-arrogated functions. She was taunted and censured for incapacity in that to which she was not admitted; "her mother made ten cheeses a week, and flung them in her face," she said. On the other hand, Mrs. Bree said "Bel hadn't got a mite of snap to her." One might say that, perhaps, ...
— The Other Girls • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... or four Members to Parliament, and by the influence with Ministers which these seats gave him. The parliamentary interest of the house of Lyndon had been grossly neglected during my wife's minority, and the incapacity of the Earl her father; or, to speak more correctly, it had been smuggled away from the Lyndon family altogether by the adroit old hypocrite of Tiptoff Castle, who acted as most kinsmen and guardians do ...
— Barry Lyndon • William Makepeace Thackeray

... increased popular support given to the Unionist candidates. This recovery was due also to the forcible-feeble character of the Radical campaign against the House of Lords, the unpopularity of the Licensing Bill, the failure of the government to arrive at an education settlement, the incapacity of its Irish administration, its apparent domination by the "little navy" section, and its dallying with Socialism in the budget of 1909. The rejection of this budget in December by the House of Lords led ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... would require for family devotion. And further, can you spend your time to better purpose than in family prayer? I think not. It is the best husbandry of time. Says Philip Henry to his children, "Prayer and provender hinder no man's journey." But another pleads incapacity. He has not the gift of speech, and cannot make an eloquent prayer. This is no excuse. Prayer is the gift of the Holy Spirit; and if you have the spirit of prayer, you will find words for its utterance. Besides, eloquence does not condition the efficacy of prayer. Where there ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... showed that ignorance and incapacity on the part of the employees were not confined to the surveyor's department, but were found in other branches of the service—creating delays and mistakes, imperiling the safety of the revenues and ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... practical system of concession to human weakness, by which it could meet cases of unhappy marriage. In the canon law, divorce and remarriage of the innocent party has been allowed to the man, in case of adultery, physical incapacity, leprosy, desertion, captivity, disappearance, and conspiracy to murder the husband, on the part of the wife; and to the wife, when the husband's misconduct rendered living with him impossible. However, a dispensation from the ecclesiastical ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... that was the pit out of which I, of all men, was digged!" he said to himself. "Have I done something to restore the family balance in respect of right reason, or is the shame of incapacity upon me? Have I sacrificed myself, or cowardly have I merely shirked living? Heaven ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... else in the chapter who could be elected except himself. He declared that he was not obliged to confirm him whom they might elect, making this declaration for the benefit of him who presumed to be most fit to be chosen. Although he was challenged and called upon to declare the impediment or incapacity of that man or of any other, he was not willing to do so, since in truth there was no such disability. As a result of this and other acts of tyranny, he forced a new election and new vote, to the great disgust and astonishment of the chapter. This sufficed to elect him ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, - Volume XIII., 1604-1605 • Ed. by Blair and Robertson

... independence and honour above party questions, had to be invoked. And so Paris was fortified Who dares nowadays to say, that this was not a convincing proof of the King's foresight as a ruler? Who dares to say, that if hesitation, and desultoriness, and incapacity, and evil chance, had not clung to the command of our armies in 1870, the German invasion might not have been broken up ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... of interference with the acts and duties of executive officers would be less than it now is? The reason of the thing would seem to be the other way. If the President may remove an incumbent when he becomes satisfied of his unfaithfulness and incapacity, there would appear to be less necessity to give him also a right of control, than there would be if he ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... be few and the time of the action short. Pupils are not able to handle a large number of persons. There is, however, a stronger reason for it than incapacity. A young person would have great trouble in remembering the large number of persons introduced into "Little Dorrit." Many of them would always remain entire strangers. Such a scattering of attention is unfavorable ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... well aware of the average woman's distorted notion of abstract justice to accept her statement at its face value. Woman by her very nature is incapable of appreciating or applying impartial justice, and her incapacity grows in proportion to her immediate interest in the matter involved. This latter might apply with equal force to the average man; but man, less governed by emotions, will permit his sense of justice to prevail when not blinded by ...
— The Substitute Prisoner • Max Marcin

... would imagine should infuse alacrity into the limbs of a cripple sooner than the Bath waters, was to offer herself for his partner, he would answer he never danced, even though the ladies lost their ball by it. Nor doth this denial arise from incapacity, for he was in his youth an excellent dancer, and still retains sufficient knowledge of the art, and sufficient abilities in his limbs to practise it, but from an affectation of gravity which he will not ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... least with the friendly interest, if not with the support, of the University rulers. Instead of that, after the first two or three years there was one long and bitter fight in Oxford, with the anger on one side created by the belief of vague but growing dangers, and a sense of incapacity in resisting them, and with deep resentment at injustice ...
— The Oxford Movement - Twelve Years, 1833-1845 • R.W. Church

... formation of a league which all but brought Philip to the ground; and the sudden revolt of England was parried by a shameless alliance with the Papacy. The closer study of John's history clears away the charges of sloth and incapacity with which men tried to explain the greatness of his fall. The awful lesson of his life rests on the fact that the king who lost Normandy, became the vassal of the Pope, and perished in a struggle of despair against English freedom, was no weak and indolent voluptuary but ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... incapacity to govern without a strong minister at his back, as evinced by his conduct during the recent outbreak, induced both of these nobles to throw up their appointments, the one in Ireland and the other in France, and ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... the issue of the crusades might have been different from what it was. His authority would at least have kept in check the discords, perfidies, and excesses to which he, probably with justice, afterward attributed the failure of the enterprise. From these causes, together with a fatal incapacity on the part of the French and German generals, the second crusade resulted in nothing but the wholesale massacre of the Christian armies by the Turks. Bernard, who had predicted the success of the ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... army, flushed with recent victories, were not all that Hooker had to contend with, but there was a man in Washington, whose incapacity and ill-will threatened even more fatal difficulties. Gen. Halleck, Commander-in-Chief, hung on the Union leader like the "Old Man of the Sea." He misled the noble President, who, as a civilian. was ignorant of military affairs, paralyzed tens of thousands of troops by keeping them where they ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... embarrassment that had overtaken the family affairs through the latter cause. A concealed mortgage on the old homestead, the mysterious disappearance of a package of bonds intended for Roger's student use, and the paralytic incapacity of the father to give the information which his conscience prompted him to give, have a share in the development of the story. Roger is obliged for the time to abandon his art work, and takes a situation in a mill; and this trying diversion ...
— The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking - Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes • Helen Campbell

... transfigured now into the Hero and the Saint through the worship of the mob which his insanity had created. His apparent strength of character was in reality weakness, an incapacity to master himself or control his criminal impulses. But the Jacobin mind of his followers did not consider realities. They only cherished dreams, illusions, assertions. The mob never reasons. It only believes. Reason is submerged ...
— The Man in Gray • Thomas Dixon

... though she forgave blunders, incapacity for business, and waste of money, had always told her plainly there was one ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... that ruin would come, and had made himself so comfortably safe, so brilliantly safe, in spite of ruin. But insane ambition had driven him away from his anchorage. He told himself over and over again that the fault had been not in circumstances,—not in that which men call Fortune,—but in his own incapacity to bear his position. He saw it now. He felt it now. If he could only begin again, how different would ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... theory; if Olivia had confessed the broken engagement she would have thought her shallow and untrustworthy. She was confident, with inexperience's sublime incapacity for self-doubt, that in all the wide world there was only one man whom she could have ...
— The Cost • David Graham Phillips

... ingenuity; and the fact that the elaborate preparations needed for its execution were made so rapidly and so secretly as to escape detection by an enemy so close at hand goes far to show how mistaken are the charges of sloth and incapacity which, even in his own day, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... that degeneration would be represented by total incapacity to help ourselves;—then we should begin to lose the use of our higher sense-organs;—later on, the brain would shrink to a vanishing pin-point of matter;—still later we should dwindle into mere amorphous sacs, mere blind ...
— In Ghostly Japan • Lafcadio Hearn

... however, in Pope's opinion, fit only to make verses, and less qualified for business than Addison himself. This was surely said without consideration. Addison, exalted to a high place, was forced into degradation by the sense of his own incapacity; Prior, who was employed by men very capable of estimating his value, having been secretary to one embassy, had, when great abilities were again wanted, the same office another time; and was, after so much experience ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... the moment of which we write our armies, so glorious during those epic campaigns of 1796 and 1797, thrown back for a time upon France by the incapacity of Scherer at Verona and Cassano, and by the defeat and death of Joubert at Novi, were beginning to resume the offensive. Moreau had defeated Souvarow at Bassignano; Brune had defeated the Duke of York and General Hermann at Bergen; ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas, pere

... trouble came about. Here our kings, or at least the ministers they appointed, have always governed; often unwisely I admit, but is it likely that the mob would govern better? That is the question. At present they seem bent on showing their incapacity to govern even themselves." ...
— In the Reign of Terror - The Adventures of a Westminster Boy • G. A. Henty

... his private benevolence and loyalty. An insult to the force of his understanding was indifferent to him, but an affront to one's belle ame is beyond pardon. It was hard that a man who had prodigally thrown away the forces of his life for others should be charged with malignity of heart and an incapacity for friendship. This was the harder, because it was the moral fashion of that day to place friendliness, amiability, the desire to please and to serve, at the very head of all the virtues. The whole correspondence of the time is penetrated to an incomparable ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists - Volume II. • John Morley

... inevitable tragedy of Stevenson's fate, the unescapable assurance that he would not live to do all which such a spirit in a sounder frame would have done for an art he loved so fondly, the magnetism of his friendship, his downright incapacity for envy, his genuine humility with regard to his own work and reputation, his unboastful and untiring courage, made a profound impression upon many of his contemporaries. It is, perhaps, small wonder if critical opinion were in part moulded by such influences as these. ...
— My Contemporaries In Fiction • David Christie Murray

... inspiration of individualistic genius is always destined to do, is rapidly conquering the opposition and prejudice even of those whose obtuse minds seldom discover the intrinsic good motive frequently underlying an indifferent form. Those whose objections rested on their incapacity of penetrating further than the surface of the headline are rapidly beginning to discern in Walt Whitman's writings a force, a sentiment, a moral passion, and a natural grandeur that is amply compensating for the occasional roughness or looseness ...
— The Writer, Volume VI, April 1892. - A Monthly Magazine to Interest and Help All Literary Workers • Various

... much for Captain Page. He took the loss of his first mate greatly to heart, and thus the incapacity of the second contributed considerably to increase his malady. Day after day he grew worse, and I began to fear much that his illness would end fatally. He was as good and kind a man as ever lived, and an ...
— In the Wilds of Africa • W.H.G. Kingston

... has his reasons. And for all good ones. Before leaving port he had discovered the incapacity of the crew, so hastily scraped together. A bad lot, he could see at first sight—rough, ribald, and drunken. In all there are eleven of them, the second mate included; the last, as already stated, a Spaniard, by name Padilla. There ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... disgrace and grief resulting from the mere trampling pressure and electric friction of town life, become to the sufferers peculiarly mysterious in their undeservedness, and frightful in their inevitableness. The power of all surroundings over them for evil; the incapacity of their own minds to refuse the pollution, and of their own wills to oppose the weight, of the staggering mass that chokes and crushes them into perdition, brings every law of healthy existence into ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... skirmishes. Be the real cause of his supineness what it might, it excited the indignation of Bassompierre, Praslin, the Marquis de Coeuvres, and the other leaders of the royal army, who did not scruple to accuse him of incapacity; declaring, moreover, that he had harassed the troops far more than if he had ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... portion it out as suited her inclination, and was no longer forbidden to interrupt herself for the sake of her sisters. It was infinite comfort to be no longer obliged to deafen her ears to the piteous whine of fretful incapacity, and to witness the sullen heaviness of faculties overtasked, and temper goaded into torpor. The fact once faced, the result was relief; Maria was spared and considered, and Phoebe found the governess much kinder, not only to her sister but to herself. Absence had ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... its being mentioned that an opulent and very indolent Scotch nobleman, who totally resigned the management of his affairs to a man of knowledge and abilities, had claimed some merit by saying, 'The next best thing to managing a man's own affairs well is being sensible of incapacity, and not attempting it, but having full confidence in one who can do it:' JOHNSON. 'Nay, Sir, this is paltry. There is a middle course. Let a man give application; and depend upon it he will soon get above a despicable state of helplessness, and attain the power ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... help?' The loftier our ideal, the more painful ought to be our conviction of incapacity to reach it. The Christian man's one security is in feeling his peril, and the condition of his strength is his acknowledgment and vivid consciousness always of his weakness. The exile in Babylon had ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... from Dartmouth Street, just across the way, he will see a magnificent view of the Abbey Church with her small daughter, St Margaret, by her side. {11} As he approaches nearer, down Tothill Street, the ugly Western Towers, which we owe in the first instance to Wren's incapacity to understand Gothic architecture, in the second to his successor Hawkesmore's want of taste in ...
— Westminster Abbey • Mrs. A. Murray Smith

... his sister to a little secluded town, where she should be well out of earshot of his doings or possible troubles. He would have shielded her from harm at the cost of his life. His loyalty to her was only limited by the irresponsibility of his nature and a certain incapacity to see the difference between radical right and radical wrong. His honour was a matter of tradition, such as it was, and in all else he had the inherent invalidity of some of his distant forebears. For a time all went well, then discovery came, and only the kind intriguing of as good friends as any ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... a similar operation before marriage. On the morning of their wedding-day they are seated at a table, to receive presents from their relations and friends; a yard of cloth from one, some silk from another, some beads from a third, according to the taste incapacity of the donors. My companions were not much struck with the beauty of the Queens, for they declared that some of the pretty young slave-girls had much more lovely looks. Each of the Duke's wives bring, or send, a jug of water for his large brass-pan bath every morning, and his favourite ...
— A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I (of ?) • James Holman

... of the business. His father had been to the manner born, and things had prospered with him, but Alan by himself would not have been able to achieve a like success. He knew this, and was proud of his incapacity; and he took the first opportunity of handing over the establishment to a successor. The money which he received for the transfer, added to that which his father had left, secured him an income on which it was possible to live, and to ...
— Name and Fame - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... incapacity, during which it was all he could do to attend to his mechanical work, and again the miserable loneliness of his attic. It rained, it rained. He had half a mind to seek refuge at some theatre, but the energy to walk so far was lacking. ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... Marsden, by chance, remarked his brown face on the forecastle, and inquired into his history, which was confirmed by the master of the Ann, and was really only a specimen of a sailor's vague promises, and incapacity to understand that a dark skin ought to be treated with the same justice as a white one. Duaterra was a man of much intelligence, and even under these most unfavourable circumstances had been greatly ...
— Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... assessment of taxes has to be intrusted to men with fallible judgment, imperfect knowledge, and selfish interests. The assessor is as near a despot as any agent of popular government to-day. Not infrequently men of proved incapacity in every private business they have attempted are, for partizan or corrupt reasons, selected as assessors, and are given the power of passing judgment on the value of millions of dollars' worth of property. Under the circumstances, ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... expect poor unaided human wisdom to face these awful problems of infinite depth without finding the strongest evidence of its utter incapacity and helplessness? Like a feather in the blast, our kingly and wise preacher (beyond whom none can ever go) is whirled, for the time being, from his soberness, and, in sorrow akin to despair, gives counsel that is in itself revolting to all soberness ...
— Old Groans and New Songs - Being Meditations on the Book of Ecclesiastes • F. C. Jennings

... Dieu, mon Dieu, c'est navrant. Nous sommes un peuple desarconne.)" In his eyes, Palikao was no better than a robber, Jerome David than a murderer. He considered the fall of Strasburg imminent. He was less surprised than I at the unbounded incapacity shown by the French fleet under the difficult conditions; all plans for a descent on Northern Germany had already been given up, and the French fleet was unable to set about even so much as a blockade of the ports, such as ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... results in the despotism of a corrupt and selfish oligarchy, or if such is not a necessary consequence, then at any rate the standard of citizenship in this country intellectually and morally is not high enough to make democracy practicable. That the ignorance, selfishness and incapacity of the people are the real source of the evils mentioned is diligently inculcated by all those who wish to discredit the theory of popular government. No one knows better than the machine politician and his allies in the great corporate industries of the country how little ...
— The Spirit of American Government - A Study Of The Constitution: Its Origin, Influence And - Relation To Democracy • J. Allen Smith

... in Spain. I wonder why your friends selected you to be Archbishop of Toledo; they thought perhaps that you would do neither good nor harm, and made choice of you, as they sometimes do primates in my own country, for your incapacity. You do not seem very happy in your present situation; no very easy stall this of yours. You were more comfortable, I trow, when you were the poor Bishop of Mallorca; could enjoy your puchera then without fear ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... Cicely, alarmed. "Oh, I hope I need only speak truth!" and her tone sounded much more like a confession of incapacity than a moral objection, and so it was received: "Poor child, I know thou canst not act a part, and thy return to the honest mastiffs will not further thee in it; but I have bidden Chateauneuf to do what he can for thee—and after all the ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... to the family life.... We must make ourselves more terrible than an army with banners to despoilers of womanhood.... Men are no longer to be excused for writing in scarlet on their foreheads their incapacity for self-control. None of us is longer to be excused for cowardice and acquiescence in the sacrifice of womanhood. Not even that woman—vilest of all creatures on the face of the earth I do believe—the procuress, shall be beyond the pale of sympathy, for she is merely the product ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... within him and not outside himself was clear to him. He frankly acknowledged to himself that it was not the intellectual coldness of which clever people so often boast, not the coldness of a conceited fool, but simply impotence of soul, incapacity for being moved by beauty, premature old age brought on by education, his casual existence, struggling for a livelihood, his homeless life in lodgings. From the bridge he walked slowly, as it were reluctantly, into the wood. ...
— The Chorus Girl and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... that Robespierre must have been mad to place that drunkard at their head; and mark my words, Fouquier, if the struggle come, it is that man's incapacity and cowardice that will destroy us. Yes, thou mayst live thyself to accuse thy beloved Robespierre, and ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... Marlborough proposed to pass the Alps with an army of 40,000 men to their assistance, and there, as he would have the warm cooperation of Prince Eugene instead of the cowardice of the Dutch generals, and the incapacity and obstinacy of the Prince of Baden, he anticipated the complete ...
— The Cornet of Horse - A Tale of Marlborough's Wars • G. A. Henty

... Laziness of mind, or inattention, are as great enemies to knowledge as incapacity; for, in truth, what difference is there between a man who will not, and a man who cannot be informed? This difference only, that the former is justly to be blamed, the latter to be pitied. And yet how many there are, very capable of receiving knowledge, who from laziness, inattention, and ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... the anti-priestly freethought of the masses, his mind used the pious formula from the superficial force of habit, but with a deep-seated sincerity. The popular mind is incapable of scepticism; and that incapacity delivers their helpless strength to the wiles of swindlers and to the pitiless enthusiasms of leaders inspired by visions of a high destiny. She was dead. But would God consent to receive her soul? She had died without confession ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... preceding summer, and if he had said nothing quite definite, it was only because his aunt represented the impolicy of declaring himself just yet: she was too young. She judged thus, attributing her evident indifference to an incapacity as yet for falling in love. Hence, beyond paying her all sorts of attentions and what compliments he was capable of constructing, Lord Liftore had not gone far towards making himself understood—at least, not until just before Malcolm's arrival, when ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... School of Art, and by the recommendations of his masters there, Margaillan took the young architect into partnership, and agreed to his marriage with his daughter Regine. Unfortunately, Dubuche showed deplorable incapacity in carrying into practice the theories which he had learned at the School of Art, and Margaillan, after losing considerable sums, returned to his original methods of construction, thrusting his son-in-law to one ...
— A Zola Dictionary • J. G. Patterson

... Nor did he ever, whether in private or in public, breathe an unfriendly word against his Christian fellow-citizens. All were sons of the same Father, as he would frequently say from the platform. But in his heart of hearts he cherished a contempt, softened by stupefaction, for the arithmetical incapacity of Trinitarians. ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... term of Grant ended unsatisfactorily. His appointments to office were marked by favoritism and incapacity. He appointed the only really inferior man who has ever represented the United States in London,—one who thought it not incompatible with his high office to publish a treatise on draw-poker, and to appear as bellwether in a mining prospectus. ...
— The New Nation • Frederic L. Paxson

... more opportune than this for the encouragement of our Lord. On earth He had found incredulity among His best friends; incapacity to see why He should die; indifference to His object here. He now meets with those who, with breathless interest, await His death as if it were the one only future event. In their persons He sees, at one view, all who had put their trust in God from the foundation of the ...
— How to become like Christ • Marcus Dods

... to the office, where his chief's precious leniency allowed him to come in at about eleven o'clock. And, indeed, he did little enough, for his incapacity was ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... labor can be reduced to the one term "efficiency." Not only does the actual labor outlay represent from 60 to 70% of the total underground expenses, but the capacity or incapacity of its units is responsible for wider fluctuations in production costs than the bare predominance in expenditure might indicate. The remaining expense is for supplies, such as dynamite, timber, steel, power, etc., and the economical application of these materials by the workman has ...
— Principles of Mining - Valuation, Organization and Administration • Herbert C. Hoover

... truth. (2) This example will once again show the reader the character of Phinuit, who hesitates at no invention, and risks being caught in the act of imposture sooner than own to his ignorance or incapacity. (3) The reader will find in it examples of the untrue assertions which are found ...
— Mrs. Piper & the Society for Psychical Research • Michael Sage

... had indeed, at first, luffed up, to come to the assistance of her consort; but on seeing the fall of the latter's mast, and that she was incapable of rendering any assistance, had again altered her course, feeling her incapacity to engage so redoubtable an opponent, single handed. Three hearty cheers broke from all on board the Madras as, after pouring in a broadside at a distance of fifty yards, she left the brig behind her, and ...
— The Tiger of Mysore - A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib • G. A. Henty

... sake of a distant reward. It is also closely connected with the development of the sympathetic feelings. The better we can imagine objects and relations not present to sense, the more readily we can sympathize with other people. Half the cruelty in the world is the direct result of stupid incapacity to put one's self in the other man's place. So closely inter-related are our intellectual and moral natures that the development of sympathy is very considerably determined by increasing width and variety of experience. From the ...
— The Destiny of Man - Viewed in the Light of His Origin • John Fiske

... Church had the right to exact, and which, if fulfilled, no penance could expiate. He owned frankly, nevertheless, that it was the difficulties so created, that had made him incline to the Atheling;—but, convinced of that prince's incapacity, even in the most ordinary times, to rule England, he shrank yet more from such a choice, when the swords of the Norman were already sharpening for contest. Finally he said, "If a man as fit to defend us as Harold can be found, let ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... there whose utter incapacity is a secret kept from most of their acquaintance. For such as these high rank, high office, illustrious birth, a certain veneer of politeness, and considerable reserve of manner, or the prestige of great fortunes, are but ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... diocese extremely well; and Madame Guyon surprised those who had dealings with her by her great aptitude for affairs. Henry More was offered posts of high responsibility and dignity, but declined them. The mystic is not as a rule ambitious, but I do not think he often shows incapacity for practical life, if he consents to mingle in it. And so far is it from being true that Great Britain has produced but few mystics, that I am inclined to think the subject might be adequately studied from English writers alone. ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... not intimately bound up with the life of those about them. They are compelled, so to speak, to have physical gifts because they are lacking in social gifts. Human infants, on the other hand, can get along with physical incapacity just because of their social capacity. We sometimes talk and think as if they simply happened to be physically in a social environment; as if social forces exclusively existed in the adults who take care of them, they being passive ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... of God with Nature, and an incapacity of finding unity in the manifold and infinity in the individual,—these are the origin of polytheism. The most perfect instance of this kind of theism is that of early Greece; other nations seem to have either transcended, or come short of, the old Hellenic standard,—a ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... of the Catholic religion, its dignity and independence? Why do so, if thereby you lower and degrade the most Italian sovereignty of the whole peninsula? Why, more especially, do so now, in presence of all these unchained evil passions, and thereby give against the Holy See a sentence of incapacity, and thus, in the eyes of Christendom, insult that unarmed and oppressed Majesty? You say he will only lose the Romagna and the Legations. But allow me to ask you by what right you take them? And why not take all the rest, if you please? Why, in your dreams of Italian unity, ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... ray of comfort came with the consideration that after all a certain practical incapacity is part of the ensemble of a literary artist, and then he found himself wondering what flowers of wisdom Montaigne might not have culled from such a day's experience; he began an imitative essay in his head and he fell asleep upon this ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... and his treasure, there came to me a fear for Anita. In God's truth I had been, so far, a very stumbling inept champion—doomed to failure with everything I tried. It swept me, so that I cursed my own incapacity. Why had I not contrived to have Anita desert at the asteroid? Would it not have been far better for her there? Taking her chance for rescue with Dr. Frank, Venza and ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 • Various

... eatable, through our having been compelled, from haste, to dry it by fire instead of the sun. It was not, however, the quality of our provision that gave us uneasiness, but its diminution, and the utter incapacity to obtain any addition. Seals were the only animals that met our view at this place, and these ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 2 • John Franklin

... wanted to give you a proof of my incapacity," she said, turning her large luminous gaze upon her instructor, "in order to make you duly appreciate what you have undertaken. Now, tell me truly and honestly, are you ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... Never had French opinion been more arrogant in asserting France's right to North America than after the Treaty of Utrecht. At the dinner-table of the Governor in Quebec there was incessant talk of Britain's incapacity, of the sheer luck by which she had blundered into the occupation of great areas, while in truth she was weak through lack of union and organization. A natural antipathy, it was said, existed between her colonies and herself; she was a monarchy while they were ...
— The Conquest of New France - A Chronicle of the Colonial Wars, Volume 10 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • George M. Wrong

... of able men, perhaps more than there ever were, capable both of creating new systems and of leading us to victory, I am inclined to think that their characters have been formed in spite of an obsolete and decaying system, and that they are restrained by the incapacity of others and the carelessness of the country from exercising the influence which their talents and energy ought to command. If the question were one of commerce, liberty, or progress in civil affairs, the nation would be interested, and would bring the resources of its accumulated knowledge to bear ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... be understood,—that is, when he speaks about business. Ye ken yoursell, that Miss Clara is no just like other folk; and were I you—it's my duty to speak plain—I wad e'en gie in a bit scroll of a petition to the Lords, to be appointed Curator Bonis, in respect of her incapacity to ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... However, with a bath full of hot water, I commence pretty regularly after the ten o'clock observation, and labour away until my back aches. There is little difficulty with the handkerchiefs, socks and such-like articles, but when it comes to thick woolen vests and pajamas, I feel ready to own my incapacity; one always seems to be soaping and rubbing at the same place, and one is forced to wonder at the area of stuff which it takes to cover a comparatively small body. My work is never finished by midnight, but I generally ...
— The Voyages of Captain Scott - Retold from 'The Voyage of the "Discovery"' and 'Scott's - Last Expedition' • Charles Turley

... was travelling loose with Thompson and Cooper, was a whaler. Not owing to any inherent incapacity, for he had taken his B.A. at an English university, and was, notwithstanding his rags and dirt, a remarkably fine-looking man; bearing a striking resemblance to Dixon, even in features. But as the wives of Napoleon's generals could never learn to walk on a carpet, so the aimless ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy



Words linked to "Incapacity" :   inability, capacity



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