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Inconstancy   Listen
noun
Inconstancy  n.  The quality or state of being inconstant; lack of constancy; mutability; fickleness; variableness. "For unto knight there was no greater shame, Than lightness and inconstancie in love."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Inconstancy" Quotes from Famous Books



... that one specious objection to the late removals at court, was the fear of giving uneasiness to a general, who has been long successful abroad: and accordingly, the common clamour of tongues and pens for some months past, has run against the baseness, the inconstancy and ingratitude of the whole kingdom to the Duke of M[arlborough], in return of the most eminent services that ever were performed by a subject to his country; not to be equalled in history. And then to be sure some bitter ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... insurrections, but had attended faithfully to the affairs intrusted to him by Abderahman. The death of his old friend and colleague, Yusuf, however, and the subsequent disasters of his family, filled him with despondency. Fearing the inconstancy of fortune, and the dangers incident to public employ, he entreated the king to be permitted to retire to his house in Seguenza, and indulge a privacy and repose suited to his advanced age. His prayer was granted. The veteran laid by his arms, battered in a thousand conflicts; hung his ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... the horse; who was fatter than you would quite believe, if I gave you his measure, and so old that his birthday was lost in the mists of antiquity. Boxer, feeling that his attentions were due to the family in general, and must be impartially distributed, dashed in and out with bewildering inconstancy; now, describing a circle of short barks round the horse, where he was being rubbed down at the stable-door; now feigning to make savage rushes at his mistress, and facetiously bringing himself to sudden stops; now, eliciting ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... felt or suffered; and yet he mixes so much probability in the circumstances, that they are always eloquently proper. He does everything, as it were, the reverse of other poets; in the air and sea, which have been in all times the emblems of change and the similitudes of inconstancy, he has discovered the very principles of permanency. The ocean in his view, not by its vastness, its unfathomable depths, and its limitless extent, becomes an image of deity, by its ...
— The Life of Lord Byron • John Galt

... morning, when Riquette paid him her daily visit, he received her much more graciously than usual. The magician's daughter could not contain her delight at this change, and in answer to her expressions of joy, Lino told her that he had had a dream by which he had learned the inconstancy of Hermosa; also that a fairy had appeared and informed him that if he wished to break the bonds which bound him to the faithless princess and transfer his affections to the daughter of Ismenor, he must have in his possession for a day and a night a stone ...
— The Olive Fairy Book • Various

... virtue's sake alone such men love them Determined to cultivate ability rather than scrupulousness Disenchantment which follows possession Have not that pleasure, it is useless to incur the penalties Inconstancy of heart is the special attribute of man Knew her danger, and, unlike most of them, she did not love it Put herself on good terms with God, in case He should exist Two persons who desired neither to remember ...
— Widger's Quotations from The Immortals of the French Academy • David Widger

... was. The ungenerous look upon self-devotion as madness, folly, or art: he could not think me a fool, he did not think me mad, artful I believe he did suspect me to be; he concluded that I made the discovery of his inconstancy an excuse for my own; he thought me, perhaps, worse than capricious, interested—for, our engagement being unknown, a lover of higher rank had, in the interval, presented himself. My perception of this base suspicion was useful to me at the moment, as it roused my spirit, and I went through ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... sonnets with Cino and rallied him about his inconstancy, calls the Pistojese worthy of the Beast[141] who dwelt among them; Petrarch calls them i cittadin perversi; the truth being that the Neri were in power and had exiled "il ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... lodging in their house. I was often invited there and consulted in their affairs, wherein I sometimes was of service. I piti'd poor Miss Read's unfortunate situation, who was generally dejected, seldom chearful, and avoided company. I considered my giddiness and inconstancy when in London as in a great degree the cause of her unhappiness, tho' the mother was good enough to think the fault more her own than mine, as she had prevented our marrying before I went thither, and persuaded the other match in my absence. Our mutual affection was revived, but there were ...
— Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... spared when the deviated from the right path, what will he do to the darkness of this our age, in which, besides all the huge and heinous sins, which it has common with all the wicked of the world committed, is found an innate, indelible, and irremediable load of folly and inconstancy?" "What, wretched man (I say to myself) is it given to you, as if you were an illustrious and learned teacher, to oppose the force of so violent a torrent, and keep the charge committed to you against such a series of inveterate crimes which has spread ...
— On The Ruin of Britain (De Excidio Britanniae) • Gildas

... her lost Lysander asleep so near her, was looking at him and wondering at his strange inconstancy. Lysander presently opening his eyes, and seeing his dear Hermia, recovered his reason which the fairy charm had before clouded, and with his reason, his love for Hermia; and they began to talk over the adventures of the night, doubting if these ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... and absorbing demands of her affection, and, perhaps, some lightness, or even falsity, on the part of Rosania, led to a rupture. The indignant and unhappy Orinda expressed her sorrows in several heartfelt poems, one of which bears the superscription, "To the Queen of Inconstancy, Regina Collier:" ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... a proverbial expression implying inconstancy; but the origin of the phrase is unknown to all ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 69, February 22, 1851 • Various

... youth, the pupil's manhood;—his avarice, his ingratitude, his implacability, his inconstancy. Such a bad pupil, Monsieur!—so thankless, ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... and why? She had given him all; it was not her fault if he wearied of her tyranny. No; he alone was to blame, his inconstancy, his weakness. He poured forth a torrent of self-reproach, and words of love, and she responded passionately. Once more they were lovers, thrilling to each other's touch. And the wan moon looked on at their transports, and perchance the pale wraith of the Countess of Orlamuende, the White ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... therefore think it natural in me to thank them here, in the name of science and literature, in the name of humanity, for the few moments of sweet peace and happiness that they afforded to our learned colleague, at a time when the inconstancy and ingratitude of men ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... love for you. I had even reason to believe that you had entirely abandoned her, for whom you had forsaken me; I had ground too to be satisfied you had never spoken to her concerning me; but neither your discretion in that particular, nor the return of your affection can make amends for your inconstancy; your heart has been divided between me and another, and you have deceived me; this is sufficient wholly to take from me the pleasure I found in being loved by you, as I thought I deserved to be, and to confirm me in the resolution I have taken never to see you more, which you ...
— The Princess of Cleves • Madame de La Fayette

... me," he said, "even if that were your object, which I doubt, you sly fox! And if you mean only to pique my pride in order to cure my inconstancy to my betrothed, I assure you it is quite unnecessary. I shall have too much self-respect to place myself in the way ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... former husbands, and there being hardly any difference between legitimacy and illegitimacy. Another old writer, Rev. S. Gobat, describes the Abyssinians as light-minded, having nothing constant but inconstancy itself. A more recent writer, J. Hotten (133-35), explains, in the following sentence, a fact which ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... observed in Hungary." Ye poor malicious blood-suckers of the virtuous! Ye shall not be able to hurt a hair of my head. Ye cannot injure the man who has sixty years lived in honour. I will not, in my old age, bring upon myself the reproach of inconstancy, treachery, or desire of revenge. I will betray no political secrets: I wish not to injure those by whom I have been injured.—Such acts I will never commit. I never yet descended to the office of spy, nor will I die a ...
— The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck - Vol. 2 (of 2) • Baron Trenck

... labours of the speculative may influence the conduct of men, one of the most pardonable errors a writer can commit, is to believe that he is about to do a great deal of good. But, leaving the care of effects to others, we proceed to consider the grounds of inconstancy among mankind, the sources of internal decay, and the ruinous corruptions to which nations are liable, in the supposed ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... their intercourse a certainty of power and promise of greater power. Silly people fill the world with lamentation over human inconstancy; but if we follow love, we cannot cling to the beloved. We must love onward, and only when our friends go before us can we be true both to friendship and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 • Various

... his intrepidity and hardihood. He was, besides, the favorite of the ladies, who called him the best-looking and most amiable man in the whole monarchy; and, with amiable indulgence, attributed his many adventures and acts of inconstancy, his wild and dissipated life, his extravagance and numerous debts, to the genius of the prince. He was, indeed, an extraordinary man, one of those on whose brow Providence has imprinted the stamp of genius,—not to their own good, but to their misfortune, and who either miserably ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... jealousy caused him to take a side against the strike, solely because it had been proposed by Lantier, and this attitude made him very unpopular. But after the failure of the strike, which he had all along predicted, the inconstancy of the crowd turned in his favour and he soon ...
— A Zola Dictionary • J. G. Patterson

... long time," I said to him. "Are there any conclusions you have been able to reach as a result of your investigation?" He thought a minute and passed a wrinkled hand across a wrinkled brow. "Nothing but this," he made answer, "that Cleveland weather is only constant in its inconstancy." ...
— George Washington: Farmer • Paul Leland Haworth

... works. Therefore, it comes about that, as Paul says, they run uncertainly, beating the air. Their hearts are unstable and wavering before God, and they are changeable and fickle in all their ways, James 1, 8. Since they are aimless and inconstant at heart, this will appear likewise as inconstancy in regard to works and doctrines. They undertake now this and now that; they cannot be quiet nor refrain from factional strife. Thus they miss their aim or else remove the goal, and cannot but deviate from the true ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... he that can't live upon love deserves to die in a ditch. Here then, I give you my promise, in spite of duty, any temptation of wealth, your inconstancy, or my own ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve

... in her Sisters, fill'd Liamil with Rage. As she had imagined the King's Heart to be her Property by right of Prescription, she bitterly reproach'd him for his Inconstancy. But her Reign was over, for Zeokinizul dismissed her coldly, without so much as even debating the Matter with her, and within a few Hours, he notified to her by one of his Eunuchs, that she should ...
— The Amours of Zeokinizul, King of the Kofirans - Translated from the Arabic of the famous Traveller Krinelbol • Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crbillon

... Egypt itself to the most terrible famine: and it is astonishing that Joseph's wise foresight, which in fruitful years had made provision for seasons of sterility, should not have taught these so much boasted politicians, to adopt similar precautions against the changes and inconstancy of the Nile. Pliny, in his panegyric upon Trajan, paints with wonderful strength the extremity to which that country was reduced by a famine under that prince's reign, and his generous relief of it. The reader will not be displeased to read ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... intensity it remained pure, than that at the expense of its purity it remained intense. Othello was certainly not a husband of the highest type, and yet we see something of this even in his case. His sufferings at his wife's supposed inconstancy have doubtless in them a large selfish element. Much of them is caused by the mere passion of jealousy. But the deepest sting of all does not lie here. It lies rather in the thought of what his wife ...
— Is Life Worth Living? • William Hurrell Mallock

... more despised, amongst us than our own. Examples hereof I could set down many and in many things; but, sith my purpose is to deal at this time with gardens and orchards, it shall suffice that I touch them only, and show our inconstancy in the same, so far as shall seem and be convenient for my turn. I comprehend therefore under the word "garden" all such grounds as are wrought with the spade by man's hand, ...
— Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) • Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

... for ever shut against my return. Many years afterwards, when the name of Gibbon was become as notorious as that of Middleton, it was industriously whispered at Oxford, that the historian had formerly "turned papist;" my character stood exposed to the reproach of inconstancy; and this invidious topic would have been handled without mercy by my opponents, could they have separated my cause from that of the university. For my own part, I am proud of an honest sacrifice of interest to ...
— Memoirs of My Life and Writings • Edward Gibbon

... secured, when young Pietro Strozzo—the son of Messer Camillo di Matteo negli Strozzi—one of Pellegrina's sponsors at her baptism—was judged worthy of the matrimonial prize. They were accordingly betrothed, but the inconstancy of Love was once more proved, for the young fellow was a wayward youth, and, although only seventeen, had fixed his ...
— The Tragedies of the Medici • Edgcumbe Staley

... complex character. There is little medium about Roy. He is very good when he is good, and he is very horrid indeed when he is bad. He is a strange admixture of absolute devotion and of utter inconstancy. Nothing will entice him away from John on one day, neither threats nor persuasion. The next day he will cut John dead in the road, with no sign of recognition. He sees John, and he goes slowly and deliberately out of his way to pass John by, without a look or a ...
— A Boy I Knew and Four Dogs • Laurence Hutton

... my knees in a tremor of fear. I pulled from my bosom a little book like the one Leperello exhibits in the opera of "Don Giovanni." There, I said, was a record of my flirtation and inconstancy. I waited long for the decision, but it came ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... not aware of it. Is inconstancy to women cruelty and want of principle? If so, all men must bear the brunt of the accusation with me. For men were originally barbarians, and always looked upon women as toys or slaves; the barbaric taint is not out ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... matter of fact, we were richer. The captain had the usual sailor's provision of quack medicines, with which, in the usual sailor fashion, he would daily drug himself, displaying an extreme inconstancy, and flitting from Kennedy's Red Discovery to Kennedy's White, and from Hood's Sarsaparilla to Mother Seigel's Syrup. And there were, besides, some mildewed and half-empty bottles, the labels obliterated, over which Nares would sometimes sniff and speculate. "Seems to smell like diarrhoea ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the soldiers, adored by the women, at his ease in camps, a roue in courts, he was of that school of sparkling vices of which the Marshal de Richelieu had been the type in France. It was said that the queen herself had been enamoured of him, without being able to fix his inconstancy. Friend of the Duc d'Orleans, companion of his debaucheries, still he had never conspired with him. All treachery was abhorrent to him, all baseness of heart roused his utmost indignation. He adopted the Revolution as a noble idea, of which he was always ready ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... the sages upon the vicissitudes of fortune and the inconstancy of human affairs would prove unfounded if this expedition had terminated profitably and happily; but the ordering of events is inevitable, and those who tear up the roots, sometimes find sweet liquorice and sometimes bitter cockle. Woe, however, to Pariza! for he shall ...
— De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) - The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera • Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt

... Laura; "can you demand this of me? Marry without love! Alas, alas! The prince will charge me with inconstancy and treachery to him, and I must bear ...
— Frederick the Great and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... with Heaven. If the feeble charms which my countenance displays have exposed me to the misfortune of my lover abandoning me, Heaven could not better soften such a blow than by making use of you to captivate that heart. I ought not to blush for an inconstancy which indicates the difference between your attractions and mine. If this change makes me sigh, it is from foreseeing that it will be fatal to your love; amidst the sorrow caused by friendship, I am angry for your sake that my few attractions have failed to retain a heart whose devotion interferes ...
— Don Garcia of Navarre • Moliere

... woods, encreasing the winds with my sighs, or to sit by a purling stream, swelling the rivulet with my tears; may be, both may do well in their turns:—but to be a minute serious, what do you mean by this reproach of inconstancy? I confess you give me several good qualities I have not, and I am ready to thank you for them, but then you must not take away those few I have. No, I will never exchange them; take back the beauty and wit you bestow upon me, leave me my own mediocrity of agreeableness ...
— Lady Mary Wortley Montague - Her Life and Letters (1689-1762) • Lewis Melville

... advertised touching the proceedings here in ecclesiastical causes, because you seem to note in them some inconstancy and variation, as if we sometimes inclined to one side, sometimes to another, as if that clemency and lenity were not used of late that was used in the beginning, all which you impute to your own superficial understanding of the affairs of ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... and instability of the Negro character; light- minded as the Abyssinians,—described by Gobat as constant in nothing but inconstancy,—soft, merry, and affectionate souls, they pass without any apparent transition into a state of fury, when they are capable of terrible atrocities. At Aden they appear happier than in their native country. There I have often seen a man clapping his hands and dancing, childlike, alone to ...
— First footsteps in East Africa • Richard F. Burton

... household, apparently causeless, full of sudden, inexplicable turns of thought and act which turn the peaceful into a tempestuous home. It is not that the husband or the wife are inconstant by nature—to call Fifine at the Fair a defence of inconstancy is to lose the truth of the matter—but it is the desire of momentary change, of a life set free from conventional barriers, of an outburst into the unknown, of the desire for new experiences, for something which will bring into play those parts of their nature of which ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... least, to the personality of their author, and to the happy moment of their production, has evanesced. Here, however, is one which seems still to bear the impress of Alberti's genius: 'Gold is the soul of labour, and labour the slave of pleasure.' Of women he used to say that their inconstancy was an antidote to their falseness; for if a woman could but persevere in what she undertook, all the fair works of men would be ruined. One of his strongest moral sentences is aimed at envy, from which ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... might have erred in the same way; but this was an argument which would have much more weight with his own sex than with women. Men know their own frailties, and are therefore charitable; women consider inconstancy to be the one unpardonable sin, and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... the house almost dreading to see her whom he was seeking. In what way should he first express his wrath? How should he show her the wreck which by her inconstancy she had made of his happiness? His first words must, if possible, be spoken to her alone; and yet alone he could hardly hope to find her. And he feared her. Though he was so resolved to speak his mind, yet he feared her. Though he intended to fill her with remorse, ...
— The Golden Lion of Granpere • Anthony Trollope

... no one of Shakspeare's plays harder to characterize. The name and the remembrances connected with it, prepare us for the representation of attachment no less faithful than fervent on the side of the youth, and of sudden and shameless inconstancy on the part of the lady. And this is, indeed, as the gold thread on which the scenes are strung, though often kept out of sight and out of mind by gems of greater value than itself. But as Shakspeare calls forth nothing from the mausoleum of history, or the catacombs of tradition, without ...
— Literary Remains, Vol. 2 • Coleridge

... their cause. But are our writers ever in the wrong? Does virtue ne'er seduce the venal tongue? Yes; if well brib'd, for virtue's self they fight; Still in the wrong, tho' champions for the right: Whoe'er their crimes for interest only quit, Sin on in virtue, and good deeds commit. Nought but inconstancy Britannia meets, And broken faith in their abandon'd sheets; From the same hand how various is the page! What civil war their brother pamphlets wage! Tracts battle tracts, self-contradictions glare; Say, is this lunacy?—I ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... afternoon on the road to practice, 'she beats her hollow.' M'Gowan, however, was a bit of a cynic, and Emma soon cast him off for Walker. He was a fine singer, and in after years, when he became a confirmed bachelor, delighted to sing songs about the inconstancy of the fair sex. He used to hum out Goethe's 'Vanatos,' and more particularly that verse with reference to the ...
— Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches • David Drummond Bone

... materialists is inconsiderable besides the mischief effected and occasioned by the sentimental philosophy of Sterne and his numerous imitators. The vilest appetites and the most remorseless inconstancy towards their objects, acquired the titles of the "heart," "the irresistible feelings," "the too-tender sensibility"; and if the frosts of prudence, the icy chain of human law, thawed and vanished at the genial warmth of human nature, who could help ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... to prove in a thousand ways that, despite the danger of inconstancy resulting from his great sensibility, imagination, and intellect, no one, more than Lord Byron, steadily and firmly adhered through life in his actions to the principles which constitute the man ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... departed souls dwell among the caves and rocks of the cliffs, and that the echoes often heard there are their voices. Ruskin suggests that the cause of the Greeks surrounding the lower world residence of Persephone with poplar groves was that "the frailness, fragility, and inconstancy of the leafage of the poplar tree resembled the fancied ghost people." We can very easily imagine how, in the breeze at the entrance ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... that does not wither? not the constancy of man? I saw you when you slipped off with the Carmelite. Acknowledge your inconstancy—you can deny it ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German • Various

... silently whether it were not best to return, he thought, apropos the Princess Irene, of the nuptials to be celebrated, and of his bride expectant; and a Christian, pausing over the suggestion, may be disposed to condemn him for inconstancy. ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... resentment on account of his want of fidelity, I was rather disposed to rejoice at it. I could appreciate his want of merit, and his unfitness to be the husband of such a woman as Grace, even at my early age; but, alas! I could not appreciate the effects of his inconstancy on a heart like that of my sister. Could I have felt as easy on the subject of Mr. Andrew Drewett, and of my own precise position in society, I should have cared very little, just then, ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... Several times Haida fled from Toolun to Chinese territory, where he hoped to enjoy greater safety, until at last the Chinese became tired of giving him shelter and protecting one who could not support his own pretensions. Then, with strange inconstancy, they delivered him over into the hands of Noorhachu, who straightway killed him, thus carrying out the first portion of his vow to avenge ...
— China • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... gloss over your first inconstancy, sir,' she said, archly; but he was spared from further reply by Philip Sidney's coming to tell him that the Ambassador was ready to return home. He took leave with an alacrity that redoubled his courtesy so much that he desired to be commended to his ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... faithless mistress: she is too lovely to remain long angry with her. You realize she is false and will betray you again, laughing at you, insulting your weakness; but when she smiles all faults are forgotten; the ardor of her kisses blinds you to her inconstancy; she pours out a draught that no other hands can brew, and clasps you in arms so fair that life outside those fragile barriers ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... is brave and generous, but of an Humour so uneasy and inconstant, that the victory over his Heart is as soon lost as won; a Slave that can add little to the Triumph of the Conqueror: but inconstancy's the Sin of all Mankind, therefore I'm resolv'd that nothing but Gold shall charm ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) • Aphra Behn

... visitor. Certainly they impressed Burke with a belief in their sincere but secret sympathy with the royalist cause. The three men also agreed in suspecting Leopold, though Burke tried to prove that his treachery was not premeditated, but sprang from "some complexional inconstancy." Pitt and Grenville, knowing the doggedness with which the Emperor pushed towards his goal, amidst many a shift and turn, ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... {unschulde}, sf. innocence. {unschuldigen}, wv. proclaim one's innocence. {unsegel[i]ch}, aj. unspeakable. {unsenfte}, aj. painful, hard. {unser}, pr. our, 7, 67. {unst[ae]te}, aj. inconstant, fickle. {unst[ae]te}, sf. inconstancy, fickleness. {untriuwe}, sf. faithlessness, deceit. {untr[oe]sten}, wv. dishearten, discourage. {untr[o]st}, sm. despondency, discouragement. {untugent}, sf. lack of good training. {unversunnen}, ...
— A Middle High German Primer - Third Edition • Joseph Wright

... of a rebeck, which he plays admirably, he sings his complaints in verses that show his ingenuity. I follow another, easier, and to my mind wiser course, and that is to rail at the frivolity of women, at their inconstancy, their double dealing, their broken promises, their unkept pledges, and in short the want of reflection they show in fixing their affections and inclinations. This, sirs, was the reason of words and ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... seen for a moment enveloped with spray, but never after was a trace of the canoe or its passengers discovered. Yet the Indians imagine that often in the morning a voice is heard singing a mournful song along the edge of the fall, and that it dwells on the inconstancy of a husband. They assert that sometimes a white dove is seen hovering over the neighbouring sprays; at other times, Ampato Sapa wanders in her proper person near the spot, with her children wrapped in skins, and ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... spring of the following year, that unfortunate lady embarked for Flanders, where, soon after her arrival, the inconstancy of her husband, and her own ungovernable sensibilities, occasioned the most scandalous scenes. Philip became openly enamoured of one of the ladies of her suite, and his injured wife, in a paroxysm of jealousy, personally assaulted her fair rival in the palace, ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... new domestic difficulties long before the suppression of monasteries—the great political act of Thomas Cromwell. His new wife, Anne Boleyn, was suspected of the crime of inconstancy, and at the very time when she had reached the summit of power, and the gratification of all worldly wishes. She had been very vain, and fond of display and of ornaments; but the latter years of her life were marked by ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... would be no longer tolerated,—that the public tribunal (never too indulgent to a long and unsuccessful opposition) would now scrutinize our conduct with unusual severity,—that the very vicissitudes and shiftings of ministerial measures, instead of convicting their authors of inconstancy and want of system, would be taken as an occasion of charging us with a predetermined discontent which nothing could satisfy, whilst we accused every measure of vigor as cruel and every proposal of lenity as weak and irresolute. The public, he said, would not have patience to ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... universe—in which we believe we see the most convincing proof of His existence, of His intelligence, His power, and His goodness—should be inconsistent, His existence might be doubted; or He might be accused at least of inconstancy, of inability, of want of foresight, and of wisdom in the first arrangement of things; we would have a right to accuse Him of blundering in His choice of agents and instruments. Finally, if the order of nature proves the power and the intelligence, disorder ought to prove the weakness, inconstancy, ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... viciousness is a habit or affection discordant and inconsistent with itself through life. Thus it happens, that in the one case a disease and sickness may arise from a corruption of opinions; in the other case the consequence may be inconstancy and inconsistency. For every vice of the mind does not imply a disunion of parts; as is the case with those who are not far from being wise men: with them there is that affection which is inconsistent with itself whilst it is foolish, but ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all? If this is not bond enough between man and man, what bond would we have? Oh, my friends, when we consider this our little life, how full of ignorance it is and darkness; within us, rebellion, inconstancy, confusion, daily sins and shortcomings; and without us, disappointment, fear of loneliness, loss of friends, loss of all which makes life worth having,—who are we that we should deny proudly one single tie which binds us to any other human being? ...
— Sermons for the Times • Charles Kingsley

... second. We determine the dates of those that have occurred in the early times of history, and find calculation and history in harmony. Anomalies and perturbations in the planets have been over and over again observed; but these, instead of demonstrating any inconstancy on the part of natural law, have invariably been reduced to consequences of that law. Instead of referring the perturbations of Uranus to any interference on the part of the Author of nature with the law of gravitation, the question which ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... marry?—should it be A dashing damsel, gay and pert, A pattern of inconstancy; Or selfish, mercenary flirt? Quoth Echo, ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... Euclid have been repelled by the Pons Asinorum, as by a lofty and precipitous rock, which no help of ladders could enable them to scale! THIS IS A HARD SAYING, they exclaim, AND WHO CAN RECEIVE IT. The child of inconstancy, who ended by wishing to be transformed into an ass, would perhaps never have given up the study of philosophy, if he had met him in friendly guise veiled under the cloak of pleasure; but anon, astonished by Crato's chair ...
— The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury • Richard de Bury

... with your absence, and from him I have gained that, during your captivity, you were much with Miss Montgomerie, (he pronounced the name with an involuntary shuddering), all I ask, therefore, is whether your wretchedness proceeds from the rejection of your suit, or from any levity or inconstancy you may ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... your apartments. I have left every thing to see you, to press you in my arms; .... you are not there! You are pursuing a circle of festivities through the cities. You go away from me at my approach; you trouble yourself no more about your dear Napoleon. A spleen has made you love him; inconstancy renders you indifferent. ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... would gain by settling it. Our kings, it is known, always spoke like Champlain on this point; and the conversion of the Indians was the chief motive which, more than once, prevented their abandoning a colony, the progress of which was so long retarded by our impatience, our inconstancy, and the blind cupidity of a few individuals. To give it a more solid foundation, it only required more respect for the suggestions of M. de Champlain, and more seasonable belief on the part of those who placed him in his position. The plan which he proposed was but ...
— The Makers of Canada: Champlain • N. E. Dionne

... Madame de La Valliere, as at last she quitted the court, "I will think of what those people have made me suffer." "The world itself makes us sick of the world," said Bossuet in the sermon he preached on the day of her taking the dress; "its attractions have enough of illusion, its favors enough of inconstancy, its rebuffs enough of bitterness, there is enough of injustice and perfidy in the dealings of men, enough of unevenness and capriciousness in their intractable and contradictory humors—there is enough of it all, without doubt, to disgust us." "She was dead ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume VI. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... from merely national limitations. To very few French novelists—to few even of those who are generally credited with a much softer mould and a much purer morality than Balzac is popularly supposed to have been able to boast—would inconstancy to a mistress have seemed a fault which could be reasonably punished, which could be even reasonably represented as having been punished in fact, by the refusal of an honest girl's love in the first place. Nor would many have conceived as possible, ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... inconstancy is such As you too shall adore; I could not love thee, dear, so much Loved I ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

... Her tenacity and reserve were ill matched with Fina's native inconstancy of purpose and childish incontinence of speech; her pride of race resented her father's adoption of a stranger into the penetralia of the family; and to share the name she had inherited from her mother with the daughter ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... and peace hath no charm for them. Counsels that are for their benefit please them not. They never acquire what they have not, nor succeed in retaining what they have. O king, there is no other end for such men save destruction. As milk is possible in kine, asceticism in Brahmanas, and inconstancy in women, so fear is possible from relatives. Numerous thin threads of equal length, collected together, are competent to bear, from the strength of numbers, the constant rolling of the shuttle-cock over them. The case is even so with relatives that are good. O bull of the Bharata race, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... Petersham, would set you down for a barbarian at once." "And who," said I, "is the amiable fair bending before the admiring Worter?" "An old and very dear acquaintance of the Earl of F-e, Mademoiselle Noblet, who, it is said, displays much cool philosophy at the inconstancy of her once enamoured swain, consoling herself for his loss, in the enjoyment of a splendid annuity." A host of other bewitching forms led my young fancy captive by turns, as my eye travelled round the magic circle of delight: some were, I found, of ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... called Amiraglio, who commands the Bucentaure on Ascension Day, when the Duke goes in state to marry the sea. And here we cannot but notice, that by a ridiculous custom this Admiral makes himself Responsible to the Senat for the inconstancy of the Sea, and engages his Life there shall be no Tempest that day. 'Tis this Admiral who has the Guard of the Palais, St. Mark, with his Arsenalotti, during the interregnum. He carries the Red Standard before the Prince when he makes his Entry, by virtue of which office ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... her from Edinburgh. The Cuif held forth upon the great event every night when he came over to hold the tails of Meg's cows. Jock Forrest still went out, saying nothing, whenever the Cuif came in, which the Cuif took to be a good sign. Only Ebie Fairrish, struck to the heart by the inconstancy of Jess, removed at the November term back again to the "laigh end" of the parish, and there plunged madly into flirtations with several of his old sweethearts. He is reported to have found in numbers the anodyne for the unfaithfulness of one. As for what Winsome thought ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... wife's death, the king found himself very much embarrassed in his finances till his good city of Paris came to his relief with a donation of twenty thousand livres. He had even sold his vessels of gold and silver, for the sum of two hundred thousand livres. Being thus relieved, with the inconstancy of men, he began to think of another wife, and in September, 1514, the magistrates of the city went out in state to meet the ambassadors of England who had arrived to negotiate a match with the Princess Mary, daughter of their sovereign. For this fickleness ...
— Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day; Volume 1 • William Walton

... necessarily occasion so great a transportation of the most bulky commodities, not only from one parish to another, but from one end of the kingdom, almost from one end of the world to the other, as would soon reduce them more nearly to a level. After all that has been said of the levity and inconstancy of human nature, it appears evidently from experience, that man is, of all sorts of luggage, the most difficult to be transported. If the labouring poor, therefore, can maintain their families in those parts of the kingdom where the price of labour ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... Hohenstiel-Schwangau—one of the rockiest and least attractive of all Browning's poems—had mystified most of its readers and been little relished by the rest. And now that plea for a discredited politician was followed up by what, on the face of it, was, as Mrs Orr puts it, "a defence of inconstancy in marriage." The apologist for Napoleon III. came forward as the advocate of Don Juan. The prefixed bit of dialogue from Moliere's play explains the situation. Juan, detected by his wife in an ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... I visited Madam Winthrop, who Treated me Courteously, but not in Clean Linen as somtimes. She said, she did not know whether I would come again, or no. I ask'd her how she could so impute inconstancy to me. (I had not visited her since Wednesday night being unable to get over the Indisposition received by the Treatment received that night, and I must in it seem'd to sound like a made piece of Formality.) Gave her this day's Gazett. ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) - America - I • Various

... surnamed the Apostate, rebelled against Constantius, his cousin-german, in the spring, in 360, and by his death, in November, 361, obtained the empire. He was one of the most infamous dissemblers that ever lived. Craft, levity, inconstancy, falsehood, want of judgment, and an excessive vanity, discovered themselves in all his actions, and appear in his writings, namely, his epistles, his satire called Misopogon, and his lives of the Caesars. He wrote the last work to censure ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... opposition at her black nurse's hand and I near a man grown, and though I had naught to hope for save a fleeting grasp of her rosy fingers and a wavering smile from her sweet lips and eyes, ere she flung the offering away with innocent inconstancy. ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... conduct is pointed out to me by duty; yet of all the regrets I feel not one is so poignant as the consciousness of that which you will feel at learning that I have forever resigned the claims you so lately gave me to your heart and hand. It was not weakness—it could not be inconstancy—that produced the painful sacrifice of a distinction still more gratifying to my heart than flattering ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... been drawn away from his plain consort by a plainer mistress, Arabella Churchill. His second wife, though twenty years younger than himself, and of no unpleasing face or figure, had frequent reason to complain of his inconstancy. But of all his illicit attachments the strongest was that which ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... constancy enough to finish a game at ball, but would ever throw his racquet down ere the winning point was scored. His plans were like a weather-vane, altered by every breeze. He was constant only in his inconstancy. It is true that he led the King's troops in Scotland, but all men knew that Claverhouse and Dalzell were the real conquerors at Bothwell Bridge. Methinks he resembles that Brutus in Roman history who feigned weakness of mind as a cover to ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... only occasional defect, which I appear to myself to find in these poems is the inconstancy of the style. Under this name I refer to the sudden and unprepared transitions from lines or sentences of peculiar felicity—(at all events striking and original)—to a style, not only unimpassioned but undistinguished. He sinks ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... used art in his management of Vivian's mind, he might have been suspected of using it in favour of Miss Sidney at this instant; for this prophecy of Vivian's inconstancy was the most likely means to prevent its accomplishment. Frequently, in the course of their tour, when Vivian was in any situation where his constancy was tempted, he recollected Russell's prediction, and was proud to remind ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. V - Tales of a Fashionable Life • Maria Edgeworth

... inconstancy was of the most dangerous kind. With the exception of some of her old friends, to whom she had good reasons for remaining faithful, she favoured people one moment only to cast them off the next. You were admitted to an ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... believe, if I gave you his measure, and so old that his birthday was lost in the mists of antiquity. Boxer, feeling that his attentions were due to the family in general, and must be impartially distributed, dashed in and out with bewildering inconstancy; now describing a circle of short barks round the horse, where he was being rubbed down at the stable door; now feigning to make savage rushes at his mistress, and facetiously bringing himself to sudden stops; now eliciting a shriek from Tilly Slowboy, in the low nursing-chair near the fire, ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... with distinction. In the event of a rupture between their country and Rome, they had little to fear. Rome found her advantage in employing them as rivals to a monarch with whom she had quarrelled, and did not think it necessary to punish them for his treachery or inconstancy. ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 6. (of 7): Parthia • George Rawlinson

... own opinions, delivered under his own hand. He knows that he and the record cannot exist together. He knows that what remains of the written constitution which he has not destroyed is enough to destroy him. He claims a privilege of systematic inconstancy, a privilege of prevarication, a privilege of contradiction,—a privilege of not only changing his conduct, but the principles of his conduct, whenever it suits his occasions. But I hope your Lordships will show the destroyers of that wise constitution, ...
— The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... unlimited complaisance with which I passively humoured every caprice of pleasure, and which had won upon him so greatly, that finding, as he said, all that variety in me alone, which he had sought for in a number of women, I had made him lose his taste for inconstancy, and new faces. But what was yet at least agreeable, as well as more nattering, the love I had inspired him with, bred a deference to me, that was of great service to his health: for having by degrees, and with much pathetic representations brought him to some husbandry of it, ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... remarkable Cornish tale of a nymph or mermaiden, who thus vanished, leaving a daughter who loved to linger on the beach rather than sport with other children. By and by she had a lover, but no sooner did he show tokens of inconstancy, than the mother came up from the sea and put him to death, when the daughter pined away and died. Her name was Selina, which gives the tale a modern aspect, and makes us wonder if the old tradition can have been modified by some report ...
— Undine - I • Friedrich de la Motte Fouque

... But constant, he were perfect. That one error Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins: Inconstancy falls off ere it begins. Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... of familiar as well as political correspondence. No public character probably could pass unscathed through the fiery ordeal to which he has thus subjected himself. Cicero, it must be avowed, is convicted from his own mouth of vanity, inconstancy, sordidness, jealousy, malice, selfishness, and timidity. But on the other hand no character, public or private, could thus bare its workings to our view without laying a stronger claim to our sympathy, and ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... universality of the kind, not in itself doth abide: Man a long line of years hath continued, This man every hundred is swept away. This globe environed with air is the sole region of Death, the grave where everything that taketh life must rot, the stage of fortune and change, only glorious in the inconstancy and varying alterations of it, which though many, seem yet to abide one, and being a certain entire one, are ever many. The never agreeing bodies of the elemental brethren turn one into another; the earth changeth her countenance with the seasons, ...
— A Book of English Prose - Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools • Percy Lubbock

... wretch John, he was the Inconstancy," observed the eldest Miss Simper, "marrying for money!—the creature!—such baseness 1 but how delightfully that dear, clever Mr. Lawless acted; he made love with such naive simplicity, ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... woman! O feminine inconstancy! That is the only allusion I shall permit to escape me on the subject of Eva Eversleigh's ...
— Not George Washington - An Autobiographical Novel • P. G. Wodehouse

... Grant observes: "Love, undiminished by any rival passion, and cherished by innocence and candor, was here fixed by the power of early habit, and strengthened by similarity of education, tastes, and attachments. Inconstancy, or even indifference among married couples, was unheard of, even where there happened to be a considerable disparity in point of intellect. The extreme affection they bore to their mutual offspring was a bond that forever endeared them to each other. Marriage ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... chances he did. Most confirmed gamblers, however, remain gamblers. The lure of excitement is more potent to such men than a wife whose charm has gone, through familiarity, through time itself, through the inconstancy of passion and love. The gambler usually knows no duty; he is kind and generous but only to please himself. He is easily bored and his sympathies rarely stand the disagreeable long; he ...
— The Nervous Housewife • Abraham Myerson

... circumstances he considers to be: "First, the agreeableness or disagreeableness of the employments themselves; secondly, the easiness and cheapness, or the difficulty and expense of learning them; thirdly, the constancy or inconstancy of employment in them; fourthly, the small or great trust which must be reposed in those who exercise them; and, fifthly, the probability or improbability ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... first; for though you never told me why your engagement to her was so abruptly broken off, I could not but think she was in some manner to blame, since I knew you too well, my darling boy, to believe you capable of inconstancy or unkindness. I thought, therefore, that her visit was very ill-timed, and I let her see that my feelings towards her ...
— Henry Dunbar - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... and did longer last: Already this hot cock in bush and tree, In field and tent, o'erflutters his next hen: He asks her not who did so taste, nor when; Nor if his sister or his niece she be, Nor doth she pule for his inconstancy If in her sight he change; nor doth refuse The next that calls; both liberty do use. Where store is of both kinds, both kinds may ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan



Words linked to "Inconstancy" :   unpredictability, infidelity, changeableness, fickleness, constancy, faithlessness, changefulness, inconstant, changeability, unfaithfulness



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