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Impotent   /ˈɪmpətənt/   Listen
Impotent

adjective
1.
Lacking power or ability.  "Felt impotent rage"
2.
(of a male) unable to copulate.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Impotent" Quotes from Famous Books



... having expended her breath and exhausted her epithets, was fain to pause a moment, though both her fists were shaken in the prisoner's face, and the whole of her wrinkled countenance was filled with fierce resentment. Deerslayer looked upon these impotent attempts to arouse him as indifferently as a gentleman in our own state of society regards the vituperative terms of a blackguard: the one party feeling that the tongue of an old woman could never injure a warrior, and the other knowing that mendacity and ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... that Mrs. Kerr the departed could have given her young daughter-in-law a few wrinkles had she met her—wrinkles of the most unprofitable kind upon her fair face; but as it was, Mrs. Kerr senior lay quietly afar off from No. 30 Welham Mansions, impotent to reform, and Osborn lay thinking his thoughts in silence while Marie, having dressed to petticoat and camisole, wreathed up ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... was also gnawing at the heart of Napoleon. Who has yet fathomed the mystery of human love! Intensest love and intensest hate can, at the same moment, intertwine their fibres in inextricable blending. In nothing is the will so impotent as in guiding or checking the impulses of this omnipotent passion. Napoleon loved Josephine with that almost superhuman energy which characterized all the movements of his impetuous spirit. The stream did not fret and ripple over a shallow bed, but it was serene ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... listening. He wished to believe the whole fantastic story an invention of the keen-eyed old madame herself. Yet something within him confessed to its truth. A tumultuous storm of baffled desire, of impotent anger, swept over him. The ring he wore burned into his flesh. But he had no thought of removing it—the ring which had once belonged to the beautiful golden-haired woman who had come back from the grave to ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... argument, Nash, Thorpe, or Blount, whose 'familiar' is declared to have been no less a personage than Marlowe, has as good a claim as Chapman to be the rival poet of Shakespeare's sonnets. A second and equally impotent argument in Chapman's favour has been suggested. Chapman in the preface to his translation of the Iliads (1611 ) denounces without mentioning any name 'a certain envious windsucker that hovers up and down, laboriously engrossing all the air with his luxurious ambition, ...
— A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles • Sidney Lee

... from their windows, gazed on the huge watery masses breaking beneath their eyes, they could not but admire the magnificent spectacle of the ocean in its impotent fury. The waves rebounded in dazzling foam, the beach entirely disapppearing under the raging flood, and the cliff appearing to emerge from the sea itself, the spray rising to a height of more than a ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... on, "hitherto the police have remained impotent, and justice has been disarmed, in presence of a number of serious cases of crime, committed recently and still unsolved. Let me recall these cases to your memory: they were the murder of the Marquise de Langrune at her chateau of Beaulieu; the robberies from Mme. Van den ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... soul-confusing labyrinths of speculative radicalism." The radicalism that we hear much about today, is not Emerson's kind—but of thinner fiber—it qualifies itself by going to A "root" and often cutting other roots in the process; it is usually impotent as dynamite in its cause and sometimes as harmful to the wholesome progress of all causes; it is qualified by its failure. But the Radicalism of Emerson plunges to all roots, it becomes greater than itself—greater than all its formal or informal ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns, we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts will be forever vain and impotent—doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to over run them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... a great horse; to arm and prepare ourselves to go with Mars and Bellona into the field was our sport and pastime; coaches and caroches we left unto them for whom they were first invented, for ladies and gentlemen, and decrepit age and impotent people." ...
— Bracebridge Hall • Washington Irving

... leading actors in this political drama. Behind the lines, in the "offing," was the Insurgent Group, young men like Mark Sullivan and John Treacy of Hudson, stout defenders of the liberal wing in the Convention, feeling sullen, beaten, and hopelessly impotent against the mass attack of the machine forces. What a political medley was present in this convention—plebeian and patrician, machine man and political idealist—all gathered together and fighting as leading characters ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... is to say, exactly two years before Joan of Arc was born in Domremy. My family had fled to those distant regions from the neighborhood of Paris in the first years of the century. In politics they were Armagnacs—patriots; they were for our own French King, crazy and impotent as he was. The Burgundian party, who were for the English, had stripped them, and done it well. They took everything but my father's small nobility, and when he reached Neufchateau he reached it in poverty and with a broken spirit. But the political atmosphere there was ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Volume 1 (of 2) • Mark Twain

... his boss. And when they had passed, the tent began to belch forth men who walked with heads and shoulders a little bent, talking together under their breaths of this man who dared defy the Committee to its face, and whose daring was as impotent as the breeze that still pulled at the flapping corner of the cloth sign over the door of ...
— The Gringos • B. M. Bower

... . . I can see how naturally you spoke of Jeff. Davis as you did, and you did not say a word more than he deserved. Still, he scarcely deserves to be brought into notice. He was not only a conspirator, but a traitor. His reply was a specimen of impotent rage. It is scarcely worth your notice, nor should you dignify it by a direct rejoinder. A clear, strong statement of the historical facts that justified the use of the word 'conspirator,' which you know very well how to write, is all the notice required. Do not attempt to fortify it by an ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... less than that of his ill-fated rival, knowing nothing of the tragedy, hearing nothing of the screams of warning from the crowd, came another racer. The frightened throng saw the coming of a second tragedy. The sound that came from the crowd was a low moaning, a sighing, impotent, unconscious prayer of the thousands for the mercy that could not come. The second motorcycle struck the wreck, leaped into the air, and the body of its rider shot fifty feet over the handlebars and fell at the bottom of ...
— Psychology and Achievement • Warren Hilton

... attack, and suddenly throwing his vigorous arms about the body of his adversary, compelled him to struggle for his own safety. It was then that he uttered cries more dreadful than before; and as he writhed about in all the agitations of pain and madness, he gnashed his terrible teeth with impotent attempts to bite, while the blood and foam which issued from his jaws rendered his figure still more horrible than before. But Sophron, with undaunted courage, still maintained his hold, and grasping him with irresistible strength, prevented him from using either his teeth or claws ...
— The History of Sandford and Merton • Thomas Day

... fall. Bubble-characters have burst, and high-sounding phrases have been exploded. Men whose education and antecedents should have made them brave and true, have shown themselves false and cowardly—impotent for good, and active only for evil. Unconsidered nobodies have meanwhile sprung forth from the mass of the people, and equally astonished themselves and others by the power, wisdom and courage they have displayed. ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... both belligerents, should dream of entering the lists with either singly, was perhaps hopeless; but through the indifference of Congress the navy of a people, then second only to the English as maritime carriers, was left so utterly impotent that it counted for naught, even as an additional embarrassment to those with which the contending powers were already weighted. When, therefore, in retaliation for the seizures made under the French decree of January, 1798, Congress, ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... they lay in the suffocating ward. What was possible with wet sheets and small pieces of ice was done, but it was a wretched business, and those who were in Basra at that time and saw those spectacles will never forget them; nor will they forget the silent, impotent rage that filled the mind at the thought of the giant-bodied, small-headed Colossus of war which makes a useless sacrifice of men in ways such as these every day. But it had one useful effect, perhaps. A really Zoroastrian reverence for the sun came after seeing a case, ...
— In Mesopotamia • Martin Swayne

... field the arrows of the natives were quite impotent. A bullet could strike the heart at twice or three times the distance at which an arrow could be thrown. The Spaniards, hotly pursued, retreated from this broken ground several miles back into the open plain. Many were slain. Here the rout was arrested by the cavalry ...
— Ferdinand De Soto, The Discoverer of the Mississippi - American Pioneers and Patriots • John S. C. Abbott

... her was to employ a detective to track her down. He clenched his hands in impotent revolt. Not only had it been laid upon him to betray her confidence, but he must follow this up by dragging her from her hiding-place, and returning her to the bitter bondage from which he had once helped her ...
— The Tidal Wave and Other Stories • Ethel May Dell

... strike everybody as a strong argument in favour of the measure, and they know not by how many and by whom his example may be followed. The Orangemen are moving heaven and earth to create disturbances, and their impotent fury shows how low their cause is sunk. The Catholics, on the contrary, are temperate and calm, from confidence in their strength and the progressive advance of their course. But although I think the Catholics are now in a position ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... in a fit of impotent rage, made a dash to reach the fireplace, but his feet were hampered by the ulster, and he would have fallen heavily had not the doctor caught him in ...
— The Bag of Diamonds • George Manville Fenn

... mastered a noble spirit. All Malcolm could afterwards remember was that he came to himself dealing Liftore merciless blows, his foot on his back, and his weapon the earl's whip. His lordship, struggling to rise, turned up a face white with hate and impotent fury. ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... to flight, rarely waiting for the attack with swords: some of the wounded, in whose bodies the arrows from the cross-bows had penetrated to the very feather, drew them out with their hands, broke them with their teeth, and hurling them at the Spaniards with impotent fury, fell dead ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... was little more than a baby in the horse foreman's muscular grip. Tripped, with a heel behind his calf, he fell heavily, Lee upon him. Both arms were pinioned behind him, and Lee's neckerchief thrust into his mouth. He writhed in impotent rage. His outcries died in his throat, the loudest of them not reaching Marcia's ears above the creaking of her rocking-chair. Lee still held Hampton's tied hands gripped in his own. So the two men went out the back ...
— Judith of Blue Lake Ranch • Jackson Gregory

... vain to attempt in words a description of scenes of grandeur. Ink, at the best, is impotent in such matters; even paint fails to give an adequate idea. We can do no more than run over a list of names. From this commanding point of view Mont Blanc is visible in all his majesty—vast, boundless, solemn, incomprehensible—with ...
— Rivers of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... dark passage shun —, plain Communion sweet, quaff Companions, I have had Comparisons are odorous —are odious Compass, a narrow Compulsion, give you a reason on Concealment, like a worm in the bud Conceals, the maid who modestly Conceits, be not wise in your own Conclusion, most lame and impotent —, denoted a foregone Concord of sweet sounds Confirmations strong Conflict, dire was the noise of Conclusion, worse confounded Congregate, merchants most do Conjectures. I am weary of Conquer love, they, that run away Conquerors, a lean fellow beats all Conscience with ...
— Familiar Quotations • Various

... the sea, a stone sepulchre for the living dead, buried like a toad in a hole left by the running lava of life, guarded, watched, tortured in body and soul—a figure of tremendous tragedy, the hapless man once worshipped by the people spreading impotent hands to the outer world, until madness comes to his relief and suicide helps him to escape into eternity and leave only his wasted body ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... dispersed and we were absent—you could turn back to the Government of iniquity without reflecting that Divine Providence could permit, in the hour of great injustice, her emissary Don Emilio Aguinaldo to return resolved to chastise energetically the immoral and impotent Spanish Government. ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... body was water and then was flame; Till of a sudden, turning, he gripped an aito hard, A youth that stood with his omare,[8] one of the daily guard, And spat in his ear a command, and pointed and uttered a name, And hid in the shade of the house his impotent anger ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 14 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... contrary, all oppressors, all men thinking highly of the methods dictated by their nature, attribute the frustration of their desires to the want of sufficient rigor. Then they redouble the efforts of their impotent cruelty, which producing, as they must ever produce, new disappointments, they grow irritated against the objects of their rapacity; and then rage, fury, and malice, implacable because unprovoked, recruiting and reinforcing their avarice, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. X. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... went on, the tough and rough old sinner felt himself drawn to the son of his loins and sole continuator of his new family, with softnesses of sentiment that he could hardly credit and was wholly impotent to express. With a face, voice, and manner trained through forty years to terrify and repel, Rhadamanthus may be great, but he will scarce be engaging. It is a fact that he tried to propitiate Archie, but a fact that cannot be too lightly taken; the attempt was so ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... is not wholly irresponsive to the behests of the soul. While in the course of physical evolution many important functions have undergone remarkable changes, and organs, once active and useful, have become stunted, impotent, and in some cases extinct, yet on the other hand we see that seeds which have lain dormant in arid soil for hundreds of years can spring into leaf and flower under the influence of a ...
— Second Sight - A study of Natural and Induced Clairvoyance • Sepharial

... establishment of a 'good system of public education.'[383] He seems to have become more sentimental in later years. In the edition of 1843 he approves the Factory Acts, remarking that the last then passed 'may not, in some respects, have gone far enough.'[384] He approves a provision for the 'impotent poor,' on the principle of the Elizabethan act, though he disapproves the centralising tendency of the new poor-law. Though he is a good Malthusian,[385] and holds the instinct of population to be a 'constant quantity,'[386] he does not believe in the impossibility of improvement. ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... country dweller from the usual source of supplies. Before the days of the automobile, one could travel roads several feet deep in snow with horse and sleigh. An automobile has its limits and is more or less impotent in more than two feet of snow on a road unbroken by a powerful plow. So, if the oldest inhabitants can remember the winter of 18— "when we had snow to the top of the fence posts," it is a wise precaution to have an emergency supply of canned foods on hand. In February, 1934, we were snowbound ...
— If You're Going to Live in the Country • Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley

... trouble—your feeling of horror at what you regard as sacrilege; for we Rebu hold the life of one animal no more sacred than the life of another, and have no more hesitation in shooting a cat than a deer. Surely your gods cannot be so powerful in Egypt and impotent elsewhere; and yet if they are as powerful, how is it that their vengeance has not fallen upon other peoples who slay without hesitation the ...
— The Cat of Bubastes - A Tale of Ancient Egypt • G. A. Henty

... Foch in the center an offensive so violent that the center would be pierced and the French armies cut in two. If this attack succeeded it would free at once the German right and separate into two impotent parts the entire French military force. During the 7th, 8th, and 9th of September the Imperial Prussian Guard directed to the compassing of that end all its energy and courage. All in vain. General Foch not only checked the German onslaught, but drove it back. ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of 12) - The War Begins, Invasion of Belgium, Battle of the Marne • Francis J. Reynolds, Allen L. Churchill, and Francis Trevelyan

... Ben, stamping his impotent fury, "'tis him—'tis him! The Judas Iscariot, and he's left us to die so that ...
— Heralds of Empire - Being the Story of One Ramsay Stanhope, Lieutenant to Pierre Radisson in the Northern Fur Trade • Agnes C. Laut

... half-way to the sloop. Sharkey dwelt long upon his aim before he fired. With the crack of the gun the swimmer reared himself up in the water, waved his hands in a gesture of warning, and roared out in a voice which rang over the bay. Then, as the sloop swung round her head-sails, and the pirate fired an impotent broadside, Stephen Craddock, smiling grimly in his death agony, sank slowly down to that golden couch which glimmered far ...
— The Green Flag • Arthur Conan Doyle

... By that time a thousand shanty-boaters had heard about that girl's one shot of deadly accuracy. The woman folks on a thousand miles of reach and bend had had a bad example set before them. Doss himself felt an anger which was impotent against the woman who had shot Jest Prebold down. Probably other women would take to shooting, right off the bat, the same way. He despised ...
— The River Prophet • Raymond S. Spears

... furnace mouth drew near the monarch with his train— The baffled monarch, bowed and quelled, feeling how poor and vain Were all his boasted pomp and power, how impotent and Week The arm so void of strength that hour his ...
— Poems of the Heart and Home • Mrs. J.C. Yule (Pamela S. Vining)

... mentioned her brother. "Poor Ed," she said in a low voice. She went over to the man, leaning over him and smoothing back the hair from his forehead, Hollis looking glumly on, clenching his teeth in impotent sympathy. ...
— The Coming of the Law • Charles Alden Seltzer

... emphasized the possibility that democracy may govern badly and oppressively; Maine has warned us that the dominance of the commonalty may end in the triumph of the mediocre, and a more than Chinese stagnation; Carlyle has denounced democracy as powerful for destruction, but impotent for building up, as helpless in the face of great emergencies, as incapable of choosing good leaders; Lecky has demonstrated the danger of the corruption of the democracy by evil politicians; Belloc ...
— Freedom In Service - Six Essays on Matters Concerning Britain's Safety and Good Government • Fossey John Cobb Hearnshaw

... scenes she had lately gone through, they were now so shattered that she was unable to rally. The doctor kept her in bed at first, recommended absolute quiet, and exhausted his formula with as beneficial a result as could be expected considering it attacked the secondary cause only, and was impotent to heal the suffering mind reacting upon the body. Bluebell continued in a torpid condition, scarcely giving any signs of life. One day, Mrs. Markham, who nursed her with unremitting zeal, quickened, perhaps, by the ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... bring good testimony of their good behaviour and soundness in religion, and such as had been servants to the king's Majesty, either decrepit or old; captains either at sea or land; soldiers maimed or impotent; decayed merchants; men fallen into decay through shipwreck, casualty of fire, or such evil accident; those that had been captives ...
— Memorials of Old London - Volume I • Various

... breathing-places, at which the mind should be permitted to recover from its perturbation or astonishment: but, where it has been summoned upon a false alarm, and disturbed in the orderly course of its attention, by an impotent attempt at elevation, the consequences are still more disastrous. There is nothing so ridiculous (at least for a poet) as to fail in great attempts. If the reader foresaw the failure, he may receive some degree of mischievous ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... times, is this our coming in. More than one man has consumed his life in a flame of activity because he could not abide the coming in. 'The Lord shall keep ... thy coming in.' That means help for every lonely, impotent, inward ...
— The Threshold Grace • Percy C. Ainsworth

... flesh of the man he hated, tearing its way through the stiff collar, felt the demoniacal strength shooting down his arm, the fever at his finger tips. He saw the terrified face of his victim, a strong man but impotent in his grasp; heard the splash of the turgid waters; saw himself, his lust for vengeance unsatisfied, peering downwards through the dim and murky gloom. It was not only a physical nightmare which seized him. His brain, too, was his accuser. He saw with a hideous ...
— The Cinema Murder • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... northern France, are not matter of controversy; they have been proved by many extant military documents and by the testimony of many living witnesses. They were designed to reduce whole peoples to a state of impotent terror, beneath the level of humanity. The apology made for them, that by shortening resistance to the inevitable they were in effect merciful, is a blasphemous apology, which puts Germany in the place of the Almighty. The effect anticipated did not follow. The system of terrorism ...
— The War in the Air; Vol. 1 - The Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force • Walter Raleigh

... Her eyes narrowed to slits and stabbed me with their spite. Her dark face grew turgid with impotent anger. As I stood there she was like to have killed me. Then like a flash her expression changed. With a dirty bejewelled hand she smoothed her tousled hair. Her coarse white teeth gleamed in a gold-capped smile. There was honey in ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... the Greek tragedies. Stephen von Hellmuth's work was one of those astounding Graeco-German plays in which Ibsen, Homer, and Oscar Wilde are compounded—and, of course, a few manuals of archeology. Agamemnon was neurasthenic and Achilles impotent: they lamented their condition at length, and naturally their outcries produced no change. The energy of the drama was concentrated in the role of Iphigenia—a nervous, hysterical, and pedantic Iphigenia, who lectured the hero, declaimed furiously, laid ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... handkerchiefs, relaxed their enmities in a common rush for the projecting ladder behind the dray and collided with Zussmann on the way. A one-legged, misery-eyed hunchback offered him penny diaries. He shook his head in impotent pity, and passed ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... GREATNESS: he had himself indeed modestly declined the public honour she intended him, and had taken a quantity of laudanum, in order to retire quietly off the stage; but we have already observed, in the course of our wonderful history, that to struggle against this lady's decrees is vain and impotent; and whether she hath determined you shall be hanged or be a prime minister, it is in either case lost labour to resist. Laudanum, therefore, being unable to stop the breath of our hero, which the fruit ...
— The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great • Henry Fielding

... position and renown which that measure brought you, I should have done you yeoman's service as your associate. However, that perpetual enemy of his own friends, who, in spite of having been honoured with the highest compliments on your part, has selected you of all people for the object of his impotent and enfeebled violence, has saved me the trouble by punishing himself. For he has made attempts, the disclosure of which has left him without a shred, not only of political position, but every of freedom of action. And though I should have preferred that ...
— Letters of Cicero • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... My arm is impotent; what worth to trim The bending sails! Look, I shall quaff a cup To Fate, while the wild ocean swallows up The shipwrecked youth, the man who lives ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... hideously as it struck at the antelope, and then strove to get free from the horns which the swart vitpense dragged out, and then stood up shivering by its assailant, which, far from thinking of attacking again, lay upon its side, biting the grass and tearing at the ground in its impotent fury. ...
— Off to the Wilds - Being the Adventures of Two Brothers • George Manville Fenn

... "is enthusiasm, but not enthusiasm in a straight line. We are impotent in directing it, like a boy with a toy engine. How carefully the child sets it off, how soon it goes off the rails! So youth is wrecked. The slightest obstacle sends it off at a tangent. The vital force expended in a wrong direction does evil instead of good. You know the story of Atalanta. ...
— Better Dead • J. M. Barrie

... here and there, possessed by impotent rage. The wheat was gone! That fact gave him a hollow, sickening pang. He met farmers he knew. They all threw up their hands at sight of him. Not one could find a voice. Finally he met Olsen. The little wheat farmer was white with passion. ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... Leghorne and Smirna, Madam, instead of France and Italy, where I had like to have had a Scimiter in my Guts, by an impotent old Turk, that spy'd me glancing at his Wife, when he had a hundred and fifty besides, and was past the use of one ...
— The Fine Lady's Airs (1709) • Thomas Baker

... glittering visions. What was he, after all? This future conqueror was a young officer on leave, obscure except in his immediate circle, with no inheritance, and very much in debt; awaited with anxiety by his affectionate parents, and a young lady whom he was about to marry for her fortune! Most impotent epilogue ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... thousand-handed goddess sits, serene and merciless, in the midst of her worshipers, like a Hindoo idol. Her skirts are wet with blood; her creation is based on destruction; her lives live only by murder. The cruel images of the pagan are truer delineations of Nature than the figures which typify the impotent charity of Christendom—an exotic in the midst ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... of the Hebrew boys, whom Satan would have killed; and that boy became the great leader and deliverer of Israel. All the persecutions of the people Israel in Egypt were Satan's work. When at last they had left the house of bondage, Satan in impotent rage stirred up Pharaoh to attempt their destruction; but Pharaoh and his army found their graves in the ...
— Studies in Prophecy • Arno C. Gaebelein

... a strong one, but Torbert ought to have made a fight. Had he been defeated in this, his withdrawal then to await the result at Fisher's Hill would have been justified, but it does not appear that he made any serious effort of all to dislodge the Confederate cavalry: his impotent attempt not only chagrined me very much, but occasioned much unfavorable ...
— The Memoirs of General Philip H. Sheridan, Vol. II., Part 4 • P. H. Sheridan

... than "god" or "spirit" may express that with which the partaker in the communal feast originally sought contact. "When you sacrifice," to quote some words of Miss Jane Harrison, "you build as it were a bridge between your mana, your will, your desire, which is weak and impotent, and |177| that unseen outside mana which you believe to be strong and efficacious. In the fruits of the earth which grow by some unseen power there is much mana; you want that mana. In the loud-roaring bull and the thunder is ...
— Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan • Clement A. Miles

... the fight-wonted Harald rode the sea-steed from the south In the shape of Faxe, The slayer of Vandals as wax became altogether as impotent. Birger by guardian sprites outcast in mare's shape met him As all men ...
— The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) • Snorri Sturluson

... the noose, and was wriggling out of it. He had freed one foot before the Indian had recovered himself. Then with a terrific yank the horseman snapped in the slack, the cowman's feet flew from under him, and with one foot taut in the air, caught at the ankle, he lay cursing and shaking an impotent fist. ...
— The Young Railroaders - Tales of Adventure and Ingenuity • Francis Lovell Coombs

... useful and fleckless. Hedda Gabler is painted as Mr. Sargent might paint a lady of the London fashionable world; his brush would divine and emphasize, as Ibsen's pen does, the disorder of her nerves, and the ravaging concentration of her will in a sort of barren and impotent egotism, while doing justice to the superficial attractiveness of her cultivated physical beauty. He would show, as Ibsen shows, and with an equal lack of malice prepense, various detestable features which the mask of good ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... in that power which, as I pointed out, has sometimes been so potent and sometimes so impotent, but which, if it is allowed its proper scope, can never fail. I ...
— The War and Unity - Being Lectures Delivered At The Local Lectures Summer - Meeting Of The University Of Cambridge, 1918 • Various

... off from her penetrating bows like a spent wave. But baffled though she was for the moment, Georgie had been aware that Mrs Quantock seethed with revolutionary ideas: she deeply resented this confiscation of what was certainly her property, though she was impotent to stop it, and Georgie knew just what she felt. It was all very well to say that Lucia's schemes were entirely in accord with the purposes of the Guides. That might be so, but Mrs Quantock would not cease to think that ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... great effort of will, she controlled herself, but the impulse yet remained—a striving, clamouring force, impotent but insistent. ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... lame and impotent conclusion, and did not commend the support or even the respect of the Senate. Mr. Thurman, a member of the committee that reported it, made haste to announce that he had not approved it. He treated the ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... considerable army as general of the Church, and was now acting for Venice. Why he effected no diversion while the Imperial troops were marching upon Rome, and why he delayed to relieve the city, was never properly explained. Folk attributed his impotent conduct partly to a natural sluggishness in warfare, and partly to his hatred for the house of Medici. Leo X had deprived him of his dukedom, and given it to a Medicean prince. It is to this ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... broken down. A woman had found her way in between the joints of an armour which he had grown to believe impenetrable, and henceforth life was a wreck. The old, quiet stoicism, which had been the inner stimulus of his career, was a thing altogether overthrown and impotent. He was too old to reconstruct life anew; the fragments were too many, and the wreck too complete. Only his philosophy showed him very plainly what the end must be. Across the sky of his vision it seemed to be written in ...
— Berenice • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... heavens! Is that Mrs. Roberts's idea of preparing my son? And his poor young wife!' He addresses his demand to Mrs. Crashaw, who lifts the hands of impotent despair. ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... your luck to be left in the ruck, and of fame you're an impotent seeker, If you fruitlessly aim at a Senate's acclaim when you can't catch the eye of the Speaker, If whenever you rise you observe with surprise that the House is perceptibly thinner, And your eloquent pleas are a ...
— Lyra Frivola • A. D. Godley

... with something that had not been there before, his impotent love. Hilda knelt down beside the bed and pressed her forehead against the hand upon the covering, the hand that had so little more to do. ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... similar but milder strain, in Faneuil Hall. Mr. Webster's attitude was not unlike that of Hamilton when he published his celebrated attack on Adams, which ended by advising all men to vote for that objectionable man. The conclusion was a little impotent in both instances, but in Mr. Webster's case the results were better. The politicians and lovers of availability had judged wisely, and Taylor was ...
— Daniel Webster • Henry Cabot Lodge

... Protestantism has never been stained by such a crime. I mention it to invoke gratitude that such a misguided zeal has passed away and is never likely to return. Catholic historians do not pretend to deny the horrid facts, but ascribe the massacre to political animosities rather than religious,—a lame and impotent defence of their persecuting Church in the ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VIII • John Lord

... even walk. She looked at them for a moment, as she passed, with a sort of well-bred surprise in her air, as though she marvelled to see them there; her black dress touched Laddie, and he caught at it with an impotent bark. ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... struck with horror at the description I had given him of those terrible engines, and the proposal I had made. He was amazed, how so impotent and grovelling an insect as I (these were his expressions), could entertain such inhuman ideas, and in so familiar a manner, as to appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation, which I had painted, as the common effects ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... heaped up the earth over him by gramarye to the end that the unfortunate might perish, reflecting that "The live man hath no murtherer."[FN99] Secondly, he did so with the design that, as Alaeddin could not come forth from underground, he would also be impotent to bring out the Lamp from the souterrain. So presently he wended his ways and retired to his own land, Africa, a sadder man and disappointed of all his expectations. Such was the case with the Wizard; but as regards Alaeddin when the earth ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... were to be classed under four heads, namely: (1) Those who were destitute, helpless or impotent; (2) Destitute able-bodied persons not holding land; (3) Destitute able-bodied persons who were holders of small portions of land; (4) The able-bodied employed at wages insufficient for their support, when the price of ...
— The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) - With Notices Of Earlier Irish Famines • John O'Rourke

... to do with my present point. What I am saying is that, unless you erect that structure of a faith which is an act of your will and of your whole nature, and not the mere assent of your understanding, upon your belief, your belief is impotent, and is of no use at all, and you might as well not ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... need he—together with this sting of passion—have felt also this impotent and angry despair? Before his eyes had seen that figure lying on the straw of Mrs. Ginnell's outhouse, could he ever have dreamed it possible that ...
— Lady Merton, Colonist • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... shows at this point a great inferiority to natural reproduction, since its product is dead. Fine art shapes inert matter and peoples the mind with impotent ghosts. What influence it has—for every event has consequences—is not pertinent to its inspiration. The art of the past is powerless even to create similar art in the present, unless similar conditions recur independently. The moments snatched for art ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... made up of so many parts, each of which separately might have been powerful and highly considered, was impotent to a degree which moved at once pity and laughter. Already one most remarkable experiment had been tried on this strange empire. A small fragment, hardly a three hundredth part of the whole in extent, hardly a thirtieth part of the whole in population, had been detached from the rest, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... them. They will see that if there is anything at the back of this vast process, with a consciousness and a purpose in any way resembling our own—a being who knows what he wants and is doing his best to get it—he is instead of a holy and all-wise God, a scatter-brained, semi-powerful, semi-impotent monster. They will recognise as clearly as they ever did the old familiar facts which seemed to them evidences of God's wisdom, love, and goodness; but they will find that these facts, when taken in connection with the others, only supply us with a standard ...
— Theism or Atheism - The Great Alternative • Chapman Cohen

... religion are scattered to the winds. The liberalism for the sake of which they were willing to eviscerate their Christianity has already lost its vitality; it survives as a pale parliamentary tradition, impotent before the tide of socialism rising behind its back. The Catholicism which they wished to see gently lingering is being driven out of national life by official spoliations and popular mockeries. It is fast becoming what it was in the beginning, a sect with more or ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... in overcoming the enemies Of his system, can hardly doubt his courage. Calumny or error has thrown an unmerited disgrace over his last wretched days. He has been supposed to have wounded himself in an impotent attempt to put an end to his life. It has been ascertained that such was not the fact, the pistol by which he was wounded having been fired by one of the soldiers by whom he was arrested. He is stated also to have wanted that firmness in death which so many of his ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... a remarkably accurate kick under the official coat-tails, picked the deputy up bodily and hurled him in a heap in the same corner where T. Morgan Carey sprawled, blinking (for his glasses had been shaken off in the melee) and weeping with fear and impotent rage. ...
— The Long Chance • Peter B. Kyne

... Or is it not much rather automatic inward machinery that executes the marvellous work, while the mind catches here and there some glimpse of the operation, now with delight and adhesion, now with impotent rebellion? When impulses work themselves out unimpeded we say we act; when they are thwarted we say we are acted upon; but in neither case do we in the least understand the natural history of what is occurring. The mind at best vaguely ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... just in describing such natural phenomena, and in blending them with the turmoil of battle, that Quintus is in his element; yet for such a scene he substitutes what is, by comparison, a lame and impotent conclusion. Of that awful cry that rang over the sea heralding the coming of Thetis and the Nymphs to the death-rites of her son, and the panic with which it filled the host, Quintus is silent. Again, Homer ...
— The Fall of Troy • Smyrnaeus Quintus

... the horrid yell of malignancy which arose, and echoed through the black chamber of that region of wickedness and misery, it would have made you shrink into nothingness with terror. They fairly gnashed on me with their teeth in impotent rage. At length old Adams got upon a whiskey-still—they have such things in hell—the pattern was got from there when introduced here, and made a speech to his associates. From what he said, I found that ...
— The Lights and Shadows of Real Life • T.S. Arthur

... that great light there are the two lines; the one purest white of righteousness, and the other tinged with a ruddier glow, the line of love. The one adorns and sets off the other. Love without righteousness is flaccid, a mere gush of good-natured sentiment, impotent to confer blessing, powerless to evoke reverence. Righteousness without love is as white as snow, and as cold as ice; repellent, howsoever it may excite the sentiment of awe-struck distance. But we need that the righteousness shall be loving, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the way all sensible men look at it. She is not the Sphinx; she is an angel, and I call her my Lady Caprice. Hate her for being Caprice! You incorrigible muddle-head. Why, I love Caprice for being her shadow. Poor, impotent love that can't solve a problem. The only one she ever set me. I've gone about it like a fool. What is the use putting up little bits of telegraphs on the island? I'll make a kite a hundred feet high, get five miles of rope ready against the next hurricane; and then I'll rub it with phosphorus ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... she darted away in the direction of the hall as fast as her feet could carry her over the level greensward; rage seeming literally to lend her wings, so rapidly did her fiery passions spur her on the road to impotent revenge. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXII No. 2. February 1848 • Various

... sayd Prouince is called Menatonon, a man impotent in his lims, but otherwise for a Sauage, a very graue and wise man, and of a very singular good discourse in matters concerning the state, not onely of his owne Countrey, and the disposition of his owne men, but also of his neighbours round about him as well ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... himself. To force an entrance into the banquet-hall of a great and powerful noble surrounded by the rank of Naples, and to arraign him for what to his boon companions would appear but an act of gallantry, was an exploit that could not fail to be at once ludicrous and impotent. He mused a moment; and remembering that Zicci was among the guests, determined to apply himself to the Corsican. He therefore, slipping a few crowns into the porter's hand, said that he was commissioned to seek the Signor Zicci upon an errand of life and death, and easily ...
— Zicci, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... a convent?" asked the Baroness. "But in such cases religion is impotent to subdue nature, and the most piously trained girls lose their head!—Get up, pray, monsieur; do you not understand that everything is final between us? that I look upon you with horror? that you have crushed ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... no lasting peace until the most terrible war machine the world has ever known shall have been destroyed, reduced to an impotent state of non-existence. Ideals will not destroy this machine, but practical means and getting down to the facts of the case will do so. Pasteur did not overcome hydrophobia by writing treatises and dissertations. ...
— Fighting France • Stephane Lauzanne

... voluntary power of man over his animal frame comes next under Mr Godwin's consideration, and he concludes by saying, that the voluntary power of some men, in this respect, is found to extend to various articles in which other men are impotent. But this is reasoning against an almost universal rule from a few exceptions; and these exceptions seem to be rather tricks, than powers that may be exerted to any good purpose. I have never heard ...
— An Essay on the Principle of Population • Thomas Malthus

... Nobody, as yet, admitted it, but the first blow had been dealt, and an evolution was beginning, which became more perceptible at each succeeding Salon. And what a stroke it would be if, amidst the unconscious copies of impotent essayists, amidst the timid artful attempts of tricksters, a master were suddenly to reveal himself, giving body to the new formula by dint of audacity and power, without compromise, showing it such as it should be, substantial, entire, ...
— His Masterpiece • Emile Zola

... supreme and omnipotent, materia [25] medica, hygiene, and animal magnetism are impotent; and their only supposed efficacy is in apparently delud- ing reason, denying revelation, and dethroning Deity. The tendency of mental healing is to uplift mankind; but this method perverted, is "Satan let loose." Hence the [30] deep ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... do not think it necessary further to prosecute this vindication of his memory, we yet think it our duty, when writing a memoir of him, thus briefly to set aside the groundless accusation, whether it be adduced by prelatic or Erastian writers,—his baffled antagonists when living, his impotent ...
— The Works of Mr. George Gillespie (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Gillespie

... written nothing but the 'Ernest Maltravers' books, you would think perhaps more highly of him. Do you not think it possible now? It is his most impotent struggling into poetry, which sets about proving a negative of genius on him—that, which the Athenaeum praises as 'respectable attainment in various walks of literature'—! like the Athenaeum, isn't it? and worthy praise, to be administered by professed judges of art? What is to be expected ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... memories. The three people at the little table made a group from which, while he ate, he could not withdraw his eyes. The suffering passivity of the woman, the sly, sinister humor in Tom Mowbray's heavy, grey face, the livid and impotent hate that frothed in the crippled man, and his strange jerky gestures, the atmosphere of nightmare cruelty and suffering that enveloped them like a miasma these bit themselves into his imagination and left it sore. He saw and tasted nothing of what he ate and ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... laws of supply and demand which, just because it had wished them out of existence, it had grown accustomed to believe could be ignored, oscillating, according to age, temperament or experience, between resignation and impotent fury, between old-fashioned trade-unionism and the latest fashion in extremism: France, emerging nerve-racked from a fifty years' obsession and a five years' nightmare, half-dead with sorrow and suspense, yet ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... pleasing features about her. I admired her confidence in spite of her disadvantages. She must have credited me with a diabolic appetite, but these women often contrive to extract charms out of their depravity which their delicacy would be impotent to furnish. She begged me to sup with her, and as she persisted I was obliged to refuse her in a way I should not have allowed myself to use with any other woman. She then begged me to take four tickets for the play the next day, which was to be for her benefit. I saw it was only a matter ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... complications of agony they endure and how very dark their odd convulsive species of existence is made, only that one man may buy forgetfulness by the glass. If I let my imagination loose, I can hear the immense army of the young crying to the dumb and impotent sky, and they all cry for bread. Mercy! how the little children suffer! And I have seen them by the hundred—by the thousand—and only helped from caprice; I could do no other. The iron winter is nearing us, and soon the dull agony of cold will swoop down and bear the gnawing hunger ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... works, so that the product, as a whole, is visible to the mental eye, as a new creation or construction, he has an immense advantage over all critics of his performance. Refined reasonings are impotent to overthrow it; epigrams glance off from it, as rifle-bullets rebound when aimed at a granite wall; and it stands erect long after the reasonings and the epigrams are forgotten. Even when its symmetry is destroyed by a long and destructive siege, a pile of stones still remains, as at Fort Sumter, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... out and out challenge to him to strike her. When it came to the point he could not do it, of course. He turned away, wild with impotent rage. Must she always get the best of him? If there had only been a man of her people there that he could take it out on! He broke into passionate denunciations of her. It was a weird enough scene, there on the ...
— The Huntress • Hulbert Footner

... them, and the great heaps of maize which they are forced to bring for their food. I can tell you the tears such a sight brings to one's eyes are hot and bitter. These are no sentimental grievances; hunger, and pain, and labour without hope and without reward, and the constant bitterness of impotent resentment. To you all this must sound remote and almost fabulous. But try to imagine Farmer Smith's team driven off by the police and himself beaten till he delivered his hay, his oats and his farm-servant for the use ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... Azrael. And the struggles of the passionate wife were, to my astonishment, even more energetic than my own. There had been much in her stern nature to impress me with the belief that, to her, death would have come without its terrors;—but not so. Words are impotent to convey any just idea of the fierceness of resistance with which she wrestled with the Shadow. I groaned in anguish at the pitiable spectacle. I would have soothed—I would have reasoned; but, in the intensity of her wild desire for life,—for life—but for life—solace and ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... Behind his voiceless misery was immeasurable hatred of those who had struck him this blow; at moments a revengeful fury all but maddened him. He held his mother's band; if he could but feel one pressure of the slight fingers before they were impotent for ever! And this much was granted him. Shortly before midday the open eyes trembled to consciousness, the lips moved in endeavour to speak. To Hubert it seemed that his intense gaze had worked a miracle, effecting that which his will demanded. She ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... did not suggest that the prediction of the seven godmothers was false. But, being helpless, he did not allow it to disturb him. His temperament was such that he did not worry about evils which he was impotent to remedy. In any case, so far as could be judged, the occurrence foretold was not imminent. Monsieur de La Rochecoupee viewed events as a statesman, and statesmen never look beyond the present moment. I am speaking of the shrewdest and most far-sighted. After all, supposing one day the ...
— The Story Of The Duchess Of Cicogne And Of Monsieur De Boulingrin - 1920 • Anatole France

... and is not! If Death be stronger than Life, so that he stops life, how then was Life able so to flout him, that he, the thing that was not, arose from the antenatal sepulchre on which Death sat throned in impotent negation of entity, unable to preclude existence, and yet able to annihilate it? Life alone is: nothingness is not; Death cannot destroy; he is not the antagonist, not the opposite of life." Some such argument Richard, I say, saw vaguely ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... him appear more ridiculous. The longer he thought the more sure he was that the girls were beginning to guess his position, and that his only course was a polite indifference to both. But this policy promised to lead through a thorny path, and to what? In impotent rage at himself he ground his teeth during the pauses between the stanzas that he was compelled to sing. Such was the discord in his heart that he felt like uttering notes ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... when the Burmese found themselves impotent to turn us out of Rangoon, the court of Ava would be glad to negotiate—had not, until the autumn was drawing to a close, thought of making any preparations to supply the army with water carriage. They now, ...
— On the Irrawaddy - A Story of the First Burmese War • G. A. Henty

... her for a minute or two, then, with a smothered oath upon his lips, he turned slowly to the door and opened it. Before leaving the room, however, he said, in a voice half-stifled by impotent passion— ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... Sir Philip de Comines, seneschal to King Louis, afterward told me that His Majesty, in writing this letter to the Duke of Burgundy, actually took counsel and devoted much time and thought to the choice of a baneful or impotent saint to recommend to his "noble brother of Burgundy." Disaster to Louis had once followed supplication to Saint Hubert, and the king hoped that the worthy saint might prove equally unpropitious for Charles. Yolanda's wonderful "t" was certainly ...
— Yolanda: Maid of Burgundy • Charles Major

... God rest his soul, one wonders whether he has yet learned that Columbus discovered America. He had not yet heard of it when he finished his book, though Columbus had returned to Spain three months before. O most lame and impotent conclusion! But the fifteenth century, though it had an infinite childlike curiosity, had no nose for news. Nuremberg nodded peacefully on while a new world loomed up beyond the seas, and studied Michael Wolgemut's picture of Noah ...
— Printing and the Renaissance - A paper read before the Fortnightly Club of Rochester, New York • John Rothwell Slater

... progress of this astonishing revolution with impotent surprise. Stefano Colonna, who was absent on the eventful day, expressed his scorn of the mob and their leader. But a popular attack on his palace convinced him of his error and forced him to fly from the city. Within fifteen days the triumph of Rienzi seemed to be complete, when ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... to the horse-paddock, I was overtaken and passed by Arthur H——, one of the two brothers reported to be starting the sawmill; and I afterward remembered that, though we saluted each other, and exchanged impotent criticisms on the weather, I had by this time obtained such ascendency over the meddlesome and querulous part of my nature that I had never once thought of asking him if ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... thee [thy course] for each and every day. Thine enemy the Serpent hath been given over to the fire, the serpent-fiend Sebau hath fallen down headlong; his arms have been bound in chains, and thou hast hacked off his legs; and the sons of impotent revolt shall nevermore rise up against thee. The Temple of the Aged One [Footnote: i.e., R[a] of Heliopolis.] (i.e., R[a]) keepeth festival, and the voice of those who rejoice is in the mighty dwelling. The gods exult when they ...
— Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life • E. A. Wallis Budge

... of our close and crowded houses into the night and morning, and we see what majestic beauties daily wrap us in their bosom. How willingly we would escape the barriers which render them comparatively impotent, escape the sophistication and second thought, and suffer nature to intrance us. The tempered light of the woods is like a perpetual morning, and is stimulating and heroic. The anciently reported spells of these places creep ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... grace that it did bring, And the light that o'er it flowed, With the pureness that it showed, And the pureness that it meant? Could he skill to make it seen As he saw? For this, I ween, He were likewise impotent. ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Jean Ingelow

... powerless to fight, was filling her life. It was absurd, impossible, not to be thought of, and yet all the time his insistence delighted her. He had so much the air of one who has always his own way. She felt her powers of resistance becoming almost impotent, and she watched their dissipation with secret joy. How was it possible to resist a lover so confident, so authoritative, especially when her whole heart was filled with a passionate longing to throw everything else to the winds and to place her hands in his. Perhaps ...
— The Governors • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... he burst out. "What a poor, impotent wretch He's made me—a thing to bruise its useless hands beating the door that will never open! It maddens me—especially when all the world's happy, like to-day—all happy but me. And you so loyal and true! What ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... secretary-birds with pens stuck clerk-like behind their ears (as useless an emblem of sinecure office as gold keys, silver, and coronation armour)—in spite of whole flights of geese, capable enough of saving capitols, but impotent to wield one of their own all-conquering quills—in spite, also, (keen-eyed categorists, be to my faults in ratiocination a little blind, for very cheerfulness,) in spite, I say, of copying presses, manifold inditers, and automaton artists, MAN IS A ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... more intimate. She felt that even after two years of marriage she did not know her husband any better than when she first met him. There seemed to be between them an indefinable yet very real barrier which, for some unknown reason, she was impotent to tear down. Sometimes, too, she resented him making so little of her. Instead of taking her into his confidence in his business matters, he treated her as a child, whose opinion on serious things ...
— Bought and Paid For - From the Play of George Broadhurst • Arthur Hornblow

... to wake in the morning as if life had no joy to give; and he knew, too, what it was to lay his sins at a Saviour's feet, and to take the light yoke upon him. How anxious was he to lead his fellow-sinner there! Though his simple efforts seemed impotent at the time, years after, when his school-fellow had grown a steady and useful Christian, he dated his first serious impressions to this time of disgrace; and the remembrance of Louis' sweet ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... If I were only a clever book character I'd execute some dramatic coup and confound my enemies—book people always do. But my mind is a blank, my ingenuity is at a complete standstill. I feel perfectly foolish and impotent. To save me, I can't understand how that gold got where it was, for the cashier's cage is made of wire and the door has a spring-lock. I heard it snap back of me when I followed the Count outside. I had an insane idea that his nose would stretch if I pulled it and I believe ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... decision of the Court, declines to ask the lawyers for farther help.[29] There is an end of that job and its fee. Nevertheless, his 'blatant brother' shall soon see if law is as inadequate, and advocacy as impotent, as he fancies. Providence is this time in their favour. Pompilia was consigned to the 'Convertite' (converted ones). She was therefore a sinner. Guido has been judged guilty: but there was no word as to the innocence of his wife. The sisterhood ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... who all along had been back in one corner of the church, came forward; and Allan and his maid kneeled before him, while the old knight, held an unwilling witness, gnashed his teeth in impotent rage; and the friar began ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... for death; and at midnight, while her lover was wandering, mad with the horror of impotent fear, around the white walls of the convent, Sister Maddelena, for love of Michele, gave up her life. How, was never known. That she was indeed dead was only a suspicion, for when Biscari finally compelled the civil authorities to enter the convent, ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... stands blotted against the curtain of the door. MALISE enters. For a moment he does not see her standing there against the curtain that is much the same colour as her dress. His face is that of a man in the grip of a rage that he feels to be impotent. Then, seeing her, he pulls himself together, walks to his armchair, and sits down there in ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... hard to describe her impotent wrath, her sense of outrage and irreparable loss, as one by one these changes effaced some souvenir of her early life. The past was once dead already; they were killing it a second time. Her feelings at length became so ...
— Miss Ludington's Sister • Edward Bellamy

... sudden inquiry concerning my loose change, and I was furnished with a memorandum-book in which to write down my daily disbursements. Frequent visits to the opera (oh, the torture of those evenings!) had been an invariable rule with the Mountchessingtons; and, at the risk of rendering impotent the tympanum of both ears, I was compelled to continue that respectable custom. Persons occupying our position should be careful with whom they associated; and the character of my companions underwent a severe investigation. She even ...
— Trifles for the Christmas Holidays • H. S. Armstrong

... to them is a step-mother, who gives all to some of her children, and deprives the others of every thing: they punish it for its partiality, and clearly shew that the motives borrowed from a life hereafter are impotent against the fury of those passions to which a corrupt administration has given birth; that the terror of the punishments in this world are too feeble against necessity; against criminal habits; against dangerous organization uncorrected ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... in impotent rage, moved swiftly out of the bedchamber, closing the door behind him; and straightway the King heard a talk, to this effect, proceeding from ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... armour, is in fearful combat with the seven-headed dragon, which is endeavouring to devour the child. Although struck by lightning, the dragon is striving to twist his tail round the legs of the angel, and seizes the cloak of the Virgin with one of his hands. Other infernal monsters are writhing with impotent rage, and falling with ...
— The Old Masters and Their Pictures - For the Use of Schools and Learners in Art • Sarah Tytler

... anarch, is passing. It is safer to be a soldier than a working-man. The chance for life is greater in an active campaign than in a factory or a coal-mine. In the matter of killing, war is growing impotent, and this in face of the fact that the machinery of war was never so expensive in the past nor so dreadful. War-equipment to- day, in time of peace, is more expensive than of old in time of war. A standing army costs more to maintain than it used ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... something taps upon the window pane. Faster, faster, like metallic clicks of a speeding-up machine, the sleet rattles for a little while, and lo! where are the leaves, the flowers, of yesterday! Thus did the Colonel age at this quick approach of blighting cold which the optimism of his nature was impotent to withstand. Yet he was still unwilling to give up the fight. Jeb was afraid, not a coward! There lay a vast difference between these, and he ...
— Where the Souls of Men are Calling • Credo Harris

... are already in possession of all the data. We can wait; but meanwhile we need not pretend that because we do not understand them, therefore life and will can accomplish nothing; we need not imagine that "life"—with its higher developments and still latent powers—is an impotent nonentity. The philosophic attitude, surely, is to observe and recognise its effects, both what it can and what it cannot achieve, and to realise that our present knowledge of it is extremely partial ...
— Life and Matter - A Criticism of Professor Haeckel's 'Riddle of the Universe' • Oliver Lodge

... human sacrifice; while many millions in lands devastated are homeless, starving, or ruined in body or soul—these are part of the offering, forced upon humanity by a godless materialism, while a divided Christian Church stands by impotent. ...
— With Our Soldiers in France • Sherwood Eddy

... went out, but her biting kiss had not hurt me. My heart was full of hope and joy. This girl's impotent jealousy had convinced me of the reality of my happiness. I was beloved, and I loved again; and could the venomous tongue of a jealous woman incense me against an angel like Flamma? True love is like pure gold, and the acid of calumny does not destroy it, but gives new proof of its ...
— Dr. Dumany's Wife • Mr Jkai

... also bitterly deplore, inwardly, that Beethoven allowed himself to be seduced into using the big drum and triangle in the Finale of the Ninth Symphony. Of Berlioz, Wagner, and my humble self, it is no wonder that "like draws to like," and, as we are treated as impotent canaille amongst musicians, it is quite natural that we should be on good terms with the canaille among the instruments. Certainly here, as in all else, it is the right thing to seize upon and hold fast [the] mass of harmony. In face of the most wise ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... piano and the carriages and the high silk hat from Piccadilly. Her husband had had the luxuries of wealth, and here he was living like a Spartan on his hill— and alone; though he had a wife whom men had beseiged both before and after marriage. A feeling of impotent indignation suddenly took possession of her. Here he was with two women, unattached,—one interesting and good and agreeable and good-looking, and the other almost a beauty,—who were part of the whole rustic scheme in which he lived. They made him comfortable, they did the hundred ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... in a nightmare. He saw the shapeless terror that was moving toward him, but he was impotent to stay or to escape it. He had done all that he could. There was nothing left ...
— The Lost Word - A Christmas Legend of Long Ago • Henry Van Dyke

... things were good; mature only in her love. And to be struck down like that, while your God looked down from Heaven and would not take her part." All at once he seemed to lose control of himself. One of those furies of impotent grief and wrath that assailed him from time to time, blind, insensate, incoherent, suddenly took possession of him. A torrent of words issued from his lips, and he flung out an arm, the fist clenched, in a fierce, quick gesture, partly ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... Indian in the boy's savage soul asserted itself, and he fought like a little demon. Pitying the child in its impotent rage, the man gave him ...
— The Last Spike - And Other Railroad Stories • Cy Warman

... ourselves altogether insufficient for these things, we are weak and impotent; and our Saviour hath told us, "Without me ye can do nothing:" We are justified freely by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; not justified by our own works. How great a contradiction ...
— A Sermon Preached at the Quaker's Meeting House, in Gracechurch-Street, London, Eighth Month 12th, 1694. • William Penn

... to other lodgings at the beginning of each quarter of the year, so traversing till doomsday, being impotent of staying in one place, and finding some ease by so purning [journeying] and changing habitations. Their chameleon-like bodies swim in the air near the earth with bag and baggage; and at such revolution of time, seers, ...
— Folk-Lore and Legends - Scotland • Anonymous

... going of Henrietta, a flight before the dawn. Saw, through a thick scent-drenched atmosphere, between the expiring lamp-light and broadening day, a deserted child beating its little hands, in the extremity of its impotent anguish, upon the pillows of a disordered unmade bed. Saw a man, too, worn and travel-stained from long riding throughout the night, lost to all decent dignities of self-control, savage with the ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... those precipitous rocks. Corp was shouting, gesticulating, impotent. "How can you ...
— Tommy and Grizel • J.M. Barrie

... gathering strength to break out in indignant protest; and finally, roar out in rebellious anger, giving Robert the idea of an imprisoned monster of gigantic strength which had been harnessed whilst it slept, but had wakened at last to find itself impotent against its ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... Impotent their seething! The overwhelming Crooper pursued his conquering way. He leaned more and more toward the magnetic girl, his growing tenderness having that effect upon him, and his head inclining so far that his bedewed brow ...
— Seventeen - A Tale Of Youth And Summer Time And The Baxter Family Especially William • Booth Tarkington



Words linked to "Impotent" :   impuissant, potency, ineffectual, powerless, impotence, ineffective, impotency, infertile, unfertile, unable, strength, effectiveness, potent, sterile



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