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Torpid   /tˈɔrpəd/   Listen
Torpid

adjective
1.
Slow and apathetic.  Synonyms: inert, sluggish, soggy.  "A sluggish worker" , "A mind grown torpid in old age"
2.
In a condition of biological rest or suspended animation.  Synonyms: dormant, hibernating.  "A hibernating bear" , "Torpid frogs"



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"Torpid" Quotes from Famous Books



... appealing to the others in the compartment. He might get up and say: "There is a murderer in this compartment. I recognize him from the description in this paper, and I call upon you all as public-spirited citizens to see that he does not escape justice." The torpid passengers would start up, staring and looking foolish after the fashion of English people when asked to do something unusual. Would they help? There was a stout man opposite with the symptoms of a public spirit lurking in the ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... how could Westminster chuse him again To leaven the virtue of these honest men! But the Devil remained till the Break of Day Blushed upon Sleep and Lord Castlereagh:[45] 170 Then up half the house got, and Satan got up With the drowsy to snore—or the hungry to sup:— But so torpid the power of some speakers, 't is said, That they sent even him to ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 7. - Poetry • George Gordon Byron

... like—brown, pale, dull-complexioned with reflections as of bronze, and strikingly large-eyed like an Indian. I have never been able to contemplate such a countenance without inward emotion. Her physiognomy is rather torpid, but when it becomes animated it assumes a remarkably ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... began to attack Meyerbeer's work, in order to wake up Gambara, who sat sunk in the half-torpid state ...
— Gambara • Honore de Balzac

... perforce to be content with one poor, trembling handclasp! Had that trembling been a weakness or a strength? For all time since—and increasingly during the later years—secret memories of it had wonderfully quickened a life that would otherwise have tended to fall dull, torpid, stubborn. It was not that their hands had met, but that they had trembled—those two strange hands that had both repelled and coerced each other—faltering at last into that long moment ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... growing in density, until all objects beyond a radius of some twenty paces were engulfed in its nothingness and lost. Later still—while Helen de Vallorbes paid her visit at Newlands—it grew denser yet, heavy, torpid, close yet cold, penetrated by earthy odours as the atmosphere of a vault, oppressive to the senses, baffling to sight and hearing alike. From out it, half-leafless branches, like gaunt arms in tattered draperies, seemed to claw and beckon at the passing carriage and its occupants. The silver ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... geraniums and birds to the care of Mr. Smithson. From the hands of that unjust steward she received two empty bird-cages, together with a detailed account of the manner in which the occupants had effected their escape, and a bullfinch that seemed to be suffering from torpid liver. The condition of the geraniums was ascribed to worms in the ...
— Ship's Company, The Entire Collection • W.W. Jacobs

... easily follow the appetite of the flesh than God's good pleasure. The world promises small and temporary things, and is served with great eagerness; I promise supreme and eternal things, but the hearts of mortals are torpid. Who serves and obeys Me in everything with so great care as the world and its lords are served? Men run a long way for a trifling reward, but for eternal life many scarcely lift ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... departure of Ramses XII to his eternal rest, Ramses XIII moved after him to rouse from sorrow by his presence the torpid hearts of his subjects, receive their homage ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... wonderful combination, that luxuriant growth—of that insular life which is based in boundless wealth and civil freedom, in universal monotony and manifold diversity; formal and capricious, active and torpid, energetic and dull, comfortable and tedious, the envy and derision of the world. Like other unprejudiced travellers of modern times, our author is not very much enchanted with the English form of existence: his cordial and sincere admiration is often ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... That had been seen, during the storm, on board the "Bonadventure!" The engineer did not neglect either to speak aloud, so as to penetrate at the same time by the organs of hearing and sight the depths of that torpid intelligence. Sometimes one of his companions, sometimes another, sometimes all joined him. They spoke most often of things belonging to the navy, which must ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... all that can be made in Iceland. The traveller passes from one desert valley into another; he is always surrounded by high mountains and still higher glaciers, and wherever he turns his eyes, nature seems torpid and dead. A feeling of anxious discomfort seizes upon the wanderer, he hastens with redoubled speed through the far-stretched deserts, and eagerly ascends the mountains piled up before him, in the hope that better things lie beyond. It is in vain; he only sees the same solitudes, ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer

... gentlest creature I have ever met. I told her that I was ill and in trouble, and wanted to rest, and she put me to bed and nursed me like a child. I was a long time in getting well. The very strings of my being seemed to have snapped. I lay torpid week after week, and the good soul took care of me and asked no questions. She was one of those rare spirits who pray to God to guide them day by day, and mean literally what they ask. God had sent me to her in my need—that ...
— The Lady of the Basement Flat • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... resolutions, had benefited greatly by Slocum Price's labors in the past, and he was destined to toil still in its up-keep. He borrowed the child's money and spent it, and if any sense of shame smote his torpid conscience, he hid it manfully. Not so Mr. Mahaffy; for while he profited by his friend's act, he told that gentleman just what he thought of him with insulting candor. On the eighth day there was sobriety for the pair. Deep ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... forth above the tops of the trees. A pudgy muskrat, swimming with head up, was moved to sidle off briskly as he met a cotton-mouth moccasin snake, so fat and swollen with summer poison that it looked almost like a legless lizard as it moved along the surface of the water in a series of slow torpid s's. Directly above the head of either of the waiting assassins a compact little swarm of midges hung, holding to a sort ...
— The Escape of Mr. Trimm - His Plight and other Plights • Irvin S. Cobb

... mind, a distinctive, luminous character; if he is to dominate things, something must be dominant in him. We feel him to be great in that he clarifies and brings to expression something which was potential in the rest of us, but which with our burden of flesh and circumstance we were too torpid to utter. The great man is a spontaneous variation in humanity; but not in any direction. A spontaneous variation might be a mere madness or mutilation or monstrosity; in finding the variation admirable we evidently invoke some principle of order to which it conforms. Perhaps it makes explicit ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... with the Nkran, or enkran, [Footnote: Anglice the 'driver,' a small black formica which bites severely, clears out houses, destroys the smaller animals, and has, it is said, overpowered and destroyed hunters when, torpid with fatigue, they have fallen asleep in the bush. The same horrible end, being eaten alive, atom by atom, has befallen white traders whose sickness prevented their escape. 'Accra,' which calls itself Ga, is known to the Oji-speaking peoples as 'Enkran,' and must be translated ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... such that all took advantage of it. The male sex was strong for the girl at once. She didn't know that life is anything but selective, or that all the arts round out one's appreciation of the beautiful, or that anything was "by way of being" something. But all the food she took didn't make her torpid; she giggled easily and had eyes like hothouse grapes, and in spite of her fat there was something about her, like Cousin Egbert said of Vernabelle. Anyway, she prevailed. Oswald Cummings, the pagan, ...
— Ma Pettengill • Harry Leon Wilson

... how irresistible is the influence of a mother's love and kindness! Her very name awakens the torpid streams of life, gives a fresh glow to the tablets of memory, and fills our hearts with a deep ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... natural to delight more in what we find or make, than in what we receive. Judgment, like other faculties, is improved by practice, and its advancement is hindered by submission to dictatorial decisions, as the memory grows torpid by the use of a table-book. Some initiation is, however, necessary; of all skill, part is infused by precept, and part is obtained by habit; I have, therefore, shown so much as may enable the candidate of criticism to discover ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... failed her at the slightest ascent, and the incessant vibrating sound that came from the arteries of her throat was painful to those near her. With heavy feet and enfeebled body, she dragged herself along, as if life were too heavy a burden for her. Her faculties and her senses were so torpid that she swooned for no cause at all, for so small a matter as the fatigue of combing ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... writing. He has got to take it easy somehow, and the question is what is he to do. He can't, as a rule, do much in the way of hard exercise. Violent exercise in the open air is pleasant enough, but it leaves the brain torpid and stagnant. A man who really makes a business of writing has got to live through ten or twelve hours of a day when he isn't writing. He can't afford to read very much—at least he can't afford to read authors whom he admires, because they affect ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... room within her own, and the undressing and bathing of the poor child had revealed injuries even in a more painful state than those which had been shown to Mr. Grey, shocking emaciation, and most scanty garments. The child was almost torpid, and spoke very little. She was most unwilling to attempt to swallow; however, Rachel thought that some of her globules had gone down, and put much faith in them, and in warmth and sleep; but incessantly ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... energetic when occasion requires, but, like all people who live at the extreme North, acquire tropical habits of indolence from the climate. During the tedious winters, when the days are but six hours long, all who can afford it become torpid, like frogs, and lie up in their houses till the summer sun thaws them out. Balls, parties, and sleigh-riding occasionally rouse them up, but lethargy is the general rule. The warm weather comes very suddenly, and then the days are eighteen hours ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... cutting. Dow, dowe, am (is or are) able, can. Dow, a dove. Dowf, dowff, dull. Dowie, drooping, mournful. Dowilie, drooping. Downa, can not. Downa-do (can not do), lack of power. Doylt, stupid, stupefied. Doytin, doddering., Dozen'd, torpid. Dozin, torpid. Draigl't, draggled. Drant, prosing. Drap, drop. Draunting, tedious. Dree, endure, suffer. Dreigh, v. dreight. Dribble, drizzle. Driddle, to toddle. Dreigh, tedious, dull. Droddum, the breech. Drone, ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... herself standing on the ground beneath. The night had grown darker; she could not see the path; she knew that she was losing time, and yet that all depended on her haste; she felt fevered with impatience, yet torpid with terror. At length she disengaged herself from the broken, uneven soil on to which she had dropped, and struggled forward. On and on she went, not knowing where her next step would land her, and ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... leaning over his paper, wondering still at what he had seen, unable in his unsuspiciousness to draw any inferences, listening to the steps and the noises in the next room with a torpid uneasiness that had about the same resemblance to fear as the intelligence of Don Rocco himself had to understanding. "'You will understand later,'" he repeated to himself. "What am I to understand? That he knows where the money is?" He kept ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Italian • Various

... sent quietly from the deepest fortress of Love to these simple and generous natures, who live in each other's lives. I tried to picture to myself what my own thoughts would be if condemned to this sad condition; I could only foresee a fretful irritability, a wild anguish, alternating with a torpid stupefaction. "I seem to love the old books better than ever," my friend had said, smiling softly, in the course of the afternoon; "I used to read them hurriedly and greedily in the old days, but now ...
— The Thread of Gold • Arthur Christopher Benson

... I are summoned by Corporal Bertrand from the barn where at full length we have already immobilized ourselves, and are growing torpid: "You must go and look for ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... be foiled. The enemy will succeed in penetrating the impregnable fortress; each foe has his special tactics, contrived with appalling skill. See, an egg is inserted by means of a probe beside the torpid larva; or else, in the absence of such an implement, an infinitesimal grub, an atom, comes creeping and crawling, slips in and reaches the sleeper, who will never wake again, already a succulent morsel for her ferocious visitor. The interloper makes the victim's cell and cocoon his own cell and his ...
— The Mason-bees • J. Henri Fabre

... Miserere's singing To the tolling of the bell. Through the streets the burghers hurry, Spreading terror as they go; And the rampart's thronged with watchers For the coming of the foe. From each mountain-top a pillar Streams into the torpid air, Bearing token from the Border That the English host is there. All without is flight and terror, All within is woe and fear— God protect thee, Maiden City, For ...
— Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems • W.E. Aytoun

... here torpid lies, That drew th' essential forms of grace; Here, closed in death, th' attentive eyes, That saw the ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... sorrow of my life, And pile new sods upon the grave of pain. My mind so argued; and my sad heart heard, But made no comment. Then the Baron spoke, And waited for my answer. All in vain I strove for strength to utter that one word My mind dictated. Moments rolled away— Until at last my torpid heart awoke, And forced my trembling lips to say him nay. And then my eyes with sudden tears o'erran, In pity for myself and for this man Who stood before me, lost in pained surprise. "Dear friend," I cried, "Dear generous friend forgive A troubled woman's weakness! As I live, In truth I meant ...
— Maurine and Other Poems • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... massacre of a distant tribe, which is heard through the report of others, falls far below the heart-shaking effect of a murder committed in our presence. Our sympathy with the unknown victim may originally have been as torpid as that with the unknown tribe; but it has been kindled by the swift and vivid suggestions of details visible to us as spectators; whereas a severe and continuous effort of imagination is needed to call up the kindling suggestions of the ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... our convictions do, it lay dormant and half dead in their souls. But now, rightly or wrongly, experience had brought them into contact, as they thought, with a manifest proof of His divine Omniscience, and the torpid conviction flashed all up at once into vitality. The smouldering fire of a mere piece of abstract belief was kindled at once into a glow that shed warmth through their whole hearts; and although they had professed to believe ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI • Alexander Maclaren

... see his companions. A yell. "Lewis, my son, I'll come over." But Tom was held back; the smack was brought up all shaking. First the skipper caught a rope. Good, noble old man! He was half senseless when they hauled him on board. Then Lewis heard, as in a torpid reverie, a great voice, "Lay hold, Lewis, and I will come if you're bothered." What was he doing? Mechanically he ran the rope under the sleeve of his life-jacket; a mighty jerk seemed likely to pull him in halves as the smack ...
— A Dream of the North Sea • James Runciman

... fashion, and made some rude attempts at performing a sort of pantomime. I may now close this detail with observing that the natives of this mountainous region have stronger animal spirits than those of the plains, and pass their lives with more variety than the torpid inhabitants of the coast; that they breathe a spirit of independence, and being frequently engaged in warfare, village against village, they would be better prepared to resist ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... farther still from anything like enterprise. Those nations that are partly civilized exhibit more or less industry, and are acquainted with some of the arts; but barbarous nations are acquainted with none of the improvements that elevate society, and exhibit a state of lounging indolence and torpid inactivity. If there be noise, it is not the rattle and whirl of business, or the hum of industry; but the noise of giddy mirth, boisterous and unmeaning laughter, or fierce and angry contention. ...
— Thoughts on Missions • Sheldon Dibble

... [Footnote: Then Agent-General for the Cape and a great personal friend.] and afterwards came back several times. He was at this moment interesting, full of life and vigour, but when he returned to England after the British South Africa Company had been started he seemed to have become half torpid and at the same time dogmatic. The simplicity which had distinguished him up to the end of his visit of 1889 seemed to have disappeared when he came back in 1891; and his avowed intention of ultimately coming to England to take part in English ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... companion went on to say, the bodily constitution of the Saturnians is wholly different from that of air-breathing, that is oxygen-breathing, human beings. They are the dullest, slowest, most torpid of mortal creatures. ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... xiii. 408.] An incomparable piece, patronized by Royalty in England; the delight of all kindred Courts. The light dancing march of this new "Epic," and the brisk clash of cymbal music audible in it, had, as we find afterwards, greatly captivated the young man. All is not pipe-clay, then, and torpid formalism; aloft from the murk of commonplace rise glancings of a starry splendor, betokening—oh, ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. VI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... pre-existent to myself,—one Windsor Castle; and I was so delightful and so juvenile, that, without attending to any thing but my eyes, I stood full two hours and a half, and found that half my lameness consists in my indolence. Two Berrys, a Gothic chapel, and an historic castle, are anodynes to a torpid mind. I now fancy that old age was invented by the lazy. St. George's Chapel, that I always worshipped, though so dark and black that I could see nothing distinctly, is now being cleaned and decorated, a scene of' lightness and graces. Mr. Conway was so struck with ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... quivering mist; and in the vineyards, near the town, not a leaf waved upon its slender stem. On the seaward side lay, vast and level, the prospect of the burning sand; and beyond it the main ocean—waveless, torpid, and suffused in a flood of fierce brightness—stretched out to the cloudless horizon ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... judged by civilization. To the French at Onondaga came such a temptation now. Their priests were busy launching the boats. The departing soldiers seemed simultaneously to have become conscious of a very black suggestion. Cooped up against the outer wall in the dead sleep of torpid gluttony lay the leading warriors of the Iroquois nation. Were these not the assassins of countless Frenchmen, the murderers of women, the torturers of children? Had Providence not placed the treacherous Iroquois in the hands ...
— Pathfinders of the West • A. C. Laut

... creationists or continental extensionists had here a complete victory. The few eggs which I have tried both sink and are killed. No one doubts that salt water would be eminently destructive to them; and I was really in despair, when I thought I would try them when torpid; and this day I have taken a lot out of the sea-water, after exactly seven days' immersion. (337/1. This method of dispersal is not given in the "Origin"; it seems, therefore, probable that further experiments upset the conclusion drawn in 1856. This ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... when he left her. It was getting to be more than a passing whim with Arobin to see her and be with her. He had detected the latent sensuality, which unfolded under his delicate sense of her nature's requirements like a torpid, torrid, ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... in fierce rejoicing, Feels heaven's dumb lightning thrill his torpid nerves, Now on the blast his whistling plumage poising, Now wheeling, whirling ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... a pint of this important fluid. The body uses what it needs and stores the surplus for reserve in the gall-bladder. The flow is continuous and, despite all appearances to the contrary, there is no such thing as a torpid or an ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... method in it. Tilton finally brought up in the almshouse, where he was allowed the liberty of roaming at will through the town. He loved the water-side as if he had had all his senses. Often he was seen to stand for hours with a sunny, torpid smile on his lips, gazing out upon the river where its azure ruffles itself into silver against the islands. He always wore stuck in his hat a few hen's feathers, perhaps with some vague idea of still associating himself with the birds of the ...
— An Old Town By The Sea • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... heat by the angels. This spiritual heat which in its essence is love, is what inflows by correspondence into the heart and its blood, and imparts heat to it, and at the same time vivifies it. That a man grows hot, and, as it were, is fired, according to his love and the degree of it, and grows torpid and cold according to its decrease, is known, for it is felt and seen; it is felt by the heat throughout the body, and seen by the flushing of the face; and on the other hand, extinction of love is felt by coldness in the body, and is seen by paleness in the face. Because love is the ...
— Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom • Emanuel Swedenborg

... parcel, which he lifted only to drop it with a yell, for underneath it lay a torpid snake, doubtless one of those that had been used in ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... of great intellectual sensibility, Lamb responded to all impressions. To sympathize with Tragedy or Comedy only, argues a limited capacity. The mind thus constructed is partially lame or torpid. One hemisphere has ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... freedom and natural movement of the thoughts. My reason, however, for noticing this peculiarity in Isocrates, is by way of fixing the attention upon the superiority, even artificial ornaments, of downright practical business and the realities of political strife, over the torpid atmosphere of a study or a school. Cicero, long after, had the same passion for numerositas, and the full, pompous rotundity of cadence. But in Cicero, all habits and all faculties were nursed by the ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... up its dominion without a struggle. In October it began, and in November its empire was established. During December, January, February, March, and April it reigned unmolested, in steadfast bitterness; enclosing in its icy bands, and retaining in torpid frigidity, the whole inanimate and vegetable creation. But in May its powerful enemy, caloric, made a decided attack upon the empire, and dealt ...
— Hudson Bay • R.M. Ballantyne

... lure to loose delight, Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright; Should tempting novelty thy cell refrain, [p]And sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain; Should beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart, Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart; Should no disease thy torpid veins invade, Nor melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade; Yet hope not life, from grief or danger free, Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee: Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes, And pause awhile from letters, to be wise; There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... cowed by her aspect, and the mere slave of discipline (he had pulled in the St. Catherine's second torpid), obeyed her command, and presently we were abreast of ...
— HE • Andrew Lang

... from the gateway, they came to a bridge, which seemed to be built of iron. Pluto stopped the chariot, and bade Proserpina look at the stream which was gliding so lazily beneath it. Never in her life had she beheld so torpid, so black, so muddy-looking a stream; its waters reflected no images of anything that was on the banks, and it moved as sluggishly as if it had quite forgotten which way it ought to flow, and had rather stagnate than flow either one way or ...
— Tanglewood Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... the slime of those turbid rivers into the polluted sea, and the gaining upon its deep and fresh waters of the lifeless, impassable, unvoyageable plain, how little could we have understood the purpose with which those islands were shaped out of the void, and the torpid waters enclosed with their desolate walls of sand! How little could we have known, any more than of what now seems to us most distressful, dark, and objectless, the glorious aim which was then in the mind of Him in whose hand are all the corners of the earth! how little imagined ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... summer days, the sun blazed down on the blue ice; skua gulls nestled in groups on the snow; sly penguins waddled along to inspect the building operations; seals basked in torpid slumber on the shore; out on the sapphire bay the milk-white bergs floated in the swell. We can all paint our own picture of the good times round the Benzine Hut. We worked hard, ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... interest of the township only, the reeves, or presidents, of which minor councils form the members of the county council. This general system of municipalities, and a late act of the provincial parliament, enabling the inhabitants to form themselves into road companies, have converted the formerly torpid and inactive townships into busy hives of ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... black heat;—there were hours when the acrid air seemed to ferment for stagnation, and to burn the bronchial tubing;—then, toward morning, it would grow chill with venomous vapors, with morbific dews,—till the sun came up to lift the torpid moisture, and to fill the buildings with oven-glow. And the interminable procession of mourners and hearses and carriages again began to circulate between the centres of life and of death;—and long trains and steamships rushed from the ...
— Chita: A Memory of Last Island • Lafcadio Hearn

... interest in him, but does not disclose himself; nor does Middleton suspect him to be an American. The characteristic life of the Hospital is brought out, and the individual character of this old man, vegetating here after an active career, melancholy and miserable; sometimes torpid with the slow approach of utmost age; sometimes feeble, peevish, wavering; sometimes shining out with a wisdom resulting from originally bright faculties, ripened by experience. The character must not be allowed to get vague, but, with gleams of romance, must ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... prudently to its station in the stable yard. Then he went to find the defeated Starling Tucker. That stricken veteran sat alone amid the ruins of his toppled empire in the little office, slumped and torpid before the cold, rusty stove. He refused to be comforted by his devotee. He said he would never touch one of them things again, not for no man's money. The Darwinian hypothesis allows for no petty tact in the process of evolution. Starling Tucker was unfit to survive ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... slight degree have blinded judgment. They were instituted originally (but only among young men) to stimulate mental vigor, often torpid, and to make young men keener in their studies, so that they might either conquer or not be conquered, and also that the instruction received from their teachers might be more deeply ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... torpid light, Under the pall of a transparent night, Like solemn apparitions lull'd sublime To everlasting rest,—and with them Time Slept, as he sleeps upon the silent face Of a dark dial in ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... torpid hum Escapes the eater's unctuous nose, Turn up the light and let it come Full on his innocent repose; Then pour your shot between his eyes, And go on ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... indication. Simple, innocent, artless, unsophisticated, naive. Skilful, skilled, expert, adept, apt, proficient, adroit, dexterous, deft, clever, ingenious. Skin, hide, pelt, fell. Sleepy, drowsy, slumberous, somnolent, sluggish, torpid, dull, lethargic. Slovenly, slatternly, dowdy, frowsy, blowzy. Sly, crafty, cunning, subtle, wily, artful, politic, designing. Smile, smirk, grin. Solitary, lonely, lone, lonesome, desolate, deserted, uninhabited. ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... from her swoon, and sat upon a stool by the bookcase, faintly wondering what had happened, but afraid to ask or think. The corner of the bookcase, and the burly form of Stubbard, concealed the window from her, and the torpid oppression which ensues upon a fit lay between her and her agony. Faith, as she passed, darted one glance at her, not of pity, not of love, but of cold contempt and ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... the Baron spoke, And waited for my answer. All in vain I strove for strength to utter that one word My mind dictated. Moments rolled away - Until at last my torpid heart awoke, And forced my trembling lips to say him nay. And then my eyes with sudden tears o'erran, In pity for myself and for this man Who stood before me, lost in pained surprise. "Dear friend," I cried, "dear ...
— Maurine and Other Poems • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... banishing dust and disorder without becoming an embodiment of dishevelled disorder herself. No matter what she was doing, she always appeared trim and neat, and in the lover-like expression of her husband's eyes, as they often followed her, she had her reward. She was not deceived by the semi-torpid condition of the household, and knew well what would be expected in a Fourth-of-July dinner. Nor was she disappointed. The tinkle of the bell at two o'clock awakened unusual animation, and then she had her triumph. Leonard beamed ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... month undoubtedly presents fewer floral attractions than any other in the whole year. Everything is in a torpid state of existence, and the combined forces of frost, snow, wind, and rain render December unpleasant both indoors and out. The only kinds of vegetation which seem to flourish just now are the insignificant, but wonderfully beautiful, mosses and lichens which everywhere clothe ...
— Little Folks (December 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... the Chinese, dominate the masses. When they have no money, and lack for food, they will work; but only empty pockets and gnawing stomachs will induce them to labor. All life seems more or less torpid and listless in the tropics. As has been intimated, the morals of these people of the Straits will not bear writing about; the marriage rite has little force among them, and domesticity is not understood. They are ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... It was celebrated in the cathedral. All made way for him, and at times he seemed collected; at times he reeled like one who was drunk. He heard as one who hears not; he saw as one in a dream. The whole ceremony went on by torchlight, and toward the close he stood like a pillar, motionless, torpid, frozen. But the great burst of the choir, and the mighty blare ascending from our vast organ at the closing of the grave, recalled him to himself, and he strode rapidly homeward. Half an hour after I returned, ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... challenged, what must he think of those cases in which downright facts, and incidents the most notorious, have been outrageously falsified only in obedience to a vulgar craving for effect in the dramatic situations, or by way of pointing a moral for the stimulation of torpid sensibilities? Take, for instance, the death of the second Villiers, Duke of Buckingham—a story which, in Pope's version of it, has travelled into a popularity that may be called national; and yet, the whole is one tissue ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v2 • Thomas de Quincey

... folk called this storm, and by that name it has gone down to history. "About the fifth and sixth days of the storm," says the Ettrick Shepherd, writing in Blackwood's Magazine of July 1819, "the young sheep began to fall into a sleepy and torpid state, and all that were affected in the evening died over-night. The intensity of the frost wind often cut them off when in that state quite instantaneously. About the ninth and tenth days, the shepherds began to build up huge ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... was after I had harked back to the days of my adolescence. I was born down on the northern edge of the southern range of the North American malaria belt; and when I was growing up, if one seemed intellectually torpid or became filled with an overpowering bodily languor, the indisposition always was diagnosed offhand as a touch of malaria. Accordingly, the victim, taking his own advice or another's, jolted his liver with calomel until the poor thing flinched ...
— One Third Off • Irvin S. Cobb

... sense of extraordinary powers, almost matured, though as yet but half-manifest. So much she knew of herself, and states modestly: "I had discovered that I could write quickly, easily, and for long at a time without fatigue; that my ideas, torpid in my brain, woke up and linked themselves together deductively in the flow of the pen; that in my life of seclusion, I had observed a good deal, and understood pretty well the characters I had chanced to come across, and that, consequently, I knew human nature well enough ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... world, only the most progressive among them seeing anything to be gained from foreign arts. These differences in character have given rise to a remarkable difference in results. The Japanese have been alert in availing themselves of all things new, the Chinese torpid and slow, sluggishly resisting change, hardly yielding even to the ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... Atlantic, see God take The mist from woe's white mountain, spring and stream, The breath of man in frost, the spiral lean From roof-cracked caves where, though the heart may break, The soul will not lie torpid, like the snake,— And battle smoke. On them He breathes with dream And, Lo! an Angel with a sword agleam 'Twix the Old World ...
— Freedom, Truth and Beauty • Edward Doyle

... upon the table, began to read. In a few moments the same numbness stole into his head like a rising fog, a queer, tense feeling, growing at the back of his forehead and at the base of his skull, a dulness, a strange stupefying sensation as of some torpid, murky atmosphere. He looked about him quickly; all the objects in the range of his vision—the corner of the desk, the corduroy couch, the low bookcase with Flossie's yellow slipper and Barye's lioness upon it—seemed to move back and stand upon the same plane; ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... and if the inducements to an act are not such as are consentaneous to his own feelings and character (where affection or the rights of others are not concerned), it is so much done toward rendering his feelings and character inert and torpid, instead of active ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... had his rapture checked by the terrible realisation that they had strayed far out of the course and that his hands were not strong enough to guide them. Close to the Great Bear and the Little Bear they passed, and these were scorched with heat. The Serpent which, torpid, chilly and harmless, lies coiled round the North Pole, felt a warmth that made it grow fierce and harmful again. Downward, ever downward galloped the maddened horses, and soon Phaeton saw the sea as a shield of molten brass, and ...
— A Book of Myths • Jean Lang

... respect, the toad has been treated with great injustice: it is a torpid, harmless animal, that passes the greatest part of the winter ...
— Parker's Second Reader • Richard G. Parker

... brought nearer to the invisible mystery, and a solemn peace of happy insight seems for a little while at least to possess our souls. Our white walk in the snow-bright air has in some way quickened the half-torpid immortal within us, revived awhile our sluggish sense of our spiritual significance and destiny, made us once more, if only for a little, attractively mysterious to ourselves. Yes! there is what one might call a certain monastic discipline about winter which impels the least spiritual minded ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... One evening, I sat upon our front step, in a kind of torpid state of mind through my refusal to contemplate the dismal future. My eye turned listlessly down the street. The only moving figure in it was that of a slender man approaching on the further side of ...
— Philip Winwood • Robert Neilson Stephens

... much exhausted to continue the argument; and, still numbed and torpid in all my limbs, permitted myself without reluctance to be placed on a horse brought for the purpose. My formidable conductor rode on the one side, and another person on the other, keeping me upright in the saddle. In this manner we travelled forward at a considerable ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... Association, a chap about my own age, who told me his brother remembered me at Oxford. There was a fellow of that name, I think, who came up in my year, a scrubby-faced reading man. We made hay in his room after a Torpid "rag," which he didn't like. Hope it isn't the same. I said I remembered him well. Dined with TOLLAND; nobody but leaders of the Party present, all as serious as judges, and full of importance. CHORKLE, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, April 11, 1891 • Various

... with, they are all consumed. But no one, that I know of, has ever found the Golden Gardener and its larva in the silken cocoons of the Bombyx. I do not expect ever to make such a discovery. These cocoons are inhabited only in winter, when the Gardener is indifferent to food, and lies torpid in the earth. In April, however, when the processions of larvae are seeking a suitable site for burial and metamorphosis, the Gardener should profit largely by its good fortune should it by any ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... national honor deeply and lastingly polluted, and not a breath or murmur shall arise to disturb the prevailing quiescence or to rouse the feelings of indignation against such general, extensive, and complicated iniquity.—To what cause are we to impute this frigid silence—this torpid indifference—this cold inanimated conduct of the otherwise warm and generous Americans? Why do they remain inactive, amidst the groans of injured humanity, the shrill and distressing complaints of expiring justice and the keen ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... unfeeling man who reported the Torpid races for "Bell's Life" had the unkindness to state in cold print; "Worcester succeeded in making the bump at the Cherwell, in consequence of No. 3 of the Brazenface boat suffering from fatigue." And on the copy of the journal sent to Mrs. Green of Manor Green, ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... 'and in that he is a beastly glutton. He gorges himself with it till all his faculties are overpowered and his mind becomes torpid. It's twice worse than drinking. I wonder whether he'll do a bit of speculation before ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... time he heard a story of how an Otisfield man named Henry Turner had killed three hibernating bears which he discovered in a cave near Moose Pond, not a difficult feat when one comes upon them in that torpid condition. This would place the killing of the bears at about the first of December, which would be probable enough, and the fact itself has been substantiated by Samuel Pickard. The next succeeding entry relates to the drowning ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... downfall—unfortunately a pluviometer was one of the forgotten articles. Before the shower, earth was dry as a bone; shortly after it, sprouts of the greenest grass began to appear in the low places, and under the shadow of the perennial shrubs. The cold damp seemed to make even the snakes torpid: for the first time in my life I trod upon one—a clairvoyante having already warned me against serpents and scorpions. There were also bursts of heat, ending in the normal three grey days of raw piercing norther; and followed by a still warmer spell. Upon the ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... the following spring. We should have said that it was impossible that any should survive but for one authentic instance in recent years, in which a barn-swallow lived through the winter in a semi-torpid state in an outhouse at a country vicarage. What came of the Newbury birds I do not know, as I left on the 2nd of November—tore myself away, I may say, for, besides meeting with people I didn't know who treated a stranger with sweet friendliness, it is a town ...
— Afoot in England • W.H. Hudson

... in ridicule of the spurious lutes of the romantic painters when Segouin shepherded his party into politics. Here was congenial ground for all. Jimmy, under generous influences, felt the buried zeal of his father wake to life within him: he aroused the torpid Routh at last. The room grew doubly hot and Segouin's task grew harder each moment: there was even danger of personal spite. The alert host at an opportunity lifted his glass to Humanity and, when the toast had been drunk, he threw open ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... There seems small blessing, in this overworked world, in a promise of more active exertion; but what an immense part of our nature lies dormant and torpid if we are not Christians! How much of the work that is done is dreary, wearisome, collar-work, against the grain. Do not the wheels of life often go slowly? Are you not often weary of the inexpressible monotony ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. John Chapters I to XIV • Alexander Maclaren

... to Merriston House in the middle of July. Helen accompanied her to see her safely installed and to set the very torpid social ball rolling. There were not many neighbours, but Helen assembled them all. She herself could stay only a few days. She was bound, until the middle of August, in a rush of engagements, and meanwhile ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... society, I am sure, you will find delightful. His predecessor, a personal friend of my own, succumbed, I grieve to say, a few months ago—owing to the alleged inadequate supply of beef-steaks at a 'Torpid' breakfast. . . . Painful, but apparently inevitable. I need hardly say, the perpetrators of this insult have been rusticated for a ...
— The Casual Ward - academic and other oddments • A. D. Godley

... furniture was the gaunt old press of dark wood. There was, too, a four-post bedstead, a mere skeleton which could hide nothing, and there was a chest of drawers. On the window-sill and the floor near it were the dead bodies of many hundred sawflies, and one torpid one which I had some satisfaction in killing. I tried the door of the press, but could not open it: the drawers, too, were locked. Somewhere, I was conscious, there was a faint rustling sound, but I could not locate it, and when I made my ...
— A Thin Ghost and Others • M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James

... all France; at least, as long as our armies are victorious, and organized in their present formidable manner. Should anything happen to our present chief, an impulse may be given to the minds now sunk down, and raise our characters from their present torpid state. But until such an event, we shall remain as we are, indolent but submissive, sacrificing our children and treasures for a cause we detest, and for a man we abhor. I am sorry to say it, but it certainly does, no honour to my nation when one million desperados of civil ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... pestilential stench around. Here and there they would divide and range themselves in ranks that took the form of human beings with faces all convulsed. Upon a rotting tree-trunk in the midst of all these horrors sat an enormous owl, torpid in its daytime roost; behind it a frowning cavern, guarded by two monsters direly blent of snake and toad and lizard. These, with all the other seeming life the chasm harbored, lay in deathlike slumber, and any movement visible was that of one plunged in deep dreams; ...
— A Book of Operas - Their Histories, Their Plots, and Their Music • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... its advocates might perhaps exclaim, "the extinction of which, if you could succeed in your rash attempt, would be like the annihilation in the material world of the principle of motion; without it all were torpid and cold and comfortless. We grant," they might go on to observe, "that we never ought to deviate from the paths of duty in order to procure the applause or to avoid the reproaches of men, and we allow that this is a rule too little attended to ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... Queen Emma of the Sandwich Isles, literally the Queen of the South, come to hear the wisdom of the Saint; and last of all, the friend and partner of his earlier work, the sharer in the revival of the Church from her torpid repose, John Henry Newman, who met Dr. Pusey there for one last day, fulfilling the words ...
— John Keble's Parishes • Charlotte M Yonge

... late years—I am fain to fancy the foundations of quite a lesson learn'd. After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on—have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons—the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night. We will begin from these convictions. Literature flies so high and is so hotly spiced, that our notes ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... and intelligence which animated her features. Her habitual beneficence was bespoken in every look. Always in search of occasions for doing good, always meditating scenes of happiness, of which she was the author, or of distress, for which she was preparing relief, the most torpid insensibility was, for a time, subdued, and the most depraved smitten by charms of which, in another person, they would not ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... which had been little more than a natural recoil from despair. He was not taken by surprise, or hurried into any vehemence of grief. A cold stupor, which made him almost insensible to his loss, crept over him. Sorrow would assert itself by and by; but now he felt dull and torpid. When the coffin was lifted out of the boat, by bearers who were waiting at the landing-stage for the purpose, he took up his post immediately behind it, as if it were already the funeral procession carrying his mother to the ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... Bombycidae, the sexes pair immediately after assuming the imago state; for they cannot feed, owing to the rudimentary condition of their mouths. The females, as several entomologists have remarked to me, lie in an almost torpid state, and appear not to evince the least choice in regard to their partners. This is the case with the common silk-moth (B. mori), as I have been told by some continental and English breeders. Dr. Wallace, who has had great experience in ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... lassitude of fatigue. They have ridden a long way, and need rest. They might go to sleep alongside the log, but none of them thinks of doing so, least of all Clancy. There is that in his breast forbidding sleep, and he is but too glad when Woodley's next words arouse him from the torpid repose to which he has been yielding. ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... and retired to her tent to lie torpid until evening. William drove the unloaded mules into an intervale full of sun-cured, fragrant grasses; I sat down beside Professor ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... striking clocks summoned him remorselessly to rise and work he often reeled with dizziness. It seemed to him that the greatest happiness attainable would be to creep into some dark, warm corner, out of the sight and memory of men, and lie there torpid, with a blessed half-consciousness that death was slowly overcoming him. Of all the sufferings collected into each four-and-twenty hours this of rising to a ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... idea of the time of night, and could not tell whether or not it was time to call her companion. She knew how hard he had worked during the day, and she resolved not to call him as long as she could keep awake herself. Her position was by the tree; but in order to rouse her torpid faculties, she took a walk around the island. When she reached the side of their narrow domain where they had landed in the morning, she was startled by what she thought was a slight splashing in the water, at a considerable distance from her. After the manner of ...
— Hope and Have - or, Fanny Grant Among the Indians, A Story for Young People • Oliver Optic

... proudly an eminent Spanish writer. Spectacles like that which we have just seen were one of the elements which in a barbarous and unenlightened age contributed strongly to the consolidation of that unthinking and ardent faith which has fused the nation into one torpid and homogeneous mass of superstition. No better means could have been devised for the purpose. Leaving out of view the sublime teachings of the large and tolerant morality of Jesus, the clergy made his personality the sole object of worship and ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... followed her first winter at Santa Barbara the little town sank into a semi-torpid state. Strangers disappeared. With many of the permanent residents to kill time was the main object of languid effort. To Madge the season brought varied opportunity. The old professor gave her much of his time. While others slept she read and studied. The heat, tempered by ...
— A Young Girl's Wooing • E. P. Roe

... inactive till it comes. That is the picture of humanity apart from Jesus Christ, a darkness so intense, so tragic, that it is, as it were, the very shadow of the ultimate and essential darkness which is death, and in it men are sitting torpid, unable to find their way ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... would otherwise have been, in his dealings with Oude. Sujah Dowlah had long been dead. His son and successor, Asaph-ul-Dowlah, was one of the weakest and most vicious even of Eastern princes. His life was divided between torpid repose and the most odious forms of sensuality. In his court there was boundless waste, throughout his dominions wretchedness and disorder. He had been, under the skilful management of the English government, gradually sinking ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... served to stir the torpid sense, Nor pain nor pity in my bosom raised. Memory, though slow, returned with strength; and thence Dismissed, again on open day I gazed, At houses, men, and common light, amazed. The lanes I sought, and as the sun retired, Came, where beneath the trees a faggot ...
— Lyrical Ballads 1798 • Wordsworth and Coleridge

... is but a vain display of ceremonies, to which they are attached by habit, which entertains their eyes, and produces a transient emotion in their torpid understandings, without influencing their conduct or reforming their morals. Even by the confession of the ministers of the altars, nothing is more rare than that internal and spiritual Religion, which alone is capable of regulating the life ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... watching, and had employed a few days in acquiring a knowledge of his enemy. Nero urged, not only by persuasion, but with the most earnest entreaties, "that they would not render rash by delay that measure of his which despatch had made safe. That Hannibal, who lay in a state of torpid inactivity in consequence of a delusion which would not continue long, had neither attacked his camp, left as it was without a leader, nor had directed his course in pursuit of him. That the army of Hasdrubal might be annihilated, and he might retire into Apulia before ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... dramatist of the nineteenth century has chosen to immortalize them by violence—to give them a life, or to give a life to their names, which history could not give. Neither he nor Shakespeare could have kept faith with the torpid fact and succeeded in the creation of a living and eternal truth. One thing may be registered to the credit, not indeed of the dramatist or the poet, but certainly of the man and the Englishman: the generous fair play shown to ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... doubted whether the donation to the Curates' Aid Society did have much effect. It may perhaps have induced a resolution in some few to go to the poll whose minds were active in regard to religion and torpid as to politics. But the donation to St Fabricius certainly had results. It was taken up and made much of by the Roman Catholic party generally, till a report got itself spread abroad and almost believed that Mr Melmotte was going to join the Church of Rome. These manoeuvres ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... distraction, seemed to have suspended her faculties, till, waking by degrees to a keen sense of anguish, a whirlwind of rage and indignation roused her torpid pulse. One recollection with frightful velocity following another, threatened to fire her brain, and make her a fit companion for the terrific inhabitants, whose groans and shrieks were no unsubstantial ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... himself. He fancied himself by her side, and his heart leaped with joy of it. He thought no more of abandoned cricket matches and neglected house parties. A finger of fire had been laid upon his somewhat torpid ...
— A Maker of History • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... virtuous truth in the eyes of any woman, it was now in Ruth Huckaback's: and my brain began very slowly to move, the heart being almost torpid from perpetual loss ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... profession are bound sooner or later to regard themselves as shelved for good in the provinces. Wherefore, every Tribunal of First Instance and every Court-Royal is sharply divided in two. The first section has given up hope, and is either torpid or content; content with the excessive respect paid to office in a country town, or torpid with tranquillity. The second section is made up of the younger sort, in whom the desire of success is untempered ...
— The Collection of Antiquities • Honore de Balzac

... deep impression upon Evelyn; it inspired her with a new interest in one in whom so many noble qualities lay dulled and torpid, by the indulgence of a self-sophistry, which, girl as she was, she felt wholly unworthy of his powers. And it was this error in Maltravers that, levelling his superiority, brought him nearer to her heart. Ah, if she could restore ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book II • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... that his presence isn't always necessary; it must bother Mrs. Loring too; he's quite off his head about her if she only knew it. However, it's my last day very likely, and if I have to outwit Machiavelli I'll manage it somehow! Surely one lame old woman, and a torpid machine for knitting and writing notes like Miss Smeardon, can't want to be out of doors all day. Hang that boy, though! He'll come anywhere." Here he stopped and sat down suddenly at the dressing-table, covering his face with ...
— Robinetta • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... stagnant pools or overwhelming torrents, inhabited by passive subjects or depredators. As in the Roman empire in the fourth century, in Italy in the seventeenth century, in the Turkish provinces in our own day, naught remains but an ill-conducted herd of stunted, torpid creatures, limited to their daily wants and animal instincts, indifferent to the public welfare and to their own prospective interests, so degenerate as to have lost sight of their own discoveries, unlearned their ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... destroy him was lurking in his system. In the beginning of April, 1851, he came again to New York partly for medical advice, and his changed appearance struck all his friends with surprise and sorrow. The digestive organs were impaired, the liver was torpid, and a general feebleness had taken the place of the vigor for which he had previously been distinguished. He remained several weeks in the city and then returned to Cooperstown. That place he never left again. The disease made rapid advances, ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... eye, but kept staring upward into the smoky vacancy towards the ceiling, where, it might be, he beheld a continual portraiture of his victim's horror-stricken agonies. I rather fancy, however, that his moral sense was yet too torpid to trouble him with such remorseful visions, and that, for his own part, he might have had very agreeable reminiscences of the soldier's death, if other eyes had not been bent reproachfully upon him and warned him that something was ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 57, July, 1862 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... that he prolonged his meals, which had hitherto been so simple and so short. He seemed desirous of stifling thought by repletion. He would then pass whole hours half reclined, and as if torpid, awaiting with a novel in his hand the catastrophe of his terrible history. In contemplating this obstinate and inflexible character thus struggling with impossibility, his officers would observe to each other that, having arrived at the summit ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... discouragement in this. It was agreeable to contemplate; for it made the fireside warmer in possession, and the summer greener in expectancy. The river looked chilly; but it was in motion, and moving at a good pace—which was a great point. The canal was rather slow and torpid; that must be admitted. Never mind. It would freeze the sooner when the frost set fairly in, and then there would be skating, and sliding; and the heavy old barges, frozen up somewhere near a wharf, would smoke ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... flies, insects, and caterpillars—the carcasses of which they may be seen dragging to their nests—show the greatest avidity for sweet liquids. They are capable of absorbing large quantities, which they disgorge into the mouths of their companions. In winter time, when the ants are nearly torpid and do not require much nourishment, two or three ants told off as foragers are sufficient to provide for the whole nest. We all know how ants keep their herds in the shape of aphides, or ant cows, which supply them with the sweet liquid they exude. I have often observed an ant ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 822 - Volume XXXII, Number 822. Issue Date October 3, 1891 • Various

... graceful creatures (is it possible that a fine yacht can be counted as an inanimate thing?) reclined on the muddy bosom of the basin, but I would not put the Rob Roy there, it seemed so pent up and torpid a life, and with the curious always gazing down from the lofty quay right into your cabin, especially as next day I wished to have ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

... is fish, seals, and the carcases of whales; on land, it preys upon deer and other animals, and will, like the Black Bear, eat many kinds of berries. In winter, it beds itself deeply under the snow or eminences of ice, and awaits, in a torpid state, the ...
— Book about Animals • Rufus Merrill

... do, for I can't handle those things like you, Ned, so I pushed its head down with my tooth brush and pinned up the pocket with my scarf pin. Then I waited a while for you, and I thought it had gone into a torpid condition like you read of, and Jack Dale came for me to go to see a Punch-and-Judy and when I got back the little deceitful beggar had cleared ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... from which the ill-omening woman had issued, they found another, even her of whom they were in search, sitting by the fire, torpid and corpulent, to a degree which indicated that as it had been her trade to nurse others, she had not ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Vol. XXIII. • Various

... by this means the brood suffers. Besides, they must always have a sufficient provision of honey left for winter, for although less is consumed during this season, they do consume some; because they are not torpid, as some authors have conceived.{N} Therefore if they have not enough, they must be supplied with it, which requires great exactness. I admit that in determining to what extent hives may be multiplied ...
— New observations on the natural history of bees • Francis Huber

... eyes, and soon presented the appearance of being dead. The same process was gone through with the others. Bouvard passed them quickly across to Pecuchet, who ranged them on the side on which they had become torpid. ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... Antecessors, finishing his long narrative of it, "this Camp is Nothing; and after all this expense of King August's and mine, it flies away like a dream. But alas, were the Congresses of Cambrai and Soissons, was the life-long diplomacy of Kaiser Karl, or the History of torpid moribund Europe in those days, much of a Something? The Pragmatic Sanction, with all its protocolling, has fled, like the temporary Playhouse of King August erected there in the village of Strohme. Much talk, noise and ...
— History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 7 • Thomas Carlyle

... who were hired To do the work of his reviewing, With adamantine nerves, grew tired;— 730 Gaping and torpid they retired, To dream of what they should ...
— Peter Bell the Third • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... a thistle-head. The queen bee alone survives. You never see her playing the vagabond in the fall. At least I never have. She hunts out a retreat in the ground and passes the winter there, doubtless in a torpid state, as she stores no food against the inclement season. Emerson has put this fact into his poem ...
— The Wit of a Duck and Other Papers • John Burroughs

... but yesterday were soft and torpid, expanded under the extraordinary light when fate threw them into the infernal vortex of the war, the light of Death, the game with Death; Maxime, a spoiled child, delicate, overparticular, who in ordinary times took care ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... after a while I lay torpid, and then perchance I slept, for finally I opened my eyes and found the white strong light; T lay on a bed, and a surgeon handled me. Too elastic was I to be long crushed, once the weight removed. Soon I breathed fresh air; and save that my frame had become in its distortion hideous, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... might—he HAD—let her go easily, as one resigns his careless hold upon a paltry, unprized toy; but when her hand had rested thus in his, and his passionate regards penetrated her soul, he loved her, alone and entirely! She would fold this conviction to her torpid heart for a little while before she turned herself away finally from the memories of that love-summer and battle-autumn of her existence. If it aroused in the chilled thing some slight pangs of sentiency, it would ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... The want of an English name obliges me to refer to the common genus of squirrels, the Latin glis, the French loir; a little animal, who inhabits the woods, and remains torpid in cold weather, (see Plin. Hist. Natur. viii. 82. Buffon, Hist. Naturelle, tom. viii. 153. Pennant's Synopsis of Quadrupeds, p. 289.) The art of rearing and fattening great numbers of glires was practised ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... voluptuary he had known two days since?—the strange, unprincipled, impulsive being, who yielded like the reed, to every gust of passion—this deep, clear, vigorous thinker! It was indeed a change to puzzle sager heads than that of Arvina! a transformation, sudden and beautiful as that from the torpid earthy grub, to the swift-winged etherial butterfly! He gazed at her, until she smiled in reply to his look of bewilderment; and then he met her smile with a sad ...
— The Roman Traitor (Vol. 1 of 2) • Henry William Herbert

... and Reuben thought that he heard the footsteps of one of them going down the lane. He could feel, by a warm sensation across his cheek, that the blood was flowing freely from the wound he had received on his temple. A dull torpid feeling came over him, and after a ...
— A Final Reckoning - A Tale of Bush Life in Australia • G. A. Henty

... Constrictor Peckham plunged the next morning, for all he was worth. His money brought him ten thousand shares. The morning papers did not have it, and all that day the Boa Constrictor lay as torpid as any other snake in cold weather. Peckham's face had taken on the tense, wild look of the gambler. He left the office half a dozen times during the day to look at the stock-boards. He had a hundred minds about taking his money out and putting ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

... poor and blinded ones In trustful patience wait to feel O'er torpid pulse and failing ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... go forth from the sun where the Lord is; the heat going forth therefrom is love, and the light wisdom (as shown in Part Second). Life, therefore, is from these two which go forth from the Lord as a sun. That love and wisdom from the Lord is life can be seen also from this, that man grows torpid as love recedes from him, and stupid as wisdom recedes from him, and that were they to recede altogether he would become extinct. There are many things pertaining to love which have received other names because they are derivatives, such as affections, ...
— Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom • Emanuel Swedenborg

... uncommon fate that had been allotted to him. No philosopher was he— just a plain, commonplace person gifted, for the time being, with a pathological indifference: the organ that he feared consequences with was torpid. So, with no particular apprehension for his immediate future, he fell asleep and all was peace ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... by his own substance, like some torpid creature which hibernates in caves. Solitude had reacted upon his brain like a narcotic. After having strained and enervated it, his mind had fallen victim to a sluggishness which annihilated his plans, broke his will power and invoked ...
— Against The Grain • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... of soul and body. As soon as the senses become torpid, the inner man withdraws from the outer. There are three different ways which afford this separation. First, natural sleep. Second, induced sleep, such as hypnotism, mesmerism or trance. Third, death. In the above two cases the man has only left his physical body temporarily, ...
— The Secret of Dreams • Yacki Raizizun

... and let not such torpid indifference prevail in your councils.—Slavery, the most implacable enemy to your country, is harboured amongst you; it makes a rapid progress, and ...
— Anti-Slavery Opinions before the Year 1800 - Read before the Cincinnati Literary Club, November 16, 1872 • William Frederick Poole

... women, fine talkers." She was (aside from the necessary sarcasm to keep up this reputation) a good-humored soul enough,—when no one stood in her way. But if her shallow virtues or vices were palpable at all to him to-day, they became one with the torpid beauty of the oppressive summer day, and weighed on him alike with a vague disgust. The woman luxuriated in perfume; some heavy odor always hung about her. Holmes, thinking of her now, fancied he felt it stifling the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... at the window looking down over the blistering plaza. Davao was torpid under the noonday heat. Three carabaos grazed undisturbed on the forbidden square: another of the awkward powerful brutes dawdled up the dusty road, hauling a decrepit two-wheeled cart on which a naked-backed, red-pantalooned ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... like a machine out of work—rusty, creaking, difficult to set going. If she had half an hour of leisure she could not fix her attention to anything. She, who in her grandmother's time had been so keen and alert, seemed to have drifted, in Mrs. Alwynn's society, into a torpid state, from which she made vain attempts to emerge, only to ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley



Words linked to "Torpid" :   biological science, asleep, inactive, biology



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