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Infirmity   /ɪnfˈərmɪti/   Listen
Infirmity

noun
(pl. infirmities)
1.
The state of being weak in health or body (especially from old age).  Synonyms: debility, feebleness, frailness, frailty, valetudinarianism.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Infirmity" Quotes from Famous Books



... so far as it goes, uninterrupted, the dialogue is printed entire in the present number, despite its length. Of the writer, but little can be said. He was an artist; but ill health, almost amounting to infirmity—his portion from childhood—rendered him unequal to the bodily labour inseparable from his profession: and in the course of his short life, whose youth was scarcely consummated, he exhibited, from time to time, only a very few small pictures, and these, as regards ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... possibilities and realities as existent, it was clear to him that a Marquis of Kingsbury had been placed on a pedestal. It might be that the state of things was matter for regret. In his grander moments he was certain that it was so. Why should there be a ploughboy unable to open his mouth because of his infirmity, and a Marquis with his own voice very resonant in the House of Lords, and a deputy voice dependent on him in the House of Commons? He had said so very frequently before his son, not knowing then what might be the effect of ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... overjoyed, rejoined her mistress. The two embraced as was best possible. As her senses cleared, a sort of relief came over Josephine. Now, she began to reason, for the time she was shielded by this infirmity; comforted also by the presence of one as weak and helpless ...
— The Purchase Price • Emerson Hough

... it is also believed that these months have an enervating effect on the system generally. In so far as the heat of summer produces disease, it at the same time tends to produce crime. Persons suffering from any kind of ailment or infirmity are far more liable to become criminals than are healthy members of the community. The intimate connection between disease and crime is a matter which must never be forgotten. In the present instance, however, the closeness ...
— Crime and Its Causes • William Douglas Morrison

... instead of the persons entertaining them; the effect upon the church would, we think, have been favorable, and unity of sentiment might have been promoted. That a different impression has been made on many minds is, doubtless, owing to the human infirmity and passion that mingled in the contest. Which party exhibited the largest amount of this weakness, we will not undertake to decide, although we doubt not, that here as in most other cases, the ...
— American Lutheranism Vindicated; or, Examination of the Lutheran Symbols, on Certain Disputed Topics • Samuel Simon Schmucker

... not long since. One helps the vices and passions of the soul, anger, lust, desperation, pride, presumption, &c. by applying that spiritual physic; as the other uses proper remedies in bodily diseases. Now this being a common infirmity of body and soul, and such a one that hath as much need of spiritual as a corporal cure, I could not find a fitter task to busy myself about, a more apposite theme, so necessary, so commodious, and generally concerning all sorts of men, that should so equally participate of both, and require a whole ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... place where the trees have been cleared and the snow mountains spread themselves for the feast of the eyes of those who can see. He put his milk-can and his staff on the ground, and stood for a moment with head bowed as if crushed by his infirmity. Then he threw up his hands and raised his head, as though a sudden vision had come to him—his whole body tense and expectant, like that of a man who strains every nerve to catch a message from the hills across the valley. ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... each nation of to-day is in the arbitrary map-made lines of her frontiers, while she is inhabited by an artificial amalgam of races; there are the worm-eaten genealogists, who forge for the ambitious of conquest and plunder false certificates of philosophy and imaginary titles of nobility. The infirmity of human intelligence is short sight. In too many cases, the wiseacres are dunces of a sort, who lose sight of the simplicity of things, and stifle and obscure it with formulae and trivialities. It is the small things that one learns from ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... got to take a trip down into Aroostook, and as I'm getting pretty old and feeble—Oh, you needn't smile, youngster, I am old and I've made so many bad jokes lately that I must be getting feeble. As I was saying, having reached an advanced state of infirmity, it has occurred to me that I need a travelling companion, a young, able-bodied fellow like you, for instance, to protect me against the dangers of the journey. Who knows but what we may meet with an alligator, eh? and so I want you to go ...
— Wakulla - A Story of Adventure in Florida • Kirk Munroe

... be called the last infirmity of the determined reader in bed is his final decision to sit up and read in that fashion. Nothing could be better—for a certain more or less brief period. At the expiration of a few minutes, you realize that you are getting a sort of cramp in the knees; moreover, there is a disagreeable ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams

... melancholy student; he was indeed the very opposite of that when his little intervals of recreation occurred. During the day he would be out about the workshop and saw-mill, giving each in turn a poking and joking at times very tormenting to the recipients. If we had any little infirmity or weakness, he was sure to enlarge upon it and make us try to amend it, assuming the role and aspect of a drill-sergeant for the time being. He used to have the mid-finger of the right hand extended in such a ...
— James Gilmour of Mongolia - His diaries, letters, and reports • James Gilmour

... the worse—so much the worse," said Fitzgerald despondingly. "Is there no family complaint; no respectable heir-loom of infirmity, you can lay claim ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... does nothing; and this very speculation on his own infirmity only affords him another occasion for indulging it. It is not from any want of attachment to his father or of abhorrence of his murder that Hamlet is thus dilatory, but it is more to his taste to indulge his imagination in reflecting upon the enormity of the crime and refining on his schemes ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... "If you take infirmity," said Mrs Charlton, who was now helped into the chaise, "for intoxication, you must suppose no old ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... in the space sometimes of one day, sees them, with fear, change toward her, who has remained the same. It is that they have developed in them to a very intense degree the imagination of the human soul, and that to observe is to them only a pretext to construe. That infirmity had governed Julien from early maturity. It was rarely manifested in a manner more unexpected than in the case of charming Alba Steno, who was possibly dreaming of him at the very moment when, in the silence of the night, he was forcing himself to prove ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... a remedy. Asaph began to cure himself when, instead of saying, "All things are against me," he said, "This is my infirmity," my fault; I am enough to turn a beehive sour. His cure was almost perfect when he said, "I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." The cure for the blues is simple, then. First, own up to it that the largest part of your miseries comes out of your own mind, out of your distorted ...
— Levels of Living - Essays on Everyday Ideals • Henry Frederick Cope

... various diseases; as lipothamia, which is a total faintness of body, and defect of strength; paralysis, which is a loosening and relaxation of the membranes and ligaments which serve for motion; epilepsy; permanent infirmity arising from apoplexy; certain chronical diseases; the iliac passion; rupture; besides other diseases, which the science of pathology teaches. VITIATED STATES OF THE MIND, which are just causes of separation from the bed and the house, are madness, frenzy, furious wildness, actual ...
— The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love • Emanuel Swedenborg

... the bridegroom may appoint? Not he That is not of the house, but from the street Stain'd with the mire thereof. I had been so true To Henry and mine office that the King Would throne me in the great Archbishoprick: And I, that knew mine own infirmity, For the King's pleasure rather than God's cause Took it upon me—err'd thro' love of him. Now therefore God from me withdraws Himself, And the King too. What! forty thousand marks! Why thou, the King, ...
— Becket and other plays • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... any agreement of witnesses. If some, gifted with acute spiritual insight, really perceived that dreadful warping of a diseased will, and clothed it with a material image for their own grosser senses; or if Barney, through dwelling upon his own real but hidden infirmity, had actually come unconsciously to give it a physical expression, and walked at times through the village with his back bent like his spirit, although not diseased, Thomas Payne could only speculate. He finally began to adopt the ...
— Pembroke - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... Mill did over his contemporaries, to view his own share in it with such discrimination and equity as marks every page of his book, and as used to mark every word of his conversation. Knowing as we all do the last infirmity of even noble minds, and how deep the desire to erect himself Pope and Sir Oracle lies in the spirit of a man with strong convictions, we may value the more highly, as well for its rarity as for its intrinsic worth, Mr. Mill's quality of self-effacement, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 3 (of 3) - Essay 2: The Death of Mr Mill - Essay 3: Mr Mill's Autobiography • John Morley

... course, very gratifying to him. In writing soon after to the Emperor of Brazil, who had expressed a warm interest in his election, he says: "The distinction pleased me the more because so unexpected. Unhappily it is usually a brevet of infirmity, or at least of old age, and in my case it is to a house in ruins that the diploma is addressed. I regret it the more because I have never felt more disposed for work, and yet never so ...
— Louis Agassiz: His Life and Correspondence • Louis Agassiz

... with melancholy. There is no more beautiful illustration of the principle of compensation which marks the Divine benevolence than the fact that some of the holiest lives and some of the sweetest songs are the growth of the infirmity which unfits its subject for the rougher duties of life. When one reads the life of Cowper, or of Keats, or of Lucretia and Margaret Davidson,—of so many gentle, sweet natures, born to weakness, and mostly dying ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... our thoughts rather upon that felicity which we hope she shall enjoy, than upon that unspeakable loss we shall endure. Let her memory be ever dear unto us, and the example of her many virtues, as far as human infirmity will admit, our constant imitation. Accept, O Lord, these prayers poured from the very bottom of our hearts, in Thy mercy, and for the merits of ...
— The Battle of the Books - and Other Short Pieces • Jonathan Swift

... in any sense his match. The late Dr. Gibson was frequently accustomed to tackle him, and perhaps he sometimes did so successfully; but while the latter was undoubtedly an able debater, he lost ground from his impetuosity of temper—an infirmity to which Dr. Buchanan never gives way. In all circumstances he is cool, calculating, unruffled; he measures the full meaning and effect of every sentence; he can be fierce and withering, and still maintain ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... it an infirmity, and such a bad infirmity, apparently, that it is the hardest of all to ...
— Home Again • George MacDonald

... illustrated in the person of one of the gentlemen we met at this table. It is that English sporting men are often deaf on one side, in consequence of the noise of the frequent discharge of their guns affecting the right ear. This is a very convenient infirmity for gentlemen who indulge in slightly aggressive remarks, but when they are hit back never seem to be conscious at all of the riposte,—the ...
— Our Hundred Days in Europe • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... drunk; drunk all over; drunk in the eyes, in the mouth, in the small of his back, in his knees, in his boots, clear down to his toes! How one's heart is drawn toward him by this common bond of human infirmity! How it recalls the camp, the one-horse mining town, the social gathering of the "boys" at Dan's, or Jim's, or Jack's; and the clink of dimes and glasses at the bar; how distances are annihilated and time set back! Of a verity, when I saw that man, with reason dethroned ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... recovered it." The people, among other marks of gratitude, gave his son the consulship of the next year; shortly after whose entrance upon his office, there being some business on foot about provision for the war, his father, either on account of age and infirmity, or perhaps out of design to try his son, came up to him on horseback. While he was still at a distance, the young consul observed it, and bade one of his lictors command his father to alight, and tell him that, if he had any business with the consul, he should come on foot. The ...
— The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch - Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch • Plutarch

... the room, as this interrogatory was put; and there issued, from a door on the right hand; first, a feeble candle: and next, the form of the same individual who has been heretofore described as labouring under the infirmity of speaking through his nose, and officiating as waiter at the ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... all that he had promised. Accordingly, I had my jug and basin packed up, after showing them to the Duke. Now a Ferrarese gentleman named Alberto Bendedio was the Cardinal's agent, and he had been twelve years confined to his house, without once leaving it, by reason of some physical infirmity. One day he sent in a vast hurry for me, saying I must take the post at once, in order to present myself before the King of France, who had eagerly been asking for me, under the impression that I was in France. By way of apology, the Cardinal ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... philosophic preface is the subject-matter of his pages; but he will suffer no imputation of ridiculing vice or calamity. "Surely," he cries, "he hath a very ill-framed Mind, who can look on Ugliness, Infirmity, or Poverty, as ridiculous in themselves"; and he formally declares that such vices as appear in this work "are never set forth as the objects of Ridicule but Detestation." What then were the limits which Fielding imposed on himself in ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... among us is not so? He was ambitious—who among us is ashamed to own that 'last infirmity of noble minds!' He was avaricious, my readers will say. No—it was not for love of lucre that he wished to be bishop of Barchester. He was his father's only child, and his father had left him great wealth. His preferment brought him in nearly three thousand a year. The bishopric, as cut ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... seminal fluid becomes greatly deteriorated. Even at the best, its component elements could only represent decrepitude and infirmity, degeneration and senility. In view of ...
— Plain Facts for Old and Young • John Harvey Kellogg

... early History of the State. An application made by Dr. Woods to Sir Thomas Phillipps revealed the existence of Hakluyt's Discourse. Dr. Woods set to work to edit this valuable document, but a fire destroyed most of his materials, and was followed by physical infirmity which forbade literary labour. Dr. Charles Deane's familiarity with the topics suggested by the matter in hand, and his position as a "Collaborateur" of Dr. Woods for some months, at once pointed him out as the right man to do the work to the Standing Committee of the Maine ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... bent, has produced in him that blindness to human limitations, and that presumptuous self-will, which in Greek tragedy we have so often seen stumbling against the altar of Nemesis. Our consciousness that the decay of old age contributes to this condition deepens our pity and our sense of human infirmity, but certainly does not lead us to regard the old King as irresponsible, and so to sever the tragic nexus which binds together his ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... battles, and in those days war was a matter of personal valour and of individual bravery. On that account, therefore, the men who were selected as their soldiers were among the healthiest of the nation. Those who by reason of bodily infirmity or inherent weakness were unfitted for military prowess were left alone. But, as Maclaren has well pointed out, the object of systematic and proper exercise is not for the production of a race of soldiers, though a certain proportion of the population will always be required for military service. ...
— The Art of Living in Australia • Philip E. Muskett (?-1909)

... altogether worthy of the powers now revealed and now eclipsed, now suddenly radiant and now utterly extinct, in the various and voluminous array of his writings. Although his earlier plays are in every way superior to his later, there is evidence even in the best of them of the author's infirmity of hand. From the first he shows himself idly or perversely or impotently prone to loosen his hold on character and story alike before his plot can be duly carried out or his conceptions adequately developed. His "pleasant Comedie of 'The ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... of terror, and to cause the birth of cocks with four wings. He had no such mischievous tricks. He was incapable of certain abominations, such as, for instance, speaking German, Hebrew, or Greek, without having learned them, which is a sign of unpardonable wickedness, or of a natural infirmity proceeding from a morbid humour. If Ursus spoke Latin, it was because he knew it. He would never have allowed himself to speak Syriac, which he did not know. Besides, it is asserted that Syriac is the language spoken in the midnight meetings at which uncanny people ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... scarce have shook the credit of the New Bedford owners. And the act itself was simply murder. Tari's life must have hung in the beginning by a hair. In the grief and terror of that time, it is not unlikely he went mad, an infirmity to which he was still liable; or perhaps a child may have taken a fancy to him and ordained him to be spared. He escaped at least alive, married in the island, and when I knew him was a widower with a married son and a granddaughter. ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not only unlike the fashion of this generation, but gave tokens of age never discerned in Mars for the last three or four thousand years. The form, though erect and even stately, was that of one who had felt the long since abolished infirmity of advancing years. The countenance alone bore no marks of old age. It was full, unwrinkled, firm in physical as in moral character; calm in the unresisted power of intellect and will over the passions, serene in a dignity ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... been a good friend to me and had won my regard, but, from an infirmity of temper that I have touched on before, his present tone set me against him. I take reproof badly, and age has hardly ...
— Simon Dale • Anthony Hope

... comprehend. Their temperament, turned alternately to and from the South, in which from time to time the Provencal and Ligurian blood froths over, preserves them from the dreadful, northern grey-in-grey, from sunless conceptual-spectrism and from poverty of blood—our GERMAN infirmity of taste, for the excessive prevalence of which at the present moment, blood and iron, that is to say "high politics," has with great resolution been prescribed (according to a dangerous healing art, which bids me wait and wait, ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... the worldly tone of his tales grew out of the calculations of self-culture. It was the infirmity of an admirable scholar, who loved the world out of gratitude; who knew where libraries, galleries, architecture, laboratories, savants, and leisure, were to be had, and who did not quite trust the compensations of poverty and ...
— Representative Men • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... brotherly aid, led him to one of those benches dotted here and there among the tombs, on which those inconsolable mourners rest who make the cemetery their usual walk and abode. He settled him in his seat, gazed upon him tenderly, pitied him for his infirmity, and, following what was quite a natural channel in such a spot, they came to talking of their health, of the old age that was approaching. This one was dropsical, the other subject to apoplectic fits. Both were in the habit of dosing ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... and some of the poor people turning their heads as he passed, to observe how he got on, he felt covered with confusion, and wished that he had waited one more Sunday, when the Crofton boys would have been all gone, and there would have been fewer eyes to mark his infirmity. But better thoughts soon arose, and made him ashamed of his false shame; and before the service was over, he felt how trifling is any misfortune while we are friends with God, in comparison with the least wrong-doing which ...
— The Crofton Boys • Harriet Martineau

... long and prosperous reign, age brought with it infirmity, and he at length became incapable of appearing in his hall of audience; upon which he commanded his sons to his presence, and said to them, "My wish is to divide among you, before my death, all my possessions, that you may be satisfied, and live in unanimity and ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... Montgomery is unfortunate. He stutters. You should apologize. To jeer at the infirmity of others is the depth of ill-breeding," interposed Miss Maitland, hastily crossing the room and laying a reproving hand upon the girl's shoulder. Then she continued, smiling affectionately upon the lad: "But ...
— The Brass Bound Box • Evelyn Raymond

... light of these words, have felt any latent infirmity in such a pretension exposed; but as he stood there facing his chances he would have struck a spectator as resting firmly enough on some felt residuum of advantage: whether this were cleverness or luck, the strength of his backing or that of his sincerity. ...
— The Outcry • Henry James

... It was a thrust with a double-edged sword. He was what we now call, an exquisite, in person, and one to whom the idea of chewing tobacco was abhorrent, whilst he was actually and distressingly troubled with the infirmity hinted at. For a moment, the suavity of his manner was destroyed, and he forgot the respect due ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... it was as if the pendulum had swung too far in the opposite direction, and at the extreme point of its arc had left the little Jose, with the sterner qualities of the old Conquistador wholly neutralized by self-condemnation, fear, infirmity of purpose, a high degree of intellectuality, and ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... only promise that I will do my best to answer them as explicitly as possible, though at the same time I must remind you, that brevity in epistolary correspondence is not one of my excellencies. If I become too diffuse in describing mere matters of fact, you must bear with mine infirmity, and attribute it to my womanly propensity of over-much talking; so, for your comfort, if your eyes be wearied, your ears ...
— The Backwoods of Canada • Catharine Parr Traill

... vitality and rendering her permanently and obviously unfit for work. It is true, the corset impairs the personal attractions of the wearer, but the loss suffered on that score is offset by the gain in reputability which comes of her visibly increased expensiveness and infirmity. It may broadly be set down that the womanliness of woman's apparel resolves itself, in point of substantial fact, into the more effective hindrance to useful exertion offered by the garments peculiar to women. This difference between masculine and feminine ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... he was faithful and industrious to a rare degree. He was never absent and seldom late; he bore unflinchingly the burden of severe committee work, and shirked no toil on the plea of age or infirmity. He attended closely to all the business of the House; carefully formed his opinions on every question; never failed to vote except for cause; and always had a sufficient reason independent of party allegiance to sustain his vote. Living in ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... colleagues—the Billiken, for instance, and the Kewp. But the Billiken is a philosopher, and doesn't care; and the Kewp is a careless child. But I feel it, Sara; I have to confess to you that I am a prey to the 'last infirmity of noble minds.'" After a moment he added, less sadly but more irritably, "That creature, now, brainless as it is, is just a ...
— The Garden of the Plynck • Karle Wilson Baker

... his own act had rendered it impossible, that act the outcome of wilful trifling with his infirmity, his itch for thieving. ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... that between the date of the Act and the year 1824 (when Mr. Crawford's candidacy was expected to ripen) only such changes were made in the offices of the Treasury Department as might well have been deemed necessary from causes of age and infirmity already referred to. Besides, Mr. Crawford during all this period was in ill-health, with ambition ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... time when our Lord still walked this earth, he and St. Peter stopped one evening at a smith's and received free quarters. Then it came to pass that a poor beggar, hardly pressed by age and infirmity, came to this house and begged alms of the smith. St. Peter had compassion on him and said, "Lord and master, if it please thee, cure his torments that he may be able to win his own bread." The Lord said kindly, "Smith, lend me thy forge, and put ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... profitable intercourse. He was suddenly called away in the midst of his usefulness, and in the prime of life. I have been confining my remarks to the departed; but I must mention two who survive—warm-hearted Heinig, of the Baptist Mission, now set aside by age and infirmity, after a long life of great toil in the service of Christ, and our greatly-loved friend Leupolt, of the Church Mission, who is still doing good service now in England, and was for many years the fellow-labourer of his friend Smith. His name and work at Benares will ...
— Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877 • James Kennedy

... it may supervene on blow, injuries, and exposures, it is much more commonly connected with faulty conditions of the system—as indigestion, heart disease, lung or liver disease, imperfect blood formation, or assimilation; in short, it is rather the attendant on a constitutional infirmity than ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... only the ignorant and superficial who believe in fate. "The first step into thought lifts this mountain of necessity." "Fate is unpenetrated causes." "They may well fear fate who have any infirmity of habit or aim: but he who rests on what he is has a destiny beyond destiny, and can ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... the air. Dark clouds were lifting themselves in the east and north beyond the mountains, and a chill breeze was blowing from them upon my brow. I took off my hat, and held up my face to get all its cooling touch. Tulp, between heavy breaths, still begged that his infirmity might not ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... to service for periods varying from three to twelve weeks. In others they were left free to maintain themselves by their own efforts, the state to provide for such as were incapable, through age or infirmity, of performing manual labour. Hundreds of those who were placed under control escaped and wandered, footsore and half clad, from town to town in the hope of meeting their relatives or of finding means to return to their former homes. ...
— The Acadian Exiles - A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline • Arthur G. Doughty

... our sending to a tailor named Ott, he could not come to us by reason of bodily infirmity; but on paying him a visit I found him a meek and spiritual man. He undertook to speak with some others of the same way of thinking, to meet us in our hotel at 7 o'clock. On making it known he found more were desirous of coming than he had expected; a number of young people asked permission ...
— Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel • John Yeardley

... geology, it reaches into the vast, undefined past; and like biology, it comprehends all life science; but unlike each, it has no limitation to any sphere. It is equally at home with living forms and with dead matter—equally at home in the humbler spheres of human life and human infirmity, and in the higher spheres of the spirit world, which we call heaven. It grasps all of biology, all of history, all of geology and astronomy, and far more than telescopes have revealed. It has no parallel in any science, for sciences are limited and defined in their scope, while psychometry is ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, April 1887 - Volume 1, Number 3 • Various

... the case be generally accepted. He will not be supposed to retreat from further controversy, as inconsistent with spiritual purposes, but because he finds himself unequal to the dispute. And, in the very best case, he is, by his own acknowledgment, tainted with human infirmity. He has been ruined for a servant of inspiration; and how? By a process, let it be remembered, of which all the steps are inevitable under the same agency: that is, in the case of any primitive Christian teacher ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... and it has been eminently successful, and therefore I commend it to others, treating with pity the infirmity of those who ignorantly condemn it, as "They know not what ...
— An Epitome of Homeopathic Healing Art - Containing the New Discoveries and Improvements to the Present Time • B. L. Hill

... treat the poor soul's want of memory as a common infirmity; pretended he was himself very often troubled in the same way, and advised him to read the newspapers. "My good wife," said he, "has brought me a whole file of the Cape Gazette. I'd read them if I was you. The deuce is in it, if you don't ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... up. The inner upheaval had gone too far. He stopped and looked at her—piteously, the features quivering. It was as though the man's whole nature had for the moment broken up, become disorganised. She could not bear it. Some ghastly infirmity seemed to have been laid bare to her. She held out both her hands. Swiftly he caught them, stooped, kissed them, let them go. It was an extraordinary scene—to both a kind ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... been great friends. I cannot say more. And do you really give me permission to speak to her? Would you give her to me, in spite of my weakness and infirmity? How can I ever ...
— Sisters Three • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... or party, I should have said; but thus it is, friend Latimer, with the wisest men when they permit themselves to be perturbed with passion, and speak as in a fever, or as with the tongue of the foolish and the forward. And although thou hast been hasty to mark my infirmity, yet I grieve not that thou hast been a witness to it, seeing that the stumbles of the wise may be no less a caution to youth and inexperience, than is the fall ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... abideth in Me ... the same bringeth forth much fruit." That is the gift I seek. For the keeping of His commandments the Lord provides Himself. I am not called upon to raise fruits out of the soil of my own will, out of my own infirmity of aspiration or desire. I can rest everything in God! I can "abide in Him," and I may have the holy energies of the Godhead to produce in me the fruits of a holy and obedient life. The good Lord provides both ...
— My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year • John Henry Jowett

... introduction the following rather lengthy sentence:—"If the devil were in a laughing mood, what could seem more grimly humorous to him than the vision of a fair young spirit striving consciously after ethereal perfection, but overweighted unconsciously by the bonds and fetters of human infirmity and passion, and dragged at last headlong down the abysmal descent to perdition?" ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, September 3, 1887 • Various

... continued. Why should a place of worship opposite to his gate be considered by him as an injury? Why should the psalm-singing of Christian brethren hurt his ears as he walked about his garden? And if, through the infirmity of his nature, his eyes and his ears were hurt, what was that to the great purport for which he had been sent into the parish? Was he not about to create enmity by his opposition; and was it not his special duty to foster love and goodwill among his people? After ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... bridges. We lie in gaols, we are hustled by the police, we are despised by all men. If you offer us drink, and stop to gossip with us for a moment, you only do so to please yourselves with the spectacle of our infamy, our infirmity, our incongruity. We have lost all hope, all self-respect. We are ships that have come to grief, that are foundering, that will presently go down. Yet we are not altogether to be pitied: we know life. To the respectable man, the prosperous, ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... you of this foole Maluolio, doth he not mend? Mal. Yes, and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him: Infirmity that decaies the wise, doth euer ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... magistrate, also being deaf and at the same time anxious to conceal his infirmity, understood ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume V. • Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

... wisdom, and acteth prudently in comparison to him; for they enjoy some pleasure, or acquire some gain here, in lieu of their salvation hereafter, but this fondling offendeth Heaven, and abandoneth happiness, he knoweth not why or for what. He hath not so much as the common plea of human infirmity to excuse him; he can hardly say that he was tempted thereto by ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... many inconsistencies which folly produces, or infirmity suffers in the human mind, there has often been observed a manifest and striking contrariety between the life of an author and his writings; and Milton, in a letter to a learned stranger, by whom he had been visited, with great reason congratulates himself upon ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... condition. Meek, uncomplaining, and zealous in the discharge of his duties, he has been allowed to hold his situation long beyond the usual period; and he will no doubt continue to hold it, until infirmity renders him incapable, or death releases him. As the grey-headed old man feebly paces up and down the sunny side of the little court-yard between school hours, it would be difficult, indeed, for the most intimate of his former friends to recognise their once gay and happy ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... always prove equally efficacious; that is, to apply red hot iron to the part affected. Indeed, these Arabs are subject to few diseases. I have seen many old people, of both sexes, who were oppressed with no kind of infirmity. Sore eyes, and colics, are the most usual disorders among them. Children, above all, are exposed to these, though in other respects strong and robust. In the morning it is difficult for them to open their eyelids. With regard to the colic, ...
— Perils and Captivity • Charlotte-Adelaide [nee Picard] Dard

... principles, even if they had known them in ever so much perfection? Wheel-carriages, except of the most clumsy description, and for the most simple operations of agriculture, were totally unknown. Even the most delicate female had no resource save a horse, or, in case of sore infirmity, a litter. The men used their own sturdy limbs, or hardy horses, to transport themselves from place to place; and travellers, females in particular, experienced no small inconvenience from the rugged nature of the country. A swollen torrent sometimes crossed their path, and compelled them ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... work is done by it. "Our educational system is founded upon it; it is the social force underlying an immense amount of strenuous exertion; to it we owe in a great measure even our science, our literature, and our art; for it is a strong, perhaps an essential, element of ambition, that last infirmity of noble minds."[1] In the overcoming of obstacles, whether in the work itself, or in the difficulties that a surgeon or a scholar meets with, or in frustrations deliberately put in our way by other people, pugnacity is an invaluable stimulant and sustainer of action. Every great personality ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... breeches-pocket. "Fox-'unting is indeed the prince of sports. The image of war, without its guilt, and only half its danger. I confess that I'm a martyr to it—a perfect wictim—no one knows wot I suffer from my ardour.—If ever I'm wisited with the last infirmity of noble minds, it will be caused by my ingovernable passion for the chase. The sight of a saddle makes me sweat. An 'ound makes me perfectly wild. A red coat throws me into a scarlet fever. Never throughout life have I had a good night's rest before ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... breaks and night falls alternate; by day the eyes of Reason are the guide of Faith, and by night the ear of Faith is the guide of Reason. As is wont with those who labour under these privations respectively Reason is apt to be eager, impetuous, impatient of that instruction which his infirmity will not permit him readily to apprehend; while Faith, gentle and docile, is ever willing to listen to the voice by which alone truth and wisdom can effectually ...
— Reason and Faith; Their Claims and Conflicts • Henry Rogers

... within me that's angry with me, rebukes, commands, and dastards me. I have no conscience of marble, to resist the hammer of more heavy offences: nor yet so soft and waxen, as to take the impression of each single peccadillo or scape of infirmity. I am of a strange belief, that it is as easy to be forgiven some sins as to commit some others. For my original sin, I hold it to be washed away in my baptism; for my actual transgressions, I compute and reckon with God but from my last repentance, sacra- ment, or general ...
— Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend • Sir Thomas Browne

... at that instant, caused them to forbear the chase, and shelter themselves behind trees. He then endeavored to effect an escape, by flight, and the Indians followed after him. Age and consequent infirmity, rendered him unable long to continue out of their reach; and aware that they were gaining considerably on him, he wheeled to shoot. Both instantly sprang behind trees, and Morgan seeking shelter in the same manner, got behind a ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... fourbe!" said he. "Miss Maitland, accept my compliments; you possess the key to a sex no fellow can unlock. And, now I have found an interpreter, I begin to be interested in this little comedy. The first act is just over. There will be half an hour's wait till the simulatrix of infirmity comes running back with the pilgrims of the Rhine. Are they 'the pilgrims of the Rhine' or 'the pilgrims of Love?' Time will show. Play to recommence with a verbal encounter; you will be one against three; for all that, I don't envy ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... storm burst with all its fury; and I observed an old fellow, who had stood loitering till the hurricane whistled round his ears, making towards me, as rapidly as his apparently palsied limbs would permit. Upon his nearer approach, he appeared rather to have suffered from infirmity than years. He wore a brownish-black coat, or rather shell, which, from its dimensions, had never been intended for the wearer; and his inexpressibles were truly inexpressible. "So," said I, as he seated ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... theory and practice of nurture, and the care and management of young children, of attendance on women in and immediately after child-birth, and of nursing attendance in cases of sickness or other mental or bodily infirmity. ...
— Women Workers in Seven Professions • Edith J. Morley

... must confess I am never better pleased than when he is on this Subject. Such Openings of the Heart give a Man a thorough Insight into his Personal Character, and illustrate several Passages in the History of his Life: Besides that, there is some little Pleasure in discovering the Infirmity of a great Man, and seeing how the Opinion he has of himself agrees with what ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... become lame, aged, bedrid, or by real infirmity of body are unable to work, and otherwise incapable to provide for themselves, on proof made that it is really and honestly so they shall be taken into a college or hospital provided for that purpose, and be decently ...
— An Essay Upon Projects • Daniel Defoe

... take into account the weather, the climate, the local influences. The Bible, Homer, hurt us sometimes by their very sublimities. Who would want to part with a word of either of them? Our infirmity often takes fright at the inspired bold flights of genius, for lack of power to swoop down upon objects with such vast intelligence. And then, once again, there are defects which take root only in masterpieces; it is given only to certain geniuses to have certain defects. Shakespeare is blamed ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... of poor parents, was of the Franciscan order, and famed as a preacher; was elected successor to Gregory XIII., during whose pontificate he affected infirmity, to reveal himself a vigorous pontiff as soon as he was installed; set himself at once to stamp out disorder, reform the administration, and replenish the exhausted treasury of the Church; he allowed freedom ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... sadly comes our lord the King, Bearing upon his arm a monument— If we may speak it—of no foreign woe, But of his own infirmity the fruit. ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... Mr. Augustus Mortimer had begun to show a degree of infirmity which sometimes made his son uncomfortable that he should have to live alone. To bring those joyous urchins and little, laughing, dancing, playful girls into his house was not to be thought of. What was wanted was some young relative to live with him, who ...
— Fated to Be Free • Jean Ingelow

... The Enormous Room. The Fighting Sheeney, then rapidly convalescing from syphilis, bided his time. The Young Pole moreover had a way of jesting upon the subject of The Sheeney's infirmity. He would, particularly during the afternoon promenade, shout various none too subtle allusions to Moshki's physical condition for the benefit of les femmes. And in response would come peals of laughter from the girls' windows, shrill peals and ...
— The Enormous Room • Edward Estlin Cummings

... excuse, so often repeated by the lovers of tobacco, that they have been advised to use it by physicians, for the mitigation or removal of some bodily infirmity, may be urged with equal force and propriety by the tippler and the sot; for many, very many, have been advised by members of the Faculty, to drink the deadly draught, in some form or other, either to ease the pains of dyspepsia, to allay the horrors of tedium vitae, or to drown ...
— A Dissertation on the Medical Properties and Injurious Effects of the Habitual Use of Tobacco • A. McAllister

... fortresses of West Point and the adjacent passes; they were men who had attained the meridian of life, and the eye sought in vain the expression of any passion or emotion on which it might seize as an indication of human infirmity. In their demeanor there was a mild, but a grave, intellectual reserve. If there was no ferocity nor harshness to chill, neither was there compassion nor interest to attract. They were men who had long acted under the dominion of a prudent reason, and whose ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... shape of the best care in the matter of food and drink. The rich living, the lack of activity, and the fresh mountain air into which the theologian was transported, had their effect upon soul and body. He had already brought from Worms a physical infirmity, now there were added hours of gloomy melancholy which made him unfit ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... called, a Chancery-Seal, to be engraven: On which her own Image was cut, holding her Arms down by her Sides: and in her Patents She made use of this Preamble. "Isabella, by the Grace of God, Queen of France: who, by Reason of the King's Infirmity, has the Administration of the Government in her Hands, &c."—But when the Affairs of the Commonwealth were reduced to that desperate Future, that all Things went to Rack and Ruin, She was by the Publick Council banished to Tours, and committed to the Charge of ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... against it and you are not overcome half so frequently, perhaps, as you were before. People do not see what a great deal they owe to the convincing and preventing power of the Holy Spirit helping their infirmity, even now, to cut off and pluck out the right hand and the right eye, and bringing them up in a waiting attitude before God, like Cornelius and the eunuch. You, my hearers, some of you, are following after God. You are longing for deliverance, ...
— Godliness • Catherine Booth

... young man, and prided himself upon his healthy body and well-developed muscle, and the idea of being pitied as a person having an infirmity upon him was far from grateful to his sensibilities. He did not much admire Mr. Presby's inquiring mind, and thought he was an "old fool" to trouble himself about what did not concern him. He did not care ...
— In School and Out - or, The Conquest of Richard Grant. • Oliver Optic

... knowledge of every inch of the Atrium enabled her to move about it unhesitatingly at all hours of the day and night, her sense of duty urged her to do all that she had ever done when her sight was perfect, and, like most blind persons, she resented any reference, expressed or implied, to her infirmity. Consideration for her called for almost superhuman tact and dexterity. To the best of their ability the four strove to shield her without her being able to perceive their sedulity. To the charm of Terentia's music she, moreover, ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... author;" come now, cut it short—don't prose—don't hum and haw. "The author had doubtless no ambition to enter his name on the honorable and ancient roll of gentlemen prosers; probably he conceived himself not at all tainted with the asthmatic infirmity of humming and hawing; but, as to "cutting it short," how could he be sure of meeting his lordship's expectations in that point, unless by dismissing the limitations that might be requisite to fit the idea for use, or the adjuncts that might ...
— Biographical Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... with some word that should show sensibility to the royal graciousness, without compromising republican severity, "clothing some great and useful truth in a fine and deserved compliment." This moral difficulty was heightened by a physical one, for he was liable to an infirmity which, if it should overtake him in presence of king and courtiers, would land him in an embarrassment worse than death. What would become of him if mind or body should fail, if either he should be driven into precipitate retreat, or else there should escape him, instead of the great truth ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... effect of grotesque: it is the comic tragedy of vituperative malevolence. Holy-Cross Day heightens the grotesque with pity, indignation and solemnity: The Heretic's Tragedy raises it to sublimity. Browning's satire is equally keen and kindly. It never condescends to raise laughter at infirmity, or at mere absurdities of manners; it respects human nature, but it convicts falsity by the revealing intensity of its illumination. Of cynicism, of the wit that preys upon carrion, ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... When a drunkard died, he remembered that "his mother was an habitual drinker, and he was nursed on milk-punch, and the thirst was in his constitution"; so he hoped "that God saw it was a constitutional infirmity, like any other disease." He reduced the dogma of Total Depravity to the simple proposition, "that men by nature do not love God supremely, and their neighbor as themselves." He stoutly resisted the attempt ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 91, May, 1865 • Various

... physic, but my age is really the mischief, and it is incurable. I caught cold through sitting out of doors after dinner with the rector, a good fellow if he would not smoke on my port. To smoke on good port is a sin. He knows my infirmity, that I cannot sit still long, and he excuses my attendance at church. Would you believe it? When I was very bad, and thought I might die, I read Horace again, whom you detest. I often wonder what he really thought ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... be offended—at the root mad! and though mad people, I have been told, sometimes make very good husbands, I was unwilling that your friends, if you had any, should say that Belle Berners, the workhouse girl, took advantage of your infirmity; for there is no concealing that I was born and bred up in a workhouse; notwithstanding that, my blood is better than your own, and as good as the best; you having yourself told me that my name is a noble name, and once, if I ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... from Knowl. I know a spell of it, only so far as the "Cat and Fiddle," near the Lunnon-road. Come up, will you? Would you like to come in first and talk a bit wi' the governor? Father, you know, he's a bit silly, he is, this while.' I found that the phrase meant only bodily infirmity. 'He took a pain o' Friday, newralgie—something or other he calls it—rheumatics it is when it takes old "Giblets" there; and he's sitting in his own room; or maybe you'd like better to come to your bedroom first, for it is dirty ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... homely slighted shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless muse? Were it not better done as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days, But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life. "But not the praise," Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ...
— Verses and Translations • C. S. C.

... in; the deep infirmity of her nature, Israel set himself to consider how he could reach her darkened and silent soul. And first he tried to learn what good gifts were left to her, that he might foster them to her advantage and nourish them to his own great comfort and joy. Yet no gift whatever could he find ...
— The Scapegoat • Hall Caine

... possessing the same, or the correspondent, excellence in their own characters. In short, there must be a mind, which, while it feels the beautiful and the excellent in the beloved as its own, and by right of love appropriates it, can call goodness its playfellow; and dares make sport of time and infirmity, while, in the person of a thousand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged virtue the caressing fondness that belongs to the innocence of childhood, and repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies which had been dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired in feminine ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... have they flown— Succeeding, still succeeding! Here the child Puts, when the high-swoll'n flood runs fierce and wild, His budding courage to the proof; and here Declining manhood learns to note the sly And sure encroachments of infirmity— Thinking how fast time runs—life's ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... delicate flattery. She thought that Philip did a brave thing when he left Paris because he was conscious he could not be a great artist; and he was enchanted when she expressed enthusiastic admiration for him. He had never been quite certain whether this action indicated courage or infirmity of purpose. It was delightful to realise that she considered it heroic. She ventured to tackle him on a subject which ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... said Phoebe, "we are not so clever as you are, and can't do so many things. We know no Latin or Greek to keep our minds instructed; we acknowledge our infirmity; and we couldn't play football to save our lives. Football is what you do in this season, when you don't hunt, and before the ice is bearing? We are poor creatures; we can't parcel out our lives, according as it is time for football or cricket. You must not be so severe upon girls for ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... straight face to face with his life at that time, and ever since. His mad, wild hopes—half the result of intoxication, as he now knew—all dead and gone; the career then freshly opening shut up against him now; his youthful strength and health changed into premature infirmity, and the home and the love that should have opened wide its doors to console him for all, why in two years Death might have been busy, and taken away from him his last feeble chance of the faint happiness of seeing his beloved without being ...
— Sylvia's Lovers, Vol. III • Elizabeth Gaskell

... could not go, because his former bad reputation would serve to set people against him, for the whole country knew of the doings of the gang to which he had belonged; Toby was debarred from serving on account of his infirmity in the line of speech, and so it must lie between ...
— Afloat on the Flood • Lawrence J. Leslie

... been some Maintenon who received the suggestion from her confessor, or, more probably, some ambitious woman who wished to rule her husband? Or, more undoubtedly, some pretty little Pompadour overcome by that Parisian infirmity so pleasantly described by M. de Maurepas in that quatrain which cost him his protracted disgrace and certainly contributed to the disasters of ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part II. • Honore de Balzac

... why announce his arrival in London? Why couple it with Emmy's? And why in the name of guns and musical comedies should Zora worry? But when she reflected that Septimus did nothing according to the orthodox ways of men, she attributed the superfluous message to his general infirmity of character, smiled indulgently, and dismissed the matter from her mind. Mrs. Oldrieve had nothing to dismiss, as she had been led to believe that Emmy had gone up to London by the morning train. She ...
— Septimus • William J. Locke

... part, considered such an end no more than the due of one who had played him so inexcusable a trick over the insurance. From the first he had suspected this weakening of Tregenza's intellect to be something less than genuine—a calculated infirmity, to excite public compassion and escape the blame his dishonest ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... operate, is incomprehensible. To cling to any belief more detailed than this, to define and limit God in order to take hold of Him, to detach one's self and parts of the universe from God in some mysterious way in order to reduce life to a dramatic antagonism, is not faith, but infirmity. Excessive strenuous belief is not faith. By faith we disbelieve, and it is the drowning man, and not the strong swimmer, who clutches at the floating straw. It is in the nature of man, it is in the present purpose of things, that ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... Lay buried side by side as now they lie, The old man was a father to the boys, Two fathers in one father: and if tears, Shed when he talked of them where they were not, 240 And hauntings from the infirmity of love, Are aught of what makes up a mother's heart, This old Man, in the day of his old age, Was half a mother to them.—If you weep, Sir, To hear a stranger talking about strangers, 245 Heaven bless you when you are among your ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... thus changed, changes by its density the image of the star, which passes through it, makes it appear dim, and by its moisture or dryness changes it in colour. In like manner it may thus appear through the visual organ, that is, the eye, which on account of some infirmity, or because of fatigue, is changed into some degree of dimness or into some degree of weakness. So it happens very often, owing to the membrane of the pupil becoming suffused with blood, on account of some corruption ...
— The Banquet (Il Convito) • Dante Alighieri

... an infirmity of our nature to mingle our interests and prejudices with the operation of our reasoning powers, and attribute to the objects of our likes and dislikes qualities they do not possess and effects they can not produce. The effects of the present tariff are doubtless over-rated, ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Andrew Jackson • Andrew Jackson

... affection which fell upon the parent is represented in one child by insanity, in another by idiocy, in another by epilepsy, in another by gross eccentricity, in another by moral perversities, in another by ill-balanced intellect,—each and all implying a brain more or less vitiated by the parental infirmity. There is nothing strange in all this diversity of result. In the healthy state, organic action proceeds with wonderful regularity and uniformity; but when controlled by the pathological element, all this ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... we suffer from the low ideal which leads us to worship success. From his earliest years a boy learns from his surroundings, if not by actual precept, to strive not so much to be something as somebody. The love of power rather than fame may be the "last infirmity of noble minds," but it is probably the first infirmity of many ignoble ones. Herein lies the justification of the criticism of a friendly alien. "You pride yourselves on your incorruptibility, and quite rightly; for in England there is probably less actual bribery ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... one element that tends to keep from the grasp of the imagination all the miracles of the place is all this scientific phraseology. In the simple story of the Gospel, it seems almost supernaturally natural that a man should have "lain with an infirmity for forty years," and should, at the word of Jesus Christ, have taken up his bed and walked; or that, as in the "Acts," another's "feet and ankle-bones should receive strength" by the power of the Holy Name. But when we come to tuberculosis ...
— Lourdes • Robert Hugh Benson



Words linked to "Infirmity" :   asthenia, softness, frailness, wasting, cachexia, unfitness, cachexy, astheny, frailty, infirm



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