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Convulsion   Listen
noun
Convulsion  n.  
1.
(Med.) An unnatural, violent, and unvoluntary contraction of the muscular parts of an animal body.
2.
Any violent and irregular motion or agitation; a violent shaking; a tumult; a commotion. "Those two massy pillars, With horrible convulsion, to and fro He tugged, he shook, till down they came." "Times of violence and convulsion."
Synonyms: Agitation; commotion; tumult; disturbance.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Convulsion" Quotes from Famous Books



... or Felsen, at Aderspach, is justly accounted one of the most extraordinary productions of nature's handiwork in all Bohemia. Masses of rock, some of them two or three hundred feet in height, have, by some strange convulsion, been so tossed about, that now they stand on end like detached towers, or rather like the turreted walls of some gigantic labyrinth, through which a narrow path twists and turns in the most extraordinary manner possible. Very many of these rocks bear a striking resemblance, some ...
— Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, Visited in 1837. Vol. II • G. R. Gleig

... long lines of focal earthquake action, more violent than any which the world now witnesses. The geologist deals in such sublime conceptions as a world of molten matter, tossed into waves by violent efforts of escaping vapors, cooling, cracking, and rending, in dire convulsion. He then ceases to discuss the changes and formation of worlds, and condescends to inform us how to fertilize our soil, where to look for coal and iron, copper, tin, cobalt, lead, and where we need not look for either. He is the Milton of poetry, and the ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 6, No. 1, July, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... in his death-agony, nothing more; yet in that final convulsion he could rip into shreds the powerful form that opposed him. Ben knew, with a cold, sure knowledge, that if he failed to slay the beast, it would naturally crawl into its lair for its last breath. As this dreadful thought flashed home he dropped ...
— The Sky Line of Spruce • Edison Marshall

... required a European War on the vastest scale that the world had ever known to shake him out of his fallacies and illusions, and many of us felt that it would have been better if a less terrible convulsion had sufficed to awaken him, but still, now he was awakened, he was prompt in owning he had been in the wrong and therefore no more was to be said. The subsequent stages of this Representation of the People Bill ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... with the task. Lady Blennerhassett's previous contributions to literature, her encyclopaedic knowledge of historical facts, and her thorough grasp of the main political, religious, and economic considerations which moved the hearts and influenced the actions of men during the revolutionary convulsion give her a claim, which none will dare to dispute, to speak with authority on this subject. Those who have heretofore looked for guidance to Taine will, therefore, rejoice to note that she is able to vindicate his reputation as an ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... read the finger of Providence resting on the barrows of Marathon, or guiding Peter the Hermit to the battlefields of Palestine. Nor, while we admit the evil to the passing generation, can we deny that many of the virtues that make the ornament and vitality of peace sprang up first in the convulsion of war!" Here Squills began to evince faint signs of resuscitation, when my father let fly at him one of those numberless waterworks which his prodigious memory kept in constant supply. "Hence," said he, "hence, not unjustly ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... affected as at his having fallen a victim to this complaint. It carried a conviction to my mind that he never could have recovered. I knew that it was the most interesting and fatal malady in the world; and I wrung the gentleman's hand in a convulsion of respectful admiration, for I felt that this explanation did equal honour ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 3 (of 3), 1836-1870 • Charles Dickens

... stand by me, and behold What cause I have for crying. Look but here! Here is the mystery unveiled. O see! Ye people, gaze on this poor quivering flesh, Look with compassion on my misery! Ah me! Ah! ah! Again! Even now the hot convulsion of disease Shoots through my side, and will not let me rest From this fierce exercise of wearing woe. Take me, O King of Night! O sudden thunderstroke. Smite me! O sire, transfix me with the dart Of thy swift lightning! Yet again that fang ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... She did not comprehend; she only saw that a stroke more awful than any was falling, or about to fall. The first convulsion had lifted the river bed, leaving the anchored ships high and dry. Some lay canted almost on their beam ends. As the bottom sank again they slowly righted, but too late; for the mass of water, flung to the opposite ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... long time in this pitiable condition, and he nursed her: but at last her convulsion ceased, and her head rested on her son's shoulder in ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... like a gigantic blow, striking the whole world at once; a cosmic convulsion, quite indescribable. The air became suddenly a living thing, which leaped against your face; the windows of the little eating-place flew inward in a shower of glass, and the walls and tables shook as if with palsy. The sound ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... girl, and in a twinkling reappeared with the desired garment, which in a convulsion of laughter she slipped over my head as I sat on the floor; and having fastened it properly round my waist, I rose and paid my respects to my warm hearted relations. But that petticoat—it could not have been the old ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... something she's eaten—and I was there with her ten minutes per'aps, and when I came back I found your Father in a fit. A convulsion, the doctor says it was; he said all along he might have them, but I thought he was better. And he's had another this evening, and he hasn't come round out of it right. ...
— The Combined Maze • May Sinclair

... before the house of Vinicius, and took counsel. They had not courage to enter. After a short deliberation they returned to the place of conflict, where they found a few corpses, and among them Atacinus. He was quivering yet; but, after a moment of more violent convulsion, he stretched ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... on any other class of Englishmen. Under the later kings of the house of AElfred the number of absolute slaves and the number of freemen had alike diminished. The pure slave class had never been numerous, and it had been reduced by the efforts of the Church, perhaps by the general convulsion of the Danish wars. But these wars had often driven the ceorl or freeman of the township to "commend" himself to a thegn who pledged him his protection in consideration of payment in a rendering of labour. It is probable that these dependent ceorls are the "villeins" ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... cabin high on the slopes of the Sangre de Christo range, overlooking the broad, level San Luis Valley, in Colorado. At the rear of the cabin rose a towering cliff or rather a huge slab of rock standing edgewise more than two hundred feet high, apparently the upheaval of some mighty convulsion of nature in ages gone. Near the base of this cliff flowed a ...
— Where Strongest Tide Winds Blew • Robert McReynolds

... head upon the pillow until he faced the back of the sofa, and a convulsion went through him, hardly quelled by the clasp of ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... courageous enough to go on, we would further relate to you how during supper Mr. Kennedy senior, tried to make a speech, and broke down amid uproarious applause; how Mr. Kennedy, junior, got up thereafter—being urged thereto by his father, who said, with a convulsion of the cheek, "Get me out of the scrape, Charley, my boy" —and delivered an oration which did not display much power of concise elucidation, but was replete, nevertheless, with consummate impudence; how during this point in the proceedings the gray cat made a last desperate effort to ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... tranquillity; when, in the night between the 28th and 29th, the subterraneous noises recommenced. The affrighted Indians fled to the mountains; and a tract of ground, from three to four square miles in extent, which goes by the name of Malpays, rose up in the shape of a bladder. The bounds of this convulsion are still distinguishable in the fractured strata. The Malpays, near its edges, is only about forty feet above the old level of the plain; but the convexity of the ground thus thrown up, increases progressively, towards the centre, to an elevation of more than ...
— Travels in North America, From Modern Writers • William Bingley

... A momentary convulsion passed over my uncle's face. "The will of the Lord be done," said he, almost with a ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... rather than saw it. The fearful convulsion of fright, followed by maniac rage that leaped to Banker's face told her as though he had shouted the news. His companions and allies were merely ...
— Louisiana Lou • William West Winter

... bustling, panting, and swaggering. And as they passed, the good Father noticed that giant trees were prostrated as with the breath of a tornado, and the bowels of the earth were torn and rent as with a convulsion. And Father Jose looked in vain for holy cross or Christian symbol; there was but one that seemed an ensign, and he crossed himself with holy horror as he perceived it bore the ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... gradual hill-slope, rose the most remarkable of the lime dikes I have seen. It must enclose with its gigantic wall a space of nearly two miles in width, in the centre of which a wild confusion of tinted limestone strata, disturbed by some old convulsion of Nature, resembles the huge ruins of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 26, July 1880. • Various

... been built for the purpose of giving the chiefs of the little plain below, when at variance with the neighbouring mountaineers, notice of the approaching invader. At this point the valley is extremely narrow, being almost choked up with huge masses of rock hurled by the violence of some convulsion of nature from the sides of the ...
— A Peep into Toorkisthhan • Rollo Burslem

... to see the daily and hourly progress of madness and folly and wickedness in England. The consummation of these qualities are the true ingredients for making a fine narrative in history, especially if followed by some signal and ruinous convulsion—as I hope will soon be the case ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... if England itself could, by its situation, be more easily guarded against the contagion of superstitious prejudices, his French provinces at least, whose communication was open with the neighbouring states, would be much exposed, on that account, to some great revolution or convulsion [f]. He could not, therefore, reasonably imagine that the pope, while he retained such a check upon him, would formally recognize the constitutions of Clarendon, which both put an end to papal pretensions in ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... repulsion Broke that hawse's back in two. Cinches snapped in the convulsion; Skyward man and saddle flew. Up he mounted, never laggin', While we watched him through our tears, And his last thin bit of braggin' ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... their free and wise institutions the United States are rapidly advancing toward the consummation of the high destiny which an overruling Providence seems to have marked out for them. Exempt from domestic convulsion and at peace with all the world, we are left free to consult as to the best means of securing and advancing the happiness of the people. Such are the circumstances under which you now assemble in your respective chambers and which should lead us to unite in praise and thanksgiving to that great ...
— State of the Union Addresses of John Tyler • John Tyler

... along the Strand. The northern side of the Strand was up, as it usually is, and the motor, skilfully driven, glided past the piles of wood-paving blocks, great sombre kettles holding tar and the general debris of a re-paving convulsion. Opposite Southampton Street, at the very spot so graphically illustrated by George C. Haite on the cover of the Strand Magazine, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stopped his motor. The Strand was deserted. He threw pick and shovel into the excavation, and curtly ordered his companion to take his ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... The cock crowed thrice, heavy mists began to arise from the glades, covering the gnarled roots of the forest trees, when the dread face on which Hilda calmly gazed, showed symptoms of returning life! a strong convulsion shook the vague indefinite form under its huddled garments, the eyes opened, closed,—opened again; and what had a few moments before seemed a dead thing sate ...
— Harold, Complete - The Last Of The Saxon Kings • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... to make it worth while to have a performance. We were waiting for instructions when someone brought in a bolletino hastily prepared in a newspaper office with an account of the avvenimento celeste. We sat round and listened while one of the actors read about the convulsion of nature, the trembling of the palaces, the flashes of flame at a great height in the sky, the terror of the inhabitants of Catania. Was the phenomenon of telluric origin—Etna or an earthquake? Was it of atmospheric origin—a thunderbolt or a waterspout? Or could it be a miracle ...
— Castellinaria - and Other Sicilian Diversions • Henry Festing Jones

... French; forty-five hundreds the English. And yet so mighty is the power of any thing moral, because shadowy and illimitable, so potent to magnify and unvulgarize any interest, that more books have been written upon Cabool, and through a more enduring tract of time, than upon Moscow. Great was the convulsion in either case; but that caused by Cabool has proved the less transitory. The vast anabasis to Moscow had emanated from a people not conspicuously careful of public morality. But that later anabasis, which ascended to the shining ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Vol. 56, No. 346, August, 1844 • Various

... else save the husband and his comforts, it is not to be expected that her wits should be rapiers or her vocabulary distinguished. But Dona Ignacia's unresting heart had an intelligence of its own, and no inner convulsion could alter the superb dignity of mien which Nature had granted her. As she rose and confronted Father Abella he moved forward with the instinct to kiss her hand, as he ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... about the carpet. I am pernicketty in a few ways and hate tobacco ash on my carpet; every room in the house is an arsenal of ash trays. In normal mood Adrian punctiliously observed the little laws of the establishment. This scattering of cigar ash was a sign of spiritual convulsion. ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... upon his feet, however, Little L rolled up the whites of his eyes, fell his full length to the earth, and writhed on the ground in a convulsion. ...
— Good Blood • Ernst Von Wildenbruch

... aware that the slight flattening at the poles, which gives it the figure of a spheroid, is the only cause which prevents the elevations of continents or even of mountains, perhaps thrown up by some internal convulsion, from continually altering the position of the axis of the earth—and that to some considerable degree in a short time. The great protuberance of the earth under the Equator serves to overbalance the impetus of all other masses of earth, and thus to preserve the axis of the earth, so ...
— The Critique of Pure Reason • Immanuel Kant

... the deep agony of his pale wife, And the repressed convulsion of the high And princely brow of his old father, which Broke forth in a slight shuddering, though rarely, Or in some clammy drops, soon wiped away In stern serenity; these moved you not? 360 [Exit LOREDANO. He's silent in his hate, as Foscari ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... later than the days of Columbus, and that she had been sunk at least three centuries below the sea; and it was also perfectly clear to me that she had risen in the daylight, out of her green and oozy sepulchre, with the upheaval of the bed on which she lay to the convulsion that ...
— Stories by English Authors: The Sea • Various

... but before they had taken half a dozen steps once more the thunderous sound was heard; and under them the mountain quivered. As the boys were not more than human, it was only natural that they should halt until the convulsion had passed. Bob could not help clutching a spur of rock as though he feared that something ...
— The Saddle Boys of the Rockies - Lost on Thunder Mountain • James Carson

... distinct sound. It was dreadful to hear, and Miss Carew and the servant were terrified. It was the laughter, not of a maniac, not of pure unreasoning hysteria, not quite of a lost soul. It suggested these elements, perhaps, but it was chiefly a nervous convulsion at an overpowering perception of the irony in ...
— Great Possessions • Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

... Atala was seized with a convulsion which shook all her body. In wild agony, she cried: 'Oh, it is too late, it is too late! I thought my mother's spirit would come and drag me down to hell if I broke my vow. I took poison with me, Chactas, when I fled with you. I have just swallowed it. There is no remedy. ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... wonder at his astonishment. And he—this jealously guarded secret, the curse of his whole wretched life, had been guessed by this simple girl, without comment, without reserve, without horror! And there had been no scene, no convulsion of Nature, no tragedy; he had not thrown himself into yonder sea; she had not fled from him shrinking, but was sitting there opposite to him in gentle smiling expectation, the golden light of Todos Santos around them, a bit ...
— The Crusade of the Excelsior • Bret Harte

... For the love of God, speak, caan't 'e? Why be you all dumb an' glazin' that awful!" cried the woman, knowing the truth before she heard it. Then she listened to the elder Pritchard, who whispered his wife, and so fell into a great convulsion of raving, ...
— Lying Prophets • Eden Phillpotts

... had been successfully withstood; but quiet had not returned to the minds of those whose vices were its principal cause. The air was still thick with noxious vapors, and none could tell how soon or in what quarter the elements of a new and more terrible convulsion would gather.[847] The recent commotion had disclosed the existence of a body of malcontents, in part religious, in part also political, scattered over the whole kingdom and of unascertained numbers. To its adherents the name of Huguenots was now for the ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... nervously. In her anger, she drew back to the middle of the studio, her hands clenched, her lips quivering, her eyes flashing. She wanted to destroy something, to fall on the floor in a convulsion. She hesitated whether to break an Arabic amphora close by, or to fall on that bowed head and scratch it with her nails. Wretch! She had loved him so dearly; she still cared for him so, feeling bound to him ...
— Woman Triumphant - (La Maja Desnuda) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... of the company who had entered stood staring as Azuma-zi caught the naked terminals in his hands, gave one horrible convulsion, and then hung motionless from the machine, ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... motion roused the dying man;—he sat bolt upright in his bed. This John could not see, for he was now in the closet; but he heard the groan, or rather the choked and gurgling rattle of the throat, that announces the horrible conflict between muscular and mental convulsion. He started, turned away; but, as he turned away, he thought he saw the eyes of the portrait, on which his own was fixed, MOVE, and hurried back to his ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... occurred in our parish. A contest of paramount interest has just terminated; a parochial convulsion has taken place. It has been succeeded by a glorious triumph, which the country—or at least the parish—it is all the same—will long remember. We have had an election; an election for beadle. The supporters of the old beadle system have been defeated in their stronghold, and the ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... treatise I may have shown 'the will to believe' in an unusual degree; but, for me, the interest of Mrs. Piper is purely anthropological. She exhibits a survival or recrudescence of savage phenomena, real or feigned, of convulsion and of secondary personality, and entertains a ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... instant she opened the door. She stood there, with a face like a petrified Irish outcry. An imploring sound of "Pole! Pole!" issued from her. Then she caught up one hand to her mouth, and rolled her head, in evident anguish at the necessitated silence. A convulsion passed along the row of maids, two of whom dipped to their aprons; but the ladies gazed with a sad consciousness of wicked glee at the disgust she was exciting in ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... started up out of her arms, and then she gave a great shriek that made the air ring, and cried out, "Dead! am I dead?" with a shudder and convulsion, throwing herself again wildly with ...
— A Little Pilgrim - Stories of the Seen and the Unseen • Margaret O. (Wilson) Oliphant

... half-affectionate badinage and flattery that would be accorded a debutante, but here all that seemed banned. One young man after getting well started on the subject of Sally Carrol's eyes and, how they had allured him ever since she entered the room, went into a violent convulsion when he found she was visiting the Bellamys—was Harry's fiancee. He seemed to feel as though he had made some risque and inexcusable blunder, became immediately formal and left ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... a social and political revolution, in which the democracy was rising to power and the landed aristocracy was losing prestige and privilege. That this revolution was accomplished without such a convulsion as marked this struggle in other European kingdoms may have been due, in some degree at least, to the fact that the leader of the aristocratic Party was held in honor by the masses of the nation. Moments of exasperation there were when ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... not bear it. A rather weak- minded, low-spirited pupil kept it up when the others had done; relentless necessity obliged and assisted me so to accost her, that she dared not carry on the demonstration, that she was forced to conquer the convulsion. ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... approached. Each party was ready to spring upon the other. Again France was to experience a political convulsion, and the party that moved first ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... old boy), we shall tend towards a monarchy. If this comes on gradually, like the changes in the human body, by the slow approach of old age, so much the better; but I fear we shall have fevers, and convulsion-fits, and cholics, and an everlastin' gripin' of the intestines first; you and I won't live to see it Sam, but our posteriors will, ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Then came a convulsion in the heavens—the gathering storm-clouds spoke to each other and exchanged lightning glances until the sky was a sea of fire. Great clouds whirled up from the west, and others bore down from the east, and they mingled around the moon in one great aerial war until the heavens were ...
— Saronia - A Romance of Ancient Ephesus • Richard Short

... Caesar should be made king during the war. There was at first no decisive action on this proposal. It was dangerous to express any opinion. People were thoughtful, serious, and silent, as on the eve of some great convulsion. No one knew what others were meditating, and thus did not dare to express his own wishes or designs. There soon, however, was a prevailing understanding that Caesar's friends were determined on executing the design of crowning him, and that the fifteenth of March, called, in their phraseology, ...
— History of Julius Caesar • Jacob Abbott

... fully developed, but half understood, yet marking an epoch in man's social progress; commercial customs of by-gone days surviving in the midst of much that is new—really when you come to think of it you may well wonder that we have got thus far without more than one great convulsion! Clearly it is no place ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... India. It presents a most imposing aspect, and is situated upon a peak of rock 600 feet high, which stands isolated in a beautiful plain, and appears to have been separated from the adjoining mountains by some violent natural convulsion. The circumference of this rock amounts to about a mile. It is cut round perpendicularly to a height of 130 feet and thirty feet below the top of the moat by which it is surrounded, which cutting is equally perpendicular, so that the whole height of the escarpment is 160 ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... kept still lovely in its low-cut evening gown. She was devoured, consumed by the agony of restlessness which shook through her, directing and controlling her slender judgment like a perpetual and imperfectly subdued convulsion of passion. ...
— The Wheel of Life • Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow

... dissolution of the monasteries marks the birth of an united and powerful England. They or Britain must have died. An imperium in imperio—much more many separate imperia—was an element of national weakness, which might be allowed in times of peace and safety, but not in times of convulsion ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... still have with us, and as for me, I am inclined to think that it will remain, flood or no flood, for any creature that has successfully withstood a campaign against it by King Ptush cannot be removed from the scene by anything short of a convulsion ...
— The Autobiography of Methuselah • John Kendrick Bangs

... in Canada during these exciting months in the Maritime Provinces were those defined by a great historian, in dealing with a different convulsion, as 'masterly inactivity.' In that memorable speech of years afterwards when Macdonald, about to be overwhelmed by the Pacific Railway charges, appealed to his countrymen in words that came straight from the heart, he declared: 'I have fought the battle of union.' ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... a sort of giddiness, and had to squat on his haunches. He was utterly spent. However, obeying a last convulsion, he still found the strength to kneel down by the well, and leaning over the ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... found on Hawaii is 144 millimeters. By a plausible analogy, then, the earthquake which rends the earth is attributed to the god who clothes himself in the form of a lizard; still further, such a convulsion of nature may have been used to figure the arrival of some warlike band who peopled Hawaii, perhaps settling in this very Hilo region and forcing their cult upon the ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... and as he sank back he gave a sharp cry. He had practised that cry in more than one cabin, and along with it a convulsion of his features to emphasize the ...
— Back to God's Country and Other Stories • James Oliver Curwood

... Holland and Flanders waxed, daily, stronger. A great physical convulsion in the course of the thirteenth century came to add its influence to the slower process of political revolution. Hitherto there had been but one Friesland, including Holland, and nearly all the territory ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... slackening of tension due to exhaustion took effect, it was rather in his heart. But all the things in life that have once existed tend to recur, and, like a dying animal that is once more stirred by the throes of a convulsion which was, apparently, ended, upon Swann's heart, spared for a moment only, the same agony returned of its own accord to trace the same cross again. He remembered those moonlit evenings, when, leaning back in the victoria that was taking him to the Rue La Perouse, ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... dull, expressionless, placid tranquillity of destruction,—a horrible leveling of all things in one bland smiling equality of surface, beneath which agony, despair, and ruin were deeply buried and forgotten; a catastrophe without convulsion,—a devastation voiceless, ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... We-lo-lon-nan-nai sat himself down under the rocky ledge at the entrance to the mighty gap in the range, and, lighting his pipe, directed the smoke of the fragrant kin-nik-i-nik toward the heavens. Suddenly there was a terrible convulsion of the earth, and immediately there burst forth fountains of hot water and mud mounds, where before there was not the ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... the banks of this river; some of which on either side, arise perpendicularly to the height of 200 feet, presenting an appearance as though the opposite banks had been burst asunder by some dreadful convulsion. It is extremely deep, about 180 feet wide, and terminates very abruptly at about eight miles from its mouth, two or three miles below Matanzas. At the head of the Canimar is a small settlement, called the Embarcadero, a kind of thoroughfare to Matanzas for twenty or thirty ...
— Narrative of the shipwreck of the brig Betsey, of Wiscasset, Maine, and murder of five of her crew, by pirates, • Daniel Collins

... sixteen feet square, the side facing the sea, one large bow-window in three compartments; just such a gravel terrace before it as the one we walked up and down together; and the very same sea, dark, neutral-tinted, with its frothing edge of white, as if it was foaming at the mouth in a black convulsion, that your eyes look upon from your window. It is in some respects exactly like St. Leonard's, and again as much the reverse as sad loneliness is ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... Uncle don't know his Rhudy!" pulled her black apron over her head and had a silent cry—a little convulsion of the neck and not an audible ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... "It was a convulsion," she told him, simply. "I am afraid she will have another. We haven't been able to get a doctor—will you get ...
— The Gay Cockade • Temple Bailey

... say you to this French revolution? Have not they made good use of their time, that in so few years from their last bloody national convulsion men's minds should so have advanced and expanded in France as to enable the people to overturn the government and change the whole course of public affairs with such comparative moderation and small loss of, life? I was still in Dublin when the news of the recent ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... mountains which mark the western edge of the high plateau one will notice a chain of lakes, from Nyasa in the south through Tanganyika and Kivu to Lake Albert in the north. In prehistoric time some convulsion of nature broke the African continent all along its spine, and formed this system of lakes. Another break occurs on the high plateau, from Portuguese East Africa in the south to British East Africa in the north, along the Great Rift Valley, ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and progress of the insurrection, let them determine whether it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring truth that those who rouse can not always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... do nothing but stare as one would at an hallucinatory vision; but her voice, the first articulate syllable of it, brought him to his feet and drew him across the room to where she stood. He was almost suffocated by a sudden convulsion of the heart, half exultation, half terror. The exultation was accountable enough. The high Gods had given him another chance. Why he should be terrified he did not at the time know, but he was—from ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... countenance for some encouragement to speak—I saw none. I then strove to read there the sentiment then passing in her mind, and to my confusion, to my dismay, it seemed to me that she was endeavouring to conquer in her countenance the expression of pain. I watched intently—I was not deceived—a sudden convulsion passed over her features, succeeded by the paleness of an instant, and then a gush of tears—I was moved, almost to weeping, yet dared not advance. Her tears were hurried off instantly; and then again her dear smile of former days sunned up her ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... in the history of their country, in the history of the human race, must know that rigorous state prosecutions have always preceded the era of convulsion; and this era, I fear, will be accelerated by the folly and madness of our rulers. If the people are discontented, the proper mode of quieting their discontent is, not by instituting rigorous and sanguinary prosecutions, but by ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... and which, in a note received from him by the return of the sledges on the 17th, he thus describes: "Between the two points forming the entrance of the creek, we saw a high wall of ice extending immediately across from land to land, and on arriving at it, found that, by some extraordinary convulsion, the floe had burst upward, and that immense masses of ice had been thrown in every direction. Several blocks, eight or nine feet in thickness, and many yards in diameter, were lying on the level solid floe; ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... which a brave man has devoted his life in obedience to the orders which have come down to him from the head of the nation, which spirit of obedience and devotion creates armies and saves nations from defeat, disaster, or domestic convulsion. These highest tokens of a nation's honor had for many years been given with the greatest care, after most rigid scrutiny of the official records and all other evidence presented, laboriously reviewed by the general-in-chief in person, recommended ...
— Forty-Six Years in the Army • John M. Schofield

... that his powerful will had subjugated the old man, he said, "Help! help, father!" and offered his breast to the blow. The poor father lifted his hand to strike; but a mortal convulsion ran through all his limbs; he fell into his son's arms, and both burst ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - NISIDA—1825 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... the sudden arrival upon the edge of a ravine, which, on first thought, he supposed to be the very one for which he was making. But a second glance convinced him of his error, for it was nothing more than a yawn, or chasm, that had probably been opened in the mountains by some great convulsion of nature. ...
— In the Pecos Country • Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)

... anon a mournful gust blew through the shrouds; the birds were screaming on the wing, and the water line of the black horizon was fringed with a narrow ridge of foam. The thunder rolled at a distance, and I perceived that convulsion of the elements was at hand. The sails were all set, and without assistance I could not reduce them; but I was indifferent to my fate. The lightning now darted in every direction, and large drops of rain pattered on the deck. With the means of existence, the desire ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Captain Frederick Marryat

... having told so much of the unwisdom of our ancestors, having exposed the sterility of the convulsion that burned what they adored, and made the sins of the Republic mount up as high as those of the monarchy, having shown that Legitimacy, which repudiated the Revolution, and Imperialism, which crowned it, were but disguises of the same element of violence and wrong, I should have wished, ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... heard Daniel's step in the dining-room a violent commotion, a shudder which reached to her very vitals came over her. That convulsion, never felt during all the years of her adventurous existence, told her that she had staked her happiness on this issue. Her eyes, gazing into space, took in the whole of d'Arthez's person; their light poured through ...
— The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan • Honore de Balzac

... a horrible convulsion of the throat—frantically] Dead! The little Judas kid! The child I gave my life for! [He ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... finally went off into a rollicking convulsion of the jolliest laughter that could be imagined. It was so joyful—so long continued—so perfectly cordial and hearty, that every body was forced to join in. There was ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... others brought up in the rear. Up over the waterfall was another cave, long and narrow. There was now but little light from overhead, but far in the distance could be seen a long, narrow opening, as if the mountain top had been, by some convulsion of nature, ...
— The Rover Boys in the Jungle • Arthur M. Winfield

... would meekly lie down. Returned to the couch, she usually buried her face deep in the pillow, and drew the coverlets close round her, as if to shut out the world and sun, of which she was tired. More than once, as she thus lay, a slight convulsion shook the sick-bed, and a faint sob broke the silence round it. These things were ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... immediately out again, uttering loud cries. We all ran up in disorder, M. le Duc with us, and the assistant pointed to the body of M. de Bragelonne upon the ground, at the foot of his bed, bathed in the remainder of his blood. It appeared that he had had some convulsion, some febrile movement, and that he had fallen; that the fall had accelerated his end, according to the prognostic of Frere Sylvain. We raised the vicomte; he was cold and dead. He held a lock of fair ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... contracting itself between its adamantine walls, burst in distracted fury, like a maniac, from the narrow throat. Against the opposing rocks, which, perhaps, had fallen into the Yaupaae, when the fierce convulsion of nature opened the chasm, and bade the river pour down the gorge—the water lashed with ceaseless rage, throwing the spray high into the air. This, freezing as it fell, encrusted the rough sides of the beetling crags with icy layers, covering them all ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... shawl. They drifted out into the moonlight. My companion gazed after them till they were out of hearing, turned to me gravely, and suddenly twisted her white face into such a convulsion of contemptuous amusement that I could ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Edward J. O'Brien and John Cournos, editors

... epilepsy are followed by the elimination of a toxic body which, when injected into animals,[44] is capable of producing convulsive symptoms. Perhaps the trophic disorders following the nerve lesions made by Brown-Sequard correspond to the formation of precisely this convulsion-causing poison. If so, the toxin passed from the guinea-pig to its spermatozoon or ovum, and caused in the development of the embryo a general disturbance, which, however, had no visible effects except at one point or another of the ...
— Creative Evolution • Henri Bergson

... A kind of convulsion passed over John Lawson's thin face; but he pressed his hand closely on his breast, and was silent ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... winter reigns; May-breeze returns, and bud-releasing breath, When hoped the least:—'tis thus with royal minds!' He spake: from that day forth in Canterbury Till reigned the Norman, crowned on Hastings' field, God's Church had rest. In many a Saxon realm Convulsion rocked her cradle: altars raised By earlier kings by later were o'erthrown: One half the mighty Roman work, and more, Fell to the ground: Columba's Irish monks The ruin raised. From Canterbury's towers, 'Rome of the ...
— Legends of the Saxon Saints • Aubrey de Vere

... no longer lay at rest. Some strange and mighty convulsion was taking place in the schooner. The lights still played about the vessel, but her whole prow rose slowly out of the sea, while she settled heavily by the stern. The most unexpected thing in ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... autobiographical; the hero's epileptic fits are described as only an epileptic could describe them, more convincingly than even so able a writer as Mr. De Morgan diagnoses them in "An Affair of Dishonour." Dostoevski makes the convulsion come unexpectedly; Mr. De Morgan uses the fit as a kind of moral punctuation point. The author's sensations when under condemnation of death and expecting the immediate catastrophe are also minutely ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... grand predictions of the glory of the poor house which the weak hands were raising. Verses 6-9 set things invisible over against the visible. In general terms the Prophet announces a speedy convulsion, partly symbolical and partly real, in which 'all nations' shall be revolutionised, and as a consequence, shall become Jehovah's worshippers, bringing their treasures to the Temple, and so filling the house with glory. This shall be because ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... at space, and his body squirmed almost into a ball. Finn's fangs sank half an inch deeper, and hot blood gushed between them. Lupus's great body hunched itself into an almost erect position from the shoulder-blades; he was standing on his shoulders. Then, as in a convulsion, one of his hind-legs was lowered in order that it might saw upward, scoring three deep furrows down the side of the Wolfhound's neck. Finn's fangs met in the red centre of his enemy's throat. There was a faint grunt, a final spasm of muscular activity, ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... read his whole story in the stern self-command of brow, and the slight convulsion of feature, which all the self-command could not prevent. He returned warmly the grasp of the hand, answering merely, "I will ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... her father took the bottle and the cork-screw into his hands. What a strange sensation it was to have the cork drawn for the first time! The bottle could never after that forget the performance of that moment; indeed there was quite a convulsion within him as the cork flew out, and a gurgling sound as the wine was poured forth into ...
— Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen • Hans Christian Andersen

... noble Chatsworth and the venerable Haddon, engross almost all that the public generally have seen of the Peak. It is talked of as a land of mountains, which in reality are only hills; but its true beauty lies in valleys that have been created by the rending of the earth in some primeval convulsion, and which present a thousand charms to the eyes of the lover of nature. How deliciously do the crystal waters of the Wye and the Dove rush along such valleys, or dales, as they there are called. With what a wild variety do the gray rocks soar up amid their woods ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... low red-heat. I had never before beheld such a weird, awe-inspiring spectacle, but as I gazed upon it the memory came to me that I had somewhere read of something similar, and I also remembered that it had been described as the precursor of a hurricane, or some similar atmospheric convulsion. ...
— Turned Adrift • Harry Collingwood

... races to the northward which we consider as Caffre races. You may have observed, in the history of the world, that the migrations of the human race are generally from the north to the south: so it appears to have been in Africa. Some convulsion among the northern tribes, probably a pressure from excessive population, had driven the Zoolus to the southward, and they came down like an inundation, sweeping before them all the tribes that fell in their path. Chaka's force consisted ...
— The Mission • Frederick Marryat

... after the gun was fired there was a frightful convulsion on the land. On the hill, where the Spanish guns had withstood the missiles of the ordinary ships of war, tons of rock and soil leaped in air. The land was ...
— The Boys of '98 • James Otis

... convulsion passed over his features,—he staggered backward. The King, horror-stricken, signed to the prison warders standing by, to support him. He muttered a word of thanks, as they caught ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... convulsion passed over her face, her little hands clinched, and the tears started into her eyes. Her voice ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... situated in lat. 29 degrees 57 minutes 30 seconds, and in E. long. 145 degrees 43 minutes 30 seconds, the mean variation being 6.32 easterly. It consists of two hills that appear to have been rent asunder by some convulsion of nature, since the passage between them is narrow and their inner faces are equally perpendicular. The hill which I have named after the late Surveyor-general, is steep on all sides; but the other gradually declines from the south, and at length loses itself in a large plain ...
— Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Complete • Charles Sturt

... anxious to acquire knowledge on the practical methods of Mr. Squeers, or to the athlete who loves to skip like a goat from crag to crag, I fearlessly recommend No. 8 beat of the Mandal river. He may take choice of rocks of every sort and size. The convulsion of nature that transformed this peaceful valley of Southern Norway did it with a will that left stupendous evidence of thoroughness through all the ages. There are rocks more or less along all the higher portions of the river, but in our section we had them in ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

... astonishing their fellow-citizens with their divine performances. The roads from Lyons, Poictiers, Dijon, and Paris were well known, and frequently trodden by both artists and merchants as well as by soldiers. The Renaissance, therefore, was no sudden convulsion. Perhaps a very careful examination of some of our Burgundian MSS. might reveal the presence of notions derived from Italian travel, for it is in the details of ornament that we find the traces of a new movement, and when the great change of ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... rewarded with a view that was positively appalling in its gloom and grandeur. Before us was a mighty chasm in the black rock, jagged and torn and splintered through it in a far past age by some awful convulsion of Nature, as though it had been cleft by stroke upon stroke of the lightning. This chasm, which was bounded by a precipice on the hither, and presumably, though we could not see it, on the farther side also, may have measured any width ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... their stalwart, martial bearing, and a certain surface good-nature, manage to conceal their vices from the too lenient eyes of the subjects they mislead,—and that finally all things were evidently tending toward some great convulsion and upheaval possibly arising from discontent and dissension among the citizens themselves,—or, likelier still, from the sudden invasion of a foreign foe,—for any more terrific termination of events did not just then suggest ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... thickly populous tract, to a town called Washoo, beyond which place they entered a second range of mountains, more elevated and of a more savage character, than any they had hitherto passed; they appeared as if some great convulsion of nature had thrown the immense masses of granite in wild and terrific confusion. The road through this mountain pass, according to the information of Lander, was grand and imposing, sometimes rising almost perpendicularly, ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... surprised a weaver,' said the young lady, laughing till she almost cried. In fact, she was showing in a new light, and becoming quite a funny character upon this theme. And, indeed, this sort of convulsion of laughing seemed so unaccountable on natural grounds to Aunt Rebecca, that her irritation subsided into perplexity, and she began to suspect that her extravagant merriment might mean possibly something which ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... Whether Jericho knew much about Africa, may be a question; but he understood at least that this honor was offered to himself, and accepted it accordingly. It almost overwhelmed him. A wild chuckle of spasmodic delight burst from him, which threatened to end in a convulsion. And though he rallied from this, yet he was quite demoralized, and it was a long time before he settled down into that sedate old darky which ...
— The Lily and the Cross - A Tale of Acadia • James De Mille

... feet from the main wall of the quarry by some convulsion of nature ages ago, there is an immense column just equal in height to the wall, seven feet in diameter and beautifully polished on its top and sides. It is called The Medicine, or Leaping Rock, and considerable nerve is required to jump on it from the main ledge and back again. Many an Indian's ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... interpolation of an early copyist, for it has evidently no connection with the following one, and is not found in the Upsal MS. of the Prose Edda, which is supposed to be the oldest extant. Gefjon's ploughing is obviously a mythic way of accounting for some convulsions of nature, perhaps the convulsion that produced the Sound, and thus effected a junction between the ...
— The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson • Saemund Sigfusson and Snorre Sturleson

... dull noise of three balls which penetrated the flesh, a last cry, a convulsion of agony, proved to d'Artagnan that the would-be assassin had ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... corridor, she saw more and more of the evidences of the convulsion. The thick iron-bound door lay where it had fallen, and it had not been moved since it was lifted to get the two men from under it. Its ponderous hinges were twisted as if they had been made of glue, and ...
— Jennie Baxter, Journalist • Robert Barr

... Wichter and Joyce dropped their guns to cling more tightly to the bole of the drooping branch that was their only security. The guns glanced off the mountainous body—and, with a last convulsion of the mighty legs, ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various



Words linked to "Convulsion" :   upheaval, raptus, commotion, hoo-hah, fit, convulse, kerfuffle, turmoil, clonus, hoo-ha, to-do, seizure, disturbance, trouble, epileptic seizure, attack, paroxysm, flutter



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