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Vastness   /vˈæstnəs/   Listen
Vastness

noun
1.
Unusual largeness in size or extent or number.  Synonyms: enormousness, grandness, greatness, immenseness, immensity, sizeableness, wideness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Vastness" Quotes from Famous Books



... to unfold his plan to us, although it still rather frightened him. In spite of the vastness of his brain, time alone would enable him to work out such ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... a town. Here along this coast an amazing degree of congestion exists. You will marvel to see all along the beach from Sandy Hook, fifty miles of crowded street, of hotels, and houses, and behind these still others. How this vast seaside population thrills one, bringing visions of the "vastness and wealth of teeming millions" of this great nation of ours. One author says, and with truth, that Atlantic City could accommodate all of France and still have room for more while Asbury Park would furnish ample room as a seaside resort ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... certain; but we would rescue his character from the ridicule with which it has been invested. His grasp was greater than his power, and he fell, like heroes and conquerors in all ages, unable to execute, and overwhelmed with the vastness ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... utterly beyond our adequate comprehension he must be. As men in old tales used to take diffused superhumans, the genii, and by magic word bring them down into a stoppered bottle where they could be held in manageable form, so man has taken the vastness of God and run ...
— Christianity and Progress • Harry Emerson Fosdick

... imposing exteriors at home, and did not reflect that in a structure like this I should see an interior also, and that here alone the soul of the building would be fully revealed. It was Miltonic in the best sense; it was like the mightiest organ music put into form. Such depths, such solemn vastness, such gulfs and abysses of architectural space, the rich, mellow light, the haze outside becoming a mysterious, hallowing presence within, quite mastered me, and I sat down upon a seat, feeling my first genuine cathedral intoxication. ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... stillness; to the remote horizons.... At night the vastness of things, the height of the stars, fascinate me to the edge of uneasiness. And sometimes I go and sit in my room for a while—to reassure myself.... You see I am used to an enclosure—the walls of a room—the walled-in streets ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... over the inner harbor. In the dim vastness seaward a steamer was hooting. Each prolonged blast, at half-minute intervals, sounded nearer. The sound was deep, ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... ourselves into strong relations with others, drinking in beauty, making high music in our hearts. There is an abundance of awe in the experiences through which we pass, awe at the greatness of the vision, at the vastness of the design, as it embraces and enfolds our weakness. But we are inside it all, an integral and indestructible part of it; and the shadow of fear falls when we doubt this, when we dread being overlooked or disregarded. No such thing can happen to us; our inheritance is absolute and ...
— Where No Fear Was - A Book About Fear • Arthur Christopher Benson

... recent meetings. He expressed with great force his entire disapproval of the system on which these meetings had been conducted, and admitted that the martial array which had been exhibited, and the vastness of the numbers of those who had attended, were of themselves calculated to excite alarm; but he declared that "he could not on that account acquiesce in a total subversion of a popular right." On the other hand, the ministers ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... the respect and esteem they deserve. The town was going backward. People who had been rich were, many of them, in absolute distress for the necessaries of life. And these men, in a vague sort of way, were blamed for it. Now, however, we can begin to see the wisdom of their plans and the vastness of the scope of their combinations. Nothing but the element of time was wanting, abundantly to vindicate their judgment and sagacity. The industries they founded succeeded as soon as they were divorced ...
— Aladdin & Co. - A Romance of Yankee Magic • Herbert Quick

... multitudes; and life lay before him rather as something definite, which he could take up and fashion to his own pleasure, than as a succession of days and years which would inevitably mould and influence him in their course. It is not wholly conceit, perhaps, which so assures these clever lads of the vastness of their untried capabilities, that there are moments when they feel as if they could grasp heaven and earth in their wide consciousness; it is rather a want of experience and clearness of perception. Horace Graham was not particularly conceited, and yet, in common with many other ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... singular eloquence and power. Probably his greatest achievement was his remarkable, unerring ability to create atmospheres of widely varied kinds in his music, and in this respect there is no composer quite his equal. The soft beauty, grandeur, vastness and might of Nature; the joys and sorrows of Humanity; the romance of History and imaginative Legend; the buoyancy of sunshine and wind; the mysteriousness of enchanted woods; all these he translated with inimitable vividness into music. He could suggest with as definite ...
— Edward MacDowell • John F. Porte

... nineteen centuries before the eyes of the world as a type of character which Christian men should emulate—a vision of life whose influence has touched millions with its inspiration. The price which had to be paid to attain this nobleness of character and this vastness of holy influence was not ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... in 1888, the year in which I commenced the composition of my history. We were both living in Cleveland, and, as it was his custom to dine with me once or twice a month, acquaintance grew into friendship, and I came to have a great respect for his training and knowledge as a historical scholar. The vastness of historical inquiry impressed me, as it has all writers of history. Recognizing in Bourne a kindred spirit, it occurred to me whether I could not hasten my work if he would employ part of his summer vacation in collecting ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... in every breeze, had seemed for him to bridge all gaps, to explain all mysteries. Now indeed chaos stretched all about him, full of huge mists, dark chasms, hidden echoes; but he perceived something of its vastness and immensity; he had broken down the poor frail fences of his soul, and was in contact with reality. He did not doubt that he seemed to the younger generation an elderly and sombre personage, stumbling down the dark descent of life, with youth and brightness behind him; but that descent ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... a single head, whence all myths, beliefs, superstitions, and religions have their origin. While France and Germany and some other nations have achieved distinction in this field, England has been especially remarkable for the nature of her attempts, and the vastness of her achievements in every direction. We pass over many great minds which were first in the field in order to dwell on the two men who, as it seems to me, have summed up the knowledge of others, and have formulated a theory in ...
— Myth and Science - An Essay • Tito Vignoli

... The vastness of this amazing woman's mind is what I must pause to admire. In the frightful catastrophe that has befallen her, she can still think of Philip and Euneece. She is eager to hear of their marriage, and renounces Helena with her whole heart. "I too was deceived by that cunning young Woman," she ...
— The Legacy of Cain • Wilkie Collins

... European Protestantism. There was none other to rival him, few to comprehend him, fewer still to sustain him. As Prince Maurice was at that time the great soldier of Protestantism, without clearly scanning the grandeur of the field in which he was a chief actor, or foreseeing the vastness of its future, so the Advocate was its statesman and its prophet. Could the two have worked together as harmoniously as they had done at an earlier day, it would have been a blessing for the common weal of Europe. But, alas! the evil genius ...
— Memoir of John Lothrop Motley, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... went. He left the two figures together, and presently saw them both from a distance against the vastness of the gold. Bushes and shrubs, and two or three giant pine trees, between the summit of Drouva and the plain, showed black, and the figures of woman and child were almost ebon. Dion watched them. He could not see any features. The two were now like carved ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... initiative; that no overt act of disloyalty blurred his escutcheon, and above all, that he had been spared the humiliation of acknowledging his inability to resist the strange fascination that dragged him from his allegiance, as Auroras swing the needle from the pole. He did not attempt to underrate the vastness of his loss, nor to condone the folly which he designated as "infernal idiocy"; yet conscience acquitted him of intentionally betraying the trust a noble woman had reposed; and his vanity was appeased ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... precise height of the terraces, the width and height of the inner passages, would give us much more definite ideas of those structures than he who should paint to us the effects produced on his own mind by their vastness, their antiquity, and the solitude that surrounds them. So in descriptions of natural scenery, the geographer who gives us the measurement of mountains, and rivers, and plains, is much more accurate than he who describes them solely from the ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... their hats thrust back, lolled in their saddles, shouting conversation to each other, relaxing after the day's work; through the clouds strong shafts of light belittled the living creatures, threw into proportion the vastness of the desert. ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... considerable way, without coming to a termination, stopped to breathe. All was now still, and as she looked around, the gloomy obscurity of the place struck upon her fancy all its horrors. She imperfectly surveyed the vastness of the cavern in wild amazement, and feared that she had precipitated herself again into the power of banditti, for whom along this place appeared a fit receptacle. Having listened a long time without ...
— A Sicilian Romance • Ann Radcliffe

... grew tense; she was beginning to realize the vastness of her husband's purchase. She began to wonder, too, how much it had cost him—this folly ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... the prayers of the Church, ascending continually for the conversion of the heathen; and I know that many of you are praying specially for the heathen of Melanesia. And so one's thoughts float out to India, and China, and Japan, and Africa, and the islands of the sea, and the very vastness of the work raises one's thoughts to God, as the only One by whom it ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... was away from the buggy that was so familiar to me, and that seemed like a little movable piece of home, I felt, as I had not felt before, the vastness of the solitude. Above me in the rising wind tossed the tops of the singing trees; about me stretched the soft blackness; and beneath the dense, interlaced branches it was almost as calm and still as in a room. I could see that the clouds were breaking ...
— Painted Windows • Elia W. Peattie

... steps, a carven Buddhist gateway, or a lofty torii, signals the presence of sanctuaries we have no time to visit: countless crumbling shrines are all around us, dumb witnesses to the antique splendour and vastness of the dead capital; and everywhere, mingled with perfume of blossoms, hovers the sweet, resinous smell of Japanese incense. Be-times we pass a scattered multitude of sculptured stones, like segments of four-sided pillars—old haka, the forgotten tombs of a long-abandoned cemetery; or the ...
— Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan - First Series • Lafcadio Hearn

... takes her place by the stricken man's bedside, a great sadness and pity for the first time on her face. The White Room is locked—Lady Helena keeps the key—one pale light burns dimly in its glittering vastness. And as the night closes in blackness over the doomed house, one of the policemen comes in haste to Superintendent Ferrick, triumph in his face. He has found ...
— A Terrible Secret • May Agnes Fleming

... continue to exceed breadth after breadth. Oh, who can conceive how great his mental being is able to become? Who can comprehend how elevated a life it is possible for him to live? Who can be liable to overrate the vastness of the destiny for ...
— The Jericho Road • W. Bion Adkins

... avenues shot the level arrows of the dawn. They fell on her, Rachel, dressed in robes of white skin, turning her long, outspread hair to gold. They fell upon little people with faces of a dusky pallor, one of them crouched against the bole of a tree, a wizened monkey of a man who in all that vastness looked small. They fell upon another man, white-skinned, half-naked, with a yellow beard, who was lashed by hide ropes to a second tree. It was Richard Darrien grown older, and at his feet lay ...
— The Ghost Kings • H. Rider Haggard

... morning dawned pallidly over a sea of gray mist—not a glimpse of the landscape was visible—nothing but a shadowy vastness of floating vapor that moved slowly fold upon fold, wave upon wave, as though bent on blotting out the world. A very faint, chill light peered through the narrow arched window of the room where Alwyn lay, still wrapped in that profound repose, so like the last long sleep from which ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... with what artists consider bits of the picturesque. The quadrupeds and birds must surely rejoice at their removal from the murky dens of Exeter 'Change to so delightful a region as the present, even slightly as it assimilates with the luxuriance and vastness of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19, No. 528, Saturday, January 7, 1832 • Various

... forming or formed, and when he had got round it he would have seen soaring above him down stream the great mass of Chertsey Abbey. If Reading had the solidity and the barbaric grandeur of Durham, Chertsey had in an ecclesiastical way the vastness of Windsor, and must have seemed like a town to anyone approaching it thus down the river. The enclosed area of the abbey ...
— The Historic Thames • Hilaire Belloc

... years, however, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, the Union Pacific system, and the Great Northern, realizing the wealth of the county and the importance of Tacoma as a manufacturing center, the value of her perfect harbor for shipping, the vastness of her great stretch of level tidelands for factory sites and terminal yards, and the low cost at which freight can be transferred from the rails to the sails or vice versa, have entered the field ...
— A Review of the Resources and Industries of the State of Washington, 1909 • Ithamar Howell

... conquer or fail. A man must be blind with that incurable blindness—of will—who cannot see it acting in and on the universe, and even controlling the lower designs of puny intellects. The reverent eye which sees the vastness of the plan, the multitude of its agents, aiding and seconding it consciously and unconsciously, recognizes it, and the supreme object of its ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... of the blessed St. Nicholas to an utter falsehood in order to screen her lover and to aid his cause.... The scenes are laid among that curious mixture of Oriental magnificence and barbaric discomfort, of lavish expenditure and shabby makeshift, to be found in a Russian castle, with its splendid vastness, the immensity of its grounds, the immensity of the forests on all sides of it, and the general scale of immensity on which everything about it, and within it, is invariably conducted. Add to these Russian prisons, Paris salons, French convents, the lyric ...
— A War-Time Wooing - A Story • Charles King

... splendid about the West," she generously admitted. "Its vastness and wholesomeness, and especially its men. I'm sure that's why I first liked you, Gordon, because you were different—not like the general run of young men in ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... Court of the Universe towards the Nations of the West, the vastness of the Court and the commanding effect of these great groups of the nations impress us. The high columns of the Rising and Setting Sun fountains, the monumental groups of the "Elements," the classic "Music" and "Dance" of heroic size, are merged in the splendid sweep ...
— The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition • Stella G. S. Perry

... much pleased with Peterborough; the front is adorable, but the inside has no more beauty than consists in vastness. By the way, I have a pen and ink that will not form a letter. We were now sent to Huntingdon in our way to Ely, as we found it impracticable, from the rains and floods, to cross the country thither. We landed in the ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... the savageness of the inhabitants, and the vastness of its Mad Mountains—for so they are called—availed it nothing. Great severity was exercised upon its cities, and upon Caralis, the city of its cities, that a nation, obstinate and regardless of death, might at least be humbled by concern ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... business of Education, which so many consider the schoolmaster's speciality, is a larger business than they think. The Family exists to do it, the Church exists to do it. It is the real business of the State. The great Universe itself, with all its vastness, its powers and its mysteries, was created for this. It is simply God's great schoolroom. He has floored it with the emerald queen of the earth and of the gleaming seas. He has roofed it with a sapphire dome, lit with flaming starfire and sun blaze. He has ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... seemed to sing piercingly for joy, as though she had been a strange wild bird escaping from captivity to wing her way westward to the open spaces by the sea. London had frightened her. Its crowded vastness had suffocated her, its indifference had appalled her. She had felt so hopelessly alone there; far lonelier than she had ever been in Cornwall or Norfolk. Nature could be brutal, but never indifferent. She could be ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... finding themselves alone in a pathless forest, become appalled, almost panic stricken. The vastness of an unbroken wilderness subdues them and they quail before the relentless, untamed forces of nature. These are the men who grow enthusiastic—at home— about sylvan life, outdoor sports, but always strike camp and come home rather sooner than they intended. And there ...
— Woodcraft • George W. Sears

... food nor drink he tasted, Neither did he speak nor listen, 130 But as one bewildered sat he, Looking dreamily and sadly, First at Oweenee, then upward At the gleaming sky above them. "Then a voice was heard, a whisper, 135 Coming from the starry distance, Coming from the empty vastness, Low, and musical, and tender; And the voice said: 'O Osseo! O my son, my best beloved! 140 Broken are the spells that bound you, All the charms of the magicians, All the magic powers of evil; Come to me; ascend, Osseo! "'Taste the food that ...
— The Song of Hiawatha - An Epic Poem • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... for dealing with men, and with human goods considered as means. It is a Greek rule: for the Greeks were of all nations the fondest admirers of man and the things of man. But when we ascend to God, we are out among the immensities and eternities. The vastness of creation, the infinity of the Creator,—there is no mode or measure there. In those heights the Hebrew Psalmist loved to soar. Christianity, with its central dogma of the Incarnation, is the meeting of Hebrew and Greek. That mystery ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... of Nature and Art, as they are qualified to entertain the Imagination, we shall find the last very defective, in Comparison of the former; for though they may sometimes appear as Beautiful or Strange, they can have nothing in them of that Vastness and Immensity, which afford so great an Entertainment to the Mind of the Beholder. The one may be as Polite and Delicate as the other, but can never shew her self so August and Magnificent in the Design. There is something more bold and masterly in the ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... accustomed to them, held the bunch of keys, opened the great door, and then they were in the first cellar—the first of a suite of five. Racksole was struck not only by the icy coolness of the place, but also by its vastness. Babylon had seized a portable electric handlight, attached to a long wire, which lay handy, and, waving it about, disclosed the dimensions of the place. By that flashing illumination the subterranean chamber looked unutterably weird and mysterious, with its rows of numbered bins, stretching ...
— The Grand Babylon Hotel • Arnold Bennett

... softening. All the scarlets and vermilions are gone; a luminous pink bathes the whole scene in its fairy light. The night train for Venice, leaving the town, appears as a long string of blinking lights. A chill breeze comes from the Alpine vastness to westward. The deep silence of an Alpine night settles down. The two Americans continue their talk until they are out of hearing. The breeze interrupts and obfuscates their words, but now and then half ...
— Europe After 8:15 • H. L. Mencken, George Jean Nathan and Willard Huntington Wright

... greatest of theological controversies which racked the Roman Empire and affected the peace of millions turned on the question whether a certain word should be spelled with one diphthong or another. A like disproportion between the vastness of results and the minuteness of verbal distinction is exhibited in this decision by the House. The change of "report" into "prepare" threw up a ridge in the field of constitutional development that has affected the trend of American politics ever since. This is the explanation ...
— Washington and His Colleagues • Henry Jones Ford

... pictures would be waste of space and time. Let Mr. Menpes put away his camera, let him go out into the streets or the fields, and there let him lose himself in the vastness and beauty of Nature. Let him study humbly the hang of a branch or the surface of a wall, striving to give to each their character. Let him try to render the mystery of a perspective in the blue evening or its harshness and violence in the early dawn. There is no need to go to Burma, there is ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... hero of this story began. It might be said to be an unromantic life; yet such a life was known to many of our American ancestors. It had its pleasures as well as its pains. It had its poetry as well as its prose, and its joys as well as its sorrows. The vastness of the forest and depths of the solitude by which he was surrounded, made its impress on his mind. He grew up in ignorance of tyranny and many of the evils of the ...
— Sustained honor - The Age of Liberty Established • John R. Musick,

... Richard's eyes were wide with inquiry. His mind suffered growing-pains, as young minds of any intellectual and poetic worth needs must. The possibility of moral experience, incalculable in extent as that golden-gray outspread of creeping, increasing vapour overhead, presented itself to him. The vastness of life touched him to fear. He struggled to find a limit, clothing his effort in ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... and thought and dreamed only a little time before they began to explain the marvelous earth on which they found themselves and the strange things that happened in it; the vastness and beauty of the fields, woods, sky and sea, the force of the wind, the coming and going of the day and night, the warmth of summer when everything grew, and the cold of winter when everything died, the rush of the storm and the terrible ...
— Heroes Every Child Should Know • Hamilton Wright Mabie

... be humble if we have much knowledge, for it only serves to better show the vastness of the unknown, and to compare the little we have discovered for ourselves with the amplitude of that which we owe to the pains ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... difficulties that might have increased ill-feeling. An army regulation which allows the Church of England chaplain only to minister to Church of England men, and the Roman Catholic to Roman Catholic men, etc., reduced the chances of such conflict; and at the same time, the vastness and urgency of the work the chaplains had to do swallowed up all other thoughts. As a writer in The Church in the Furnace said, "We have heard with mingled irritation and amusement that good folk at home have been exercised because an undue proportion of men of this party or that have ...
— The War and Unity - Being Lectures Delivered At The Local Lectures Summer - Meeting Of The University Of Cambridge, 1918 • Various

... on the banks of the river, it is a conspicuous object from every quarter, and is as beautiful in its proportions when seen from a distance as in its details when more closely and minutely inspected: an unfailing source of gratification to the beholder, it well merits repeated visits. In its vastness, in its costly material, in its beautiful proportion, and in its delicacy of detail, it stands a noble monument of the talent which devised, and of the skill which executed it. It is said to have incessantly occupied 20,000 men for 22 years, and three million ...
— A Journey to Katmandu • Laurence Oliphant

... drunk. It was life raw and naked, wild and free—the only life of that sort which my birth in time and space permitted me to attain. And more than that. It carried a promise. It was the beginning. From the sandspit the way led out through the Golden Gate to the vastness of adventure of all the world, where battles would be fought, not for old shirts and over stolen salmon boats, but for high ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... on his plastic mind without his conscious knowledge. Canada with her young, red-blooded vigour swept into him like a tidal wave of open sea into a sluggish, marshy creek. Canada thrust her vastness and her limitless potentialities at him with a careless hand, as though to say: "Here's opportunity for the taking." Canada taught him in ten days what at home he would never have learnt in a lifetime: that London is not ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... Sir William Herschel, more than to any other astronomer, for our knowledge of the stellar universe. It was he who ascertained the vastness of its dimensions, and attempted to delineate its structural configuration. He also explored the star depths, which occupy the infinitude of space by which we are surrounded, and made many wonderful discoveries, which testify ...
— The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' • Thomas Orchard

... dawned that clear April morning when the East was left behind and the journey to the West—that unknown land—was begun. Donald had never been West. The vastness of the country, the newness of the scenery surprised and delighted him. Geography had never seemed so real before. No longer were the various states pink, green, or purple splotches on the map; they were real living places with people, sunshine, ...
— The Story of Wool • Sara Ware Bassett

... were at the illumination of the Congress Spring Park. The scene seemed the creation of magic. By a skillful arrangement of the colored globes an illusion of vastness was created, and the little enclosure, with its glowing lights, was like the starry heavens for extent. In the mass of white globes and colored lanterns of paper the eye was deceived as to distances. The allies stretched away interminably, the pines seemed enormous, ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... badge pinned conspicuously on the breast. The idea speedily becomes a conviction that this after all is not extraneous to the nation, but actually of the living flesh, a vital and imperative thing. The vastness and audacity of it all cannot fail to strike the imaginative mind, for the four or five hundred men who are gathered here typify, if they do not yet represent, the four or five hundred millions who make up the country. You see as it were the nation in profile, a ponderous, slow-moving ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... horse and trap, they seem to think us a rather odd couple. I laugh at their amused faces, but Rose is embarrassed and hurries me away. All the dark and winding little streets lead to the sea. We divine its vastness and immensity beyond the dusky lanes that give glimpses of it. In front of one of those luminous chinks, under a rounded archway, an old woman stands motionless; she is clad like the women of the Pays de Caux: a black dress ...
— The Choice of Life • Georgette Leblanc

... fish our Soul is thrown, And in due time thrown out again, and grown To such vastness, as if unmanacled From Greece Morea were, and that, by some Earthquake unrooted, loose Morea swam; Or seas from Afric's body had severed And torn the Hopeful promontory's head: This fish would seem ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... amazed, we beheld the lone vastness of it all and were mute. Rising out of the flat wilderness over which we had travelled was a mammoth vertical barrier of rock rearing its head to the skies above. The whole face for five miles was one magnificent series of organ-pipes. The deep shade was heightened by the icy glare beyond ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... uniformity. It has not succeeded in showing that the human will comes under the same rule. It has not succeeded in silencing the voice within us, which claims superiority for the moral over the physical. And when the utmost extent of human knowledge is compared with the vastness of nature, the claim to extend the induction from generality to universality is seen to be utterly untenable. So much as this, indeed, Science has rendered highly probable, that the uniformity of nature is never broken except for a moral purpose. It is ...
— The Relations Between Religion and Science - Eight Lectures Preached Before the University of Oxford in the Year 1884 • Frederick, Lord Bishop of Exeter

... the less disturbed and offended when they hear from philosophers that no man ought to be overconcerned about death; that riches are limited to the necessities of nature; that the happiness of man's life doth not consist in the abundance of wealth or vastness of employments or height of authority and power, but in freedom from sorrow, in moderation of passions, and in such a temper of mind as measures all things by the use ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... risen up beyond the western sea. The floor of heaven, inlaid with stars, had sunk back into an infinite abyss of immeasurable space; and the fair earth itself, unfixed from its foundations, was seen to be but a small atom in the awful vastness of the universe. In the fabric of habit which they had so laboriously built for themselves, mankind were to remain no longer. And now it is all gone—like an unsubstantial pageant faded; and between us and the old English themselves ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... stories. The character of Job, as portrayed in the twenty-ninth and thirty-first chapters of the book that goes under his name, melted me to tears. I was delighted with the purity and tenderness, the beauty and sublimity of the Psalms. I was amazed at the depth and vastness of the wisdom of the Book of Proverbs. I was pleased with the stern fidelity with which the prophets rebuked the vices and the crimes, the selfishness and cruelty, of the sinners of their days, and the tenderness and devotion with which they pleaded the cause of the poor, the fatherless, ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... was glad enough to give herself to the delight of this sudden consciousness of freedom. She sniffed the sharp, frosty air with dilated nostrils like a young Arab filly that scents the illimitable vastness of meadowland around her. The excitement of the coming adventure thrilled her: she watched with glowing eyes the preparations for the journey, the bestowal under the cushions of the carriage of the money which was to help King ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... in our immediate vicinity, is the highest mountain in the Commonwealth, and gives a view from its summit 'that for vastness and sublimity is equalled by nothing in New England except the White Hills.' And it is an ancient observance to go up from this valley once in the year to 'see the world.' We were not of the number who availed themselves of this lex non scripta, forasmuch as more than one visit in time ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... uneasy, had sent at all hazards to her husband. The king took a glass of wine and water and ate an orange, and got up for a moment to see whether the boat he was expecting was nowhere visible on the vastness of the sea. There was not a boat in sight, only the brig tossing gracefully on the horizon, impatient to be off, like a ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... rocks. Suddenly from the top of a little hill they came out to a spot where they could see far over the desert. Forty miles away three square, flat hills, or mesas, looked like a gigantic train of cars, and the clear air gave everything a strange vastness. Farther on beyond the mesas dimly dawned the Black Mountains. One could even see the shadowed head of "Round Rock," almost a hundred miles away. Before them and around was a great plain of sage-brush, and here and there was a small bush ...
— A Voice in the Wilderness • Grace Livingston Hill

... non-existent. All the sensitiveness of his nature, like the sensitiveness of a photographic plate, was exposed to that which took place before him. No little detail of the scene would he ever forget; and nothing of what its vastness and mystery and turmoil signified in the world of further meanings would be lost to him, though for many years ...
— The Adventures of Bobby Orde • Stewart Edward White

... for a new attack, I waited in vain. The monster did not come back. Either the flash and the noise had terrified him, or the bullets had hit him, or else in his vastness he had been indifferent to so feeble a creature as myself; but whatever may have been the cause, he did not emerge again out of the darkness and silence into which he had sunk. For a long time I stood waiting; then I sat down, still watchful, still listening, but without any result, until at length ...
— A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder • James De Mille

... very great To set Thyself so far above! But we partake of Thine estate, Established in Thy strength and in Thy love: That love hath made eternal room for me In the sweet vastness ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... darkness a great white radiance streamed through the vastness of the aisles; the moon, that was at her height, had broken through the clouds, the snow had ceased to fall, the light reflected from the snow without was clear as the light of dawn. It fell through the arches full upon the two pictures above, from which the ...
— A Dog of Flanders • Louisa de la Rame)

... conversation about his daughter and his son, and about Violet Effingham. So sudden, indeed, and so confidential was the conversation, that Phineas was almost silenced for awhile. A word or two had been said about Loughlinter, of the beauty of the place and of the vastness of the property. "I am almost afraid," said Lord Brentford, "that Laura ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... speak of the Empire and to say that it established its order from the Tyne to the Euphrates; but when one has travelled alone and on foot up and down the world and seen its vastness and its complexity, and yet everywhere the unity even of bricks in their courses, then one begins to understand the name ...
— Hills and the Sea • H. Belloc

... half-dry, grass-choked stream. A few stunted cottonwood trees followed its windings, and one little clump of wild plum bushes bristled in a draw leading down to the shallow place of the dry watercourse. All else was distance and vastness void of ...
— Winning the Wilderness • Margaret Hill McCarter

... to 1644 his genius soared on steady pinions. During the eight years that followed he triumphed, but he also faltered. Rodogune (1644), which he preferred to all his other plays, is certainly, by virtue of the enormity of the characters, the violence of the passions, the vastness of its crimes, the most romantic of his tragedies; it is constructed with the most skilful industry; from scene to scene the emotion is intensified and heightened until the great fifth act is reached; but if by incomparable audacity the dramatist attains ...
— A History of French Literature - Short Histories of the Literatures of the World: II. • Edward Dowden

... character. The scenery by which a people is surrounded, will modify and almost control its mode of being. The soft, rich landscapes of Italy enervate, while the rough mountainous country of the North imparts force and vigor. Mountains and seas are nature's healthful stimulants. Man grows in their vastness and is energized in their strength. Whatever may be the scenery of a people, it will mirror itself in the mind, and stamp its impress ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... libbard, and the tiger, as the mole Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw In hillocks; the swift stag from underground Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness; fleeced the flocks and bleating rose As plants; ambiguous between sea and land, The river-horse and scaly crocodile. At once came forth whatever creeps the ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... tales is more influenced by Christianity than the others are. The mythological cycle is not only fully pagan, it is primeval. It has the vastness, the savagery, the relentlessness of nature-myths, and what beauty there is in it is akin to terror. Gentleness is unknown. There is only one exception to this, so far as I know, and that is in the ...
— The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland • T. W. Rolleston

... way from the daylight beauty of the earth, for that makes God seem as if He were here, in this world, which then is all we see (except its great eye, the sun) of these multitudinous worlds He has created, and that are hanging in countless myriads round us. Night suggests the vastness of creation, as day can never do; and darkness, silence, the absence of human fellowship, and the suspension of human activity, interests, and occupations, leave us a less disturbed opportunity of meditating on our Creator's ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... curious feature of the house is the salon. This is a spacious & lofty vacuum which occupies the center of the house. All the rest of the house is built around it; it extends up through both stories & its roof projects some feet above the rest of the building. The sense of its vastness strikes you the moment you step into it & cast your eyes around it & aloft. There are divans distributed along its walls. They make little or no show, though their aggregate length is 57 feet. A piano in it is a lost object. We have tried to reduce the sense of desert space & emptiness with ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... translation by Doctor Bowditch of LaPlace's Mecanique Celeste. The latter I read aloud. I mention it because in a way it served as an antidote for that growing sense of expansion in my intellect. In the vastness of infinite space I found the littleness of man and ...
— The Light in the Clearing • Irving Bacheller

... there is in the ocean!" she said, with an unusual degree of interest in her manner, when speaking to her husband. "I can never become so familiar with its grandeur and vastness, as to look upon its face without emotion. You remember ...
— The Hand But Not the Heart - or, The Life-Trials of Jessie Loring • T. S. Arthur

... and telegrams have kept you pretty well up to date as to all that has occurred in this most God-forsaken corner of the world. The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one's soul, its vastness, and also its grim charm. When you are once out upon its bosom you have left all traces of modern England behind you, but on the other hand you are conscious everywhere of the homes and the work of the prehistoric people. On all sides of you as you walk are the houses of these forgotten ...
— Hound of the Baskervilles • Authur Conan Doyle

... their fire, not a large one, in an oak opening and all around the trees rose like a mighty circular wall. The red shadows of a sun that had just set lingered on the western edge of the forest, but in the east all was black. Out of this vastness came the rustling sound of the wind as it moved among the autumn leaves. In the opening was a core of ruddy light and the living forms of men, but it was only a tiny spot in ...
— The Young Trailers - A Story of Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... claim of the Romish Church is to be found in the very vastness of its assumption. Assuming itself to be the only true Church, and the only one founded by Christ, we of course require full and exact evidence in proof of its assertion. It must prove, (1.) That Jesus founded an outward Church of this kind; (2.) That he made Peter its head; (3.) That he ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... sense of the boundless commercial possibilities which existed potentially in so vast a realm. His was not the order of speculative financial enthusiasm which, in the type known as the "promoter," sees endless possibilities for gain in every unexplored rivulet and prairie reach; but the very vastness of the country suggested possibilities which he hoped might remain undisturbed. A territory covering the length of a whole zone and between two seas, seemed to him to possess potentialities which it could not retain if the States of ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... expensively, instruct and save; together with the sight I had seen there, in the heart of London; haunted me, and finally impelled me to an endeavour to bring these Institutions under the notice of the Government; with some faint hope that the vastness of the question would supersede the Theology of the schools, and that the Bench of Bishops might adjust the latter question, after some small grant had been conceded. I made the attempt; and have heard no more of the subject from ...
— Miscellaneous Papers • Charles Dickens

... at a place which he has called Soho, about two miles from Birmingham, which the very ingenious proprietor shewed me himself to the best advantage. I wish Johnson had been with us: for it was a scene which I should have been glad to contemplate by his light[1348]. The vastness and the contrivance of some of the machinery would have 'matched his mighty mind.' I shall never forget Mr. Bolton's expression to me: 'I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have—POWER.' He had about seven hundred people at work. I contemplated ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... descending the mountain now, scanning the depths closely, and from time to time shouting, uttering a loud, prolonged cry, which soon died away in that silent vastness. Then, he put his ear to the ground, to listen; he thought he could distinguish a voice, and so he began to run, and shouted again, but he heard nothing more and sat down, worn out and in despair. Towards midday, he breakfasted and gave Sam, who was as tired as himself, ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8) - Boule de Suif and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... visitor to Madrid would guess the vastness of the intellectual sensation awaiting him in ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... of things which it is our present object to obtain; though the idea reminds me of what the children used to say when I was a child, "If you count the stars you'll drop down dead,"—a saying founded, probably, on the vastness of the undertaking compared with human endurance. It certainly cannot be called trivial to enumerate the duties to which woman consecrates so large a portion of her life, especially when we remember that into each and all of ...
— A Domestic Problem • Abby Morton Diaz

... out of the merciless miles of the plain"—The vastness of the marshes filled him with ...
— Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four. • William H. Elson and Christine Keck

... "This vastness or enlargedness which is not bounded by anything, however plain and simple it may be, increases every day; so that my soul in partaking of the qualities of her spouse, seems also to partake of his immensity."—Madame ...
— Memoranda Sacra • J. Rendel Harris

... visions, and thinkers excogitated their noblest ideas. The crustacean lies at the bottom of the ocean, and the world of waters rolls above it; it cannot in its tiny shell comprehend these leagues upon leagues of solid translucent vastness; and yet the ocean fills its shell and causes its little body to throb with perfect happiness. And so, though we cannot take in all the meaning of the scene before which we stand, yet we can fill mind and heart with it to the brim, and, as it sends through our being the pulsations ...
— The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ - A Devotional History of our Lord's Passion • James Stalker

... an hour or more going down the enormous face of the Jura, which is here an escarpment, a cliff of great height, and contains but few such breaks by which men can pick their way. It was when I was about half-way down the mountain side that its vastness most impressed me. And yet it had been but a platform as it were, from which to view the Alps and their much ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... aims at a life-long learning, prepared for any sacrifice of will yet for none of independence; at that high progressive education which yields rest in work and work in rest, and the development of immortal faculties in both; at that deeper faith which believes in the vastness and variety of the revelations of God, and their accessibility to all ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... apprehension. Well he knew that venom dwelt there, but he said nothing. The one and only chance of successfully transplanting the Folk must be to regions warm as these. All dangers must be braved a time till they could grow acclimated to the upper air. After that—but the vastness of the future deterred even speculation. Perils were inevitable. The more there were to ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... ventured they perished, especially those who aspired to heroism. For they went to see their friends without thought of themselves and were ashamed to leave them, even at a time when the very relatives of the dying were at last growing weary and ceased to make lamentations, overwhelmed by the vastness of the calamity. But whatever instances there may have been of such devotion, more often the sick and the dying were tended by the pitying care of those who had recovered, because they knew the course of the disease and were themselves ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece • Various

... had been helped by a roll to dart through; and as soon as his eyes took in the comparative vastness, peace and brilliance of the engine-room, the ship, setting her stern heavily in the water, sent him charging head ...
— Typhoon • Joseph Conrad

... ladies have done most efficient work in their respective States—and some, in the adjoining States—calling the attention of the people at large, and in some instances the legislative sessions, to the vastness, scope, and policy of the exposition. It is unfortunate that your board does not receive the credit which this line of meritorious effort deserves. In the end, I doubt not, that in the final reports you will be accorded full measure of credit for what you have done individually and collectively. ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... the carpet of the earth never so verdant. As she sat at her window and saw evening close in upon her in that broad forest home, and heard for the first time the mournful notes of the whippoorwill, and the harsh scream of the jay in the distant woods, she was oppressed with a sense of vastness, of infinity, which she never before experienced, not even on the ocean. She remained long in prayer, and when she lay down to sleep beside her matron-friend, no words were spoken between them. The elder, ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... me more and more as I live longer, that most poetry and most literature and particularly the literature of the past is discordant with the vastness and variety, the reserves and resources and recuperations of life as we live it to-day. It is the expression of life under cruder and more rigid conditions than ours, lived by people who loved and hated more naively, ...
— The Passionate Friends • Herbert George Wells

... magnificent system of irrigation canals which it has given to the province. Its great alluvial plain traversed by large rivers drawing an unfailing supply of water from the Himalayan snows affords an ideal field for the labours of the canal engineer. The vastness of the arid areas which without irrigation yield no crops at all or only cheap millets and pulses makes his works of inestimable benefit to the people and a source ...
— The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir • Sir James McCrone Douie

... that Robin felt dimly suspicious. He suddenly formed the idea that Mr. Jeekes wanted to pump him. He refused the liqueur, but accepted a cigar. Jeekes waited until they had been served and the waiter had withdrawn silently into the dim vastness of the great room ...
— The Yellow Streak • Williams, Valentine

... placer gold in her foot-hill streams, and the free grass, knee deep, on her cattle and sheep-ranges held no lure; for he had been first among the Humboldt redwoods and had come under the spell of the vastness and antiquity, the majesty and promise of these epics of a planet. He was a big man with a great heart and the soul of a dreamer, and in such a land as this it was fitting he should take ...
— The Valley of the Giants • Peter B. Kyne

... of chaos. Life triumphs at last, but the victory is not final, and through all the intoxication of it there is a certain note of terror and bewilderment. The soul of Beethoven was a tormented soul. The passion and the awe of the infinite seemed to toss it to and fro from heaven to hell, Hence its vastness. Which is the greater, Mozart or Beethoven? Idle question! The one is more perfect, the other more colossal. The first gives you the peace of perfect art, beauty, at first sight. The second gives you sublimity, terror, pity, a beauty ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... not found; two reports, close together, was the signal that they had been found, and for the searchers to return. Immediately all those who were able to act as searchers, without themselves becoming lost, scattered to their work. On account of the vastness of the forest Mr Ross positively refused to allow Frank, Alec, or Sam to go any distance away on the search. This was a keen disappointment to the boys, but Mr Ross was wise in his decision. The searchers had very little to assist them in their work. There were any number of signs ...
— Three Boys in the Wild North Land • Egerton Ryerson Young

... disgrace to Homer that he had not discovered Britain; or to Virgil that he had not discovered America; or to Chaucer that he had not discovered the solar system; or to Dryden that he had not discovered the steam-engine. But we do most frequently feel, with the Victorians, that the very vastness of the number of things they know illustrates the abrupt abyss of the things they do not know. We feel, in a sort of way, that it is a disgrace to a man like Carlyle when he asks the Irish why they do not bestir themselves and re-forest ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... more than rash that, with troops so weak and so much out of humour, a general should at his own hand and, strictly speaking, at variance with the constitution, undertake an expedition to a distant and unknown land, full of rapid streams and snow-clad mountains—a land which from the very vastness of its extent rendered any lightly-undertaken attack fraught with danger. The conduct of Lucullus was therefore much and not unreasonably censured in Rome; only, amidst the censure the fact should not have been concealed, that the perversity of the government was ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... sunrise, I drove in a weeping morning to the wonderful Villa Maser, about twenty miles away—the villa whose halls and chambers are gorgeous from end to end with the frescoes of Paul Veronese, and whose tutelary gods look out over the vastness of the Lombard plains, though their view is slightly impeded by the bulk of a Renaissance church. That evening I ensconced myself in an ill-lit train, which, passing close to Venice and crossing ...
— Memoirs of Life and Literature • W. H. Mallock

... dazed, startled by the vastness of the domain to which he was heir apparent, Bonbright returned to the aloof quiet of ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... Philadelphia, Charlestown, Baltimore, Savannah, New Orleans, and PARIS! Why they should print Paris in capitals, rather than Boston and Philadelphia, I am at a loss to conceive; but such an announcement does indeed demand some note of admiration at the vastness of the enterprise of REPRINT & Co., who, to give Mr Blackwood more time to attend to the getting up of each successive number of his work, thus undertake to relieve him of any share in seeing to the supply of the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... darkness face to face, the silence of the sky, arched in its vastness above the little hill, the only witness of ...
— The Return • Walter de la Mare

... and twisted into an infinity of fantastic shapes, arrest and weary the eye, lava in all its forms, from a compact phonolite, to the lightest pumice stone, the mere froth of the volcano, exceeding in wildness and confusion the most extravagant nightmare ever inflicted on man. Recollect the vastness of this mountain. The whole south of this large island, down to, and below the water's edge, is composed of its slopes. Its height is nearly three miles, its base is 180 miles in circumference, so that Wales might be packed away within it, leaving room ...
— The Hawaiian Archipelago • Isabella L. Bird

... seated in the little ferry-boat, and were crossing the swollen river immediately before both cataracts, I began to feel what it was: but I was in a manner stunned, and unable to comprehend the vastness of the scene. It was not until I came on Table Rock, and looked - Great Heaven, on what a fall of bright- green water! - that it came upon me in ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... them was full of that heavenly army. Chariots of fire and horsemen of fire thronged it in every part. High up into the viewless air mounted their wheeling bands: rank beyond rank, and army beyond army, they seemed to stretch on into the vastness of space, until the gazer's wearied eye was unable to gaze on them. And all of these were gathered round his master. They were God's host, keeping guard over God's servant. And they who would injure him must first turn aside those flashing swords, ...
— The Rocky Island - and Other Similitudes • Samuel Wilberforce

... from the subject of the new tariff, let us observe, that the suddenness and vastness of its changes (some of which we consider to be of questionable propriety) for a time unavoidably deranged mercantile operations; and in doing so, as necessarily produced many cases of individual dissatisfaction ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... matter which leads one into thought. The vastness of mind which has been brought to bear on the production of the coin is itself worthy of consideration. Before any coin can be sanctioned by the realm, it has to go through the ordeal of Her Majesty's Government, and after all has been ...
— Lectures on Popular and Scientific Subjects • John Sutherland Sinclair, Earl of Caithness

... average of thirty-two lines to the page and two hundred and forty pages, and I figured out that, counting the distance to Neptune as one line, there were still not enough lines in the book by nearly two thousand to reach the nearest fixed star, and somehow that gave me a sort of dim idea of the vastness of the distance and kind of ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... hero; but there is a towering grandeur about him, a whirlwind force of passion and of will, which catches our hearts, and puts the scruples of criticism to silence. The most delirious of enterprises is that of Moor, but the vastness of his mind renders even that interesting. We see him leagued with desperadoes directing their savage strength to actions more and more audacious; he is in arms against the conventions of men and the everlasting ...
— The Life of Friedrich Schiller - Comprehending an Examination of His Works • Thomas Carlyle

... incontinent and would not be conjured back; though, indeed, the original discoverers would have had yet further occasion to gaze at one another "with a wild surmise" if they had seen shrieking companies "shooting the chutes." But here was vastness, here was desolation, here was silence; jagged ice masses in the foreground and boundless expanse beyond, solemn and mysterious. The Arctic Ocean was even as I had ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... no master but ambition and no dread but of poverty, and a long list of rights thrust suddenly into their hands, with liberty to exercise them,—the right to vote, to speak, to print, to be tried by jury,—all this margin for unfettered action, even the corresponding vastness of the country itself, whose ruggedest features and greatest distances were playthings of the popular energy,—to love and extol these things were held by us equivalent to having a native land and feeding a patriotic flame. But now all at once this catalogue ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 56, June, 1862 • Various

... leaves me with a new sense of the vastness of the heathen world, and of its absolute dependence upon Christ, as its only possible Saviour. The question whether the heathen will ever be saved if we do not give them the gospel, is not so serious a one for us as the other question whether ...
— A Tour of the Missions - Observations and Conclusions • Augustus Hopkins Strong

... himself. It would seem as though he is never sure of his personality, as though he is ever yearning to have that personality confirmed from some source other than, extraneous to, his own ego. The reason for this must be that we Russians live diffused over a land of such vastness that, the more we grasp the immensity of the same, the smaller do we come to appear in our own eyes; wherefore, traversing, as we do, roads of a length of a thousand versts, and constantly losing our way, we come to ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... living became suddenly real. He would feel a despair. Words unlike the sophisticated patter of his usual thought would come to him.... "What is there ... I would like something ... what?..." A sense of life as an unpeopled vastness would frighten him vaguely. Night sounds ... strange, shadow-hidden walls. They made him uneasy. Memories then; puzzling, mixed-up pictures that had lost their outlines. Things that had left no impression on his thought—sterile little incidents through which he had moved with ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... big Texans, who had never quailed before man or gun, looked at each other, their faces full of sudden seriousness, and there was just a shadow of fear in both blue eyes and black. The silence and the vastness of an empty earth and sky can bring up undreamed of things from the bottom of men's minds. Ellhorn's more skeptical nature was the first to gird itself ...
— With Hoops of Steel • Florence Finch Kelly

... they had been unduly elated, and were disposed altogether to underrate their enemies and to believe that the struggle was as good as over. Thus, then, they made no effort at all corresponding to that of the North; but as time went on, and they saw the vastness of the preparations made for their conquest, the people of the Southern States again ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... an intense, glowing epic of the great desert, sunlit barbaric, with its marvelous atmosphere of vastness and loneliness. ...
— Overland Red - A Romance of the Moonstone Canon Trail • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... fallen, though the wind still held steady, and this surface calmness, under-run by a gentle swell, served only to emphasize the vastness of the view. The island seemed immensely remote and immense in size, the far snow-covered mountains the mountains of a land where giants had lived and from which they had departed ...
— The Beach of Dreams • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... Sky, land, and sea disappear together out of the world when the Placido—as the saying is—goes to sleep under its black poncho. The few stars left below the seaward frown of the vault shine feebly as into the mouth of a black cavern. In its vastness your ship floats unseen under your feet, her sails flutter invisible above your head. The eye of God Himself—they add with grim profanity—could not find out what work a man's hand is doing in there; and you would be free to call ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... came and went, and back and forth they twisted through the uncharted vastness, where no men were and yet where men had been if the Lost Cabin were true. They went across divides in summer blizzards, shivered under the midnight sun on naked mountains between the timber line and the eternal snows, dropped into summer ...
— The Call of the Wild • Jack London

... drum, and unconsciously our feet beat time. We hear the first deep chords of the orchestra, and involuntarily our fingers mark the time of the measure. With the soft, mellow harmony of triplet melodies we are transported to the solemn vastness of a mountain beside a, gayly rippling stream. With the deep, sonorous bursts of triumphant melody, we are transported to the ocean's edge, where the rumbling of the waves holds us in awed ecstasy. Thoughts of sorrow, of gladness, of joy, of hope ...
— Book of Etiquette • Lillian Eichler

... instincts of a man of the west, where antagonism to Spain was bred in the bone. But his insistence upon immediate action was also stimulated by his opposition to Monroe and the secretary of state. Clay's great speech on recognition was made May 24 and 25, 1818. His imagination kindled at the vastness of South America: "The loftiest mountains; the most majestic rivers in the world; the richest mines of the precious metals; and the choicest productions of the earth." "We behold there," said he, "a spectacle ...
— Rise of the New West, 1819-1829 - Volume 14 in the series American Nation: A History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... the silence of the plain, the vastness, the emptiness, the seeming purposelessness of it all, irritated and oppressed her spirit. And she so yearned to be where the world was alive ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... a grace and a softness in the prismatic lymph that give a new form and color to the common and familiar objects it has printed in its still, pellucid depths. Every little basin of clear water by the roadside is a magic mirror, and transforms all that it encloses. There is a vastness of depth, too, in that concave hemisphere, through which the vision sinks like a falling star, that excites and fills the imagination. What it shows is only a shadow, but all things seen are mere shadows painted on the retina, and you have, at such times, a realistic sense of the beautiful ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. • Various

... sent into this naughty world since the firstborn of Eve. At a day old he would make three of any of the new-born babes that a month since blessed the Union bf Sevenoaks. There is, however, a remarkable providence in this. The Prince of Wales is born to the vastness of a palace; the little Princes of Pauperdom being doomed to lie at the rate of fifteen in "two beds tied together," are happily formed of corresponding dimensions, manufactured of more "squeezeable materials." There is, be sure of it, a providence watching over parish ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, December 18, 1841 • Various

... POOR LOUDON," it began, "I labour far into the night getting our affairs in order; you could not believe their vastness and complexity. Douglas B. Longhurst said humorously that the receiver's work would be cut out for him. I cannot deny that some of them have a speculative look. God forbid a sensitive, refined spirit ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... is sent as an eye-witness will give his Majesty a brief relation of the vastness of China, of the abundance of its fruits and provisions, of the richness of its merchandise, and the great quantity of gold and silver, quicksilver, copper, iron, and other metals; of the immensity and certainty of the treasures, and the infinite amount and variety ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume VI, 1583-1588 • Emma Helen Blair

... we are too much impressed and oppressed by the ideas of magnitude and multitude. Since we have realized the unspeakable insignificance of the earth in relation to the unimaginable vastness of star-sown space, we have come to feel such a disproportion between the mechanism of life and its upshot, as known in our own experience, that we have a vague sense of maleficence, or at any rate of brutal carelessness, in the responsible Power, whoever that ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... pride of possession. He herded cattle much of the time in the summer, and he hunted in the winter—wolves chiefly, their hair being long and finer at this season, and the smaller furry gentry; for he dealt in peltry. And so, despite the vastness of the mountain wilds, he often came and knelt beside the rocks with his rifle in his hand, and sought anew to decipher the mystic legends. His face, bending over the tables of the Law with the earnest ...
— The Riddle Of The Rocks - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... and in the scrub upon its banks were many guinea-fowl and other birds. It was a pleasing, lonely place, with lots of game in it, that came here in the winter to eat the grass, which was lacking on the higher veld. Also it gave the idea of vastness, since wherever one looked there was nothing to be seen except ...
— Child of Storm • H. Rider Haggard

... readers should not be intimidated by the apparent vastness and complexity of this enterprise of forming the literary taste. It is not so vast nor so complex as it looks. There is no need whatever for the inexperienced enthusiast to confuse and frighten himself with thoughts of "literature in all its branches." Experts ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... the iron gate swung open upon its weirdly complaining hinges, then went to again with a bang and a clang, and the little boy from far Virginia, with the wistful grey eyes and the sunny curls was alone in a throng of curious school-fellows, and in the dimness, the strangeness, the vastness of a hoary, mysterious mansion full of echoes, and of quaint crannies and closets where shadows lurked by day as well as by candle-light. Alone, yet not unhappy—for Edgar the Dreamer was holding full sway. With the departure of his foster-father, all check was removed from ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... was not altogether the divine rage of the artist that had wrought this havoc. The confusion argued a power at war with itself rather than with its creations; the very vastness of it all suggested a deity tied as to time, but apparently unshackled as to space. That was it. There really wasn't as much time as there used to be. It was in his free evenings and on Sundays that his best thoughts ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... got to, what has been done? How do I come into the midst of it all?" The vastness of street and house he was prepared for, the multitudes of people. But conflicts in the city ways! And the systematised sensuality of a ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... how utterly dissimilar,—is the phenomenon before us! Here is a singularly confused and shallow thinker oppressed with the vastness of his discovery, that the Bible—has nothing in it! Here is a Clergyman of the Church of England, and a Lecturer in Divinity, whose difficulty is how he shall convince the world that the Bible is—like ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... nodding wheat, the rivers, cliffs, and islands, to the cities and the people everywhere for thousands of miles. What is the effect of this vastness on the thought of a child? Can you not realize for yourself any clear night that you may gaze at the numberless stars in the arching skies? How small, how infinitely little are we in all the great universe! Have we the imagination to grasp the saving thought ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... replied, "Not wounded: killed," and thereupon expired. The Past is full of such incidents; and so inspiring are they that Death comes to be regarded as a most stirring adventure. The archaeologist, too, better than any other, knows the vastness of the dead men's majority; and if, like the ancients, he believes in the Elysian fields, where no death is and decay is unknown, he alone will realise the excellent nature of the company into which ...
— The Treasury of Ancient Egypt - Miscellaneous Chapters on Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology • Arthur E. P. B. Weigall

... "is our world!" and Ayrault wished that his soul was already free; while the dead leaves rustling in the gentle breeze, and the nightwinds, sighing among the trees, seemed to echo his thought. Far above their heads, and in the vastness of space, the well-known stars and constellations, notwithstanding the enormous distance they had now come, looked absolutely unchanged, and seemed to them emblematic of tranquillity and eternal repose. The days were changed by ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds - A Romance of the Future • John Jacob Astor

... shrivelled in the flame of a candle, to outlive the sun, the claim of a worm to survive the destruction of this terrestrial globe in which it burrows. Those who take this view of the pettiness and transitoriness of man compared with the vastness and permanence of the universe find little in the beliefs of savages to alter their opinion. They see in savage conceptions of the soul and its destiny nothing but a product of childish ignorance, the hallucinations ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... where shall I find my place? Oh, that I might sleep eternally! Yes, that would be best of all—to sink into sleep never ending, unbroken, and unbreakable, to be absorbed into the cool vastness of the night, and lie in her great arms for ever. Oh, Night! whom I have ever loved, you bring your sleep to wearied millions— bring me sleep eternal. But no, the stars are above the night, and above the stars is—what? Yes; the hour I dread like every ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... emphasised its vastness. It was not, I suppose, a great Forest, but to-day it seemed as though we were winding further and further, through labyrinth after labyrinth of clouding obscurity, winding towards some destination from which we could never ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole



Words linked to "Vastness" :   bigness, enormity, largeness, vast



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