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Encumber   Listen
verb
Encumber  v. t.  (past & past part. encumbered; pres. part. encumbering)  (Written also incumber)  
1.
To impede the motion or action of, as with a burden; to retard with something superfluous; to weigh down; to obstruct or embarrass; as, his movements were encumbered by his mantle; his mind is encumbered with useless learning. "Not encumbered with any notable inconvenience."
2.
To load with debts, or other legal claims; as, to encumber an estate with mortgages.
Synonyms: To load; clog; oppress; overload; embarrass; perplex; hinder; retard; obstruct; check; block.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Encumber" Quotes from Famous Books



... gave to man's encumber'd hours The tuneful joys of truth serene, And twined our life's neglected ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... once," interrupted George; "the third dog has turned tail, like a craven, luckily for us. Now slip the bight of the lanyard over your neck, and follow me. Leave the cane-knives; they will only encumber us, and perhaps throw us down the face of the precipice. Now, look out, I'm going ...
— The Voyage of the Aurora • Harry Collingwood

... music-drama (to use a name now naturalized in art by Wagner) the keenest dramatic vigor. Though he had a strong command of effects by his power of delineation and delicacy of detail, his prevalent tastes led him to encumber his music too often with overpowering military effects, alike tonal and scenic. Riehl, a great German critic, says: "He is more successful in the delineation of masses and groups than in the portrayal of emotional scenes; his rendering of the national struggle between the Spaniards and Mexicans ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... of pikes about five feet long, with broad bronze or copper points, occasionally of flails, axes, daggers, short curved swords, and spears; the trumpeters were armed with daggers only, and the officers did not as a rule encumber themselves with either buckler or pike, but bore and axe and dagger, ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 4 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... they will be lost," I cried out in desperation. For Mary was shrieking that she would not go, and I knew that Humphrey did not know the way, and could not find it and launch the boat in time with that struggling maid to encumber him, for already the door trembled ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... bright Was all that met his ravished sight; Soft tapestries from far countries brought, Rare cabinets with gems inwrought, White vases of the finest mould, And mirrors set in burnished gold. Upon a couch a grayhound slumbered; And a small table was encumber'd With paintings, and an ivory lute, And sweetmeats, and delicious fruit. Sir Rudolph lost not time in praising; For he, I should have said was gazing, In attitude extremely tragic, Upon a sight of stranger magic; A sight, which, seen at such a season, Might well astonish Mistress ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... about to approach those ancient Religions which once ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us, those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths, shrouded in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefined along ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... retrograded. This was sufficient; a cry of terror broke from the whole group, and, without waiting for further evidence, they set off in the direction they came from, at full speed, Ned flinging the jug of holy water at the coffin, lest the latter should follow, or the former encumber him in his flight. Never was there so complete a discomfiture; and so eager were they to escape, that several of them came down on the stones; and I could hear them shouting with desperation, and imploring the more advanced not to leave ...
— The Station; The Party Fight And Funeral; The Lough Derg Pilgrim • William Carleton

... messengers that as they went forth they must expect to meet with dangers. "I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves." They were, however, to encumber themselves with nothing superfluous and they were to waste no time in idle ceremonies; they must journey as men who are impelled by one supreme motive. ...
— The Gospel of Luke, An Exposition • Charles R. Erdman

... Bohemianism, has very truly shown that the rationale of a great deal of this is simply the attempt of men to obtain from social intercourse the largest amount of positive pleasure or amusement it can give by discarding the forms, the costly conventionalities, the social restrictions that encumber and limit it. One of the worst tendencies of a very wealthy society is that by the mere competition of ostentation the standard of conventional expense is raised, and the intercourse of men limited by the ...
— The Map of Life - Conduct and Character • William Edward Hartpole Lecky

... is the art, Great be the manners of the bard. He shall not his brain encumber With the coil of rhythm and number; But leaving rule and pale forethought He shall aye climb For his rhyme. 'Pass in, pass in,' the angels say, 'In to the upper doors, Nor count compartments of the floors, But mount to paradise ...
— Ralph Waldo Emerson • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... a possible to take the advantage of a land breeze. In the morning he put off to sea in chase of the vessel, which he was unable to get up with till towards evening close to the land; after a brave defence, as the ship had many men, she at length yielded; and not chusing to encumber himself with so many prisoners, he landed a part of her company, and made the rest prisoners in irons in his own ship. Learning that this was one of the three ships belonging to Calicut of which he was in search, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... immediately after a journey engage men who would have been standing in their arms and arranging themselves for battle at their leisure, whilst they were making a long march with all their beasts of burden and their camp followers to encumber them. As the generals were arguing about this matter, a Numidian courier came from Otho with orders to lose no time, but give battle. Accordingly they consented, and moved. As soon as Caecina had notice, he was much ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... arises to move. These changes carry a need for mobilization of its army of workers. The encumbrance of family Lares and Penates cannot be tolerated. Only a small per cent of young men are to-day sure of remaining in the city in which they begin business. What folly to encumber themselves with real estate which, sold at a sacrifice, brings barely half its price! Moral exhorters have not carefully considered this side of the question in their arguments for house-owning and family-rearing as ...
— The Cost of Shelter • Ellen H. Richards

... Napoleon pleases the vanity of France by military glory, and rewards her exertions by a triumphant peace; if he employs his absolute power in promoting her prosperity by further relaxing the fetters which encumber her industry; if he takes advantage of the popularity which a successful war, an honourable peace, and internal prosperity must confer on him, to give to her a little real liberty and a little real self-government; if he gradually subsides ...
— Correspondence & Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834 to 1859, Vol. 2 • Alexis de Tocqueville

... receive on board his ship a young man named Omai, a native of Ulietea; where he had had some property, of which he had been dispossessed by the people of Bolabola. I at first rather wondered that Captain Furneaux would encumber himself with this man, who, in my opinion, was not a proper sample of the inhabitants of these happy islands, not having any advantage of birth, or acquired rank; nor being eminent in shape, figure, or complexion: For their people of the first rank are much fairer, and usually ...
— A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 • James Cook

... the will would be impossible if, instead of allowing order and clarity to mature in the mind, we should seek to encumber it with chaotic ideas, or with stores of lessons learnt by heart, and then prevent children from making decisions by deciding everything for them. Teachers who adopt these methods are justified in saying that "a child ought ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... is not without its difficulties, but they vanish when compared with those which encumber its rivals. There are various facts in science obviously connected, and whose connections we are unable to trace; but we do not think of filling the gap between them by the intrusion of a separable spiritual agent. In like manner though ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... Which spread, and stifle every herb of grace; Whilst Virtue, check'd by the cold hand of Scorn, Seems withering on the bed where she was born, Philosophy steps in; with steady hand, She brings her aid, she clears the encumber'd land; Too virtuous to spare Vice one stroke, too wise One moment to attend to Pity's cries— 100 See with what godlike, what relentless power She roots up every weed! P. And every flower. Philosophy, a name of meek degree, Embraced, ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... Man of Genius, he may surprise us still by a vindication of what seem to me several Latter-day failures. I suppose it is as hard for him to relinquish his Vocation as other men find it to be in other callings to which they have been devoted; but I think he had better not encumber the produce of his best days by publishing so ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883) • Edward FitzGerald

... landscape; the trees grow straight, equally branched on each side, and of such slight and feathery frame as shows them never to have encountered blight or frost or tempest. The mountains stand up in fantastic pinnacles; there is on them no trace of torrent, no scathe of lightning; no fallen fragments encumber their foundations, no worn ravines divide their flanks; the seas are always waveless, the skies always calm, crossed only by fair, horizontal, lightly ...
— Modern Painters Volume II (of V) • John Ruskin

... Society should in some measure be disappointed, is only what might naturally be anticipated of all very sanguine expectation. Cheap editions are expensive editions to the publisher; and historical societies, from a necessity which appears to encumber all corporate English action, rarely fail to do their work expensively and infelicitously. Yet, after all allowances and deductions, we cannot reconcile ourselves to the mortification of having found but one volume in the series ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... forward by Mr. Spencer are from Darwin. I shall endeavour to show, however, that Darwin was probably wrong in retaining the older explanation of these facts, and that the remains of the Lamarckian theory of use-inheritance need not any longer encumber the great explanation which has superseded that fallacious and unproven theory and has rendered it totally unnecessary. Meanwhile I think it is an excellent sign that Mr. Spencer has to complain that "Nowadays most naturalists are more Darwinian than Mr. Darwin ...
— Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited? - An Examination of the View Held by Spencer and Darwin • William Platt Ball

... thus insatiable? why thus unreasonable? why encumber the world?—"Aye, but I fain would have my wife and children with me too."—What, are they then thine, and not His that gave them—His that made thee? Give up then that which is not thine own: yield it to One who is better than thou. "Nay, but why did He bring one ...
— The Golden Sayings of Epictetus • Epictetus

... was improper, now that I should be terrified to death now that I should become too ugly to be presentable; while the gentlemen made game of M. de Bellaise as a foolish young lover, who was so absurd as to encumber himself with a wife of whom he would soon weary, and whose presence would interfere with his enjoyment of the freedom and diversions of military life. He who was only just free from his governor, would he saddle ...
— Stray Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... travel-worn and weary fellows Who landed where Caleb S. Bellows, Out on "the Point" his habitation Built in a pleasant situation, Before the days when piles of lumber Did first fair nature's face encumber; Quite near the spot where first with skill John Perkins built his little mill, Where Philip Thompson many a year Ago, commenced his bright career, And took the ebbing of the tide, Which into golden waves did glide; He man'd his craft ...
— Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants • William Pittman Lett

... the subject. I cannot stop to take up the old proofs from causation, from statistics, from the certainty with which we can foretell one another's conduct, from the fixity of character, and all the rest. But there are two words which usually encumber these classical arguments, {149} and which we must immediately dispose of if we are to make any progress. One is the eulogistic word freedom, and the other is the opprobrious word chance. The word 'chance' I wish to keep, ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... each scene where it passed, except one, which will be found so remarkable as certainly to deserve a very particular relation. Where the place or the persons do not contribute to the zest of the conversation, it is unnecessary to encumber my page with mentioning them. To know of what vintage our wine is, enables us to judge of its value, and to drink it with more relish: but to have the produce of each vine of one vineyard, in the same year, kept separate, would serve ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... if it had been in rhyme; for although an interpreter of poetry undeniably has the difficulties of form to struggle with, yet there is, on the other hand, an inspiration and waft of feeling in the metre which lends him wings and helps him on. If Mr. Stern does not encumber his style with a betrayal of the difficulties he has got over—if he does not give us pedantry and double-epithets, so common in vulgar renderings from the German—he certainly shows no timidity in turning the polished familiarity of Heine's prose into our commonest vernacular. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... to luggage. Let no traveller encumber himself or herself with a trunk on the Continent. A valise or a carpet bag that can be carried in the hand, will hold enough. Four or five changes of linen, and one dress, besides the travelling costume, are all sufficient. ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... been already published, that it is needless to encumber this short narrative with any minute enumeration of the qualities which constitute his station in literature; but I shall, as a part of my task, venture to refer to some of those which distinguish him ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... all the prisoners to be transported on board the Karteria; and as he could ill spare any of his provisions, and could not encumber his vessel with enemies who required to be guarded, he resolved to release them immediately. He therefore informed the Turkish commandant that he would send him to Missolonghi in a monoxylon, or canoe used in the lagoons, in order to procure two large flat-bottomed ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity intrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... himself. In 1648 he turned nine psalms, and recurring to the task in 1653, "did into verse" eight more. He thought these specimens worth preserving, and annexing to the volume of his poems which he published himself in 1673. As this doggerel continues to encumber each succeeding edition of the Poetical Works, it is as well that Milton did not persevere with his experiment and produce a complete Psalter. He prudently abandoned a task in which success is impossible. A metrical psalm, being a compromise between the psalm and the hymn, like ...
— Milton • Mark Pattison

... much praise and incense as the foundress of this community. It has been quite easy for her to found so vast an establishment with the treasures of France, since she herself had remained poor, by her own confession, and had neither to sell nor encumber ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... then my head, I think, will allow me on an average to go to every other meeting. But it is grievous how often any change knocks me up. I will further pledge myself, as I told Lyell, to resign after a year, if I did not attend pretty often, so that I should AT WORST encumber the Club temporarily. If you can get me elected, I certainly shall be very much pleased. Very many thanks for answers about Glaciers. I am very glad to hear of the second Edition (Of the Himalayan Journal.) so very soon; but am not surprised, for I have ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... own keeping in the armoury, where 'tis right they should be; for men of peace, as these most surely are, encumber not themselves with ...
— The Thirsty Sword • Robert Leighton

... and the aid no longer necessary, overwhelming the sufferers with caresses. I will not stand by and see my fellow-man drowning, without stretching out a hand to help him, till he has, by his own efforts and presence of mind, reached the shore in safety, and then encumber him with aid. With suffering Greece, now is the crisis of her fate—her great, it may be her last struggle. Sir, while we sit here deliberating, her destiny may be decided. The Greeks, contending with ruthless oppressors, ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... How much more they carry to battle than at reviews. The hay in those great nets must encumber them. [She turns and sees that her daughter has become pale.] Ah, now I know! HE has just gone by. You exchanged signals with him, you wicked girl! How do you know what his character is, or ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... thought. To lose all consciousness of the existence of the body, to be as if the body for the time were not,—this is to set the mind thinking in freedom unrestrained. For the body and the conscious sensation of the presence of the body seem to serve to drag down and encumber the energy of thought. A sound through the ear, a sight presented to the eye, a touch, an ache,—these break off sustained thinking. No wonder, when the body sleeps profoundly, the soul is often then most active. And will not this be so when the profoundest ...
— The Life of the Waiting Soul - in the Intermediate State • R. E. Sanderson

... the house they go, Weaving slow Magic circles to encumber And imprison in their ring Olaf the King, As he helpless ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... strangers amongst those recesses to which from childhood she had looked with awful veneration. This girl was regarded with an unfavourable eye by, all the competitors, honest Dinmont only excepted; the rest conceived they should find in her a formidable competitor, whose claims might at least encumber and diminish their chance of succession. Yet she was the only person present who seemed really to feel sorrow for the deceased. Mrs. Bertram had been her protectress, although from selfish motives, and her capricious ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... a truck in that place in the street? In the first place, to encumber the street; next, in order that it might finish the process of rusting. There is a throng of institutions in the old social order, which one comes across in this fashion as one walks about outdoors, and which have no other reasons for existence ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... he said, smiling, "we must not encumber ourselves with anything unnecessary. You must bid good-bye to collars and cuffs, and be content with flannels, one to wear and one for your knapsack; and this you will have to wash and dry whenever you get a chance. We'll take some socks, but ...
— Nat the Naturalist - A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas • G. Manville Fenn

... number. The amount of the infantry is uncertain; but the knowledge which both ancient and modern times supply of the usual character of oriental armies, and of their populations of camp-followers, may warrant us in believing that many myriads were prepared to fight or to encumber those who fought for the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... is all this, that the corruptions of Christianity, as years rolled on, have ever been to assimilate it to the other religions of the earth; to abate its spirituality; to relax its austere code of morals; to commute its proper claims for external observances; to encumber its ritual with an infinity of ceremonies; and, above all, to uncover the future and invisible, on which it left a veil, and add a purgatory into the bargain! Thus, whether contrasted with other religions or with its corrupted self, ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... representations of Christian subjects, which had become blasphemous under the treatment of men like the Caracci. Gods without power, satyrs without rusticity, nymphs without innocence, men without humanity, gather into idiot groups upon the polluted canvas, and scenic affectations encumber the streets with preposterous marble. Lower and lower declines the level of abused intellect; the base school of landscape[23] gradually usurps the place of the historical painting, which had sunk into prurient pedantry,—the Alsatian ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... souvenirs! I know there are a number Who stuff their homes with memories of dread; The ancient hat-stand in the hall encumber With Pickelhaubes and delight to slumber With heaps of nasty ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, May 14, 1919 • Various

... Nay, some tower Far eastward sendeth forth that light; We yet may spend another hour, Not yet shall end the precious night. May sleep, thou sun, thee long encumber, And waking may'st thou linger still, For Frithjof's sake may'st freely slumber Till Ragnaroek, ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... shrewd, gay, and natural style, and even with some degree of fidelity. But he inaugurates the pleiad of amateur, curious, and commercial travellers. He is the first of that prolific race of tourists who each year encumber geographical literature with numerous volumes, from which the savant finds nothing to glean ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... thoughtful, but with the fire of ambition burning strongly within, and ever and anon flashing forth vividly, repressed at once as too demonstrative, but filling her with enthusiastic admiration. She remembered him calmly and manfully meeting the shock of the failure, that would, he knew, fetter and encumber him through life—how resolutely he had faced the difficulties, how unselfishly he had put himself out of the question, how uprightly he had dealt by the creditors, how considerately by his father and aunt, how wise and moderate his proceedings ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. I) - or, The Clue of Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... strength, with a courage that he had never known before, he picked up Peter Westcott in his hands, held him, that miserable figure, high in air, raised him, then flung him with all his strength out, away, far into space, never to return, never to encumber the earth again. ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... acquaintance soon conciliated and found to be not at all the formidable and haughty person she would have had people believe her; not too far gone in middle age, preserving, despite her spinsterhood, much of her bloom and many of those little roundnesses of contour which adorn but do not encumber. ...
— The Continental Dragoon - A Love Story of Philipse Manor-House in 1778 • Robert Neilson Stephens

... my lord, but ill supply The place of deeds, and duty's just demand. In danger's onset, and the day of trial, Conviction still on acting worth attends; Whilst mere professions are by doubts encumber'd. ...
— The Earl of Essex • Henry Jones

... pony for his baggage, together with blankets and other necessaries for the journey. His mining outfit he decided to get at Sacramento, as, although the cost would be considerable, he did not wish to encumber himself with it on his journey across the plains. The rifle and revolver had been presented him by Mr. Willcox, and he determined to practise steadily with both on his voyage up the river, as his life might depend on his proficiency ...
— Captain Bayley's Heir: - A Tale of the Gold Fields of California • G. A. Henty

... assumption that the group is to survive—to be perpetuated by the one possible means—if it withdraws all solicitude about the handicap this entails to women as a whole, introducing a spirit of laissez-faire competition between men and women, the women with sense enough to see the point will not encumber themselves with children. For each one of these who has no children, some other woman must have six instead of three. And some people encourage this in ...
— Taboo and Genetics • Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard

... certainly a peculiar collection, few or none of these articles being included in the Field Service regulations. Still, not more peculiar than some of the things with which solicitous friends and relatives encumber ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... of that convenient size which would admit of its being squeezed into any odd corner, but Dick the hostler got it in somehow, and Mr Chuzzlewit helped him. It was all on Mr Pinch's side, and Mr Chuzzlewit said he was very much afraid it would encumber him; to which Tom said, 'Not at all;' though it forced him into such an awkward position, that he had much ado to see anything but his own knees. But it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good; and the wisdom of the saying was verified in this ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... after leaving its source in the chain of hills dividing Ugogo from Magunda Mkali. During the rainy season it must be nearly impassable, owing to the excessive slope of its bed. Traces of the force of the torrent are seen in the syenite and basalt boulders which encumber the course. Their rugged angles are worn smooth, and deep basins are excavated where the bed is of the rock, which in the dry season serve as reservoirs. Though the water contained in them has a slimy and greenish appearance, ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... Ctesiphon, they must retreat. And accordingly retreat seems to have been at once determined on. As a first step, the whole fleet, except some dozen vessels, was burned, since twelve was a sufficient number to serve as pontoons, and it was not worth the army's while to encumber itself with the remainder. They could only have been tracked up the strong stream of the Tigris by devoting to the work some 20,000 men; thus greatly weakening the strength of the armed force, and at the same time hampering its ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire • George Rawlinson

... cried; "must a man die that a dog may live? Must a mother's gray hairs be brought in sorrow to the grave; must the heart of a wife be crushed within a bloody hand and children never know a father's loving care, that such a thing as thou may'st yet encumber this fair earth? Precious indeed must be that life, purchased at ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... suspicion of our being here. I think we should return to our former place of concealment, and watch their motions. There is no saying when the party with Miss Percival may return; they may have arrived while we have been away, or they may come to-morrow. It will be better, therefore, not to encumber ourselves with more prisoners unless ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... speed I could make, I stripped off my clothes and flung them upon the rocks. My shoes and stockings followed—even my shirt was thrown aside, lest it might encumber me, and just as if I was going in to have a bathe and a swim, I launched myself upon the water. I had no wading to do. The water was beyond my depth from the very edge of the reef, and I had to swim from the ...
— The Boy Tar • Mayne Reid

... principle; with which men record their power—satisfy their enthusiasm—make sure their defence—define and make dear their habitation. And in six thousand years of building, what have we done? Of the greater part of all that skill and strength, NO vestige is left, but fallen stones, that encumber the fields and impede the streams. But, from this waste of disorder, and of time, and of rage, what IS left to us? Constructive and progressive creatures, that we are, with ruling brains, and forming hands, capable of fellowship, and thirsting for fame, can we not ...
— Sesame and Lilies • John Ruskin

... no waiting on the part of the defenders, who began firing as soon as the advance commenced, with the result that several Indians dropped, to encumber the way and unsettle the serried band of plunging steeds, while the rest, on breasting the rocks, recoiled, and in a state of panic turned, regardless of yells and blows, to gallop back after the fashion of their kind, crowding together till they reached their fellows ...
— The Peril Finders • George Manville Fenn

... of a man of practical experience, which Cato was, and Columella was not, and of elegant and varied learning, to which Columella might, but Cato could not, pretend. There is, indeed, rather too great a parade of erudition, so much so as occasionally to encumber the work; but the general effect is very pleasing, and more particularly the third book, which shows us the calm and innocent life of one, who, during the turbulent and bloody climax of political strife, sought in the great recollections of the past a solace for evils which he ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... Marquis, I will state the facts in a few words, without going into particulars. Thanks to an expedient devised by me, we shall obtain for twenty hours a release from all the mortgages that now encumber your estates. On that very day we will request a certificate from the recorder. This certificate will declare that your estates are free from all encumbrances; you will show this statement to M. de Chalusse, ...
— The Count's Millions - Volume 1 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... book at a time." He would not encumber himself with books any more than he would with shoes. But that the mind might not go barefoot, he always bought a new book before destroying the one in hand. Destroying? Yes; for after reading or studying a book, he warms his hands upon its flames, this Khalid, or makes it serve to cook ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... its impertinence, its abuse of speech, its disgracing the practiser of it in point of judgment and capacity. For so it is, oaths as they commonly pass are mere excrescences of speech, which do nothing but encumber and deform it; they so embellish discourse, as a wen or a scab do beautify a face, as a patch or a spot do ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... figures as a very good specimen of his kind. It is not, either, that my heart is less touched by him than any other; that would be a schoolgirl's reason, which I consider quite beneath me. I actually love no one, sir; you know it, do you not? I do not then see why, without real necessity, I should encumber my life with a perpetual companion. Has not some sage said, 'Nothing too much'? and another, 'I carry all my effects with me'? I have been taught these two aphorisms in Latin and in Greek; one is, I believe, from Phaedrus, and the other from Bias. Well, my ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... coursers bore him safe Far from the struggling masses, whom the ditch Detain'd perforce; there many a royal car With broken pole th' unharness'd horses left. On, shouting to the Greeks, Patroclus press'd The flying Trojans; they, with panic cries, Dispers'd, the roads encumber'd; high uprose The storms of dust, as from the tents and ships Back to the city stretch'd the flying steeds; And ever where the densest throng appear'd With furious threats Patroclus urg'd his course; His glowing ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... they could cast loose the men and do as they pleased. The Don and the ladies returned thanks, and went down to pack up their baggage; Mesty ordering two men to help them, but with a caution, that they were not to encumber themselves with any of the money, if there should happen to ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Captain Frederick Marryat

... for them awhile no cares encumber Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken, The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the ...
— Poems of To-Day: an Anthology • Various

... Anxious to keep his means of further defence in the best condition, he directed all the guns to cease, and the damages to be repaired. Then he went with a party toward the boat that had fallen into his hands. To encumber himself with prisoners of any sort, in his actual situation, would have been a capital mistake, but to do this with wounded men would have been an act of folly. The boat had tourniquets and other similar appliances in it, and he directed some of the French to use them on those that wanted them most. ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... thorns; not dead thorns, but now bearing soft leaves, for the healing of the nations.... The lantern carried in Christ's left hand is the light of conscience.... Its fire is red and fierce; it falls only on the closed door, on the weeds that encumber it, and on an apple shaken from one of the trees of the orchard, thus marking that the entire awakening of the conscience is not to one's own guilt alone, but to the guilt of the world, or, ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... ill—I am dying!—I am dying!—I will give any money for a substitute!' 'Gie me yer gun,' said I, 'and I will be yer substitute without money.' 'A thousand blessings upon yer head, Robie, lad!' said he; 'ye shall hae my gun, and ye may tak also my greatcoat and knapsack, for they only encumber me. Ye hae rescued a dying man.' I was nearly as tall as he; and, though his coat was loose about me, when I got it on, and his musket over my shoulder, and felt that I was marching like an armed knight of old against the invaders of my country, I felt as proud as an emperor; I would not have ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17 • Alexander Leighton

... frequently hear it said that women will not vote if they have the opportunity; or, if permitted to vote, such an inconsiderable number will exercise the privilege that it will not be worth while to encumber the electoral system by granting it. In all matters in which women have an interest, as large a percentage vote as of the other sex. They have the same interest in all which pertains to good government. They have exercised the privilege of voting not ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... and triads, the extreme diversity of deities, and thus indicate a reason for the very peculiar aspect of the cylinders and engraved stones of Chaldaea, for the complex forms of the gods, and for the multitude of varied symbols which encumber the fields of her sculptured reliefs. Some of the figures that crowd these narrow surfaces are so fantastic that they astonish the eye as much as they pique ...
— A History of Art in Chaldaea & Assyria, v. 1 • Georges Perrot

... do not now influence me; I speak the language of the natural, of the visible world.—You love not me, Annot—you love Menteith—by him you are beloved again, and Allan is no more to you than one of the corpses which encumber yonder heath." ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... Matagorda and Puntales, affords generally good anchorage, and contains a harbour formed by a projecting mole, where vessels of small burden may discharge. The entrance to the bays is rendered somewhat dangerous by the low shelving rocks (Cochinos and Las Puercas) which encumber the passage, and by the shifting banks of mud deposited by the Guadalete and the Rio Santi Petri, a broad channel separating the Isla de Leon from the mainland. At the mouth of this channel is the village ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... and molecules in the cells, and of the cells in the organs and tissues of the body. The more rapid and vigorous this vibratory activity, the more powerful is the repulsion and expulsion of morbid matter, poisons and germs of disease which try to encumber ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... the frequent baths ordered to keep the crew in health. In order to spare their fuel, they drew the water from a greater depth by means of an apparatus invented by a Frenchman, Francois Arago. Generally, when a ship is wintering, all the objects which encumber her are placed in magazines on the coast, but it was impossible to do this in the midst of an ice-field. Every precaution was taken against cold and damp; men have been known to resist the cold and succumb to damp; therefore both had to be guarded against. The Forward had been built ...
— The English at the North Pole - Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... three hundred miles. I propose to send all our provisions, furniture, and clothes to my wife's father, who approves of the scheme, and to reserve nothing but a few necessary articles of covering; trusting to the furs of the chase for our future apparel. Were we imprudently to encumber ourselves too much with baggage, we should never reach to the waters of—-, which is the most dangerous as well as the most difficult part of our journey; and yet but a trifle in point of distance. I ...
— Letters from an American Farmer • Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

... fig-tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon, but found none. Then he called to the gardener who attended to his vineyard, and said to him, "Behold these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. Cut it down. Why does it encumber the ground?" ...
— Mother Stories from the New Testament • Anonymous

... dark the time to slumber, But to hold Freedom's columns all star-plumb! Yours was a watery grave, but Martyrdom And, hence, your resurrection with the number, Whose greatness greatens, as the Ages come To know why their pathway, no wrecks encumber. ...
— Freedom, Truth and Beauty • Edward Doyle

... woman shall not mortgage or in any manner encumber her separate property acquired by descent, devise or gift, as a security for the debt or liability of her ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... incendiaries have destroyed hundreds and hundreds of houses, and the Chinese commanders are favouring low-lying barricades, which are hard to pick out from the enormous mass of partially burned ruins which encumber the ground. Just as in South Africa we were reading only the other day, before this plight overtook us, that the hardest thing to see is a live Boer on the battlefield, so here it is the merest chance to make out the soldiery that is attacking us. Sometimes ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... Alfonso was arrived, With torches, friends, and servants in great number; The major part of them had long been wived, And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber Of any wicked woman, who contrived By stealth her husband's temples to encumber: Examples of this kind are so contagious, Were one not punished, all ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... to encumber the address to working men with details. Firstly, because they would detract from whatever fiery effect the words may have in them; secondly, because writing and petitioning and pressing a subject upon members and candidates are now so clearly understood; and thirdly, because the paper was meant ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... like poisonous toadstools, spring up at street corners to the torment of women, should be taken in hand by the police, since they encumber the streets and are a menace and a mortification to female citizens. Let some brazen woman take the place of one of these street "mashers," and proceed to ogle passers-by, and see how quickly the ...
— Stage Confidences • Clara Morris

... much to be hoped from his famous Purse: That Purse, it is said, was never empty, and such a Purse, may be sometimes convenient; but as Money will not purchase Peace, it is not necessary for a Man to encumber himself with a great deal of it. Peace and Happiness depend so much upon the State of a Man's own Mind, and upon the Use of the considering Cap, that it is generally his own Fault, if he is miserable. One of ...
— Goody Two-Shoes - A Facsimile Reproduction Of The Edition Of 1766 • Anonymous

... man, slept or wept: these doubtfull speaches were vsed much in the old times by their false Prophets as appeareth by the Oracles of Delphos and and of the Sybille prophecies deuised by the religious persons of those dayes to abuse the superstitious people, and to encumber their busie braynes with vaine hope ...
— The Arte of English Poesie • George Puttenham

... inter alia, to the annual interest and sinking fund, amounting in 1910-11 to L24,554,000, on the National Debt of the United Kingdom. It is impossible to estimate her share of the capital of the Debt, and I scarcely think that anyone would seriously propose to encumber the new Ireland with an old Debt, based on some arbitrary estimate. For the great bulk of Debt created in the past she has little moral responsibility—no more, at any rate, than the self-governing Colonies. In this respect she ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... waters, the King, having directed Talmash to superintend the retreat, put himself at the head of a few brave regiments, and by desperate efforts arrested the progress of the enemy. His risk was greater than that which others ran. For he could not be persuaded either to encumber his feeble frame with a cuirass, or to hide the ensigns of the garter. He thought his star a good rallying point for his own troops, and only smiled when he was told that it was a good mark for the enemy. Many fell on his right hand and on his left. Two led horses, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... my good fortune, gentlemen, in the course of the inquiries which I have since made, to obtain further confirmation of my opinion. Without attempting any of that species of oratory which may be necessary to cover falsehood, but which would encumber instead of adorning truth, I shall now, in the simplest manner in my power, lay the evidence ...
— Tales And Novels, Volume 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... of men that the incentives to progress chiefly spring. They behold the errors which encumber old systems—they are, indeed, too apt to conceive them as wholly composed of errors. To them, the common and current beliefs appear to be simply superstitious. It irks them that humanity should wallow in ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 6, No. 1, July, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... Wladek, they do not encumber the budget, for Cabinski has a custom of failing to pay his actors, particularly the ...
— The Comedienne • Wladyslaw Reymont

... and go ahead. Tell the refugees you meet to pull to the right and not encumber the whole road. We're rushing a wounded man to the hospital. When I think you've got the way clear I'll drive on full speed. Tell our carts to head for Melun and keep on going till they get there. I can't bother with them. We'll meet at the ...
— My Home In The Field of Honor • Frances Wilson Huard

... we prepared by stripping ourselves bare of everything except "must-haves." A birch, besides three men, will carry only the simplest baggage of a trio. Passengers who are constantly to make portages will not encumber themselves with what-nots. Man must have clothes for day and night, and must have provisions to keep his clothes properly filled out. These two articles we took in compact form, regretting even the necessity of guarding ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... legatees were to erect a statue to Colleoni on the Piazza of St. Mark. This, however, involved some difficulty; for the proud republic had never accorded a similar honor, nor did they choose to encumber their splendid square with a monument. They evaded the condition by assigning the Campo in front of the Scuola di S. Marco, where also stands the Church of S. Zanipolo, to the purpose. Here accordingly the finest bronze equestrian statue in Italy, if we except the Marcus ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... digging, great care should be taken to remove the small as well as the full-grown; for those not taken from the ground will remain fresh and sound during the winter, and send up in the spring new plants, which, in turn, will increase so rapidly, as to encumber the ground, and become troublesome. In localities where the crop has once been cultivated, though no plants be allowed to grow for the production of fresh tubers, yet the young shoots will continue to make their appearance from time to time ...
— The Field and Garden Vegetables of America • Fearing Burr

... left. I will encumber you no more. May you, in your just resentment, be able to forget the unworthy woman on whom you have wasted a most generous devotion—who avoids you only with a deeper shame than that with which she hurries from herself—and ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... very long on hand, That I despair of all demand; I've advertised, but see my books, Or only watch my Shopman's looks;— 30 Still Ivan, Ina,[78] and such lumber, My back-shop glut, my shelves encumber. ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 7. - Poetry • George Gordon Byron

... the Major was anxious not to encumber himself with all his heavy waggons to the junction of the Darling, as he would have to return again, a depot was formed, and the men divided. Mitchell, with a lightly equipped party following down the river, leaving Stapylton in charge ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc



Words linked to "Encumber" :   constrain, restrict, clog, confine, bridle, cumber, restrain, trammel, throttle, curb



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