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Fickleness   Listen
noun
Fickleness  n.  The quality of being fickle; instability; inconsonancy.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fickleness" Quotes from Famous Books



... groundwork of my early character was plasticity and fickleness. I was mortified by this exposure of my ignorance, and disgusted with my former course of reading. I now set myself violently to the study of history. With my turn of mind, and with the preposterous habits which ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... Earth might wear a changeful sign, And fickleness the Sky— Yet, even then, that love of thine Might ...
— Whittier-land - A Handbook of North Essex • Samuel T. Pickard

... mortifying me. Do you deem me capable of such fickleness? Suppose for a moment, you are not what the world calls beautiful, you could not, by removing your mask, also strip yourself of the attractions of your conversation—of that voice that thrills through my heart—of that grace exhibited in your every movement! With such endowments ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... appositely that by prejudicing the happiness of others needlessly one offends the divine will, which desires that all be happy as far as it is possible. I will say as much of the fourth section, where there is mention of the source of wrong elections, which are error or ignorance, negligence, fickleness in changing too readily, stubbornness in not changing in time, and bad habits; finally there is the importunity of the appetites, which often drive us inopportunely towards external things. The fifth section is designed to reconcile ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... the best husband in the world to her. All she told me was that he was out on his ranch, and she had come on here for her health. It's some ridiculous little thing that no reasonable woman would have dreamt of caring for. It's one of her caprices. It's her own fickleness. She's tired of him,—or thinks she is, and that's all about it. Miss Breen, I beg you won't believe anything ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... from one object to another. It corresponds to activity on the physical plane. The next is the confused stage, Mudha, equivalent to the stage of the youth, swayed by emotions, bewildered by them; he begins to feel he is ignorant—a state beyond the fickleness of the child—a characteristic state, corresponding to activity in the astral world. Then comes the state of preoccupation, or infatuation, Vikshipta, the state of the man possessed by an idea—love, ambition, or what not. He is no longer a confused youth, ...
— An Introduction to Yoga • Annie Besant

... and steered his course due west. Not many days after he laid this course he perceived the symptoms of a new scene of difficulty. The sailors now began to contemplate the dangers and uncertain issue of a voyage, the nature and length of which were left entirely open to conjecture. Besides the fickleness and timidity natural to men unaccustomed to the discipline of a seafaring life, several circumstances contributed to inspire an obstinate and mutinous disposition; which required the most consummate art as well as fortitude ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... In Ceylon the proverbial fickleness of the winds, and the uncertainty which characterises the seasons in northern climates, is comparatively unknown; and the occurrence of changes or rain may be anticipated with considerable accuracy in any month of a coming year. There are, of course, abnormal seasons with higher ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... in watching the aquarium itself, we shall see endless repetitions of those "sea-changes" which Shakspeare sang. Ancient mythology typified the changing wonders of aquatic Nature, as well as the fickleness of the treacherous sea, in those shifting deities, Glaucus and Proteus, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... so, Elsie on her side did not attempt to break through these little restraints that had fallen around them. It was natural that she should be glad to escape from the gloom which surrounded Elizabeth, and in this respect the fickleness of her character was fortunate; from her lack of concentrativeness, the girl was able to throw off any trouble the moment its actual danger was removed from ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... There was scarcely a form of evil with which Christ did not come in contact, and by which He did not suffer. He was the victim of false friendship and ingratitude, the victim of bad government and injustice. He fell a sacrifice to the vices of all classes—to the selfishness of the rich and the fickleness of the poor:—intolerance, formalism, scepticism, hatred of goodness, were ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... the quips and merry jests of Oscar Wilde, his artful artlessness, his insolence, his self-pity, his loyalty and fickleness, his sensuality and tenderness, only fill after all a small space in the heart's chamber of those who read him and stare at his plays ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... delusion and endurance, the scales drop from the eyes of the wife, and revenge or despair drives her into a hostile position towards her lord and master, she is an inhuman criminal, and the hue and cry against the fickleness of women and the falsity of their nature is endless. Oh, the injustice of society and the injustice of cruel man. Is there no relief for helpless women that are bound by the ties of marriage to men who ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... to know that all her cold prudence and worldly would-be wisdom can be of no avail to separate those who love each other. I think that when she finds that her lover so loves her that he cannot live without her, she will abandon those fears as to his future fickleness, and trust herself to one of whose truth she will have assured herself." Then he took her hand, and kneeling at her knee, he kissed it before she was powerful enough to withdraw it. And so he left her, without ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... how could he omit the sun; as to his solutions concerning the gods and evil genuises, they are full of presumption and peril. What he saith of Fortune is void of sense, for her inconstancy and fickleness proceed from want of strength and power. Nor is death the most common thing; the living are still at liberty, it hath not arrested them. But lest we be blamed as having a faculty to find fault only, we will lay down our opinions of these things, ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... of the noblest impulses, he was equally capable of the basest actions. Extremely accessible to praise, he indiscriminately entertained every form of flattery; but his fickleness was such that no courtier could cajole him long. Among his favorite women was the beautiful Princess Tongoo Soopia, sister to the unfortunate Sultan Mahmoud, ex-rajah of Pahang. Falling fiercely in love with her ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... messengers, being sufficiently mocked and derided, were forced to return to their master. King Demetrius himself also sent a ship, wherein Aratus was to be brought to him in chains. And the Athenians, exceeding all possible fickleness of flattery to the Macedonians, crowned themselves with garlands upon the first news of his death. And so in anger he went at once and invaded Attica, and penetrated as far as the Academy, but then suffering himself to be pacified, he did no further ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... contrast between its own sufferings and the wasteful comfort of its servants, as the King and his ministers were now considered to be. Louis and the National Assembly yielded to the menace, the court returned to Paris, politics grew hotter and more bitter, the fickleness of the mob became a stronger influence. Soon the Jacobin Club began to wield the mightiest single influence, and as it did so it ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... dwindle; yes, the heavens are opening now. Perhaps up there, this night, some lonely soul Gazes at earth, watches our dawning moon, And wonders, as we wonder." In that dark We knelt together . . . Very strange to see The vanity and fickleness of princes. Before his enemies had provoked the wrath Of Rome against him, he had given the name Of Medicean stars to those four moons In honour of Prince Cosmo. This aroused The court of France to seek a lasting ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... normal type of the men of the early Renaissance. It may be added parenthetically, that even in respect to his moral character he will not be fairly judged, if we listen solely to the complaints of the German Church, which his fickleness helped to balk of the ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... the fair sex Beats that of friends and relatives: In love, although its tempests vex, Our liberty at least survives: Agreed! but then the whirl of fashion, The natural fickleness of passion, The torrent of opinion, And the fair sex as light as down! Besides the hobbies of a spouse Should be respected throughout life By every proper-minded wife, And this the faithful one allows, When in as instant she ...
— Eugene Oneguine [Onegin] - A Romance of Russian Life in Verse • Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

... with such full assurance of being able to bring Dora forward as a witness in his defense that Florence, for the first time, feels a strong doubt thrown upon the belief she has formed of his being a monster of fickleness. ...
— The Haunted Chamber - A Novel • "The Duchess"

... those very documents which he once declared he had burned. And he told them besides: "In case Tiberius really did do wrong, you ought not to have honored him while he lived, and at any rate, by Jupiter, you ought not to repudiate what you often said and voted. But you both behaved toward him with fickleness and again after filling Sejanus with conceit and spoiling him you put him to death, and therefore I ought not either to expect any decent treatment from you." After some such remarks he represented in his speech Tiberius himself as saying to him: "All ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. 4 • Cassius Dio

... presence of speech for presence of mind; they love so to help a man rise from the ranks, that they will spoil a good demagogue to make a bad general; a great many faults may be laid at their door, but they are not fairly to be charged with fickleness. They are constant to whoever is constant to his real self, to the best manhood that is in him, and not to the mere selfishness, the antica lupa so cunning to hide herself in the sheep's fleece even from ourselves. It is true, the contemporary world is apt to be the gull ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... Lepcha attendants at finding themselves safely at home again, knew no bounds; and their parents waited on me with presents, and other tokens of their goodwill and gratitude. I had no lack of volunteers for a similar excursion in the following season, though with their usual fickleness, more than half failed me, long before the time arrived for putting ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... knowing the fickleness of a mining-community, were a little apprehensive that their original suspicions might again be aroused, and that some among them might be led to think they had make a mistake, after all, and hung the wrong men. That would be serious, and perhaps dangerous to them. They reflected that only Ben's ...
— Ben's Nugget - A Boy's Search For Fortune • Horatio, Jr. Alger

... public fickleness even at the Morgue? But there it was, on that occasion. Three lately popular articles that had been attracting greatly when the litter was first descried coming dancing round the corner by the great cathedral, were so completely deposed now, that ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... whispereth of you. For I know that thou art present, With love that seems to be A band to bind me willingly To heaven and to thee. At noon-day, when the tumult and The din of life is heard, When in life's battle each heart is With various passions stirred, I turn me from the blazonry, The fickleness of life, And think of thee in earnest thought, My dearest one-my wife! When the daylight hath departed, And shadows of the night Bring forth the stars, as beacons fair For angels in their flight, I think of thee as ever mine, Of thee as ever best, And turn my heart unto thine ...
— Town and Country, or, Life at Home and Abroad • John S. Adams

... unwilling that the Germans should remain any longer in Gaul, so [on the other] they were dissatisfied that the army of the Roman people should pass the winter in it, and settle there; and others of them, from a natural instability and fickleness of disposition, were anxious for a revolution; [the Belgae were instigated] by several, also, because the government in Gaul was generally seized upon by the more powerful persons and by those who had the means of hiring ...
— "De Bello Gallico" and Other Commentaries • Caius Julius Caesar

... But it was not so much that Barabbas was loved as that Jesus was hated, and it was not the multitude so much as the rulers that hated him. Many of those now shrieking 'Crucify Him!' had shouted 'Hosanna!' a day or two before till they were hoarse. The populace was guilty of fickleness, blindness, rashness, too easy credence of the crafty calumnies of the rulers. But a far deeper stain rests on these rulers who had resisted the light, and were now animated by the basest self-interest in the garb of keen regard for the honour of God. There were ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... his sleeve," or in other words, is trusting, non-secretive, and very fond of company. If the "y" has a specially long finish, this shows affectation, but if the same person is also careless about crossing the "t's," the combination is an unhappy one, as it points to fickleness in work and to affectation. A curved cross to the "t," or the incurving of the first letters of a word shows an affectionate and good-natured disposition if taken separately; but if the two are indulged in by the same writer it is a sign ...
— Disputed Handwriting • Jerome B. Lavay

... the word? Fickleness means getting weary of a thing while the thing remains the same. But I have always been faithful to the elusive creature whom I have never been able to get a firm hold of, unless I have done so now. And let me tell you that her flitting from ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... one was fire and fickleness, a child Most mutable in wishes, but in mind A wit as various,—gay, grave, sage, or wild, - Historian, bard, philosopher combined: He multiplied himself among mankind, The Proteus of their talents: But his own Breathed most in ridicule,—which, as the wind, Blew ...
— Childe Harold's Pilgrimage • Lord Byron

... to suite ten, across the hall. He explained the matter of "stale air", and assisted in the opening of windows. The conversation was mostly facetious, and Mr. Bland's last remark concerned the fickleness of woman. With a brisk good night, Mr. Magee ...
— Seven Keys to Baldpate • Earl Derr Biggers

... it was supposed that there was more brightness in her eyes, and more animation in her countenance than on the previous days; but still the crowd passed on unnoticed. Even the learned brahmins, who stood immovable in rows on each side of her throne, became impatient: they talked about the fickleness of the sex, the impossibility of inducing them to make up their minds; they whispered wise saws and sayings from Ferdistan and others, about the caprice of women, and the instability of their natures, ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... that looking into their modes of living and of thought, we find a nature just like our own, not better indeed, but in no respect worse. Those evil tempers which the people displayed in the desert, their greediness, selfishness, murmuring, caprice, waywardness, fickleness, ingratitude, jealousy, suspiciousness, obstinacy, unbelief, all these are seen in the uneducated multitude now-a-days, according to its opportunity ...
— Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII (of 8) • John Henry Newman

... declared that it was only necessary to seize the advantage already gained, to win the city and to force their will upon the country. Was not their Princess among them? Had not important persons already declared for her? Were there not hundreds of others ready to do so, only that fear of the people's fickleness and half-heartedness held ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... a recent vote is, no doubt, as Sir Robert Peel said, a step not wholly free from objection. It should be an exceptional act, as one which, if often repeated, would give an appearance of capricious fickleness and instability to the opinions of Parliament, calculated to impair that respect for it which the whole state and nation are deeply concerned in upholding; but to refuse, under any circumstances, to confess a change of judgment, would lay the Parliament open to an imputation at least ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... world women have complained of the fickleness that is imputed to them in favour of the first new object which presents itself, and whose novelty is often its only merit. Many ladies (it must be confessed, despite the infinite respect we have for them) have treated men as they complain ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... shall not go without an answer, that will, I am sure, induce them to place a great confidence in the benefit arising from Christians, who damn themselves every hour of the day. For while they speak of the vainness and fickleness of oaths, as an objection against our project, they little consider that this fickleness and vainness is the common practice among all the people of this sublunary world; and that consequently, instead of being an objection against the project, is a concluding argument ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Vol. VII - Historical and Political Tracts—Irish • Jonathan Swift

... with a fickleness very common among great monarchs in the treatment of both enemies and favorites, began to consider Croesus as his friend. He ordered him to be unbound, brought him near his person, and treated him ...
— Cyrus the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... comely young farmer from Taunton, stout as an oak, and very fond of the lasses, but he hated matrimony, and used to say, "the man who can buy milk is a fool to keep a cow." While still a lad, Orson made love to Ellen, a rustic maiden; but, in the fickleness of youth, forsook her for a richer lass, and Ellen left the village, wandered far away, and became waiting maid to old Boniface, the innkeeper. One day Orson happened to stop at this very inn, and Ellen waited on him. Five years had passed since they had seen each other, and at first neither ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... double Cape Round during the night; but in this they were disappointed, for a little after midnight, very suddenly the wind got round to the S.W., the coast became foggy, and the weather altogether exceedingly foul; an evidence of the fickleness of the climate. Having split their main-sail, they had to ply to windward as well as they could, endeavouring to get shelter in Port Famine; but this they were unable to effect; and, as in consequence of the short tacks they had to make, and their being obliged to wear, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 13 • Robert Kerr

... entreaties to George, all his attempted bribery, his broken-hearted sorrow when he failed, he seemed to be now content. Indeed, he had made no opposition to the match. When Caroline had freely spoken to him about it, he made some little snappish remark as to the fickleness of women; but he at the same time signified that he ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... above as likely to ensue from a desultory and intermittent mode of dealing with Malay piracy have revealed themselves even sooner and in a more formidable manner than I had anticipated. The weak and covetous sultan of Borneo has, with more than the usual fickleness of Asiatics, already forgotten the lessons we gave him and the engagements he solemnly and voluntarily contracted with us. Mr. Brooke's faithful friends, Muda Hassim and the Pangeran Budrudeen, with numbers of their ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... forgot entirely his ruminations upon the advisability of discarding her, and the difficulty he experienced in devising a plan whereby this could be done easily and gracefully. He only thought of himself as the blameless victim of a woman's fickleness. The bitter things he had read and heard of the sex's inconstancy rose in his mind, as acrid bile sometimes ...
— The Red Acorn • John McElroy

... as an interview of first love, went on our first meeting with this Northern river. But water, the feminine element, is so mobile and impressible that it must protect itself by much that seems caprice and fickleness. We might be sure that the Penobscot would not always flow so gently, nor all the way from forests to the sea conduct our bark without one shiver of panic, where rapids broke noisy and foaming over rocks that showed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 61, November, 1862 • Various

... 'the order of the Iron Cross'—a generous supply of these decorations being carried in a basket by one of his orderlies, following him about as he walked along. Meantime the King, leaving Napoleon in the chateau to ruminate on the fickleness of fortune, drove off to see his own victorious soldiers, who greeted him with huzzas that rent the air, and must have added to the pangs of ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... possessions and dignities, than he acquired, by insinuation and address, a strong interest with the nation, and gained equally the affections of all orders of men. He lost, however, the friendship of Henry, from the usual levity and fickleness of that prince; he was banished the court; he was recalled; he was intrusted with the command of Guienne [t], where he did good service and acquired honour; he was again disgraced by the king, and his banishment from court seemed now final and ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... will forget it soon; she is so young. She will soon get over that gay frippard's fickleness. To-morrow I will start upon my little errand cheerfully. After that she will come round; they ...
— Frida, or, The Lover's Leap, A Legend Of The West Country - From "Slain By The Doones" By R. D. Blackmore • R. D. Blackmore

... Spaniards, who first crossed the Isthmus of Panama, under the belief that the whole sea was always as calm as was then the portion they beheld. Storms, if less frequent, are certainly not less violent than in other portions of the world. We certainly very frequently experienced the fickleness of the elements. As we were about to haul up to the northward, the wind suddenly shifted round to that very quarter, and then shifted somewhat to the eastward. We stood away on the starboard-tack, but were evidently making a great deal of lee-way. At last Captain Frankland, finding that no ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston

... woman and wealth they woo pursuit, And a winning voice has fame; Men labor for love and work for wealth And struggle to gain a name; Yet find but fickleness, need and scorn, If ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 1 July 1848 • Various

... happiness, if at first the even tenor of a quiet life seems tedious, when we look at it more closely we discover that the pleasantest habit of mind consists in a moderate enjoyment which leaves little scope for desire and aversion. The unrest of passion causes curiosity and fickleness; the emptiness of noisy pleasures causes weariness. We never weary of our state when we know none more delightful. Savages suffer less than other men from curiosity and from tedium; everything is the same to them—themselves, not their possessions—and ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... setting down company at the nearest possible point of access to your venerable gateway. Besides, even you have too much regard to the land of Kit North, to entertain any desire to see its most attractive shrine of pilgrimage too suddenly eclipsed; and why should you court such an exposure of popular fickleness, when about to become yourself "the comet of a season," and to go through that brilliant perihelion, in which, reversing the feat of Horace with his lofty head, you will sweep away all other stars with a swinge of your luminous caudality? Yes, Godfrey—spare your own feelings, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various

... account of the fierce and untamable nature of the mountaineers. His petition had no effect, and three missionaries of great merit and learning were sent. By dint of great hardships, and, by living in the same manner as the Indians, they succeeded in baptizing many; but when they learned the fickleness of the Indian nature, and that it was as easy for them to become baptized as it was to take to the mountains to continue their former mode of life, the missionaries proceeded more cautiously in giving them the benefit of ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 (Vol 28 of 55) • Various

... as readily as would any five-year-old child, this invitation to go motoring. And it banished the memory of Lady's fickleness. ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... just than his deliberate moral opinions; as if his characters had taken the matter into their own hands, against his will. Or is it art, and art of the subtlest order, which in Kjartan Olafsson, the glorious hero, still leaves something of lightness, of fickleness, as compared both with the intensity of the passion of Gudrun and the dogged resolution of Bolli? There is another Saga in which a hero of the likeness of Kjartan is contrasted with a dark, malevolent, ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... indifference alike to praises and rewards. He exists in the consciousness of being great and has no life in the opinions of other persons. He dwells in "the cedar's top" and "dallies with the wind and scorns the sun." He knows and he despises with active and immitigable contempt the shallowness and fickleness of the multitude. He is of an icy purity, physical as well as mental, and his nerves tingle with disgust of the personal uncleanliness of the mob. "Bid them wash their faces," he says—when urged to ask the suffrages of the people—"and keep their teeth clean." "He rewards his ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... followed her, weeping and bewailing the fickleness of fortune. Griselda did not turn to them, nor speak, nor weep. She quietly ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... voice that interested me!" he exclaimed aloud. "She's probably like the rest of them." The nettle of one woman's fickleness had stung so deeply when he first took to the primrose path of love that he had never gone farther along the road leading to the solving of life's enigma, and now the overgrowth of other interests had almost ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... sea, always the sea without a moment's weakness; in brief, not the stuff of which friends are made! When the knight appears and kills her monster, he loses his halo for Andromede, who cherishes her monstrous guardian. Perseus, a prig disgusted by the fickleness of the Young Person, flees, and the death of the monster brings to life a lovely youth—put under the spell of malignant powers—who promptly weds his ward. In Lohengrin, Son of Parsifal, the whole machinery of the ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... the two young princes in the fortified monastery of Troitsa, and summoned around her the gentlemen-at-arms. Khovanski was invited to attend, was arrested on the way, and put to death with his son. The streltsi attempted a new rising, but, with the usual fickleness of a popular militia, suddenly passed from the extreme of insolence to the extreme of humility. They marched to Troitsa, this time in the guise of suppliants, with cords round their necks, carrying axes and blocks for the death they expected. The patriarch ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 12 • Editor-In-Chief Rossiter Johnson

... passions is threatened. This party is ever formidable, especially when supported by a powerful king, nobly descended, and legally invested with the crown. A natural sympathy, too, had been awakened for the emperor, as numbed with cold he besought the pity of the Pontiff; and, with proverbial fickleness, men, in ascribing humility to the king, imputed arrogance to the Pope. Owing to these causes, it was not long before Henry found himself stronger than ever. Inflamed with new ardor, he loudly lamented his submission at Canossa, ...
— The Truce of God - A Tale of the Eleventh Century • George Henry Miles

... wish to hold to the world once more by any link of the mind, or of the senses, still less by any weakness of the heart. I felt supreme contempt for love, for under its name I had met only with affectation, coquetry, fickleness, and levity; if I except the love of Antonina, which had been but a childish ecstasy, a flower fallen from the stem before its ...
— Raphael - Pages Of The Book Of Life At Twenty • Alphonse de Lamartine

... improve his religion with frequency, which wearied Luigi, and annoyed him too; for he had to be present at each new enlistment—which placed him in the false position of seeming to indorse and approve his brother's fickleness; moreover, he had to go to Angelo's prohibition meetings, and he hated them. On the other hand, when it was his week to command the legs he gave Angelo just cause of complaint, for he took him to circuses and horse-races and fandangoes, exposing him to all sorts of censure and criticism; ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... acknowledge this implied a fickleness of temperament that was disastrous to his self-respect. It deflated him to the proportions of an Adair. It toppled his lofty standards in the dust. It changed him from a loyalist, making a fanatical last stand, into a ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... more than any other. "The people in their wisdom"—this is the kind of wisdom most needed by the people. Democracy is on its trial, and no one knows how it will stand the ordeal. Abounding about us are pessimistic prophets. Fickleness and violence used to be, but are no longer, the vices which they charge to democracy. What its critics now affirm is that its preferences are inveterately for the inferior. So it was in the beginning, they say, and so it will be world without end. Vulgarity ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... ours came to the Adelantado. In truth, all might have come, for massacre, slow or swift, was certain if we stayed in Veragua. I read that the Adelantado, who was never accused of cowardice or fickleness, was himself determined. The settlement below the golden mines of golden ...
— 1492 • Mary Johnston

... this strange and sudden flight, From gloomy cares to gay delight, This fickleness so light and vain, In life's delusive transient dream, Where men nor things are what they seem, Is all the ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... parliamentary reasons, and you will find a result exceedingly favorable to the accommodating spirit of the German minister when it is compared with that of any other country. I consider, therefore, the insinuating references to my quarrelsome disposition and fickleness distinctly ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... is not his humour. If he could bring about a Reform in Parliament, the odds are that he would instantly fall foul of and try to mar his own handiwork; and he quarrels with his own creatures as soon as he has written them into a little vogue—and a prison. I do not think this is vanity or fickleness so much as a pugnacious disposition, that must have an antagonistic power to contend with, and only finds itself at ease in systematic opposition. If it were not for this, the high towers and rotten places of the world would fall before the battering-ram of his ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... quiet, restrained strength of the Romanesque married to the graceful curves and vaulting imagination of the Gothic makes a union nearer the ideal than is often allowed in marriage. The French, in their best days, loved it with a constancy that has thrown a sort of aureole over their fickleness since. They never tired of its possibilities. Sometimes they put the pointed arch within the round, or above it; sometimes they put the round within the pointed. Sometimes a Roman arch covered a cluster of pointed windows, as though protecting and ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... certainly all lost; however, we joined the main body." Colonel Smith now had his force together, and had done all that could be done, yet for two hours more he, by futile marchings and countermarchings, "discovered great Fickleness[68] and Inconstancy of Mind." The delay was serious; he had earlier sent to Gage for reinforcements, and he ought now to have considered that every minute was bringing more Americans to the line of his retreat. When, about noon, ...
— The Siege of Boston • Allen French

... piece of Injustice in us, to charge the French with Fickleness; for, to give them their due, They are ten times more constant in their Judgments, than we; Their Cid and Iphigenia in Aulis, are Acted at this very day, with as much Applause as they were thirty Years ago: All ...
— The Present State of Wit (1711) - In A Letter To A Friend In The Country • John Gay

... Avignon, &c. you shall not change that intention or mode of travelling, without first satisfying the fermiers for two posts further than the place you repent at—and 'tis founded, continued he, upon this, that the Revenues are not to fall short through your fickleness...
— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman • Laurence Sterne

... annoyance in this earthly state! For, haply, thou dost feed some rankling wound, Or on thy youth pale poverty doth wait, Till years, on heavy wing, have rolled away; Or where thou most didst hope firm faith to see, Thou meetest fickleness estranged and cold; Or if some true and tender heart there be, On which, through every change, thy soul might trust, Death comes with his fell dart, and smites it ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... girl, regarding her sister with searching, eyes. What had Lady Baltimore told her? That impulsive admission to the latter last night had been troubling Joyce ever since, and now to have to lay bare her heart again, to acknowledge her seeming fickleness, to receive Barbara's congratulation on it, only to declare that this second lover has, too, been placed by Fate outside her life, seems too bitter to her. Oh, no—she ...
— April's Lady - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... century there lived in Hungary one Francis David, a man learned in the arts and languages, but his inconstancy and fickleness of mind led him into diverse errors, and brought about his destruction. He left the Church, and first embraced Calvinism; then he fled into the camp of the Semi-Judaising party, publishing a book De Christo non invocando, which was answered by Faustus ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... a fashion much in vogue a century since, and which, by a fickleness that influences marine architecture as well as less important things, is again coming into use, for vessels of her force. The accommodations of the commander were on the same deck with the batteries ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... friend—whose voice is held Fast for my ear alone— Stays with me always, well content, With Darby to be Joan. No fickleness disturbs our lot; No jars its peace to smother; Ah, no; my faithful pipe and I Have ...
— Pipe and Pouch - The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry • Various

... enthusiasm, soon led them from love and obedience to hatred, and finally to revolt. Merodach-baladan trusted to the Kalda to help him to maintain his position, and their rude barbarity, even if it protected him against the fickleness of his more civilised subjects, increased the discontent at Kutha, Sippar, and Borsippa. He removed the statues of the gods from these towns, imprisoned the most turbulent citizens, confiscated their goods, and distributed them among his own followers; the other ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 7 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... rendering Madame de Tecle and M. des Rameures all the duties of respectful gratitude. Yet avoiding all allusion to the past, guarding himself scrupulously from confidential converse, and observing a frigid politeness to Mademoiselle Marie, there remained doubt in his mind that, the fickleness of the fair sex aiding him, the young mother of the girl would renounce her chimerical project. His error was great: and it may be here remarked that a hard and scornful scepticism may in this world engender as many false judgments and erroneous calculations as candor or even inexperience ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... is not. This perspicuous proverb from the Persian (which I made up myself for the occasion) is cited in mitigation of the Tyro's regrettable fickleness, he—to his shame be it chronicled—having practically forgotten the woe-begone damsel's very existence within eighteen short hours after his adventure in knight-errantry. Her tear-ravaged and untidy plainness had, in that brief time, ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... romance among the American followers of Stevenson at the end of the century and the subsequent rise of flippancy under the leadership of O. Henry have both been blamed for the partial eclipse into which Mr. Garland's reputation passed. As a matter of fact, the causes were more fundamental than the mere fickleness of literary reputation or than the demands of editors and public that he repeat himself forever. In that first brilliant cycle of stories this downright pioneer worked with the material which of all materials he knew best and over which his ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... the O'Mollys have ever been capable of. And all the O'Molly blood in my veins has been stirred by the contemptuous manner in which some men have spoken of woman. 'Weak woman,—inconstant woman;' they have made the wind a type of her fickleness. In this they are right; for it has been proved that the seasons in their return, day and night, are not more sure than the wind. Such fickleness as this is preferable to man's greatest constancy. Woman weak! she's gentle as the summer breeze, I grant;—but, like this same breeze, when she's ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... wanting, and soon the whole of Europe— thanks to the indefatigable manner in which the Norwegians cultivated the European Press—resounded with accusations against the Swedish government, and the entire Swedish nation of unreasonableness, fickleness etc. etc.; it was important now to make good cause for the plans then already existing in Norway, plans which had probably been laid ...
— The Swedish-Norwegian Union Crisis - A History with Documents • Karl Nordlund

... indeed, taking such a hold over Marie Antoinette that they begin to furnish some topics for her letters to her mother, one of which shows that she had already formed that opinion of French fickleness which she had afterward too abundant cause to maintain. "I do hope," she says, "that the good intelligence between our two nations will last. One good thing in this country is, that if ill-natured feelings are quick to arise, they disappear with equal rapidity. The King ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... this our father died, and John wished to be married at once. But Ellen, although she could not hide her attachment to him, steadily refused to engage herself on account of her invalid mother, whose only and devoted attendant she was. Fickleness was not one of my brother's faults, and he was true and steady in his love for the girl—how true and steady I never knew until I learned it from himself in my ship's cabin on the broad Atlantic. I found myself with a few thousand pounds and a careless guardian, from whom ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... anticipate. While all this was occurring, the struggle in Peru had continued to show the fickleness of the fortunes of war. Rondeau had been appointed General-in-Chief of the Army of Peru; he, however, had proved himself a General of slow movements, and suffered several defeats. He also fell out with Guemes, and a battle ensued between the two sections of the Argentine forces. In this ...
— South America • W. H. Koebel

... Alas, for woman's fickleness! And alas, for her playful habit of going to extremes! Suppose, for instance, that Polly Jones says she is going to take a nice long walk every day of her life; that she knows the bountiful blessings and benefits of a brisk tramp, and that she will take that tramp in spite of ...
— The Woman Beautiful - or, The Art of Beauty Culture • Helen Follett Stevans

... hearts was the fickleness of Jeanne's humor. One night, as the doctor hung over her, she gave way to tears. For a whole day her hate changed to feverish tenderness, and Helene felt happy once more; but on the morrow, when the doctor entered the ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... of the Latin goddess Fortuna, represented with various attributes to symbolise her fickleness, her influence, ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... "that I could not understand him the least in the world; he is a marvellous actor; I could have sworn that he loved you."[130] And there really was no acting in it. The serious Genevese did not see that he was dealing with "one all fire and fickleness, a child." ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... and severity, and the sadness of its tone, are caused by their sudden perversion from the doctrine which the Apostle had taught them, and which at first they had received so willingly. It is no fancy, if we see in this fickleness a specimen of that 'esprit impretueux, ouvert a toutes les impressions,' and that 'mobilite extreme,' which Thierry marks as characteristic of the Gaulish race." At all events, the language of the Gauls disappeared in Central France ...
— Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist • Samuel Smiles

... that I would not have come from so remote a country as I have done, the name of which perhaps may be unknown in your dominions, if I had not been certain of the cure I propose. What would not the world say of my fickleness, if, after such great fatigues and dangers as I have undergone on this account, I should abandon the enterprise? Even your majesty would soon lose that esteem you have conceived for me. If I must die, sir, I shall die with ...
— Fairy Tales From The Arabian Nights • E. Dixon

... have ever been subject to their influence know that there is nothing more uncertain than the winds. Their fickleness has passed into a proverb; but their inconstancy, as well as their power, from the fanning air to the destructive tornado, are to be traced to causes that are sufficiently clear, though hid in their nature from the calculations of our forethought. The tempest ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... unconscious, Socialism prosaic and poetic, Socialism of the working-class and of the middle-class, for, verily, that abomination of abominations, Socialism, has not only become respectable, but has actually donned evening dress and lounges lazily on drawing-room causeuses. That shows the incurable fickleness of that terrible despot of "society," middle-class public opinion, and once more justifies the contempt in which we Socialists of a past generation always held that public opinion. At the same time, we have no reason to grumble ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... five years in Italy, visiting Venice, Florence, Rome, and Palermo, but residing principally at Genoa. In Italy, he began to indulge in his love of splendid extravagance, and in the fastidious fickleness which belonged to the evil side of his character. At Rome he was called 'the cavalier painter,' yet his first complaint on his return to Antwerp was, that he could not live on the profits of his painting! He avoided the society ...
— The Old Masters and Their Pictures - For the Use of Schools and Learners in Art • Sarah Tytler

... sinuosities, doubtful whither they tend. Much of the plain is in vegetables, for the use of Paris; though there is occasionally a vineyard, or a field of grain. The weather has become settled and autumnal, and is equally without the chilling moisture of the winter, or the fickleness of the spring. The kind-hearted peasants see me pass among them without distrust, and my salutations are answered with cheerfulness and civility. Even at this trifling distance from the capital, I miss the brusque ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... virtues, whose emblem is the daisy; and behind them follow a troup of glorious women, all of whom have been faithful in love. They gather about the poet; the god upbraids him for having translated the Romance of the Rose, and for his early poems reflecting on the vanity and fickleness of women. Alcestis intercedes for him, and offers pardon if he will atone for his errors by writing a "glorious legend of good women." Chaucer promises, and as soon as he awakes sets himself to the task. Nine legends were written, of ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... and then made his farewells. Edna's good wishes were couched in a spirit of frigid magnanimity. She had too much self-respect to let him perceive that she resented his fickleness. ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... Balbillus, the astrologer, enters and not only announces that Chrysa is dead, but tells the equally grateful news that Octavia, Nero's wife, has been condemned to die. Nero himself now appears upon the scene, and a duet follows in which Poppoea reproaches him for his fickleness and he seeks to console her with flattery. At its close the death of Octavia is announced, and Poppoea is appeased by the prospect of sharing the throne. Meanwhile Chrysa has fallen into the custody of Agrippina, Nero's mother, who keeps ...
— The Standard Operas (12th edition) • George P. Upton

... Kohong (a company of merchants possessing the monopoly of the European trade,) although the members of this body could have no concern in the transaction." Capt. K. is decidedly of opinion, that nothing but resolute conduct will overcome the fickleness and knavery of the Chinese. He pays a high compliment to our countrymen, especially Mr Drummond, president of the factory, who interfered in his behalf when at Whampoa, and with effect, when they could easily have thwarted his plan, and embroiled ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... no mistaking the object of this singular and characteristic procession. The tenants of the Lagunes, with the fickleness with which extreme ignorance acts on human passions, had suddenly experienced a violent revolution in their feelings towards their ancient comrade. He who, an hour before, had been derided as a vain and ridiculous pretender, and on whose head bitter imprecations ...
— The Bravo • J. Fenimore Cooper

... and dear Mr Lammle, how do you do, and when are you going down to what's-its-name place—Guy, Earl of Warwick, you know—what is it?—Dun Cow—to claim the flitch of bacon? And Mortimer, whose name is for ever blotted out from my list of lovers, by reason first of fickleness and then of base desertion, how do YOU do, wretch? And Mr Wrayburn, YOU here! What can YOU come for, because we are all very sure before-hand that you are not going to talk! And Veneering, M.P., how are things going on down at the house, and when will you turn out those terrible people ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... strange fashion upon him; and riding out alone before the people, he cried out, "I am your leader"; and himself promised to grant them all they asked. That promise was afterwards broken; but those who see in the breach of it the mere fickleness of the young and frivolous king, are not only shallow but utterly ignorant interpreters of the whole trend of that time. The point that must be seized, if subsequent things are to be seen as they are, is that Parliament certainly encouraged, and Parliament almost certainly obliged, the ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... into tears. Not that this was fickleness of soul; but hopes cut in twain by dejection—that was her case. She had a confused consciousness of something horrible. Thoughts were rife in the air, in fact. She told herself that she was not sure of anything, that to withdraw herself from sight was to be lost; and the idea ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... tribunal has the right to summon him?—And they dare to condemn him!—Does the king condemn him, or the duke? And the Regent withdraws herself! Orange hesitates, and all his friends!—Is this the world, of whose fickleness and treachery I have heard so much, and as yet experienced nothing? Is this the world?—Who could be so base as to hear malice against one so dear? Could villainy itself be audacious enough to overwhelm with sudden destruction the object of a nation's homage? Yet so it is—it is-O ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... going to do about it? You are going to wind up your lead and line, shoulder your birch canoe as the old sea-kings used, and thrid the deep forests, and scale the purple hills, till you come to water again, when you will unroll your lead and line for another essay. Is that fickleness? What else can you do? Must you launch your bark on the unquiet stream, against whose pebbly bottom the keel continually grates and rasps your nerves—simply that your reputation suffer no detriment? Fickleness? There was no fickleness about it. You ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... as if for some words of mine; but I held my peace: then he went on: "At least, if we suffer from the tyranny and fickleness of nature or our own want of experience, we neither grimace about it, nor lie. If there must be sundering betwixt those who meant never to sunder, so it must be: but there need be no pretext of unity when the reality of it is gone: nor do we drive ...
— News from Nowhere - or An Epoch of Rest, being some chapters from A Utopian Romance • William Morris

... attached to me,) who was very eccentric, and who was, 'small blame to her,' as the Irishman says, also very susceptible. I was on very intimate terms with Mr. HARLEY, who was then at Worthing; and one day, while quietly dining together, we mutually agreed that there was a fickleness about this lady which deserved some reproof. We were really liberal in our feelings, and would not have objected to her shooting an extra dart occasionally; but it was not to be borne that she should let fly a whole ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... as those fairylands are seen By childhood's other sight): But if in pauper mien, Too poor for stray regret Where crowded streets affright She stood in beggary, Unknown, though faithful to her high degree,— O, then her praise 'twere easy to forget. Yet ever here, For all of time's prompt fickleness— From plenteous June and wide largess Of full midsummer days, To dwarf December pitiless Amid the earth's uncomplimented ways— Yea, constant through the changeful year, This queenly Height commands our ...
— Ballads of Peace in War • Michael Earls



Words linked to "Fickleness" :   inconstancy, unfaithfulness, fickle, infidelity, faithlessness



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