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Instrument   Listen
noun
Instrument  n.  
1.
That by means of which any work is performed, or result is effected; a tool; a utensil; an implement; a device; as, the instruments of a mechanic; astronomical instruments. "All the lofty instruments of war."
2.
A contrivance or implement, by which musical sounds are produced; as, a musical instrument. "Praise him with stringed instruments and organs." "But signs when songs and instruments he hears."
3.
(Law) A writing, as the means of giving formal expression to some act; a writing expressive of some act, contract, process, as a deed, contract, writ, etc.
4.
One who, or that which, is made a means, or is caused to serve a purpose; a medium, means, or agent; as, their army was primarily an instrument of oppression. "Or useful serving man and instrument, To any sovereign state." "The bold are but the instruments of the wise."
Synonyms: Tool; implement; utensil; machine; apparatus; channel; agent.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Instrument" Quotes from Famous Books



... is due in part to the practice of not enacting amendments to an existing constitution, but of promulgating the amended instrument as a new constitution. On three of the occasions here indicated a constitution was abrogated in order to revive a prior one. No account is taken in the above computation of the instances where a successful revolutionist in order to announce his adherence ...
— Santo Domingo - A Country With A Future • Otto Schoenrich

... firmament in the heart encased in the body of every creature.[119] Thou art he who enters into the cranium (brain) of every creature. Thou bearest the wrinkles of age. Thou bearest the bamboo flute. Thou hast also the tabour. Thou bearest the musical instrument called Tali. Thou hast the wooden vessel used for husking grain. Thou art he who covers that illusion which covers Yama.[120] Thou art an astrologer inasmuch as thy understanding is always directed towards the motion of the wheel of time which is made up of the luminaries in ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... another look of surprise in her. "For you," she said, arching her romantic eyebrows, and turning the instrument around so I was facing ...
— Card Trick • Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett

... his court.... And so this elderly gentleman, for he had crossed the sixty mark by now, recalled the timid, pale-faced, undersized girl, with her "common" aunt, who seven years before had appeared in his court and to whom he had been the instrument of giving riches. What had she done with the golden spoon he had thrust into her mouth and what would she do with it now? Ah, that was always the question with these inheritances which he was called upon to administer according to the complicated rules of law—and the law books afforded no ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... moral and spiritual nature; we should all say, if questioned, that we are quite aware of it, and that no one would dispute it. The soul of every child or man, we should say, is a fine and delicate and sensitive instrument, with the possibilities in it of we know not what Divine harmonies, but ...
— Sermons at Rugby • John Percival

... handle of a very sharp double edged poniard, which he always carried about him, was disposed conveniently for his grasp; for, as we have already noticed, he was, though now somewhat unwieldy, a powerful, athletic man, and prompt and active at the use of his weapon. Satisfied that this trusty instrument was in readiness, he next took from his bosom a scroll of parchment, inscribed with Greek characters, and marked with cabalistic signs, drew together the wood in the fireplace, and made a blaze by which he could ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... been looked upon as democratical in its character, as well at home as abroad, is one of the strangest facts in political history. Probably it is owing to some popular expressions in the Constitution itself. "We, the People of the United States," are the first words of the instrument, and they are represented as ordaining and establishing the Constitution. Some of the provisions of the Constitution are of a popular character, beyond doubt; but they are, in most instances, not inspirations, but derived from English experience,—and it will hardly be pretended that ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... of being educated into an organ of expression was not thrown away upon one who had a world inside her to express—doubtless as yet not a little chaotic, but in process of assuming form that might demand utterance; and this angelic instrument had for some years been under careful training. And now this night came to Hester, if not for the first time, yet more clearly than ever before, the thought whether she might not in some way make use of this her one gift for the service she desired—for the ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... the canal boats, the buffalo ploughs, the gaily-feathered birds,—all revealed a new and delightful phase of life and nature. We were immensely struck with the appearance of a native cutting grass. He had a hooked blade of steel fastened to a long handle, forming an instrument not unlike a cleek or other golf-stick. This he slowly swung round his head, and each time it touched the ground cleared about three inches of grass. The thing looked too absurd. We all wanted to get out and ask him how long he expected to be mowing that strip of ...
— A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore • W. Basil Worsfold

... them to support him in his labours. The Baptists soon afterwards responded to his appeal by forming a Missionary Union, and they appointed Mr. and Mrs. Judson two of their agents. Thus was Mr. Judson an important though indirect instrument in causing another great American denomination to throw itself into the work of ...
— Excellent Women • Various

... to say that it is nothing of the sort: it is the elements, the essence, the feeling which makes poetry if expressed. I have a passion for music, a perpetual desire to express myself in music, but as I can't sing and can't perform on any musical instrument, I can't call myself a musician. The poetic feeling that is in us and cannot be expressed remains a secret untold, a warmth in the heart, a rapture which cannot be communicated. But it cries to be told, and in some rare instances the desire overcomes the ...
— A Traveller in Little Things • W. H. Hudson

... a child in his cradle Music was given: the heavenly gift to feel and to express himself in tones. His human nature was like an enchanted instrument, a magic flute, or the lyre of Apollo, needing but a breath or a touch to send its beauty out into the world. It was indeed irresistible that he should turn with those poetical feelings which transcend language to the penetrating gentleness ...
— The Poems of Sidney Lanier • Sidney Lanier

... ago I made this instrument, and ever since then, at regular intervals, there have been rhythmic flutterings of the goldleaf, regular repetitions, as if it were knocking at the door of earth from the eternal silences. I have watched it—the same measured fluttering—two ...
— The Flutter of the Goldleaf; and Other Plays • Olive Tilford Dargan and Frederick Peterson

... certainty to their action.' There are those who tell us that we have at last found this vital idea in those conceptions of the British Empire which Mr. Chamberlain so vigorously trumpets. To trumpet a conception is hardly a happy phrase, but, as Mr. Chamberlain plays no other instrument, it is forced upon me. Would that we could revive Arminius, to tell us what he thinks of our new Ariel girdling the earth with twenty Prime Ministers, each the choicest product of a self-governing and deeply-involved colony. Is it a vital or a vulgar idea? Is it merely a big theory or really ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... with an instructor. To lessen the awfulness of the proceeding, it was arranged that one of the elder sisters should join him in his lessons. The first and only pianoforte teacher of him who in the course of time became one of the greatest and most original masters of this instrument, deserves some attention from us. Adalbert Zywny [FOOTNOTE: This is the usual spelling of the name, which, as the reader will see further on, its possessor wrote Ziwny. Liszt calls him Zywna.], a native of Bohemia, born in 1756, came to Poland, according to Albert ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... knuckle-bones. Dice, however, are mentioned by Aristophanes in his comedies, and so it seems that the invention must be placed between the times of the two poets, that is, about 2300 years ago. At any rate the cube or die has been in use as an instrument of play, at least, during that ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... church was consecrated. When he first came among the villagers, he played for three days and three nights almost incessantly the maddest tunes. Superstitious folks muttered one to another that it must be Old Nick himself who could draw such spirit and life from the instrument, as never to let any one have rest or quiet any more than he seemed to require it himself. During the whole of this time he scarcely ate a morsel, and only drank—but in potent draughts—during the pauses. ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... in the glorious pictorial music of the Ring. He struggled in vain to conquer the piano-keys, and, indifferent to the fable of the fox and the grapes, came to the satisfying conclusion that the instrument was not worth mastering. We must remember that through Louise he was in constant touch with the theatre, and it is evident that he kept up the connection after her marriage to Brockhaus the bookseller in 1828, for when the theatre was entirely reformed next year Rosalie came as ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... devastations, arising from the Revolution, which I had yet seen. In one of the side chapels, there had been a magnificent monument; perhaps from sixteen to twenty feet in height—crowded with figures as large as life, from the base to the summit. It appeared as if some trenchant instrument of an irresistible force, had shaved away many of the figures; but more especially the heads and the arms. This was only one, but the most striking, specimen of revolutionary Vandalism. There were plenty of similar proofs, on a reduced scale. In the midst of these traces ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... for several years after, that the mere knowledge of a truth by itself, even though it is about Christ, cannot deliver. It is not the truth of Christ that delivers, but the Christ of the truth. In itself, it is but an instrument in the hand of the Spirit; and our expectation should be not from it, but from the ...
— From Death into Life - or, twenty years of my ministry • William Haslam

... Bacchus or Apollo, to Mars or Venus, what would the people think of their preacher? and is it not as really, though not equally absurd, for a poet in a great and serious poem, wherein he celebrates some wonderful and happy event of divine providence, or magnifies the illustrious instrument that was honoured to bring the event about, to address his prayer to false deities, and cry for help to the ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... despised race because of their ribaldry, obscenity, cowardice, and unabashed self-debasement; and their newfangled dances and piping were loathsome to the old court-poets, who accepted the harp alone as an instrument of music. ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... what is right," Mr. Harvey said quietly, "and would rather not be thanked for it; but your feelings are natural, and I have therefore not checked your words. It was assuredly God's doing in so strangely bringing us together, and making you an instrument in saving our lives, and so awakening an uneasy conscience into activity. I have had but small pleasure from Upmead. I have a house here which is more than sufficient for all my wants, and I have, I hope, the respect of my townsfellows, and the affection of my workmen. ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... young man; but certainly, as a rule, the sense of ridicule is more poignant, and Evan was suffering horrid pangs. We none of us like to play second fiddle. To play second fiddle to a young woman is an abomination to us all. But to have to perform upon that instrument to the darling of our hearts—would we not rather die? nay, almost rather end the duet precipitately and with violence. Evan, when he passed Drummond into the house, and quietly returned his gaze, endured the first shock of this strange feeling. There could be no doubt ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... proselytes. He appeared in the presence of the king with modesty, yet self-possession, inspired by a consciousness of the dignity and importance of his errand; for he felt himself, as he afterwards declared in his letters, animated as if by a sacred fire from above, and considered himself an instrument in the hand of Heaven to accomplish its great designs. For nearly seven years of apparently fruitless solicitation, Columbus followed the royal court from place to place, at times encouraged by the sovereigns, and at ...
— Good Stories For Great Holidays - Arranged for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the - Children's Own Reading • Frances Jenkins Olcott

... they resolved to submit the whole to the consideration of the principal persons of the city, that they might receive their sentiments and advice in the present crisis. For this purpose, they drew up a formal instrument of the whole matter, which was communicated to Don Jerom de Loyasa archbishop of Lima, Don Juan Solano archbishop of Cuzco, Don Garcia Diaz bishop of Quito, Fray Thomas de San Martino provincial of the Dominicans, Augustino de Zarate the treasurer, and to the royal ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 5 • Robert Kerr

... circumstances made her the instrument of law and order her chief aim was to win the people to Christ, and all her efforts were directed to that end. It was for souls she was always hungering, and the lack of conversions was her greatest sorrow. Nevertheless she was making progress. The people were becoming ...
— Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary • W. P. Livingstone

... the last maize. Suddenly, in the grey morning air, a wild music burst out: the drone of a bagpipe, and a man's high voice half singing, half yelling a brief verse, at the end of which a wild flourish on some other reedy wood instrument. Alvina sat still in surprise. It was a strange, high, rapid, yelling music, the very voice of the mountains. Beautiful, in our musical sense of the word, it was not. But oh, the magic, the nostalgia of the untamed, heathen ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... prayers came. Half afraid of summoning an invisible spirit, she softly touched the keys to "The Light of other Days." But remembering it was the very last tune she ever played to her father, she leaned her head forward on the instrument, ...
— A Romance of the Republic • Lydia Maria Francis Child

... consequences, that, instead of consulting the Council, instead of laying the whole correspondence before them, instead of consulting them upon his answers, he went himself up into the country, took his Majesty's chief-justice along with him, and made that person the instrument of those wrongs, violences, robberies, and concealments which we call upon your ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.) • Edmund Burke

... let us impeach war and the war spirit. It is a traitor to every ideal of civilization and of justice. It is the instrument of hatred and of pride, the agent of jealousy and of avarice. In the name of the dead and dying, in the name of justice, which it dethrones, in the name of those whose loved ones it demands, we impeach war as a traitor, guilty of all high crimes and misdemeanors. What else shall we ...
— Prize Orations of the Intercollegiate Peace Association • Intercollegiate Peace Association

... shorter work-day not only does not decrease but may actually increase output, his was a distinctly revolutionary doctrine; he aimed at the total abolition of profits through their absorption into wages. But the instrument was nothing more radical than a progressive universal shortening ...
— A History of Trade Unionism in the United States • Selig Perlman

... door, shook it cautiously with his hand, took out of his pocket a small bright instrument, bent down to the keyhole, made some almost imperceptible movements with the tool, suddenly straightened and flung the door wide in silence. The chairman had his watch in his hands. The whole affair ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity. A deed done is irrevocable, and its result coinciding in time with the actions of millions of other men assumes an historic significance. The higher a man stands on ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... diabolically ferocious aspect. Grace Hartley was standing near me; and when, having completed my inspection of the junks, I was about to return the telescope to its beckets, she asked me if she might be permitted to use it. Of course I at once handed the instrument to her, and then walked away to attend to some business of the ship, returning to the poop when the leading junk was within half a mile of us, with her ...
— Overdue - The Story of a Missing Ship • Harry Collingwood

... stricken, and yet looking as if her own fate touched her less than the parting from you, my good friend Geoffrey Vickars was well nigh mad, and declared that in some way or other, and at whatever risk to ourselves, you must both be saved. In this matter I have been but a passive instrument in his hands; as indeed it was only right that I should be, seeing that he is of gentle blood and an esquire serving under Captain Vere in the army of the queen, while I am but a rough sailor. What I have done I have done partly because his heart ...
— By England's Aid or The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604) • G.A. Henty

... chosen because the hand, "considered the symbol of power and the instrument of donation," was deprived of movement, paralysed, in fact struck as by death. It was also nearly in this sense, that men of the Church were also called men of mortmain, because they were equally forbidden to dispose, either in life, or ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... and tuned the strings. Like most things which he set out to do, Bill had mastered his instrument, and could coax out of it all the harmony of which it was capable. He seemed to know music better than many who pass for musicians. But he broke off in the midst of ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... ranch—quick—I've forgotten the number." With his free hand Ed held his wife at a distance, muttering harshly: "Get away now! I know what I'm doing. Get away—damn you!" He flung Alaire from him as she tried to snatch the instrument out of his hands. ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... approached and greeted him,—all this in dreams, I mean. At another time he was taken by some one to a point affording a wide view; and as he gazed from it over all the earth and all the sea he laid his fingers on them as one might on some instrument [Footnote: Compare Plato, Republic, 399 C.] capable of all harmonies, and they answered to his touch. Again, he thought that in the Roman Forum a horse threw Pertinax, who was already mounted, but readily took him on its back. These things he had already learned from dreams, ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) • Cassius Dio

... to be flexible, is fastened at its base to a pillar or the corner of a small room. It slopes upward into the center of the room, and from its upper end a hempen cord is suspended. To this is fastened the "bow," an instrument made of oak, about five feet in length, two inches in circumference, and shaped like a ladle. A string of coarse catgut is tightly stretched from end to end of the bow, and this is beaten with a small mallet made of willow, bound at the end with a ring of iron or brass. The raw cotton, ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 613, October 1, 1887 • Various

... Wyllys at length returned this paper to Mr. Reed, confessing that it looked more favourably than anything they had yet received. Two letters were then shown, directed to William Stanley, and bearing different dates; one was signed by the name of David Billings, a man who had been the chief instrument in first drawing William Stanley into bad habits, and had at length enticed him to leave home and go to sea; it was dated nineteen years back. As no one present knew the hand-writing of Billings, and as he had died some years since, this letter might, ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... not possible to decide: the point on which to lay the finger for our present purpose is that the contribution of Italy at this time was, on the one hand, the further refinement of the Provencal attention to form, and the production of one capital instrument of European poetry—the sonnet; on the other, the conveyance, by means of this instrument and others, of a further, and in one way almost final, variation of the poetic expression of love. It is of the first importance to note the ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... of the others, and we were fairly and literally talked out. Singing and joking we were in no humor for; and in fact any sound of mirth or laughter would have struck strangely upon our ears, and would not have been tolerated any more than whistling or a wind instrument. The last resort, that of speculating upon the future, seemed now to fail us; for our discouraging situation, and the danger we were really in (as we expected every day to find ourselves drifted back among the ice), "clapped a stopper" ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... most remarkable thing in all my professional experience," he exclaimed, resigning his place at the instrument to me. ...
— A Trip to Venus • John Munro

... depositing the instrument of his crime close to the hand of its victim, had meant to mislead, to create an inference of felo de se, he had ordered all his other actions with a carelessness arguing one of three things: cynical indifference to the actual outcome of his false clue; sublime faith in the stupidity ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... If the wind-instrument parts in the above example are confided to players who are good musicians, there will be no need to change the manner of marking the bar, and the conductor may continue to subdivide it by six, or to divide it simply by two. The majority of players, however, seeming to hesitate ...
— The Orchestral Conductor - Theory of His Art • Hector Berlioz

... terror of the world! Dark instrument Of ever-hateful guile!—What hast thou done? How thou hast cheated me! Art not ashamed To look on him that sued to thee for shelter? O heart of stone, thou hast stolen my life away With yonder bow!—Ah, ...
— The Seven Plays in English Verse • Sophocles

... had arrived right opposite to those, who, by their advancing to receive his message, seemed to take upon themselves as the leaders of the enemy, Cornet Grahame commanded his trumpeter to sound a parley. The insurgents having no instrument of martial music wherewith to make the appropriate reply, one of their number called out with a loud, strong voice, demanding to know why he approached ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... regretted its being there. It was the one part of her work that she carried out badly, and she knew that this was so. Not only did she find it most difficult to understand what was said through the horrible instrument, but her mistress's friends found even more difficulty in hearing her, Anna. Sometimes—but she was very much ashamed of this—she actually allowed the telephone bell to go on ringing, and never answered it at all! She only did this, however, when her two ladies were away from Witanbury, and when, ...
— Good Old Anna • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... where it had been expressly prohibited by the Mexican law. Another serious objection was that the resolutions were taken as committing the United States to the adoption and maintenance of the Rio Grande del Norte as the western boundary of Texas. All mention of this was avoided in the instrument, and it was expressly stated that the State was to be formed "subject to the adjustment by this Government of all questions of boundary that may arise with other governments," but the moment the resolutions were passed the Government assumed, ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... customs of the upper, or even the educated, classes. Slowly and reluctantly, the Baltimorean abandoned his cherished ideal of the British aristocrat—a covert Caligula, with all modern improvements—varying the monotony of orgies with interludes of murder and rapine; the instrument of these pleasant vices being always ready in the shape of a Frankenstein-monster, whose mission it is to tyrannize perpetually over the guilty lordling or lady whose secret he holds; doing a steady trade of two assassinations ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... Father, to the Friend who would never leave him nor forsake him. And when Christie was gone he again knelt down, and thanked God with a very full heart for having allowed him to be the poor weak instrument in bringing this soul to Himself. There would be one at least at the beautiful gates of "Home, sweet Home," watching for his homegoing steps. Old Treffy would be waiting for him there. Oh, how good God had been to him! It was with a thankful heart that he sat down ...
— Christie's Old Organ - Or, "Home, Sweet Home" • Mrs. O. F. Walton

... the knot with both hands, while his lips moved as he muttered a prayer, feeling the thin cord quiver and jerk as if it were a strange nerve which connected him with his father, who was below there somewhere in the darkness—jar, thrill, and make a humming noise like the string of some huge bass instrument, but so faint that it would have been inaudible at any other time. But he could hear plainly enough, without any exaltation of his senses, that the soldiers were talking earnestly not a hundred yards away, their voices rising clearly to where ...
— In Honour's Cause - A Tale of the Days of George the First • George Manville Fenn

... sponge of vinegar and water at the end, the coat without seam for which the soldiers cast lots, the dice-box with which they threw for it, the hammer that drove in the nails, the pincers that pulled them out, the ladder which was set against the cross, the crown of thorns, the instrument of flagellation, the lanthorn with which Mary went to the tomb (I suppose), and the sword with which Peter smote the servant of the high priest,—a perfect toy-shop of little objects, repeated at every four or five miles, ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... his lips to whistle at the news. There was more behind it than appeared; and he knew that Chigmok the murderous half-breed was not the framer of the plot, however, he might be the instrument for its execution. He looked at the girl thoughtfully for a moment, and as he did so a soft look came in the wild, dark eyes that ...
— A Mating in the Wilds • Ottwell Binns

... hieroglyphical signature. I say signature; because its position on the vellum suggested this idea. The death's-head at the corner diagonally opposite had, in the same manner, the air of a stamp, or seal. But I was sorely put out by the absence of all else—of the body to my imagined instrument —of the text ...
— Short Stories for English Courses • Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.)

... the telephone desk and courteously requested various numbers; and always one of the three men who had been keeping him in view stepped into the adjoining booth, but did not use the instrument. ...
— In Secret • Robert W. Chambers

... favorite instrument with him. A most interesting lecture upon it will be found among the Discourses which he proposed delivering in Philadelphia. ...
— Priestley in America - 1794-1804 • Edgar F. Smith

... of Davos Platz he really enjoyed, and he pursued that to his heart's content. "Perhaps the true way to toboggan is alone and at night," he said. "First comes the tedious climb dragging your instrument behind you. Next a long breathing space, alone with the snow and pine woods, cold, silent and solemn to the heart. Then you push off; the toboggan fetches away, she begins to feel the hill, to glide, to swim, to gallop. In a breath you are out from ...
— The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls • Jacqueline M. Overton

... are, in this one particular, opposed to the American Constitution, which expressly says, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof." But this is only one of several things in which the Articles of War are repugnant to that instrument. They will be glanced at in another part of ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... tail, so that we had no difficulty in raising it, especially as we had a line fastened to the tail, which one of us could haul upon, while the other (with a curious hand windlass, which looked like some diabolical instrument ...
— Jethou - or Crusoe Life in the Channel Isles • E. R. Suffling

... placed it in the hands of Bosola for the keener torment of his Duchess. Flamineo might have used it; or the disguised friars, who made the deathbed of Bracciano hideous, might have plunged it in the Duke's heart after mocking his eyes with the figure of the suffering Christ. To imagine such an instrument of moral terror mingled with material violence, lay within the scope of Webster's sinister and powerful genius. But unless he had seen it with his eyes, what poet would have ventured to devise the thing and display it even in the dumb show of a tragedy? Fact is more wonderful than romance. ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... you a description of it; you know what it is like. But what, perhaps, you do not know, because you have never thought about it, is, the reason why your hand is a more convenient, and consequently more perfect, instrument than a cat's paw, for instance, which yet answers a similar purpose, for it helps ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... consider was whether the window was fastened. In that case he would have some difficulty, though for this he was prepared, having an instrument by which he could cut a pane of glass, and, thrusting in his hand, ...
— A Cousin's Conspiracy - A Boy's Struggle for an Inheritance • Horatio Alger

... man's message,' Mr. Rossi called it. 'We must save up for an instrument to reproduce it, Sister,' he said. But, look you, the very next day the ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... (left-hand), and the North Star on the starboard side. Each day at noon the captain and his officers determine the exact position of the ship by "taking the sun," as it is termed. When the sun reaches the meridian, that is, the point directly overhead, the exact moment is indicated by the nautical instrument known as a quadrant, adjusted to the eye of the observer. The figures marked on the quadrant give the latitude of the ship at the moment of meridian. The ship's time is then made to correspond,—that is to say, it must indicate twelve ...
— Foot-prints of Travel - or, Journeyings in Many Lands • Maturin M. Ballou

... accept the alternative offered by the advocates of strict construction, we shall not find that their case is strengthened. Claiming that where the meaning of an instrument is doubtful, it should be interpreted according to the contemporary understanding of its framers, they argue that it would be absurd to suppose that gentlemen from the Southern States would have united to form a society that included in its objects any discussion of the moral duties arising ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... were adopted in the Constitution with important additions, it is thought that a correct view of those powers and of the manner in which they are executed may shed light on the subject under consideration. It may fairly be presumed that where certain powers were transferred from one instrument to the other and in the same terms, or terms descriptive only of the same powers, that it was intended that they should be construed in the same sense in the latter that they were ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe • James D. Richardson

... possessed powers wholly or partly miraculous. One of its strings, we are told, moved people to tears, another to laughter. A harp in Trinity College, known as the harp of Brian Boru, is said to be the oldest in Europe, and has thirty strings. This instrument has been the subject of many controversies. O'Curry doubts it having belonged to Brian Boru, and gives his reasons for believing that it was among the treasures of Westminster when Henry VIII. came to the throne in ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... of uneasiness and dissatisfaction to those who have not attained to its questionable privileges, its exemption from the prompt and efficient inquisition appertaining to slavery, makes it an important instrument in the corruption and seduction of those, who yet remain the property of their masters.' * * * 'Who would not rejoice to see our country liberated from her black population? Who would not participate in any efforts to restore ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... Confession, as we think it evident, a) from the constitution of this body, in which there is no clause binding its members to teach according to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and not even a distinct mention of this instrument; b) from the constitution recommended by the General Synod to the District Synods connected with it; c) from the form of oath required of professors in its Theological Seminary, when inducted into office; d) from the construction placed upon its Constitution ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 1: Early History of American Lutheranism and The Tennessee Synod • Friedrich Bente

... my face and neck. "I don't know what you are talking about," I bluntly tried to fend off his implication. I felt as if I were helplessly strapped down and that he was about to probe me mercilessly with some sharp instrument. I strode to turn the direction of his thoughts by saying, "I understand that the Stanleighs are returning ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... caused to be interpreted in the courts in certain test cases, the society arrived at the most satisfactory results. There were no longer seen in New York those juvenile beggars whose miserable appearance is made an instrument of gain by their worthless masters; those vagrants who disguise their vagabondage under the pretext of imaginary professions, collecting cigar stumps and rag picking; those little girls who sell flowers at the doors of houses of bad repute, often concealing ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume II. No. 2, November, 1884 • Various

... double game between the attentions of foolish but honourable young men, and the fitful appearances of a wandering and good-for-nothing sailor-husband; a man prepared to act that most well-worn of melodramatic roles, the conjugal bully and blackmailer, the man who uses marital rights as an instrument for the worse kind of wrongs. Or, again, if we had the story of the fall of King Arthur told from the stand-point of Mordred, it would only be a matter of a word or two; in a turn, in the twinkling ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... about the neck as an ornament. One of them kept blowing a large conch-shell, to which a reed near two feet long was fixed; at first, with a continued tone of the same kind, but he afterward converted it into a kind of musical instrument, perpetually repeating two or three notes, with the same strength. What the blowing the conch portended, I cannot say, but I never found it the messenger ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 • Robert Kerr

... afforded to the conduct of the late King, who was always thwarting his Ministers, throwing difficulties in their way, and playing a double part, becomes vicious when carried to the extent of paralysing all free action and free opinion on his part, and of suffering himself to be made the instrument of any measures, however violent. It may be said, indeed, that he cordially agrees with these men, and has opinions coincident with theirs, but this is not probable; and when we remember his unlimited confidence in the Duke up to the moment of his resignation, it is impossible ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... keys of doom or of the eternal joys. I see you sign assent" (I had nodded at her extremely accurate guess) "and therefore can understand that in such a hell as this, here upon the earth I have dwelt for some two thousand years, expiating the crime of Powers above me whereof I am but the hand and instrument, since those Powers which decreed that I should love, decree also that I must ...
— She and Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... cross)—Ver. 10. The cross was especially used as an instrument of punishment for malefactors of low station, and, as we see here, sometimes ...
— The Fables of Phdrus - Literally translated into English prose with notes • Phaedrus

... window of the office was slightly open, though the day was cool, and he was listening to the clicks of the telegraph instrument, as the operator sent Pete's message. Tom was familiar with the Morse code. What was his surprise to hear the message being sent to Andy Foger at a certain hotel in Chicago. And ...
— Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice • Victor Appleton

... On Monday morning the Queen and her cabinet made public proclamation, with a notice which was specially served upon the representatives of all foreign governments, that any changes in the constitution would be sought only in the methods provided by that instrument. Nevertheless, at the call and under the auspices of the committee of safety, a mass meeting of citizens was held on that day to protest against the Queen's alleged illegal and unlawful proceedings and purposes. Even at this meeting the committee ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... place for dancing, and in these choruses young persons of both sexes danced together in rows, holding one another by the hand, while the citharist, or the player on the lyre, sitting in their midst, accompanied the sound of his instrument with songs, which took their name from the choruses ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... coaxed the symparometer; but all to no purpose, and they both doggedly retained their relative indications one to the other. D—— had hitherto been guided entirely by the symparometer, for it was a very delicate and beautiful instrument, and never failed in foretelling a shower of rain, or squall of wind. It is remarkable, that when we got to the north of 60 degrees, the symparometer acted directly opposite to that plan for which ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... that God will grant you this," said the spirit, "and make me His instrument, for I see the depth of your distress." Saying which, he vanished, leaving no trace in his departure except that the pillar of stone ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds - A Romance of the Future • John Jacob Astor

... things he returned to his place caled Sowams, some 40. mile from this place, but Squanto continued with them, and was their interpreter, and was a spetiall instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt, and never left them till he dyed. He was a native [58] of this ...
— Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation' • William Bradford

... instrument and struck a few chords while she thought. Then she began to work with all her soul at the theme in the last movement of the Ninth Symphony which is like the sound of the opening of the gates ...
— Trent's Last Case - The Woman in Black • E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley

... Arabian's house, and leaving his carriage to wait in case of need, ascended the stairs and knocked at the door. For some reason or other Keyork would not have a bell in his dwelling, whether because, like Mahomet, he regarded the bell as the devil's instrument, or because he was really nervously sensitive to the sound of one, nobody had ever discovered. The Wanderer knocked therefore, and Keyork ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... faith. In a later age the accessible Lowlands were imbued with an evangelistic Presbyterianism, when the more mountainous and inaccessible provinces of the country were still in a condition to furnish, in what was known as the Highland Host, a dire instrument of persecution. Even as late as the middle of the last century, "Sabbath," according to a popular writer, "never got aboon the Pass of Killicrankie;" and the Stuarts, exiled for their adherence to Popery, continued to found almost ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... with you) a-cross these Paths, hollow, loose and circularly, the nether part fixt to the ground, and the upper side hollow, &c. as aforesaid: Then to their Haunt, and there call them together, if scattered; then with a Driver, an Instrument like that of Cloath-dressers, rake gently the Bushes and Boughs about you, the Powts will run, and stop and listen; then give a nother rake, and so you will drive them like sheep into your Nets: Observe in this ...
— The School of Recreation (1684 edition) • Robert Howlett

... excited in listening to music,—letting their emotions run rampant and suffering in consequence a painful reaction of fatigue. If they would learn to yield so that the music could pass over their nerves as it passes over the strings of a musical instrument, and then, with the new life and vigor derived from the enjoyment, would turn to some useful work, they would find a great expansion in the enjoyment of the music as well as a new ...
— The Freedom of Life • Annie Payson Call

... Archer of Scotland, we shall offer a few general remarks on the subject of the above engraving, which relates to an amusement which we are happy to find is patronized in many counties in England by respectable classes of society at this day. No instrument of warfare is more ancient than that of the bow and arrow, and the skill of the English bowmen is celebrated. It seems, that in ancient times the English had the advantage over enemies chiefly by their archers ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 264, July 14, 1827 • Various

... constituted the ruling passion of her mind. The name of this person was Frances Blood; she was two years older than Mary. Her residence was at that time at Newington Butts, a village near the southern extremity of the metropolis; and the original instrument for bringing these two friends acquainted, was Mrs. Clare, wife of the gentleman already mentioned, who was on a footing of considerable intimacy with both parties. The acquaintance of Fanny, like that of Mr. Clare, contributed to ripen ...
— Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman • William Godwin

... self-possession. Springing from the bed, he seized the bucket of water which he had recently drawn, and dashed its contents on the struggling band. Thereafter he hauled the trombone out of the debris by the neck, flattened his instrument on his head, and twisted it round his neck. The key-bugle, who had struggled to his feet, fell before a well-aimed backhander, and the French horn was about to perish, when Gildart succeeded in restraining and pacifying the giant by stoutly asserting that he had won his bet, and insisted on ...
— Shifting Winds - A Tough Yarn • R.M. Ballantyne

... of them wearing holiday garb, but most clad in the native rags which served them for all seasons and all days. The volume of clanging melody fell with torture upon Kirkwood's ear, and when he saw that the instrument was immediately before Mrs. Peckover's house, he stood aside in gloomy impatience, waiting till it should move away. This happened in a few minutes. The house door being open, he ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... the church—Miss Pimpernell, the Dasher girls, Min, and myself,—to hear the organist make trial of a new stop which had been lately added to his instrument. Listening to the small sacred concert that thereupon ensued, we had remained until quite late in the evening; and, on our way home through the churchyard, as we loitered along, looking at the graves, and trying to decipher by the slowly waning light the half illegible inscriptions on the headstones, ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... Their chief instrument for gain, however, was a revival of the Statute of Liveries. This law imposed enormous fines on those noblemen who dared to equip their followers in military garb, or designate them by a badge equivalent to ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... fall on Germany! She has violated Belgium's neutrality! the English piously ejaculate. They call themselves God's chosen people, the instrument of Providence for the benefit of the whole universe. They look down upon all other peoples with open or silent contempt, and claim for themselves various prerogatives, in particular the supremacy of the sea, even in American waters, ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... When he came to himself, Barbara had left him; but ere he had time to wonder, such a burst of organ music filled the place as might have welcomed one that had overcome the world. He stood entranced for a minute, then hastened to the gallery, where he found Barbara at the instrument. ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... heads, and then—ping! Let the neatest wrist win the odd trick. Very pleasant schemes of witchery and silent murder did he make as the Santa Fina drove him through the dark blue waters on his honeymoon, and at last brought him up to point out to his adoring instrument a low golden shore, a darker line of purple shadow beyond, and in the midst a white tower which gleamed like snow. "Civitavecchia, my queen among ladies! Rome beyond it; beyond that Nona—Nona and glorious ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... high commendation at the greatest international contests. If you discuss these questions, I am sure you will do so, not with the view of benefiting one city or Province only, but in the spirit which sees in all common efforts a means of uniting our Canadian people, and an instrument to make a national feeling create a national prosperity. We may congratulate our countrymen that in the live stock of all kinds shown to-day, we have a representation of those vast resources which yield so much in excess of our own requirements that we can relieve ...
— Memories of Canada and Scotland - Speeches and Verses • John Douglas Sutherland Campbell

... States of America, and a letter of credence from them to His Most Serene Highness, and to assure him of the profound veneration in which the House of Orange had been held in America even from its first settlement, and that I should be happier still to be the instrument of further cementing the new connexions between two nations professing the same religion, animated by the same spirit of liberty, and having reciprocal interests, both political and commercial, so extensive and so important; and ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... such practices is the degradation of human speech. It is degraded first in the eyes of those who manipulate it as a base instrument. No word is respected by sophists, casuists, and quibblers, men who are moved only by a rage for gaining their point, or who assume that their interests are alone worth considering. Their penalty is to be forced to judge others by the rule they follow themselves: ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... breach; now, sir, (as we were to ascend), their master gunner (a man of no mean skill and courage, you must think,) confronts me with his linstock ready to give fire; I spying his intendment, discharged my petronel in his bosom, and with this instrument, my poor rapier, ran violently upon the Moors that guarded the ordnance, and put them pell-mell to ...
— Every Man In His Humour • Ben Jonson

... to stagger, falls, but recovers herself again. This is repeated several times, till she is at length no longer able to rise. Her head will be turned to one side; she loses the sense of feeling, and although pricked with a sharp instrument gives no sign of pain; and if not relieved, death closes the scene. If the sense of feeling returns, it is the first sign of recovery. The moment that milk-fever is observed the veterinary surgeon should be called in. There is little ...
— Cattle and Cattle-breeders • William M'Combie

... deliverance from England, after twenty- five years of failure and at the cost of dignity and consistency, it would be ridiculously hyperbolical to treat as a success. During the first part of his life he was the stalking horse of Bernard d'Armagnac; during the second, he was the passive instrument of English diplomatists; and before he was well entered on the third, he hastened to become the dupe and catspaw of Burgundian treason. On each of these occasions, a strong and not dishonourable personal motive determined his behaviour. ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us; and we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instrument of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and allow the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... this subject it may be asked, What raised us to the present happy state? How did we accomplish the Revolution? How remedy the defects of the first instrument of our Union, by infusing into the National Government sufficient power for national purposes, without impairing the just rights of the States or affecting those of individuals? How sustain and pass with ...
— United States Presidents' Inaugural Speeches - From Washington to George W. Bush • Various

... should she?" said Mrs. Poynsett. "She was the victim of an unsuccessful experiment of my dear boy's, and the unsuspecting instrument of poor Camilla's vengeance. That is all I ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Rome, who was master to Vinnecotio, who is one of the Italians that the King hath here, and the chief composer of them. My great wonder is, how this man do to keep in memory so perfectly the musique of the whole act, both for the voice and the instrument too. I confess I do admire it: but in recitativo the sense much helps him, for there is but one proper way of discoursing and giving the accents. Having done our discourse, we all took coaches, my Lord's and T. Killigrew's, and to Mrs. ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... religion and philosophy no new element appeared during this epoch. The Romano-Hellenic state-religion and the Stoic state-philosophy inseparably combined with it were for every government—oligarchy, democracy or monarchy—not merely a convenient instrument, but quite indispensable for the very reason that it was just as impossible to construct the state wholly without religious elements as to discover any new state-religion fitted to take the place of ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... to one of the officers, whose dirty hands made no improvement on the work of the laundress. First one article was taken out, and then another, till an Iron Collar that had been worn by a female slave on the banks of the Mississippi, was hauled out, and this democratic instrument of torture became the centre of attraction; so much so, that instead of going on with the examination, all hands stopped to look at the ...
— Three Years in Europe - Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met • William Wells Brown

... with melancholy'—a composition, which, when it is played very slowly on the flute, in bed, with the further disadvantage of being performed by a gentleman but imperfectly acquainted with the instrument, who repeats one note a great many times before he can find the next, has not a lively effect. Yet, for half the night, or more, Mr Swiveller, lying sometimes on his back with his eyes upon the ceiling, and sometimes half out of bed to correct ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... of the English name.[95] The chapter of Notre Dame was compelled to sell the gold vessels from the treasury. Hundred of houses were abandoned by their owners, who were unable to meet the charges upon them. In 1427 by a royal instrument the rent of the Maison des Singes was reduced from twenty-six livres to fourteen, "seeing the extreme diminution ...
— The Story of Paris • Thomas Okey

... diligence he managed to make a fife by boring a maple stick through from end to end with a thin piece of iron from their cart, much of which had been carried piece-meal to the cabin. Having natural musical talent, he learned to play the instrument he thus fashioned, and though Ree had declared, as he practiced, that he would surely bring the savages down upon them in war paint, he liked the music as ...
— Far Past the Frontier • James A. Braden

... entertained with music, both vocal and instrumental, by their dependants. Of this art they appear to be very fond, and there are many musical instruments among them. A datu, indeed, would be looked upon as uneducated if he could not play on some instrument. ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... is so possessed by the conviction that he is God's instrument as to set himself outside of ordinary human morality, he is presumably on the verge of shipwreck. The Republican, while emphasizing the popular estimate of John Brown as "a hero," coupled with this the characterization of him as "a misguided ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... Theodoric surrounded with mythical attributes; and even the conception of Brunhild has been supposed to contain elements derived from the traditional recollection of the historical Brunehault. When, therefore, Achilleus is said, like a true sun-god, to have died by a wound from a sharp instrument in the only vulnerable part of his body, we may reply that the legendary Charlemagne conducts himself in many respects like a solar deity. If Odysseus detained by Kalypso represents the sun ensnared and held captive ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... seas which in international conference after conference representatives of the United States have urged with the eloquence of those who are the convinced disciples of liberty; and that moderation of armaments which makes of armies and navies a power for order merely, not an instrument of aggression or ...
— Why We are at War • Woodrow Wilson

... that the smoke is drawn, and comes bubbling up through the water, cool and fragrant to the mouth. A peculiar kind of tobacco, grown at Shiraz in Persia, and resembling small pieces of cut leather, is used with this instrument. ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... went at him, coiling round his legs with a sudden, hissing swash. This made him cry, and his tears blinded him so that he could not even see the words which he had been unable to read before. But he still attempted to go on, and still the instrument of torture went swish-swash round his little thin legs, raising upon them, no doubt, plentiful blue wales, to be revealed, when he was undressed for the night, to the indignant eyes of pitying mother or aunt, who ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... yourselves treasures upon earth, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". But the man whose soul the love of Christ has touched, does not look on the question as one merely involving danger to himself: he looks on wealth, as well as every other gift, as an instrument of bringing glory to his Lord, by feeding the little ones of his kingdom, or in some way extending the savour of his name. It is not a matter of law, but a golden opportunity on which affection seizes, ...
— Christian Devotedness • Anthony Norris Groves

... the train in which I was passed over the Kiel Canal an attempt was made to search all our luggage as if we might have hidden some instrument of destruction. Thanks to the interference of Major von Rheinbaben, we were spared this ...
— Fighting France • Stephane Lauzanne



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