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Rubicon   Listen
proper noun
Rubicon  n.  (Anc. geog.) A small river which separated Italy from Cisalpine Gaul, the province alloted to Julius Caesar. Note: By leading an army across this river, contrary to the prohibition of the civil government at Rome, Caesar precipitated the civil war which resulted in the death of Pompey and the overthrow of the senate; hence, the phrase to pass the Rubicon or cross the Rubicon signifies to take the decisive step by which one is committed to a hazardous enterprise from which there is no retreat.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Rubicon" Quotes from Famous Books



... well as ships' crews, averaged 11,876; or excluding male hangers-on from the one side and passengers from the other side, residents averaged 5,660 and visitors 5,435. Figures no longer yielded an uncertain sound. The Rubicon was only just crossed, but was indisputably and irrevocably crossed. Thenceforth the living-rooms were larger than the corridors, and political arithmetic pointed at the permanent occupants as the men of destiny. In 1764 the new tilt of ...
— The Story of Newfoundland • Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead

... governmental machinery, get it to working dependably and smoothly, and at the same time prepare for a civil war which I hope to win, but of which I can foretell the outcome no better than could the Divine Julius be sure of the outcome of his when he crossed the Rubicon. Amid all these cares and occupations I must keep fit and must do all I can to win the confidence and respect of all classes by rectifying, as far as I may, the consequences of the inattention of my predecessors and of the knavery and venality ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... without being aware of it, Mrs. Armine crossed a Rubicon. She crossed it when she came out of the big tent into the sands to go back to the camp by the lake. While she had been with Baroudi the sky had partially cleared. Above the tents and the blazing ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... it is as the imperishable monument of those tragic centuries that we rightly look upon Ravenna: before the empire was founded she was already famous. It was from her silence that Caesar emerged to cross the Rubicon and all unknowing to found what, when all is said, was the most beneficent, as it was the most universal, government that Europe has ever known. In the first years of that government Ravenna became, and through the ...
— Ravenna, A Study • Edward Hutton

... said coolly, 'back again to its proper owner, I suppose. Well, let it. We have no further need of it, for, like Caesar, we have now crossed the Rubicon. We are no longer convicts from a French prison, my friend, but shipwrecked sailors; you hear?'—with a sudden scintillation from his black eyes— 'shipwrecked sailors; and I will tell the story of the wreck. ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... a question from my oracle, and the answer I had was that the treasure was to be found not far from the Rubicon. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... hers fanned the flame in Lennan as nothing had yet fanned it. Earthiness! Was it earthiness to love as he did? If so, then not for all the world would he be otherwise than earthy. In the shock of reading it, he crossed his Rubicon, and burned his boats behind him. No more did the pale ghost, chivalrous devotion, haunt him. He knew now that he could not stop short. Since she asked him, he must not, of course, try to see her just yet. But when he did, ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... Ravenna, a sea-side city on the southern limit of his province. South of it flowed a little stream called the Rubicon, which formed his border-line. Here he took a bold step. He sent a letter to the senate, offering to give up his command if Pompey would do the same. A violent debate followed in the senate, and a decree was passed that ...
— Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... Gaul was a troublesome place to be, and they were quite willing he should go there. For a priest to go among the fighting Gauls—they smiled and stroked their chins! Gaul had definite boundaries on the south—the Rubicon marked the line—but on the north it was without limit. Real-estate owners own as high in the air and as deep in the earth as they wish to go. Caesar alone guessed the ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 7 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Orators • Elbert Hubbard

... Triumvirate (60 B.C.); was appointed to the government of Gaul, which he subdued after nine years to the dominion of Rome; his successes awoke the jealousy of Pompey, who had gone over to the aristocratic side, and he was recalled; this roused Caesar, and crossing the Rubicon with his victorious troops, he soon saw all Italy lying at his feet (49 B.C.); pursued Pompey, who had fled to Greece, and defeated him at Pharsalia (48 B.C.); was thereupon elected dictator and consul for five years, distinguishing himself in Egypt and elsewhere; returned to ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... Not worth risking a sprained ankle on the eve of the mile. Then he thought of the Matron's sitting-room. This was on the ground-floor, and if its owner happened to be out, exit would be easy. As luck would have it she was out, and in another minute Jim had crossed the Rubicon and was standing on the gravel drive which led to the ...
— The Pothunters • P. G. Wodehouse

... in human happiness, and thus in life itself. For between Lois Travers the woman and Lois Travers the light-hearted, high-spirited girl there stretched a year's gulf. Marriage had been to her what it is more or less to all women—a Rubicon, a Book of Revelations in which girlish ideals are rarely realized, sometimes ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... whole-hearted cheerfulness of Raleigh, when with his small English ships he cast himself against the navies of Spain; or at Xenophon, conducting back from an inhospitable and hostile country, and through unknown paths, his ten thousand Greeks; or Caesar, riding up and down the banks of the Rubicon, sad enough belike when alone, but at the head of his men cheerful, joyous, well dressed, rather foppish, in fact, his face shining with good humor as with oil. Again, Nelson, in the worst of dangers, ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

... closed upon them, Flavia's was not the only pale face in the room. The scene had brought home to more than one the fact that here was an end of peace and law, and a beginning of violence and rebellion. The Rubicon was passed. For good or for ill, they were committed to an enterprise fraught, it might be, with success and glory, fraught also, it might be, with obloquy and death. Uncle Ulick stared at the floor with a lowering ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... consolidate its heritage from Carthage in Spain and Mauritania. During that century—the second before our era—Rome also extended its Italian boundaries to the Alps by the conquest of Cisalpine Gaul, which, however, was considered outside Italy, from which it was separated by the river Rubicon. In that same century the Romans had begun to interfere in the affairs of Greece, which easily fell into their hands, and thus prepared the way for their inheritance ...
— The Story of Geographical Discovery - How the World Became Known • Joseph Jacobs

... servants, fed and half clothed at their master's expense, have put by for forty years, and yet not even by aid of interest and compound interest and perquisites and commissions squeezed out of little tradesmen and other time-honored embezzlements, have reached the rubicon of four figures. Five thousand little shopkeepers, active, intelligent and greedy, have bought wholesale and sold retail, yet never mounted so high as this above rent, housekeeping, bad debts and casualties. Many a writer of genius has charmed ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... That saw'st the unfledged eaglet chip his shell! Ye Alps which viewed him in his dawning flights Hover, the Victor of a hundred fights! Thou Rome, who saw'st thy Caesar's deeds outdone! Alas! why passed he too the Rubicon— The Rubicon of Man's awakened rights, To herd with vulgar kings and parasites? 140 Egypt! from whose all dateless tombs arose Forgotten Pharaohs from their long repose, And shook within their pyramids to hear A new Cambyses thundering in their ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... sold, and every year Frauds and corruption in the Field of Mars; Hence interest and devouring usury sprang, Faith's breach, and hence came war, to most men welcome. Now Caesar overpass'd the snowy Alps; His mind was troubled, and he aim'd at war: And coming to the ford of Rubicon, At night in dreadful vision fearful[594] Rome Mourning appear'd, whose hoary hairs were torn, And on her turret-bearing head dispers'd, 190 And arms all naked; who, with broken sighs, And staring, thus bespoke: "What mean'st thou, Caesar? ...
— The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Christopher Marlowe

... the danger, and sickens under it; the hero, warmed by the difficulty, dilates, and rises in proportion to that, and in some sort makes use of his very fears to disarm it. A remarkable instance of this we have in the great Caesar, when he came to the Rubicon, and was entering upon a part, perhaps, the most hazardous he ever bore (certainly the most ungrateful), a war with his countrymen. When his mind brooded over personal affronts, perhaps his anger burned with a desire of revenge. But when more ...
— The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 • George A. Aitken

... but strong with the pen, had already drafted. The work was completed on the 4th of July, when Jefferson's draft was adopted and published to the world. Five days afterward the state of New York declared her approval of these proceedings. The Rubicon was crossed, and the thirteen English colonies had become the United States ...
— The War of Independence • John Fiske

... the Property he has long had there;—not computing, for none can compute, the sleeping whirlwinds he may chance to awaken thereby. Thus lightly does a man enter upon Enterprises which prove unexpectedly momentous, and shape the whole remainder of his days for him; crossing the Rubicon as it were in his sleep. In Life, as on Railways at certain points,—whether you know it or not, there is but an inch, this way or that, into what tram you are shunted; but try to get out of it again! ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... up of the "Man from St. Malo." "I consider the shot across my bows as an attack," said he, and he slapped on every stitch of canvas, so that the Emilie was soon abreast of the Britisher. Boom! A broadside roared into her and she struck her colors. Bold Robert Surcouf had passed the Rubicon,—he had seen the English flag lowered to him, for the first time; and his heart swelled with patriotic pride, in spite of the fact that this was an act of piracy, for which he could ...
— Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea • Charles H. L. Johnston

... garrison Tarentum, the baffled and disappointed king set sail for Epirus. He had scarcely embarked before Tarentum surrendered to the Romans (272 B.C.). This ended the struggles for the mastery of Italy. Rome was now mistress of all the peninsula south of the Arnus and the Rubicon. It was now her care to consolidate these possessions, and to fasten her hold upon them, by means of a perfect network of colonies and military roads. [Footnote: "Colonies were not all of the same character. They must be distinguished into two classes—the colonies of Roman citizens and the ...
— A General History for Colleges and High Schools • P. V. N. Myers

... had, in November, 1838, promised them to send a consul to New Zealand to supersede poor Mr. Busby, but the permanent officials thwarted him, and nothing was done for eight months. At last, in May, 1839, Gibbon Wakefield crossed the Rubicon. As the Government persisted in treating New Zealand as a foreign country, let the Company do the same, and establish settlements there as in a foreign land! Since repeated efforts to obtain the ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... lucky numbers. He had a premonition that he would win if he stuck to a single combination. He would redeem the gun, replace it, and no one would be any the wiser. If his numbers failed him..... No matter. He determined to cross the Rubicon. He traversed the street and disappeared into the cavernous alley, shortly to loom up in the deserted courtyard of the hotel. He counted the windows on the first floor and stopped at the fourth. That was the window he must enter. Noiselessly he crept along the walls, stopping ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... want to ask is this. [He refers to the paper]. Ahem! Civilization has reached a crisis. We are at the parting of the ways. We stand on the brink of the Rubicon. Shall we take the plunge? Already a leaf has been torn out of the book of the Sybil. Shall we wait until the whole volume is consumed? On our right is the crater of the volcano: on our left the precipice. One false step, and we go down to annihilation dragging ...
— Back to Methuselah • George Bernard Shaw

... me. No word did I breathe of marriage; that which was arranged, or that which I desired. It seemed to me that every available moment must be given to the moulding of her heart, to preparation for the last crucial test, when I should ask her to sacrifice everything, and cross the Channel and the Rubicon ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... of sparkling eyes, Hidden, ever and anon, In a merciful eclipse - Do not heed their mild surprise - Having passed the Rubicon. Take a pair of rosy lips; Take a figure trimly planned - Such as admiration whets (Be particular in this); Take a tender little hand, Fringed with dainty fingerettes, Press it - in parenthesis; - Take all these, you lucky man - Take and keep ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... her own hand, she drew the heavy bolts across the doors that he had closed behind him, and returned to the King, whose gesture of surprise and annoyance she affected not to remark. She had passed the Rubicon, and she felt that she had no time to lose if she did not desire to become herself the victim of the struggle in which she was engaged; and thus having announced to her son the dismissal of Richelieu and his relatives from her personal service, ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... but the Satyr only answered with cries, not unlike those of goats and the neighing of horses. This monster had a human body, but the thighs, legs, and feet of a goat. To the above stories may be added that of the Satyr who passed the Rubicon in presence of Caesar ...
— Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology - For Classical Schools (2nd ed) • Charles K. Dillaway

... Roman of celebrity. He advertised to the effect that he had rather be first at Rome than second in a small village. He was a man of great muscular strength. Upon one occasion he threw an entire army across the Rubicon. A general named Pompey met him in what was called the "tented field," but Pompey couldn't hold a Roman candle to Julius. We are assured upon the authority of Patrick Henry that "Caesar had his Brutus." The unbiased reader of history, however, will conclude that, on the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... 'crossed the Rubicon,' however; and, ever after this, when at home of an afternoon, sometimes with Mick, who, of course, imitated me, sometimes without him on those occasions when he did not get permission to go ashore, I used to have a whiff at father's pipe on the sly— without ...
— Young Tom Bowling - The Boys of the British Navy • J.C. Hutcheson

... of words to a page has remained with me through the fifteen years of my writing life), from the moment I had, in the simplicity of my heart and the amazing ignorance of my mind, written that page the die was cast. Never had Rubicon been more blindly forded without invocation to the gods, without fear ...
— A Personal Record • Joseph Conrad

... perversity. The great if not incomparable power displayed in Webster's delineation of such criminals as Flamineo and Bosola—Bonapartes in the bud, Napoleons in a nutshell, Caesars who have missed their Rubicon and collapse into the likeness of a Catiline—is a sign rather of his noble English loathing for the traditions associated with such names as Caesar and Medici and Borgia, Catiline and Iscariot and Napoleon, than of any sympathetic interest in such incarnations of historic crime. Flamineo especially, ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... his mighty soul Great tumults pondering and the coming shock. Now on the marge of Rubicon, he saw, In face most sorrowful and ghostly guise, His trembling country's image; huge it seemed Through mists of night obscure; and hoary hair Streamed from the lofty front with turrets crowned: Torn were ...
— Pharsalia; Dramatic Episodes of the Civil Wars • Lucan

... the boy, turning his sling-shot at an Italian yelling strawberries. "Wait till I hit that dago on the side of the nose, and you will hear a noise that will remind you of Garibaldi crossing the Rubicon." ...
— Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy - 1899 • George W. Peck

... not have revelled in crossing the Rubicon as I revelled in crossing the border. The very word rings out like the sudden sound of bells, or the mysterious music that ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... palm branch, and the head of Aphrodite on the reverse, and continued the use of the Greek language. When it became a Roman colony is doubtful.1 It was occupied as a naval station in the Illyrian war of 178 B.C. (Liv. xli. 1). Caesar took possession of it immediately after crossing the Rubicon. Its harbour was of considerable importance in imperial times, as the nearest to Dalmatia,2 and was enlarged by Trajan, who constructed the north quay, his architect being Apollodorus of Damascus. At the beginning of it stands the marble triumphal arch ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... 'looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith,' to sustain, protect and guide me in all things." It was, perhaps, the drinking of this cup of persecution that passed our brother across the Rubicon, that burned all the bridges behind him and caused him to bow in humble submission to the will of ...
— There is No Harm in Dancing • W. E. Penn

... commanded him to disperse his army by a certain day, on pain of being considered an enemy of the country. He continued to advance till he came to the boundaries of Italy, a little river, whose name, the Rubicon, was then made famous forever, which separated Cisalpine Gaul from Umbria. To cross this was practically to declare war, and even the resolute Caesar hesitated awhile. He thought his course over by himself; ...
— Roman life in the days of Cicero • Alfred J[ohn] Church

... sensation is created, even among these grave young gentlemen, by a visit from the emancipated Toots; who is regarded with a kind of awe, as one who has passed the Rubicon, and is pledged never to come back, and concerning the cut of whose clothes, and fashion of whose jewellery, whispers go about, behind hands; the bilious Bitherstone, who is not of Mr Toots's time, affecting to despise the latter to the ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... other alternative than to confide herself to Elizabeth or surrender to Murray,—a step not to be thought of. Time pressed; fear urged; and resolved to throw herself at the feet of her kinswoman, she crossed, never to return, the Rubicon of her destiny. A common fishing-boat, the only vessel that could be procured, landed her on May 16th 1568, with about twenty attendants, at Workington in Cumberland, whence she was conducted with every mark of respect to Carlisle-castle; and from this asylum she instantly ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... her eyes had not laughed at him with that twinkle of good-fellowship which he had noted on the night of the supper, Pellams never would have had the nerve. That look hauled him over the Rubicon; they went down the arcade together, in the face of Jimmy Mason, the loafers, the whole crowd shifting between lectures. Yet the sun shone as brightly on the palm-circles, the Quadrangle pillars kept their perpendicular. A little later Mason ...
— Stanford Stories - Tales of a Young University • Charles K. Field

... had a very different result, had not political and personal considerations been permitted to outweigh those of a military character. Politicians are pests in a camp. Caesar was in his fifty-first year when he crossed the Rubicon and began his wonderful series of campaigns in the Civil War,—campaigns characterized by an almost superhuman energy. The most remarkable of his efforts was that which led to his last appearance in the field, at the Battle ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... marked the definite entrance of the nation upon a new era. One thing was clear from the beginning: the day of conservatism and reaction was over; the people of the United States had definitely crossed their Rubicon and had committed themselves to spiritual and ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... unrelenting. Yes, most amiable of men, you might as well address your cries to the senseless rocks. You might as well hope with your eloquent and soft complainings to persuade the crocodile that was ready to devour you. I have passed the Rubicon. I have taken the irrevocable step. It is too late, ah, much too late ...
— Italian Letters, Vols. I and II • William Godwin

... Rubicon; the boundaries of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy. On this side I am still the Proconsul—not as yet rightly deposed. On the other—Caesar, the Outlaw, the Insurgent, the Enemy of his Country, whose hand is against every man, every man's hand against him. What say you? Speak! speak quickly! Shall ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... Apennines he naturally remembers the hardships which Hannibal's army endured, and proceeds to cite, not the authentic narrative of Polybius, not the picturesque narrative of Livy, but the languid hexameters of Silius Italicus. On the banks of the Rubicon he never thinks of Plutarch's lively description, or of the stern conciseness of the Commentaries, or of those letters to Atticus which so forcibly express the alternations of hope and fear in a sensitive mind at a great crisis. His only authority for ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... to insure his falling into the water, if he attempted such a piece of gymnastics. Tom wore nice clothes, and he did not run the risk of soiling them by a possible accident. He paused on the brink of the stream, and feared to cross the Rubicon. ...
— Seek and Find - or The Adventures of a Smart Boy • Oliver Optic

... returning expatriate had crossed his Rubicon; in other words, his train had rolled through the majestic steel bridge spanning the clay-colored flood of the Missouri River at Omaha, and he was entering upon scenes which ought to have been familiar—which should have been and were not, so many and striking ...
— The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush • Francis Lynde

... was postponed; and on the 29th McClellan desired Banks to ascertain the intentions of the enemy as soon as possible, and if he were in force to drive him from the Valley of the Shenandoah. Thus spurred, Banks at last resolved to cross the Rubicon. "Deficiency," he replied, "in ammunition for Shields' artillery detains us here; expect it hourly, when we shall push Jackson sharply." It was not, however, till April 2, four days later, that Mr. Lincoln's protege crossed Tom's Brook. His advanced ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... oppressors will not want us to go there. They will move heaven and earth to prevent us—they will talk about us getting our rights, and offer us a territory here, and all that. It is of no use. They have pressed us to the last retreat—the die is cast—the Rubicon must be crossed—go we will, in defiance of all the slave-power in the Union. And we shall not go there, to be idle—passive spectators to an invasion of South American rights. No—go when we will, and where we may, we shall hold ourselves ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... Kansas will soon find out that no one but prohibition officers can be trusted to enforce prohibition statutes. I am glad at the present writing there is said to be not a dive in the beautiful city of Topeka, and that she has passed the Rubicon. God grant that no more criminal dens be opened by Republicans, Democrats ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... Avon was concerned, he had crossed the Rubicon; for, if seen, it was impossible to re-enter the cabin, the door of which had been ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... Lyle answered, with an eagerness somewhat deeper than the mannish pride of youths who have just crossed the Rubicon that divides them from their much-scorned 'teens.' "I have advanced, and you seem to have stood still; there is scarcely any difference between us now." And Olive, somewhat amused, let her old ...
— Olive - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

... latter answered quickly. "We change. Read First Corinthians, seventh chapter, and if you take Paul's advice and don't pass the Rubicon, then you 'll be free to change as often as ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... known that if any officer was particularly unsettled about his future he might be granted a personal interview and it would be seen what could be done for him. William sat down with the air of one who has established a thumping bridgehead over his Rubicon and wrote to the Brigadier direct and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Feb. 5, 1919 • Various

... proved unjust, a promise of better things. As early as 1839 Sterling had written an article in the Westminster, which gave him intense pleasure; for while contemning praise in almost the same words as Byron did, he loved it equally well. In 1840 he had crossed the Rubicon that lies between aspiration and attainment. The populace might be blind or dumb, the "rattlesnakes"—the "irresponsible indolent reviewers," who from behind a hedge pelt every wrestler till they found societies for the victor—might still obscurely hiss; but Carlyle was ...
— Thomas Carlyle - Biography • John Nichol

... that I had crossed the Rubicon, and that night I sat down and wrote my revolutionary ...
— Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers • Don Marquis

... can be met in the same way. As with nervous pain it seems at first impossible to "relax to it;" but the Rubicon once crossed, we cannot long be irritable,—it is so much simpler not to be, ...
— Power Through Repose • Annie Payson Call

... now and then get an opportunity to talk again, and in a new background. Who knows? I am counting on nothing but the facts about me. So come on, Future. I've my back against the past. Anyway, as you see, it is too late to argue. I've crossed the Rubicon, and can return only when I ...
— A Hilltop on the Marne • Mildred Aldrich

... The people had no choice; and long before the time of Caesar, nothing remained of republican government but the name and the abuse. Read Plutarch. In the 'Life of Caesar,' and not three pages before the crossing of the Rubicon, he paints the ruined state of the elections,—shows that all elective government was gone,—that the hereditary form had become a necessary relief from the contests of the corrupt,—and that in choosing between Pompey and Caesar, many preferred Pompey, not because they thought him republican, ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... our midst." She raised her head and looked round the room. No, there was nothing left to sell or pawn—for her dire necessity had driven her to the pawnshop, that last refuge of the destitute, that dire rubicon which, having passed it, a girl like Celia feels is the last barrier ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... or more in sailor rig, from an industrial or reformatory ship on the Thames, suddenly rose. It seemed to me such a wonderfully courageous act—for I knew perfectly what it would mean to him—that I immediately found myself on my feet, and went out feeling that I had crossed the Rubicon, and must do something ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... of the Civil War begins with the year 49 B.C., where the struggle between Caesar and the Senatorial party opens with his crossing of the Rubicon, attended by the advanced guard of his legions. Pompey proved a broken reed to those who leaned upon him, and Caesar's conquest of the Italian peninsula was little else than a triumphal progress through the country. The enemy ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... head of his devotedly loyal veterans he crossed the Rubicon. His rapid and successful advance caused Pompeius to abandon Italy and fall back on the Eastern Provinces. The discipline preserved, and the moderation displayed by Caesar won him unexpected favour. Having secured Italy, he turned next on Spain, and secured that. Swift and decisive action ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... dynasty of England; or further back when Charlemagne was hanging heathen by the great great gross to make good Christians of them; or even when old Julius Caesar came and saw and conquered, on either side of the Rubicon, this same old structure may have sheltered rulers in a world unknown. They told us of the old, old church of San Miguel, a citadel for safety from the savage foes of Spain, a sanctuary ever for the sinful and sorrowing ones. And of the Plaza—sacred ground whereon by ceremonial form had been ...
— Vanguards of the Plains • Margaret McCarter

... the first step that cost. This Rubicon once crossed, they set to work with a will. The basket was emptied. It still contained a pate de foie gras, a lark pie, a piece of smoked tongue, Crassane pears, Pont-Leveque gingerbread, fancy cakes, and a cup full of pickled gherkins and onions—Boule ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... reaching a conclusion. As soon as conventions could be assembled, the States joined the Confederacy and began levying troops to resist invasion. Tennessee followed Virginia, then Arkansas, the Old North State being the last of the Atlantic and Gulf States to cross the Rubicon into the "plains of Southern independence." The troops that had been called for six months were now disbanded, and those who had enlisted for twelve months for State service were called upon to volunteer in the Confederate Army ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... occasion to screw his courage to the sticking point, and boldly place his bliss at hard Sir Thomas's disposal. Some day—not yet—perhaps next week, at any rate not exactly to-day—these were his natural excuses; and they availed him even to the other side of that social Rubicon, engagement. Nevertheless, now at length something must decidedly be done; and, within half an hour, Finsbury's deserted square echoed to the heroic knock of Mr. Henry Clements, fully determined upon claiming his Maria at her ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... going to be a leap in the dark for her; it wouldn't be for any girl of her intelligence and social instincts. She knows what she's doing, and she's doing it for you. She has made her sacrifice, and made it willingly, before she consented to take this step at all. She crossed her Rubicon without saying anything to you about it, and you needn't consider her ...
— The Inner Shrine • Basil King

... her own people were near to see the patronising manner in which Arthurine introduced her to Mr. Foxholm, a heavily-bearded man, whose eyes she did not at all like, and who began by telling her that he felt as if he had crossed the Rubicon, and entering an ...
— More Bywords • Charlotte M. Yonge

... disband his army by a fixed day, on pain of being considered a public enemy. Pompey sided with the senate. This meant civil war. Antony and Cassius fled to the camp of Caesar, who was enthusiastically supported by his soldiers and "crossed the Rubicon." ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... South deluded herself that it was simply an exposition of the power of the government—a sort of Chinese warfare of gongs and tom-toms. The passage of the Potomac and seizure of a city under the aegis of the Confederate Government was actually crossing the Rubicon and carrying the war directly into the southern territory. Fortress Monroe and other fortified points still held by the United States, in the South, were conceded to be in a measure hers, at least by the right of possession; but Alexandria was considered part and parcel of the Confederacy, ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... Brown should the lines of battle form. When John Brown crossed the Nation's Rubicon, Him Freedom followed in the battle-storm, And John Brown's soul in song ...
— The Arena - Volume 18, No. 92, July, 1897 • Various

... of the outposts and their supports. Such was the case with Stewart's regiment far out toward the waterworks at the east. Such was the case with the Primeval Dudes on the other side of the Pasig, lining the banks of the crooked estuary that formed the Rubicon we were forbidden to cross. Such was the case with Canker and the —teenth in the dense bamboo thicket to the south, and so it happened that at first Armstrong and Billy Gray saw nothing of each other, and but little of the White Sisters, probably ...
— Found in the Philippines - The Story of a Woman's Letters • Charles King

... people of this world—the worth-while people—have almost all been known by one name. There were many Caesars, but only one Caesar, who crossed the Rubicon, and in his 'Commentaries' said: 'All Gaul is divided into three parts.' One never hears what Cleopatra's other name was," pursued Miss Trigg, with her queer smile. "Whether Isabella of Spain—the Isabella ...
— A Little Miss Nobody - Or, With the Girls of Pinewood Hall • Amy Bell Marlowe

... on the banks of the Rubicon, he halted for a while, and, revolving in his mind the importance of the step he was on the point of taking, he turned to those about him and said, "We may still retreat; but if we pass this little bridge, nothing is left for us but to fight ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... or Dewsbury, there would have been nothing remarkable in it; but Utica at once revived the scenes at school long past and half-forgotten, and carried me with full speed back again to Italy, and from thence to Africa. I crossed the Rubicon with Caesar; fought at Pharsalia; saw poor Pompey into Larissa, and tried to wrest the fatal sword from Cato's hand in Utica. When I perceived he was no more, I mourned over the noble-minded man who took that part which he thought would most benefit his country. There is something magnificent ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... long time, until at length, by the help of a guide, whom he found towards day-break, he proceeded on foot through some narrow paths, and again reached the road. Coming up with his troops on the banks of the Rubicon, which was the boundary of his province [58], he halted for a while, and, revolving in his mind the importance of the step he was on the point of taking, he turned to those about him, and said: "We may still retreat; but if we ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... Pompey were in antagonism. He must choose between them, and he distrusted both. Caesar was the more able, accomplished, and magnanimous, but he was the more unscrupulous and dangerous. He had ventured to cross the Rubicon,—the first general who ever dared thus openly to assail his country's liberties. Pompey was pompous, overrated, and proud, and had been fortunate in the East. But then he sided with the Constitutional authorities,—that is, with the Senate,—so ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume III • John Lord

... a certain saying of Squire Cumpston? It was this: "If you're going to cross the Rubicon, cross it! Don't wade out to the middle and stand there: you only ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... like yourself. And, first of all, in the matter of your hair. That beard, my fine young man, must be parted with, were it as dear to you as the nymph of your dreams. Here at Florence, we love not to see a man with his nose projecting over a cascade of hair. But, remember, you will have passed the Rubicon, when once you have been shaven: if you repent, and let your beard grow after it has acquired stoutness by a struggle with the razor, your mouth will by-and-by show no longer what Messer Angelo calls the divine ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... sister to let the child go, and Suzanne was about to do so when she remembered having at supper filled her pocket with pecans. She quickly filled the child's hands with them and the Rubicon was passed.... She said that her name was Annie; that her father, mother, and brothers lived in the hut. That was all she could say. She did not know her parents' name. When Suzanne put her down she ran with all her legs towards the cabin ...
— Strange True Stories of Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... had entirely escaped his own notice. Young and vivacious women are peculiarly subject to this sort of sensitiveness, as he was well aware. There was nothing to be done but to be quiet, attentive in small things, and to wait for fair weather again. After all, he had crossed the Rubicon, and had been very well received on the other side. It would not be easy to make him go ...
— The Children of the King • F. Marion Crawford

... without one moment's hesitation, with a firm and resolute tread, stepped over the white coral line that marked the taboo of the great god's precincts. That was a declaration of open war; he had crossed the Rubicon of Tu-Kila-Kila's empire. Toko stood trembling on the far side; none might pass that mystic line unbidden and live, save the Korong alone who could succeed in breaking off the bough "with yellow leaves, resembling a mistletoe," of which Methuselah, the ...
— The Great Taboo • Grant Allen

... a sentence in his speech on Lincoln's election which may cast light on Wendell Phillips' socialistic views. He says, "Caesar crossed the Rubicon borne in the arms of a people trodden into poverty and chains by an oligarchy of slaveholders; but that oligarchy proved too strong even for Caesar and his legions." This was a bold and original opinion in those days, for Mommsen's history, ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... popular ways of extravagancy, yet, let not thine own depravity or the torrent of vicious times carry thee into desperate enormities in opinions, manners, or actions. If thou hast dipped thy foot in the river, yet venture not over Rubicon; run not into extremities from whence there is no regression, nor be ever so closely shut up within the holds of vice and iniquity, as not to find some escape ...
— Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend • Sir Thomas Browne

... Great Britain has determined on her system, and that very determination determines me on mine. You know I have been constant and uniform in opposition to her measures. The die is now cast. I have passed the Rubicon. Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish with my ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... the Rubicon. 2. Morse invented the telegraph. 3. Ericsson built the Monitor. 4. Hume wrote a history. 5. Morn purples the ...
— Graded Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... losses made good, our public debts (contracted for defence) discharged; otherwise, we shall be millions worse than we were at that enviable period. Such a request, had it been complied with a year ago, would have won the heart and soul of the Continent—but now it is too late, "The Rubicon is passed." ...
— Common Sense • Thomas Paine

... Does the soul wither at that Rubicon which lies between the Gallic country of youth and the Rome of manliness? Does not fancy still love to cheat the heart, and weave gorgeous tissues to hang upon that horizon which lies along the years that are to come? Is happiness so exhausted that no new forms of it lie in the mines of imagination, ...
— Dream Life - A Fable Of The Seasons • Donald G. Mitchell

... across the Rubicon by a spectre, which seized a trumpet from one of the soldiers and ...
— Real Ghost Stories • William T. Stead

... might better have yielded. The Tiers Etat with dignity and firmness insisted that they should meet and vote together as one body, or they would constitute themselves a separate body, and act independently of the other two. This was the Rubicon. On one side compromise, and possible co-operation of the three legislative bodies; on the other, revolution, in charge ...
— A Short History of France • Mary Platt Parmele

... Halstrom, to my mind uncertainty Is but a mental sore, which cancer like, Doth spread its roots until the surgeon's knife With sharp incision shall the curse remove. So must I cross the Rubicon and strike The foe in parts most vulnerable. Caesar, from the deep cavern of his mind, Hath fashioned, with a statesman's ready hand, A plan which we must now inaugurate, Amid the cruel jeers of all who ...
— 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts • Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

... exhibition of meanness on the part of Mr. Parasyte, it seemed that the rebellion was more serious than any of us had supposed. We made up our minds, with Bob Hale, that it would be impossible for us ever to be reconciled to him again. We felt as though the Rubicon had been passed, and what had commenced as a mere frolic was likely to end as a very grave affair. Though the boys talked solemnly at first about their rights, and had "struck" to vindicate a principle, they had no idea of the ...
— Breaking Away - or The Fortunes of a Student • Oliver Optic

... other side of the Alps, and he would not wait for them, choosing rather to put his adversaries in confusion by a sudden and unexpected attack, than to fight them when better prepared. When he came to the river Rubicon, which was the boundary of his province, he stood silent a long time, weighing with himself the greatness of his enterprise. At last, like one who plunges down from the top of a precipice into a gulf of immense ...
— The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch - Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch • Plutarch

... bezique is played with four packs of cards, and that the number of points may be continued indefinitely. The essential thing is to win at least one thousand points at the end of each hand; unless a player does this he is said to "pass the Rubicon," becoming twice a loser—that is, the victor adds to his own score the points lost by his adversary. Good play, therefore, consists largely in avoiding the "Rubicon" and in remaining master of the game to the last trick, in order to force one's adversary over the "Rubicon," if he stands ...
— Zibeline, Complete • Phillipe de Massa

... age later, it seemed to Winona—for her country, as she wrote in her journal, had crossed the Rubicon—that she went to attend a meeting of protest in a larger city than Newbern; a meeting of mothers and potential mothers who were persuaded that ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... walked home, the happier for having crossed his Rubicon. He had opened his campaign with all the success he could have expected. Like a wise man, Iver held nothing true till it was proved; but like a wise man also he dubbed nothing a lie merely because it ...
— Tristram of Blent - An Episode in the Story of an Ancient House • Anthony Hope

... into the swelling hymeneal chant to which Claude felt himself to be marching. There were practical reasons, too, why he should have preferred to hold no intercourse with Fay till after he had crossed his Rubicon. He nodded absently, therefore, and, passing to the far end of the little straggling line, prayed that the car would quicken its speed ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... The eloquent blood flushed cheek and throat with a keen sense of shame. She had read and heard of such painful stories, but to be face to face with a creature who had crossed the Rubicon, overpassed the great gulf, which separates the sheep from the goats was something so unexpected, so terrible, that she could not restrain a passionate burst of tears. "Ah," she murmured at last, "you were cruelly deceived, no doubt. You ...
— A Crooked Path - A Novel • Mrs. Alexander

... army, and Gaul to conquer. Crassus, brave general, too, is slain in battle in far Parthia, and Pompey steals a march by getting a long term in Spain. Caesar demands as much and is refused by Pompey's friends. Then the storm breaks and Caesar comes back from Gaul to cross the Rubicon, and take all Italy in sixty days. Pompey, ambitious, ill-starred, fights losing battles everywhere. Murdered at last in Egypt, he, too, is dead, and Caesar stands alone, master of Rome and of the world. One year he ruled, and then they slew him; but no one of ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... traveled in the parts won by the destroyers. More than eighteen centuries have mourned over the loss of the empire. A mortal disease was upon her before Caesar had crossed the Rubicon; and Brutus did not restore her health by the deep probings of the senate-chamber. The Goths, and Vandals, and Huns, the swarms of the North, completed only what was begun at home. Romans betrayed Rome. The legions were bought and sold, but ...
— Successful Methods of Public Speaking • Grenville Kleiser

... side of the Square, out of the way of the main stream of traffic. A postman, clearing the letter-box at the office, stopped his work momentarily to read the contents of a postcard. For the moment I understood Caesar's feelings on the brink of the Rubicon, and the emotions of Cortes "when with eagle eyes he stared at the Pacific." I was on the threshold of great events. Behind me was orthodox ...
— Not George Washington - An Autobiographical Novel • P. G. Wodehouse

... And I may say that I became at this time as anxious about Caesar, and as desirous of reaching the truth as to his character, as we have all been in regard to Bismarck in these latter days. I lived in Caesar, and debated with myself constantly whether he crossed the Rubicon as a tyrant or as a patriot. In order that I might review Mr. Merivale's book without feeling that I was dealing unwarrantably with a subject beyond me, I studied the Commentaries thoroughly, and went through a mass of other reading which ...
— Autobiography of Anthony Trollope • Anthony Trollope

... slowness to grasp the situation). Well, we shall now know who your foes are. The name of every man who has plotted against you since you crossed the Rubicon may be in these papers, ...
— Caesar and Cleopatra • George Bernard Shaw

... the Rubicon was crossed. They had turned their backs on the ranch, and it was to be dismissed from their thoughts until they should reach some ...
— The Young Ranchers - or Fighting the Sioux • Edward S. Ellis

... spurned at mean revenge, Or stayed her hand for conquered foeman's moan; As when, the fates of aged Rome to change, By Caesar's side she crossed the Rubicon. Nor joyed she to bestow the spoils she won, As when the banded powers of Greece were tasked To war beneath the Youth of Macedon: No seemly veil her modern minion asked, He saw her hideous face, and loved ...
— Some Poems by Sir Walter Scott • Sir Walter Scott



Words linked to "Rubicon" :   point of no return, line, bound, dividing line, demarcation, contrast



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