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Inconstancy   /ɪnkˈɑnstənsi/   Listen
Inconstancy

noun
1.
Unfaithfulness by virtue of being unreliable or treacherous.  Synonyms: faithlessness, falseness, fickleness.
2.
The quality of being changeable and variable.  Synonym: changefulness.






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"Inconstancy" Quotes from Famous Books



... Women, by the Rev. C.R. Maturin. An Irishman, made up of contradictions and improbabilities. He is in love with Zaira, a brilliant Italian, and also with her unknown daughter, called Eva Wentworth, a model of purity. Both women are blighted by his inconstancy. Eva dies, but Zaira lives to see De Courcy perish of ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... inconstancy is such As you, too, shall adore,— I could not love thee, dear, so much, Lov'd I not ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... was never young; he is like a dull Italian year, where the trees are always in leaf, and when the only way of knowing the difference of the seasons is by referring to an almanack. The inconstancy of the spring may surely be excused for the steady warmth of summer and the rich plenty of autumn; then comes the hoar of winter old gentleman, and closes ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 12, Issue 337, October 25, 1828. • Various

... deviated from the right path, what will he do to the darkness of this our age, in which, besides all the huge and heinous sins, which it has common with all the wicked of the world committed, is found an innate, indelible, and irremediable load of folly and inconstancy?" "What, wretched man (I say to myself) is it given to you, as if you were an illustrious and learned teacher, to oppose the force of so violent a torrent, and keep the charge committed to you against ...
— On The Ruin of Britain (De Excidio Britanniae) • Gildas

... respite in my disorder gave me some returning strength, I rode out well-armed upon the prairie, or bathed with Shaw in the stream, or waged a petty warfare with the inhabitants of a neighborhood prairie-dog village. Around our fire at night we employed ourselves in inveighing against the fickleness and inconstancy of Indians, and execrating The Whirlwind and all his village. At last ...
— The Oregon Trail • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... artistic development; but it is nevertheless hardly open to doubt that Sterne's philandering propensities did exercise an influence upon his literary character and work in more ways than one. That his marriage was an ill-assorted and unhappy union was hardly so much the cause of his inconstancy as its effect. It may well be, of course, that the "dear L.," whose moral and mental graces her lover had celebrated in such superfine, sentimental fashion, was a commonplace person enough. That she was really a woman of the exquisite ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... perhaps you love? Then farewell all! I thought in you to find A balm, to cure my much distempered mind. I came to grieve a father's heart estranged; But little thought to find a mistress changed. Nature herself is changed to punish me; Virtue turned vice, and faith inconstancy. ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... called Amiraglio, who commands the Bucentaure on Ascension Day, when the Duke goes in state to marry the sea. And here we cannot but notice, that by a ridiculous custom this Admiral makes himself Responsible to the Senat for the inconstancy of the Sea, and engages his Life there shall be no Tempest that day. 'Tis this Admiral who has the Guard of the Palais, St. Mark, with his Arsenalotti, during the interregnum. He carries the Red Standard before ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... him to his house. Mr. Dallas availed himself of the excuse; and Mike prayed that he might find the ladies at home. They were in the drawing-room. The piano was played, and amid tea and muffins, tennis was discussed, allusions were made to man's inconstancy. ...
— Mike Fletcher - A Novel • George (George Augustus) Moore

... situation of affairs toward the end of the year 1773. The rich and vast province of Orenbourg was inhabited by a number of tribes, half civilized, who had just recognized the sovereignty of the Russian Czars. Their continual revolts, their impatience of law and civilized life, their inconstancy and cruelty, demanded on the part of the government a constant watchfulness to reduce them to obedience. Fortresses had been erected in favorable places, and Cossacks, the former possessors of the shores of the Iaik, ...
— Marie • Alexander Pushkin

... one of the most pardonable errors a writer can commit, is to believe that he is about to do a great deal of good. But, leaving the care of effects to others, we proceed to consider the grounds of inconstancy among mankind, the sources of internal decay, and the ruinous corruptions to which nations are liable, in the supposed ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... sweet, I am unkind That from the nursery Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind To war and arms I fly. True! a new mistress now I chase, The first foe in the field, And with a stronger faith embrace A sword, a horse, a shield. Yet this inconstancy is such As you too shall adore, I could not love thee, dear, so much, Loved I not honor ...
— The Pleasures of Life • Sir John Lubbock

... that Fringe-Makers, Lace-Men, Tire-Women, and a number of other Trades, which would be useless in a simple State of Nature, draw their Subsistence; tho' it is seldom seen that such as these are extremely rich, because their original Fault of being founded upon Vanity, keeps them poor by the light Inconstancy of its Nature. The Variableness of Fashion turns the Stream of Business which flows from it now into one Channel, and anon into another; so that different Sets of People sink or flourish in their ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... nation was intoxicated and dazzled with their genius, their prowess, and success; but a sudden revulsion of popular feeling, and an explosion of popular indignation, would overturn the one, and ostracism expel the other. Thus while inconstancy, and turbulence, and faction seem to have been inseparable from the democratic spirit, the Athenians were certainly constant in their love of liberty, faithful in their affection for their country,[33] and invariable in their sympathy and admiration ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... haste, Things ripened sooner, and did longer last: Already this hot cock in bush and tree, In field and tent, o'erflutters his next hen: He asks her not who did so taste, nor when; Nor if his sister or his niece she be, Nor doth she pule for his inconstancy If in her sight he change; nor doth refuse The next that calls; both liberty do use. Where store is of both kinds, both kinds ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... Viola's sex. In the same way Romeo turns from Rosaline to Juliet at first sight. This trait has been praised by Coleridge and others as showing singular knowledge of a young man's character, but I should rather say that inconstancy was a characteristic of sensuality and belonged to Shakespeare himself, for Orsino, like Romeo, has no reason to change his love; and the curious part of the matter is that Shakespeare does not seem to think that the quick change ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... touch. In modern language one would say that his subconscious nature feels Alcestis there and responds emotionally to her presence; his conscious nature, believing the woman to be a stranger, is horrified at his own apparent baseness and inconstancy. ...
— Alcestis • Euripides

... an under current of thought, which does not appear to be in keeping with the more open sentiments of this family; for that amount of gold she connived with me to express such sentiments toward Miss Grosvenor, as should fire you with a belief of her inconstancy, and an attachment for myself. It was some time before I could be bought with gold, but she, doubling the amount, I at last yielded to what, thank God, I have not had strength to perform. Had it been other than Miss Grosvenor whom I was to injure, I tremble ...
— Natalie - A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds • Ferna Vale

... seasons cease to change, Inconstancy forgets to range; When lavish May no more shall bloom, Nor gardens yield a rich perfume; When Nature from her sphere shall start, I'll tear ...
— Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett - With Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Samuel Johnson, Thomas Parnell, Thomas Gray, and Tobias Smollett

... limitations. To very few French novelists—to few even of those who are generally credited with a much softer mould and a much purer morality than Balzac is popularly supposed to have been able to boast—would inconstancy to a mistress have seemed a fault which could be reasonably punished, which could be even reasonably represented as having been punished in fact, by the refusal of an honest girl's love in the first place. Nor would many have conceived as possible, or have been able to represent in lifelike colors, ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... of what those people have made me suffer." "The world itself makes us sick of the world," said Bossuet in the sermon he preached on the day of her taking the dress; "its attractions have enough of illusion, its favors enough of inconstancy, its rebuffs enough of bitterness, there is enough of injustice and perfidy in the dealings of men, enough of unevenness and capriciousness in their intractable and contradictory humors—there is enough of it all, without doubt, to disgust us." "She was dead to me the day she entered the Carmelites," ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume VI. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... respect thou bearest to the dogly character, and can attribute to nothing else the complacency with which thou hast listened to me since I released thy cloak. If ever the Athenians, in their inconstancy, should issue a decree to deprive me of the appellation they have conferred on me, rise up, I pray thee, in my defence, and protest that I have not merited so severe a mulct. Something I do deserve ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... tender and delicate sense of honour, to beat almost with the first pulses of the heart, when no man could know what would be the test of honour in a nation continually varying the standard of its coin? To avoid, therefore, the evils of inconstancy and versatility, ten thousand times worse than those of obstinacy and the blindest prejudice, we have consecrated the state, that no man should approach to look into its defects or corruptions but with due caution; that he should never dream of beginning its reformation by its subversion; ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... Believing that it is for virtue's sake alone such men love them Determined to cultivate ability rather than scrupulousness Disenchantment which follows possession Have not that pleasure, it is useless to incur the penalties Inconstancy of heart is the special attribute of man Knew her danger, and, unlike most of them, she did not love it Put herself on good terms with God, in case He should exist Two persons who desired neither ...
— Widger's Quotations from The Immortals of the French Academy • David Widger

... coquette of the skies, Thou, who with fickle, sweet inconstancy Receives the smile from the admiring sun, And straight transmits it to the sordid earth,— How many cycles of the silent past Hast thou beheld the rise and fall of man, His proud ascendency and swift decline; His zenith ...
— Mountain idylls, and Other Poems • Alfred Castner King

... precipitancy by which he renounced, then and for ever, Christianity. "But, as he had no new religion to adopt in its place, and as, grown more prudent and calm, he did not wish to accuse himself unnecessarily, once more, of inconstancy and apostasy, he still maintained all the exterior forms of the worship which inwardly he had abjured. But it was not enough for him to have quitted error, it was necessary to discover truth. But Hebronius had well looked round to discover it; he could not find anything ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... surnamed the Apostate, rebelled against Constantius, his cousin-german, in the spring, in 360, and by his death, in November, 361, obtained the empire. He was one of the most infamous dissemblers that ever lived. Craft, levity, inconstancy, falsehood, want of judgment, and an excessive vanity, discovered themselves in all his actions, and appear in his writings, namely, his epistles, his satire called Misopogon, and his lives of the Caesars. He wrote the last work to censure all the ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... other. Pondering silently whether it were not best to return, he thought, apropos the Princess Irene, of the nuptials to be celebrated, and of his bride expectant; and a Christian, pausing over the suggestion, may be disposed to condemn him for inconstancy. ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... Florentines for their persecution of his father. By the mediation of BOCCACCIO they now offered to reinstate PETRARCH in his patrimony and his honours. Won over by the tender solicitude of his friend, PETRARCH had consented to return to his country; but with his usual inconstancy of temper, he had again excused himself to the senate of Florence, and again retreated to his solitude. Nor was this all; for the Visconti of Milan had by their flattery and promises seduced PETRARCH to their ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... Prince Edward, whose liberal mind, though in such early youth, had taught him the great prejudice which his father had incurred, by his levity, inconstancy, and frequent breach of promise, refused for a long time to take advantage of this absolution; and declared, that the provisions of Oxford, how unreasonable soever in themselves, and how much soever ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... make a vague and indefinite promise of obeying the mandates of his constituents. He knows the prejudices of faction, and the inconstancy of the multitude. He would first inquire, how the opinion of his constituents shall be taken. Popular instructions are, commonly, the work, not of the wise and steady, but the violent and rash; meetings held for directing ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... public life. By repelling worthy men from your legislative assemblies, it has bred up a class of candidates for the suffrage, who, in their very act, disgrace your Institutions and your people's choice. It has rendered you so fickle, and so given to change, that your inconstancy has passed into a proverb; for you no sooner set up an idol firmly, than you are sure to pull it down and dash it into fragments: and this, because directly you reward a benefactor, or a public servant, you distrust him, merely because he is rewarded; ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... this inconstancy is such As thou too shalt adore; I could not love thee, Dear, so much Loved ...
— A Study of Poetry • Bliss Perry

... can be easily denied, wretch. However, I know you would not injure me with a husband so odious and tyrannical that I stood excused in advance for inconstancy when I stooped to wed country manners and stubborn ignorance. Indeed, mon ami, if you will but take pains to recover, I will never breathe a word about the duel; but if—if—" a sob indicated the tragic possibility which Lady Lucretia dared not put ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... French war broke out. He felt no scruples in acting as a soldier of Spain; for, with the death of Louis, he had regarded all ties as broken, and he was now a citizen of the world. I ventured to mention the name of Mariamne; and I found that, there at least, the inconstancy charged on his nation had no place. He spoke of her with eloquent tenderness, and it was evident that, with all his despair of ever seeing her again, she still held the first place in his heart. In this wandering, yet by no means painful, interchange of thoughts, we moved on for some hours; when ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... high-heeled brocaded slippers, and, twanging a guitar, hummed to himself plaintively. Then, when he thought he had been sufficiently admired, he sang A che la morte, Il Balen, and several other Italian airs, in which frequent allusion was made to the inconstancy of woman's and the truth of man's affection. At every pause in the music these sentiments were laughingly contested by Mrs. Barton. She appealed to Milord. He never had had anything to complain of. Was it not well known that the ...
— Muslin • George Moore

... X-rays was followed closely by that of the N-rays, by the two Curies, husband and wife. This further discovery was a still greater surprise to the scientific world than the former one; for by its aid was established nothing less than the inconstancy of matter. Hitherto science, dealing not with knowledge, but with opinions, had held the belief that the atom is the ultimate form of matter and that no chemical or physical force can divide it, a teaching held ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... as well say, Count Robert, that it is the first time," answered Brenhilda, "that you have shown to me the inconstancy of your sex." ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... their generous confidence in their fellow-creatures. Such was not his destiny. There was something about him which looked as if he would not take bullying kindly. He had also the advantage of being acquainted with most of those ingenious devices by which the proverbial inconstancy of fortune is steadied to something more nearly approaching fixed laws, and the dangerous risks which have so often led young men to ruin and suicide are practically reduced to somewhat less than nothing. So that Mr. Richard Veneer worked ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... causes stones and trees and salt water and clouds to play upon our emotions. Why are we made serious and solemn and sublime by mountain heights, grave and contemplative by an abundance of overhanging trees, reduced to inconstancy and monkey capers by the ripples on a sandy beach? Did the protoplasm—but enough. The chemists are looking into the matter, and before long they will have all life in ...
— Whirligigs • O. Henry

... understanding!" And then to give his followers chance of rest, he bade them each repose where'er they list, whilst he beneath the shadow of a Gambu tree, gracefully seated, gave himself to thought. He pondered on the fact of life and death, inconstancy, and endless progress to decay. His heart thus fixed without confusion, the five senses covered and clouded over, lost in possession of enlightenment and insight, he entered on the first pure state of ecstasy. All low desire removed, ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... man can honestly be in love with the woman he marries and yet in an amazingly short time find himself playing the cad in feeling disappointed, discontented, utterly lacking affection? It's a ghastly happening. Why is it he saw no handwriting on the wall? I am not stupid, Mary, neither am I given to inconstancy—I've had to struggle too much not to have my mind made up once and for all time. Why didn't I see through this veneer of a good time that these Gorgeous Girls manage to have painted over their real selves? Why did I never suspect? And what is a man to do when he discovers the disillusionment? ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... Romanzes, I approve of them in the works of others, and make use of them in mine; I know likewise, that the Sea is the Scene most proper to make great changes in, and that some have named it the Theatre of inconstancy; but as all excess is vicious, I have made use of it but moderately, for to conserve true resembling: Now the same design is the cause also, that my Heros is not oppressed with such a prodigious quantity of accidents, ...
— Prefaces to Fiction • Various

... missionaries to be men of calmness and evenness of temper, and rather inclined to suffer hardships than to court the favour of men, and such who will be indefatigably employed in the work set before them, an inconstancy of mind being quite injurious ...
— The Life of William Carey • George Smith

... possible, had an indescribable air of care and taste that added to the effect of grace and pleasantness, and made Rachel feel convinced in a moment that the wonder would have been not in constancy to such a creature but in inconstancy. The notion that any one could turn from that brilliant, beaming, refined face to her own, struck her with a sudden humiliation. There was plenty of conversation, and her voice was not immediately ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... thus said he to his queen. "My wife," quoth he, "there may no wight say nay, — Experience so proves it every day, — The treason which that woman doth to man. Ten hundred thousand stories tell I can Notable of your untruth and brittleness * *inconstancy O Solomon, richest of all richess, Full fill'd of sapience and worldly glory, Full worthy be thy wordes of memory To every wight that wit and reason can. * *knows Thus praised he yet the bounte* of man: *goodness 'Among a thousand men yet found I one, But of all women found ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... their intercourse a certainty of power and promise of greater power. Silly people fill the world with lamentation over human inconstancy; but if we follow love, we cannot cling to the beloved. We must love onward, and only when our friends go before us can we be true both ...
— The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 • Various

... his good city of Paris came to his relief with a donation of twenty thousand livres. He had even sold his vessels of gold and silver, for the sum of two hundred thousand livres. Being thus relieved, with the inconstancy of men, he began to think of another wife, and in September, 1514, the magistrates of the city went out in state to meet the ambassadors of England who had arrived to negotiate a match with the Princess Mary, daughter of their sovereign. For this fickleness (which, however, was ...
— Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day; Volume 1 • William Walton

... is no one of Shakespeare's plays harder to characterise. The name and the remembrances connected with it, prepare us for the representation of attachment no less faithful than fervent on the side of the youth, and of sudden and shameless inconstancy on the part of the lady. And this is, indeed, as the gold thread on which the scenes are strung, though often kept out of sight and out of mind by gems of greater value than itself. But as Shakespeare calls ...
— Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher • S. T. Coleridge

... materialists is inconsiderable besides the mischief effected and occasioned by the sentimental philosophy of Sterne and his numerous imitators. The vilest appetites and the most remorseless inconstancy towards their objects, acquired the titles of the "heart," "the irresistible feelings," "the too-tender sensibility"; and if the frosts of prudence, the icy chain of human law, thawed and vanished ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... all have our moods, don't we? I mean we poor women. Don't all the poets credit us with inconstancy?" The least ripple of amusement at her sex swelled in her ...
— The Highgrader • William MacLeod Raine

... Cornish tale of a nymph or mermaiden, who thus vanished, leaving a daughter who loved to linger on the beach rather than sport with other children. By and by she had a lover, but no sooner did he show tokens of inconstancy, than the mother came up from the sea and put him to death, when the daughter pined away and died. Her name was Selina, which gives the tale a modern aspect, and makes us wonder if the old tradition can have been modified by some report of ...
— Sintram and His Companions • Friedrich de la Motte Fouque

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

... advertised touching the proceedings here in ecclesiastical causes, because you seem to note in them some inconstancy and variation, as if we sometimes inclined to one side, sometimes to another, as if that clemency and lenity were not used of late that was used in the beginning, all which you impute to your own superficial understanding of the affairs of this state, having notwithstanding ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... a time there lived a young king whose name was Souci, and he had been brought up, ever since he was a baby, by the fairy Inconstancy. Now the fairy Girouette had a kind heart, but she was a very trying person to live with, for she never knew her own mind for two minutes together, and as she was the sole ruler at Court till the prince ...
— The Pink Fairy Book • Various

... is that peculiar quality of the mind, by which some happy characters are enabled to avoid the most distant approaches to any thing like affectation, inconstancy, or design, in their intercourse with the world. It is much more easily understood, however than defined; and consists not in a specific tone of the voice, movement of the body, or mode imposed by custom, but is the natural and permanent effect of real modesty and ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... generally supposed the vice peculiar to republics; and it seems to be forgotten that for one instance of popular inconstancy, we have a hundred examples of the fall of courtly favourites. Besides, a people have often repented—a monarch seldom or never. Leaving apart many familiar proofs of this fact, a short story may show the difference between even an ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... Barnavelt we recognise Massinger's accustomed temperance and dignity. To the graver writer, too, we must set down Leydenberg's solemn and pathetic soliloquy (iii. 6), when by a voluntary death he is seeking to make amends for his inconstancy and escape from ...
— A Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. II • Various

... have saved them both, he had put himself in the power of feelings on her side more strong than he had supposed. She loved him; there was no withdrawing attentions avowedly dear to her. He was entangled by his own vanity, with as little excuse of love as possible, and without the smallest inconstancy of mind towards her cousin. To keep Fanny and the Bertrams from a knowledge of what was passing became his first object. Secrecy could not have been more desirable for Mrs. Rushworth's credit than ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... uncertainly, beating the air. Their hearts are unstable and wavering before God, and they are changeable and fickle in all their ways, James 1, 8. Since they are aimless and inconstant at heart, this will appear likewise as inconstancy in regard to works and doctrines. They undertake now this and now that; they cannot be quiet nor refrain from factional strife. Thus they miss their aim or else remove the goal, and cannot but deviate from ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... work which Gibbon published in his father's lifetime. His account of the latter's death (November 10, 1770) is feelingly written, and shows the affectionate side of his own nature to advantage. He acknowledges his father's failings, his weakness and inconstancy, but insists that they were compensated by the virtues of the head and heart, and the warmest sentiments of honour and humanity. "His graceful person, polite address, gentle manners, and unaffected cheerfulness recommended him to the ...
— Gibbon • James Cotter Morison

... be a proverbial expression implying inconstancy; but the origin of the phrase is unknown to all the commentators ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 69, February 22, 1851 • Various

... immutable. If the order of the universe—in which we believe we see the most convincing proof of His existence, of His intelligence, His power, and His goodness—should be inconsistent, His existence might be doubted; or He might be accused at least of inconstancy, of inability, of want of foresight, and of wisdom in the first arrangement of things; we would have a right to accuse Him of blundering in His choice of agents and instruments. Finally, if the order of nature proves the power and the intelligence, disorder ought to prove the weakness, ...
— Superstition In All Ages (1732) - Common Sense • Jean Meslier

... inconstancy and unkindness of a lover, I hope, a true and plain relation of my misfortunes may be of use and warning to credulous maids, never to put too ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Vol. VII - Historical and Political Tracts—Irish • Jonathan Swift

... Holy Sacrament, which troubled me, but I took no notice of it, but she went on from one thing to another till at last it appeared plainly her trouble was at what she saw, but yet I did not know how much she saw, and therefore said nothing to her. But after her much crying and reproaching me with inconstancy and preferring a sorry girl before her, I did give her no provocation, but did promise all fair usage to her and love, and foreswore any hurt that I did with her, till at last she seemed to be at ease again, and so toward morning ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... we are of, is commonly most predominant in us: so, though the soul have in it divers motions to give it agitation, yet must there of necessity be one to overrule all the rest, though not with so necessary and absolute a dominion but that through the flexibility and inconstancy of the soul, those of less authority may upon occasion reassume their place and make a little sally in turn. Thence it is, that we see not only children, who innocently obey and follow nature, often laugh and cry at the same thing, but ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... loins, arms, hands, and a general convulsion of the stomach, bowels, throat, legs, and indeed almost every other part of the body—A quick apprehension, forgetful, unsettled, and constant to nothing but inconstancy—A wandering and delirious imagination, groundless fears, and an exquisite sense of his sufferings—A gradually sinking into a nervous atrophy or consumption—A perpetual alarm of approaching death—Sometimes cheerful, and sometimes melancholy—Without ...
— A Treatise on Foreign Teas - Abstracted From An Ingenious Work, Lately Published, - Entitled An Essay On the Nerves • Hugh Smith

... From her position he could see little more than her dark eyes, which occasionally seemed to meet his frank curiosity in an amused sort of way, but he was chiefly struck by the pretty foreign sound of her musical voice, which was unlike anything he had ever heard before, and—alas for the inconstancy of youth—much finer than Mrs. Peyton's. Presently his farmer companion, casting a patronizing glance on Clarence's pea-jacket and brass buttons, ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... very few and far between, but Nick had maintained a fairly regular correspondence with him till a few weeks back when it had unaccountably lapsed. But then Nick had done unaccountable things before, and he did not set down his silence to inconstancy. He was probably making prodigious efforts on his behalf, and Will awaited every mail with an eagerness he could not quite suppress, which turned invariably, however, into a ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... the sensibility of Lucy's temper, and that she loves you: I know also the difficulty of weaning the heart from such a habit of inconstancy as ...
— The History of Emily Montague • Frances Brooke

... and, finding her lost Lysander asleep so near her, was looking at him and wondering at his strange inconstancy. Lysander presently opening his eyes, and seeing his dear Hermia, recovered his reason which the fairy charm had before clouded, and with his reason his love for Hermia; and they began to talk over the adventures of the night, doubting if ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... just now of children's dolls, and of the manner in which those little people take up and neglect their darling toys, and very likely this history will show that Miss Blanche assumed and put away her live dolls with a similar girlish inconstancy. She had had hosts of dear, dear, darling, friends ere now, and had quite a little museum of locks of hair in her treasure-chest, which she had gathered in the course of her sentimental progress. Some dear friends had married: some had gone to other schools: one ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... my knees in a tremor of fear. I pulled from my bosom a little book like the one Leperello exhibits in the opera of "Don Giovanni." There, I said, was a record of my flirtation and inconstancy. I waited long for the decision, but it ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the monkeys more than any other animal by the gift of imitation, the frivolity of our ideas, and by our inconstancy which has never allowed us to have ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... controversy at a new point. We are soon made aware that exact thinking and true thinking are not synonymous, but that one exact thought, in the same mind, may be the exact opposite of the next. This inconstancy, which after all does not go very deep, is a sign of sincerity and pure love of truth; it marks the freshness, the vivacity, the self-forgetfulness, the logical ardour belonging to this delightful reformer. It may seem a paradox, but at bottom it is not, that the ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... risk of being disobeyed."—"But what is to be done? I cannot remain as I am; I have yet resources and partisans. It is said that the Allies will no longer treat with me. Well! no matter. I will march on Paris. I will be revenged on the inconstancy of the Parisians and the baseness of the Senate. Woe to the members of the Government they have patched up for the return of their Bourbons; that is what they are looking forward to. But to-morrow I shall ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... house would be injured, by receiving her as a guest; nor did the companions of her journey sympathize with her in the least, on receiving the insult, although she had edified them very much since they left Orleans. Such marks of man's inconstancy frequently occur in every grade of society. However, a charitable citizen of Saumur, who was present, being touched with compassion by the modesty and meekness with which she received the affront, offered ...
— The Life of Venerable Sister Margaret Bourgeois • Anon.

... a defence of inconstancy, or of the right of experiment in love; and is addressed by a husband to his wife, whose supposed and very natural comments the monologue reflects. The speaker's implied name of Don Juan sufficiently tells us what we are meant to think of his arguments; and they ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... disagreeably affected when the very humid air of the sea, pressed through the gap of Tipe, reaches in an ascending current the high valley of Caracas, and, getting cooler by dilatation, and by contact with the adjacent strata, deposits a great portion of the water it contains. This inconstancy of climate, these somewhat rapid transitions from dry and transparent to humid and misty air, are inconveniences which Caracas shares in common with the whole temperate region of the tropics—with all places situated between ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... half-belief, which we find in Virgil that is not superstition, nor inconstancy, nor cowardice. A child-like faith in the old creed is no longer possible, but it is equally impossible to surrender it. I refer now not to those who select from it what they think to be in accordance with their reason, and throw overboard the remainder with no remorse, but rather to those ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... brave and generous, but of an Humour so uneasy and inconstant, that the victory over his Heart is as soon lost as won; a Slave that can add little to the Triumph of the Conqueror: but inconstancy's the Sin of all Mankind, therefore I'm resolv'd that nothing but Gold shall charm ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) • Aphra Behn

... of ethereal love,—how were they guarded from the bitterness of petty cares, from that rapidly growing and corroding mould which usually stifles or poisons them? How many of such feelings were preserved from that subtle evaporation which robs them of their perfume, that gradually increasing inconstancy which lulls us until we forget to call the dying emotions to account? Those who felt such holy indignation,—were they indeed always just? Those who exalted integrity,—were they always equitable? Those who sung of honor,—did they never stoop? Those who so admired ...
— Life of Chopin • Franz Liszt

... it be love? Her tenacity and reserve were ill matched with Fina's native inconstancy of purpose and childish incontinence of speech; her pride of race resented her father's adoption of a stranger into the penetralia of the family; and to share the name she had inherited from her mother with the daughter of that mother's rival ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... evolution of greatness. Inconstancy never. The Globe of a certain date in June, 1921, contained a front page display of the Agrarian bye-election victory in Medicine Hat. On another date there was an editorial once again advising the Agrarians to make common cause with Liberals ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... of the calculation no progressive change appears, either of acceleration or of retardation, whether in general or on the part of individual reactors. In narrower ranges the inconstancy of the periods is very marked, and their variations of clearly defined rhythmical character. The duration of the total measures of two beats is throughout alternately longer and shorter, the average of their ...
— Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 • Various

... the single gentleman—upon whose track it is expedient to follow with hurried steps, lest this history should be chargeable with inconstancy, and the offence of leaving its characters in situations of uncertainty and doubt—Kit's mother and the single gentleman, speeding onward in the post-chaise-and-four whose departure from the Notary's door we have already witnessed, soon left the town behind them, and struck fire ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... stammering eloquence of passion that was yet too plain to be misunderstood—not reflecting, he, that maiden blushes may have more sources than one. The hot torrent of Bessie's rose from the fountain of indignation in her heart—indignation at his inconstancy to the sweet lady who she knew loved him, and his impertinence in daring to address herself when she knew he loved that lady. She silently confessed that to this upshot his poor pretences of wooing had tended from the first, and that she had been wilfully ...
— The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax • Harriet Parr

... ethics—in the letters to Princess Elizabeth on human happiness, and to Queen Christina on love and the highest good—were inconsiderable. Wisdom is the carrying out of that which has been seen to be best, virtue is steadfastness, sin inconstancy therein. The goal of human endeavor is peace of conscience, which is attained only through the determination to be virtuous, i.e., to ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... sealed with the renewing of the Covenant and the Oath of God; Which some men have so far already forgotten, as to return with the dogge to the vomit, and with the sow to the puddle: And many signes of inconstancy and levity do appear among all sorts and ranks of persons, who seem to want nothing but a sutable tentation to draw them away from their stedfastnesse; Our Army is not yet sufficiently purged, but ...
— The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland

... however, was not doomed to the fate which overtook his descendants, the life of a king without a crown. He had awakened the enmity of men whose feuds were blood-feuds, and the Rizzio conspirators were not likely to forgive the upstart youth whose inconstancy had foiled their plan for Mary's fall, and whose treachery had involved them in exile. Darnley had proved useless even as a tool for the nobles, he had offended Mary and disgusted everybody in Scotland, and there were many who were willing to do without him. At this point a new tool was ready to ...
— An Outline of the Relations between England and Scotland (500-1707) • Robert S. Rait

... other night, about a lady of the place, between her various lovers, occasioned a midnight discharge of pistols, but nobody wounded. Great scandal, however—planted by her lover—to be thrashed by her husband, for inconstancy to her regular Servente, who is coming home post about it, and she herself retired in confusion into the country, although it is the acme of the opera season. All the women furious against her (she herself having been censorious) ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... Absence, the tenderness and simplicity of which I greatly admire. A man who is in love is like a man who has got the tooth-ache, he feels most acute pain while nobody pities him. In that situation am I at present: but well do I know that I will not be long so. So much for inconstancy. As this is my first epistle to you, it cannot in decency be a long one. Pray write to me soon. Your letters, I prophecy, will entertain me not a little; and will besides be extremely serviceable in many important respects. They will supply me with oil to my lamps, grease to my wheels, and blacking ...
— Boswell's Correspondence with the Honourable Andrew Erskine, and His Journal of a Tour to Corsica • James Boswell

... some, and counterbalance a great one in others." These circumstances he considers to be: "First, the agreeableness or disagreeableness of the employments themselves; secondly, the easiness and cheapness, or the difficulty and expense of learning them; thirdly, the constancy or inconstancy of employment in them; fourthly, the small or great trust which must be reposed in those who exercise them; and, fifthly, the probability or improbability ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... is held by Dante's cosmography to be within the shadow cast by the earth. Consequently, the spirits in those three lowest Heavens are represented as less perfect than those in the higher spheres, because in the moral sense the shadow of earth fell upon their lives making them imperfect through inconstancy, vain glory ...
— Dante: "The Central Man of All the World" • John T. Slattery

... not wither? not the constancy of man? I saw you when you slipped off with the Carmelite. Acknowledge your inconstancy—you can deny it ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German • Various

... dearest, noblest, and most lovable woman whom he had ever known. But when she played this role of a feminine providence, who was apparently free from the ordinary weaknesses of her sex, when she carefully repressed every emotion of jealousy at the sight of his inconstancy, she was not free from a selfish motive. She still hoped that some day he would grow weary of pursuing the blue will-o'-the-wisps of fleeting sham loves; he would at last long to escape from the marsh into which for decades these capricious, alluring, ...
— How Women Love - (Soul Analysis) • Max Simon Nordau

... love is a perpetual inconstancy which causes our heart to attach itself to all the qualities of the person we love in succession, sometimes giving the preference to one, sometimes to another. This constancy is merely inconstancy fixed, and limited to the ...
— Reflections - Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims • Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

... house almost dreading to see her whom he was seeking. In what way should he first express his wrath? How should he show her the wreck which by her inconstancy she had made of his happiness? His first words must, if possible, be spoken to her alone; and yet alone he could hardly hope to find her. And he feared her. Though he was so resolved to speak his mind, yet he feared her. Though he intended to fill her with remorse, yet he dreaded the effect of her ...
— The Golden Lion of Granpere • Anthony Trollope

... had been born a sheep rather than a sentient man who had to live without Mary Tudor? Yet, strange as it may seem, I was really and wholly in love with Jane; in fact, I loved no one but Jane, and my feeling of intense admiration for Mary was but a part of man's composite inconstancy. ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... afterwards, when the name of Gibbon was become as notorious as that of Middleton, it was industriously whispered at Oxford that the historian had formerly "turned Papist;" my character stood exposed to the reproach of inconstancy.' Gibbon's ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... there is a slight consciousness of mental processes, but the mind rarely watches itself work; the neurasthenic is unable to concentrate, and gets charged with inconstancy and shiftlessness. ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... five and twenty. The present value of a distant advantage is always small; but when there is great room to doubt whether a distant advantage will be any advantage at all, the present value sink to almost nothing. Such is the inconstancy of the public taste that no sensible man will venture to pronounce, with confidence, what the sale of any book published in our days will be in the years between 1890 and 1900. The whole fashion of thinking and writing has often undergone a change in a much shorter period than that ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... eight consulships, two censorships, three triumphs, one dictatorship, and the office of master of the horse; and was famous for eminent men, particularly, Salinator and the Drusi. Salinator, in his censorship [295], branded all the tribes, for their inconstancy in having made him consul a second time, as well as censor, although they had condemned him to a heavy fine after his first consulship. Drusus procured for himself and his posterity a new surname, by killing in single combat Drausus, the enemy's chief. He is likewise ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... this central fact may be insisted upon: in the North, there were two political groups that were the poles around which various other groups revolved and combined, only to fly asunder and recombine, with all the maddening inconstancy of a kaleidoscope. The two irreconcilable elements were the "war party" made up of determined men resolved to see things through, and the "copperheads"* who for one reason or another united in a faithful struggle for peace at any price. Around the copperheads gathered ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... any love for you. I had even reason to believe that you had entirely abandoned her, for whom you had forsaken me; I had ground too to be satisfied you had never spoken to her concerning me; but neither your discretion in that particular, nor the return of your affection can make amends for your inconstancy; your heart has been divided between me and another, and you have deceived me; this is sufficient wholly to take from me the pleasure I found in being loved by you, as I thought I deserved to be, and to confirm me in the resolution ...
— The Princess of Cleves • Madame de La Fayette

... inconstancy is such, As you, too, shall adore; I could not love thee, dear, so much, Loved I not ...
— Old Ballads • Various

... character explains the inconstancy and fickleness exhibited by the Christianized Manbos at the beginning of their conversion. These were due to the call of the forest hailing them back to their old haunts. These characteristics will explain also a host of anomalies that are noticeable ...
— The Manbos of Mindano - Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir • John M. Garvan

... cannot keep warm a passion without the sunshine of her eyes, what are poor people to expect; and were it not a strange vanity in me to believe yours can be long-lived? It would be very pardonable in you to change, but, sure, in him 'tis a mark of so great inconstancy as shows him of an humour that nothing can fix. When you go into the Exchange, pray call at the great shop above, "The Flower Pott." I spoke to Heams, the man of the shop, when I was in town, for a quart of orange-flower water; he ...
— The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-54 • Edward Abbott Parry

... blood-suckers of the virtuous! Ye shall not be able to hurt a hair of my head. Ye cannot injure the man who has sixty years lived in honour. I will not, in my old age, bring upon myself the reproach of inconstancy, treachery, or desire of revenge. I will betray no political secrets: I wish not to injure those by whom I have been injured.—Such acts I will never commit. I never yet descended to the office of spy, nor will I die a ...
— The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck - Vol. 2 (of 2) • Baron Trenck

... Eugene. "It is all with myself. I will take the blame of it all, sweet," and he smoothed her hair and kissed her and held her close and tried to comfort her; and it seemed to him that he could indeed take all the blame of her inconstancy and distrust, and could even bear his self-reproach for her sake, so ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... rarefaction of the air; and rarefaction of the air produces cold. So zeal makes revolutions; and revolutions make men zealous for nothing. The politicians of whom we speak, whatever may be their natural capacity or courage, are almost always characterised by a peculiar levity, a peculiar inconstancy, an easy, apathetic way of looking at the most solemn questions, a willingness to leave the direction of their course to fortune and popular opinion, a notion that one public cause is nearly as good as another, and a firm conviction ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Section I. Inconstancy and Seduction.—Constancy. Its importance illustrated by an example. Cruelty of sporting with the affections of a female. Opinion ...
— The Young Man's Guide • William A. Alcott

... another world i' th' moon, As some fantastics dream, I could wish all men, The whole race of them, for their inconstancy, Sent ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... inconstancy in the nature of human judgment, inasmuch as a man often judges things solely by his emotions, and inasmuch as the things which he believes cause pleasure or pain, and therefore endeavours to promote or prevent, are often purely imaginary, not to speak ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... lightly and carelessly upon the primary influences which governed her after-life. She arrived in her new kingdom young, hopeful, and happy—young, and her youth was blighted by neglect; hopeful, and her hopes were crushed by unkindness; happy, and her happiness was marred by inconstancy and insult. Her woman-nature, plastic as it might have been under more fortunate circumstances, became indurated to harshness; and it is not they who strive to work upon the most solid marble who should complain if the chisel with which they ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... out with what processional gravity, with what hieratic dignity, with what sacramental intentness he endows it; the eloquence of the greatest critics has here found a darling subject. But let us look a moment at certain of his symbols in the Arena at Padua, at the "Inconstancy," the "Injustice," the "Avarice," for instance. "What are the significant traits," he seems to have asked himself, "in the appearance and action of a person under the exclusive domination of one of these vices? Let me paint the person with these traits, and I shall have a figure ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... belief in their sincere but secret sympathy with the royalist cause. The three men also agreed in suspecting Leopold, though Burke tried to prove that his treachery was not premeditated, but sprang from "some complexional inconstancy." Pitt and Grenville, knowing the doggedness with which the Emperor pushed towards his goal, amidst many a shift and ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... the true rules of criticism, no such contradiction will be found. Farther, if, as I have advanced in years, conversation with able men, and a more perfect examination, have made me change my sentiments, I ought not on that account to be accused of inconstancy, no more than St. Augustin, who retracted many things." He again touches on this point in his Votum pro pace[633]. "If in my youth, says he, having less knowledge than now, the prejudices of education, or a blind attachment to authors of same, carried me too great lengths, shall ...
— The Life of the Truly Eminent and Learned Hugo Grotius • Jean Levesque de Burigny

... creed for which she forsook the subtleties of an impersonal Buddhism, though shallow was complete, and the doctrine of impermanence, inculcated by the discarded faith, continued an essential factor in spiritual development, for the inconstancy of the national mind only found a temporary halting-place in each successive creed which arrested it. The seed was sown, the bud opened, and the flower faded, with incredible rapidity, but the growth while it lasted, ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... he that can't live upon love deserves to die in a ditch. Here then, I give you my promise, in spite of duty, any temptation of wealth, your inconstancy, or ...
— The Comedies of William Congreve - Volume 1 [of 2] • William Congreve



Words linked to "Inconstancy" :   infidelity, changeableness, unfaithfulness, inconstant, changeability, falseness, faithlessness, unpredictability, constancy, capriciousness, fickleness



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