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Convulse   Listen
verb
Convulse  v. t.  (past & past part. convulsed; pres. part. convulsing)  
1.
To contract violently and irregulary, as the muscular parts of an animal body; to shake with irregular spasms, as in excessive laughter, or in agony from grief or pain. "With emotions which checked his voice and convulsed his powerful frame."
2.
To agitate greatly; to shake violently. "The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations."
Synonyms: To agitate; disturb; shake; tear; rend.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Convulse" Quotes from Famous Books



... now ceremoniously conducted Mrs. Penniman to what he spoke of as the banqueting hall. He made almost a minuet of their progress. Under one arm he carried his bird to place it on the table, where later during the meal he would convulse the Wilbur twin by affecting to feed it bits of bread. Winona still hungered for details of the day's tragedy, but Dave must talk of other things. He talked far too much, the judge believed. He had just made the invalid uncomfortable by ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... dialogue severely. "See how you all treat an event that is wonderful enough to convulse the National Academy of Science. I do not believe the psychic's hands have moved an inch, and yet, unless some one of you is false to his trust, the miraculous has happened—Are you there, 'Wilbur?'" I queried ...
— The Shadow World • Hamlin Garland

... slave labor, and the derangement which would ensue in the domestic concerns of life, would not merely make general emancipation at once inexpedient, but the attempt would denote the extremity of madness and folly, and convulse this government to its centre.'—[Idem, vol. vi. ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... one of the envelopes, which the boy did. The manager did not look toward it in any manner; but took it in the tips of his right fingers, held it in the air, and asked the medium to give the writer of this question a test. The medium shivered a few times, allowed his frame to convulse slightly, and thus began: ...
— The Lock and Key Library/Real Life #2 • Julian Hawthorne

... on the Tiber had risen to unprecedented greatness and glory, had sunk its roots into the soil to a depth beyond human ken, and no one could at all calculate to what extent the attempt to overthrow it would penetrate and convulse civil society. Several rivals had been outrun by Pompeius in the race towards the great goal, but had not been wholly set aside. It was not at all beyond reach of calculation that all these elements might ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... of reality, the composure I had assumed. In order to conceal the excited state of my mind, and to convince her of the certainty of my pretended slumber, I threw out my arms, and began to toss and turn, and mutter in my sleep, putting on all the contortions which generally convulse the countenance of persons while writhing under the influence of some terrible dream. A state of perfect quiescence might have aroused suspicion; the noise I made completely lulled theirs ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... venerable judge at a recent dinner of 'Old Paulines,' this story was not less effective than the best of those post-prandial sallies with which William St. Julien Arabin—the Assistant Judge of Old Bailey notoriety—used to convulse his auditors something more than thirty years since. In the 'Arabiniana' it is recorded how this judge, in sentencing an unfortunate woman to a long term of transportation, concluded his address with—"You must go out of the country. You have ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... and weary of the ways of the world, I was conscious of a sudden pang of sympathy and grief as I looked upon the spasm of despair which, seemed to convulse this strange and beautiful woman. I bent to my books, and yet my thoughts would ever turn to her proud clear-cut face, her weather-stained dress, her drooping head, and the sorrow which lay in each line and feature of her ...
— Danger! and Other Stories • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Talleyrand That Austrian preparations threaten hot, While Russia's hostile schemes are ripening, And shortly must be met.—My plan is fixed: I am prepared for each alternative. If Villeneuve come, I brave the British coast, Convulse the land with fear ['tis even now So far distraught, that generals cast about To find new modes of warfare; yea, design Carriages to transport their infantry!].— Once on the English soil I hold it firm, Descend ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... history. It was the first and the last occasion on which two feelings of tremendous potency, two feelings which have generally been opposed to each other, and either of which, when strongly excited, has sufficed to convulse the state, were united in perfect harmony. Those feelings were love of the Church and love of freedom. During many generations every violent outbreak of High Church feeling, with one exception, has been unfavourable to civil liberty; every violent outbreak ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... wrong, in visions of revenge for hereditary rights, and the hopes of restoring the fallen supremacy of its religion—motives, in every age, the most absorbing among the wild impulses of man. I repeatedly warned the Irish cabinet against an outbreak, which, if it succeeded, must convulse the empire; and which, even if it failed, must cost the heaviest sacrifices to the country. My advice was answered by professions of perfect security, and magnanimous declarations of the wisdom of extinguishing peril by exhibiting the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 356, June, 1845 • Various

... pause, and then Davy began to laugh. First came a low gurgle like that of suppressed bubbles in a fountain, then a sharp, crackling breaker of sound, and then a long, deep roar of liberated mirth that seemed to shake and heave the whole man, and to convulse ...
— Capt'n Davy's Honeymoon - 1893 • Hall Caine

... heart; but then why should he go and spoil all his praise by one unlucky experiment? What I refer to is this: he says my jumping Frog is a funny story, but still he can't see why it should ever really convulse any one with laughter—and straightway proceeds to translate it into French in order to prove to his nation that there is nothing so very extravagantly funny about it. Just there is where my complaint originates. He has not translated it at all; he has simply mixed ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... and water systems. The old-fashioned open water sewers still remain, however, lending to the place, a rich, ripe odor. Pnom-Penh possesses a spacious and well ventilated motion-picture house, where Charlie Chaplin known to the French as "Charlot" and Fatty Arbuckle convulse the simple children of the jungle just as they convulse more sophisticated assemblages on the other ...
— Where the Strange Trails Go Down • E. Alexander Powell

... that was to convulse the church had not yet begun. 'You may smile,' Mr. Gladstone said long after, 'when told that when I was at Oxford, Dr. Hampden was regarded as a model of orthodoxy; that Dr. Newman was eyed with suspicion as a low churchman, ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... expectant faces of the others, assembled about the table, were fixed, and a visible tremor of dismay and grief seemed to convulse them. A few covered their faces with their hands, others stood up and gazed at the benignant colossus in bronze at the end of the room, while others, motionless, still ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... old and young fell into their places for a dance. All down the long kitchen they stood, Mr. and Mrs. Bassett at the top, the twins at the bottom, and then away they went, heeling and toeing, cutting pigeon-wings, and taking their steps in a way that would convulse modern children with their new-fangled romps called dancing. Mose and Tilly covered themselves with glory by the vigor with which they kept it up, till fat Aunt Cinthy fell into a chair, breathlessly declaring that a very little of such exercise was enough ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Etc. • Louisa M. Alcott

... in the role of a dignified bridegroom," smiled Mrs. Harlowe. "He is far more likely to convulse the wedding party and upset the whole solemn service than to ...
— Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus • Jessie Graham Flower

... was excited to great action. Pausing, she would declaim, verses of others, or her own, or act many parts, with strange catchwords and burdens, that seemed to act with mystical power on her own fancy, sometimes stimulating her to convulse the hearers with laughter, sometimes to melt them to tears. When her power began to languish, she would spin again till fired to re-commence her singular drama, into which she wove figures from the scenes of her earlier childhood, her companions, and ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... itself is an important result; and when the first moment of enthusiasm is passed, this reflection will fill them with consternation." The conclusion which he drew was, "that so violent a shock would convulse the throne of Alexander, and force that prince to ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... blessed man whose teachings had proved so precious to the child, and whose anxious glance at that frail idol had so often made the duchess tremble—declared that Etienne was now in a condition to live long years, provided no violent emotion came to convulse his delicate body. Etienne ...
— The Hated Son • Honore de Balzac

... are powerful lies. Think on the wars men have fought for lies, on the millions of followers lies have had—how from their lofty seats they govern empires, convulse continents, and drive patient nations mad. Think on the money they have made, the mouths they have filled, the backs they have warmed, the houses they have built, the reputations they have created, the systems they have propped, the books they have sent out, the presses ...
— Continental Monthly, Volume 5, Issue 4 • Various

... maid by her dark auburn hair, An oil jug he plung'd her within. Seven days seven nights, with the shrieks of despair, Did Ellen in torment convulse the dun air, All covered with oil ...
— The Sylphs of the Season with Other Poems • Washington Allston

... two flights of stairs in a wriggling heap, his legs taking comparatively little part in the movement. His paws, when first applied to the wax-cloth of the nursery floor, slipped as if on ice, without communicating motion. On the stairs, his ears, tail, head, hair, heart, and tongue conspired to convulse him. Only when he had fairly reached me did the hind-legs do their duty, as he bounced and wriggled high into air. Powers of description are futile; vision alone is of any avail in such a case. Are ...
— My Doggie and I • R.M. Ballantyne

... jar, jolt, convulse, concuss, jounce, dodder, tremble, trill, shiver, totter, joggle, jiggle, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... have been inexpressibly droll, had not the low-comedy actor of the scene been an autocrat who might, at a wink, have transformed laughter into tears. But there was a demoniacal comicality about the performance, which, if it did not convulse the spectator, made him shudder to his ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1 • Rupert Hughes

... of oppression, kindred to the famous Stamp Act—a system which was destined to grow more and more intolerable under Governor Tryon's administration, and to lead to the formation of the famous company of Regulators, whose resistance of taxation and tyranny was soon to convulse the whole State. ...
— Life & Times of Col. Daniel Boone • Cecil B. Harley

... moine which I ixplict to upsit the thaories of the miserable Saxon schaymers that desthort the pleen facts of antiquetee to shoot their own narrow an' disthortid comprayhinsions. An' I till ye what—whin my thraitise is published, it'll make a chumult among thim that'll convulse the ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... plumer la poule sans la faire crier, witness this morning's work. I will give you odds at all games—ay, and at the Mall too, if thou darest accept my challenge.—Chiffinch, what for dost thou convulse thy pretty throat and face with sobbing and hatching tears, which seem rather unwilling to ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... way along the windings swiftly. The air, so it seemed to me, was even more noxious with vapours than it had been when I was down there before, and I judged that Zaemon had already begun to stir those internal activities which were shortly to convulse the city. But again I had difficulty in finding an exit, and this, not because there were people moving about at the places where I had to come out, but because the set of the masonry was entirely changed. In olden times the Priests' Clan oversaw all the architects' plans, and ruled ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... brings out all the striking points of Helen's character, to which I have already alluded. We must not fail to remark, that though the acknowledgment is wrung from her with an agony which seems to convulse her whole being, yet when once she has given it solemn utterance, she recovers her presence of mind, and asserts her native dignity. In her justification of her feelings and her conduct, there is neither sophistry, ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... curates, or a hornpipe by Mr. T. P. Cooke, would not be more out of the key; though the gravity of a Scots audience was not to be overcome, and they merely expressed their disapprobation by a round of moderate hisses, a similar irruption of Christmas fairies would most likely convulse a London theatre from pit to gallery with inextinguishable laughter. It is, I am told, the Italian tradition; but it is one more honoured in the breach than the observance. With the total disappearance of these damsels, with a stronger Lady ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... excitement. Angry words, uttered by him, were heard and repeated. As she was a woman of notable piety, a professor of religion, and a member of the church, it was evident that her case, if she were proceeded against, would still more heighten the panic, and convulse the public mind. It would give ground for an idea which the managers of the affair desired to circulate, that the Devil had succeeded in making inroads into the very heart of the church, and was bringing into ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... Theresa and her minister at Versailles, that what Burke really saw was no divinity, but a flighty and troublesome schoolgirl, an accomplice in all the ignoble intrigues, and a sharer of all the small busy passions, that convulse the insects of a court. The levity that came with her Lorraine blood, broke out in incredible dissipations; in indiscreet visits to the masked balls at the opera, in midnight parades and mystifications on the terrace at Versailles, in insensate gambling. 'The court of France ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... There is no truth in the above fearful rumour; it is false from beginning to end, and, doubtless, had its vile origin from some of the "adverse faction," as it is clearly of such a nature as to convulse the country. To what meanness will not these Tories stoop, for the furtherance of their barefaced schemes of oppression and pillage! The facts they have so grossly distorted with their tortuous ingenuity and demoniac intentions, are simply these:—A saveloy was ordered by one of the ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... they laughed, for the expression of his face was droll enough to convulse a Quaker, as he stood and stared wildly from the unconscious innocents to the hilarious spectators with such dismay that Jo sat down on the floor ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... and that which appeared to enter the body did not pierce it at all. But, were it worth while to dwell on a subject so ridiculous, we might recollect that in so terrible an agony of shame as is likely to convulse a human being under such a trial, and such personal insults, the blood is apt to return to the heart, and a slight wound, as with a pin, may be inflicted without being followed by blood. In the latter end of the seventeenth century this childish, indecent, and brutal ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... bickerings and jealousies of families with their various alliances—all the animosities which agitate social life—all the intestine broils, ambitious emulations, endless contentions, and opposing interests that distract a state—all the melancholy wars that convulse nations and desolate empires, the record of which has stained the page of history in all ages—with every particular, form, and mode of evil, discoverable in ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... saw that her object was to lean up against me and not only convulse herself with sobs, but that she intended to jar me also with her great woe, I told her that I would have to request her to avaunt. I then, as she did not act upon my suggestion, avaunted her myself. I avaunted her into a chair with ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... a babe who shall not feel the pulse Of Britain's need beat wild in Britain's wrist. And, sacrificial, in the world's convulse Put up its lips to ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... confiding, still to be deceived, Our youthful poet overleaps the bounds Of probability. He walks this earth Like an enfranchised spirit; and the storms, That darken and convulse a guilty world, Come like faint peals of thunder on his ear, Or hoarser murmurs of the mighty deep, Which heard in some dark forest's leafy shade But add a solemn grandeur to the scene.— The genial tide of thought still swiftly flows Rejoicing onward, ere the icy breath Of sorrow falls ...
— Enthusiasm and Other Poems • Susanna Moodie

... the domestic drama he could hardly be surpassed, but he might be approached. Webster, Emery, Addison, could play Daddy Hardacre, or the father in "The Porter's Knot"; but none but himself could at once awe and convulse in Medea and the Yellow Dwarf. These domestic dramas interested, however, as much by their subject as by the excellence of his acting. Moreover, the public are apt sometimes to grow weary of burlesques,—their eternal grimacing and ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... alone with his squaw, and had a wickiup down the river a short distance. Doubtless he had examined our camp the previous night. The barometer hanging to a tree-branch caught his eye, and I tried by signs to explain it to him with no success except to convulse the whole crew. At length with the exclamation "Squaw," he rode away and came back with his fair partner riding behind. By this time we were packed up and we pushed off, the pair watching us with ...
— A Canyon Voyage • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... thy arm! May Aetna's fires Convulse the land; to its foundation shake The groaning isle! May civil discord bear Her flaming brand through all the realms of Greece; And the whole race expire ...
— The Grecian Daughter • Arthur Murphy

... than by enacting it into a law, which in my opinion would be impolitic, admitting there is a decided majority for it, to the disquiet of a respectable minority. In the former case, the matter will soon subside; in the latter, it will rankle and perhaps convulse the State." ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... Hold, delay thee, listen, stay, Do not drive my brain distracted, Nor confound my wildered senses, Nor convulse my speech, my language, Since at hearing such a mystery All my strength appears departed. I do not desire to argue With thee, for, I own it frankly, I am but an ignorant woman, Little skilled in such deep ...
— The Two Lovers of Heaven: Chrysanthus and Daria - A Drama of Early Christian Rome • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... own, I wash my hands from all responsibility of it—even should the duty of self-defence compel me to draw the sword which I had, in inclination and intention, sheathed for ever. History, and our own experience to some extent, abounds with monitory lessons, that personal disputes may convulse churches, that ecclesiastical controversies may convulse provinces, and lead to the ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... desperate mans him 'gainst the coming doom. Then in the Senates of your sinking state Show me the man whose counsels may have weight. Vain is each voice where tones could once command; E'en factions cease to charm a factious land: Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle, And light with ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... images were as natural to Swift as sublime ones were to Milton;—we may say that images at once lambent and laughable were those which were natural to Hood. Even when his mirth is broadest, it is decent; and while the merest recollection of his drollery will often convulse the face in defiance of the best-bred muscles, no thought arises which the dying need regret. Who can ever forget "The Lost Heir," or remember it but to laugh at its rich breadth of natural, yet farcical, absurdity? The very opening ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 37, November, 1860 • Various

... Sam? Well, you are in a nice fix!" and Ben's eyes began to twinkle with mischievous merriment, as well they might, for Sam certainly was a spectacle to convulse the soberest person. Perched unsteadily on the gnarled stump, with his muddy legs drawn up, his dismal face splashed with mud, and the whole lower half of his body as black as if he had been dipped in an inkstand, he presented such a comically doleful object that Ben danced about, laughing like ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... his bow the audience shouted with laughter and encored wildly, but with a last nimble skip the panting Hatter made for the Griffon's ladder and, seating himself upon it, refused to respond beyond a nod and a careless wave of his hand. Later he left his perch and proceeded to convulse his audience by sitting on his tall hat and taking a bite from his teacup, the three-cornered bite having been carefully removed beforehand and held temporarily in place with library paste until the ...
— Grace Harlowe's Third Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... though much less violent, paroxysm followed. From Jeanne's lips burst some broken words. At short intervals two fresh attacks seemed about to convulse her, and then a great prostration, which again appeared to alarm the doctor, fell on the child. He had placed her so that her head lay high, with the clothes carefully tucked under her chin; and for nearly an hour he remained there ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... exaggerated theatrical sentiment and with the broken-English accent, such as Modjeska permitted herself in the freedom of private life. She would give him Armand's cues for particular speeches and his impassioned "Armo, I lof, I lof you!" never failed to convulse her, while his pulmonary cough was so deep and sepulchral that it rang through the hotel corridors, making other guests think that Modjeska herself was in the last stages of a disease she simulated unto death nightly. ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by a regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ...
— The Spirit of American Government - A Study Of The Constitution: Its Origin, Influence And - Relation To Democracy • J. Allen Smith

... elements of religious thought crystallize into clearness and enduring forms, the chosen people will be one of the chief factors in reaching that final solution of the problems which convulse this age." ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... political or religious contest need a standard—some outward sign which appeals to the eye and the intelligence of all. The most serious of the political questions that convulse France to-day are symbolized and summed up in the color of a flag; and thus in the Russian conflict between popular obstinacy and the modern propagandism the rallying-sign of the Old Believers, and the emblem of the champions ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... [make thee] give utterance to such delight, and so terrify thee as to cause thee to wish to take flight. Painting stirs the senses more readily than poetry. And if thou sayest that by speech thou canst convulse a crowd with laughter or tears, I rejoin that it is not thou who stirrest the crowd, it is the pathos of the orator, and his mirth. A painter once painted a picture which caused everybody who saw it to yawn, and this happened every time the eye fell ...
— Thoughts on Art and Life • Leonardo da Vinci

... no just provocation to any party to risk its popularity by attacking him. While he was President the mantle of his great fame was ample enough to cover the deep and vital divisions which were appearing even in his own Cabinet, and were soon to convulse the nation in a dispute for the inheritance ...
— A History of the United States • Cecil Chesterton

... mutinous and threatening; and facing them he placed his own body between them and a poor friendly Indian, who, with safe conduct from General Cass, had taken refuge in camp. He saw no fighting and killed no Indians but was long afterward able to convulse Congress with a humorous account of his "war record." The war ended in time for him to get back and stump the county just before the election in which ...
— Life of Abraham Lincoln - Little Blue Book Ten Cent Pocket Series No. 324 • John Hugh Bowers

... see her again? I think, if they told me so, I could convulse the heavens with my horror. I think I could alter the frame of things in my agony. I think I could break the System with my heart. I think, in my convulsion, the ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... Paddyism is called in this university a "Thorpism" from Mr. Thorp, formerly a hosier of some note in the city. He was famous for making blunders and coining new words, was very fond of making long speeches, and when upon the toe, never failed to convulse ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... excitement of the brain, which, were you hidden behind triple doors of steel, would tempt me again to seek your chamber—again to seize you in my full embrace—again to draw from your veins the means of prolonged life—again to convulse your very soul ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... where was I? Cold, And numb, and giddy: pulse by pulse Life reassumed its lingering hold, And throb by throb,—till grown a pang Which for a moment would convulse, My blood reflow'd, though thick and chill; My ear with uncouth noises rang, My heart began once more to thrill; My sight return'd, though dim; alas! And thicken'd, as it were, with glass. Methought the dash of waves was nigh; There was ...
— MacMillan's Reading Books - Book V • Anonymous

... fiercely repeated the dark Wacousta, while an expression of loathing and disgust seemed for a moment to convulse his features; "then is it as I had feared. One word more. Was the family seat called ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... own brain, instead of being disturbed, was excited to great action. Pausing, she would declaim verse of others or her own; act many parts, with strange catch-words and burdens that seemed to act with mystical power on her own fancy, sometimes stimulating her to convulse the hearer with laughter, sometimes to melt him to tears. When her power began to languish, she would spin again till fired to recommence her singular drama, into which she wove figures from the scenes of her earlier ...
— Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 • S.M. Fuller

... the little mortals who represent them have only the faintest idea of what is really going on, of what the warfare means. They feel the sweep of immense passions; ecstasies and horrors convulse and dislocate their minds; but they do not, cannot, understand. And the dear creatures in the trenches and the firing-lines give their lives—equally beautiful, equally justified, on both sides: fascinated, rapt, beyond and beside themselves, as foes hating each other ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... quarrels convulse high life. The lower ranks are ruled only by the revolver. The criminal stalks boldly, unpunished, in ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... to protect the poor orphan, and should refuse to permit her to go just wherever she is bid?" As he spoke these words M. Perigord clutched the chair in which he sat as if to keep himself steady, whilst a nervous twitching seemed to convulse ...
— The King's Warrant - A Story of Old and New France • Alfred H. Engelbach

... mirth from the most trivial matters. Incidents that would not provoke a smile individually, convulse them collectively. Men under restraint in ranks are particularly infectious from the influence of the passions. With lightning-like rapidity, to misapply ...
— Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals - As Seen From the Ranks During a Campaign in the Army of the Potomac • William H. Armstrong

... the Aire, and the Rhone, to La Dordogne; and from the inaccessible mountains of Auvergne, to Durance and the sea. A serene joy passed over the features of the three, thus quietly originating a plan which was, with an earthquake's power, to make every throne in Europe totter, and to convulse Christendom to its very center. Barbaroux left them deeply impressed with a sense of the grandeur and the perils of the enterprise, and remarked to a friend, "Of all the men of modern times, Roland seems ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... girl drew an arrow to the head and shot her lover through the heart—then, beside his lifeless body, she begged Manitou to make her rival's face so hideous that all would be frightened who looked at it. At the words the beautiful creature felt her face convulse and shrivel, and, rushing to the mirror of the spring, she looked in, only to start back in loathing. When she realized that the frightful visage that glared up at her was her own, she uttered a cry of despair and flung herself into the ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... accredited correspondent of a Parisian journal and gives his impression of things American as he sees them, in a series of letters to his "small Journal for to Read." Their seemingly unconscious humor is so deliciously absurd that it will convulse the reader with laughter in nearly every line. There is no dialect in them, and their humor lies entirely in the peculiar views set forth, as well as the grotesque language in which they are expressed. No book so genuinely funny has been published in a decade, ...
— Found in the Philippines - The Story of a Woman's Letters • Charles King

... each other and the faith which they professed; and who were, as the ministers well knew, able to redeem their pledge so effectively should they see fit to exert their power, that any demonstration on their part could not fail to convulse the nation from one extremity to the other. After considerable deliberation it was agreed that the only method by which the impending evil could be averted was to dissolve the Assembly before it could proceed from words to acts; and accordingly a pretext for this breach of faith was at once found ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... what is golf? Just pushing a small ball into a hole. A child could do it. Indeed, children have done it with great success. I see an infant of fourteen has just won some sort of championship. Could that stripling convulse a roomful of banqueters? I think not! To sway your fellow-men with a word, to hold them with a gesture ... that is the real salt of life. I don't suppose I shall play much more golf now. I'm making arrangements for a lecturing-tour, and I'm ...
— The Clicking of Cuthbert • P. G. Wodehouse

... village through, Looked at each other as yellow and blue, As any electioneering crew Wearing the colours of Whigs and Tories. Ah! well the Poet said, in sooth, That "whispering tongues can poison Truth," - Yes, like a dose of oxalic acid, Wrench and convulse poor Peace, the placid, And rack dear Love with internal fuel, Like arsenic pastry, or what is as cruel, Sugar of lead, that sweetens gruel, - At least such torments began to wring 'em From the very morn When that mischievous Horn Caught the whisper ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... a graceful curtesy, and bidding them a laughing "good-night" went her way, her shapely arm about Marjorie's trim waist. Hereupon the red-headed fellow uttered a sound 'twixt a sigh and groan, and beholding him now as he yet stared after her, I saw his face convulse and a look in his eyes as he tongued his lips as made my very gorge rise, and I ...
— Black Bartlemy's Treasure • Jeffrey Farnol

... humanity, and religious freedom. What they wish to have in Ireland is not my Lord Haddington, or any other viceroy whom the right honourable Baronet may select, but the tyranny of race over race, and of creed over creed. Give them what they want; and you convulse the empire. Refuse them; and you dissolve the Tory party. I believe that the right honourable Baronet himself is by no means without apprehensions that, if he were now called to the head of affairs, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... generations, and to very distant periods, clouded with the mist of ages.—Here, on the contrary, everything is modern, peaceful, and benign. Here we have had no war to desolate our fields: [Footnote: The troubles that now convulse the American colonies had not broke out when this and some of the following letters were written.] our religion does not oppress the cultivators: we are strangers to those feudal institutions which have enslaved so many. Here nature opens her ...
— Letters from an American Farmer • Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

... corruption. Ten thousand pounds for one year's power were a high price even to a contractor. Think then whether at any cost some general political education must not be attempted, since there is a spirit breathing on the waters, and how it shall convulse them is no indifferent matter to you or to me. Everywhere around us are unhewn rocks stirred with a strange motion. Leave these chaotic fragments of humanity to be hewn into rough shape by coarse artists seeking only a petty profit, unhandy, immeasurably impudent; ...
— Ginx's Baby • Edward Jenkins

... manners and customs of horses and dogs, and a facility in the management of boats, guns, and fishing tackle that made him an indisputable authority on all matters of the sort. His stock of stories was immense, his wit always ready and very comical. He could convulse a dinner-party when everything else failed, by making ridiculous faces. Among ladies of all ages he was a sort of conquering hero. He was consequently in general social demand as ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 1 • Various

... the woman would become the mere personification of animal fury or fear. For this reason all the ordinary representations of this subject are, I think, false and cold: the artist has not heard the shrieks, nor mingled with the fugitives; he has sat down in his study to convulse features methodically, and philosophize over insanity. Not so Tintoret. Knowing, or feeling, that the expression of the human face was, in such circumstances, not to be rendered, and that the effort could only end in an ugly falsehood, he denies himself ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... if they told me so I could convulse the heavens with my horror. I think I could alter the frame of things in my agony. I think I could break the System with my heart. I think, in my convulsion, ...
— Look! We Have Come Through! • D. H. Lawrence

... a child? Did she then play with her continents, and smile to see them struggle up from the sea only to sink again? Was it caprice that made her wrap her vast dominions in the icy bands of glaciers, or pour upon them lava torrents, and frequently convulse them with a mighty earthquake? If so, New Mexico and Arizona must have been her favorite playgrounds. At many points her rock formations look like whimsical imitations of man's handicraft, or specimens of the colossal vegetation of an earlier age. ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... conduct of the relation, a type of a religious democracy in love with the spirit of art. We do not mean that any such cold abstraction is consciously intended, but all that is said means this. It shadows forth one of the greatest desires which convulse ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... on yon lofty tower, View'st the calm floods that wildly beat below, Be off!—yon sunbeam veils a heavy shower, Which sets my heart with joy a aching, oh! For why, O maid, with locks of jetty flax, Should grief convulse my heart with joyful knocks? It is but reasonable you should ax, Because it soundeth like a paradox. Hear, then, bright virgin! if the rain comes down, 'Twill wet the roads, and spoil my morning ride; But it will also spoil thy bran-new gown, And therefore cure thee of ...
— Poetic Sketches • Thomas Gent

... the world, during its pioneer period of struggle and conflict. To that mission its stern, inflexible, energetic elements, were well adapted; but, as a Christian, I look for another era to arise. On its borders I trust we stand; and the throes that now convulse the nations are, to my hope, but the birth-pangs of an hour of ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... be kind,[70] To render with thy precepts less The sum of human wretchedness, And strengthen Man with his own mind; But baffled as thou wert from high, Still in thy patient energy, 40 In the endurance, and repulse Of thine impenetrable Spirit, Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse, A mighty lesson we inherit: Thou art a symbol and a sign To Mortals of their fate and force; Like thee, Man is in part divine,[71] A troubled stream from a pure source; And Man in portions can foresee His own funereal destiny; 50 ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... to offend her," he retracted. His ropy throat muscles seemed to convulse. His long face flamed hotly red. He burst out, as though unable to control himself: "My savvy allatime you no savvy! Ni buh yao t[i] na go hwa! Djan go chue, rang ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... he went on with the utmost readiness—"or, as it seems, the Queen of Hungary will never make good her claims. Pray, sir," turning to Major Delavie, "have you ever seen these young Archduchesses whose pretensions seem likely to convulse the ...
— Love and Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... comedian convulse thousands with his delineations of the weaknesses of humanity in the inimitable "Rip Van Winkle." I saw him make laughter hold its sides, as he impersonated the coward in "The Rivals;" and I said: I would rather have the power of Joseph Jefferson, ...
— Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales • Robert L. Taylor

... stories and jokes that kept the little company shouting with laughter, and finally rose and got off an impromptu piece of doggerel with exactly ten verses, and each child's name and some peculiarity brought out in a way to convulse even mammas and the maids, was as indescribable as delightful. I am not sure that he did not enjoy it more than any of the grand entertainments that he had been asked to; and as for the children, they remember it to this day, although they are on the verge of young-ladyhood ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... establish on sure foundations the principles of responsible government, and eventually to leave Canada with the conviction that no subsequent representative of the crown could again impair its efficient operation, and convulse the public mind, as Lord Metcalfe had done. On his arrival he gave his confidence to the Draper ministry, who were still in office; but shortly afterwards its ablest member was elevated to the bench, ...
— Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 • John G. Bourinot

... coffins, unearthly sounds, awful visitations, spiritual appearances; ghosts in white sheets, with bleeding bosoms: hobgoblins with saucer eyes, fierce claws, and long tails; and catastrophes so tremendous as to set the hair on end, and convulse the whole frame with the delight of tenor, and ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... changed, and we find it impossible to conceive one more fitting; the situation of the bite renders necessary the whole action of the limbs";—and another critic says, "In the group of the Laocon, the breast is expanded and the throat contracted to show that the agonies that convulse the frame are borne in silence." In striking contrast with such testimonies to the scientific truth to Nature in Grecian Art was the objection I once heard an American back-woods mechanic make to this celebrated work; he asked why the figures were ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... Delme stole away, and ruminated long that night, on the distress that could thus convulse those fine features. Afterwards, when Delancey's name was no longer the humble one he had first known it, but became bruited in loftier circles,—for Vavasour's prediction became realised,—Delme heard it ...
— A Love Story • A Bushman

... and Horace, Petrarch and Shakespeare were pessimists when they were melancholy, and optimists when they were happy. But the optimist of to-day seems obliged to prove that gout and unrequited love make him dance with joy, and the pessimist of to-day to prove that sunshine and a good supper convulse him with inconsolable anguish. Carlyle was strongly possessed with this mania for spiritual consistency. He wished to take the same view of the wars of the angels and of the paltriest riot at Donnybrook Fair. It was this species of insane logic which led him into his ...
— Twelve Types • G.K. Chesterton

... which he had been indulging, and, in a low voice, added, "In real earnest, Windham, there is one thing in America which is, every year, every month, every day, forcing on a war from which there can be no escape; a war which will convulse the republic and endanger its existence; yes, Sir, a war which will deluge the land with blood from one end ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... to see, God knows! but the dry-eyed anguish of the old, of those who no longer possess the latent, indefinite, all-powerful encouragement of the future to support them—who can breathe only the lifeless, cheerless air of the past—grief with them does not convulse: it saps, and chills, and crumbles away, without noise or any kind of demonstration. The sight does not terrify or harrow us, but it makes us sick at heart and tinges our thoughts with a gloomy stain, which rather sinks out of sight than is ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... phantoms? What is all this chattering of bare gums? Does the ague convulse your limbs? Do you mistake your crutches for fire-locks, and level them? If you blind your eyes with tears, you will not see the President's marshal; If you groan such groans, you ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X) • Various

... immortal fairness of his limbs; Most like the struggle at the gate of death; Or liker still to one who should take leave Of pale immortal death, and with a pang As hot as death's is chill, with fierce convulse Die into life: so young Apollo anguish'd: 130 His very hair, his golden tresses famed Kept undulation round his eager neck. During the pain Mnemosyne upheld Her arms as one who prophesied.—At length Apollo shriek'd;—and lo! from all his limbs ...
— Keats: Poems Published in 1820 • John Keats

... reader follows, with rapt attention and hilarious delight, the mishaps, mortifications, confusions, and agonizing mental and physical distresses of a self-conscious, hypersensitive, appallingly bashful young man, in a succession of astounding accidents, and ludicrous predicaments, that convulse the reader with cyclonic laughter, causing him to hold both sides for fear of exploding from an ...
— The Blunders of a Bashful Man • Metta Victoria Fuller Victor



Words linked to "Convulse" :   slash, contract, thrash, thresh, express joy, express mirth, squeeze, thresh about, agitate, laugh, shake, press



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