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Total darkness   /tˈoʊtəl dˈɑrknəs/   Listen
Total darkness

noun
1.
Total absence of light.  Synonyms: black, blackness, lightlessness, pitch blackness.  "In the black of night"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Total darkness" Quotes from Famous Books



... long before the day fixed for his wedding, is led astray, while hunting, by an elusive stag, a spectral monk and a "wandering fire," and arrives home in a thunderstorm to find his castle enveloped in total darkness and two of his servants stretched dead at his feet. He learns from his mother and sister, who are shut in a distant room, that Adeline has been carried off by armed ruffians. Believing Walleran to be responsible ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... "progress" of the race, which they "prophesy," indeed, but without any credentials of their mission,—you see how on all these points Harrington maintains—and oh! how many, if the Bible be untrue, must maintain with him—that he is in total darkness! ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... seemed the visible manifestation of that faint odor of mortality which tainted the unwholesome air. The children now sobbed and clung about the limbs of their elders, dropping their candles, and we were near being left in total darkness, except for that sinister light, which slowly welled upward from the disturbed earth and overflowed the edges of the ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 8 - Epigrams, On With the Dance, Negligible Tales • Ambrose Bierce

... much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an underground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this narrative. There is no confusion or failure in my memory; it can recall, and could detail, every word that was ever spoken between me ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... through the pure water it contains. The salt brine or gelatinous sea-water sinks weighted to the bottom, and over it flows the fresh river-water. If the latter is darkened with sediment, it obscures the silent depths with a heavy, gloomy cloud. In seasons of freshet this becomes a total darkness. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, No. 23, February, 1873, Vol. XI. • Various

... many curious inquiries, as they went from coach to coach, all of which they were honestly unable to answer. They knew no more than the other boys about the situation. But when they left the last coach and returned to the officers near the engine, the train was in total darkness, and no sound came from it. Colonel Newcomb again gave them an approving nod. Dick noticed that the fires in the engine were now well covered, and that no sparks came from the smoke-stack. Standing by it he could ...
— The Guns of Shiloh • Joseph A. Altsheler

... with the solution from fresh myrtle-leaves, and in this way have produced plates having such an exalted color sensitiveness as to be unmanageable in ordinary "dark-room" light. Possibly, such plates might be prepared and developed in total darkness, by the aid of suitable mechanical contrivances, but I am not sure that they would work clear even then, because they appear to be sensitive to heat as well ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 492, June 6, 1885 • Various

... a small party of ships. In the pitchy darkness we had fallen in with the bigger fleet coming direct from Lemnos, and as we crept along, every ship in total darkness, we could just make out other ships alongside us. One with big hull and unusual length of guns was immediately on our port. At close quarters there was no mistaking this for anything but a ...
— The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde" • George Davidson

... when I stood on the summit of Etna, and darted my gaze down the crater; the immediate vicinity was discernible, till, lower down, obscurity gradually terminated in total darkness. Such figures exemplify many truths revealed in the Bible. We pursue them, until, from the imperfection of our faculties, we are lost in impenetrable night. All truths, however, that are essential to faith, honestly interpreted; all that are important to human conduct, under every ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... lamp grew pale and sickly in the cold wind of the galleries they trod. Soon, however, they paused before a low door. Lady Gerard pressed her finger on her lip, in token of silence. She then blew out the light, and they were involved in total darkness. Taking hold of Ellen's arm, which trembled excessively within her own, she opened the door, but not a ray was yet visible. She was conducted to a seat, and Lady Gerard whispered that she should be still. ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... parted ill friends. On the 27th of the same month, they met again; and having renewed their quarrel, they agreed to settle their differences by the sword. They accordingly met at seven o'clock in the evening of the 29th, and fought in total darkness. In this blind combat, Manderupius cut off the whole of the front of Tycho's nose, and it was fortunate for astronomy that his more valuable organs were defended by so faithful an outpost. The quarrel, which is said to have originated in a difference of opinion respecting their mathematical attainments, ...
— Books and Authors - Curious Facts and Characteristic Sketches • Anonymous

... occupied, the shutters were nailed, went to a window to open it. He fumbled with the hasp, and, concluding that he did not understand its working, went on into the next room to see if the window there was to be more easily managed. In this next room he was in almost total darkness. He had not reached the window before he heard some one moving in an adjoining room. Turning, he saw a door outlined by cracks of lamplight, and as it was apparent that some one else was in the house, he made at once for this door. Before he had reached it the cracks of light ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... thick cloud, fraught with thunder, obscured the transparence of the horizon, whilst flashes startled our horses, whose snorts and stampings resounded through the woods. What from the shade of the firs and the impending tempests, we travelled several miles almost in total darkness. One moment the clouds began to fleet, and a faint gleam promised serener hours, but the next all was gloom and terror; presently a deluge of rain poured down upon the valley, and in a short time the torrents, beginning to swell, raged with such fury as to be with difficulty ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... such a rate that the candle went out, and we groped along in total darkness toward the rear of the house from where the sounds were coming. The cries had died down by this time into a horrible inarticulate wail, half animal, half human. I recognized the tones with a cold thrill; it was Mose. We found him groveling ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... appearance of his disorder favorable, but these soon changed, and the yellow hue of his features declared the approach of death. * * * The night he died was truly a wretched one for me. I spent most of it in total darkness, holding him during his convulsions. * * * I had done everything in my power for this poor boy, during his sickness, and could render him but one more kind office (after his death). I assisted to sew a blanket around ...
— American Prisoners of the Revolution • Danske Dandridge

... glances warm not us. Almost at shortest, is the shorten'd day, The Northern pole beholdeth not one ray, Nor Greenland, Groanland, Finland, Lapland, see No Sun, to lighten their obscurity; Poor wretches that in total darkness lye, With minds more dark then is the dark'ned Sky. Beaf, Brawn, and Pork are now in great request, And solid meats our stomacks can digest. This time warm cloaths, full diet, and good fires, Our pinched flesh, and hungry marres requires; Old cold, dry Age, and Earth ...
— Anne Bradstreet and Her Time • Helen Campbell

... cellar used to be a large underground cistern, but with a little fixing, and opening a passage-way to it from a neighboring cellar, he has converted it into an excellent cellar for mushrooms, and surely the immense crops that I have seen in that cave of total darkness justify his ...
— Mushrooms: how to grow them - a practical treatise on mushroom culture for profit and pleasure • William Falconer

... squadron: but this intelligence is derived through so many somebodys, that handed it to somebodys, that I am not much inclined, except by wishing it true, to believe it. However, the wind has got much more to the west, and now we shall probably not remain much longer in total darkness. ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... call to the others to stand steady and wait for me, I wheeled my mare about and rode off in chase, to round him up. The almost total darkness made this hunting mighty unpleasant; but I knew that, bating the chance of being flung by a mole-hill, I had my gentleman safe enough. For, to begin with, he must soon find the pace irksome, with two firkin casks jolting against ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... (some fair moiety, I think); and let me never see your unpleasant face again!' To which Hirsch, examining the diamonds, answered [says Duvernet, not substantially incorrect hitherto, though stepping along in total darkness, and very partial on Voltaire's behalf],—Hirsch, examining the diamonds, answered, 'But you have changed some of them! I cannot take these!'—and drove Voltaire quite to despair, and into the Law-Courts; which imprisoned ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... vanished in total darkness; only again in one direction a gleam of light appeared, and guided us to a portal through which we entered another long and narrow passage, terminating in a second vestibule before a door of emerald crystal, brilliantly illuminated by a light within. Here, again, our ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... the beds can be protected from wet overhead, and from winds, drought, and direct sunshine. Among the most desirable places in which to grow mushrooms are barns, cellars, closed tunnels, sheds, pits, greenhouses, and regular mushroom houses. Total darkness is not imperative, for mushrooms grow well in open light if shaded from sunshine. The temperature and moisture are more apt to be equable in dark places than in open, light ones, and it is largely for this reason that mushroom houses ...
— Manual of Gardening (Second Edition) • L. H. Bailey

... herself dragged along the ground, farther into the interior of the building. The madman drew her up to the iron gates of the passage through the partition, and fastening the end of the rope to them, left her there. This part of the temple was enveloped in total darkness—her assailant addressed not a word to her—she could not obtain even a glimpse of his form, but she could hear him still laughing to himself in hoarse, monotonous tones, that sounded now near, and now ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... faces, but emit light at dusk. In a note to Darwin's Loves of the Plants it is stated that the daughter of Linnaeus first observed the Nasturtium to throw out flashes of light in the morning before sunrise, and also during the evening twilight, but not after total darkness came on. The philosophers considered these flashes to be electric. Mr. Haggren, Professor of Natural History, perceived one evening a faint flash of light repeatedly darted from a marigold. The flash was afterwards often seen by him on the same flower two or three times, in quick succession, ...
— Flowers and Flower-Gardens • David Lester Richardson

... leaving him in charge of the party, and proceeded along a cart-track homewards, followed by John Douglas, and a led horse. Before we could arrive at the station where I intended to halt, night overtook us on a plain, with very heavy rain, and total darkness. The cart-track was no longer visible, and, after groping on some way without it, we were obliged to alight and sit in the mud, without the shelter of even a tree, until day-break. Daylight exhibited the station not above two miles off, but that did not avail us much; for, on ...
— Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia • Thomas Mitchell

... found in a Church Army Home. He recovered his memory, and subsequently lost it again to the extent that he could recall nothing which happened to him during the period of its first lapse. All that time vanished into total darkness. ...
— Regeneration • H. Rider Haggard

... our hotel, we saw a considerable crowd assembled near the bridge leading to de la Cour. Upon inquiring into the cause of this assemblage, we found it was owing to a curious rencounter between two blind beggars, who, in total darkness, had been waging an uncertain battle for near six minutes. It appeared that one of them had for several months, enjoyed quiet possession of the bridge, which happened to be a great thoroughfare, and had during that time, by an undisputed display of his ...
— The Stranger in France • John Carr

... houses were in nearly total darkness when we arrived. They set well back from the road and were plentifully shielded by shrubbery. Then, too, at night it was not a much frequented neighborhood. We could easily hear the footsteps of anyone approaching on the walk, and ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... again given concerning the Passover, it is explained that it is "at even, at the going down of the sun." The Samaritans, the Karaite Jews, and Aben Ezra held "the two evenings" to be the interval between the sun's setting and the entrance of total darkness; i. e. between about six o'clock and seven or half-past seven. A graphic description of the commencement of the sabbath is given in Disraeli's novel of Alroy, and may serve to illustrate this, the original, idea ...
— The Astronomy of the Bible - An Elementary Commentary on the Astronomical References - of Holy Scripture • E. Walter Maunder

... a frightful one. The vast, tree-like cloud, kindled throughout its length by almost incessant flashes of lightning; the fiery glare that gleamed upward from the glowing lava; the total darkness that overspread the surrounding country as the dense mass of volcanic dust floated outward, a darkness only relieved by the glare that attended each new explosion, formed a spectacle of terror to make the stoutest heart quail, and to fill the weak and ignorant with dread of a final overthrow ...
— Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... to the clump of trees, which he of Kalbs-Braten had indicated, when a heavy bank of clouds arose, and left me in total darkness. Up to this time I had seen no one since I passed the sentry; but now I thought I could discern the tramping of horses upon the turf. Almost mechanically I loosened my cloak, and brought round the hilt of my weapon so as to be prepared. When the moon reappeared, I saw on either ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... males, one female. Miss E. C. Linneus first observed the Tropaeolum Majus to emit sparks or flashes in the mornings before sun-rise, during the months of June or July, and also during the twilight in the evening, but not after total darkness came on; these singular scintillations were shewn to her father and other philosophers; and Mr. Wilcke, a celebrated electrician, believed them to be electric. Lin. Spec. Plantar. p. 490. Swedish Acts for the year ...
— The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing The Loves of the Plants. A Poem. - With Philosophical Notes. • Erasmus Darwin

... interminable day, its effects are almost as deleterious upon the stranger as the prolonged night. Indeed, to the sojourner in high latitudes the day is much more appreciable, for at no point yet visited by man is the darkness the total darkness of night throughout the entire day, while the "midnight sun" makes the night like noon-day. Even when the sun passes below the horizon at its upper culmination, the daylight is as intense as at noon in lower latitudes when the sun's disk is obscured by thin clouds. The long twilight in the north, ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... also bursts forth in him with incomparable vigor. One day he was preaching in a chapel which was plunged in almost total darkness, the sky being quite overcast with clouds. Suddenly the clouds broke away, the sun shone, the church was flooded with light. Gioacchino paused, saluted the sun, intoned the Veni Creator, and led his congregation out to ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... about the early part of the year 1652 that the calamity was consummated. At the age of forty-three he was in total darkness. The deprivation of sight, one of the severest afflictions of which humanity is capable, falls more heavily on the man whose occupation lies among books, than upon others. He who has most to lose, loses most. To most persons books are but an amusement, an interlude between the hours of serious occupation. ...
— Milton • Mark Pattison

... the minister's, there was no light in his house, either, and it occurred to Toby that it was Fast Day. Once a week, Pokonoket ministers sit in total darkness all day, and ...
— The Pot of Gold - And Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins

... of his hand, the man, whom our Yankee friend had taken for August Bordine, dashed the lamp to the floor, leaving the room in total darkness. ...
— Five Thousand Dollars Reward • Frank Pinkerton

... total darkness descends.) Our brothers follow on the trail we blaze; Where howled the wolf and ached the naked plain Spring bounteous harvests at our brothers' hands; In place of war's alarums, peaceful days; Above the warrior's grave ...
— The Acorn-Planter - A California Forest Play (1916) • Jack London

... of her discovery, and fled to her room, while Julien called after her, "Jeanne! Jeanne!" She felt she could not see him or listen to his excuses and his lies, and again rushing out of her room she ran downstairs. The staircase was in total darkness, but filled with the desire of flight, of getting away without seeing or hearing any more, she never stayed to think that she might fall and break her ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... machine, the two apostles stepped a few paces in total darkness; then the elder man produced a small electric torch, which he wig-wagged above his head. There was a series of answering flashes at a distance; and next moment a door, let into the side of the ravine, opened right in front of ...
— The Devolutionist and The Emancipatrix • Homer Eon Flint

... began operations soon after supper and did not get to bed till nearly midnight. The developing was done under great difficulties. The candle had to be renewed two or three times, and I was left in total darkness at most critical moments. Notwithstanding, nine out of twelve have come out fairly well. I hope I ...
— Three Years in Tristan da Cunha • K. M. Barrow

... awoke one morning and found himself in total darkness. Not a ray of light came from the outside world, and, of course, not an object in the room could be seen. He rubbed his eyes and sat up to make sure that he was not dreaming. Then he called loudly for someone to come ...
— The Book of Stories for the Storyteller • Fanny E. Coe

... gruesome suggestion he had made set my nerves tingling, and I peered about among the shadows of that dimly lighted recess, half expecting some vision to greet my eyes. Then there came a loud rustling of the branches high above us. The lantern light flared up and suddenly went out, leaving us in total darkness. ...
— The Master of Silence • Irving Bacheller

... type of living, and because through Him we receive all the information regarding a future existence which we possess. That my mind rests satisfied I do not say; I simply accept what is given, preferring a little light to total darkness." ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... grotto, all was total darkness. Having groped their way a short distance from the entrance, they found a large rock, on which they seated themselves. The voices approached nearer, and their discordant revelry had an awful sound amid the echoes of the grotto. These gradually died away in the distance, ...
— Philothea - A Grecian Romance • Lydia Maria Child

... under my arm, extinguished my candle, unbolted my door, listened at it for a few moments to be sure that no one was approaching, and then crossed the floor of my room swiftly, entered the secret door, and closed the spring lock after me. I was upon the screw-stair in total darkness, the key in my fingers. Thus far ...
— The Room in the Dragon Volant • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... clearer I saw I was lying on a fairly level floor. I could see perhaps two miles in each direction. Beyond that there was only darkness. The sky overhead was unbroken by stars or light of any kind. I should have been in total darkness except, as I have told you before, that everything, even the blackness itself, seemed ...
— The Girl in the Golden Atom • Raymond King Cummings

... feet and suppressed voices, under the outer walls of their fortress. A horn was then sounded, and the besieged were called upon to open their gates and surrender at discretion. But no answer was received from within, where all was total darkness and apparent inactivity. Several attempts were now made to burst the strong yard door, but without effect. The assailants then began to fire at the thatch of the dwelling house, as well as on the out-offices, with the intent of setting them in flames; and after several attempts, ...
— The Tithe-Proctor - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... crossed the threshold of the door than it shut with a loud sound, and at the same instant the voices of the choir were silent, the lights of the chapel were at once extinguished, and Sir Kenneth remained solitary and in total darkness. But to Kenneth, solitude, and darkness, and the uncertainty of his mysterious situation were as nothing—he thought not of them—cared not for them—cared for nought in the world save the flitting vision which had just glided past him, ...
— The Talisman • Sir Walter Scott

... climbed up the hill, went in at the convent-gate, across a courtyard, along a dim cloister, and through another door where our guide made his way out by a different opening, leaving us standing in total darkness. After a time another door opened, and a good-natured-looking friar came in with a lamp in his hand, and conducted us upstairs to his cell. I think our friend was the sub-prior of the convent. His cell was a very comfortable bachelor's apartment, ...
— Anahuac • Edward Burnett Tylor

... "stand-to," felt constrained to send a telephone message to Battalion Headquarters. Taking a good breath,—you always do this before entering a trench dug-out,—he plunged into the noisome cavern where his Company Signallers kept everlasting vigil. The place was in total darkness, except for the illumination supplied by a strip of rifle-rag burning in a tin of rifle-oil. The air, what there was of it, was thick with large, fat, floating particles of free carbon. The telephone was buzzing plaintively ...
— All In It K(1) Carries On - A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand • John Hay Beith (AKA: Ian Hay)

... expectation, and heard distant noises, but Annette did not return. Her patience, at length, exhausted, she tried to find her way to the corridor, but it was long before she could touch the door of the chamber, and, when she had opened it, the total darkness without made her fear to proceed. Voices were now heard, and Emily even thought she distinguished those of Count Morano, and Montoni. Soon after, she heard steps approaching, and then a ray of light ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... oppressors, and tradition as kept up among themselves—that memorable event, had not yet ceased its thrill through the new-born nation, until a glimmer of hope—a ray of light had beamed forth, and enlightened minds thought to be in total darkness. Minds of no ordinary character, but those which embraced business, professions, and literature—minds, which at once grasped the earth, encompassed the seas, soared into the air, and mounted the skies. And it is none the less creditable to the colored people, that among those who have stood ...
— The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States • Martin R. Delany

... remain there; and take care that you make no noise," said one of the mates. "When we are at sea again you will be let out." The poor boys expostulated in vain. The door was locked upon them, and they were left in almost total darkness. ...
— The Voyage of the "Steadfast" - The Young Missionaries in the Pacific • W.H.G. Kingston

... it a little pull. The door gave way with a smack, opened, and we smelled soapy steam, and a sharp odor of spoilt food and tobacco, and we entered into total darkness. The windows were on the opposite side; but the corridors ran to right and left between board partitions, and small doors opened, at various angles, into the rooms made of uneven whitewashed boards. In a dark room, on the left, a woman could be seen ...
— The Moscow Census - From "What to do?" • Lyof N. Tolstoi

... length. All three, detective and police, were on their feet promptly, for none was seriously injured; but Furneaux was dazed and had to grope for the torch, and the second constable's lamp had gone out owing to a rush of oil from the cistern. Thus, during some precious seconds, they were in total darkness. ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... from Caffray were to keep these slates carefully in the dark, and every evening at about the same hour to sit in total darkness, with my hands resting on them for about a half or three-quarters of an hour; to maintain a calm, equable, passive state of mind, even to think of any indifferent subject rather than to concentrate my thoughts too intently on the slate-writing. There could be no ...
— Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University • The Seybert Commission

... captain observed it with a night telescope. He had not, on this occasion, an opportunity of making many observations. The reason was, that the moon was hidden behind the clouds the greater part of the time; and this was particularly the case, when the beginning and the end of total darkness, and the end of the ...
— Narrative of the Voyages Round The World, • A. Kippis

... and a plunge into the black, empty air. When he opened his eyes, he found himself lying at the bottom of a precipice in total darkness. How long had he been in the air? The marionette did not know. He remembered only that while flying down he had heard a familiar ...
— Pinocchio in Africa • Cherubini

... himself in the presence of the dead. The chamber was a small, square, walled-up affair, and at one side stood the three sarcophagi. The other halls had been in total darkness, but the blackness of this place appeared something palpable and weighty. And the air had the dry, acrid tang of dust which has lain ...
— The Fortieth Door • Mary Hastings Bradley

... and horror mingled passed off, and a curious sensation of exultation came over me, for it was all fancy about the serpent. The lamp was out, the tent in total darkness, and that which I had felt was a hand gliding over my face, and from thence to my hand, into which ...
— Gil the Gunner - The Youngest Officer in the East • George Manville Fenn

... hours. That night,—Thursday, October 8th,—the second and last night which the town held out, all of the Americans who were left gathered at the Queen's. The firing by this time was terrific. Except for the lurid glare of the burning buildings which lit up the streets, the city was in total darkness. For weeks martial law had been in effect and there were no lights after sundown. An unearthly feeling it was, to be locked in the darkness of this strange city, unable to speak a word of the language, ...
— The Log of a Noncombatant • Horace Green

... with the stone on which he rested. In the terror which this occasioned, he attempted to save himself by catching at a kind of beam which suspended over the stairs, when the lamp dropped from his hand, and he was left in total darkness." ...
— Adventures among Books • Andrew Lang

... horse's feet would have consigned the rider to certain death. The moon, at best, afforded a dubious and imperfect light; but in some places we were so much under the shade of the mountain as to be in total darkness, and then I could only trace Andrew by the clatter of his horse's feet, and the fire which they struck from the flints. At first, this rapid motion, and the attention which, for the sake of personal ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... considered wholly uninteresting to know in what manner our time was thus so fully occupied throughout the long and severe winter which it was our lot to experience, and particularly during a three months' interval of nearly total darkness. ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... Popes or Christian monarchs, failed to reach the island, in consequence of its exclusion from the European family; yet even this was not for her an unmitigated evil, though certainly the greatest loss she sustained. While Europe, during the eighth and ninth centuries, was in total darkness, Ireland alone basked in the light of science, whose lustre, shining in her numerous schools, attracted thither by its brightness the youth of all nations, whom she received with a generosity unbounded. Not content with this, she sent forth her learned and holy men to spread the light ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... and soon they mounted into total darkness, so that the Wizard was obliged to get out his lanterns to light the way. But this enabled them to proceed steadily until they came to a landing where there was a rift in the side of the mountain that let in both light and air. Looking through ...
— Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz • L. Frank Baum.

... in his arms as he was falling. The great effusion of blood occasioned an apprehension that the wound was mortal: Nelson himself thought so; a large flap of the skin of the forehead, cut from the bone, had fallen over one eye; and the other being blind, he was in total darkness. When he was carried down, the surgeon—in the midst of a scene scarcely to be conceived by those who have never seen a cockpit in time of action, and the heroism which is displayed amid its horrors,—with a natural and pardonable eagerness, quitted the poor fellow then under ...
— The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson • Robert Southey

... her lamp at that instant, just at the turning of stairs, and she could not account for it, as none of the windows were open, and there was no trace of a draft. However, it was an undeniable fact, the light was out and she was in total darkness—not even a star was to be seen in the clouded sky. It was, indeed, true that Thusnelda was so accustomed to the way that it mattered little whether she had a light or not. Now she had reached the corridor and she could not fail to find the door, as there was but one, that ...
— Old Fritz and the New Era • Louise Muhlbach

... made by Delile that the Agaric of the olive does not shine during the day when placed in total darkness, I think that it could not have been repeated. From what I have said of the phosphorescence of A. olearius, one naturally concludes that there does not exist any necessary relation between this phenomenon ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... of himself or his habits to Mrs. Hanway-Harley. Nor was this so unjust as at a first blink it might seem. If Mr. Harley misled Mrs. Hanway-Harley as to his personal movements, she in return told him nothing at all of her own, the result, to wit, total darkness, being the same for both. However, they were perfectly satisfied, rightly esteeming the situation one wherein, if ignorance were not bliss, at least it was folly to ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... seated in his library with Mrs. Parsons, the lights went out. I jumped up and addressed the audience, telling 'em (almost in a confidential whisper, there were so darned few of 'em) that there was nothing to be alarmed about and the act would go right on. Then Amy and Dick came on in total darkness, and the audience never got wise to the game. When the lights went up, there was Amy and Dick embracing each other in plain view, the old folks nowhere in sight. General Parsons had dragged the old lady into the next room. We made our changes ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... melancholy event passed from rank to rank; but the grief of the Romans inspired them with invincible valor, and the desire of revenge. The bloody and obstinate conflict was maintained by the two armies, till they were separated by the total darkness of the night. The Persians derived some honor from the advantage which they obtained against the left wing, where Anatolius, master of the offices, was slain, and the praefect Sallust very narrowly escaped. But the event of the day was adverse to the Barbarians. They abandoned ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... could not put into words—one Alec had once hinted at. He held his breath trying to gather up the loose ends—to make a connected whole; to fit the parts together. Then, as one blows out a candle, leaving total darkness, he banished it all ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... others. The senses may become terrified by plunging among them as they are, but there is a pitifulness even in their glory. Imagine them all extinguished, and your mind feeling its way through a heaven of total darkness, occasionally striking against the black, invisible cinders of those stars. . . . If you are cheerful, and wish to remain so, leave the study of astronomy alone. Of all the sciences, it alone deserves the character ...
— Two on a Tower • Thomas Hardy

... courage to look round, no voice to raise in supplication. He knew that his door was opened—that a light came into the room—that a voice cried "Degraded beast!"—that the door was suddenly shut again with a bang—and that he was left once more in total darkness. He did not care for the light, or the voice, or the banging of the door: he did not think of them afterwards; he did not mourn over the past, or speculate on the future. He just sank back on his pillow with ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... little cell or room, as a religious duty, and cut off from all intercourse with the outside world for many years together. The cell's dimly lit by a single small window, placed high in the wall, so that the unhappy girl never sees anybody or anything, but passes her life in almost total darkness. She mayn't leave the room on any pretext whatever, not even for the most pressing and necessary purposes. None of her family may see her face; but a single slave woman's appointed to accompany her and wait upon her. Long want of exercise stunts her bodily ...
— The British Barbarians • Grant Allen

... nebulous character, had now taken shape and wore so promising an appearance that I felt sanguine of its ultimate success; so without further ado I retired right aft to the wheel grating—that part of the brigantine being now quite deserted, and wrapped in total darkness save for the dim and diffused light that issued from the cabin skylight—and there, unseen, shifted into the clothes that Simpson had brought me. They were not particularly comfortable nor quite ...
— The Pirate Slaver - A Story of the West African Coast • Harry Collingwood

... assailants was a cause of confusion. They blocked their own efforts, while Wolf Larsen, with but a single purpose, achieved his. This was to fight his way across the floor to the ladder. Though in total darkness, I followed his progress by its sound. No man less than a giant could have done what he did, once he had gained the foot of the ladder. Step by step, by the might of his arms, the whole pack of men striving to drag him back and ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... in the almost total darkness was now truly difficult, and had not Barringford been skilled in woodcraft he would certainly have been lost. But he had taken note of the way he had come and remembered every bush, tree, and rock, and now he returned by the same route. It was a tough climb back to the forest where the trail ...
— On the Trail of Pontiac • Edward Stratemeyer

... produced the key of the door from her pocket; and on entering the house-place it seemed as if they were in total darkness, except one bright spot, which might be a cat's eye, or might be, what it was, a red-hot fire, smouldering under a large piece of coal, which John Barton immediately applied himself to break up, and the effect instantly produced was ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... Gurkha on top. And the door crashed to with a rattle of bolts, leaving Amber on his back, in total darkness, betrayed, lost, ...
— The Bronze Bell • Louis Joseph Vance

... wooden door, which he could not force. A little further and he came to a second which opened to his pressure. It was so small an entrance that he stooped as he passed in. He shut it carefully behind him, and stood in what was almost total darkness, until his eyes ...
— The Texan Star - The Story of a Great Fight for Liberty • Joseph A. Altsheler

... our general Ancestor repli'd. Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht Eve, 660 Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth, By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land In order, though to Nations yet unborn, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Least total darkness should by Night regaine Her old possession, and extinguish life In Nature and all things, which these soft fires Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate Of various influence foment and warme, Temper or nourish, or in part shed down 670 Thir stellar vertue on all ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... sat up suddenly in the bed, listening for she knew not what. Her head was in a whirl; her heart beat furiously, without any assignable cause. But one trivial event had happened during the interval while she had been asleep. The night-light had gone out; and the room, as a matter of course, was in total darkness. ...
— The Haunted Hotel - A Mystery of Modern Venice • Wilkie Collins

... Flashes of red light and then total darkness. A little light comes back, showing recumbent figures, shattered pillars and ...
— Plays of Gods and Men • Lord Dunsany

... very choosing gave back her womanhood, cleared her dazed brain for action, and sent the red blood throbbing through her veins. Her immediate surroundings began to take definite form. To the left the great, deserted stage extended, wrapped in total darkness, silent, forsaken, the heavy drop-curtain lowered to the floor. Through its obscuring folds resounded noisily a crash of musical instruments, the incessant shuffling of feet, a mingled hum of voices, evidencing that the dance was already on in full volume. Far back, behind ...
— Beth Norvell - A Romance of the West • Randall Parrish

... was gone, locking the door behind her, and I was left shivering, and in total darkness, to spend the remainder of the night in these ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... described as to stature, complexion, &c.—Capt. Shortland therefore ordered them to be shut up in the prison No. 6. This was a more cold, dreary and comfortless place than No. 7. Their bed was nothing but the cold damp stones; and being in total darkness they dare not walk about. These 30 men had been imprisoned at Barbadoes; and they had supposed that when they arrived at this famous birth place of liberty, they should not be excluded from all her blessings. They had ...
— A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, 2nd ed. • Benjamin Waterhouse

... morning of January 23d, amid almost total darkness, for the moon was new, Duke had run on ahead; for many hours he was not seen; Hatteras became uneasy, especially because there were many traces of bears to be seen; he was uncertain what to do, when suddenly ...
— The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... total darkness, and again terror rode heavily astride his neck. What further pitfalls and dangers lay ahead he could not guess; but that he was as far as ever from liberty he was quite willing to believe, so depressing is utter absence of light to one in ...
— Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the water be cooled with ice; and the amount of water taken up during washing is often so great that there is considerable difficulty in getting the emulsion to set on the plates. In fact, even in cold weather, it is not an easy process to conduct in the necessary near approach to total darkness. ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 303 - October 22, 1881 • Various

... object he saw was discolored and distorted and deformed—it was worse than darkness itself; and this was so distressing, and so interfered with the sight of the other eye, that when the sun went down, the total darkness in the ruined portion of his left retina came as a positive relief. He took all this very desperately to heart and had very terrible forebodings. For he had never known an ache or a pain, and had innocently gloried all his life in the singular perfection ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... on this portent, did not witness the end; for a dense cloud of dust, on this upper side dun-coloured against the sunlight, interposed itself between them and the city, over which it made a total darkness. Into that darkness the great wave passed and broke; and almost in the moment of its breaking a second tremor shook the hillside. Then, indeed, wave and earthquake together made universal roar, drowning the last cry of thousands; for before it died away earthquake and wave together ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... allow yourself to be surprised at anything; it is a weakness. Here we are in total darkness, buried in the Andes, surrounded by hairy, degenerate brutes that are probably allowing us to eat in order that we may be in condition to be eaten, with no possibility of ever again beholding the sunshine; and what is the thought that rises to the surface of ...
— Under the Andes • Rex Stout

... Croton of Pythagoras survived; or the Mysteries at Gaulish Bibracte: had there been but one firm foothold for the Lodge in the world of men;—I think none of these things could have come about; and that for the same reason that you cannot have total darkness in a room in which a lamp is lighted. But this darkness was total: intolerance is the negation of spiritual light. Of all the various movements in the Roman world that had not actual members of the Lodge behind and moving them, ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... Dr. Driggs's house was too close to the shore. He found this out one night when a storm brought the water of the Arctic Ocean up over the land, and a succession of big waves forced his door open. Carrying a native lad on his back, he was compelled to wade, in total darkness, through the icy water, for several hundred yards before he reached terra firma. After this startling experience, his house was moved to higher ground and further inland; but, proving always extremely cold, it was subsequently replaced, as a dwelling, by another and smaller building which was ...
— Short Sketches from Oldest America • John Driggs

... became a terrible rushing and circling flare, and the lights went out with equal suddenness. He was left in total darkness, falling through space; but, at his last moment of consciousness, he felt arms going about him, arms through which his bulk kept slipping down, and below him ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... present provided for the three hours' trip between Holyhead and Kingstown; at night one dim oil-lamp glimmered in a ground-glass case fixed between two cabins, but only up to 10.30 p.m., after which the ship was plunged into total darkness. As it was before the days of refrigerators, the fore part of the deck was devoted to live stock. Pigs grunted in one pen, sheep bleated in another, whilst ducks quacked and turkeys gobbled in coops on either side of them. No one ever thought ...
— Here, There And Everywhere • Lord Frederic Hamilton

... the total darkness, and with Will following, Josh went slowly, feeling his way step by step for about fifty yards, when a faint ray of light sent joy into their breasts; and on pushing forward they found their way stopped by what seemed to be a heap of fallen rock and earth, at whose ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... Mirabeau was the cousin of Vauvenargues and almost exactly his coeval. The discovery of a packet of letters which passed between the young men from the summer of 1737 to that of 1740 has dissipated in some measure the otherwise total darkness which had gathered around the youth of our philosopher. Mirabeau (who was to be the father of the famous orator) was a man of talent, but violent, chimerical and lawless, "farouche," as he himself put it. Later he was the author ...
— Three French Moralists and The Gallantry of France • Edmund Gosse

... letter, when suddenly there was a loud crash, followed by the breaking of the table from its centre, and the pitching over of the astral lamp, which, in falling, just grazed my side, and went down, oil and all, upon our new carpet! An instant more, and we were in total darkness. But, ere the light went out, a glance had revealed a scene that I shall never forget. Our visitor, whose weight, as he tried his usual balancing experiment, had caused the slender legs of his chair to snap off short, had fallen backwards. In trying to save himself, ...
— Trials and Confessions of a Housekeeper • T. S. Arthur

... which had been made. The day was very favourable to viewing it. The air was remarkably clear, and there was not a cloud in the hemisphere. As the sun shut in, the stars appeared, and many were visible at the time of total darkness. A considerable alteration in the temperature of the atmosphere was felt during the ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 6: Literary Curiosities - Gleanings Chiefly from Old Newspapers of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts • Henry M. Brooks

... which struck him to the ground unconscious. His companions were all too busy defending themselves against their assailants to notice what had been done, and as the attack had taken place in the center of the roadway behind the quay, there was no lamp, and the fight was taking place in almost total darkness. ...
— Colonel Thorndyke's Secret • G. A. Henty

... back toward the living room, Washington began putting out the lights and then, with the professor, joined the boys. The shed containing the airship was in total darkness, and the negro, turning down the lamp in the cabin, ...
— Through the Air to the North Pole - or The Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch • Roy Rockwood

... did not fail to observe the rich, tender tone of the voice, and it would have required almost total darkness to obscure the beauty of her face. Her companion was older and coarser, and he found delight in the belief that she was the better half of the disagreeable ...
— The Day of the Dog • George Barr McCutcheon

... Peterkin, and me, violently by the collars, and, dragging us from the hut of the chief, led us through the wood to the outskirts of the village. Here they thrust us into a species of natural cave in a cliff, and, having barricaded the entrance, left us in total darkness. ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... while before making another attempt, hoping the guard would not expect me to come back. The lights were beginning to twinkle in the distance and it was now almost total darkness. I consulted any watch and realized that in forty minutes Miss Paul and her comrades would again be going through the torture of forcible feeding. I waited five minutes-ten minutes-fifteen minutes. Then I went back to the grounds again. I started through another entrance, but ...
— Jailed for Freedom • Doris Stevens

... in the old place, and sauntering out one bitterly cold December evening resumed the discussion, walking to and fro on the moonlit bank of the ice-bound river, until evening merged into night and the moon sank beneath the horizon, leaving us in total darkness, vainly desirous, like Goethe, of "light, ...
— The Sceptics of the Old Testament: Job - Koheleth - Agur • Emile Joseph Dillon

... the doctor, quietly but firmly. "You are now quite blind, and you have been in total darkness for a year and a half. We may be able to restore your sight by giving you a few minutes' pain. Will you ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... somewhere in the structure came a hollow and terrifying groan, and then followed the unmistakable sound of clinking metal, while a bluish light flashed around them. Then came another long-drawn cry—a shrill, eerie wail, and both their lights went out, leaving them in total darkness, while the storm shrieked about the old house, rocking it, and swaying it as though to ...
— The Outdoor Girls in a Motor Car - The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley • Laura Lee Hope

... asked a juvenile boy (who remained invisible), called "JOHNNY JONES," and informed us that "she knew now." But I was still in the total darkness as to the answers, which even JESSIE declared that she was "Davus non Oedipus," and not able to provide with the ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... cunning and false than before, or whether it confused her between what she had assumed to be and what she really had been, or whether it had awakened any glimmering of remorse, which could neither struggle into light nor get back into total darkness, or whether, in the jumble of her faculties, a combination of these effects had been shaken up, which is perhaps the more likely supposition, the result was this:—That she became hugely exacting in respect of Edith's affection and gratitude and attention to her; highly ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... was not unseen 180 By solitary Benjamin; But total darkness came anon, And he and every thing was gone: And suddenly a ruffling breeze, (That would have rocked the sounding trees 185 Had aught of sylvan growth been there) Swept through the Hollow long and bare: [27] The rain rushed down—the road was battered, As with the force of billows shattered; The horses ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. III • William Wordsworth

... very still and in almost total darkness. The shock, therefore, was great when, in finally making up my mind to move, I became conscious of a presence near me, totally indiscernible ...
— The Millionaire Baby • Anna Katharine Green

... Bruges, which was in total darkness, owing to the fear of enemy aeroplanes, we received our instructions to proceed to an outlying suburb of the city; and presently drew up in a field, bounded by houses of the humbler description. The early morning was distinctly autumnal, and a ration ...
— With The Immortal Seventh Division • E. J. Kennedy and the Lord Bishop of Winchester

... electric switch leaving the cabin in total darkness, then drew her sister to the broad swell of windows looking out upon the forward deck. It was bare enough tonight. All the awnings were closely furled and the chairs stowed away in snug stacks, while ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... hopes to have "the happiness of being stopped in their way along narrow, winding vaults by a low, grated door; or even of having their lamp—their only lamp—extinguished by a sudden gust of wind and of being left in total darkness." She visits her friends, the Tilneys, at their country seat, Northanger Abbey, in Glouchestershire; and, on the way thither, young Mr. Tilney teases her with a fancy sketch of the Gothic horrors which she will unearth there: the "sliding panels ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... have lain there, at least a couple of hours. As I recover, I am aware that the other candle has burnt out, and the room is in an almost total darkness. I cannot rise to my feet, for I am cold, and filled with a terrible cramp. Yet my brain is clear, and there is no longer the ...
— The House on the Borderland • William Hope Hodgson

... and he wondered why it was so very dark. Then he remembered that he was shut up in the mines. It was a cruel remembrance, but it was a fact and he must make the best of it. While he slept his oil had burned out, and he was in total darkness. He felt for his oil-can and found it. Then he found his lamp, filled it by the sense of touch, and lighted it. He always carried matches; they had done him good service in the mines before this. He was very ...
— Burnham Breaker • Homer Greene

... black clouds, charged with electricity, gathered over this elevated point, looking like other mountains trying to overturn it; then a storm began, the thunder roared tremendously, the rain fell in torrents; every minute frightful claps were heard, and the total darkness was scarcely broken by the lightning that flashed in long streams of fire, dashing from the top and sides of the mountain enormous blocks of rock, that were hurled into the lake with a fearful crash. It was an admirable exemplification ...
— Adventures in the Philippine Islands • Paul P. de La Gironiere

... characteristic of these fogs, which in some degree mitigates the evil of them: they sometimes do not extend beyond a few miles, having the appearance of a huge wall of dense cloud or mist. A vessel, after beating about for hours, will suddenly emerge from almost total darkness, the clouds break away, and all hearts are gladdened by finding themselves once more beneath the rays of the ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... were slowly eating their way through the old harbour towards the heart of the place. Subterranean galleries, patiently drained of their water, were met by counter-galleries leading out from the town, and many were the desperate hand-to-hand encounters, by dim lanterns, or in total darkness, beneath the ocean and beneath the earth; Hollander, Spaniard, German, Englishman, Walloon, digging and dying in the fatal trenches, as if there had been no graves at home. Those insatiable sand-banks seemed ready to absorb all the gold and all the life of Christendom. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... raft, being careful to preserve the balance, and then I seated myself upon it, having two small oars that I had fashioned laid ready to my hand, and loosed the cord which held it to the bank. Once out in the current my raft flew swiftly under the gloomy archway, and I found myself in total darkness, carried smoothly forward by the rapid river. On I went as it seemed to me for many nights and days. Once the channel became so small that I had a narrow escape of being crushed against the rocky roof, and ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments • Andrew Lang.

... intercourse with the world for a long time. The cell, like the rest of the house, is raised on piles above the ground, and is lit by a single small window opening on a lonely place, so that the girl is in almost total darkness. She may not leave the room on any pretext whatever, not even for the most necessary purposes. None of her family may see her all the time she is shut up, but a single slave woman is appointed to wait on her. During her lonely ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... after him with a click, and he was left in almost total darkness. At the same time he felt some ...
— The Boy from the Ranch - Or Roy Bradner's City Experiences • Frank V. Webster

... movement upon one of the floor-boards, with the result that the square trap glided away smoothly as if running upon rollers, while a dark opening appeared, showing a flight of ladder stairs running down into what seemed to be total darkness. ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn



Words linked to "Total darkness" :   blackness, darkness, black, pitch blackness, lightlessness, dark



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