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Unsteady   Listen
adjective
Unsteady  adj.  See steady.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Unsteady" Quotes from Famous Books



... of thy strong angels Stems back the waves of earthly influence That shape unsteady continents around me, And they draw off with the devouring gush Of exile billows that have found a home, Leaving me islanded on unseen points, Hanging 'twixt thee and chaos—I have seen Unholy shapes lop off my shining thoughts, And they have lent ...
— Poetical Works of George MacDonald, Vol. 2 • George MacDonald

... before the invention of gunpowder, elephants carrying archers or javelin-men upon their backs were greatly valued for the effect of their charge against an enemy and for the fright with which they inspired horses. Against the unsteady ranks of Oriental armies they were often most efficient in breaking a line of battle. Even the Roman troops, when they first encountered them and before they knew how to meet their charges, found them very formidable. It was soon learned that if ...
— Domesticated Animals - Their Relation to Man and to his Advancement in Civilization • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... Christopher Seaton, and Alan by the Earl of Lennox, their swords, which had been blessed by the abbot at the altar, slung round their necks, they advanced up the hall. There was a glow on the cheek of the young Alan, in which pride and modesty were mingled; his step at first was unsteady, and his lip was seen to quiver from very bashfulness, as he first glanced round the hall and felt that every eye was turned towards him; but when that glance met his mother's fixed on him, and breathing that might of love which filled her heart, all boyish tremors fled, the calm, staid ...
— The Days of Bruce Vol 1 - A Story from Scottish History • Grace Aguilar

... Curiosity at length prompted me to go back and see what had become of the stranger. As I entered the room, he lifted up his head and looked about him, evidently wondering where he was. At length he rose to his feet, and with unsteady steps began to pace ...
— Ben Burton - Born and Bred at Sea • W. H. G. Kingston

... by them is the same. The surfs are much the reverse, seldom persevering for two days in the same degree of violence; often mountains high in the morning and nearly subsided by night. How comes a uniform cause to produce effects so unsteady, unless by the intervention of secondary causes, whose nature and ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... could stand in this relation. With this they contrasted what we, after them, call the phenomena, the appearances, the manifold aspects, constantly shifting with the shifting points of view of the observer or many observers of it, inconstant, unsteady, superficial, mirrored through the senses and imagination, multiplied and distorted in divergent and changing opinions, or misrepresented and even caricatured in the turbid medium of ordinary speech, like a clouded ...
— Progress and History • Various

... fall caused by an unsteady position, taken when he made his last shot, it had been such a heavy one that Mr. Carwell was overlong in recovering from it. He remained in a huddled heap on the short-cropped, velvety turf ...
— The Golf Course Mystery • Chester K. Steele

... older man looked down at the wine-soiled cloth, traced the outline of the crimson stain with unsteady finger. ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... on weaving and weaving and weaving, but he watched the door, and when it came around his way he plunged through it. He got to the stairs, and when he went up on all fours the house was so unsteady that he could hardly make his way, but at last he got to the top and raised his foot and put it on the top step. But only the toe hitched on the step, and he rolled down and fetched up on the bottom step, with his arm around the newel-post, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... collected detail of the room's decorations, a musty smell in the air caught his breath. The floor swooped reminiscently down toward the right; the boards of it made a stifled creak as he stepped across them. He himself was a little unsteady. The window gave on impenetrable fog. Hastings threw up the sash and peered out into the dampness; he heard the sound of unseen boats groping their ways through the distance; the water lapped and ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... had not become the father of one ordinary boy, but of two little knights at once. When he returned home—even if his feet were unsteady—his first visit was to them, and he had often felt that he was far too poor and insignificant to thank his neglected wife aright ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... of prussic acid and poisoning?" exclaimed the public prosecutor, running with an unsteady step from one extremity of the table to the other, "who has been poisoned? I am the public prosecutor, I am the only one here who has any power to start an investigation. Have they had an autopsy? Where did they ...
— Gerfaut, Complete • Charles de Bernard

... so myself, too," observed Sullivan, who also seemed to have been a good deal perplexed and awed by the impression; "but of coorse I agree wid Donnel, that it was the unsteady light of the rush that made us think so; howaniver, it doesn't matther now; move or no move, it won't bring him that owned it back to us, so God rest him!—and now, Bridget, thry an' ...
— The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine • William Carleton

... hours the festivities were in full swing. Miss Lavinia sat in state in her rocker and received the offerings and congratulations of Sweetbriar as they were presented in various original and characteristic forms. Young Peter Rucker, still a bit unsteady on his pink and chubby underpinning, was steered forward to present his glossy buckeye, hung on a plaited horse-hair string that had been constructed by small Jennie with long and infinite patience. Miss Lavinia's ...
— Rose of Old Harpeth • Maria Thompson Daviess

... three or four months together, I exchanged chewing for smoking. I have always led a sedentary life. After attaining to manhood, my ordinary weight was about 130 pounds; once or twice only rising to 135, and falling not unfrequently to 125, and sometimes to 117. My appetite was poor and unsteady, the nervous system much disordered, and my life was greatly embittered by excessive and inordinate fear of death. My spirits were much depressed. I became exceedingly irresolute, so that it required a great effort to accomplish, what I now do, even without thinking of it. My sleep ...
— An Essay on the Influence of Tobacco upon Life and Health • R. D. Mussey

... long, heavy guns each. These gun-vessels had no quarters, and suffered under all the other disadvantages which make a merchant vessel inferior to a regularly constructed man-of-war. The chief trouble was that in a heavy sea they had a strong tendency to capsize, and were so unsteady that the guns could not be aimed when any wind was blowing. Now, if a few of these schooners, mounting long 32's, encountered a couple of man-of-war brigs, armed with carronades, which side was ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... the man on his feet, and guided his steps to the road. As he walked along, the inebriate, whose gait was at first unsteady, recovered his equilibrium and ...
— Driven From Home - Carl Crawford's Experience • Horatio Alger

... wager was laid about the killing of a deer at a great distance, for performance of which Robin offered to lay his head to a sum of money, the advantage of which rash speech the others presently took; the mark being found out, one of them, to make Robin's heart faint, and hand unsteady, when he was about to shoot, urged him with the loss of head if he missed the mark, notwithstanding which, Robin killed the deer, and gave every man his money again, except him who upbraided him with loss of head if he lost the wager; he now said they would drink together, when they began ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 20, No. 567, Saturday, September 22, 1832. • Various

... public flogging; hanging were a compliment to some of them. On the other hand, men made emotional by liquor have conceived an extravagant fondness for their wives. We have not read about liquor floating the matrimonial bark over the shallows of domestic discord; yet men who have fared homeward with unsteady footsteps under the blinking stars, know that in such moments they are much more humane than in sober daylight; they are appalled by their own unworthiness, and thinking of their wives moves them almost to tears—quite, not infrequently. They resolve to become better husbands and ...
— The So-called Human Race • Bert Leston Taylor

... father, "I've got something for her also." His voice was a little unsteady as he said this. Then he put his hand into his pocket again, and, after keeping it there for a moment or two, drew out a large folded piece of paper that looked like a title-deed, and handed it to his wife, who took it with a trembling hand. She opened it, read a few words, and, ...
— Woman's Trials - or, Tales and Sketches from the Life around Us. • T. S. Arthur

... the armies, east and west, penetrated Virginia and Tennessee than fugitive slaves appeared within their lines. They came at night, when the flickering camp fires of the blue hosts shone like vast unsteady stars along the black horizon: old men, and thin, with gray and tufted hair; women with frightened eyes, dragging whimpering, hungry children; men and girls, stalwart and gaunt,—a horde of starving ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... child, you will see!" he kept repeating at intervals as the work of construction progressed. It was no easy matter, for he was of low stature, and his hands were unsteady ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... Word came that they had caught you. I did not believe it; others present doubted it.... But as the rumour concerned you, I took no chances; I came instantly. I—I had rather be dead than see you here——" Her voice became unsteady, but ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... makes straight his arrow, a wise man makes straight his trembling and unsteady thought, which is difficult to guard, difficult to ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... Willie's letter before we left the parlor, with a significant word and smile, and was piqued to see that she did not blush,—in fact, became excessively white as she glanced at the writing, and with an unsteady hand put it into her pocket. After lunch she made no motion to look at it, and as I had my own reasons for desiring her to peruse it, I said, 'Miss Francesca, will you not read your letter? that I may know if there is any later ...
— What Answer? • Anna E. Dickinson

... you, Mrs. Stoddard," Agatha began, though to her chagrin, she found her voice was unsteady—"I have come personally to ask you, Mrs. Stoddard, if you will help us in caring for our friend, who is very ill. Your brother, Doctor Thayer, wishes it. It is a case of life and death, maybe; and skilful nursing ...
— The Stolen Singer • Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger

... as you will, but never use a whip; else, whenever you raise your gun to fire, he will feel a dread that it may be the whip, and will be unsteady. ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... to face with something of an infinitely more serious nature. This man with the stern, accusing eyes and wholly merciless attitude—what had he come to say? An odd sensation stirred at Dacre's heart like an unsteady hand knocking for admittance. There was something ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... with an unsteady voice, "and when you have said that, you could say very little more ...
— Masters of the Wheat-Lands • Harold Bindloss

... belly, so that the bowels tumbled out of him and fell into the river, and were driven down along the stream; and as the priest sat by the rope, he saw certain fibres all covered with blood swept down the swirls of the stream; then he grew unsteady in his place, and thought for sure that Grettir was dead, so he ran from the holding of the rope, and gat him home. Thither he came in the evening and said, as one who knew it well, that Grettir was dead, and that great scathe was ...
— The Story of Grettir The Strong • Translated by Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris

... silent, and looked discouragingly rude. His sweaty, dirty shirt was open at the neck, his arms were bare, his scraggly teeth were yellow with tobacco, and his uncombed hair lay tumbled about on his high, narrow head. His clumsy, unsteady hands played with the dishes on the table. His pride was struggling with his sense of justice; he knew he ought to consent, and yet it was so hard to acknowledge himself to blame. The girl went on in a voice piercingly sweet, trembling with pity ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 • Various

... keep the child," he said at last, in an unsteady tone. Then without another word he left the room and softly closed the door ...
— Sant' Ilario • F. Marion Crawford

... did not think of rearing or catching any one by the feet. With an unsteady gait he approached the egress of the ravine, gazed for a while over the precipice, at the bottom of which water was seething; afterwards he turned to the wall close to the waterfall, directed his trunk towards it, and, having ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... "Anthropological Review," in which I am incessantly sneered at. I think Lyell's "Principles" will produce a considerable effect. I hope I have given you the sort of information which you want. My head is rather unsteady, which makes my handwriting worse ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... heart beating in his ears. He could almost hear hers. His hand went out toward her, cold and unsteady, but it fell to his side again almost instantly. But for the heart-beats, it seemed to him that there was an appalling stillness in the air of the quiet room. His manly face grew very pale. He slowly bit his lip and looked out of the window. ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... its quick intuitions and unsteady logic, may keep the intuitions and gain a firmness which makes it more than transiently stimulating. The emotional mind has its charm, especially if its emotions ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... wanderer—a fugitive nevertheless who knew perfectly where he was going, and that welcome awaited him there—halted to scan the cloudy floor of the sky above the site of the house he had just abandoned. A redness flickering and unsteady over in that quarter was the first assurance he had of the growth of the flame of small ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... waved a reassuring hand. "It—it's all right," he gasped. "I was just laughing at . . . Oh," pointing an unsteady finger at the lightkeeper, "ask him; ...
— The Woman-Haters • Joseph C. Lincoln

... ambition," the "new cardinal" was called to the council at the opening of the year 1624, on the instance of the Marquis of La Vieuville, superintendent of finance and chief of the council, who felt himself unsteady in his position, and sought to secure the favor of the queen-mother. It was as the protege and organ of Mary de' Medici that the cardinal wrote to the Prince of Conde, on the 11th of May, 1624, "The king having done me the honor to place me on his council, I pray God with all my ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... confidentially, and pointed with a very unsteady forefinger to the purse which Anne ...
— Man and Wife • Wilkie Collins

... of color crept back into Ivan's lips; but his voice was unsteady as he said, in a low, rather rough voice: "I ask the pardon of your Royal Highness, and beg leave to go.—The fault and the mistake of my presence ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... property] was in one hand, and the command in another, it being therefore always in a posture of war; but it was carried by ballot, that it was a steady government, though it is true by the voices it had been carried before that it was an unsteady government; so to-morrow it is to be proved by the opponents that the balance lay in one hand, and the government in another. Thence I went to Westminster, and met Shaw and Washington, who told me ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... be a hard struggle for mother to go; but in a little while she will be glad she went. It's only for her sake I am doing it; it ain't an easy or a pleasant thing for me to do, either——" As Tilly stopped her voice was unsteady, and the rare tears shone ...
— Stories of a Western Town • Octave Thanet

... a tale? This,—that the physical value of education is in no way so clearly demonstrated as by these very facts. We know what is the traditional picture of the scholar,—pale, stooping, hectic, hurrying with unsteady feet to a predestined early grave; or else morbid, dyspeptic, cadaverous, putting into his works the dark tints of his own inward nature. At best, he is painted as a mere bookworm, bleached and almost mildewed in some learned ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... stops the toper before he has drunk himself drunk, the glutton before he has eaten to a surfeit, and the lecher before he has got the pox, is an enemy to pleasure. If the ordinary fortune fail, she does without it, and forms another, wholly her own, not so fickle and unsteady as the other. She can be rich, be potent and wise, and knows how to lie upon soft perfumed beds: she loves life, beauty, glory, and health; but her proper and peculiar office is to know how to regulate ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... lintie I fondly explored, And plundering bykes was the game I adored; My pleasures did vary, as I was unsteady, Yet I always found something that pleased ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume III - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... he, 'that yon desolate spot, called to this day the Gold Spring, is the deadliest spot on earth to those who bear your name. Far as the wood extends on either side, extended formerly the turf-pit. The deep moor is covered now by an unsteady earth-crust, overgrown with pale red sedge, and from its centre, as from a grotto, the beautiful rivulet ripples forth that irrigates and renders fruitful all your land. I doubt not that this grotto, with its golden vault of granite, is the very spring into which the furious Wittehold cast ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... an inexpressible gentleness in his tone, as he saw that he had really hurt her. She continued resolutely silent; yearning after the lovely haunts she had left far away in Hampshire, with a passionate longing that made her feel her voice would be unsteady and trembling if ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... the four boys staggered up the unsteady companionway. As they gained the deck they were assailed by terrific gusts of wind carrying sleet and snow. During their stay below the weather had turned colder, bringing fitful dashes of sleet out of the north. The schooner presently ...
— Boy Scouts in the North Sea - The Mystery of a Sub • G. Harvey Ralphson

... an ancient lime-tree with a split trunk; in the cleft a wooden platform with a railing had been fitted, and a flight of steps led up to this arbour. In this early morning hour there sat a man in the tree at an unpainted, unsteady table, writing letters. The table was covered with papers, but there was still room for a clock without a glass, a compass, a case of drawing instruments, and a ...
— Historical Miniatures • August Strindberg

... this discovery that his hands grew unsteady, and he unfortunately dropped two of the eggs and broke them. This left him but thirty likely to hatch; but these were all ...
— Illustrated Science for Boys and Girls • Anonymous

... Protestant Church, and being deluded by the sophistry of some Romish priests, he changed his religion for theirs[2], quitted his living, and taught a grammar school in the town of St. Alban's; which employment he finding an intolerable drudgery, and being of a fickle unsteady temper, he relinquished it, came up to London, and took lodgings in Gray's Inn, where he commenced a writer for the stage with tolerable success. He had the good fortune to gain several wealthy and beneficent patrons, especially Henrietta ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... rocks at a distance from the shore, and the peasants not having sufficient boats to collect it tie the heaps together with cords on to branches of trees and form a raft, on which the whole family is launched; a barrel is attached at the end, and the unsteady craft often rolls over and its cargo is precipitated into the water. The fine sands of the sea shore are also carted and laid on the heavy lands to divide the soil. Ascending the valley of the Leguer, about eight miles from Lannion, on the opposite side ...
— Brittany & Its Byways • Fanny Bury Palliser

... he lay over the stern of the boat, head down, examining the condition of the rudder-head. The report was not favorable. I renewed the investigation myself in the same uncomfortable attitude. The phosphorescence of the sea was but an unsteady light, but light enough there was to reveal what daylight made hardly more certain,—that the wrench which had been given to the rotten old fixtures, shaky enough at best, had split the head of the rudder, so that the pintle ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... swiftly to her side, and, looking down upon her with his burning eyes still filled with tears, asked in an unsteady voice: ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... be unhappy," said Lisa (her voice had begun to be unsteady), "but then I ought to submit, I don't know how to say it; but if ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... imaginary bonds, and dashing into her chamber, slammed and locked the door. Colonel Starbottle, although no coward, stood in superstitious fear of an angry woman, and, recoiling as she swept by, lost his unsteady foothold and rolled helplessly on the sofa. Here, after one or two unsuccessful attempts to regain his foothold, he remained, uttering from time to time profane but not entirely coherent or intelligible protests, until at last he succumbed to the exhausting ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... any definite work. For the most part he did odd jobs as they were offered. He called himself a carpenter. But in a day when the outfit of tools numbered only about a half dozen, and when every man was mainly his own carpenter, this trade could not amount to much. Employment was unsteady and ...
— The Life of Abraham Lincoln • Henry Ketcham

... and retraced his steps slowly. When he repassed Crawley's room he stopped and listened. Not a sound except the bird's song. His heart beat so quickly that it was like to choke him, and he grew quite giddy. "Crawley!" he said in an unsteady voice, for though he saw the room was empty he had an insane fancy that he might be there, invisible, or that this mist before his eyes might prevent his seeing him. Then he mastered his apprehensions with an effort, and stepped into the ...
— Dr. Jolliffe's Boys • Lewis Hough

... "Your hand is rather unsteady—infirm of purpose; give me the blades." She took them laughingly, and snipped the green stems rapidly ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... only stare at her, dumfounded; he lifted an unsteady hand toward her appealingly. Her manner underwent an April change. She drew back lightly; he was favored with the most delicious low laugh ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... voice unsteady with weeping. "Oh! sir, if there is a heart in your breast you will help me to escape—to ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... Mrs. Wealthy Brooks, whose nephew Claude often came to visit her in Edgewood. Life on a farm a mile and a half distant from post-office and stores; life in the house with Rufus, who was rumored to be somewhat wild and unsteady,—this prospect seemed a trifle dull and uneventful to the trivial part of her, though to the better part it was enough. The better part of her loved Stephen Waterman, dimly feeling the richness of his nature, the tenderness of his affection, the strength of his character. Rose was not destitute ...
— Homespun Tales • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... sometimes followed, but her rule had been to make no reply, simply to walk straight on, and look neither to the right nor to the left. One dark evening in early January she had been working late, and it was nearly seven as she passed the river. A few blocks farther north she overtook a man whose unsteady gait did not prevent his quickening speed and striving in turn to overtake her. Finding him at her heels and his detaining hand actually on her arm, her nerve gave way, and she took to flight, her pursuer following. Half a block ahead and around a corner was the apartment-house ...
— A Tame Surrender, A Story of The Chicago Strike • Charles King

... me not, I see it plain; That makes your Scruples; that, that's the Reason You start at Words, and turn away from Shadows. Already some pert Fop, some Ribbon Fool, Some dancing Coxcomb, has supplanted me In that unsteady treacherous Woman's Heart ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II • Aphra Behn

... Diego de Artieda. [5] He came on the capitana, in which he wished to return immediately after having transacted his business, and having served your Majesty very little, as your Majesty will, by this time, have full information and account; and the cause, as far as it is known, has been his unsteady disposition. I say this, that your Majesty may have the most important information in this matter; and in everything your Majesty will ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 - Volume III, 1569-1576 • E.H. Blair

... have any reputation for brevity I must now close these remarks. I remember a lesson in brevity I once received in a barber's shop. An Irishman came in, and the unsteady gait with which he approached the chair showed that he had been imbibing of the produce of the still run by North Carolina Moonshiners. He wanted his hair cut, and while the barber was getting him ready, went off into a drunken sleep. His head got bobbing from one ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... from his companions with an unsteady step. He had made up his mind that his fate was sealed, and had been prepared to meet it, and the sudden revulsion of feeling was almost too much for him. He gave his hand silently to Edgar, and as the latter bowed and murmured his thanks to the general, ...
— At Aboukir and Acre - A Story of Napoleon's Invasion of Egypt • George Alfred Henty

... for four yards, hit it again and made three and placed the ball on the home team's forty-yard line. Time was called for Brimfield and Danny Moore trotted on to administer to Gafferty. The left guard was soon on his feet again, although a trifle unsteady, it seemed, and Benton, with three yards to gain, swung into the other side and pushed a half-back through for the distance. Carmine replaced McPhee and Holt went back to end position. Benton once more thrust at Gafferty and, ...
— Left Guard Gilbert • Ralph Henry Barbour

... should endeavour to strengthen the connexion between theory and practice, if it be not sufficiently strong already; but you can gain nothing by destroying theory.—Happiness is your aim; but your unpractised or unsteady hand does not obey your will: you do not at the first trial hit the mark precisely.—Would you, because you are ...
— Tales And Novels, Vol. 8 • Maria Edgeworth

... Sick at heart I went to my home and wept for American womanhood. But the sun rose as usual, and the world still revolved. I went to the police-court—all was quiet. I passed to the county-court, and looked over the docket—no new divorce cases met my gaze. With unsteady hand I have opened the morning papers for the past few days, but nothing there betrayed the terrible results of that false step. Oh, women! women! In the days of Indian warfare, the skilled hunter would tell you that after an attack, when ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... brought home to me what could happen even with the advantage on my side. Also it brought the cold tight prickle to my skin, the shudder that was not a thrill, the pressure of blood running too swiftly, I did not feel myself shake, but the rifle was unsteady. I rested an elbow on my knee, yet still I had difficulty in keeping the sight on him. I could get it on him, but could not keep it there. Again he came out into the open, at the head of a yellow slide, that reached to a thicket below. I must ...
— Tales of lonely trails • Zane Grey

... head bent, with an unsteady step, and walked toward the window, where he stood leaning against it heavily, ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... been eaten into the planks. You can scarcely stand upright beneath the decaying ceiling. Worn boards and ragged walls, and the rusty ribs fallen from the fireplace, are all that meet your eyes, but I see a round, unsteady, waxcloth-covered table, with four books lying at equal distances on it. There are six prim chairs, two of them not to be sat upon, backed against the walls, and between the window and the fireplace a chest of drawers, with a snowy coverlet. ...
— A Window in Thrums • J. M. Barrie

... sovereigns she liked to keep by her—women often do. There was no one but me and Sissy knew where it was; and she took them with her. By that I know she was making for the railway, and—" His voice grew unsteady as he brought his hand down; there was a look of far-off vision in his eyes, as though he saw the thing of which he spoke. "Ay, she's lying now somewhere on the hills, where she would be beaten down by the snow before she reached ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... some of their manners were closely touching on disrespect. At the halfway of the meal, a gorgeous popinjay—he was a governor of an out-province driven into the capital by a rebellion in his own lands—this gorgeous fop, I say, walked up between the groups of feasters with flushed face and unsteady gait, and did obeisance before the divan. "Most astounding Empress," cried he, "fairest among the Goddesses, Queen regnant of ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... as though they were indeed being sucked up through the blue unsteady air, Aurora tried to pull the locket from her bosom, and desisted, for, throwing aside the faded leaf, D'Rubiera extended his arms with an "Aurora!" which held all pleading and all command, all passion and all delight, that love can give to ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, Old Series, Vol. 36—New Series, Vol. 10, July 1885 • Various

... blackness of the house and lighted a candle, which she placed on the table, where it burned with an unsteady yellow light, illuminating the centre of the room with a fitful glow, but leaving the corners still in darkness. Everything lay under its veil of ashes—the table, the floor, and the bed on which ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... that a flower is to me so much more than stalk and petals. When I look in the glass I see that every line in my face means pessimism; but in spite of my face—that is my experience—I remain an optimist. Time with an unsteady hand has etched thin crooked lines, and, deepening the hollows, has cast the original expression into shadow. Pain and sorrow flow over us with little ceasing, as the sea-hoofs beat on the beach. Let us not look ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... the little roll of money and held it out, saying in a low unsteady voice, "You send it ...
— The Bishop's Shadow • I. T. Thurston

... whose apprehension was confirmed; "you must cheer up, and not think of these matters: you must take some wine." He filled a goblet from a silver flagon that stood with refreshments on the table; but the baronet's hand was so unsteady, that Sir Willmott was obliged to hold the cup to his lips. "Now, my dear sir, collect your thoughts; you know all things are safe and secret: there is no possibility of your ever being otherwise ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... his heavy guns in place, and throughout the day he maintained a slow but steady fire upon the fort. Great shells and solid shot curved and fell upon Donelson. Grant did not know what damage they were doing, but he shrewdly calculated that they would unsteady the nerves of the raw troops within. These farmer boys, as they heard the unceasing menace of the big guns, would double the numbers of their foe, and attribute to him ...
— The Guns of Shiloh • Joseph A. Altsheler

... a brusque movement, the lively little boat being unsteady under his feet, and she spoke slowly, absently, as if her thought had been lost in the ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... down gravely and remained silent. He was a joyous, careless, reckless youth, with unsteady character and pursuits, and with something of vague poetry, much of unaccommodating pride about his nature,—one of those youths little likely to do what is called well in the world; not persevering enough for an independent career, too ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... comfortably—to sleep. I had my sleep, however; and when I awoke and re-entered the house, a merry group of guests had surrounded the harper in the hall, and were singing Penillion at full stretch, to the now unsteady and somewhat discordant accompaniment of the minstrel; the laugh was of course against me, but good-nature, rather than contempt, characterised the bantering, and I bore it all in good part. The party broke up about eleven, and before ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 10, No. 271, Saturday, September 1, 1827. • Various

... on in his listener's breast and her breathing was unsteady. Seeing that she was not ready to ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... for some time without success. At length I strolled to a little distance from the landing, and took a seat on a flat stone, which had been placed on the living rock that faced most of the island, evidently to form a resting-place. My seat proved unsteady, and in endeavouring to adjust it more to my mind, I removed the stone, and discovered that it rested on a common log-slate. This slate was still covered with legible writing, and I soon had the whole party around ...
— Afloat And Ashore • James Fenimore Cooper

... score to settle with that vaquero for having shot at him. He had another and larger score to settle with him for—no, he would not think of his beloved sheep mangled and dead at the bottom of the canon. That would anger him and make his hand unsteady. ...
— Sundown Slim • Henry Hubert Knibbs

... of Europe sympathy begins to be unsettled, unsteady. As independence is to-day the watchword in Europe, so the cause of the rebels acquires a plausible justification. Various are the reasons of this new counter current. Prominent among them is the vacillating, and by Europeans considered to be INHUMAN, policy of Mr. Lincoln ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... turned toward the door, then suddenly carrying one hand to her eyes, she took a single unsteady step and swayed as though she would fall. Instantly his arms were around her and for a moment he could feel, in its wild fluttering, her heart against the ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... thus provided gave her some relief, and in that instant the sailor seemed to recognize her. He was not remotely capable of a definite idea. Just as he vaguely realized the identity of the woman in his arms the unsteady support on which he rested toppled over. Again he renewed the unequal contest. A strong resolute man and a ...
— The Wings of the Morning • Louis Tracy

... face from which every vestige of intelligence was removed, Jack Robinson returned to the fort and sat down in solitary state in the hall. In the act of sitting down he discovered that the only arm-chair in the room was unsteady on its legs, these being of unequal length. There were two other chairs without arms, and equally unsteady on their legs. These, as well as everything in the room, were made of fir-wood— as yet unpainted. In the empty fire-place Jack observed ...
— Fort Desolation - Red Indians and Fur Traders of Rupert's Land • R.M. Ballantyne

... about the dream I had. It was last night. I thought I was standing out in the yard and saw a giant coming across the hraun. He walked with long, unsteady strides (she takes a few steps forward; her voice sounds distant and threatening), and seemed to grope as if he were blind. Then I saw him standing right by the house— with arms stretched out; he bent down over the farm and stood there like a stone cross. (Makes ...
— Modern Icelandic Plays - Eyvind of the Hills; The Hraun Farm • Jhann Sigurjnsson

... I was ever at. Even in Corinth we did not do the thing so well. It was not until I got into the open air, and set out for Milo's house, that I knew how much wine I had taken. But though I was rather unsteady on my feet, I retained my presence of mind. I reached the house, and suddenly three great burly fellows sprang up, and battered furiously at the door. They were clearly robbers of the most desperate type, and I drew my sword, and, as they came at me one by one, I plunged ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... the assumption of her little world that this was the place where she would wish to be. But the first glimpse of Diantha had convinced her that her shrinking recoil had been well-grounded. Diantha, deadly pale and yet with little flickering, unsteady smiles, Diantha, quiet and self-possessed, with nothing but those white cheeks to show how flesh and spirit shrank from the approaching ordeal, was terrifyingly a stranger. But that she was a woman there could be no doubt. And this woman, soon to be ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... you want—a strong desire, an indomitable will, a keen. intelligence. Those are the capacities that you must unfold in order that the practice of Yoga may be possible to you. If your mind is very unsteady, if it is a butterfly mind like a child's, you must make it steady. That comes by close study and thinking. You must unfold the mind by which you ...
— An Introduction to Yoga • Annie Besant

... performing the war-dance, as he was still in full war costume. He, however, quickly recovered himself, and arousing forty or fifty of his companions, led us off to see the chief or head-man of the tribe. Preceded by these youths, whose unsteady gait and sleepy faces afforded our Malay guides no small amusement, we cautiously crept along the ruai, passing at every ten paces or so enormous holes in the bamboo flooring occasioned by rot, and a fall through which would have precipitated us into the mud and filth ...
— On the Equator • Harry de Windt

... the reins after such a steed proved anything but a sinecure. Spain, indeed, rode in a high chariot for a time, but at length, in that unlucky Armada drive, crashed against English oak on the ocean highways, and came off creaking and rickety,—grew thenceforth ever more unsteady,—finally, came utterly to the ground, with contusions, fractures, and much mishap,—and now the poor nation hobbles hypochondriacally upon crutches, all its brave charioteering sadly ended. England drove more considerately, but could not avoid fate; so in 1783 she, too, must let ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... gray dawn, the party was about to disperse; and at the moment a ragpicker, with a gray beard, was wandering up and down before the restaurant, raking with his hook in the refuse that awaited the public sweepers. In closing his purse, with an unsteady hand, Camors let fall a shining louis d'or, which rolled into the mud on the sidewalk. The ragpicker looked up with ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... up to her work sharply. Then she saw that the rabbits were racing on ahead, down the trail. For the moment her patience gave way, and she dug her heel hard against Kitty's side and the mare plunged forward. But her gait remained unsteady, and in her agitation she kept changing her stride, and once even tripped and ...
— The Hound From The North • Ridgwell Cullum

... best to make for shore. But we were a good way off, and the log being, as I have before said, very heavy, moved but slowly through the water. We now saw the shark quite distinctly swimming round and round us, its sharp fin every now and then protruding above the water. From its active and unsteady motions, Jack knew it was making up its mind to attack us, so he urged us vehemently to paddle for our lives, while he himself set us the example. Suddenly he shouted, "Look out! there he comes!" and in a second we saw the monstrous ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... city was not in favor of the run of the new comers. The leaders of society kept somewhat aloof, and the general population gave them the sidewalk. It was as though a stately and venerable charger, accustomed for years to graze in a comfortable pasture, were suddenly intruded on by an unsteady and vicious drove of bad manners and low degree. The thoroughbred can only condescend to ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... and had seen the first log on the set carriage. It had been agreed that she was to come over at opening time in the morning and start the machinery. She was a proud and eager woman when she crossed the bridge and started down the street toward the gate. From the opposite direction came George, so unsteady that he was running into tree boxes, then lifting his hat and apologizing to them for his awkwardness. Kate saw at a glance that he might fall any instant. Her only thought was to help him from the street, to where children ...
— A Daughter of the Land • Gene Stratton-Porter

... with quizzical joviality as usual. But the smug luster of his face was faded and his kindly black eyes had an unsteady glance in them that belied his vivacity. I could see at once that he felt nothing ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... beyond reckoning, sitting down, all along by it, at each side, as far as I could see at all. I did not know at first was it in the open air; but there was a close smothering feel in it, that was not natural, and there was a kind of light that my eyesight never saw before, red and unsteady, and I did not see for a long time where it was coming from, until I looked straight up, and then I seen that it came from great balls of blood-coloured fire, that were rolling high over head with a sort of rushing, trembling sound, and I perceived that ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 4 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... into the light and purity and warmth, while Malbone was shut out into the darkness and the chill. The only two things to which he clung on earth, the two women between whom his unsteady heart had vibrated, and both whose lives had been tortured by its vacillation, went away from his sight together, the one victim bearing the other victim in her arms. Never any more while he lived would either of them be his again; and ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... said, his voice a little unsteady. "You'll have to look out for the Kid all by yerself for a bit now. I reckon I'm goin' to hev' about all I kin do, ...
— The House in the Water - A Book of Animal Stories • Charles G. D. Roberts

... into the faces of their antagonists—the phalanx, bristling with its thick array of lances, bore them down. Alexander found himself sufficiently near Darius to hurl a spear at him, which transfixed his charioteer. The cry arose that the king had fallen, and the ranks at once grew unsteady. The more timid instantly began to break and fly; the contagion of fear spread; and Darius was in a little while almost denuded of protection on one side. Seeing this, and regarding the battle as lost, since his line was broken, his centre and left wing ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... weird experience revived something of the natural fear which it had occasioned. He raised his glass, with unsteady hand, and drained it. ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... too unsteady to walk in a straight line, but the fire of battle was in his eyes again. There was no doubting the gameness of the big man. Old Bridewell caught his arm and drew ...
— Bull Hunter • Max Brand

... by this time learned to read it with tolerable fidelity to nature. It always struck me as of a wholly different character from that of the vice or the violence of the people. It wears a thoughtful air; the lips seem to have a secret enclosed, the eye is lowering, the step unsteady, the man exhibits a consciousness of danger from the glance or tread of every passer-by. His visage is sullen, stern, and meditative—I can scarcely allow this conception to be a work of fancy, for I have never been deceived in my readings of that ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 356, June, 1845 • Various

... the pen. It shook in his unsteady fingers. "Wait," Potts pleaded. But the young man brooked no intervention. With a flourish he affixed his signature. McTurpin picked up the pen as Benito dropped it. "Put your name on as a witness," he demanded ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... might have the homely field and honest woods to front against. You thought of the elements and even of possible volcanoes as you looked up the stony heights. Suddenly I saw that a region of what I had thought gray stones was slowly moving, as if the sun was making my eyesight unsteady. ...
— The Queen's Twin and Other Stories • Sarah Orne Jewett

... abdicate his throne, or oppose vigorously a people who grasped at the empire of the world. This discourse awakened, in some little measure, the king out of his lethargy, and prompted him to make some weak efforts. But, as his conduct was unsteady, after sustaining a great many considerable losses, he was forced to terminate the war by an ignominious peace; one of the articles of which was, that he should deliver up Hannibal to the Romans. ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... game. Fire away, my hearties! fire, fire away!" And, with a chuckling idiot laugh, he dived into the pocket of his torn corduroy trousers and produced a pipe. Filling this leisurely from a greasy pouch, with such unsteady fingers that the tobacco dropped all over him, he lighted it, repeating, with increased thickness of utterance, "Wot's the row! 'Ave it ...
— Stories By English Authors: London • Various

... lift her to the pillion as I had done hundreds of times before, but she did not see me. Instead, I was almost pushed away by the rush of Sir John and young Butler to her side, both eager to assist. It was the knight, flushed and a little unsteady with wine, who won the privilege, and held Daisy's foot. I climbed into my saddle moodily, getting offence out of ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... extended its bright wall along the whole front of their wigwam. As they observed the various and contrasted figures that made up the assemblage, each man looking like a caricature of himself in the unsteady light that flickered over him, they came mutually to the conclusion that an odder society had never met in city or wilderness, on ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... from life its beauty,—why they should dally along the road, and cling frantically to the old landmarks, and shrink fearfully from the approaching future, I cannot tell. You are getting into years. True. But you are getting out again. The bowed frame, the tottering step, the unsteady hand, the failing eye, the heavy ear, the tremulous voice, they will all be yours. The grasshopper will become a burden, and desire shall fail. The fire shall be smothered in your heart, and for passion you shall have only peace. This is not pleasant. It ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... hour and a quarter. Then the alarum roused me, and I sprang up before I was thoroughly awake. Had I hesitated, the desire to relapse into perfect sleep would have overpowered me. Although the muscles of my neck were painfully stiff, and my hands unsteady from my nervous disturbance, produced by the interruption of my first slumber, I dressed myself resolutely, and, after taking a draught of cold water, stole out of the house. It was exceedingly dark; and I had some difficulty in finding the cow-house, whence I borrowed a spade, ...
— The Miraculous Revenge - Little Blue Book #215 • Bernard Shaw



Words linked to "Unsteady" :   irregular, tottering, wobbling, convulsive, agitated, shaky, unfixed, jerky, flickering, shuddering, tottery, quavering, faltering, shivering, palpitant, fluctuating, spasmodic, aflicker, unsteadiness, spastic, jerking, arrhythmic, steady, shifting, unfirm, shifty, uneven, tremulous



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