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Torpor   /tˈɔrpər/   Listen
Torpor

noun
1.
A state of motor and mental inactivity with a partial suspension of sensibility.  Synonym: torpidity.
2.
Inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy.  Synonyms: listlessness, torpidity, torpidness.






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"Torpor" Quotes from Famous Books



... night. They had supped—the Duke, de' Alvari, Gismondo Santi, Messer Valdicampo, his wife and two daughters, and a couple of friends, potential citizens of Cagli, whom he had invited, that they might witness the honour that was being done his house. It waxed late, and the torpor that ensues upon the generous gratification of appetite was settling upon the company when Armstadt—Gian Maria's Swiss captain—entered and approached his master with the air of a man who is the bearer of news. He halted ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... an effort to shake off the torpor which still held possession of him, and murmured, "Oh, sir, do you call these ...
— The Queen's Necklace • Alexandre Dumas pere

... attack, no assault to which a name can be given, but without any definite reason they languish and die suddenly, like a taper, blown out. The torpor of ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... sense stole over him of remoteness or detachment from all visible things, as though he were suddenly and mysteriously separated from the rest of humankind by an invisible force which he was powerless to resist. He was still lost in this vague half-torpor or semi- conscious reverie, when a light tap startled him back to the realization of earth and his earthly surroundings. In response to his "Entrez!" the tall Nubian, whom he had seen in Cairo as the guardian of the Princess's household, appeared, ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... hearts with a breath, sat starving for the admiration that was her natural food. I appeal to the whole society of artists of the Beautiful and the Imaginative,—poets, romancers, painters, sculptors, actors,—whether or no this is a grief that may be felt even amid the torpor of a dissolving brain! ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... was like a garden in the emotive torpor of spring; now my life was like a flower conscious of the light. Money was placed in my hands, and I divined all it represented. Before me the crystal lake, the distant mountains, the swaying woods, said but one word, and that word was—self; not the self that was ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... shone down upon the fields covered with yellow grain. Far in the distance carriage-wheels softly slipped along the road. There was a torpor in the air—not a bird's cry, not an insect's hum. Gorju cut himself a switch and ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... and strange tales are current as to the origin of it, which the curious in Physiology may consult; they are not fit for reporting here. [Ib. iv. 476.] It seems to have consisted in an overclouding, rather than a total ruin of the mind. Incurable depression there was; gloomy torpor alternating with fits of vehement activity or suffering; great discontinuity at all times:—evident unfitness for business. It was long hoped he might recover. And Doctors in Divinity and in Medicine undertook ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. III. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Hohenzollerns In Brandenburg—1412-1718 • Thomas Carlyle

... more completely than any other property is quality. The sky over us, and the waters of the earth, are subject to infinite variations. Yet, whether in the tiny drop that trembles at the point of a leaf or in the vast ocean-globe of our planet, in the torpor of forest-ponds or in the wrath of cataracts, water never loses its quality of wetness,—the open sky never that of dryness. These two characteristics are of course entirely the reverse of each other,—as unlike as are the properties of transparency ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... his kneeling position, he obeyed my movement like a tired child, and again sat on the low pallet, in a state of motionless and unresisting torpor. The damp sweat stood on my own forehead, though not so cold as on his; and I poured myself out a small portion of wine, to ward off the exhaustion which I began to feel unusually strong upon me. I prevailed upon ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 13, No. 374 • Various

... before he can make up his mind what to do. Our haste, and what we consider smartness in business, are looked upon by the Persian as quite an acute form of lunacy,—and really, when one is thrown much in contact with such delightful placidity, almost torpor, and looks back upon one's hard race for a living and one's struggle and competition in every department, one almost begins to fancy that we are lunatics ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... on the narrow palliasse and, tired nature asserting herself, at last fell into a heavy, dreamless torpor, like the sleep of a drunkard, deep but without the beneficent ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... her body—as her body was the slave of another's will—forgot the faint and vague image of the ideal that had found its beginning in the physical promptings of her savage nature. She dropped back into the torpor of her former life and found consolation—even a certain kind of happiness—in the thought that now Nina and Dain were separated, probably for ever. He would forget. This thought soothed the last pangs of dying jealousy that had nothing now to feed upon, and Taminah found peace. ...
— Almayer's Folly - A Story of an Eastern River • Joseph Conrad

... self-sacrificing nobility of Socrates' life, thus devoted to awakening them that sleep out of their moral torpor; the enmities that his keen and trenchant questionings of quacks and pretenders of every kind induced; the devotion of some of his friends, the unhappy falling away of others; the calumnies of interested enemies, the satires of poets; and lastly, the ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... community received as its pastor, in the spring of 1740, Samuel Blair, a native of Ireland, trained in the Log College of William Tennent. He describes the people, at his first knowledge of them, as sunk in a religious torpor, ignorance, and indifference. The first sign of vitality was observed in March, 1740, during the pastor's absence, when, under an alarming sermon ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... animal's body kept the vitality in her poor heart, and instead of death, a drowsiness fell upon her, which would perhaps have ended in a wakeless sleep. But just as she was sinking away into that deathly torpor from which few are aroused, a female figure came, floating like a dark bird of prey, through the storm, now obscured by the thick interlacing of naked branches, and again dimmed in her approach by the veil of virgin snow-flakes that filled ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... ended; and yonder she sees The spot where he lies, looming white through the trees: Her torpor dissolves with a shuddering start, And a terrible ...
— Beechenbrook - A Rhyme of the War • Margaret J. Preston

... more than during peace, that the newspaper should circulate very freely, stimulating the public, aiding government and the war, and keeping the mind of the country in living union. Nothing would more rapidly produce a torpor—and there is too much torpor now—than a measure which would have the effect of killing off perhaps one half of the country press, the great mass of which is barely able to live as it is. 'Let the press be as free as possible. Let it be free from onerous taxation, and left unfettered ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... institutions founded on a principle of liberty; and neither the terror of the Spanish rule nor the jealousy of England had destroyed her power. Credit, banking, all modern forms of exchange were coming into use; and agriculture, which the feudal system had kept in a state of torpor, awakened and became a ...
— Women Wage-Earners - Their Past, Their Present, and Their Future • Helen Campbell

... and testifying now and then by a sign or a grunt, their surprise at not being beaten, or made to carry their captors. Some, however, caught sight of the little calabashes of coca which the English carried. That woke them from their torpor, and they began coaxing abjectly (and not in vain) for a taste of that miraculous herb, which would not only make food unnecessary, and enable their panting lungs to endure that keen mountain air, but would rid ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... in the question of how to rouse his friend from the torpor in which he lay, and get him out of this voluptuous garden of delights, before any lurking danger could overtake him. Full of this intention, he presently ventured to draw aside the curtain that concealed Lysia's pavilion, . . and looking in, he saw to his great relief, that she was ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... commissioner by the Parliament of Toulouse, arrived at Ganges, together with all the officials required by his commission; but he could not see the marquise that night, for she had dozed for some hours, and this sleep had left a sort of torpor upon her mind, which might have impaired the lucidity of her depositions. The next morning, without asking anybody's opinion, M. Catalan repaired to the house of M. Desprats, and in spite of some slight resistance on the part of ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE GANGES—1657 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... for nations as for individuals to hit the happy medium," said Lavendar, stirring the fire. "Enterprise carried too far becomes vulgar hustling, while stability and conservatism often pass the coveted point of repose and degenerate into torpor." ...
— Robinetta • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... blow decided the battle. The ponderous pericranium of General Jan Risingh sank upon his breast; his knees tottered under him; a deathlike torpor seized upon his frame, and he tumbled to the earth with such violence that old Pluto started with affright, lest he should have broken through the ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... in a low whisper; but every word was distinctly understood and burned into her heart's core, drying her tears and hardening her into a block of marble. She knew that Guy had not done her justice, and this helped to increase the torpor stealing over her. Still she did not lose a syllable of what was saying in the back office, and her lip curled scornfully when she heard Guy remark: "I pity her; she is so young, and evidently takes it so hard. Maybe she's as good as they average. Suppose ...
— Aikenside • Mary J. Holmes

... could not be brought off, it was decided that working parties at her house led to too much giddiness from suppressed giggles or torpor from too much food. So she relapsed once more into loneliness. Unfortunately air-raids were now becoming events of occasional fright and anxiety in London, and this deterred Cousin Sophie from Darlington, Cousin Matty from Leeds, Joseph's ...
— Mrs. Warren's Daughter - A Story of the Woman's Movement • Sir Harry Johnston

... and cold, like some human voice weary with preaching to unbelieving hearts of a peace on earth. This man's heart was unbelieving; he chafed in the oppressive quiet; it was unfeeling mockery to a sick and hungry world,—a dead torpor of indifference. Years of hot and turbid pain had dulled his eyes to the eternal secret of the night; his soul was too sore with stumbling, stung, inflamed with the needs and suffering of the countless lives that hemmed him in, to accept the great prophetic calm. He was blind ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... whispered name, and thrusting out her hands, as if to tear away a physical bond, broke through the torpor that possessed her, and stood upon her feet. She staggered, white and trembling, to Jim's bedside, and there, in the faint light, she saw ...
— Peak and Prairie - From a Colorado Sketch-book • Anna Fuller

... creaking ladder into the wireless-room. Harrison was in a torpor, muttering inanely and pleadingly as his long, white fingers opened and ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... mathematical point as it were, where the voices appeared to attain their maximum of intensity. The word forlorad again distinctly reached my ear. Then came again that rolling noise like thunder which had awakened me out of torpor. ...
— A Journey to the Centre of the Earth • Jules Verne

... decided the battle. The ponderous pericranium of General Jan Risingh sank upon his breast; his knees tottered under him; a death-like torpor seized upon his frame, and he tumbled to the earth with such violence that old Pluto started with affright, lest he should have broken through the ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... North West, drove the shattered bark up the Channel, at the same time gradually nearing her to the French coast. After twenty-four hours' driving before the storm, during which Willy never once awoke from his torpor, the vessel was not many leagues from the port of Cherbourg. It was broad daylight when our hero awoke; and after some little time necessary to chase away the vivid effects of a dream, in which he fancied himself to be ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... Proper, were sometimes very sad and even horrible. But Schlesien, the outlying Country, did, in all this, suffer less than Bohemia Proper; and did NOT lose its Evangelical Doctrine in result, as unfortunate Bohemia did, and sink into sluttish "fanatical torpor, and big Crucifixes of japanned Tin by the wayside," though in the course of subsequent years, named of Peace, it was near doing so. Here are the steps, or unavailing counter-steps, in that ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... received Greek names (as bulimia, dromomania, etc.) and been scientifically disposed of as "episodic syndromata of hereditary degeneration." But it turns out that Janet's cases are all what he calls psychasthenics, or victims of a chronic sense of weakness, torpor, lethargy, fatigue, insufficiency, impossibility, unreality and powerlessness of will; and that in each and all of them the particular activity pursued, deleterious though it be, has the temporary result ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... whenever—which was seldom and reluctantly—I bestirred myself to seek that invigorating charm of Nature which used to give me such freshness and activity of thought, the moment that I stepped across the threshold of the Old Manse. The same torpor, as regarded the capacity for intellectual effort, accompanied me home, and weighed upon me in the chamber which I most absurdly termed my study. Nor did it quit me when, late at night, I sat in the deserted parlour, lighted only by the glimmering coal-fire and the moon, striving to picture forth ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... with a kind of hopeless gratitude on her face, which was nearly as white as those of her sons. The doctor soon saw that Friedel was past human aid; but, when he declared that there was fair hope for the other youth, Friedel, whose torpor had been dispelled by the examination, looked up with his beaming smile, ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... shaken, and Sir William, after a few days of alternate torpor and delirium, passed away, without having been conscious enough to leave any counsel to his children, or any directions to Father Philip, the chaplain, or ...
— More Bywords • Charlotte M. Yonge

... snow-clad Hamlets,—with their little hood of human smoke rising through the snow; silent all of them, except for the sound of here and there a flail, or crowing cock;—but have been awakened from their torpor by this transit of Belleisle. Happily the bogs themselves are ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIV. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... a long time, plunged in a sad reverie—sunk in a species of torpor; but he roused himself at last, and perceiving that his faithful old follower's eyes were fixed upon him, full of timid questioning that he did not venture to put into words, briefly related to him the principal incidents of his journey up to the ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... degraded body. The majority of them were no more capable of caring for literature, knowledge, education, books, or learning than Squire Western or Commodore Trunnion. One of them, says Pattison, had been reduced by thirty years of the Lincoln common-room to a torpor almost childish. Another was 'a wretched cretin of the name of Gibbs, who was always glad to come and booze at the college port a week or two when his vote was wanted in support of college abuses.' The description of a ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 5: On Pattison's Memoirs • John Morley

... played out. In fact, there is, during the rest of his Reign, nothing of World-History to be dwelt on anywhere. America, it has been decided, shall be English; Prussia be a Nation. The French, as finis of their attempt to cut Germany in Four, find themselves sunk into torpor, abeyance and dry-rot; fermenting towards they know not what. Towards Spontaneous Combustion in the year 1789, and ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... "Who can tell?" I said, looking hard off over the prairie. "The Muses must care for their own. That 'awakening,'" I went on, after a moment of wondering why the distant stream of the valley was called "the Looking-glass," and learning only that such was its name, "was when after the bookish torpor of his mind—you remember he called books his opiates—he felt the beauty of the spring and the marvel of human service come back on him like a flood. It was the growing consciousness of how little of life is our own. ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... seek to divert him from the thoughts that besieged him—she was herself in a melancholy mood, without knowing why, and her endeavors were but wasted; if he abandoned the train of his reflections, it was merely to express a thought in rapid tones, and he seemed momentarily to shake off his torpor; he replied to his wife's forced smile by a mechanical grimace, and immediately relapsed into his nervously ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... its dry guides; somewhere within the recesses of the house a sleeping bell woke and jangled. Silence followed. The three of them waited upon the road in the slant of the sunshine, aware of the odor of hot dust, trees, and water. Herr Haase stood, in the contented torpor of service and obedience, holding the heavy suit-case to one side of the gate; to the other, the Baron and Von Wetten stood together. Von Wetten, with something of rigidity even in his ease and insouciance, stared idly at the windows through which, as through stagnant eyes, the silent house ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... himself was becoming an object of terror. He no longer moved. Torpor was coming over him. He did not perceive that he was losing consciousness—he was becoming benumbed and lifeless. Winter was silently delivering him over to night. There is something of the traitor in winter. The child was all but a statue. The ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... leaving her to her despair, which had passed into a sort of torpor by the following night, when Dr. Morrell came again, out of what she knew must be mere humanity; he could not respect her any longer. He told her, as if for her comfort, that Putney had gone to the depot to meet Mr. Peck, who was expected back in the eight-o'clock train, ...
— Annie Kilburn - A Novel • W. D. Howells

... him at five o'clock, as he was on the point of donning his coat. From five to six, he had remained in a torpor of disappointment, continually wondering whether Phil's sister would care. At six, his own boarding house being closed for the recess, he had trudged through the snow to a restaurant in the square, and had ...
— The New Boy at Hilltop • Ralph Henry Barbour

... but fitfully, with a fretful sense of sore elbows and neck and many a draughty hiatus among the blankets. It was broad daylight before I had reached the stage of torpor in which such slumber merges. That was finally broken by the descent through the skylight of a torrent of water. I started up, bumped my head hard against the ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... reverenced as one of the patriarchs of the village, and a chronicle of the old times "before the war." It was some time before he could get into the regular track of gossip, or could be made to comprehend the strange events that had taken place during his torpor. How that there had been a revolutionary war—that the country had thrown off the yoke of old England—and that, instead of being a subject of his Majesty George the Third, he was now a free citizen of the United States. Rip, in fact, was no politician; the changes of states and empires made but ...
— Short Stories Old and New • Selected and Edited by C. Alphonso Smith

... child! if any one should see us, I should look very ridiculous," she said, shaking off the ecstatic torpor. ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... the fireside, the old man dropped from torpor to torpor, apart and unaware of them. When he waked they would ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... only dreaming what I see and hear here. The voices which I hear around me, and to which my ear is not accustomed, make upon me for the most part only an impression like the rattling of carriages or any other indifferent noise. Only your voice or that of Titus could to-day wake me out of my torpor. Life and death are perfectly alike to me. Tell, however, my parents that I am very happy, that I am in want of nothing, that I amuse myself famously, ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... remark how injurious it was to the impression of Coleridge's finest displays where the minds of the hearers had been long detained in a state of passiveness. To understand fully, to sympathise deeply, it was essential that they should react. Absolute inertia produced inevitable torpor. I am not supposing any indocility, or unwillingness to listen. Generally it might be said that merely to find themselves in that presence argued sufficiently in the hearers a cheerful dedication of themselves to ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... almost as many varieties in the dog as it does in man; and it has some peculiarities observable in the dog only. Rheumatism never exists in a dog without affecting the bowels. There will be inflammation or painful torpor through the whole of the intestinal canal. It is only in some peculiar districts that this occurs; it pervades certain kennels only; and but until lately there has been little or almost no explanation of the cause of ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... is carried to him on the air. As I write, the flames of Russian Bolshevism seem, for the moment at least, to have burnt themselves out, and the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe are held in a dreadful torpor. The lately gathered harvest keeps off the worst privations, and Peace has been declared at Paris. But winter approaches. Men will have nothing to look forward to or to nourish hopes on. There will be little fuel to moderate the rigors of the season ...
— The Economic Consequences of the Peace • John Maynard Keynes

... torpor of indigestion holding the tired brains of those two men in its fatal grasp; their stomachs were full of food when they were already tired out by their long trip that was nearly at its close, and for them those untimely meals ...
— The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure • Edward Hooker Dewey

... the whole, and a skill that was never outdone in its time had made memory itself visible on the canvas. Something that was neither a 'harmless illness' nor a 'miracle' had waked Angela from her torpor. ...
— The White Sister • F. Marion Crawford

... collected whatever moveables I could carry thither, and piled them against the doors, so as to assist me in whatever attempts I should make to resist the entrance of those without. I then returned to the bed and endeavoured again, but fruitlessly, to awaken my cousin. It was not sleep, it was torpor, lethargy, death. I knelt down and prayed with an agony of earnestness; and then seating myself upon the bed, I awaited my fate with a kind ...
— Two Ghostly Mysteries - A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family; and The Murdered Cousin • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... way of diffusing his weight over as much surface as possible, was the work of only a few minutes. But by that time the perishing man was almost incapable of helping himself. The great difficulty that the rescuer experienced was to rouse Lumley once more to action, for the torpor that precedes death had already set in, and to get on his knees on the edge of the ice, so as to have power to raise his friend, would only have resulted in the loss of his own life as well. To make sure that he should not let go his hold and slip, ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... melancholy, such black despair, that in that hell in which she rolled on from sin to sin, desperate and unsatisfied, she had taken to drinking to escape herself, to save herself from the present, to drown herself and founder for a few moments in the heavy slumber, the lethargic torpor in which she would lie wallowing across her bed for a whole day, just as she fell when she tried to make it. The miserable creature! how great an incentive, how many motives and reasons she found for devouring her suffering, and bleeding ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... philosophy he had done it at all. Ristofalo he could have haunted without effort; but Ristofalo was not to be found. Richling tramped in vain. It may be that all plans were of equal merit just then. The summers of New Orleans in those times were, as to commerce, an utter torpor, and the autumn reawakening was very tardy. It was still too early for the stirrings of general mercantile life. The movement of the cotton crop was just beginning to be perceptible; but otherwise almost the only sounds were from the hammers of craftsmen making ...
— Dr. Sevier • George W. Cable

... your last Letter reached me, I have been wandering over the country, enveloped either in a restless whirl of locomotives, view-hunting, &c., or sunk in the deepest torpor of total idleness and laziness, forgetting, and striving to forget, that there was any world but that of dreams; —and though at intervals the reproachful remembrance has arisen sharply enough on me, that I ought, on all accounts high and low, ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... the end, pressure of the brain became apparent; severe pain, succeeded by torpor and loss of power, and, after a short time, utter unconsciousness, proved that the sands of life had nearly run down. A few hours of spasmodic suffering followed, very trying to those who watched by; but ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... this bonnet; all else is trivial intrusion. But whatever does concern the centrifugal bonnet, whatever concerns it in the remotest—ah, then he springs to life! So Noble Dill sat through a Sunday dinner at home, seemingly drugged to a torpor, while the family talk went on about him; but when his father, in the course of some remarks upon politics, happened to mention the name of the county-treasurer, Charles J. Patterson, Noble's startled attention to ...
— Gentle Julia • Booth Tarkington

... hurried off with short steps. Yegor threw back his head, closed his eyes and sank into a torpor, motionless save for the twitching of his fingers. The white walls of the little room seemed to radiate a dry coldness and a pale, faceless sadness. Through the large window peered the tufted tops of the lime trees, amid whose ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... born "soft-headed," he finally lost his reason, five years before the period of which I am writing, when a great fire occurred, and that thenceforth anything, save sunlight, that in any way resembled fire plunged him into this torpor of dumb dread. Naturally the people of the suburb devoted to him ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... pretty, innocent gaiety of the children seems obscured as by a gathering thunder-cloud; as when the air grows close and still over some scene of rustic merriment, and the blitheness of the revellers sinks into torpor and faintness, not knowing what ails them. One feels that the performers of the dance will be rewarded with kisses and sweetmeats, and that they will draw the poison ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... dear, at once to the War Office," said she, rousing herself from this torpor; "try to send out a commission; it must be done. Get round the Marshal. And on your return, at five o'clock, you will find —perhaps—yes! you shall find two hundred thousand francs. Your family, your honor as a man, as a State official, a Councillor ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... matter for what purpose. The city sought for some avenue, some plan, some evasion, even, so that it might take over the water system and give its people crystal water from the lakes instead of the polluted river-water. The city pointed to typhoid cases, to slothful torpor on the part of the water syndicate. But the court could only, in the last analysis, point to the law—and that law in regard to debt limit was rooted in the constitution of the state—and a law fortified by ...
— The Landloper - The Romance Of A Man On Foot • Holman Day

... towards his hotel when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the pavement. His intellect, which had wakened from its torpor, awakened something else. He began to realise his own share in this tragedy. It was not Paul who was guilty of murder at all—it was he, the judge. If long years before he had done his duty, if he had not listened to the voice of self interest, if he had been true to the pleadings of his own heart ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... found herself left alone with Pietro and Marianna. In vain she endeavoured to arouse her lover to a state of consciousness—the same frightful torpor continued which the wound had caused; and her heart almost broke with anguish, as she began to fear he might die before he could receive any ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... he was melancholy mad, and I suppose it was the truth; but he was mad with a kind of gentle patience very sad to see. His mother had died during their exile, and now his wife, unable with all her love to rouse him from his torpor, faded slowly away. He did not notice her sickness, and his poor numbed brain seemed imperfectly to comprehend her death. But he followed her to the grave, and turning from it moved slowly down the city, passed the door of his old home without looking at it, and went ...
— ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands; - The Rhine to the Arctic • Hezekiah Butterworth

... mountain forest, with song and dance of delirious mirth; yet constantly she wore the laurel in token of purification, and, with water from fresh fountains, cleansed the statue of Minerva. Stagnancy and torpor were intolerable to her free and elastic impulses; a brilliant fancy threw over each place and incident Arcadian splendor; and eager desire, with energetic purposes, filled her with the consciousness of large latent life: and yet the lower instincts were duly subordinated to the higher, and dignified ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... scarcely more than an hour or two in the torpor of troubled slumbers. When he awoke in the darkness of his warm, closed room, he was aware, even before thought was awake in him, of the painful oppression, the sickness of heart which the sorrow we have slept on leaves behind it. It is as though the disaster of which the shock merely ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... Above all, it saves the East from stagnation. It is one among many of those salutary shocks which, in the political as in the natural world, are needed from time to time to stimulate action and prevent torpor and apathy. ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire • George Rawlinson

... wise man lays out his life as a gardener does a garden, on the principle of selection, of order, and with a view to the succession of the seasons. You all bemoan the dulness of life; you, in Paris, the torpor of ennui stifles you, you cry. On the contrary, I would wish the days were weeks, and the weeks months. And why? Simply because I have discovered the philosopher's stone. I have grasped the secret of my era. The comedy of rank is played out; the life of the trifler ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... passed, without any event that might awaken the young solitary from his torpor. By day, he roved through the island, or lay listlessly under the shadow of a tree; by night, he slept beneath the rocks which had first sheltered him; while the fruits, that grew and ripened without his care, gave him food. Thus he lived a merely animal life, his strongest ...
— Evenings at Donaldson Manor - Or, The Christmas Guest • Maria J. McIntosh

... the plain fact that her existence depended—not only on keeping in the ranks every man already there, but of adding largely to their numbers—it was but natural that the Government's torpor had, in a slight degree, ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... For several years after this he experienced the acutest misery, and his will suffered an entire paralysis. In 1821 he succeeded in reducing his dose to a comparatively small allowance, and in shaking off his torpor so as to become capable of literary work. {240} The most impressive effect of the opium habit was seen in his dreams, in the unnatural expansion of space and time, and the infinite repetition of the same objects. His sleep was filled with dim, vast images; measureless cavalcades deploying to ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... erred in one branch of our duties, does not unfit us for the performance of all the rest, unless we suffer the dark spot to spread over our whole nature, which may happen almost unobserved in the torpor of despair. This kind of despair is chiefly grounded on a foolish belief that individual words or actions constitute the whole life of man; whereas they are often not fair representatives of portions even of that life. The fragments of rock in a mountain ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... a movement with his hand, and, directly he did so, it happened as on the previous evening, that a metamorphosis took place in the very abysses of my being. I woke from my torpor, as he put it, I came out of death, and was alive again. I was far, yet, from being my own man; I realised that he exercised on me a degree of mesmeric force which I had never dreamed that one creature ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... the early shadows shooting far ahead of it, then dwindling to a blot beneath each moving body, then slanting out behind. There was speech in the morning which died as the day advanced, all thought sinking into torpor in the monotonous glare. In the late afternoon the sun, slipping down the sky, peered through each wagon's puckered canvas opening smiting the drivers into lethargy. Propped against the roof supports, hats drawn ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... plan to pin Delarey and Beyers on to the wall of the Magaliesberg, the Boer leaders were compelled to separate. Their brilliant and brief co-operation did much to awake the British nation out of its torpor. There was no longer any talk of reducing the Army of occupation by one-half at the end of the year, and still more during the New Year; or of quenching the smouldering embers of the war with Baden-Powell's ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... away from her cousin, trusting that the visit might remain a secret, too mortifying to both parties to be divulged, but she found Horatia in a state of eager anticipation, awakened from the torpor to watch for tidings of a happy conclusion to their difficulties, and preparing jests on the pettish ingratitude with which she expected Lucilla to requite the services that would ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... huddled in apparent torpor and for some moments unobserved, until the Duke signaled to a passing waiter and indicated the toreador with a glance. The waiter came over to Blanco. "The Senor will find another table," he said with the ...
— The Lighted Match • Charles Neville Buck

... will fetch my future wife in a style befitting her new position, you may be sure of that," he said, and brought his clenched fist down upon the table with a crash, so that pots and pans rattled upon the hearth and started the paralytic from his torpor. ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... representing it are plunged in a crass ignorance. Having just sufficient means to live without working, they lounge away their time in homes comfortless and half-furnished, the very walls of which seem to reek with ennui. Rumours of what is passing in Europe, which might possibly rouse them from their torpor, are stopped at the frontier. New ideas, which might somewhat fertilize their minds, are intercepted by the Custom House. If they read anything, it is the Almanack, or by way of a higher order of literature, ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... historic career of Jesus, so far as it can now be determined, we propose here to sketch the rise and progress of Christologic doctrine, in its most striking features, during the first three centuries. Beginning with the apostolic view of the human Messiah sent to deliver Judaism from its spiritual torpor, and prepare it for the millennial kingdom, we shall briefly trace the progressive metamorphosis of this conception until it completely loses its identity in the Athanasian theory, according to which ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... annoyed at being disturbed; but at the sight of it my torpor fell from me, for upon it was written the name of that detective officer whom in my story I had called William Dawson, and in the corner were the letters "C.I.D." (Criminal Investigation Department). I had become a criminal, and was ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... acknowledge that beneath this attractive exterior there was hopeless decay. As with all creatures when they have passed their prime, Egypt had begun to grow old, and was daily losing her elasticity and energy. Her spirit had sunk into a torpor, she had become unresponsive to her environment, and could no longer adapt herself to the form she had so easily acquired in her youth: it was as much as she could do to occupy fully the narrower limits ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... little one!' he said to his mother; and she went to the kitchen, where, frozen with grief, she remained all morning in a kind of torpor. Martha was afraid she would have a stroke. But she dared not speak to Edward, for, hovering in the passage, she had seen his face as he shut ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... The torpor and composure of a somnambulist had come upon Frederick, who with his shirt sleeves rolled up was ceaselessly washing his arms and hands and brushing his finger nails, all at the bidding of a will not his own. He was acting ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... death to those she rode to save, and when the prayer passed her failing senses a new terror awakened her, for she found herself falling out of the saddle. With excruciating torment she recovered her poise. Reeling from side to side, she fought the torpor away. Her mind grew clearer and her tears had ceased. She prayed for a light. The word caught between her stiffened lips and she mumbled it till she could open them wide and scream it out. Then came a sound like the beating of great drums in her ears. It was ...
— Whispering Smith • Frank H. Spearman

... labours, else he would not have died," said the sorrowful father. "He had treated many worse cases even when things were worse, and brought them round. But Dan was worn out with all he had been doing for the past months. He fell an easy prey; and he did not suffer much, thank God. He lay mostly in a torpor, much as Reuben did, as I hear, but slowly sank away. His poor mother! She had begun to think that she was to have all her children about her yet. But in truth we must not repine, having so many left to us, when they say there is scarce a family in all ...
— The Sign Of The Red Cross • Evelyn Everett-Green

... between its advice and its commands. Worse still will be the case if the government really believes itself interested in preventing all circulation of ideas; it will then stand motionless, and oppressed by the heaviness of voluntary torpor. Governments therefore should not be the only active powers: associations ought, in democratic nations, to stand in lieu of those powerful private individuals whom the equality of conditions ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 2 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... still more sharply. The old man, making no reply, sank back into a semi-torpor, rocking himself to and fro upon ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... labour leaves the plough-gear fast. Nor tall wood's shadow, nor soft sward may stir That heart's emotion, nor rock-channelled flood, More pure than amber speeding to the plain: But see! his flanks fail under him, his eyes Are dulled with deadly torpor, and his neck Sinks to the earth with drooping weight. What now Besteads him toil or service? to have turned The heavy sod with ploughshare? And yet these Ne'er knew the Massic wine-god's baneful boon, Nor twice replenished banquets: ...
— The Georgics • Virgil

... Anneke, over whom a momentary physical torpor appeared to have passed. "Go you, Corny," she said; "a man may easily save himself; and you are an only child—the ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... cartridge-boxes, and the fragments of gun-carriages and waggons; and water was brought up from the stream. Horse-flesh was soon being roasted, and as hunger and thirst were appeased, the buzz of conversation rose round the fires, and the minds as well as the tongues of men seemed to thaw from their torpor. ...
— Through Russian Snows - A Story of Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow • G. A Henty

... became free from all her nervous troubles. During her crisis she heard everything. She quoted some Latin words that Mr. Franck had used. Her most fearful agony had been to hear the preparations for her burial without being able to get rid of her torpor. Medical dictionaries are full of anecdotes of this nature, but I shall cite but ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885 • Various

... perhaps deadened her feelings; for she now felt a sort of indifference creeping upon her, an inability to realize the evils of her situation, at the same time that she was perfectly aware of them all. This torpor of mind increased, till her eyelids began to grow heavy and the cave and trees to swim before her sight. In a few moments more she would probably have been in dreamless slumber; but, rousing herself by a strong effort, she looked round the narrow limits of the cave in search of objects ...
— Fanshawe • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... a sudden awakening to them all. They had been standing like figures in a silent tableau, stricken dumb and motionless. Now there was a stir. The fire in her tone had dissolved their torpor. She was standing on rising ground a little above the rest of them, and her attitude, together with the gesture by which she enforced her words, was full of intense dramatic force. The slim undulating ...
— The New Tenant • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... and as useless for him to try his utmost to overcome her positiveness, which was but too apparent, and did not in reality exist; the poor girl was completely overwhelmed—the aspect of death itself could not have awakened her from her torpor. The king saw in her repeated negative replies a mystery full of unkindness; he began to look all round the apartment with a suspicious air. There happened to be in La Valliere's room a miniature of Athos. The king remarked this portrait, ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... delightful summer was woefully disappointed. Even had she formed no previous plan of remaining there, it is improbable that Hilda would have gathered energy to stir from Rome. A torpor, heretofore unknown to her vivacious though quiet temperament, had possessed itself of the poor girl, like a half-dead serpent knotting its cold, inextricable wreaths about her limbs. It was that peculiar despair, that chill and heavy misery, ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... oppressed me. Towards three o'clock in the evening this feeling rose to a violent degree. Yawns dislocated my jaws. My lungs panted as they inhaled this burning fluid, which became rarefied more and more. A moral torpor took hold of me. I was powerless, almost unconscious. My brave Conseil, though exhibiting the same symptoms and suffering in the same manner, never left me. He took my hand and encouraged me, and I heard him ...
— Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea • Jules Verne

... work, having conquered his passion for Miss Clairville, and perhaps when a few years have flown and her health is restored the dweller against her will in the gloomy house of her fathers will emerge from her torpor and engage in some active work that will afford her restless spirit a measure of happiness. Often she cries in the ...
— Ringfield - A Novel • Susie Frances Harrison

... later he returns homeward the same way, roused from his melancholy torpor by his recent ...
— The Forged Coupon and Other Stories • Leo Tolstoy

... now taken such complete hold, that, suspended between life and death, a torpor had seized us, and, resigned to our fate, we had scarcely sufficient energy to lift our heads, and exercise the only faculty on which depended our safety. The delirium of our unfortunate shipmate had, ...
— Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean • Marmaduke Park

... off the fumes of their wine, removed on one side. The exhalation from the carnage is so strong that the president of the civil committee faints in his chair,[31115] the fumes of the tavern blending with those from the charnel-house. A heavy, dull state of torpor gradually overcomes their clouded brains, the last glimmerings of reason dying out one by one, like the smoky lights on the already cold breasts of the corpses lying around them. Through the stupor spreading ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... plunged me into anguish and perplexity. Once more I asked, Who was his assassin? By what motives could he be impelled to a deed like this? Waldegrave was pure from all offence. His piety was rapturous. His benevolence was a stranger to remissness or torpor. All who came within the sphere of his influence experienced and acknowledged his benign activity. His friends were few, because his habits were timid and reserved; but the existence of an enemy ...
— Edgar Huntley • Charles Brockden Brown

... sound, persistently repeated, at last invaded and dispelled the drugged torpor of his brain: the voice of Zyarulla murmuring: "Sahib—Sahib," with the regularity of ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... hurried for Alvina. When the daughter entered the ticket place, her father was again in a state of torpor. ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... on thick armors and breastplates and shells and calcareous skins to protect themselves from one another. This tendency resulted, he thinks, in the arrest of the entire animal world in its evolution toward higher and higher forms. These shells and armors begat a kind of torpor and immobility which has continued down to our day with the echinoderms and mollusks, but the arthropods and vertebrates escaped it by some lucky stroke. Now you and I are here without imprisoning shells on our ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... into nonentity." Sir Isaac Newton is "the developer of the skies in their embodied movements;" and Mrs. Thrale, when a party of clever people sat silent, is said "to have been provoked by the dulness of a taciturnity that, in the midst of such renowned interlocutors, produced as narcotic a torpor as could have been caused by a dearth the most barren of all human faculties." In truth, it is impossible to look at any page of Madame D'Arblay's later works without finding flowers of rhetoric like these. Nothing in the language of those jargonists at whom Mr. Gosport laughed, nothing in the language ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... tawny hawk sailed swiftly across the horizon. Huge plants of gray mullein towered here and there above the sward, whose flannel-like leaves afforded a snug shelter to great quantities of wasps just recovering from their winter torpor. On the very tombs themselves there was a lavish adornment of vegetable life: snow-white drifts of hawthorn and honeysuckle wreaths waved on the summits of those on which a sufficient depth of soil had lodged; the wild dog-rose spread its thorny bushes ...
— Roman Mosaics - Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood • Hugh Macmillan

... hand touched her arm; bandaged fingers sought to feel who she was. Behind her sounded a drowsy incoherent murmur. The snarl of the wolf had roused the sleeper from his torpor. ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... crushed by the footsteps of the thoughtless or the cruel. For such a one, life is well deserving of the epithet applied to it by the poet Virgil: dulcis vita, sweet life. It is not a vulgar sensuality, a Lethean torpor; the triumph of the grosser nature over the eternal principle within. It is already a separation of the carnal from the spiritual; a refinement of fierce passions; a present divorce from a close and clinging alliance; a foretaste of ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... life have in a sense become commonplace to our experience, it is but in an external torpor; the true sentiment slumbers within us; and we have but to reflect on ourselves or our surroundings to rekindle our astonishment. No length of habit can blunt our first surprise. Of the world I have but little to say in this connection; a few strokes shall suffice. We ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Dunlow your great grandmother!" shouted Cuddy; "St. Brandon help me! the wicked wench, with that tempting bottle—why 'twas only last night—a hundred years—your great grandmother said you? Mercy on us, there has been a strange torpor over me. I must ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 10, No. 270, Saturday, August 25, 1827. • Various

... the strength of affections; nevertheless, she felt a sudden concern for this power running to waste on her account, which, combined with a desire to keep possession of that strangely attractive masculine power, made her rouse herself from her torpor. ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... this winged jumping insect makes havoc of the rising plant of Turnips, but the crop is only in danger while in the seed-leaf stage. It is in the spring and early summer chiefly that the ravages of these insects occasion perplexity, for they awaken from their winter torpor active and hungry, and have a ready appetite for almost any cruciferous plant. Hence we see the leaves of Radishes pierced by them, and all such weeds as Charlock, Cuckoo Flower, Hedge Garlic, ...
— The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition • Sutton and Sons

... he wrote a long letter to Winifred. Later, as he walked the deck through a splendid golden sunset, his spirits rose continually. It was agreeable to come to himself again after several days of numbness and torpor. He stayed out until the last tinge of violet had faded from the water. There was literally a taste of life on his lips as he sat down to dinner and ordered a bottle of champagne. He was late in finishing his dinner, ...
— Alexander's Bridge and The Barrel Organ • Willa Cather and Alfred Noyes

... you speak so?" asked Sophie, with a look of pain in her grave little face. "Do you fear any such torpor in your own life? My love, this hasn't ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... looking for all the world like a mightily mystified baboon. The negro winked and grimaced, and scratched his flat nose in sheer vacant stupidity. Colonel Sommerton saw this, and it added an enfeebling increment to his mental torpor. ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... these words, which were destined to plough a furrow in the heart of the young prince, he passed into the bedroom, where the king was not so much asleep as plunged in a heavy torpor. The Duc de Guise was usually able to correct the sinister aspect of his scarred face by an affable and pleasing manner, but on this occasion, when he saw the instrument of his power breaking in his very hands, he was unable to force a smile. The ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... beauty, followed about by a train of admiring worshippers, addressed in all that exaggeration of language Italy sanctions, pampered by caresses, and honoured by homage on every side, little knew by what dreary torpor of heart and mind that joyous ecstasy they witnessed had been preceded, nor by what a bound her emotions had sprung from the depths of brooding melancholy to this paroxysm of delight; nor could the worn-out and wearied followers ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... commendable regularity in our newspapers and comic journals, and they have become endeared to us by a lifetime of intimacy. The salient characteristics of our great cities, the accepted traditions of our mining-camps, the contrast between East and West, the still more familiar contrast between the torpor of Philadelphia and Brooklyn ("In the midst of life," says Mr. Oliver Herford, "we are—in Brooklyn") and the uneasy speed of New York,—these things furnish abundant material for everyday American humour. ...
— Americans and Others • Agnes Repplier

... tail was coiled in the hollow below the cirque of Gavarnie. It fed once in three months, and supplied itself by making a very strong inspiration of its breath, whereupon every living thing around was drawn into its maw. It was ultimately killed by making a huge bonfire, and waking it from its torpor, when it became enraged, and drawing a deep breath, drew the bonfire into its maw, and died in agony.—Rev. W. ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... occasionally lighting up the wall whenever the closely drawn curtains were lightly blown aside by the freshening breeze. The whole events of the night might have been a dream but for the insupportable languor which numbed his senses, and the torpor of his arm, that, swollen and discolored, lay outside the coverlet on a pillow before him. Cloths that had been wrung out in iced water were replaced upon it from time to time by Sophy, Miss ...
— Sally Dows and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... obligingly sent spinning from the lorcha with one long, strong kick. Then I was alone on the deck, which suddenly looked immense, stretched on all sides, limitless as loneliness itself. A heavy torpor fell from the skies and amid this general silence, this immobility, the cabin door alone seemed to live, live in weird manifestation. It had been left open, and now it was swinging and slamming to and fro jerkily, and shuddering from top to bottom. Half in plan, half in mere irritation at this senseless, ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... such marvellous capacity of stomach, as in this native and uncultivated gastronome. Having, by repeated and prolonged assaults, at length completely gorged himself, he would wrap himself up and lie with the torpor of an anaconda; slowly digesting his way ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... stoically, and being permitted to carry my own chair into the room, I put it by the western window, which looked across two miles of meadows waving in buckwheat, in clover and grass, and sat there in a curious torpor of spirit. I was glad to be alone, for I had discovered a new idea—the idea of sin. I wished to be left to myself till I could think out what it meant. I believed I could do that by night, and, after I had got to the root of the matter, I could cast the whole ...
— Painted Windows • Elia W. Peattie



Words linked to "Torpor" :   hibernation, listlessness, passivity, sluggishness, physical condition, passiveness, torpidness, lethargy, physiological condition, lassitude, physiological state



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