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Writhe   /rɪθ/   Listen
Writhe

verb
(past writhed; past part. writhed, obs. or poetic writhen; pres. part. writhing)
1.
To move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling).  Synonyms: squirm, twist, worm, wrestle, wriggle.  "The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Writhe" Quotes from Famous Books



... the boom went up the barge's mast, and the tightly corded roll of dark canvas began to struggle for liberty, and writhe and flap with throttling noises above our heads, and when Mr. Rowe wrestled with it and the driver helped him, and Fred and I tried to, and were all but swept overboard in consequence, whilst the barge-master encouraged himself by strange and savage sounds—and ...
— A Great Emergency and Other Tales - A Great Emergency; A Very Ill-Tempered Family; Our Field; Madam Liberality • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... that the charge must be paid by senders. "Proprietors of journals," says the Quebec Chronicle, "find it hard enough at present to collect the simple subscription, without demanding postage in advance. People who writhe at present under the payment of their bare paper account, will find forwarding postage, in advance, an excruciating sacrifice." The 2 cents is no doubt primarily intended for soldiers' letters. The 3 cents pays the new single rate for postage; the 6 cents the charge on letters ...
— The Stamps of Canada • Bertram Poole

... of pleasure. The first fork is disentanglement from the sweetness of the world. The second fork is power over those who still writhe in the nets of illusion. The third fork is the healthy glow of one who steps ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... murmur, to see the form of his cherished, but wretched wife, not only exposed to the rude gaze of a beastly tyrant, but he must unresistingly see the heavy cowhide descend upon her shrinking flesh, and her manacled limbs writhe in inexpressible torture, while her piteous cries for help ring through his ears unanswered. The wild throbbing of his heart must be suppressed, and his righteous indignation find no voice, in the presence of the human monster who ...
— Twenty-Two Years a Slave, and Forty Years a Freeman • Austin Steward

... strange shiverings, swarmings, crepitations; sounds of incessant, infinitely subtle urging, of agony and recoil. Sounds they were of the invisible things unborn, driven towards birth; sounds of the worm unborn, of things that creep and writhe towards dissolution. She knew what she heard and saw. She heard the stirring of the corruption that Life was; the young blades of corn were frightful to her, for in them was the push, the passion of the evil ...
— The Flaw in the Crystal • May Sinclair

... Krishna to have pity, declaring that there is none like him in charm, that he is endlessly fascinating and that in all of them he has aroused extremities of passionate love. But the night is empty, their cries go unanswered, and moaning for the Krishna they adore, they toss and writhe on the ground. ...
— The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry • W. G. Archer

... with cinnamon, with almonds, and with musk, of raging liquors clouded with golden particles—mad drinks which spurred the guests in this womanless castle to frenzies of lechery and made them, at the end of the meal, writhe in monstrous dreams. ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... back, I guess," she sighed ruefully, as a sharp twinge of pain recalled her to her surroundings and caused her to writhe in agony, "and a pair of legs to match. You are a sure-enough doctor, ain't you? Can't you mend me up again? The other doctors' ...
— Heart of Gold • Ruth Alberta Brown

... eyes on the clouds and then continued: "But there is probably another means, Friedrich. Look, friend, look! It was always your affair to look, to behold. Look, but see to it that you do not make me writhe before you like a worm in the dust! And when you have looked—wisdom needs only one spoken word for ten that are unspoken. This one word you will ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... looking over you? had not the gaze of her tender eyes stolen into your senses long before you woke, and cast over your slumbering spirit a sweet spell of peace, and love, and fresh springing joy?) Some such influence had Catherine's looks upon her husband: for, as he slept under them, the man began to writhe about uneasily, and to burrow his head in the pillow, and to utter quick, strange moans and cries, such as have often jarred one's ear while watching at the bed of the feverish sleeper. It was just upon six, and presently the clock began to utter those ...
— Catherine: A Story • William Makepeace Thackeray

... fret until the mother would take her in her arms to ward off the threatened attacks, and thus she could stimulate herself to her heart's content. As she reports, at the height of the orgasm she expelled a secretion, her body began to writhe convulsively, her face became red as fire, her eyes rolled about and she almost lost ...
— Sleep Walking and Moon Walking - A Medico-Literary Study • Isidor Isaak Sadger

... some poor soul will stand and face its Creator with just this sort of cry;—some soul which has grievously sinned will bend, and writhe, and implore with hot, glassy eyes, to be heard. Jane felt this in all its varicolored meaning. Until now she had been speaking as the teacher, as the humanitarian. But with his torture-stricken eyes pouring their prayer into her own, with the storm bending his powerful ...
— Sunlight Patch • Credo Fitch Harris

... over your back and let it spread and spread and run down your legs." Friend Elephant did as he was ordered. Friend Mouse-deer then instructed the Elephant as follows: "As soon as I begin to lick up the molasses on your back, bellow as loud as you can and make believe to be hurt, and writhe and ...
— The Talking Beasts • Various

... have not practised at all times that grand self-denial. Who comes up to that teaching? Do you not wish for, nay, almost demand, instant pardon for any trespass that you may commit,—of temper, or manner, for instance? and are you always ready to forgive in that way yourself? Do you not writhe with indignation at being wrongly judged by others who condemn you without knowing your actions or the causes of them; and do you never judge others after ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... but was driven back by a number of arrows, rapidly discharged into his head and mouth. Again he advanced, but Gushtasp dodged round him, and continued driving arrows into him to the extent of forty, which subdued his strength, and made him writhe in agony. He then fixed the dagger, which was armed at right angles with knives, upon his spear, and going nearer, thrust it down ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 1,Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... casting upward to the star-studded sky a long serpent of black smoke. Behind us the dazzling white water, stirred by the rapid progress of the heavy bark and beaten by the propeller, foamed, seemed to writhe, gave off so much brilliancy that one could have called it ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... much resistance as a log. He could not tell how far he was carried down. Reaching the other side at last, he could scarcely crawl out on the stones. He was too stiff to attempt to draw on his clothes; the best he could do was to roll in his blankets, and writhe ...
— Two on the Trail - A Story of the Far Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... that Lance could have throttled his dad. It was like Tom to do it. Lance could not doubt that he had done it. He could picture the whole wretchedly cheap retaliation for the slight which Mary Hope had given them, and the picture tormented him, made him writhe mentally. But he could picture also Mary Hope's prim disapproval of them all, her deliberate omission of the Lorrigans from her list of invited guests, and toward that picture ...
— Rim o' the World • B. M. Bower

... light of innocence, the light of a beautiful soul, the light that never was on land or sea, shone out of the still features. A feeling which had never touched his nature before took fierce possession of him, and shook him as a tiger shakes his prey. He had to writhe in silence, to beat his head with his hands, to stifle words of rage and hate and despair. At last exhausted he resigned himself, he took the boy's hand in his, remembering that this innocent heart loved him, and fell into a ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." How often do we hear, "I wouldn't, for the world, tell any one but you, but—;" and then follows a string of repeated confidences which the friend under discussion would writhe to hear; yet the speaker would be most indignant at being considered dishonourable, because "it was only said to So-and-so, which is so different from saying it to any one else"! The Son of Sirach made no exception ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... deeper and more desperate surges. The wreck, which had remained fixed in the fury of the wind, lifts again under the great swell of the sea, and is dashed anew and anew upon the shoal. With every lift her timbers writhe and creak, and all the remaining upper works crack and burst open with ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866 • Various

... Durham was left alone. Bracing his muscles, he strained at the cords which bound him, trying to writhe himself free. The chair creaked. In a moment the man with the ...
— The Rider of Waroona • Firth Scott

... responsible. And he realized that this latter reason was the force which now prevented his breaking his engagement with Mrs. Cricklander. He had behaved with supreme selfishness in the beginning, and afterwards with a weakness which would always make him writhe ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... to see them writhe, Bellow like calves, fall dead like flies; Such bonny sights, and sounds so blithe, With rapture fill our eats ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... a stout udal-man, I know, Has cause to wish my head laid low; And many an angry udal knife Would gladly drink of Eina's life. But ere they lay Earl Einar low,— Ere this stout heart betrays its cause, Full many a heart will writhe, we know, In the wolf's fangs, or ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... smarting under wrongs, and deprived, by deceit and force, of their lands, hunting-grounds, and the graves of their fathers, may have found them otherwise: and no wonder; the worm that is trodden on will writhe; and man, unrestrained by Divine grace, when treated with injustice and cruelty, will ...
— History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians • George Mogridge

... the case of cruelty before referred to. In 1820 or 21, while the public works were going forward on Dauphin Island, Mobile Bay, a contractor, engaged on the works, beat one of his slaves so severely that the poor creature had no longer power to writhe under his suffering: he then took out his knife, and began to cut his flesh in strips, from his hips down. At this moment, the gentleman referred to, who was also a contractor, shocked at such inhumanity, stepped forward, between the wretch and his victim, and exclaimed, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... stop to let them do it. He understood wherein our Sikh prayer differs from that of Islam. Yet he refused to believe I am no polygamist. But that is nothing. Since then I have fought in a trench beside Englishmen who spoke of me as a savage; and I have seen wounded Germans writhe and scream because their officers had told them we Sikhs would eat them alive. Yes, sahib; ...
— Hira Singh - When India came to fight in Flanders • Talbot Mundy

... he worked with her, and at length subdued the convulsions of pain which distorted the beautiful face and made the childlike body writhe. He had a resentment against the crime which had been committed. Marriage had not made her into a woman; it had driven her back into an arrested youth. It was as though she ought to have worn short skirts and her hair in a long braid down her back. Hers was the body ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... to be congratulated." Kamimura Goemon sniffed. He was a long man; with long face, long nose, long thin arms, long thin legs; a malicious man, who longed to give advice to his fellows which they much disliked to hear, and liked to see them writhe under the infliction. In fact this epitome of length rarely spoke in good faith or temper—"The Go Inkyo[u] is to be congratulated? Escaping the troubles of this world, perhaps he has fallen into worse troubles in the next." ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... go." Anthony shook the Panamannikin loose, then ran forward across the street until he brought up at the end of the slack and felt the hose behind him writhe and swell as Allan released his hold. The next instant the negro was at his side, and the two found themselves half blistered by the heat that rolled out upon them. But the newly ignited roof was within range, and the stream they played upon it made ...
— The Ne'er-Do-Well • Rex Beach

... of friendly natives, and in order to test the question, one of them was to bare his back (for a shilling) and an officer applied to it, with all his strength, a horsewhip. I saw the black man's body writhe for an instant as he puckered his mouth; but it was only for an instant—then he smiled and asked for another stroke for another shilling. This seemed to indicate to the officers that there was something more than fanaticism in the Soudanese. Their warriors were tall, ...
— From the Bottom Up - The Life Story of Alexander Irvine • Alexander Irvine

... continued, but they were aimed high. Otherwise the attacker must have been struck as he flung himself up before the opening. The catlike movement brought him head and shoulders above the sill. He twisted forward to writhe into the doorway. Lennon's finger started to crook against the trigger of his rifle. ...
— Bloom of Cactus • Robert Ames Bennet

... a mother's hope when all other pleasures are gone! Are you some day to be torn from me, and, like myself, sent to writhe under the coarse hand of a slave-dealer, to be stung with shame enforced while asking God's forgiveness? Sometimes I think it cannot be so; I think it must all be a dream. But it is so, and we might as well submit, say as little ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... the extreme. One of the concomitants of consciousness is that it is private consciousness. And when this isn't true, when someone, even a loved one, can creep into your mind and know what you think, your insides writhe. Caterpillars course around under your skin. And you resent. Sooner or later you will hate. I ran away from home because I couldn't stand Mother in my mind, and couldn't bear the thought ...
— Tinker's Dam • Joseph Tinker

... dare you!" cried the girl, starting up with her face aflame. "Never, never!" Then she threw herself down on the sofa and hid her face. Some memory came over her that made her writhe with shame. ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... I'm sorry they let me go down to the brook, I'm sorry they gave me the line and the hook, And I wish I had stayed at home with my book. I'm sure 'twas no pleasure to see That poor, little, harmless, suffering thing, Silently writhe at the end of the string; Or to hold the pole, while I felt him swing In torture, and ...
— Parker's Second Reader • Richard G. Parker

... now, as I had always meant to serve you some day. Ey, yes, I think I always meant to give you back to Perion as a free gift. Meanwhile to see, and to writhe in seeing your perfection, has meant so much to me that daily I have delayed such a transfiguration of myself until to-morrow." The man grimaced. "My son Orestes, who will presently succeed me, has been summoned. I will order that he ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... to know? You'd rather continue to writhe on the gridiron than to turn over and fall into the fire and end ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... hands clench, and he laughed in grim amusement. It pleased him to see his enemy writhe and squirm before him; the grimness came because of a mental picture, in his mind at this minute, of Trevison confiding in the girl. He looked up, the smile freezing on his lips, for within a foot of his chest was the muzzle of Trevison's pistol. He saw the trigger ...
— 'Firebrand' Trevison • Charles Alden Seltzer

... creep into holes, and under benches and chairs, put themselves into odd and unnatural postures, make wild and antic gestures, and utter incoherent and unintelligible sounds. They would be seized with spasms, drop insensible to the floor, or writhe in agony, suffering dreadful tortures, and uttering loud and piercing outcries. The attention of the families in which they held their meetings was called to their extraordinary condition and proceedings; and the whole neighborhood and surrounding ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... something disagreeable in the flashing thought that he might kill them from where he stood. He would not fire from the dark. He wanted to experience the exquisite sensation of that one first moment when they would writhe back from him, and see in him the presence of death. He would give them that one moment of life—just that ...
— The Hunted Woman • James Oliver Curwood

... energy as concerned the school. Her keen eyes noticed everything, and woe betide the slacker who thought to escape her, and dared bring an unprepared lesson to class. Her sarcasms on such occasions made her victims writhe, though they were apt to be witty enough to amuse the rest of the form. Though, like John Gilpin's wife, she was on pleasure bent to-day, she never for a moment forgot she was in charge, and kept turning to see that everybody was following, and nobody ...
— For the Sake of the School • Angela Brazil

... concentrating the fire within a zone of twenty-five yards, and it was fire so murderous that, before the cowboys could get out of range, ten were dead or wounded, while two of the sheepmen were killed outright and a third was disabled and rolled out into the sun to writhe in agony until his pal ran from cover and dragged ...
— The Free Range • Francis William Sullivan

... severe application, to the fools who think time given to be so wasted. Roses grow for me to gather: rivers roll for me to lave in. Let the slave dig the mine, but for me let the diamond sparkle. Let the lamb, the dove, and the life-loving eel writhe and die; it shall not disturb me, while I enjoy the viands. The five senses are my deities; to them I pay worship and adoration, and never yet have I been slack in the performance of ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... and smiled as the men went out of the door. "You will find they are a success, to surprise yourself," he called out: "her most bosom friends will writhe ...
— Five Hundred Dollars - First published in the "Century Magazine" • Heman White Chaplin

... men who were fed on bread and men who were fed on potatoes, between men who spoke the noble tongue of great philosophers and poets and men who, with a perverted pride, boasted that they could not writhe their mouths into chattering such a jargon as that in which the Advancement of Learning and the Paradise Lost were written. [163] Yet it is not unreasonable to believe that, if the gentle policy which has been described had been steadily followed ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... and sleepily drew aside the curtain. The moon traced a broad path of light straight to the ship. Under its rays the band around his chest gleamed brighter and brighter; shot forth little rays; seemed to writhe. ...
— The Moon Pool • A. Merritt

... the piles. The attempt was desperate, but it seemed to be the only chance for escaping torture and death, and it suited the reckless daring of the man's character. Waiting to the last moment, in order that the stern of the scow might fairly rub against the platform, he began to writhe again, as if in intolerable suffering, execrating all Indians in general, and the Hurons in particular, and then he suddenly and rapidly rolled over and over, taking the direction of the stern of the scow. Unfortunately, Hurry's ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... did, set the fashion for all the courtiers, to the profit and prosperity of merchants and craftsmen. Earls might secretly writhe at the prospect of entertaining their sovereign with suitable magnificence, but the tradesmen and purveyors rubbed their hands. When a company of Flemings was employed for four years on the carving of the beams and panels of the Middle Temple Hall, or noblemen ...
— Days of the Discoverers • L. Lamprey

... accusing angel of such men, prayed for and adored her husband as if he had been the best and tenderest of gentlemen. Providence has its mysteries; but if there be one that taxes faith and staggers patience more than another, it is the long misery that makes a good woman cringe and writhe and agonize in silence under the utter rule and life-long sovereignty of a bad man. Perhaps such women do not suffer as we fancy; for after much trial every woman learns that it is possible to love where neither respect nor admiration can find foothold,—that ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... natural sons, they, "men professing meekness, took the matter somewhat more angrily than befitted men so pious in the opinion of the people." So Buchanan himself puts it: but, to do the poor friars justice, they must have been angels, not men, if they did not writhe somewhat under the scourge which he had laid on them. To be told that there was hardly a place in heaven for monks, was hard to hear and bear. They accused him to the king of heresy; but not being then in favour with James, they got no answer, and Buchanan was commanded to repeat ...
— Historical Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... him from occupying himself with his true happiness; from even dreaming of ameliorating his institutions, of improving his laws, of advancing the progress of science, of perfectioning his morals. Vain and gloomy ideas have absorbed his attention: he consents to groan under fanatical tyranny—to writhe under political inflictions—to live in error—to languish in misfortune—in the hope, when he shall be no more, of being one day happier; in the firm confidence, that after he has disappeared, his calamities, his patience, will conduct him to a never-ending ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... equally by, both sexes? Does man hunger and thirst, suffer cold and heat more than woman? Does he love and hate, hope and fear, joy and sorrow more than woman? Does his heart thrill with a deeper pleasure in doing good? Can his soul writhe in more bitter agony under the consciousness of evil or wrong? Is the sunshine more glorious, the air more quiet, the sounds of harmony more soothing, the perfume of flowers more exquisite, or forms of beauty more soul-satisfying ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... hundreds of us are uttering may be ignored. The squandering may go on, the vulgar bacchanalia may be prolonged, the poor may have to writhe under the iron heel of the iron lord—the dance of death may go on until society's E string snaps, and then the Vesuvius of the underworld will belch forth its lava of death and destruction."—Hearst's ...
— Our Day - In the Light of Prophecy • W. A. Spicer

... mad and fighting dogs as these frenzied myriads with their half-crazed generals. They lay, these armies, across the fair bosom of the earth like dying monsters, crimson in their own blood, yet still able to writhe upward and deal death to any other that might approach. They were at a deadlock, yet each feared to make the first overtures for peace. There was, in actuality, no longer even an English or a German nation. It was an orgy of ...
— The Man Who Rocked the Earth • Arthur Train

... fashion, beneath her chin. Under her arm she carried another tiny spaniel, the creature's black morsel of a head peeping out quaintly from among the forms of the embroidered dragons, which last appeared to writhe, as in the heat of deadly conflict, as their wearer moved. Her face was in shadow owing to the breadth of the brim of her hat. Otherwise the sunshine embraced her whole figure, conferring on it a glittering yet singularly unsubstantial effect, as though a column of pale windswept ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... you can!" Tom shouted back. "But be careful. Don't get shocked! Wow! I got a touch of it myself that time!" and he could be seen to writhe in his seat. ...
— Tom Swift and his Giant Cannon - or, The Longest Shots on Record • Victor Appleton

... the Lord's flesh, and all his blood gushed out—it was shed to save him; and he raised his eyes, lifted his clasped hands, turned his whole face up towards heaven, saying, "Jack loves, loves, very loves good Jesus Christ!" When another violent pang made him start and writhe a little, he recovered in a moment, nodded his head, and said, "Good pain, ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... great snake had lain somnolently, but now, as the sun began to warm its body, Jack saw the brilliantly colored folds begin to writhe and move. It suddenly appeared to become aware of him and raised its flat, spade-shaped ...
— The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code • John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton

... the poor, of the wretched, of the outcast, of the proscribed,—they are the gods who respect not persons nor palaces,—who stay with the exile and flee from the king,—who leave the tyrant of a world to writhe in torment, and call a smile beautiful as the morning on the face of a beggar child,—who turn from the purple beds where wealth and lust and brutal power lie, and fill with purest visions the darkest hours of the loneliest nights, for genius and youth,—they are the gods of consolation and of compensation,—the ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... I lose all patience—and execrate the injustice of the world—folly! ignorance!—I should rather call it; but, shut up from a free circulation of thought, and always pondering on the same griefs, I writhe under the torturing apprehensions, which ought to excite only honest indignation, or active compassion; and would, could I view them as the natural consequence of things. But, born a woman—and born to suffer, in endeavouring to repress my own emotions, I feel more acutely ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... from the line of sharpshooters; and the little stabs of smoke, drifting out across the river, blent in a thin blue haze. Every moment or two, one of the Horde would writhe, scream, fall—or hang there twitching, to the cliff, ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... my love of the hope of the second birth! Could he clear my vision to see the sword creeping out of the sheath Inch by inch as we writhe in the toils of our living death! Could he but strengthen my heart to know that we cannot fail; For alas, I am lonely here—helpless and feeble and frail; I am e'en as the poor of the earth, e'en they that are now alive; And where is their might and their cunning with the mighty of men ...
— The Pilgrims of Hope • William Morris

... "he suffers horribly when he moves, and I tried to persuade him to have his dinner sent into the parlor, but in honor of your presence he will come, and he doesn't want us to see him wince and writhe under ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... whose appearance they greeted with shrieks and twitters, and which with quick, nervous movements they hacked to pieces by means of little hatchets. All its dissevered limbs continued to lash and writhe in a vicious manner. Afterwards, when fever had hold of me, I dreamt again and again of that bitter, furious creature rising so vigorous and active out of the unknown sea. It was the most active and malignant thing of all the ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... she gives herself a little concentric and harmonious twist, which makes her supple or dangerous slenderness writhe under the stuff, as a snake does under the green gauze of trembling grass. Is it to an angel or a devil that she owes the graceful undulation which plays under her long black silk cape, stirs its lace frill, sheds an airy balm, and what I should like to call the breeze of a Parisienne? You may ...
— Another Study of Woman • Honore de Balzac

... observed. "These Shakespearean heroines are a bad lot. May I ask just why you want me to propose to you, my dear? Do you have to collect a certain number of scalps by this particular rare day in June? Or is it that you think you would enjoy the exquisite pleasure of seeing me writhe and wriggle ...
— Wild Wings - A Romance of Youth • Margaret Rebecca Piper

... the end of the timber in his heavy hands, planted his feet firmly on the floor and heaved. The big timber creaked, but did not give. Again he planted himself and this time his great shoulders seemed to twist and writhe until the muscles cracked and then, with a crash, the barrier gave way. He sprang back with amazing quickness and they ran back up the drift for twenty or thirty feet while the mass again readjusted itself and settled slowly into ...
— The Plunderer • Roy Norton

... murderers; the child in the arms of one has been seized by the limbs, she hurls herself over the edge, and falls head downmost, dragging the child out of the grasp by her weight;—she will be dashed dead in a second:—close to us is the great struggle; a heap of the mothers, entangled in one mortal writhe with each other and the swords; one of the murderers dashed down and crushed beneath them, the sword of another caught by the blade and dragged at by a woman's naked hand; the youngest and fairest of the women, her child just torn away from a death grasp, and clasped to her breast with the grip of ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... the attempt to get their heads into the centre of the tangled mass which, all in motion, heaved and sank and rolled from side to side, the lower portions of the serpents' bodies and their tails being free to lash and writhe about in the air, while at a second glance the spectators began to realise the fact that all around, gliding in and out amongst the stones, were hundreds upon hundreds more of the reptiles, apparently urged on by some savage instinct ...
— The Peril Finders • George Manville Fenn

... either side my face, like green moss of a withered waterfall: you think you will bestow a little serpent of a gift from my stolen treasures to comfort me. You will comfort me with a lock of Camillo's hair, that I may have it on my breast to-night, and dream, and wail, and writhe, and curse the air I breathe, and clasp the abominable emptiness like ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... toil of a City, worn unto death! Alas for my father's worship before the citadel, The flocks that bled and the tumult of their breath! But no help from them came To save Troy Towers from falling as they fell!... And I on the earth shall writhe, my ...
— Agamemnon • Aeschylus

... beset yours—doubt, distrust, despondency. I have health, mental and physical activity, and a "mounting spirit" of indomitable enjoyment that buoyantly protects me from sufferings under which others wince and writhe; nevertheless, I have the sufferings proper to my individuality, and I needs must suffer, if it were only that I may be said to live, in the fit and proper sense of the term. Our lots are just; ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... spawned In magic broth To coil and wriggle, Writhe and twist; Till their froth Becomes a mist, Till the mist An egg shall form— Charm that ...
— Nirvana Days • Cale Young Rice

... which makes the joyless, taciturn American speak to his fellow whom he does not know, is for the time being a blessing. But in the "Ladies' Room" there is not even a community of interest in a single bad habit, to break the monotone of weary stillness. Who has not felt the very soul writhe within her as she has first crossed the threshold of one of these dismal antechambers of journey? Carpetless, dingy, dusty; two or three low sarcophagi of greenish-gray iron in open spaces, surrounded by blue-lipped women, in different angles and attitudes of awkwardness, trying ...
— Bits About Home Matters • Helen Hunt Jackson

... of a gentleman, and perhaps even of a good husband, of Avory. But his wife—timid, and all too gentle—could only wince under the things he said, or let her big eyes suddenly brim over with tears. Toffy began to writhe under the cruel speeches which Avory made to her; he never saw for an instant that there was a fault anywhere save with the husband. She was one of those women who invariably inspire sweeping and contradictory ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... Helen's arm from her with a violence that made her writhe with pain—while her eyes flashed with the ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... hospitality. Yonder from Point Levi the laden ships go gayly up the sparkling river, a festive foe. Night drops her mantle, and silently the unsuspected squadron floats down the stealthy waters, and debarks its fateful freight. Silently in the darkness, the long line of armed men writhe up the rugged path. The rising sun reveals a startling sight. The impossible has been attained. Now, too late, the hurried summons sounds. Too late the deadly fire pours in. Too late the thickets flash ...
— Gala-days • Gail Hamilton

... a chest several volumes covered with dust, and began to quote the "Apology" of Justin Martyr, the "Legation" of Athenagoras, the "Apology" of Tertullian and Lactantius, whose very name caused him to writhe with philological loathing. And he told Domenico that it was the opinion of these holy but ill-educated persons that daemons assumed the name and attributes of Jupiter, of Venus, of Apollo and Bacchus, lurking in temples, instituting festivals and sacrifices, and were often allowed ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... novel's newly printed page We find a maudlin eulogy of sin, And read of ways that harlots wander in, And of sick souls that writhe in helpless rage; Or when Romance, bespectacled and sage, Taps on her desk and bids the class begin To con the problems that have always been Perplexed mankind's ...
— Trees and Other Poems • Joyce Kilmer

... had her feet in the window and her head in the fireplace, while the Honourable Mrs Skewton's maid was quartered in a closet within the drawing-room, so extremely small, that, to avoid developing the whole of its accommodations, she was obliged to writhe in and out of the door like a beautiful serpent. Withers, the wan page, slept out of the house immediately under the tiles at a neighbouring milk-shop; and the wheeled chair, which was the stone of that young Sisyphus, ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... am beginning to enjoy it," she said, "but enough for to-day. I am beginning to feel a demonic curiosity to see how far your strength goes. I take a cruel joy in seeing you tremble and writhe beneath my whip, and in hearing your groans and wails; I want to go on whipping without pity until you beg for mercy, until you lose your senses. You have awakened dangerous elements in my being. But now ...
— Venus in Furs • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

... a surprise. With a quick writhe the Netop broke loose, and bolted headlong, fairly into Captain Church himself, among the baggage and the horses. This was a surprise for the captain, too. He grabbed him but could not keep him, because he was a naked Indian and ...
— Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters • Edwin L. Sabin

... for as soon as it was on the floor it began to writhe and roll and bite itself, with all its fur on end, like a mad cat. Then it flew to the door and tried to get out, and again began to spit furiously. I thought that it would awaken the King, and ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... Susan writhe with pain under these harsh words. But she merely heaved a sigh, and let fall a tear on the babe, which she had ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... like ice on flame. Jack swore a muffled oath and turned away. There was no one in the world who possessed the power to humble him as did Dick, who with a few scorching words could make him writhe in impotent fury. For there was no gainsaying Dick. He was always unassailable in his justice, since in a fashion inexplicable but tacitly acknowledged by both he occupied a higher plane altogether. Ignore it as he might, deep in his inner soul Jack knew this man to be his master. ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... fight openly and fairly, I will not hate him. If I wanted to touch an adder with my hand I would not catch him by the tail so that it could curl around and sting my hand; I would catch it just behind the head. It might writhe and wriggle, but I should know that it could not bite me. That is how I want to treat the Tresidders. You despise me," I went on; "you see me now a thing that has to hide like a rabbit in burrow. Well, perhaps it is ...
— The Birthright • Joseph Hocking

... parched mouth and throat craved no more perpetually for the cooling drinks that had not allayed their misery. Light could be borne without any grave discomfort, and the agonizing abdominal pains, which had made the victim writhe and almost desire death, had entirely subsided. From the face, too, the dreadful hue which had even struck those who had only seen Nigel casually had nearly departed. Though still very thin and pale, ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... perplexing darkness that so pitifully limits man's vision is the indifference of the forces that govern his destiny. The wrongs he suffers may cry aloud to heaven, but heaven does not hear him. Whether he writhe in agony or be prostrated in the dust (against all reason and justice), he has no appeal, societies, the bulk of mankind, may be plunged in misery—who or what cares? Man is surrounded by indifference as ...
— Savva and The Life of Man • Leonid Andreyev

... his sorrows to himself, but the recollection of them will make him "yerk," i.e., writhe, or start with pain—applied in ...
— The Proverbs of Scotland • Alexander Hislop

... sombre evenings when the sighing of the wind recalls the moaning of a dying man. A fitful storm was brewing, and between the plashes of rain on the windows there was the silence of death. All nature suffers in such moments, the trees writhe in pain and hide their heads; the birds of the fields cower under the bushes; the streets of cities are deserted. I was suffering from my wound. But a short time before I had a mistress and a friend. The mistress had deceived me and the friend ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... years ago, when I was sick in bed; in a fever or delirium I conceived the idea that there was a coffin under my bed. The thought took hold of me, somehow, like an octopus, and I used to writhe under it, and get into fearful perspirations. I never went near a bed that I didn't think of this thing with the ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... colleague's discomfort. He was known to go into Blake's office on a short winter's afternoon, and, standing with his back to the fire in a free and easy attitude as though perfectly at home, to say, 'Well, mon cher collegue' (here Blake would visibly writhe, to the equally apparent delight of the intruder), 'I have called for you to come for a walk with me.' 'My good sir,' Blake would tartly reply, 'I have work here that will keep me for the next two hours.' 'But it will be dark then,' objected ...
— The Day of Sir John Macdonald - A Chronicle of the First Prime Minister of the Dominion • Joseph Pope

... now as the light went out and the sensitive fingers closed on the knob of the dial, the perpetrator—the Gray Seal. It would afford excellent food for the violent editorial diatribes under which the police again would writhe ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... hands, be dancing to God, your Guide, And peal my pipes, and riot my feet, and writhe to His Heat, my tripes. So fair! With Rum-te-te-Tum te Tum, And Rum and Tum, and Rum-te-te-Tum, and Rum-te-te-Tum, te Tum. So fair! This freehold for seraphs free! That flame! those skies! and Blest is Her Name, and blest are ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... universe be damned!" herself included. She is "marvelously deep," but thanks the good devil who has made her without conscience and virtue so that she may take her happiness when it comes. Her soul seeks but blindly, for nothing answers. How her happiness will seethe, quiver, writhe, shine, dance, rush, surge, rage, blare, and wreak with love and light ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... you have lost it—and speak plain words," Clorinda commanded. Anne tried to writhe away, but could not again, and burst into ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... head, and Frederic Kaye opened to admit the boy, who would have retreated when he saw the stranger, had not his arm been caught and held so firmly he could not writhe himself free. ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... overrun Scotland, and to receive intelligence of the measures they had already taken. Here, then, disease, as if enraged that he should have borne up so long, that his spirit had mastered even her, convened the whole powers of suffering, and compelled him not alone to acknowledge, but to writhe beneath her sway. His whole frame was shaken; intolerable pains took possession of him, and though the virulence of the complaint was at length so far abated as to permit him a short continuance ...
— The Days of Bruce Vol 1 - A Story from Scottish History • Grace Aguilar

... I would wish for no better revenge upon thee than to be able to paint to thy soul, in the glittering colours of Paradise, all that thou hast lost, and then see thee writhe in despair. Knew I more than I know, can the tongue formed of flesh make intelligible to the ear of flesh what lies beyond the bounds of sense, and the ...
— Faustus - his Life, Death, and Doom • Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger

... of pain come on his face, saw him wince, saw him writhe, saw him rise on his toes. Then, with a sudden squatting heave, Banion cast him full length in front of him, upon his back! Before he had time to move he was upon him, pinning him down. A growl came from ...
— The Covered Wagon • Emerson Hough

... thou, false infidel! shalt writhe Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe; And from its torment 'scape alone To wander round lost Eblis' throne; And fire unquenched, unquenchable, Around, within thy heart shall dwell; Nor ear can hear, nor tongue can tell The tortures ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... spear should be 2 feet long, with a blade 3 inches wide, and extremely sharp. There should be a short cross-bar about 22 inches from the point, to prevent the spear from running completely through an animal, which could then writhe up the handle, and attack. The socket should be large and long, to admit a very thick male bamboo, as the mistake is too frequently made that the spear is strong, but the handle is too weak. It is very important that a trustworthy attendant should be thus armed, as a dying animal can ...
— Wild Beasts and their Ways • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... and felt that Atlanta was the back door to Richmond. Let the enemy once enter that and divide the spinal column of the Confederacy, and what hope was there! For a brief space the maimed and dying body might writhe with final strength; the quivering arms strike fierce, spasmodic blows; but no nourishment could come—the end must be ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... as well as the other meals. And then there were eggs—eggs hard boiled, eggs soft boiled, eggs medium, eggs poached—until, at the end of the season, the mere mention of eggs caused Joel's stomach to writhe in disgust. ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... must her lifeblood feel The fang that stung her sleeping, the foul germ Even when she wakes of hell's most poisonous worm, Though now it writhe beneath her wounded heel. Turn yet, she will not fade nor fly from thee; Wait, and see hell yield ...
— Songs before Sunrise • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... was natural, the Hebertist Python did hiss and writhe amazingly; and threaten 'sacred right of Insurrection;'—and, as we saw, get cast into Prison. Nay, with all the old wit, dexterity, and light graceful poignancy, Camille, translating 'out of Tacitus, from the Reign of Tiberius,' pricks into the Law of the Suspect itself; making it ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... It was evident the disintegrator rays were useless here. When they struck into the horde of crescent-shaped things coming so hungrily toward us, the things changed from red to a sickly, yellowish pink, and seemed to writhe, as though in some discomfort, ...
— Vampires of Space • Sewell Peaslee Wright

... these things a black shadow stalks over my heart. I hear a voice, "Fool, and do you still think that you are ever to escape from this? Do you not perceive that this sordid shame is your lot? Do you not perceive that you may writhe and twist, struggle and pant, toil and serve, till you foam at the lips? Who will heed you! Who will hear you! Who cares anything about you!—Who wants your Art! Who wants your ...
— The Journal of Arthur Stirling - "The Valley of the Shadow" • Upton Sinclair

... of the Louvre announced the departure of the king, and then a movement, similar to that of trees in a stormy wind that bend and writhe with agitated tops, ran though the multitude, which was compressed behind the immovable muskets of the guard. At last the king appeared with the queen in a gilded chariot. Ten other carriages followed, containing the ladies of honor, the officers of the ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... what were they? Your Renaissance, despite its few bright gleams, Lies like a swamp of darkness, soaked in blood And agony: such tortures as we scarce Dream of to-day writhe through it; and the stench Of slaughtered cities and corrupted thrones— Yes, even the Papal throne—draw me not back With longing toward it. Rich that time might be If one were Michael Angelo; but how If one were ...
— Mr. Faust • Arthur Davison Ficke

... manhood out of him, as it did at night before burrowing its way ten million miles below the floor of Hell with him, and immuring him in a molten incandescent tomb where he could not even scream or writhe. ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... troubled by my own grave shortcomings nor by Chichester's excellence of character. I had always felt myself set far above him by my superior mental faculties and my greater will power over the crowd, though, alas! not always over my own demon. I began to writhe now under the thought of Chichester's crystal purity and of my own besmirched condition of soul. All self-confidence departed from me; but I endeavored, of course, to conceal this from the world, and especially from Chichester. With the world for a time no doubt ...
— The Dweller on the Threshold • Robert Smythe Hichens

... witness a murder, he cannot imagine the shock and dreadfulness of seeing one man shot down, writhe, gasp, grow pale and cease struggling. To picture ten men murdered simply stuns the mind. An effort to realize hundreds, thousands, millions of men mangled, wounded, bayoneted, crushed, blown to atoms by shells and mine—all this ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... thunder-clouds had so encompassed the sun that its rays burst through them almost exclusively in one wide crater, crimsoning, bronzing, and gilding their vaporous and ever-changing walls. Thence they spread earthward, heavenward, leaving remoter masses to writhe darkly on each other and themselves, in and out, in and in, cloaking this hill in blue shadow, bathing that one in green light, while from a watery fastness somewhere hid in the depth of the forested swamp ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... him to the door, avoiding his outstretched arm with an artless art which made me writhe; for once I had been the willing ...
— The Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... outraged sensibility, indignation, and infinite disgust that filled her little body at that moment, she should have been large, imperious, goddess-like, and commanding. But God is at times ironical with suffering womanhood. She could only writhe her hand from his grasp with childish contortions; she could only glare at him with eyes that were prettily and piquantly brilliant; she could only slap at his detaining hand with a plump and velvety palm, and when she found her voice it was high falsetto. And all she ...
— Colonel Starbottle's Client and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... when a sudden lull in the noise gave a bald-headed old gentleman near the head of the table an opportunity of drinking the health of a red-faced old gentleman near the foot, upon whom he bestowed an amount of flattery perfectly bewildering; and after making the unfortunate red-faced gentleman writhe for half an hour in a fever of modesty, sat down amid thunders of applause. Whether the applause, by the way, was intended for the speaker or the speakee, I do not know; but being quite indifferent, I clapped my hands with the rest. The red-faced gentleman, now purple with excitement, ...
— Hudson Bay • R.M. Ballantyne

... of abstruse professional problems, between the short and hasty visits of Dutch and English engineers. Quagmire and quicksand, stagnant pool and sluggish stream, succeed in weary iteration. Bleached skeletons of dead trees writhe in weird contortions against the dark background of jungle, as though some wizard's curse had blighted life and growth amid the rank vegetation rising from this dismal Slough of Despond. The brooding melancholy of atmosphere and scenery penetrates mind and soul, ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... myself as mere shameless indulgence. More is known against you than this—things which have gone farther and fared worse. You are not young and you are facing years of life in prison. Your head will be shaved—your hands worn and blackened and your nails broken with the picking of oakum. You will writhe in hopeless degradation until you are done for. You will have time, in the night blackness if of your cell, to remember—to see faces—to hear cries. Women such as you should learn what hell on earth means. ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... laughing in the shop-fronts of the innumerable curio-shops; in the grotesque figures, the playthings, the idols, cruel, suspicious, mad; it is even found in the buildings: in the friezes of the religious porticoes, in the roofs of the thousand pagodas, of which the angles and cable-ends writhe and twist like the yet dangerous remains of ancient and ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... He would writhe and scream, babble and plead and sob. Perhaps there have been men who have endured torture with dignity, but Jimmie was not one of these. Jimmie was abject, Jimmie was frantic; he did anything, everything he could ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... came to his side, gave himself a writhe, and said with a grin, "Baal mine ride horse ...
— The Dingo Boys - The Squatters of Wallaby Range • G. Manville Fenn

... to me from whom all is taken?—husband, sons, wealth, land, renown, power,—power which I loved, wretch that I was, as well as husband and as sons? Ah God! the girl is right. Better to rot in the convent, than writhe in the world. Better never to have had, than to have ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... can see and kiss her brow, the smile on her lips, the shape of her face, can breathe the whiteness of her skin; which enables me almost to feel, to play with the black masses of her curling hair?—Could you see me when I leap with hope—when I writhe under the myriad darts of despair—when I tramp through the mire of Paris to quell my irritation by fatigue? I have fits of collapse comparable to those of a consumptive patient, moods of wild hilarity, terrors as of a murderer who meets a sergeant of police. ...
— Honorine • Honore de Balzac

... bordered by dangerous surf, as if Nature herself had tried to ward off intruders; in and out of rivers, streams of death in life, whose banks were rotting into mud, whose waters, thickened into slime, invaded the contorted mangroves, that seemed to writhe at us in the extremity of an impotent despair. Nowhere did we stop long enough to get a particularized impression, but the general sense of vague and oppressive wonder grew upon me. It was like a weary pilgrimage amongst ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... Sophist and sage, from no Athenian grove, But cogitation in his watery shades, Arose, with locks not oozy, and began, 170 In murmurs, which his first-endeavouring tongue Caught infant-like from the far-foamed sands. "O ye, whom wrath consumes! who, passion-stung, Writhe at defeat, and nurse your agonies! Shut up your senses, stifle up your ears, My voice is not a bellows unto ire. Yet listen, ye who will, whilst I bring proof How ye, perforce, must be content to ...
— Keats: Poems Published in 1820 • John Keats

... of a practice which is well known to our readers through the so-called Bulgarian atrocities. A sharpened pole was forced into the body of the victim, and the other end was then driven into the earth, the unfortunate man, woman, or child being left to writhe in agony until relieved ...
— Roumania Past and Present • James Samuelson

... intended by the thoughtless crew who arranged the motley procession. The tempting prospect of putting to the blush people who stand at the head of affairs—that supreme and piquant enjoyment of those who writhe under the heel of the same—had alone animated them, so far as he could see; for he knew nothing of Jopp's incitements. Other considerations were also involved. Lucetta had confessed everything to him before her ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... me? Could I have done more?" And with a laugh he sauntered on, leaving Lionel to writhe there with the torment of ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... night set in, came hail and snow, And the air grew sharp and chill, And the warning roar of a terrible blow Was heard on the distant hill; And the norther,—see, on the mountain peak, In his breath, how the old trees writhe and shriek! He shouts along o'er the plain, ho, ho! He drives from his nostrils the blinding snow, And growls with ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... he said, "what matters to a dead man the manner of his killing? Indeed it is a merciful way. Such as Bhowanee herself decreed—in a second it is over. But with the spear, or the sword—ah! I have seen men writhe in agony and die ten times ...
— Caste • W. A. Fraser

... But the circumstances which contributed chiefly to the spreading of this sect were as follows:—Fox thought himself inspired, and consequently was of opinion that he must speak in a manner different from the rest of mankind. He thereupon began to writhe his body, to screw up his face, to hold in his breath, and to exhale it in a forcible manner, insomuch that the priestess of the Pythian god at Delphos could not have acted her part to better advantage. Inspiration ...
— Letters on England • Voltaire

... appeared, travelling after the first. As it came, the earlier one veered to the north, and began to cross the Canyon, losing some of its serenity and calmness of manner as it did so; for now, either as the result of conflict from within, or silent influence from without, it began to writhe and change its shape. Ugly angles were thrust out from its hitherto smooth sides, and sent waving and tossing aloft. While this was occurring, the second cloud veered, and when I gazed again, after withdrawing my attention ...
— The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It, • George Wharton James

... his tongue. Then faith gave him, unsought, ability to revenge himself on the Brunetti. She had despised him as a mere genius toddling after the frou-frou of her skirts, but she began to prize him when she saw him casting interested looks in another direction. Now it was her turn to writhe with jealousy, and to writhe in vain. Her storms and tirades had more effect upon him than his pleas had had upon her. But whereas she had formerly been insouciante and amused at his pain, her pain ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1 • Rupert Hughes

... ran back and jumped into the boat and pushed it clear of the roof. And none too soon, for as the fire burned deeper into the heart, the monster felt the burn of it and began to writhe and twist. Then he gave a great cough that sent the waters surging back out of his body and into the sea again in a ...
— Tales of Folk and Fairies • Katharine Pyle

... easy job. The pig did writhe and twist, while the frantic mother danced up and down in the pen behind, and drove the surgeon nearly crazy with her noise. But he toiled bravely on, and when at last the operation was done, the heart of Romeo Augustus was knit unto that small pig ...
— Harper's Young People, March 23, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... which her child had dropped from him as he came out of his sickness,—her eyes wild with misery, without tears; her feverish mouth open, but no cry in it. The sword of the angel had gone through and through her. She did not even writhe upon it, but lay motionless, cut down, dumb with anguish. The father had turned round again and leaned his head upon the wall. All was over,—all over! The love and the hope of a dozen lovely years, the little sweet companion, the daily joy, the future trust—all—over—as if a child ...
— The Little Pilgrim: Further Experiences. - Stories of the Seen and the Unseen. • Margaret O. (Wilson) Oliphant

... one day he encircled all the earth, and held his own tail fast in his mouth. And sometimes he grew angry to think that he, the son of a god, had thus been cast out; and at those times he would writhe with his huge body and lash his tail till the sea spouted up to the sky. And when that happened the men of the North said that a great tempest was raging. But it was only the Serpent-son of Loki writhing ...
— Told by the Northmen: - Stories from the Eddas and Sagas • E. M. [Ethel Mary] Wilmot-Buxton

... reason why he did not breathe a word to her of his suspicions, and that was the slow dread that was laming him—the dread of her contempt. She made no further attempt to drape it; and he had learned to writhe before it, to cringe and go softly. Weeks had passed now, since the night on which he had made his last stand against her weeks of increasing torture. Just at first, incredible as it had seemed, his horrible treatment of her had brought about a slackening of the tension ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... powerful lever of progress, it might convert this earth into a paradise, whereas it is the weapon which the strong, in their egoism, use to crush the feeble, a terrible weapon which either creates or intensifies all the evils under which the people writhe in despair. Once it becomes the instrument of a regenerate humanity, that is to say, when men have become compassionate, loving, and devoted, then the social question will cease to exist, and the old instrument of torture will become a ...
— Reincarnation - A Study in Human Evolution • Th. Pascal

... his mother's smile No more shall welcome his return. Ah! little did she think the while, Her fate through life would be to mourn! And his stern sire; how will he brook The tale that tells his child is low! How will the haughty tyrant look, And writhe beneath the hopeless blow! While conscience, with his vengeance sure, Shall grant no peace, and feel no cure. Aye, weep! for thee, no pitying eye Shall shed the sympathizing tear; Hopeless and childless shalt thou die, And none shall mourn above thy bier. Thy race extinct; no more thy ...
— A Book For The Young • Sarah French

... control-banks as though they were the keyboards of a great organ, and he felt his insides writhe as he slipped the hurtling ship back into E-Space, then back to R-level again. He played the tiny craft between levels as though it were a stone skipping across water, and altered course with each Transition with no ...
— The Women-Stealers of Thrayx • Fox B. Holden

... I said; "the charms work ill before so many. Now behold!" and, gazing at the twain, I cast my wand upon the marble and murmured a spell. For a moment it was still, and then, as I muttered, the rod slowly began to writhe. It bent itself, it stood on end, and moved of its own motion. Next it put on scales, and behold it was a serpent that ...
— Cleopatra • H. Rider Haggard

... Paul, he ran down the hill whistling the "Soldiers' Chorus" from Faust, looking wildly behind him now and then to see whether some of his teachers were not there to writhe under his lightheartedness. As it was now late in the afternoon and Paul was on duty that evening as usher at Carnegie Hall, he decided that he would not go home to supper. When he reached the concert hall the doors were not yet open and, as it was chilly outside, he decided to go up into ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... and I will leave you so maimed and so disfigured that you can woo no woman to ruin again and jest at her shame and agony with no man—for none can bear to look at you without a shudder—and you will lie and writhe to be given the coup de grace." He lifted the hilt of his sword and kissed it. "That I swear," he said, "by this first dawning ...
— His Grace of Osmonde • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... and earth case-harden us to live; The feeblest sense is trusted most; the child Feels God a moment, ichors o'er the place, Plays on and grows to be a man like us. With me, faith means perpetual unbelief Kept quiet like the snake 'neath Michael's foot Who stands calm just because he feels it writhe. ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... our ancient war dance—forward, back, forward again. But I'll stand—motionless as the statue of a Cat. The green witchcraft of my gaze will strike terror and madness into my rival and soon I'll see him writhe, utter false cries, and, as a last resource, try to balance himself on the nape of his neck, like a forked pear tree, only to roll over shamefully ...
— Barks and Purrs • Colette Willy, aka Colette

... marble breast, the gash upon the brow, You raised us on the bloody planks with wild and wrathful vow! High in the air you lifted us, that every writhe of pain Might be an endless curse to him, at whose word we were slain; That he might see us in the gloom, or in the daylight's shine, Whether he turns his Bible's leaf, or quaffs his foaming wine; That the dread memory on his soul should evermore be burned, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... hardly come within a few hundred paces of them when they all fell to the ground as if struck with a thunderbolt, and began to howl and whimper, and to writhe, as if suffering the most excruciating pain. They stretched out their ...
— Folk-Lore and Legends; Scandinavian • Various

... skins are gaping with wounds; their contents escape in knots of entrails, bright green with their aliment, the needles of the pine-tree; the caterpillars writhe, struggling with loop-like movements, gripping the sand with their feet, dribbling and gnashing their mandibles. Those as yet unwounded are digging desperately in the attempt to escape underground. Not one succeeds. They are scarcely half buried before some beetle runs to them and destroys them ...
— Fabre, Poet of Science • Dr. G.V. (C.V.) Legros

... when the cruel anguish Dying on the shameful tree, All abandoned by Thy Father, Thuo didst writhe in agony. Jesus! Jesus! By these three long hours of sorrow Thou ...
— The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book • Various

... such an effect on me before. Either the pipe, or the creature on it, exercised some singular fascination. I seemed, without an instant's warning, to be passing into some land of dreams. I saw the beast, which was perched upon the bowl, writhe and twist. I saw it lift itself bodily ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... explained. "Cabinet Ministers, Secretaries of State, the whole machinery of government shall writhe under the barbed shafts of my mockery. Ridicule is the power of the age. Ridicule in my hands shall be as bayonets to NAPOLEON, as poison to a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 11, 1914 • Various

... a somewhat feeble constitution, but healthy in appearance and of steady habits, greedily swallow some new kind of cordial and then suddenly fall to the ground, foam at the mouth, act deliriously and writhe in convulsions, we at once surmise that this agreeable beverage contained some dangerous substance; but a delicate analysis is necessary to detect and decompose the poison. The philosophy of the eighteenth century contained poison, and of a kind as potent as it was peculiar; for, not only is it a ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... probably recurred frequently. In the course of time, however, this malady is said to have undergone a modification, such as it exhibits at the present day. Women whom it has attacked will suddenly fall down, toss their arms about, writhe their bodies into various shapes, move their heads suddenly from side to side, and with eyes fixed and staring, utter the most dismal cries. If the fit happen on any occasion of pubic diversion, they will, as soon as it has ceased, mix with their companions ...
— The Black Death, and The Dancing Mania • Justus Friedrich Karl Hecker

... him writhe! How long Will he live thus? Quick, my good pencil, now! What a fine agony works upon his brow! Ha! gray-haired, and so strong! How fearfully he stifles that short moan! Gods! if I could but paint a ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... tragedy, to witness and sing how the body comported itself under the soul's woe. But there is no sense of shame when deep cries are wrenched from the throat under the free sky, with only the sea to answer. One can let the body take half the burden of pain, and writhe on the breast of the earth without reproach. I took this relief that nature meant for such as I, wearing myself into the indifference of exhaustion, to which must sooner or later ensue the indifference brought by time. Sometimes a flock of small brown sandbirds watched me ...
— A Village Ophelia and Other Stories • Anne Reeve Aldrich

... he had been subject to an unpleasant phenomenon that arises now and then out of the fumes of liquor. At the festive board, even as he raised the glass to his lips, the face of Crawley would often be seen to writhe with a sort of horror, and his eyes to become fixed on unseen objects, and perspiration to gather on his brow. Then such as were not in the secret would jump up and say, "What on earth is the matter?" and look fearfully round, ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... you to do, damn you—anything you please. I'm accusing nobody, but I'm getting somebody. I've got somebody right now for this old man's murder. My man's going to writhe and burn in the chair, confession or no confession. Now get out of this room since you're so anxious, and ...
— The Abandoned Room • Wadsworth Camp

... began to toss and writhe and moan pitifully. Her suffering mounted to a paroxysm at last; then silence fell for a minute or two—absolute stillness; and in this hush the table took life, rose, and slid away toward us as if shoved by a ...
— The Shadow World • Hamlin Garland

... and many a stuffed skin was shown as a trophy,—nay, there were families where the children's first toy was made from the warning appendage that once vibrated to the wrath of one of these "cruel serpents." Sometimes one of them, coaxed out by a warm sun, would writhe himself down the hillside into the roads, up the walks that led to houses,—worse than this, into the long grass, where the bare-footed mowers would soon pass with their swinging scythes,—more rarely into houses,—and on one memorable ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... a big switch his father had cut, and his father was very strong. It would hurt, hurt even through Frank's long hair, hurt terribly. Frank would writhe on the ground, Frank's cries would fill the air. He watched his father's face as Earle came toward him. It was serious and grim, so serious that it almost hurt. Maybe his father didn't want to whip Frank; maybe ...
— Frank of Freedom Hill • Samuel A. Derieux

... effects of the master's fury, fled with precipitation. In one minute the offender was caught, and Mr Lawley's heavy hand fell recklessly on his ears and back, until he screamed with terror. At last, by a tremendous writhe, wrenching himself free, he darted towards the door, and Mr Lawley, too much tired to pursue, snatched his large gold watch out of his fob, and hurled it at the boy's retreating figure. The watch flew through the air;—crash! it had missed ...
— Eric, or Little by Little • Frederic W. Farrar

... of the mind When all its elements convulsed combined, Lie dark and jarring with perturbed force, And gnashing with impenitent remorse. That juggling fiend who never spake before, But cries, "I warn'd thee," when the deed is o'er; Vain voice, the spirit burning, but unbent, May writhe, rebel—the weak ...
— The Life of Lord Byron • John Galt



Words linked to "Writhe" :   wrench, squirm, twist, wriggle, move



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