Phrases with "action"

I mean, tell me, action by action, exactly what took place to everyone in those first few moments of surprise. The Judgment of Larose by Arthur Gask [1934]

He swung it rigidly with the rotary and menacing action of a slinger: the 14-lb. End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad [1902]

Olaf Stapledon Freedom of action and of speech became basic political values to be safeguarded and increased. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

H. G. Wells The policeman, for them, was to be an animated barrier and signpost, capable of leaping into action at the sight of assault, petty larceny or unseemly behaviour. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Leon Trotsky The action was being delayed, however. My Life by Leon Trotsky

Wilkie Collins That action at once deprived me of my self-possession. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

E. Phillips Oppenheim He had been preparing for some sort of action a few seconds before when he, Haven, had swung around in his place. The Ostrekoff Jewels by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1932]

William Hope Hodgson As I look at the wonderful carving of the amber atrocity, I cannot help feeling enormously satisfied with my course of action in this matter. Captain Gault by William Hope Hodgson

Simon had been in the act of pushing the drawer shut, but the action was arrested half-way. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Wilkie Collins You keep the child here at your peril! I’ll go to the first lawyer in Rubbleford, and bring an action against you. Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins [1854]

D. H. Lawrence Somehow, in his soul he always meant something quite different, when he thought of action along with other men. Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence

North interpreted the action correctly, and the blood rushed to his face. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Alexander Pope The action of the stronger to suspend Reason still use, to reason still attend. An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope [1734]

Arthur Conan Doyle My temper and nature, however, were always fiery and headstrong, and in action when my blood is up, I have no knowledge of what I am about. The Mystery of Cloomber by Arthur Conan Doyle [1889]

George Meredith The lull of action was soon to be disturbed. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

Anthony Trollope Then father will have his action against you for trespass, and so you’ll be brought into a court of law. Cousin Henry by Anthony Trollope [1879]

Theodore Dreiser She seemed to be gaining feeling, now that the play was drawing to a close and the opportunity for great action was passing. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Philip Sidney Lastly, if they will represent an history, they must not, as Horace saith, begin “ab ovo,”86 but they must come to the principal point of that one action which they will represent. A Defence of Poesie by Philip Sidney

He saw his two companions pass him and descend the pulpit stairs, and their action only hardened his resolution. The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic [1896]

Henry James His letter had none of the sedative action I must today profess myself sure he had wished to give it, and the march of occurrences was not so ordered as to make up for what it lacked. The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James [1896]

She brought her fine straight brows together for a moment, and then raised them with the action of a thinker who has decided on his course of conduct. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

How much longer does Lord Mallow mean to take up his abode with you?” Vixen shrugged her cloaked shoulders with an action that seemed to express contemptuous carelessness. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

The unhappy man, torn by remorse and passion, had resolved upon a course of action which seemed to him a penance for his crime of deceit. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Miles Franklin I cannot account for my action or condemn it sufficiently. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

T. E. Lawrence I had been told the theory, could repeat some of it: but it was in my head, and rules of action were only snares of action till they had run out of the empty head into the hands, by use. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

H. G. Wells The need for action became so urgent in him, that he got right out of his bed and sat on the edge of it. The Research Magnificent by H. G. Wells [1915]

Bram Stoker Tomorrow, at breakfast, we are to meet again, and after making our conclusions known to one another, we shall decide on some definite cause of action . Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

It is rather a new and unique psychic creation which their combined action on the mind is able to evoke. A Pluralistic Universe by William James [1909]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Its scattered members serve it as rallying-points for action against the people at a distance, but it has no rallying-point for direct action on its members themselves. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

H. G. Wells Most are still, in a sense, students throughout life, but it is thought that, unless responsible action is begun in some form in the early twenties, will undergoes a partial atrophy. A Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells [1905]

Rudyard Kipling It would better suit the spirit of the age if personal independence could be guaranteed for all by some form of co-ordinated action combined with public assistance and so forth. A Book of Words by Rudyard Kipling [1928]

Olaf Stapledon Moreover they tend to use toleration as a convenient excuse for taking no action against powerful malefactors. Saints and Revolutionaries by Olaf Stapledon

Benjamin Disraeli I am old before my time; bent with the blended influence of action and of thought, and of physical and moral suffering. Venetia by Benjamin Disraeli [1837]

Constant skirmishing was our portion, with now and then an action that you would know at least by name, did I feel free to mention them. The Black Mask by E. W. Hornung [1901]

H. G. Wells There are also a few theatres, and there might be more, in which fine action is finely displayed. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

Leon Trotsky By that time her father, by action of the colonies, had been exiled to Siberia as an undesirable member of the community. My Life by Leon Trotsky

Anthony Trollope Augustus was declared by them to have received at his father’s hands a most irreparable injury to such an extent that an action for damages would, in their opinion, lie. Mr. Scarborough's Family by Anthony Trollope [1883]

William Cowper Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells Of homogeneal and discordant springs And principles; of causes how they work By necessary laws their sure effects; Of action and reaction. The Task by William Cowper [1785]

William Blades There is a great objection, too, in the humming fizz which accompanies the action of the electricity. The Enemies of Books by William Blades [1880]

Henry James He had had time to become aware of this possible impression in her, and his virtually urging her into the carriage was connected with his feeling that he must take action on the new ground. The Golden Bowl by Henry James [1904]

Olaf Stapledon From this rare but important action of the future on the past it follows that past events, which themselves cause future events, are in part the product of future events. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

Osiris seems really struggling to rise, and the action of Isis expresses clearly enough the intention of the artist. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

E. Phillips Oppenheim That is a very gracious action on your part. The Spymaster by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1938]

At times Sterne thought he had been unduly timid of taking action in the past; and what was worse, it had come to this, that in the present he did not seem to know what action to take. End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad [1902]

Algernon Blackwood The reports of my subordinates from various parts of the country pointed to very vigorous action of a repressing, even of a punitive, description. The Garden of Survival by Algernon Blackwood [1918]

Algernon Blackwood She passed from the world of speech and action with this intense desire unsatisfied, and at the very moment — as with a drowning man who sees his past — when the solution lay ready to her hand. The Garden of Survival by Algernon Blackwood [1918]

Elizabeth Gaskell Oh! I do think that the necessity for exertion, for some kind of action (bodily or mental) in time of distress, is a most infinite blessing, although the first efforts at such seasons are painful. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

Elizabeth Gaskell To-morrow you will hear or read of some heroic action meeting with a nation’s sympathy, and you will rejoice and be proud of your country. The Moorland Cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell [1851]

Permit me also to point out that if I had detained him we would have been committed to a course of action on which I wished to know your precise intentions first. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

But thoughts are given for action’s government, Where action ceases, thought’s impertinent. Letters on England by Voltaire [1734]

Wilkie Collins The effect on Valentine of this hospitable action proved to be singularly soothing and beneficial. Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins [1854]

Thomas Hardy There was no resisting or evading the spontaneous plan of action which matured in her mind in five minutes. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy [1895]

On the Plaza de Espana the Trotskyists brought into action batteries of’75’ guns which were destined for the front in Aragon and which the militia had carefully concealed on their premises. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell [1938]

Louis Pasteur I have shown that malate of lime ferments readily enough through the action of yeast, and that it splits up into three other calcareous salts, namely, the acetate, the carbonate and the succinate. The physiological theory of fermentation by Louis Pasteur

R. D. Blackmore And what is even worse, you expose me to an action at law, with heavy damages. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

Algernon Blackwood For one second I felt that she repelled me, that she resented my action and my words. The Garden of Survival by Algernon Blackwood [1918]

George Meredith The action resulted in an exhibition of a second bill, with a legal receipt attached to it, for three hundred pounds. Rhoda Fleming by George Meredith [1865]

Andrew Lang I will eat her alive;’ and he suited the action to his words. The Grey Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

H. G. Wells Sex drives you into action, but there’s no reckoning on the sort of action it may drive you into. Babes In The Darkling Woods by H. G. Wells [1940]

He had been reduced to observe his action quietly, hampered by the weakness of ill-health. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

Elizabeth Gaskell I have heard from two witnesses besides Charlotte Bronte, that Dr. Batty condemned the preparation of the food by the expressive action of spitting out a portion of it. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

William Godwin They appear in most cases to have been brought into action by the impulse of private malice. Lives of the Necromancers by William Godwin [1834]

She was pacing the room like a tigress, her delicate cambric handkerchief grasped between her two hands, and torn and rent by the convulsive action of her fingers. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

D. H. Lawrence It’s the old story — action and reaction, and nothing between. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Baldwin Spencer The dancing was decidedly vigorous, the men often running round and round with exaggerated knee action and arms extended. Native tribes of the Northern Territory of Australia by Baldwin Spencer

Anthony Trollope The whole affair had now been managed so suddenly, and the action had been so quick, that she had hardly found a moment for thought. Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope Any pecuniary penalty might be more than recouped by the largeness of advertisement which such an action would produce. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

In calm, sultry weather, during the heat of the day, there were often two at once in action in different parts of it. The Naturalist in Nicaragua by Thomas Belt [1874]

A born judge of a thorough-bred, the glorious and perfect action of his mount enthralled him. Cloud the Smiter by Arthur Gask [1926]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Major Jones’s companion was protesting, and apparently without success, against some course of action or speech of his companions. Peter Ruff and the Double Four by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1912]

Wilkie Collins I am not like Oscar — I must have action to stir my blood — action to keep me from fretting over my anxieties. Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins [1872]

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Flight might provoke action of the kind for which there seemed no longer a motive. Checkmate by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [1871]

E. Phillips Oppenheim After that will come the time for arguments, and after that, Maurice, but not before, might come the time for the sort of action you are contemplating. The Spy Paramount by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

H.P. Lovecraft The probability that Curwen was on guard and attempting unusual things, as suggested by the odd shaft of light, precipitated at last the action so carefully devised by the band of serious citizens. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft [1927]

Charles Dickens You’re ready for action I hope, eh? You, I mean,’ he added, nudging Barnaby roughly with his elbow. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

Maria Edgeworth About this time a circumstance occurred, which seemed to have nothing to do with Churchill, or Beauclerc, but which eventually brought both their characters into action and passion. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

Ralph Waldo Emerson It is the blending of experience with the present action of the mind. Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1836]

George Gissing Her action was unexpected; he had thought her too timid, too religious, too soft-hearted, for anything of this kind. Denzil Quarrier by George Gissing [1891]

Arthur Conan Doyle Long into the hours of the night I sat motionless, meditating over every word that I had heard and endeavouring to form in my mind some plan of action for the future. Uncle Jeremy’s Household by Arthur Conan Doyle

Ford Madox Ford If their consciences let them commit themselves to a certain course of action they were probably in the right. A Man Could Stand Up by Ford Madox Ford [1926]

It was the action of a real pal to come all the way to help us, and I believe you’ve scored a bull’s eye, first time. Cloud the Smiter by Arthur Gask [1926]

Promptitude and joint action with Reynolds will probably save it. The Hand on the Latch by Mary Cholmondeley [1908]

Sidney Colvin He despised Pope, and admired Byron, but delighted especially in Spenser, caring more in poetry for the beauty of imagery, description, and simile, than for the interest of action or passion. Keats by Sidney Colvin [1887]

Walter Scott The demon of suspicion was not very likely to molest a mind so frankly constituted as that of Count Robert, and yet the last action of Hereward did not fail to occasion some painful reflections. Count Robert of Paris by Walter Scott [1832]

Such considerations as these incline me to lay less weight on the direct action of the surrounding conditions, than on a tendency to vary, due to causes of which we are quite ignorant. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Gustave Flauber The Carthaginians hauled in order to pull it up; and the action was prolonged until the evening. Salammbo by Gustave Flauber

John Stuart Mill All action is for the sake of some end, and rules of action, it seems natural to suppose, must take their whole character and colour from the end to which they are subservient. Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill

H. G. Wells None of them had a high opinion of Mr. Cave’s business methods, and this action seemed a culminating folly. The Crystal Egg by H. G. Wells [1897]

Her affection, however, was expressed rather by action than in speech. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

Victor Hugo Even before he struck, Barkilphedro felt, with joy, the foretaste of the evil action which he was about to commit. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Francis Bacon There is therefore some moment of time, and some distance of space, in which the virtue or action remains suspended between the two bodies which produce the motion. The New Organon by Francis Bacon [1620]

Miles Franklin Harold Beecham is not given to speech — action with him is the same thing. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

John Stuart Mill Even in the Homeric age, [aidos] towards the [Troadas elkesipeplous] is an acknowledged and powerful motive of action in the great Hector. The moral influence of women has had two modes of operation. The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill [1869]

Charles Dickens Almost the last action Frank Wilson did, before setting sail, was going with Alice to see Norah once more at her mother’s house. A House to Let by Charles Dickens [1858]

George Gissing It is a common piece of observation that studious gravity in youth is succeeded by a desire for action and enjoyment. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

At each jeering exclamation the tail, spread like an open fan, jerks over the back, and the head ducks, note and action combining in bombastic self-advertisement. Last Leaves from Dunk Island by E. J. Banfield

At present the Provisional Government obstructs the action of the local democratic will, just as the Tsar’s Government did. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed

Anthony Trollope But this call upon her for instant action almost paralysed her. Linda Tressel by Anthony Trollope [1868]

William Makepeace Thackeray A million subscribers make three millions and a half of profits; there are my figures; contradict me by figures, or I will bring an action for libel. The Paris Sketch Book by William Makepeace Thackeray [1840]

Rudyard Kipling After that, fear and consequent restraint begin, and human action becomes less grotesquely jerky. Under the Deodars by Rudyard Kipling [1888]

Edward Jenner That which I am now employing has been in use near eight months, and not the least change is perceptible in its mode of action either locally or constitutionally. On Vaccination Against Smallpox by Edward Jenner

John Galsworthy We presume, therefore, that the action must go forward. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy

Henry Kingsley A man brought an action against me the other day to recover two hundred pounds I won of him, but he couldn’t do anything. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

Of the alarm that speedily followed, and my action at that time and afterwards, I need not speak in detail. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green

Henry Kingsley He had been drinking hard for some days, and, now the excitement of action had gone off, was fearfully nervous. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

During all this time, about six weeks, there was only one action on our part of the front. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell [1938]

Isabella Bird The unity of action which their ecclesiastical system ensures to them makes their progressive increase much to be deprecated. The Englishwoman in America by Isabella Bird [1856]

As he followed her up the stairs to his apartment, he watched the action of her massive hams; they were like two enormous grindstones. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West [1933]

Theodore Dreiser We ought to be ready with these letters to show to the newspapers at once, in case this action is forced upon us. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Sir Walter Scott But, as he followed the gipsy from the door of the hut, the fresh air of the morning and the action of walking restored circulation and activity to his benumbed limbs. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott [1815]

Olaf Stapledon He was fascinated not only by their perfection of form and action in the air but also by their temperament, their attitude to life. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

George Meredith For the young soldier’s figure was visibly in its repose prompt to action as the mind’s movement. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Henry Kingsley The Colonel probably knew quite how the land lay, for he was a man of the world, and so he had done a very good-natured action just at the right time. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

Anthony Trollope And, perhaps, she was getting somewhat used to her suitors, and less liable than she had been to any fear that they could force her into action against her own consent. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope [1865]

Anthony Trollope Bunce had been very resolute in his determination to bring an action against the police for false imprisonment, even though he spent every shilling of his savings in doing so. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

Jules Verne It seemed impossible for it to resist much longer, diminished as it was in thickness and subject to the perpetual action of the waves. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

Alas! with the need for action, the power of action is gone. Wylder’s Hand by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

To guide the action of a deliberative body to a desirable result. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

Jack London Watching his chance, privily, Whiskers snuggled a chunk of rock several pounds in weigh close to his hand if need for action should arise. The Red One by Jack London [1918]

Kate Chopin And to give no sign or word but of kindness; to do no action that was not considerate, was the task which destiny had thrust upon his honor. At Fault by Kate Chopin

Arthur Conan Doyle I must take some definite action to-night. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Sir Walter Scott The handsome and commanding countenance, stately form, and graceful action and manners of the Duke of Buckingham, made him become that picturesque dress beyond any man of his time. The Fortunes of Nigel by Sir Walter Scott [1822]

Willa Cather The floor of it was a mass of huge boulders, great pieces of rock that had fallen from above ages back, and had been worn round and smooth as pebbles by the long action of water. The Professor’s House by Willa Cather [1925]

H. G. Wells Another German burnt, and one badly deflated by the prow of an antagonist, flopped out of action southward. The War in the Air by H. G. Wells [1908]

This significant little action showed me more than any words could have done how perturbed her feelings were. Dr Nikola Returns by Guy Boothby [1896]

G. K. Chesterton And indeed I suppose these critics would consider the action of a clock, in whirling its hands about, a very offensive piece of foreign gesticulation. Robert Louis Stevenson by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

James Joyce He’s going to take an action for ten thousand pounds, he says. Ulysses by James Joyce [1922]

His men and women are most of them put on foot with the energy of movement in them and an idiosyncrasy of speech and action that has not been surpassed. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

But nothing, as I had occasion constantly to remark in the course of the journey, removes colour so effectually as sand which is exposed to the shifting action of the wind. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Mary Webb To Reddin in his deep shadow every action was clear, for they stood in the sunlight. Gone to Earth by Mary Webb [1917]

Anthony Trollope He regrets the length of these introductions, and will now begin at once the action of his story. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

It governs your thought, of course, and your action too, and thus neither your thought nor your action can ever be conclusive. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

George Eliot She did not reflect that this sudden action would only add to the embarrassing recollections of the last half-hour. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot [1860]

A charge of manslaughter could not be sustained, since Moxdale’s action was purely defensive and the death was the result of an accident. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]

Benjamin Disraeli Such is the magical influence of a man of action over men of the pen an the tongue. Lothair by Benjamin Disraeli [1870]

Taken life with no witnesses present, either to prove that my action had been absolutely necessary and right. The Shadow of Larose by Arthur Gask [1930]

Benjamin Disraeli Her frame could no longer endure the fatal action of her over-excited nerves. Venetia by Benjamin Disraeli [1837]

Louis Pasteur It furnishes a butyric ferment, capable of revival and action in a suitable fresh fermentable medium. The physiological theory of fermentation by Louis Pasteur

Fortunately for mankind the brain in a life of action turns more to the matter in hand than to conjuring up the chances of the future. Prester John by John Buchan

I am only twenty-eight years old, and my grief at his loss ought not always to control every action and thought of my life. Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas [1848-1850]

The horse was a great bony hunter of rare speed and endurance, and his long stride and powerful action raised poor Mrs. Dodd’s hopes, and the rushing air did her good. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

David Hume It must, therefore, be the interest of those, who are served by the character or action approved of; and these we may conclude, however remote, are not totally indifferent to us. An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals by David Hume

D. H. Lawrence Either he is a pure servant, washing the feet of Christ, or else he is making obscene drawings of Jesus — action and reaction — and between the two, nothing. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Rudyard Kipling D’you like it?’ Maisie looked at the wild whirling rush of a field-battery going into action under fire. The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

He liked to force them to betray a certain fear, which made them alike falter in resolve and recoil in action — the fear, simply, of assassination. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

Olaf Stapledon His action would be treated as a declaration of war. Collected Stories by Olaf Stapledon

Thomas Hardy One action of hers, however, brought him to full cognition. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

We use the word ‘thought’ to designate the result of an action of the brain, precisely as we use the word ‘speed’ to designate the result of an action of a horse’s legs. The Land Beyond the Blow by Ambrose Bierce

Ford Madox Ford An immense blind will forces them in the effort to consummate the one decent action that humanity has to its credit in the whole of recorded history. No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford [1925]

Such was Mr. Moore’s home — a snug nest for content and contemplation, but one within which the wings of action and ambition could not long lie folded. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

William Henry Hudson It fascinated me, like the sight of armies contending in battle, or of some tragic action from which the spectator cannot withdraw his gaze. A Crystal Age by William Henry Hudson

The action which at any other time would have seemed disgusting, was, in the case of this poor creature, merely pitiable. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

H. G. Wells Man of thought and man of action are mutually necessary — or, at any rate, the cooperation seems to be necessary to the man of thought. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham by H. G. Wells [1930]

Edith Wharton Happily her promptness of action had preserved Westmore to him, and in Westmore she believed that he would in time find a refuge from even the memory of what he was now enduring. Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton [1907]

Charles Dickens From moving one hand he began to move both, and then his action was the action of a person groping in the dark. Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy by Charles Dickens [1864]

H. G. Wells Consequently he sought to bring himself into the closest contact with prejudices in action and prejudices in conflict in order to discover their sub-rational springs. The Research Magnificent by H. G. Wells [1915]

My action might have made me appear eccentric. The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad [1910]

Anthony Trollope He’ll bring an action against me else, for keeping his wife from him. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

There must be action of some sort or other, instant and unerring. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

The action was very far from being aggressive — it was not even defensive, in the usual sense: it was undertaken under the stress of desperation, and in its essence was purely protective. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad [1899]

T. H. Huxley In the second case, it is in consequence of the mutual action and interaction of certain portions of the organisms of usually two distinct individuals — the male and the female. Essays by T. H. Huxley

The day of panic was over and that of action had dawned. Castle Gay by John Buchan [1930]

Marie Corelli Liberty of action is restrained by law in the world of nature, and must be equally restrained in the world of men. The Master-Christian by Marie Corelli [1900]

G. K. Chesterton What the idealist does may be unworkable, and what the man of action does may be unscrupulous; but in neither trade can a man win a reputation by doing nothing. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Henry James The shock of interests had been private, intensely so; but the action taken by Hague had been in the face of men. The Altar of the Dead by Henry James [1895]

R. D. Blackmore But I ask you to lay aside the legal aspect; for no action is pending, and perhaps never will be. Mary Anerley by R. D. Blackmore [1880]

Thomas Hardy Decisive action is seen by appreciative minds to be frequently objectless, and sometimes fatal; but decision, however suicidal, has more charm for a woman than the most unequivocal Fabian success. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy [1899]

Henry James But what he read in it above all was the sense of success in youth, with the future loose and big, and the action of that charm on the faculties. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

Theodore Dreiser I don’t like to advise arbitrary methods, but what else is to be done? The enemy is armed and ready for action right now. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

H. G. Wells The action of the piece was resumed by a little significant detail. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham by H. G. Wells [1930]

Anthony Trollope The last course of action which he contemplated was, to take no further notice of Captain Stubber, and let him tell his story to Sir Harry if he chose to tell it. Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope [1871]

George Meredith She is safe if her course of action is clear. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

Theodore Dreiser Cowperwood, always the man of action as opposed to nervous cogitation, braced up on the instant like taut wire. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Walter Scott He was obliged to spur himself to action by recollecting that the commands of the Lady Edith had required haste. The Talisman by Walter Scott [1825]

George Meredith They put on their Sabbath face concerning the declaration of war, and told with approval how the Royal hand had trembled in committing itself to the form of signature to which its action is limited. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Charles Dickens Quite an untaught genius, I made the discovery of the line of action for myself. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [1860]

M. P. Shiel The action was involuntary; but I soon recognized its reason. Shapes in the Fire by M. P. Shiel [1896]

Henry Lawson Brook had shifted the rails there often before — fifteen years ago — perhaps the selfsame rails, for stringy-bark lasts long; and the action brought the past near to him — nearer than he wished. While the Billy Boils by Henry Lawson

Gertrude Stein Either. I do get wonderful action into them don't I. Blame. Worthy. Out. Standing. Eraser. That was a seat. Geography and Plays by Gertrude Stein

Jules Verne She swept through a hail of ejected material, which was fortunately kept at bay by the centrifugal action of the suspensory screws. Robur the Conqueror by Jules Verne [1887]

Louis Pasteur If the action of yeast consists in its increase and multiplication, it is difficult to conceive this action in the case of malate of lime and other calcareous salts of vegetable acids. The physiological theory of fermentation by Louis Pasteur

Thomas Love Peacock I claim, on this occasion, that liberty of action which is the conatal prerogative of every rational being. Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock

Benjamin Disraeli For the rest of the day he was hydrostatically mad; nor could the commonest incident connected with the action or conveyance of water take place without his speculating on its cause and consequence. The Voyage of Captain Popanilla by Benjamin Disraeli [1828]

Then — an action that was to have far-reaching consequences later — he was not satisfied until with some difficulty he had manoeuvred the car into the shade cast by a big rock. The Shadow of Larose by Arthur Gask [1930]

Anthony Trollope But there was no room for action this year in reference to Irish Tenant Right, and therefore any deep consideration of that discomfort might be legitimately postponed. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

Wilkie Collins He eagerly declared that the course of action suggested to him should be followed to the letter, and returned to Sea View without further delay. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Their action produced the marching rhythm he had previously felt, but this rhythm was not intrinsic in the corpuscles themselves, but was a consequence of the obstruction they met with. A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay [1920]

Arthur Conan Doyle Our investigation has been independent, and our action shall be so also. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

It was the contempt of the man of action for the man of activities, and it was probably reciprocated. Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki

Jane Austen She had hardly been able to speak a word, and every look and action had shewn how deeply she was suffering from consciousness. Emma by Jane Austen [1816]

Marcel Prous Toute action de l’esprit est aisée si elle n’est pas soumise au réel. Sodome et Gomorrhe by Marcel Prous

William Makepeace Thackeray His comrade, St. Just, followed him, as you know; but Edward Ancel had been released before this, for the action of my brave Mary had created a strong feeling in his favor. The Paris Sketch Book by William Makepeace Thackeray [1840]

Anthony Trollope He explains what action should achieve for the orator, and teaches that eloquence depends wholly on elocution. The Life of Cicero by Anthony Trollope [1881]

George Gissing He did not speak a word, knowing that at such times it was useless; but his action had changed the current of the girl’s humour, and she at once broke out into the coarsest reviling and abuse. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Edgar Allan Poe The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire — a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

George Berkeley Qu. Whether the sum of the faculties put into act, or, in other words, the united action of a whole people, doth not constitute the momentum of a State? 309. The Querist by George Berkeley [1735]

Elizabeth Gaskell I was stirred up to action by the merry sound of voices and the clamp of rustic feet coming home for the mid-day meal. Cousin Phillis by Elizabeth Gaskell [1864]

The action of the Tao is marked by weakness. Tao Te Ching by Lao tzu

Edward Jenner Perhaps the difference we perceive may be owing to some variety in the mode of action of the virus upon the skin of those who breathe the air of London and those who live in the country. On Vaccination Against Smallpox by Edward Jenner

Wilkie Collins Why should he feel remorse? All remorse springs, more or less directly, from the action of two sentiments, which are neither of them inbred in the natural man. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]