Phrases with "instant"

Henry James People snatched their eyes from the stage an instant to look at each other, all eager to hand on the torch passed to them by the actress over the footlights. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

H.P. Lovecraft I could master every detail of a book merely by glancing over it as fast as I could turn the leaves; while my skill at interpreting complex figures in an instant was veritably awesome. The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft [1935]

Arthur Conan Doyle For an instant Craddock stopped in amazement, but a brutal push from the pirates behind drove him up the companion ladder. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

William Makepeace Thackeray But those strange characters you meet make instant observations of which you never can have thought previously. Roundabout Papers by William Makepeace Thackeray [1860-63]

Wilkie Collins The instant afterward the rustling of a woman’s dress over the carpet caught his ear. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant I had seen the chance which Fate had brought to me. The Adventures of Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle [1903]

Edith Wharton She supposed that Mr. Gryce had at last found means to escape from his predicament, and she smiled at the significance of his coming to join her instead of beating an instant retreat to the fire-side. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

George Gissing Happily, the trick with me has never been retrospective; indeed, it was never, even with regard to instant suffering, a habit so deeply rooted as to become a mastering vice. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing [1902]

George Eliot In the very instant of this conflict she still leaned towards him and kept her right hand ready to administer more wine, while her left was passed under his neck. Romola by George Eliot [1862-3]

Help! — instant help! — was his thought; and he looked towards the Cove. Lights were in the cottage windows, and a few sounds came up to him, as if the fishing population were astir. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge [1853]

G. K. Chesterton For when he smiled, as he did for an instant at the sight of Murrel’s scenery, he looked pleasant enough. The Return of Don Quixote by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

In an instant the lights were out. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan [1915]

She smiled, and he had an instant of conviction. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

Henry James Not for an instant should he suspect her of detecting in his proposal of marrying her step-daughter an implication of increased nearness to herself, or of thinking it, on such a betrayal, ominous. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James [1881]

Presently he began to retire backward, step by step, never for an instant removing his eyes from what he saw, or thought he saw. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce [1893]

Rudyard Kipling Swiftly the light gathered itself together, painted for an instant the faces and the cartwheels and the bullocks’ horns as red as blood. Kim by Rudyard Kipling [1901]

H. G. Wells If a sea hit us exceptionally hard he’d be out of the cabin in an instant making an outcry of inquiries, and he was pursued by a dread of the hold, of ballast shifting, of insidious wicked leaks. Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells [1909]

At the same instant the people’s churchwarden rose, and both advanced upon Joe Gander from opposite sides of the church. A Book of Ghosts by S. Baring-Gould [1904]

Andrew Lang That any Princess could prefer a cup of poison to himself never for an instant occurred to him. The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

George Gissing He was startled at the sight of her, but in an instant was holding both her hands, gazing deep into her eyes with an ecstasy of tenderness. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Rafael Sabatini Contemptuous surprise flickered an instant in the eyes of the dalal. The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

G. K. Chesterton They looked as if they had only an instant before been fitted into his head. The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Algernon Blackwood The instant the eyes meet, the flash of memory follows. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

For an instant I expected she would strike me—she was in such a passion. The Woman with One Hand by Richard Marsh

Jules Verne The second letter had for an instant checked his speculations on this subject, but now he thought of that letter no longer. The Underground City by Jules Verne [1877]

The instant closing-up and withdrawal. To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey [1950]

Maria Edgeworth Mr. Montenero followed an instant afterwards, telling Lady de Brantefield that he had despatched one of his own servants for intelligence. Harrington by Maria Edgeworth

Algernon Blackwood Light filled his being for an instant an instant of intoxicating belief and certainty and vision. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

She did not stay an instantjust answered the Squire, and went away again. Lost in the Post by Ellen Wood [1870]

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant his chubby, cheery face set into an expression of absolute ferocity. Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [1923]

At the same instant a rider drew rein in front of him. A Bride from the Bush by E. W. Hornung [1890]

Marcel Prous Elle reparut, mais cette fois pour se suspendre dans l’air et se jouer un instant seulement, comme immobile, et pour expirer après. Du côté de chez Swann by Marcel Prous

Algernon Blackwood Julius, watching me closely, divined my instant thought. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

Arthur Conan Doyle Now touching this same battle of Falkirk, I pray you for one instant to give it your attention. Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle [1906]

Anthony Hope At the same instant a cry rang out, shrill in the night: “Help, help! Michael, help!” and was followed by a shriek of utter terror. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

In an instant the men lost touch of each other. Typhoon by Joseph Conrad [1902]

Wilkie Collins Julian addressed himself to meeting the difficulty the instant he was left alone with Grace. “Listen to me,” he said. The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins [1873]

She looked for an instant at the darkened window-pane. Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole [1931]

Anthony Trollope I do not think that he would scruple for an instant to marry them if he thought it likely that his prey would escape from him. An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope [1879]

H. G. Wells All the estrangement of the final years was wiped in an instant from my mind as I looked upon his face. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

Henry James Let me for an instant see play before me any feeble reflection whatever of the flash of new truth that unsettled you. The Sacred Fount by Henry James [1901]

Maria Edgeworth All was in an instant happy in Helen’s heart; but there was the man of the letter-box; he must be attended to. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

H. G. Wells And in an instant it was gone. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells [1898]

Arthur Conan Doyle An instant later steps crept down the passage — steps which were meant to be silent, but which reverberated harshly through the empty house. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Henry James She seemed an instant to look out of a blurred office window-pane at a grey London sky; then she broke away. Covering End by Henry James [1898]

Edith Wharton Who could be stirring in that silent house? He heard a step on the stairs, and again for an instant the thought of tramps tore through him. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton [1911]

One of the bonfires just replenished leapt one instant lurid high, only to fall the next in a whirlwind of sparks, and cover the lake with a rush of smoke. Diana Tempest by Mary Cholmondeley [1893]

Charles Dickens Relieved in some degree by this, the hangman took his eyes for an instant from the slumbering figure, and glanced round the cell in search of some ‘vantage-ground or weapon of defence. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens [1841]

Ann Radcliffe In the next instant La Motte opened the door of the vaulted room, and Peter hastily disappeared. The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe [1791]

He approached the duke, took his hand, held it for an instant in his own, and letting it fall, “All is useless,” said he, “he is dead. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

This little incident, Recovery, is followed in a public asylum by instant discharge; but, in a private one, Money, not Sanity, is apt to settle the question of egress. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

Elizabeth Gaskell She expected Mr. —‘s instant dismissal from his curacy; she knew, from bitter experience, that his vices were utterly hopeless. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

Ivan Turgenev The same shiver came again an instant later, but from a different cause. The Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turgenev [1872]

E. Nesbi Mother put her head out of the window, and it wasn’t half a minute after that she was in the garden kneeling by the side of Peter, who never for an instant ceased to squeal. The Railway Children by E. Nesbi

Washington Irving In an instant he was at his loophole reconnoitering the slattern spouse of the water-carrier, decorated with the splendor of an eastern bride. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

George Gissing But the next instant she was aware of the stranger, who stood in obvious embarrassment. Denzil Quarrier by George Gissing [1891]

Jules Verne An instant later the capybara, dragged to the bank, was killed by a blow from Neb’s stick. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

George Gissing He too had slept unusually well, and with returning consciousness the sense of a burden removed was more instant than that of his loss and all the dreary circumstances attaching to it. New Grub Street by George Gissing [1891]

Rudyard Kipling Go to your work and be strong, halting not in your ways, Baulking the end half-won for an instant dole of praise. The Seven Seas by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

Clarisse eut un instant l’envie de flanquer la Faloise dehors. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

Henry James It was an instant that settled everything, for I saw her, with intensity, with gallantry too, surprised but not really embarrassed, recognise that of course she must simply lie. The Sacred Fount by Henry James [1901]

There instant answer gave he to my suit, “Feed, as before, your kine, boys, rear your bulls. The Eclogues of Virgil by translated by J. B. Greenough

For an instant she heard the sound produced by Dominique’s body in passing along the ivy. The Miller’s Daughter by Émile Zola

Elle était restée un instant immobile, dans la stupeur de son triomphe, regardant la piste envahie par un flot si épais, qu’on ne voyait plus l’herbe, couverte d’une mer de chapeaux noirs. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

Maria Edgeworth The instant Archibald came within reach of the broom, the scavenger slightly touched Sawney’s legs; Sawney plunged and reared, and reared and plunged. Forester by Maria Edgeworth

Arthur Conan Doyle And then at last there came the dull thud of a gun, and an instant later the shattering crash of an explosion. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

F. Scott Fitzgerald Sometimes a solitary farmhouse would fly by, ugly and bleak and lone on the white waste; and with each one she had an instant of chill compassion for the souls shut in there waiting for spring. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anthony Trollope He stood for an instant pressing them, looking eagerly into her sad face, and then he spoke. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope

Bram Stoker For an instant my heart stood still, and I would have screamed out, only that I was paralyzed. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

Walter Scott I conceive, that the instant when the disabled chief was roused into a last exertion by the agony of the moment is favourable to the object of a painter. Death of the Laird’s Jock by Walter Scott [1828]

Arthur Conan Doyle The woodwork was cut, and the scratches showed white through the paint, as if they had been that instant done. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Arthur Conan Doyle Every instant I expected that he would fly at me, but at last, with a gulp in his throat, he sheathed his rapier with a sharp clang, and sprang back into the saddle. Micah Clarke by Arthur Conan Doyle

John Ruskin The playing colors of his robe formed themselves into a prismatic mist of dewy light; he stood for an instant veiled with them as with the belt of a broad rainbow. The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin [1841]

Henry Handel Richardson For an instant their collapse seemed to leave him alone in space, without a hold, and feeling strangely shrunken. Succedaneum by Henry Handel Richardson

George Meredith A note addressed to Mrs. Kirby–Levellier at the Countess Livia’s house hard by was handed to him for instant despatch. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Jules Verne Je pensai un instant à cette volupté de me retrouver subitement dans les régions hyperboréennes par un froid de trente degrés au-dessous de zéro. Voyage au Centre de la Terre by Jules Verne [1864]

Maria Edgeworth Charmed with him — for her early passion for him had revived in an instant — the first sight of his figure and air, the first glance in the boudoir, had been sufficient. Ormond by Maria Edgeworth

G. K. Chesterton The instant they stepped out into the corridor four sturdy figures stepped from four sides, pinioned them, and ran them along the galleries. The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Olaf Stapledon They were invisible till they were almost abreast of me; for they shone only by reflected sunlight, appearing for an instant only, as streaks of light, like lamps seen from an express train. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

He had an instant of intense resentment against his daughter. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

In an instant he had whirled his horse about and was spurring along in rear of the guns, his eyes everywhere at once. Tales of Soldiers and Civilians by Ambrose Bierce

Theodore Dreiser Lester, who at the sound of her voice had opened his eyes, realised in an instant how things were. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Florence Dixie The ostrich had doubled again, but in doing so had almost rushed on instant death, for La Plata faced him as he did so. Redeemed in Blood by Florence Dixie [1889]

George Gissing Mrs. Candy struck a match, and for an instant illuminated the wretched room; she looked at the two, and they at length saw each other’s faces. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Anthony Trollope A sardonic melancholy was the characteristic most common to him — which, however, was relieved by an always present capacity for instant frolic. Thackeray by Anthony Trollope [1879]

Henry Adams Not for an instant did the Legation draw a free breath. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

Arthur Conan Doyle For an instant I read hatred and menace in the evil eyes. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

E. Phillips Oppenheim It was just as though I had been blinded for an instant and then recovered my sight. The Strange Boarders of Palace Crescent by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

Charles Dickens What was the nameless shadow which again in that one instant had passed? In her furred travelling-dress, Estella seemed more delicately beautiful than she had ever seemed yet, even in my eyes. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [1860]

Henry Handel Richardson For an instant he stood irresolute. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

Arthur Conan Doyle I am aide-decamp to General Suchet, and I demand my instant release, together with that of my comrade in arms. The Adventures of Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle [1903]

Maria Edgeworth Forester, at the sight of Dr. Campbell, covered his face with his hands; but, an instant afterwards, advanced with intrepidity. Forester by Maria Edgeworth

Flight! — for the instant the word thrilled through him with a loathing sense. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant Douglas Stone was out, and the Smyrna merchant’s toe was at his very heel. Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [1923]

Arthur Conan Doyle Her fidelity turned in an instant to bitter hatred and he saw that she would betray him. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

The instant I had done so I saw why he was so silent and immovable. The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green

But I did not waste an instant in inactivity. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green

Guy de Maupassant Il guettait sur sa figure les intermittences de repos, et, avec des ruses de tortionnaire, réveillait par un seul mot la douleur un instant calmée. Pierre et Jean by Guy de Maupassant [1887]

Have you got one handy, sir?” As quickly as possible, for he did not like to leave the man alone for one instant now, Hardacre ran into the house and returned with a gimlet. The Dark Mill Stream by Arthur Gask [1947]

H.P. Lovecraft We were indeed clutched for an instant by primitive dread almost sharper than the worst of our reasoned fears regarding those others. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft [1931]

Henry Fielding The entry of Booth turned all in an instant into a silent picture, in which the first figure which struck the eyes of the captain was the serjeant on his knees to his wife. Amelia by Henry Fielding

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant he had torn Scott and Mortimer from their slumbers. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

Thomas Hardy The heat in the road increased, and now for an instant at the height of the conflagration all stood still, and gazed silently, awestruck and helpless, in the presence of so irresistible an enemy. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy [1871]

Sinclair Lewis His immensest luxury was a cup-size Italian aluminum stove with sticks of Meta compound for fuel, and pulverized instant coffee. World So Wide by Sinclair Lewis

Virginia Woolf Her pen made instant report of these excursions. The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf [1925]

Marjorie Bowen Visconti peered an instant over his rescuer’s shoulder eagerly, then fell back. The Viper of Milan by Marjorie Bowen [1906]

Walter Scott Thus far alone I will concede to Douglas — an instant truce, provided the lady shall not be interrupted in her retreat to England, and the combat be fought out upon another day. Castle Dangerous by Walter Scott [1832]

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant I had bounded to my feet and rushed as hard as I could to the back of the hall. The Adventures of Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle [1903]

Jules Verne The sailors in an instant recognize its import. The Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne [1875]

Arthur Conan Doyle Once for an instant I opened the lattice window, but a gust of wind and rain came blustering through, bearing with it a great sheet of seaweed, which flapped down upon the table. The Mystery of Cloomber by Arthur Conan Doyle [1889]

Bram Stoker The instant his feet touched the ground he seemed to recover his courage, and rushed at his natural enemies. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

Victor Hugo They were as a vapour within him, changing every instant its form, and floating away. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Henry James That disappointed her a little, though in an instant he rang out again. What Maisie Knew by Henry James [1897]

Something was coming from it, running lightly over the lawns, lost for an instant in the trees, and then appearing clear on the crest of the ridge where some hours earlier Dougal had lain. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

Ils restèrent un instant au pied de l’escalier de droite, protégés par le retour de la rampe. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

Arthur Conan Doyle Every instant brought me nearer to the fox. The Adventures of Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle [1903]

The virtuous butler-porter, who opened the door, received a blow in the chest and a demand for “Brandy!” The groom was cursed, and ordered to instant oblivion. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Wilkie Collins At the very instant when I had ceased speaking, I, and I alone, heard a faint sound — a sound that was new to me — fly past the Glen Tower on the wings of the wind. The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins [1859]

There was an instant when that twitch of the finger could have been given, but Kavanagh let that instant pass. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

But that it was, and was going to be still more, unpleasant, nobody seemed for an instant to doubt. The Red Rat’s Daughter by Guy Boothby [1899]

Thomas Hardy The climate necessitates instant burial. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy [1895]

Arthur Conan Doyle In an instant the Lady Maude had turned upon her two blazing eyes and a face which was blanched with anger. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle [1891]

Arthur Conan Doyle For an instant I was shaken by the thought that we were really in the power of a cunning, plausible monomaniac. The Maracot Deep by Arthur Conan Doyle [1929]

Walter Scott The instant that Touchwood stopped, Mowbray added his fiat. Saint Ronan’s Well by Walter Scott [1824]

G. K. Chesterton Then for an instant there hung and broke above him like a high wave the whole horror of scientific imprisonment, which manages to deny a man not only liberty, but every accidental comfort of bondage. The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

H. G. Wells The thing was going so fast he had but an instant apprehension of the dark figure of the aeronaut crouched together clutching at his wheel. The War in the Air by H. G. Wells [1908]

Wilkie Collins The instant she saw the dog on the floor she started and changed colour. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

Elizabeth Gaskell In an instant she repassed and knocked at the house-door; but without awaiting an answer, she entered. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell [1848]

Anthony Hope He was held up against the wall for an instant by Rudolf’s hand; when that was removed he sank, a heap that looked all head and knees. Rupert of Hentzau by Anthony Hope

H.P. Lovecraft For an instant I half regretted having lost a certain awesome object in my stark fright — but now I know that the loss was merciful. The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft [1935]

Kate Chopin Madame Valmondé bent her portly figure over Désirée and kissed her, holding her an instant tenderly in her arms. Short stories by Kate Chopin

Henry James But after an instant he added in a tone more personal: “Don’t disappoint me, dear boy. The Tragic Muse by Henry James [1890]

In an instant she had reached her own door. Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas

George Meredith From his station opposite he guessed the instant when it was taken out, and from that judged when she would be reading it. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

Comme il n’avait pas donné la veille, il demeura un instant hésitant, par crainte d’une leçon. Nana by Emile Zola [1880]

M. P. Shiel Expecting every moment to see the Boreal crushed to splinters, we had to set about unpacking provisions, and placing sledges, kayaks, dogs and everything in a position for instant flight. The Purple Cloud by M. P. Shiel [1901]

Far within the humming circle of his mind he saw an instant and terrible revenge on Brodie, acted it, and lived it now. The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown [1901]

To the guard it did belong, as a matter of course, and was essential as an official warrant, and a means of instant identification for his person, in the discharge of his important public duties. The English Mail-coach by Thomas De Quincey [1849]

H. Rider Haggard Going, going, go — What was that? Suddenly, from the direction of the water came sounds of violent scuffling, and next instant there broke upon our ears a succession of the most awful roars. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

The aunt bristled in instant defence at this unexpected attack. Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki

Henry James The Colonel turned away and moved rapidly about the room, as if he were looking for something; Lyon was unable for the instant to guess his intention. The Liar by Henry James [1888]

When he turned this corner he stood for an instant in speechless astonishment, and then he covered his face and bowed down upon the ground. The Crock of Gold by James Stephens

Then — I had been frightened before, but the instant I had the box in my hands I was worse than frightened. Claimed! by Francis Stevens

Edgar Rice Burroughs There she paused for an instant feeling about with her hands for the thing she sought. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1912]

Arthur Conan Doyle Then at last there were steps in the road, a second figure was visible for an instant against the light, the door shut, and all was black once more. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1904]

Arthur Conan Doyle The room was in darkness, but a hot smell of oil told me that the lamp had only that instant been extinguished. Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [1923]

Elizabeth Gaskell Is papa well? Are you well? and Tabby? You ask about Queen Victoria’s visit to Brussels. I saw her for an instant flashing through the Rue Royale in a carriage and six, surrounded by soldiers. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell [1857]

George Gissing If I was the parson of the parish —’ He paused, and in the same instant their eyes met. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Jules Verne For an instant Joam raised his head; his eyes sought the window, but with a vacant look, as though he were unconscious, and the next instant his head again sank into his hands. Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne [1881]

I never supposed for an instant more than I say. Wylder’s Hand by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Henry James It was a terrible, irresistible embrace, to which Hyacinth submitted with instant patience. The Princess Casamassima by Henry James [1886]

In an instant they unrolled themselves before his memory, with the instantaneousness of a dream annihilating time and space. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

Walter Scott Although I concealed my purpose of coming hither from all mankind but you, whom I do not for an instant suspect of blabbing, yet it was known to this Martigny, and he is down here before me. Saint Ronan’s Well by Walter Scott [1824]

Wilkie Collins The instant she set eyes on it, she snatched it away from me. Jezebel’s Daughter by Wilkie Collins [1880]

Henry James She noticed, for strangeness, that he was very pale at the same time that he was sunburnt; also that he didn’t for an instant smile at her. The Reverberator by Henry James [1888]

Lena Bannerstein was sitting by the bed, and the instant thought came to him what a really lovely girl she was. The House with the High Wall by Arthur Gask [1948]

Wilkie Collins The instant their backs were turned on me I put on the terrible glasses. The Devil’s Spectacles by Wilkie Collins [1879]

M. R. James The boys took it all in in an instant of terrible silence, and hardly could they breathe as they watched the horrid struggle between the man and his victim. Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James

Edgar Rice Burroughs An instant she paused thus, as though turned to stone, and then, with an awful scream, she sprang. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1912]

Arthur Conan Doyle Montgomery ducked under it, and in an instant the two were in each other’s arms. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

Jack London Nor did I for an instant take my eyes off him. The Sea-Wolf by Jack London [1904]

Henry James But after gasping an instant at my sudden resignation, “Because of your letter?” she eagerly brought out. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James [1898]

Arthur Conan Doyle The instant the young man alighted from his horse he was surrounded by a knot of eager questioners. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

He had felt, it seemed to him now, a curious fascination as he gazed at that immense and royal beast — not terror at all; he had for an instant been almost inclined to go out and meet it. The Place of the Lion by Charles Williams [1931]

Henry Handel Richardson She read deliberately, lingering over each word, but the instant she had finished, she crushed the paper to a ball, and threw it to the other end of the room. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

D. H. Lawrence In an instant Anne put her foot upon it, not too heavily. The Prussian Officer and other stories by D. H. Lawrence

Marcel Prous Il faut jouer ça comme si vous le composiez: le jeune Morel, affligé d’une surdité momentanée et d’un génie inexistant, reste un instant immobile. Sodome et Gomorrhe by Marcel Prous

Edgar Rice Burroughs He spoke a few words to the assembled warriors, and in an instant the men were flying through the little village searching minutely every hut and corner within the palisades. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1912]

Jules Verne Ce cri retentit dans toute l’habitation, et attira en un instant Madge, Simon et Harry près de la jeune fille. Les Indes Noires by Jules Verne [1877]

Sir Walter Scott He intimated hopes of future reward, and of instant reimbursement for loss of time, and even of character, by travelling on the state business on the fast-day. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott [1829]

In an instant I found myself out of the dance and down on all-fours so to speak, with liberty to bark and bite. Chance by Joseph Conrad [1913]

D. H. Lawrence In an instant he snuffed glamour and magic. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

G. K. Chesterton He had not learnt, what universal common sense has put into all the folk-lore of the earth, that love cannot be thought of clearly for an instant except as monogamous. George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

The wide blue eyes, the curling hair, the straight nose and short curled lip flashed in the mirror an instant only, and then its depths reflected her pretty neck and back. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Anna Katherine Green She had gone pale, but it took her but an instant to regain her equanimity and hold out her own hand for the weapon. Dark Hollow by Anna Katherine Green

Into his there had come a sudden light; he sprang up as one alike rejuvenated and transfigured; there was a quick step in the porch, and next instant the truant Teddy was in our midst. Mr. Justice Raffles by E. W. Hornung [1909]

H. G. Wells Can you imagine a milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground? That was the impression those instant flashes gave. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells [1898]

James Joyce The lyrical form is in fact the simplest verbal vesture of an instant of emotion a rhythmical cry such as ages ago cheered on the man who pulled at the oar or dragged stones up a slope. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Jules Verne Mais, si le guet-apens dans lequel avait été attirée la petite caravane était découvert, le péril n’en était pas moins grand puisqu’elle pouvait être attaquée d’un instant à l’autre. Kéreban le Tétu by Jules Verne [1883]

Arthur Conan Doyle One instant had altered the whole conditions of our existence. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

Arthur Conan Doyle One struck, and two, and we had almost for the second time given it up in despair, when in an instant we both sat bolt upright in our chairs, with all our weary senses keenly on the alert once more. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

Thomas Hardy The punishment of instant dismissal, with which at first she haughtily threatened him, my lady thought fit, on reflection, not to enforce. A Group of Noble Dames by Thomas Hardy [1891]

Edgar Rice Burroughs He was on his feet in an instant and, leaping with the agility of the monkey he was, he gained the safety of a low limb as Horta, the boar, rushed futilely beneath. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1912]

Moore covered her clasped hands an instant with his, answered her upward by a downward gaze, said ‘Good-night!’ and went. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

Robert Louis Stevenson At the same instant regular feet drew near along the gallery, and she knew the tread of the big Baron, so often gladly welcome, and even now rallying her spirits like a call to battle. Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson

Algernon Blackwood Great joy for an instant passed into the strange sea-green eyes. Julius LeVallon by Algernon Blackwood [1916]

Arthur Conan Doyle For an instant he stood glaring. The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle [1914]

G. K. Chesterton An instant before, Marshal Von Grock had looked uncommonly like a rhinoceros, with his heavy folds of leathery cheek and jaw. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Two points required instant settling. Hand and Ring by Anna Katharine Green

Arnold Bennett At the same instant came another startling blow on the window. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

George Gissing In the same instant he sprang forward like a wild-beast and seized Arthur around the throat. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

W. H. Hudson Escape was impossible: to have revealed his true feelings would have exposed him to instant cruel death. Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson

The falcon, dazzled for an instant by the light, turned, described a circle, then suddenly perceiving the heron, dashed after it. Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas

Arthur Morrison The cab gained, he called at the lodgings of two of his men assistants and gave them instant instructions. The Dorrington Deed-Box by Arthur Morrison

Andrew Lang In an instant the baby stretched out its little hands and began to play a tune so beautiful that even the prince forgot his sorrows as he listened. The Crimson Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Arnold Bennett The young man gazed for an instant hard at Hilda, with a peculiar expression, and passed on. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

G. K. Chesterton But Marcus went white with horror; for M. Louis made one quaint little gesture which, if it meant anything, could only mean that the policeman himself had turned for an instant and fired. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Maleck and I, as they came near, each firing a piece together, and whipping up another, and then another, in an instant they fell round us roaring and making a horrid yell. Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins by Robert Paltock [1751]

Marjorie Bowen And it was with an instant recollection of his visionary fancy that Murdoch had accepted this invitation. The Breakdown by Marjorie Bowen

Bram Stoker I was quite a little startled myself, for it seemed for an instant as if the stranger had great eyes like burning flames, but a second look dispelled the illusion. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]