I can remember, with unsteady feet,Tottering from room to room, and finding pleasureIn flowers, and toys, and sweetmeats, things which longHave lost their power to please; which when I see them,Raise only now a melancholy wishI were the little trifler once again,Who could be pleas'd so lightly.
How old the world is! I walk between two eternities.... What is my fleeting existence in comparison with that decaying rock, thatvalley digging its channel ever deeper, that forest that is tottering and those great masses above my head about to fall? I see the marble of tombs crumbling into dust; and yet I don't want to die!
We are friendly to our country, and when we speak of the flag of our Union, we love it, and we love the rights the Constitution guarantees to every citizen. What did the Prophet Joseph say? When the Constitution shall be tottering we shall be the people to save it from the hand of the foe.
The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable. A blackness to hurt your ears with listening. Often he had to get up. No sound but the wind in the trees. He rose and stood tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings.
So they pass away: friends, kindred, the dearest-loved, grown people, aged, infants. As we go on the down-hill journey, the mile-stones are grave-stones, and on each more and more names are written; unless haply you live beyond man's common age, when friends have dropped off, and, tottering, and feeble, and unpitied, you reach the terminus alone.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Miss Grantham's sense of humour got the better of her at this point, and, tottering towards a chair, she sank into it, exclaiming in tragic accents:'Oh Heavens! I am betrayed!' His lordship blenched; both he and miss Laxton regarded her with guilty dismay. Miss Grantham buried her face in her handkerchief, and uttered one shattering word: 'Wretch!
He caught her, she fell, he caught her in his arms, he held her tightly unconscious of what he was doing. He held her up, though tottering himself. He felt as if his head were filled with smoke; flashes of light slipped through his eyelids; his thoughts vanished; it seemed to him that he was performing a religious act, and that he was committing a profanation. Moreover, he did not feel one passionate desire for this ravishing woman, whose form he felt against his heart. He was lost in love.
Since I don't know what execrable means, I though I should look it up so I'll be better equipped to deal with whatever I'm about to see." Ignoring the ladies' tottering Millie continued perusing the pages until she found the word she was looking for. Lifting her head after she read the definition, she glanced around. "Begging your pardon Mrs. Cutling, but I don't see anything out here of a wretched or"- she returned her attention to the dictionary- "abominable nature. Although" -she flipped the pages to the A's -" I don't know what that means either.
And so I ask myself: 'Where are your dreams?' And I shake my head and mutter: 'How the years go by!' And I ask myself again: 'What have you done with those years? Where have you buried your best moments? Have you really lived? Look,' I say to myself, 'how cold it is becoming all over the world!' And more years will pass and behind them will creep grim isolation. Tottering senility will come hobbling, leaning on a crutch, and behind these will come unrelieved boredom and despair. The world of fancies will fade, dreams will wilt and die and fall like autumn leaves from the trees. . . .
There is but one soul throughout the universe, all is but one existence - "Thou art in the woman, thou in the man, thou in the young man walking in the pride of youth, thou in the old man tottering on his stick - thou art All - in all, in everything, and I am thee, because I am made from thee."
But as the work proceeded I was continually reminded of the fable about the elephant and the tortoise. Having constructed an elephant upon which the mathematical world could rest, I found the elephant tottering, and proceeded to construct a tortoise to keep the elephant from falling. But the tortoise was not more secure than the elephant, and after some twenty years of very arduous toil, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing more that I could do in the way of making mathematical knowledge indubitable.
In Iraq #1 we stayed within U.N. mandates, limited our response, went home after Kuwait was freed - and were censured for allowing Shiites and Kurds to be butchered and not going to Baghdad when the road was open and the dictator tottering. In Iraq #2 we removed the tyrant at less cost than the liberation of Kuwait during the earlier war, stayed on to ensure freedom and fair representation for various groups - and are being castigated for either using too little force to ensure needed order or too much power that stifles indigenous aspirations and turns popular opinion against us.
Victor Davis Hanson
Multitudes are now turning to Christ in all parts of the world. How unbearably tragic it would be, though, if the millions of Asia, South America and Africa were led to believe that the best we can hope for from the Way of Christ is the level of Christianity visible in Europe and America today, a level that has left us tottering on the edge of world destruction. The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes-a time for men and women to be heroic in faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message TOO LOW.
He was done talking. Aiden came off the wall so fast the water reacted in a frenzy of bubbling. He-we-were in a frenzy. His arms crushed me to him, his mouth demanding, saying those three little words over and over again without speaking them. Aiden lifted me up, one hand burying deep in my hair, the other pressing into my lower back, fitting us together. He turned and my back was against the edge and he was everywhere all at once, stealing my breath, my heart, my soul. There was no coming up for air, no control or limits. There was no tottering on the edge. We both fell headfirst. In his arms, in the way the water bubbled and moved with our bodies, I may've lost track of time, but I gained a little part of me. I gained a part of him that U would hold close for the rest of my days, no matter how long or short that turned out to be.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later, I recognized it in "Revolution, " the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a policeman - and when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze - as the imperceptible moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people, " Kapuscinski writes. "They should begin with a psychological chapter - one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process - sometimes accomplished in an instant, like a shock - demands to be illustrated. Man gets rid of fear and feel free. Without that, there would be no revolution.
We've done so much together, wherever I go and whatever I see, I think of you. Newborn babies; the pattern on the plate that you can see under a paper-thin slice of sashimi; fireworks in August. The moon hidden behind the clouds over the ocean at night. When I'm sitting down someplace, inadvertently stepping on someone's toes, and have to apologize. And when someone picks up something I've dropped, and I thank him. When I see an elderly man tottering along, and wonder how much longer he has to live. Dogs and cats peeking out from alleyways. A beautiful view from a tall building. The warm blast of air you feel when you go down into a subway station. The phone ringing in the middle of the night. Even when I have crushes on other men, I always see you in the curve of their eyebrows." "Yet I must remain calm, detached. It's a little like trying to ignore a plate of delicious food when you're really hungry. When it beckons you, there's no problem with enjoying the aroma and appreciating it with your eyes, but at some point you have to separate yourself and realize, like a professional waiter does, that it's not your own. It's my job to ignore those plates heaped with delicious morsels and just carry them where they need to go.
Weak and trembling from passion, Major Flint found that after a few tottering steps in the direction of Tilling he would be totally unable to get there unless fortified by some strong stimulant, and turned back to the club-house to obtain it. He always went dead-lame when beaten at golf, while Captain Puffin was lame in any circumstances, and the two, no longer on speaking terms, hobbled into the club-house, one after the other, each unconscious of the other's presence. Summoning his last remaining strength Major Flint roared for whisky, and was told that, according to regulation, he could not be served until six. There was lemonade and stone ginger-beer. You might as well have offered a man-eating tiger bread and milk. Even the threat that he would instantly resign his membership unless provided with drink produced no effect on a polite steward, and he sat down to recover as best he might with an old volume of Punch. This seemed to do him little good. His forced abstemiousness was rendered the more intolerable by the fact that Captain Puffin, hobbling in immediately afterwards, fetched from his locker a large flask of the required elixir, and proceeded to mix himself a long, strong tumblerful. After the Major's rudeness in the matter of the half-crown, it was impossible for any sailor of spirit to take the first step towards reconciliation. Thirst is a great leveller. By the time the refreshed Puffin had penetrated half-way down his glass, the Major found it impossible to be proud and proper any longer. He hated saying he was sorry (no man more) and he wouldn't have been sorry if he had been able to get a drink. He twirled his moustache a great many times and cleared his throat-it wanted more than that to clear it-and capitulated. "Upon my word, Puffin, I'm ashamed of myself for-ha!-for not taking my defeat better, " he said. "A man's no business to let a game ruffle him." Puffin gave his alto cackling laugh. "Oh, that's all right, Major, " he said. "I know it's awfully hard to lose like a gentleman." He let this sink in, then added: "Have a drink, old chap?" Major Flint flew to his feet. "Well, thank ye, thank ye, " he said. "Now where's that soda water you offered me just now?" he shouted to the steward. The speed and completeness of the reconciliation was in no way remarkable, for when two men quarrel whenever they meet, it follows that they make it up again with corresponding frequency, else there could be no fresh quarrels at all. This one had been a shade more acute than most, and the drop into amity again was a shade more precipitous.