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Quicksand   Listen
noun
Quicksand  n.  Sand easily moved or readily yielding to pressure; especially, a deep mass of loose or moving sand mixed with water, sometimes found at the mouth of a river or along some coasts, and very dangerous, from the difficulty of extricating a person who begins sinking into it. "Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!"






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Quicksand" Quotes from Famous Books



... quicksand. The pony cried again—cried to them for help. Caius next found himself with O'Shea holding the creature's head, and aiding its mad plunging, even while his own feet sank deeper and deeper. There was a moment when they ...
— The Mermaid - A Love Tale • Lily Dougall

... maximum depth, instead of the pilot cut of fifteen feet, as originally planned; the insistence of the Levee Board that levees in the back areas must be raised to elevation 30; development of unforeseen and unforeseeable quicksand conditions in the various excavations; requirements of railroads for bridges of greater capacity and strength than needed; building of a power line to the Foundation Company's plant—not a Dock Board job, but one that the conditions required it should finance then; and other ...
— The Industrial Canal and Inner Harbor of New Orleans • Thomas Ewing Dabney

... latter,—receives her dedication and sanctity from it. They are correlatives. The one demands the other. Hence they cannot be divorced. The individual passes over to the church through the Christian home. The one is the step to the other. They have the same foundation. Home is not erected upon a quicksand, but reared upon the same rock upon which the church is built. Like the church, it rises superior to all the fluctuations of civil society, and will live and flourish in all its tender charities, in all its sweet enjoyments, and in all its moral force, in the humble cottage as well as ...
— The Christian Home • Samuel Philips

... body, and so being short lived to boot she remains from century to century to human eyes in statu quo. Her body never becomes machinate, whereas this new phase of organism which has been introduced with man into the mundane economy, has made him a very quicksand for the foundation of an unchanging civilisation; certain fundamental principles will always remain, but every century the change in man's physical status, as compared with the elements around him, is greater and greater. He is a shifting basis on which ...
— Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces • Samuel Butler

... difficulties. And then, the world was so wicked that men of reflection instinctively shrank from it. Notwithstanding my wild, visionary plans, he yet had hopes of me. But if I sought distinction in the political world, it would be well not to forget that it had at this day become a dangerous quicksand, over which a series of violent storms continually heaved. And these storms, by some mysterious process or other, were incessantly casting up on the shore of political popularity and making heroes of men ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... is in the necessity of a succession of moods or objects. Gladly we would anchor, but the anchorage is quicksand. This onward trick of nature is too strong for us: Pero si muove. When at night I look at the moon and stars, I seem stationary, and they to hurry. Our love of the real draws us to permanence, but health of body consists in circulation, and sanity of mind in variety or facility of association. ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... the tracks of Blake's party, which led up the moraine, and carried us over quicksand and through glacial streams, icy cold. Finally we came to where Blake had started up the mountain side, and with all due regard to my friend, his trail was not an easy one. About noon it began to rain, but we pushed upward, although soon soaked to ...
— American Big Game in Its Haunts • Various

... were brought under cover of darkness by the old woman from the mansion house. Northmour, and the young lady, sometimes together, but more often singly, would walk for an hour or two at a time on the beach beside the quicksand. I could not but conclude that this promenade was chosen with an eye to secrecy; for the spot was open only to seaward. But it suited me not less excellently; the highest and most accidented of the sand hills immediately adjoined; and from these, lying ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... Gieshuebler's coachman had meanwhile been kicked in the shin by one of the horses and the doctor ordered him to stay at the Forester's for the present. Innstetten undertook to drive home in his place. Sidonie Grasenabb rode part of the way with Effi and Crampas, till a small stream with a quicksand bottom was encountered, when she left the sleigh and joined her family in their carriage. Crampas who had been sent by Innstetten to look after the ladies in his sleigh, was now alone with Effi. ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... "We got the three piers in—good and solid on dry bottom. Then along comes the rain—and our work melts into the quicksand. Since then we've been trying to ...
— The U.P. Trail • Zane Grey

... "that deep down below the surface of the land lies a sort of soil like a quicksand, and that when the river deepens its bed so that its waters do enter this soil it melts away, leaving a great void, into which the land above does sink, and is ...
— The Cornet of Horse - A Tale of Marlborough's Wars • G. A. Henty

... San Gabriel, at the spot where this action was fought, is about one hundred yards wide, the current about knee-deep, flowing over a quicksand bottom. The left bank, by which the Americans approached, is level; that on the right is also level for a short distance back, but beyond this narrow plain a bank fifty feet in height commands the ford and the intervening flat, while both banks are fringed with a thick undergrowth. On this bank, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... The stream, a full foot in depth, flowed between banks higher than usual, and its waters, cold and sweet, were entirely devoid of alkali. Following it some distance, they found sloping banks free from the danger of quicksand, and crossed to the other side, where they made a camp among ...
— The Great Sioux Trail - A Story of Mountain and Plain • Joseph Altsheler

... and were driven along. (16)And running under a certain small island called Clauda, we were hardly able to come by the boat; (17)which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast away on the quicksand, they lowered the sail, and so ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... want you to think it over soberly and let your heart decide. You know where I stand, don't you, Hazel, dear? I haven't changed—not a bit—I'm the same old Bill. But I'd rather hit the trail alone than with an unwilling partner. Don't flounder about in any quicksand of duty. There is no ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... river, and observing some islands in it, my plan was instantly formed. If I could only reach the river, I would swim out and get behind one of the islands. And the river being high and turbid, with a quicksand bottom, I did not believe they would venture to come after me. (I had learned to swim when a boy, and that now was my means of salvation.) I started for the river as soon as the last Indian had passed me, "double quick," but as I started, I glanced towards the west, and, to my dismay, ...
— Three Years on the Plains - Observations of Indians, 1867-1870 • Edmund B. Tuttle

... them, and the good being his sign of approbation. There was nothing good for man to know which could not be deduced from facts. This was the only sound basis of knowledge, and to found things upon fiction which could be made to stand upon facts was to try and build upon a quicksand. ...
— The Fair Haven • Samuel Butler

... replied Mills cheerfully as he slung his boots across his shoulders. "You don't think that island's a quicksand, eh?" ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... of these States under the sole domination of army officers, appointed "military governors."[55] The anomalous office found an obscure basis among those "war powers" which, as a legal resting-place, resembled a quicksand, and as a practical foundation were undeniably a rock; the functions and authority of the officials were as uncertain as anything, even in law, possibly could be. Legal fiction never reached a droller point than ...
— Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II • John T. Morse

... and 200 feet, but at one point it reaches 490 feet. The formation of the ground varies extraordinarily. At some points it is rock; at others rock gives place to contorted layers of brilliantly colored earth which is almost as restless as quicksand. Unfortunately, it is at places where the cutting is deepest that its banks are most unstable. The sides of the lowest 40 feet of the excavation—the actual water channel—are cut vertically and not to a slope; in a firm formation this reduces the amount of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... knows what a bed of quicksand is knows how dangerous it is—dangerous to both man and beast. Just as the scout made his discovery he sank up to ...
— The Boy Land Boomer - Dick Arbuckle's Adventures in Oklahoma • Ralph Bonehill

... it soon became a vast sea of mud. I have already spoken of Virginia mud. It beggars description. Your feet sink into it frequently ankle deep, and you lift them out with a sough. In some places it seemed as bottomless as a pit of quicksand. The old-established roads were measurably passable, but, as I have heretofore explained, most of the troops had to march directly across the fields, and here it proved absolutely impossible to move the wagon-trains and artillery any distance. This was ...
— War from the Inside • Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock

... one finds a more consistent or a nobler doctrine of fellowship than is chanted in Leaves of Grass. It is based upon individualism; the strong body and the possessed soul, sure of itself amid the whirling of the "quicksand years"; but it sets these strong persons upon the "open road" in comradeship; it is the sentiment of comradeship which creates the indissoluble union of "these States"; and the States, in turn, ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... looked wonderingly at her companion. Was she indeed so unsuspicious of the quicksand on which stood the fair temple of her hopes ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... wet grass; the grass was luxuriant, the flora was varied and beautiful; in appearance it was a field, in reality it was a morass; to all people of the Valdedera it was dreaded and avoided, as quicksand ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... ship under his charge, and had his confidence repaid by seeing her hauled off into deep water in a single tide. Knowing the nature of the bottom,—a soft arenaceous mud, which if beat for some time by the foot or hand, resolved itself into a sort of quicksand, half-sludge, half-water, which, when covered by a competent depth of sea, could offer no effectual resistance to a ship's keel,—the master had set half the crew to run in a body from side to side, ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... road filled with snare and quicksand, pilgrim? Do pitfalls lie where roses seem to grow? And have you sometimes stumbled in the darkness, And are you bruised and scarred by many a blow? Pilgrim, I know, I know! ...
— Poems of Progress • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... of June the Platte River was reached, about twenty-five miles below Grand Island. Captain Bonneville measured the stream at that point, found it to be twenty-two hundred yards wide, and from three to six feet deep, the bottom full of quicksand. ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... lay not water, but a smooth surface of viscid slime, here luminous with the florescence of rottenness, there furrowed by a tiny runnel of moisture which sluggishly crept across it to the slow stream beyond. This quicksand, vile and treacherous, lapped the wall below the window, and more than accounted for the absence of bars or fastenings. But, leaning far out, he saw that it ended at the angle of the building, at a point twenty feet or so to the right ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... without considering any consequence. Those orders I gave in no very low voice, so that those above stairs might possibly conceive there was more than one master in the cabin. In the same tone I likewise threatened the captain with that which, he afterwards said, he feared more than any rock or quicksand. Nor can we wonder at this when we are told he had been twice obliged to bring to and cast anchor there before, and had neither time escaped without the loss of almost his ...
— Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon • Henry Fielding

... eastern the drawbridge of the ruin. The few other cottages thereabout—all as if carved from the solid rock—were in darkness, but from the upper window of Avice's tiny freehold glimmered a light. Its rays were repeated from the far-distant sea by the lightship lying moored over the mysterious Shambles quicksand, which brought tamelessness and domesticity into ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... at last we can step again from the treacherous quicksand of reminiscences on the terra firma of documents. The following extracts from some letters of George Sand's throw light on her relation to Chopin in the ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... some of these, while it required as many as 21 to 25 shifts to reach rock in the others, rock being at the same elevation. In fact, the digging all the way to rock in some was the best that could be wished for, while in the others boulders and quicksand were encountered, and the progress was slower, and the cost ...
— Concrete Construction - Methods and Costs • Halbert P. Gillette

... between Roosevelt and the saddle, but now the rider stayed with the animal a little longer than before. Four times that beast threw him, but the fifth time Roosevelt maneuvered him into a stretch of quicksand in the Little Missouri River. This piece of strategy saved the day, made Roosevelt a winner, and broke the record of the Devil, for if there is any basis of operations fatal to fancy bucking it is quicksand. After a while Roosevelt turned the ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... woman to be rescued by her lover from quicksand, she will possess a worthy and faithful husband, who will still remain ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... it. I loved its basin; and the goats would go down to lick the salt. They had more sense than D'Aulnay de Charnisay, for they knew where to venture. I thought D'Aulnay de Charnisay was one of our goats by his bleat, until I looked down and saw him part sunk in a quicksand at the bottom of the channel. The tide was already frothing in like yeast upon him. How gloriously the tide shoots up that tide-creek! It hisses. It comes like thousands of horses galloping one behind the other and tumbling over each other,—fierce and snorting spray, and climbing the banks, ...
— The Lady of Fort St. John • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... last ten years he had labored without ambition, and had been successful. His name was well known as a journalist, and his salary was ample. Before that time he had striven ambitiously, but fruitlessly, patiently, but as in a quicksand, until, on a day, he had none to strive for but himself, and then success had come. Since noon, seven hours and twenty-nine minutes, said the clock before him. His anniversary was near. Mr. Bixby drew the letters near him, and untied the package. Just then there ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 9 • Various

... Alister how, when he longed to help his people, his thoughts had always turned, not to God first, but to the money his uncle had left him. He had trusted in a fancy—no less a fancy when in his uncle's possession than when cast into the quicksand of the bank; for trust in money that is, is no less vain, and is farther from redress, than trust in money that is not. In God alone can trust repose. His heart had been so faithless that he did not know it was! He thought he loved God as the first and last, the beginning, middle, and end of ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... of Northern Jutland is diversified with sand-plains, heaths, and ever-changing mounds, among which wandering bands of gipsies still roam. The shores along the Skagen are surrounded by dangerous reefs of quicksand, stretching for many miles out into the ocean. Navigation at this point is very difficult, especially in the winter, when terrific gales prevail from the northwest. The numerous stakes, buoys, and other water-marks ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... tottering; and still she sees, falling beside her, the never-ending stream of phantom sand. Sometimes I like to think that she is seated on the sand because she is herself the Spirit of Staying, and victor over all things that pass and change;—quicksand of the desert in moving pillar; quicksand of the sea in moving floor; roofless all, and unabiding, but she abiding;—to herself, her home. And sometimes I think, though I do not like to think (neither did Chaucer mean this, for he always meant the lovely thing first, ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... boggy, we again ascended a low table land of the same description. At ten miles came upon a few low sand rises, about a mile in breadth. We then struck a creek, another tributary, spread over a large plain, very boggy, with here and there patches of quicksand. We had great difficulty in getting over it, but at last succeeded without any mishap. We then entered a thick scrubby country of mulga and other shrubs; the soil now changed to a dark red, covered splendidly ...
— Explorations in Australia, The Journals of John McDouall Stuart • John McDouall Stuart

... Turnbull had an abstract knowledge of science and some of its applications to navigation, which was worse. The presence of the god or fairy can only be deduced from the fact that they never definitely ran into anything, either a boat, a rock, a quicksand, or a man-of-war. Apart from this negative description, their voyage would be difficult to describe. It took at least a fortnight, and MacIan, who was certainly the shrewder sailor of the two, realized that they were sailing west into the Atlantic and ...
— The Ball and The Cross • G.K. Chesterton

... O'Donels—all the clans who had stood by Sussex in the preceding summer—were given over to their enemy bound hand and foot. But Elizabeth was weary of the expense, and sick of efforts which were profitless as the cultivation of a quicksand. True it was that she was placing half Ireland in the hands of an adulterous, murdering scoundrel, but the Irish liked to have it so, and she forced herself to hope that he would restrain himself for the future within the bounds ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... for the rest, who were straggling about: upon which they all soon came to the boat: but it was past all their strength to launch her, the boat being very heavy, and the shore on that side being a soft oozy sand, almost like a quicksand. In this condition, like true seamen, who are, perhaps, the least of all mankind given to forethought, they gave it over, and away they strolled about the country again; and I heard one of them say aloud to another, calling them off from the boat, "Why, let her alone, Jack, can't ...
— Robinson Crusoe • Daniel Defoe

... expectations. I had formed a totally different idea of the grandeur and wealth of it. The city presented nothing but a mass of ill-looking houses, built of earth. Nothing was to be seen in all directions but immense plains of quicksand of a yellowish white colour. The sky was a pale red as far as the horizon, all nature wore a dreary aspect, and the most profound silence prevailed: not even the warbling of a bird was to be heard. The heat was oppressive; not a breath of air freshened ...
— A Book of Discovery - The History of the World's Exploration, From the Earliest - Times to the Finding of the South Pole • Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge

... us all we knew to get over; it was a regular quicksand. Rainbow never got flustered if he was up to his neck in a bog, but my horse got frightened and plunged, so that I had to jump off. Jim's horse was a trifle better, but he hadn't much to spare. We weren't sorry to take the bridles ...
— Robbery Under Arms • Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

... do," said Miriam, with a touch of bitterness. "I have always been a stranger and an alien here. Strangely enough, Celia, I have felt as if I—I have been walking on quicksand that might swallow me up at any moment. Oh, I have been as unhappy as I deserve. All the time, I have felt a sense of—of—oh, I can't explain; but it seemed to me as if my treachery to Derrick would come back on me. And it has! If you knew"—she shuddered—"but I can't tell you. I shall never open ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... the old woman staring after them with her mouth open. It could have been only a few minutes later that they reached Quicksand Creek. ...
— A Man Four-Square • William MacLeod Raine

... place of the uncompounded verb), assigning as his reason, that 'If St. John had written [Greek: erchesthai], no one would ever have substituted [Greek: dierchesthai] for it.' But to construct the text of Scripture on such considerations, is to build a lighthouse on a quicksand. I could have referred the learned Critic to plenty of places where the thing he speaks of as incredible has been done. The proof that St. John used the uncompounded verb is the fact that it is found in all the copies except our two untrustworthy friends. The explanation of [Greek: DIerchomai] ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... silly fellows out of quicksand and bog holes," he remarked. "Oh, yes, don't think I've forgotten what happened in that Great Dismal Swamp. But do you mean to yank the carcass up in a tree, Max? Is that the way you expect to ...
— With Trapper Jim in the North Woods • Lawrence J. Leslie

... It crawls forward in all weathers, like Richard Edgeworth's hygrometer. It does not stand at the boundary of our ignorance, it seems to me, but is one of the will-o'-the-wisps of its undisputed central domain of bog and quicksand. Yet I should not have devoted so many words to it, did I not recognize the light it has thrown on human actions by its study of congenital organic tendencies. Its maps of the surface of the head are, I feel sure, founded on a delusion, but its studies of ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... his Coal holdings on the market in great blocks. His treachery took Roebuck completely by surprise—for Roebuck believed in this fair-weather "gentleman," foul-weather coward, and neglected to allow for that quicksand that is always under the foundation of the man who has inherited, not earned, his wealth. But for the blundering credulity of rascals, would honest men ever get their dues? Roebuck's brokers had bought many thousands of Langdon's shares at the high artificial price before Roebuck ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... to arrange my defence without knowing in what way they would try to trip me, and I had to think faster than I ever have thought before. I had no more time to be scared, or to regret my past sins, than has a man in a quicksand. So far as I could make out, they were divided in opinion concerning me. Rupert of Hentzau, who was the adjutant or the chief of staff, had only one simple thought, which was to shoot me. Others considered me a damn fool; ...
— With the Allies • Richard Harding Davis

... legs, filed away in straggling flight, like figures interlacing on a panel. At the height of his distress, Rudolph caught a whirling glimpse of the woman above him, safe on firm earth, easy in her saddle, and laughing. Quicksand, then, was a joke,—but he could not pause ...
— Dragon's blood • Henry Milner Rideout

... top. Soon after the Frenchman, "Stick-in-the-Mud" arrived alone, drenched and miserable. His load was again "stuck in the muskeg, a matter of two mile off, he guessed." If left there all night, it would sink so deep in that quicksand-like marsh that there would be little hope of ever extracting it. The poor lad said his team was too done up to be of any use, and he was so "dead tired, he hadn't a leg to stand on." Still, he ...
— A Trip to Manitoba • Mary FitzGibbon

... the broker's face a moment. Then his own brightened, as he began to divine the man's reason. "By George!" he ejaculated, "you think there's quicksand along ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... as I muse, Behold a VISION gathers in my soul, Voices and shadowy shapes! In human guise I seem to see the phantom, FEAR, pass by, Hotly-pursued, and pale! From rock to rock He bounds with bleeding feet, and thro' the swamp, The quicksand and the groaning wilderness, Struggles with feebler and yet feebler flight. But lo! an altar in the wilderness, And eagerly yet feebly lo! he grasps The altar of the living God! and there With wan reverted face the trembling wretch All wildly list'ning to his Hunter-fiends ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... asked what he is, he replies a Ravi Das. Another tradition current among them alleges that their original ancestor was the youngest of four Brahman brethren who went to bathe in a river and found a cow struggling in a quicksand. They sent the youngest brother in to rescue the animal, but before he could get to the spot it had been drowned. He was compelled, therefore, by his brothers to remove the carcase, and after he had done this ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... which the water entered so fast, as to almost prevent them from going deeper. They, however, proceeded through another bed of blue clay, twenty or twenty-two feet, and came to a fine yellow sand, resembling quicksand, into which they dug three feet and stopped, having found sufficient water. The whole depth of the ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... in the river-bed were due to its quicksand formation, which was constantly shifting, shallowing here, deepening there, and it would have been sure destruction to horse and rider, if we stopped for ...
— Seven and Nine years Among the Camanches and Apaches - An Autobiography • Edwin Eastman

... about 25 tons each, or nearly one-half of their ultimate strength. In only one or two instances, covering stretches of 100 ft. in one case and 200 ft. in another, where there were large areas of quicksand sufficient to cause semi-aqueous pressure, or pockets of the same material causing eccentric loading, did these wall-plates show any signs of heavy pressure, and in many instances they were in such good condition that ...
— Pressure, Resistance, and Stability of Earth • J. C. Meem

... known as Sunset Crossing. The guide was sure he knew the place. But the river was high, and I could not see how anybody could cross it without a boat. The Mexican rode his pony in once or twice; shook his head, and said in Spanish, "there was much quicksand. The old ford had changed much since he saw it." He galloped excitedly to and fro, along the bank of the river, always returning to the same place, and declaring "it was the ford; there was no other; he knew ...
— Vanished Arizona - Recollections of the Army Life by a New England Woman • Martha Summerhayes

... is wanting to Government, but reformation. When Ministry rests upon public opinion, it is not indeed built upon a rock of adamant; it has, however, some stability. But when it stands upon private humour, its structure is of stubble, and its foundation is on quicksand. I repeat it again—He that supports every Administration, subverts all Government. The reason is this. The whole business in which a Court usually takes an interest goes on at present equally well, in whatever hands, ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... Cartesians—until Spinoza made it clear—seem able or willing to see that the Church could not accept this deity because the Church required a God who caused the universe. The two deities destroyed each other. One was passive; the other active. Thomas warned Descartes of a logical quicksand which must necessarily swallow up any Church, and which Spinoza explored to the bottom. Thomas said truly that every true cause must be proved as a cause, not merely as a sequence; otherwise they must end in a universal energy ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... work true if not confused with faltering instructions from a giddy brain. On soft ground see what, if any thing, has preceded you; large hoof-marks generally mean that the way is safe: if none are found, inquire for yourself before going on. Quicksand is the most treacherous because far more dangerous than it looks; but I have seen a mule's ears finally ...
— How to Camp Out • John M. Gould

... him instantly, saw a human fantastic, struggling, writhing, twisting with maniacal might, the while the horrible quicksand held him by the legs, and swallowed him, ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... was but one hope, one opportunity—to cross the stream before dawn came and hide among those shifting sand-dunes of the opposite shore. Hamlin thoroughly understood the risk involved, the treacherous nature of the Arkansas, the possibility that both might be sucked down by engulfing quicksand, yet even such a lonely death ...
— Molly McDonald - A Tale of the Old Frontier • Randall Parrish

... his humours again. Ennui was upon him. This goodly promontory, the earth—particularly that portion of it known as Quicksand—was to him no more than a pestilent congregation of vapours. Overtaken by the megrims, the philosopher may seek relief in soliloquy; my lady find solace in tears; the flaccid Easterner scold at the millinery bills ...
— Heart of the West • O. Henry

... I can tell you. Even the men look out since Harry Wilson got bogged another time, trying to get over after a bullock. Of course he wouldn't wait to go round, and he had an awful job to get his horse out of the mud—it's something like a quicksand. After that father had two or three good crossings made very plain and clear, and whenever a new man is put on they're explained to him. See, ...
— A Little Bush Maid • Mary Grant Bruce

... the theatre, she denies herself the teo-rooms, she goes apologetically and furtively (and economically) to concerts—but the swinging doors of the department stores suck her irresistibly into their quicksand of remnants and reductions. ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... river had been high in flood during the week, and the grass which sloped towards the water was still wet, and heavy to the tread. But Cazeau limited his walk to the broad summit of the bank, being aware that the river just below flowed over a muddy quicksand, into which, should a man chance to fall, it would be death and fast burial at one and the same moment. And Cazeau set a rather exorbitant value on his own life, as most men do whose lives are of no sort of consequence ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... was sorrow on the sea and sorrow on the land When Love ship went down by the bottomless quicksand To its grave in the bitter wave. There was sorrow on the sea and sorrow on the land When Worm ship went to pieces on the rock-bound strand, And the bitter wave was its grave. But land and sea waxed hoary In whiteness of a glory Never told in story Nor seen ...
— Poems • Christina G. Rossetti

... anticipated, the horse began to struggle violently in a vain effort to escape from a soft quicksand which prevented it either from swimming or wading. The next instant a sea rolling in washed the rider from its back. He struck out boldly, making a desperate effort for life. Jacob and the boy pulled with all their might towards him, but before they could ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... too big, where we moored to our own grapnels, and hurried out through the warm dark night towards a light in a verandah. As we neared the garden gate I could have sworn we had stepped knee-deep in quicksand, for we could scarcely drag our feet against the prickling currents that clogged them. After five paces we stopped, wiping our foreheads, as hopelessly stuck on dry smooth turf as so many ...
— A Diversity of Creatures • Rudyard Kipling

... struggled to free my limbs. I could neither move them backward nor forward, to the right nor to the left; and I became sensible that I was gradually going down. Then the fearful truth flashed upon me: I was sinking in a quicksand. ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... to dispose of the tirade in two words "Petitio principii," and so smoke on; and, not being an university woman, she could not keep her eye on the original assumption while following the series of inferences the learned doctor built so neatly, story by story, on the foundation of the quicksand of a loose conjecture.* ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... that he must speak now if he would speak at all. They were stopping for the night at Lugano, and were to start for Pisa next morning. He would at least find out how far his darling had been drawn into the fatal quicksand of Italian politics. ...
— The Gadfly • E. L. Voynich

... quicksand behind and entered the village, passing among the groups of lodges. Here they realized more fully than on the hills the great extent of the Indian town. Its inhabitants seemed a myriad to Dick and Albert, so long used to silence and ...
— The Last of the Chiefs - A Story of the Great Sioux War • Joseph Altsheler

... foe—the underground springs. When two parties are both in danger of being drowned they haven't time to fight. To speak of drowning is no hyperbole; the mud of Flanders in winter is in some places like a quicksand, and men have been sucked under beyond redemption. A common misery begat ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... river. A more critical experiment awaited us; for our little mule-cart was but ill-fitted for the passage of so swift a stream. We watched it with anxiety till it seemed to be a little motionless white speck in the midst of the waters; and it WAS motionless, for it had stuck fast in a quicksand. The little mules were losing their footing, the wheels were sinking deeper and deeper, and the water began to rise through the bottom and drench the goods within. All of us who had remained on the hither bank galloped ...
— The Oregon Trail • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... mangled mass of horse and man, themselves scarcely to be disintegrated in the fall from so stupendous a height. The big white beaver hat of the child was found floating on the surface of a deep pool hard by, half quagmire, half quicksand, and would in itself have sufficed to dispel any doubts of his fate, had doubt been entertained. The burial was accomplished as best might be, and the dolorous incident seemed at an end. But throughout the dry, soft Indian summer the little boy's jaunty red coat swung in the wind, unseen, unheeded, ...
— The Ordeal - A Mountain Romance of Tennessee • Charles Egbert Craddock

... shikaree, in the shape of a tree—the only one near the spot. It was a tree that had already been instrumental in saving his life: for it was the same that stood by the little straits where Ossaroo had set his nets, and by means of which Caspar had been enabled to hoist him up out of the quicksand. ...
— The Cliff Climbers - A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters" • Captain Mayne Reid

... banks of a river which Burke named the Cloncurry. A few hundred yards below the camp Billy got bogged in a quicksand bank so deeply as to be unable to stir, and they had to undermine him on the creek side and pull him into the water. About five miles farther on he bogged again, and afterwards was so weak that ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... November 3d, they set off in company with some Indians who had joined them the evening before. At the distance of three miles they passed a river on the left, to which, from the quantity of sand it bears along with it, they gave the name of Quicksand River. So great, indeed, was the quantity it had discharged into the Columbia, that the river was compressed to the width of half a mile, and the whole force of the current thrown against the right shore. Opposite this was a large creek, which they called Seal ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: Explorers • Various

... leagues cannot be accomplished without vast difficulty and expense. On such a journey it is usual for a train of sixty or eighty horses to accompany the carriage; and it is found necessary to change the horses every half-hour, owing to the difficulty of drawing the carriage through the fine quicksand, which is often more than a foot deep. A Peruvian planter, who was accustomed to take his wife every year on a visit to his plantation, situated about thirty-two leagues from Lima, assured me that the journey to and fro always ...
— Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests • J. J. von Tschudi

... usual proceeding in such cases was to leap out and push the boat off. That night, fortunately, we were chilly, and did not fancy a midnight ducking. Each taking an oar, we thrust at the bar. The oars went down to the grip in quicksand. Had we leaped out as usual, there would have been two burials that ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... quicksand often have to be built in places where least expected, and sometimes the writer has been able to conveniently span the vein with an arch and avoid trouble; but where it cannot be conveniently arched over, it will be necessary to sheath pile for a trench ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885 • Various

... was a black fog. Robert could have landed ten thousand men, and we none the wiser. Does he tell how we were out all day riding the marsh, and how I near perished in a quicksand, and coughed like a sick ewe for ten ...
— Puck of Pook's Hill • Rudyard Kipling

... through a region that was often frequented by desperadoes. Furthermore, he had to ford the North Platte at a point where the stream was half a mile in width and in places twelve feet deep. Though the current was at times slow, dangers from quicksand were always to be feared on these prairie rivers. Cody, then but a youth, had to surmount these obstacles and cover his trip at an average of fifteen miles ...
— The Story of the Pony Express • Glenn D. Bradley

... a country where everything seems shifting like a quicksand, where men shed their homes as snakes their skins, where you may meet a three-story house, or even a church, on the highway, bitten by the universal gad-fly of bettering its position, where we have known a tree to ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., April, 1863, No. LXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics. • Various

... my hand in, convulsively, upon her breast, until it seemed to be in the midst of tremulous warmth, close upon the throbbing heart itself. I could not think. Thought seemed slipping from me. I felt sinking deeper each minute into the quicksand of desire. Nothing seemed clear any longer. All within my brain was merged into one hot, clinging haze, in which still loomed the idea that I must not yield. It would be dishonourable to my father, disappointing to myself, destructive ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... dialectic demonstration of what is best for us—to do only what is in reason best for us—we must simply cease to live, though we do continue to breathe. Even in physics, of what use are logical demonstrations, when the premises are only a foundation more unstable than quicksand—purely provisional? ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... where there were two roads. One went by a river, and the other went over the hill. The man saw that the travel went over the hill, but thought he'd take the river road. He didn't know that there was a quicksand across it, and that people couldn't use it in spring and summer. There used to be a sign board to tell strangers about it, but it had been taken away. The man got off his horse to let him graze, and walked along till he got so far ahead of the horse ...
— Beautiful Joe • Marshall Saunders

... and make inquiries myself. This house is a place of mysterious disappearances. I wonder if the beach below is of quicksand, and does ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... our experience. It is not support that is wanting to government, but reformation. When ministry rests upon public opinion, it is not indeed built upon a rock of adamant; it has, however, some stability. But when it stands upon private humor, its structure is of stubble, and its foundation is on quicksand. I repeat it again,—He that supports every administration subverts all government. The reason is this: The whole business in which a court usually takes an interest goes on at present equally well, in whatever hands, whether high or low, wise or foolish, scandalous or reputable; ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... in black shadow. A gleam of pale sand, a whisper of deep flowing waters, and a farther glimmer of more sands beyond them challenged our advance. We had come to a "grapevine ferry." The scow was on the other side, the water too shoal for the horses to swim, and the bottom, most likely, quicksand. Out of the blackness of the opposite shore came a soft, high-pitched, quavering, long-drawn, smothered moan of woe, the call of that snivelling little sinner the screech-owl. Ferry murmured to me to answer it and I sent the same faint horror-stricken tremolo back. Again it came to us, from ...
— The Cavalier • George Washington Cable

... ugly little stream, with much mire and some quicksand to be avoided; with deep earth-canyons and sliding avalanches of dirt on steep slopes, and now and then a stone outcrop jagged and difficult, not to say dangerous, to footways, and impossible to stock. It was called Little Wolf because it was narrower than the willow-fringed stream into ...
— Winning the Wilderness • Margaret Hill McCarter

... made one of my customary trips to White House, in the company of O'Ganlon. The latter individual, in the course of a "healthy dash" that he made down the railroad ties,—whereby two shoes shied from his mare's hoofs,—reined into a quicksand that threatened to swallow his steed. He afterward left his sword at Summit Station, and I, obligingly, rode back three miles to recover it. We dined at Daker's, where Glumley sat beside the baby-face, pursuant to his art-duties, and the plump, red-cheeked ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... a confounded blackguard—a living quicksand, and nothing else. Lanty, my lad, if the Mississippi was brandy grog, she'd dry the river—drinking at this hour!—well, never mind, I was drunk myself last night, and I'm half drunk yet. Here, you devil's tinder box, mix me a glass of brandy ...
— Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... tunnels, complete plans for rapid transit subways for New York City, very much on the line of the present rapid transit subways, were also prepared for Mr. Corbin by the writer. These plans provided a system of deep tunnels in rock, entirely below the plane of quicksand, and at the Battery the lines were to connect directly into the tunnels to Long Island and New Jersey, respectively, and the stations throughout, where the rock was at a deep level, were to be fitted with elevators, grouped as suggested in Plate V, using private property ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910 • Charles M. Jacobs

... the sulphur spring that bubbles out of quicksand in a little cavern deep in the hillside—a cavern made almost impregnable by smell. In the old days the determined bather had to shin down a pole through a funnel, and take his curative bath in the rocky oubliette ...
— Westward with the Prince of Wales • W. Douglas Newton

... upon it packs firmly; but in the Alps during a storm, the snow freezes as it falls and forms into little hard pellets. These tiny lumps of ice pile up around a traveller, and when he tries to push onward he sinks as though in a bed of quicksand. Unless help is at hand he soon is buried out of sight. The winds sweep fiercely through the passes between the mountain peaks, and send terrible, whirling clouds of snow that cut the face and blind the eyes, ...
— Prince Jan, St. Bernard • Forrestine C. Hooker

... morass between the highlands of the island and the circular mountain, but close under the base of the latter. This inlet he proposed to explore, and accordingly the sail was taken down, and the cutter was poled into the narrow creek. The water here was so shallow that the keel slid over the quicksand into which the oar sank freely. The creek soon became narrow, the water deeper, and of a blacker color, and the banks more densely covered with canes. These grew to the height of ten and twelve feet, and as close as wheat in a thick crop. The air felt dank and heavy, and hummed ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... wagon. There was a four or five-foot jump to make, and the horses didn't know how about it, at first. But with one of us pulling, and the other slashing them over the rump, they made it, one at a time. The sand was soft and acted something like quicksand, too, and we hustled them to shore and tied them to some bushes. The bank was steep there, and we didn't know how we were going to make the climb, but we left that to worry over afterward; we still had our rig to get ashore, and it began to ...
— The Range Dwellers • B. M. Bower

... he explained. "But," he added, thinking he was getting upon the edge of a quicksand, "we must not forget ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... were coming up out of a deep river, a native riding about six feet from me was caught in a quicksand. He jumped off, but the horse sank half way up its body. I wanted to stay and see it extricated, for its struggles only sank it deeper, but the natives shrugged their shoulders, and said in Hawaiian, "only a horse," and something they always say when anything happens, ...
— The Hawaiian Archipelago • Isabella L. Bird

... mouth of the river which the explorers named Quicksand River (now Sandy), they met a party of fifteen Indians who had lately been down to the mouth of the Columbia. These people told the white men that they had seen three vessels at anchor below, and, as these must needs be American, or European, the ...
— First Across the Continent • Noah Brooks

... the war-loans which he was obliged to contract? How far did his cheerful manifestoes deceive himself? What might he not really have accomplished if the royal support had been anything more solid than a shifting quicksand? These questions cannot be answered satisfactorily. Neither Necker, nor anybody else, knew exactly what the government owed, or what it borrowed. The loans contracted by Necker himself are believed to have amounted to five hundred and thirty million livres. Of this ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... may attract us powerfully towards such a person, with a steady, irresistible attraction. Intuition, on the contrary, uttering its revelation abruptly and with, so to speak, one sudden mysterious cry, may warn us of some dangerous quicksand or perilous jungle in such a stranger's nature of which instinct was totally ignorant because the thing was what might be called a "spiritual quality" lying deeper than those sensational or magnetic levels through which instinct feels ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... capabilities of his successor. Besides, how could the administration of justice, which rests on fixed, rigid, and unchangeable bases, proceed hand in hand with another administration placed on the quicksand of instantaneous decisions, and surrounded by stratagems and deceptions? Justice should never have anything to do with secret police, unless it be ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne



Words linked to "Quicksand" :   sand, pit



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