But this ought not to surprise us in the present case: for our lot, until of late, has been singularly prosperous, and great prosperity enfeebles men's spirits, and prepares them to despond when it shall have passed away.
You have been wisely admonished to "accustom yourselves to think and speak of the Union as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity, watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety, discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of any attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts."
We narrow our lives and enfeeble our powers when we try to reject any of these things, or unlawfully escape them, or are yet indifferent to them.
Age, that enfeebles other men's designs, But heightens thine, and thy free draught refines.
When some young girl incurs spinal disease from some slight fall, which she ought not to have felt for an hour, or some business man breaks down in the prime of his years from some trifling over-anxiety, which should have left no trace behind, the popular verdict may be 'Mysterious Providence;' but the wiser observer sees the retribution for the folly of those misspent days which enfeebled the childish constitution instead of ripening it.
So, in short, superstition does an immense harm by enfeebling rational ways of thinking; it does a little good by accidentally endorsing rational conclusions in one or two matters.
But the cajolery of pipe or string was just as powerless to enfeeble that dogged warrior.
The poisonous nicotine, the active element of tobacco, exerts a destructive influence upon the stomach digestion, enfeebling the vigor of the muscular walls of that organ.
Spurning profuse indulgence in food, Starkad took some smoky and rather rancid fare, appeasing his hunger with a bitter relish because more simply; and being unwilling to enfeeble his true valour with the tainted sweetness of sophisticated foreign dainties, or break the rule of antique plainness by such strange idolatries of the belly.
But while this softer art their bliss supplies, It gives their follies also room to rise; For praise, too dearly loved or warmly sought, Enfeebles all internal strength of thought, And the weak soul, within itself unblessed, Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
Once more I do not wish to enfeeble the general soundness of this account of the evolution of life by relying on any controverted theory, and we shall find it possible to avoid taking sides.
If he is silent, then repair is checked, and the hurtful elements of worn-out beliefs and waste institutions remain to enfeeble the society, just as the retention of waste products enfeebles or poisons the body.
Paul Deschanel, senator of France, who wrote a book on this island without ever leaving his chair in Paris, says: "In presence of the apparent facts one is forced to ask himself if there is not in the climate of this enchanted Tahiti, in the soft air that one breathes, a force sweet but invincible which at length penetrates the soul, enervates the will and enfeebles all sense of usefulness or right, or the least energy necessary to make them triumph.
These are enfeebled remnants of the muscular coat by which the quadruped twitches its skin, and drives insects away.
A most improper time would be when a command had been given and was disregarded, or was reluctantly obeyed; for then such representations would only tend to enfeeble the principle of authority by bringing in the influence of reasonings and persuasions to make up for its acknowledged inefficiency.
Lorenzo deliberately set himself to enfeeble the people by luxury, partly because he liked voluptuous living, partly because he aimed at popularity, and partly because it was his interest to enervate republican virtues.
Electioneering shatters convictions and enfeebles the mind."
Such expressions as more impossible, more indispensable, more universal, more uncontrollable, more unlimited, &c., are objectionable, as they really enfeeble the meaning which it is the object of the speaker or writer to strengthen.
Besides, those that are addicted to this slender way of discourse, for the most part, do so weaken and enfeeble their judgement, by contenting themselves to understand by colours, features, and glimpses; that they perfectly omit all the more profitable searching into the nature and causes of things themselves.
It cannot enfeeble the intellect.
The spread of the representative system destroys that singularity, and must (however little we may like it) proportionally enfeeble our preponderating influence--unless we measure our steps cautiously and accommodate our conduct to the times.
Six weeks saw me immersed in all the dissipation that the city afforded, and in three months I had an empty purse, enfeebled health, and a hardness of heart which would have taken some men years to acquire.
In a word, she was a strong and lovely symmetry--a woman whose heart had not enfeebled her head, but whose head could never freeze her heart.
He stunts and enfeebles equally the growth of the imagination and the affections, by not taking the seed of poetry and sowing it in the ground of truth, and letting it expand in the dew and rain, and shoot up to heaven, "And spread its sweet leaves to the air, Or dedicate its beauty to the sun,"-- instead of which he anticipates and defeats his own object, by plucking flowers and blossoms from the stem, and setting them in the ground of idleness and folly--or in the cap of his own vanity, where they soon wither and disappear, "dying or ere they sicken!"
The inactivity of his predecessors, and the situation of his country, secured from all hostility with the Britons, seem to have much enfeebled the warlike genius of the Kentish Saxons; and Ethelbert, in his first attempt to aggrandize his country, and distinguish his own name, was unsuccessful f. He was twice discomfited in battle by Ceaulin, King of Wessex; and obliged to yield the superiority in the Heptarchy to that ambitious monarch, who preserved no moderation in his victory, and by reducing the kingdom of Sussex to subjection, excited jealousy in all the other princes.
The bishops of Utrecht became by degrees weaker; private dissensions enfeebled Friesland; Luxemburg was a poor, unimportant dukedom; but Holland, Hainault, and Brabant formed the very heart of the Netherlands; while the elder branch of the same family, under whom they were united, possessed Flanders, Artois, and the two Burgundies.
The danger of the inverse procedure, judging of self by what one observes in others, if it is carried on with much impartiality and keenness of discernment, is that it has a laming effect, enfeebling the energies of indignation and scorn, which are the proper scourges of wrong-doing and meanness, and which should continually feed the wholesome restraining power of public opinion.
It would be an interesting and perhaps not a barren investigation to inquire to what extent the decline of the mother states of Phoenicia, consequent on the campaigns of Alexander the Great, had helped to enfeeble the naval efficiency of the Carthaginian defences.
Now when Gudmund saw that the temperance of his guest had baffled his treacherous preparations, he determined to sap their chastity, if he could not weaken their abstinence, and eagerly strained every nerve of his wit to enfeeble their self-control.
For although reading and thinking break neither legs nor arms; yet, certainly, there is nothing that flags the spirits, disorders the blood, and enfeebles the whole body of Man, as intense studies.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration.