She was an artist, and as formless and unstable as water. It was a mere passing gloom that possessed her. Cowperwood liked the semi-Jewish cast of her face, a certain fullness of the neck, her dark, sleepy eyes. But she was much too young and nebulous, he thought, and he let her pass.
But he found something formless, huge, that made to him a strong appeal. The big building fairly hummed at night with numberless activities. Fathers, mothers and children came pouring in together and went skurrying off to their places. They learned to speak English, to read and write; grown men and women scowled and toiled over their arithmetic.
But it is not surprising that a generation of exceptionally sweet and attractive but rather formless colourists should be shocked by the obtrusion of those black lines that seem to do violence to their darling. They are irritated by pictures in which there is to be no accidental charm of soft lapses and lucky chiaroscuro.
Then like a formless flash of light the word "England" would steal across her prayer; she did not need to put the feeling into words; just like an offering she laid it before her thought of God and knew its meaning would be understood. So thousands of men and women pray, brought by a sense of their own helplessness in this great struggle near to the throne of God.
If indeed of every idle word meaning not trivial word, but word consciously false men shall hereafter give account, Heavens! what an arrear, in the single case of Ireland, will by this time have gathered against the House of Commons! Perfectly appalled we are when we look into the formless chaos of that nine nights' debate!
We may feel very sure indeed, therefore, that the molecules of matter are not the unextended, formless points which Boscovich and his followers of the eighteenth century thought them. But all this, it must be borne in mind, refers to the molecule, not to the ultimate particle of matter, about which we shall have more to say in another connection.
It was a formless reproach, too vague for anything like a charge, but it came nearest to defining itself in the idea that he had gone too far he who had not left his seat.
He mused in that formless way in which a young man thinks about young girls; his soul is suffused with a sense of their sweetness and brightness, and unless he is distinctly in love there is no intention in his thoughts of them; even then there is often no intention.
The strangers had been making their way along a lower level of the terraced plain, hidden by the grain, not twenty yards away, and parallel with the road they were now ascending to join. Their figures were alike formless in long striped serapes, and their features undistinguishable under stiff black sombreros. "Buenas noches, senor," said the second voice, in formal and cautious deliberation.
Some years before this time, however, there had been growing in the mind of Dickens a certain formless discontent something to which he could not give a name, yet which, cast over him the shadow of disappointment. He expressed the same feeling in David Copperfield, when he spoke of David's life with Dora.