Frankenstein Chapters 1-4 88 words

  1. natural philosophy
    the science of matter and energy and their interactions
    Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science.
  2. enounce
    speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
    Such were the professor's words—rather let me say such the words of the fate— enounced to destroy me.
  3. charnel house
    a vault or building where corpses or bones are deposited
    Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses.
  4. anatomize
    dissect in order to analyze
    He might dissect, anatomize, and give names; but, not to speak of a final cause, causes in their secondary and tertiary grades were utterly unknown to him.
  5. emaciate
    grow weak and thin or waste away physically
    My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement.
  6. imbue
    spread or diffuse through
    I have described myself as always having been imbued with a fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature.
  7. ardour
    feelings of great warmth and intensity
    Elizabeth was of a calmer and more concentrated disposition; but, with all my ardour, I was capable of a more intense application and was more deeply smitten with the thirst for knowledge.
  8. galvanism
    electricity produced by chemical action
    On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me.
  9. prognosticate
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    On the third day my mother sickened; her fever was accompanied by the most alarming symptoms, and the looks of her medical attendants prognosticated the worst event.
  10. inquirer
    someone who asks a question
    With a confusion of ideas only to be accounted for by my extreme youth and my want of a guide on such matters, I had retrod the steps of knowledge along the paths of time and exchanged the discoveries of recent inquirers for the dreams of forgotten alchemists.
  11. pursuit
    the act of pursuing in an effort to overtake or capture
    My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately.
  12. procure
    get by special effort
    Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes, but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant's house.
  13. alchemist
    one who was versed in the practice of alchemy and who sought an elixir of life and a panacea and an alkahest and the philosopher's stone
    I replied carelessly, and partly in contempt, mentioned the names of my alchemists as the principal authors I had studied.
  14. bestow
    give as a gift
    Much as they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me.
  15. elixir
    a substance believed to cure all ills
    Under the guidance of my new preceptors I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life; but the latter soon obtained my undivided attention.
  16. enticement
    something that seduces or has the quality to seduce
    None but those who have experienced them can conceive of the enticements of science.
  17. proficiency
    the quality of having great facility and competence
    My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students, and my proficiency that of the masters.
  18. rankle
    gnaw into; make resentful or angry
    The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling when he had leisure for reflection, and at length it took so fast hold of his mind that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion.
  19. transmute
    change or alter in form, appearance, or nature
    The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera but these philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles.
  20. inclemency
    excessive sternness
    When I was thirteen years of age we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon; the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn.
  21. dogmatism
    the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot
    His gentleness was never tinged by dogmatism, and his instructions were given with an air of frankness and good nature that banished every idea of pedantry.
  22. recapitulation
    a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
    He began his lecture by a recapitulation of the history of chemistry and the various improvements made by different men of learning, pronouncing with fervour the names of the most distinguished discoverers.
  23. unhallowed
    not hallowed or consecrated
    Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?
  24. imbibe
    take in liquids
    Good God! In what desert land have you lived, where no one was kind enough to inform you that these fancies which you have so greedily imbibed are a thousand years old and as musty as they are ancient?
  25. relinquishing
    the act of giving up and abandoning a struggle or task etc.
    Her victory was announced by an unusual tranquillity and gladness of soul which followed the relinquishing of my ancient and latterly tormenting studies.
  26. multifarious
    having many aspects
    And thus for a time I was occupied by exploded systems, mingling, like an unadept, a thousand contradictory theories and floundering desperately in a very slough of multifarious knowledge, guided by an ardent imagination and childish reasoning, till an accident again changed the current of my ideas.
  27. benevolent
    showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and generosity
    He strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener, from every rougher wind and to surround her with all that could tend to excite pleasurable emotion in her soft and benevolent mind.
  28. benignity
    the quality of being kind and gentle
    On her deathbed the fortitude and benignity of this best of women did not desert her.
  29. repine
    express discontent
    I had gazed upon the fortifications and impediments that seemed to keep human beings from entering the citadel of nature, and rashly and ignorantly I had repined.
  30. lucerne
    important European leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop
    Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness.
  31. indefatigable
    showing sustained enthusiastic action with unflagging vitality
    He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business.
  32. endeavour
    a purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness)
    He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.
  33. pittance
    an inadequate payment
    She procured plain work; she plaited straw and by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcely sufficient to support life.
  34. reverential
    feeling or manifesting veneration
    The passionate and almost reverential attachment with which all regarded her became, while I shared it, my pride and my delight.
  35. disinclined
    unwilling because of mild dislike or disapproval
    All that he said threw greatly into the shade Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus, the lords of my imagination; but by some fatality the overthrow of these men disinclined me to pursue my accustomed studies.
  36. interment
    the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave
    He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and after the interment of his friend he conducted her to Geneva and placed her under the protection of a relation.
  37. turbulence
    instability in the atmosphere
    She busied herself with following the aerial creations of the poets; and in the majestic and wondrous scenes which surrounded our Swiss home —the sublime shapes of the mountains, the changes of the seasons, tempest and calm, the silence of winter, and the life and turbulence of our Alpine summers—she found ample scope for admiration and delight.
  38. erroneously
    in a mistaken manner
    The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind."
  39. abide
    dwell
    Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself, and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode.
  40. prepossess
    cause to be preoccupied
    M. Krempe was a little squat man with a gruff voice and a repulsive countenance; the teacher, therefore, did not prepossess me in favour of his pursuits.
  41. reprobate
    a person without moral scruples
    I returned home not disappointed, for I have said that I had long considered those authors useless whom the professor reprobated; but I returned not at all the more inclined to recur to these studies in any shape.
  42. abstruse
    difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge
    In a thousand ways he smoothed for me the path of knowledge and made the most abstruse inquiries clear and facile to my apprehension.
  43. banish
    expel, as if by official decree
    Wealth was an inferior object, but what glory would attend the discovery if I could banish disease from the human frame and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!
  44. ardent
    characterized by intense emotion
    And thus for a time I was occupied by exploded systems, mingling, like an unadept, a thousand contradictory theories and floundering desperately in a very slough of multifarious knowledge, guided by an ardent imagination and childish reasoning, till an accident again changed the current of my ideas.
  45. beneficence
    the quality of being kind or helpful or generous
    Yet he might not have been so perfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity, so full of kindness and tenderness amidst his passion for adventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him the real loveliness of beneficence and made the doing good the end and aim of his soaring ambition.
  46. apparition
    a ghostly appearing figure
    The apparition was soon explained.
  47. relinquish
    turn away from; give up
    During the two years that had elapsed previous to their marriage my father had gradually relinquished all his public functions; and immediately after their union they sought the pleasant climate of Italy, and the change of scene and interest attendant on a tour through that land of wonders, as a restorative for her weakened frame.
  48. idleness
    the trait of being idle out of a reluctance to work
    His father was a narrow-minded trader and saw idleness and ruin in the aspirations and ambition of his son.
  49. perpetually
    everlastingly; for all time
    He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.
  50. panegyric
    formally expressing praise
    After having made a few preparatory experiments, he concluded with a panegyric upon modern chemistry, the terms of which I shall never forget: "The ancient teachers of this science," said he, "promised impossibilities and performed nothing.
  51. brink
    the edge of a steep place
    It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery; yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.
  52. acuteness
    the quality of having a sharp edge or point
    It was indeed but a passing trance, that only made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the unnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned to my old habits.
  53. immutable
    not subject or susceptible to change or variation in form or quality or nature
    Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.
  54. malignity
    quality of being disposed to evil; intense ill will
    She attended her sickbed; her watchful attentions triumphed over the malignity of the distemper—Elizabeth was saved, but the consequences of this imprudence were fatal to her preserver.
  55. predilection
    a predisposition in favor of something
    Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science.
  56. incipient
    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
    Sometimes I grew alarmed at the wreck I perceived that I had become; the energy of my purpose alone sustained me: my labours would soon end, and I believed that exercise and amusement would then drive away incipient disease; and I promised myself both of these when my creation should be complete.
  57. facile
    arrived at without due care or effort; lacking depth
    In a thousand ways he smoothed for me the path of knowledge and made the most abstruse inquiries clear and facile to my apprehension.
  58. entreaty
    earnest or urgent request
    She had at first yielded to our entreaties, but when she heard that the life of her favourite was menaced, she could no longer control her anxiety.
  59. intricacy
    marked by elaborately complex detail
    Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour.
  60. progeny
    the immediate descendants of a person
    By one of those caprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge.
  61. alloy
    a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten
    If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.
  62. transitory
    lasting a very short time
    A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquillity.
  63. physiognomy
    the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)
    I attended the lectures and cultivated the acquaintance of the men of science of the university, and I found even in M. Krempe a great deal of sound sense and real information, combined, it is true, with a repulsive physiognomy and manners, but not on that account the less valuable.
  64. abortive
    failing to accomplish an intended result
    By one of those caprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge.
  65. emaciated
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement.
  66. conducive
    tending to bring about; being partly responsible for
    When I had arrived at this point and had become as well acquainted with the theory and practice of natural philosophy as depended on the lessons of any of the professors at Ingolstadt, my residence there being no longer conducive to my improvements, I thought of returning to my friends and my native town, when an incident happened that protracted my stay.
  67. degrade
    reduce in worth or character, usually verbally
    I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain.
  68. incantation
    a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
    The raising of ghosts or devils was a promise liberally accorded by my favourite authors, the fulfilment of which I most eagerly sought; and if my incantations were always unsuccessful, I attributed the failure rather to my own inexperience and mistake than to a want of skill or fidelity in my instructors.
  69. supernatural
    not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material
    Unless I had been animated by an almost supernatural enthusiasm, my application to this study would have been irksome and almost intolerable.
  70. destiny
    the ultimate agency regarded as predetermining the course of events (often personified as a woman)
    Besides, in drawing the picture of my early days, I also record those events which led, by insensible steps, to my after tale of misery, for when I would account to myself for the birth of that passion which afterwards ruled my destiny I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but, swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys.
  71. countenance
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    She died calmly, and her countenance expressed affection even in death.
  72. repugnance
    intense aversion
    My life had hitherto been remarkably secluded and domestic, and this had given me invincible repugnance to new countenances.
  73. deplore
    express strong disapproval of
    He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them.
  74. physiology
    the branch of the biological sciences dealing with the functioning of organisms
    I revolved these circumstances in my mind and determined thenceforth to apply myself more particularly to those branches of natural philosophy which relate to physiology.
  75. contempt
    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
    I replied carelessly, and partly in contempt, mentioned the names of my alchemists as the principal authors I had studied.
  76. consummation
    the act of bringing to completion or fruition
    After so much time spent in painful labour, to arrive at once at the summit of my desires was the most gratifying consummation of my toils.
  77. wretchedness
    a state of ill-being due to affliction or misfortune
    Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness.
  78. recompense
    make payment to; compensate
    There was a show of gratitude and worship in his attachment to my mother, differing wholly from the doting fondness of age, for it was inspired by reverence for her virtues and a desire to be the means of, in some degree, recompensing her for the sorrows she had endured, but which gave inexpressible grace to his behaviour to her.
  79. inconceivable
    totally unlikely
    Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation, yet to prepare a frame for the reception of it, with all its intricacies of fibres, muscles, and veins, still remained a work of inconceivable difficulty and labour.
  80. engrossed
    giving or marked by complete attention to
    Winter, spring, and summer passed away during my labours; but I did not watch the blossom or the expanding leaves—sights which before always yielded me supreme delight—so deeply was I engrossed in my occupation.
  81. vehement
    marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid
    My temper was sometimes violent, and my passions vehement; but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately.
  82. zeal
    a feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause)
    She looked steadily on life and assumed its duties with courage and zeal.
  83. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage
    On her deathbed the fortitude and benignity of this best of women did not desert her.
  84. turmoil
    a violent disturbance
    My internal being was in a state of insurrection and turmoil; I felt that order would thence arise, but I had no power to produce it.
  85. deference
    courteous regard for people's feelings
    I listened to his statement, which was delivered without any presumption or affectation, and then added that his lecture had removed my prejudices against modern chemists; I expressed myself in measured terms, with the modesty and deference due from a youth to his instructor, without letting escape (inexperience in life would have made me ashamed) any of the enthusiasm which stimulated my intended labours.
  86. console
    give moral or emotional strength to
    I was unwilling to quit the sight of those that remained to me, and above all, I desired to see my sweet Elizabeth in some degree consoled.
  87. pretence
    the act of giving a false appearance
    It was said, and we retired under the pretence of seeking repose, each fancying that the other was deceived; but when at morning's dawn I descended to the carriage which was to convey me away, they were all there—my father again to bless me, Clerval to press my hand once more, my Elizabeth to renew her entreaties that I would write often and to bestow the last feminine attentions on her playmate and friend.
  88. repent
    feel remorse for; feel sorry for; be contrite about
    Now my desires were complied with, and it would, indeed, have been folly to repent.