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English citations of adrift
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- 1818 — Mary Shelley. Frankenstein.
- Such as the peasant enjoys when his family have been massacred before his eyes, his cottage burnt, his lands laid waste, and he is turned adrift, homeless, penniless, and alone, but free.
- 1851 — Herman Melville. Moby Dick.
- In vain handspikes and crows were brought to bear upon the immovable fluke-chains, to pry them adrift from the timberheads; and so low had the whale now settled that the submerged ends could not be at all approached, while every moment whole tons of ponderosity seemed added to the sinking bulk, and the ship seemed on the point of going over.
- Some hours after midnight, the Typhoon abated so much, that through the strenuous exertions of Starbuck and Stubb — one engaged forward and the other aft — the shivered remnants of the jib and fore and main-top-sails were cut adrift from the spars, and went eddying away to leeward, like the feathers of an albatross, which sometimes are cast to the winds when that storm-tossed bird is on the wing.
- Because in such a wilderness of running rigging, whose various different relations aloft cannot always be infallibly discerned by what is seen of them at the deck; and when the deck-ends of these ropes are being every few minutes cast down from the fastenings, it would be but a natural fatality, if, unprovided with a constant watchman, the hoisted sailor should by some carelessness of the crew be cast adrift and fall all swooping to the sea.