This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life.
There are no more uses of "usurp" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
Henry IV usurped the throne from Richard II while the latter was fighting in Ireland.
I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.