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  • Without ballast, the ship will roll too much.
  • ...she looked at the marked passages [of the manuscript] and was surprised to find that all the moral reflections—which she had carefully put in as ballast for much romance—had been stricken out.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • Sea water used as ballast.
  • So are the motions of a little vessel without ballast tossed about on a stormy sea.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede

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  • Overnight we’d topped up our gas cells with hydrium and pumped water into our ballast and drinking tanks.
    Kenneth Oppel  --  Airborn
  • Joyce was a reasonably confident replacement, having learned from Vera how to do the electric work that was required on a frequent or daily basis—changing eight-foot-long fluorescents, replacing the ballasts of light fixtures, installing new exit signs and fixtures, and checking circuit boards.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • It had jettisoned four thousand years of memories like so much ballast.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Trials of Apollo
  • The big tankers from the United States or England always carried fresh water to us in ballast, and then it was distilled again so that we could drink it.
    Theodore Taylor  --  The Cay
  • Pattie then snapped off the bright fluorescent ballasts.
    Holly Goldberg Sloan  --  Counting by 7s
  • While the others watched, he calculated the volume of air inside the pipes and concluded that they would need some ballast.
    Joshua Davis  --  Spare Parts

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  • There was no ballast within — they were pillows upon pillows.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • "I’m just ballast."
    Nora Roberts  --  Dark Witch
  • All I mean is that a board of directors is one or two ambitious men—and a lot of ballast.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • Going in ballast.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • The ballast had been shifted too.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • She is almost entirely in ballast of silver sand, with only a small amount of cargo, a number of great wooden boxes filled with mould.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • To try to stop it from flipping, Louie and Phil bailed in water as ballast, positioned themselves on opposite sides to balance their weight, and lay on their backs to keep the center of gravity low.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • She had wanted to bring back clues he could use as rungs to climb back to her on, to anchor him with facts, to ballast his sentences to Len.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • He drove long strands of willow in all the seams to keep out waves, and ballasted with logs.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • They decided either one of us would work for ballast, but feared Adah’s handicap would prevent her holding on, and if she fell in the river the precious battery would also be lost.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • And had she not done so, then now might be high time to get rid of excess ballast in the editorial offices.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Thus I saw the seventh ballast[1] change and rechange, and here let the novelty be my excuse, if my pen straggle[2] a little.
    Dante Alighieri  --  Dante’s Inferno
  • He says he feels as if he ’could make a prosperous voyage now with me aboard as mate, and lots of love for ballast’.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • Now then, if I provide some ballast tanks equal in capacity to that one–tenth, hence able to hold 150.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • These useful articles of course took the place of the ballast I had hastily thrown in the day before; even so, the boys had brought so many things that we were obliged to leave some of them for a future trip.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Then was the launching full of difficulty; there was shifting of ballast above and below till two thirds was submerged.
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • ’The Gaffer’s delight, and rare good ballast for an empty belly.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Two Towers
  • The balloon, freed of the small sour ballast, uprose.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • To break windows for robbery, to determine depth of wells, to use as ammunition, as pendulum, to practice carving, wall building, to demonstrate Archimedes’ Principle, as part of abstract sculpture, costh, ballast, weight for dropping things in river, etc., as a hammer, keep door open, footwiper, use as rubble for path filling, chock, weight on scale, to prop up wobbly table, paperweight, as firehearth, to block up rabbit hole.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • Flood the main ballast tanks.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Jostling with unemployed labourers of the lowest class, ballast-heavers, coal-whippers, brazen women, ragged children, and the raff and refuse of the river, he makes his way with difficulty along, assailed by offensive sights and smells from the narrow alleys which branch off on the right and left, and deafened by the clash of ponderous waggons that bear great piles of merchandise from the stacks of warehouses that rise from every corner.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • The cigars are ballast, sweetheart.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • There was a stability, a ballast, in Phillotson’s pronouncement which restrained his friend’s comment.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure
  • For the gravity of the Former, is like the steddinesse of a Ship laden with Merchandise; but of the later, like the steddinesse of a Ship ballasted with Sand, and other trash.
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • Woolf threw himself forward as ballast, thrusting his feet straight back.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • For now the last of the fleet of ships was round the last low point we had headed; and the last green barge, straw-laden, with a brown sail, had followed; and some ballast-lighters, shaped like a child’s first rude imitation of a boat, lay low in the mud; and a little squat shoal-lighthouse on open piles stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches; and slimy stakes stuck out of the mud, and slimy stones stuck out of the mud, and red landmarks and tidemarks stuck out of the mud,…
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • The hammock, the one which had been Billy’s bed when alive, having already been ballasted with shot and otherwise prepared to serve for his canvas coffin, the last offices of the sea-undertakers, the Sail-Maker’s Mates, were now speedily completed.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • Immediately—the chariot was so light without its accustomed weight—the car began to rock about like a ship tossing without ballast on the waves.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • O, sir, upon her nose, an o’er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadoes of carracks to be ballast at her nose.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Comedy of Errors
  • He retrieved it and set it up again, dried the interior with towels, and then went inside the house to look for ballast.
    Dave Eggers  --  Zeitoun
  • The women were pleased at having thrown off the ballast of the soulthat laughable conceit, that illusion of uniquenessto become one like the next.
    Milan Kundera  --  The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • As was usual in such craft, a large, round, smooth stone was in each end of the canoe, for the double purpose of seats and ballast; one of these was within reach of his feet.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • Now a bed among brickbats and ballast-refuse on a damp night, between overcrowded horses and unwashed Baltis, would not appeal to many white boys; but Kim was utterly happy.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • She spent some time at the periscope looking around the harbour and got the hang of that, but the ballasting and trim controls were beyond her and she was not much interested.
    Nevil Shute  --  On the Beach
  • Now, at the moment when the door had opened to admit the cardinal, the nine parts of self-esteem in Gringoire, swollen and expanded by the breath of popular admiration, were in a state of prodigious augmentation, beneath which disappeared, as though stifled, that imperceptible molecule of which we have just remarked upon in the constitution of poets; a precious ingredient, by the way, a ballast of reality and humanity, without which they would not touch the earth.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • There were many things to be brought up from the beach and stored in the outhouse — as oars, nets, sails, cordage, spars, lobster-pots, bags of ballast, and the like; and though there was abundance of assistance rendered, there being not a pair of working hands on all that shore but would have laboured hard for Mr. Peggotty, and been well paid in being asked to do it, yet she persisted, all day long, in toiling under weights that she was quite unequal to, and fagging to and fro on all…
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • To recline on a stump of thorn in the central valley of Egdon, between afternoon and night, as now, where the eye could reach nothing of the world outside the summits and shoulders of heathland which filled the whole circumference of its glance, and to know that everything around and underneath had been from prehistoric times as unaltered as the stars overhead, gave ballast to the mind adrift on change, and harassed by the irrepressible New.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • So are the motions of a little vessel without ballast tossed about on a stormy sea.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • Max yelled, cutting away the ballast of sand bags.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Maelstrom
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