The mainspring is vanity, assisted by the love of garlic and bread and butter.
A recent critic has sought in religion the clue to her character and the mainspring of her genius.
She works from within outwards, touches first the mainspring and then sets it to play.
He resisted the navy, the mainspring of Washington's foreign policy; he opposed commercial treaties and diplomatic intercourse in a similar fashion.
This author is indeed interested to prosecute vigorous and substantial thinking, but the mainspring of his interest is the conviction that such thought is significant for inner and outer life.
In 1244 certain rights of self-government were given to the citizens; and in 1254 Mainz was the centre and mainspring of a powerful league of Rhenish towns.
The chief objects of his study, however, were the works of Chrysippus, opposition to whose views is the mainspring of his philosophy.
Chalmers was the mainspring of the whole system, not merely superintending the visitation, but personally visiting all the families, and holding evening meetings, when he addressed those whom he had visited.
This was at the time regarded merely as a formality imposed by circumstances, and one not to be seriously entertained; but it became more and more evident that the recovery of the temporalities was the real mainspring of Leo's whole policy.
French had done little to cement the Franco-Austrian alliance, which since 1763 had been practically non-existent; nor was it now the mainspring of his attitude towards revolutionary France.
Bright replied that if Cobden retired the mainspring of the League was gone.
The chief incidents in that part of the poem - the panic rush to the ships, the duels of Paris and Menelaus, and of Hector and Ajax, the Aristeia of Diomede - stand in no relation to the mainspring of the poem, the promise made by Zeus to Thetis.
It was in every way fitting, however, that he who had been the mainspring of the war from the beginning, and had borne far more than his share of its burdens and discouragements, should end it with the campaign of Yorktown, conceived by himself, and the surrender of Cornwallis (October 1781).
Conduct like this, though obviously disinterested, did not go without immediate and ample reward, in the public confidence which it created, and which formed the mainspring of Pitt's power as a statesman.