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Wretchedness   Listen
noun
Wretchedness  n.  
1.
The quality or state of being wretched; utter misery.
2.
A wretched object; anything despicably. (Obs.) "Eat worms and such wretchedness."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wretchedness" Quotes from Famous Books



... Hath lately shown to me by oracles. Thus as their champion I maintain the cause Both of the god and of the murdered King. And on the murderer this curse I lay (On him and all the partners in his guilt):— Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness! And for myself, if with my privity He gain admittance to my hearth, I pray The curse I laid on others fall on me. See that ye give effect to all my hest, For my sake and the god's and for our land, A desert blasted by the wrath of heaven. For, let alone the god's express ...
— The Oedipus Trilogy • Sophocles

... founded on fact. A young village couple married, and soon after their marriage went to live in London. Success did not follow the honest-hearted husband in his search for employment, and he and his young wife were reduced to actual want. In their wretchedness a child was born to them, which died in the midst of the desolate circumstances by which the young mother was surrounded. For three years the mother was deprived of reason—a gloomy period of Death in Life—and passionately ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... of him as nothing had recalled it yet. "I had no idea," he resumed, "of what the life of a farm-laborer really was, in some parts of England, until I undertook the rector's duties. Never before had I seen such dire wretchedness as I saw in the cottages. Never before had I met with such noble patience under suffering as I found among the people. The martyrs of old could endure, and die. I asked myself if they could endure, and ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... So deep in wretchedness were the cogitations that he did not hear the light, hesitant footstep. But he felt in every vein and fiber the appealing ...
— The Unspeakable Perk • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... him in the cradle prepared for him.... But Madame d'Imbleval was screaming with pain; and the nurse had to attend to her while the newborn child was yelling like a stuck pig and the terrified mother, unable to stir from her bed, fainted.... Add to this all the wretchedness of darkness and disorder, the only lamp, without any oil, for the servant had neglected to fill it, the candles burning out, the moaning of the wind, the screeching of the owls, and you will understand that Mlle. Boussignol was scared out of her ...
— The Eight Strokes of the Clock • Maurice Leblanc

... nearly a year in Alarcon, unnoticed and unknown, yet constantly tormenting himself with the dread of discovery, and with groundless fears of the vengeance of Abderahman. Death at length put an end to his wretchedness. ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... drug of wretchedness, she loses for a moment the single vision of her rival: it were good to have all the old man's treasures, for the joy of dealing death around her at that hateful Court where each ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... flat or convex, bulging down even lower than the cruel iron that clamps its edge. This is the condition of a drop sole. This degenerate state of the foot has other complications. Active inflammation is often present and all the wretchedness of a pumiced foot—the despair of owner and veterinary—is experienced. The smith, whose clumsy contrivance has been the cause of all the woe, has abundant reasons to offer for the disease, and ...
— Rational Horse-Shoeing • John E. Russell

... door of the Moorish bath, the whole world has been changed for me. I would die a thousand deaths if need be for the joy of rescuing you from your prison. Yet I do not wish to die. I wish to live, to take you far away and make you so happy that you will forget the wretchedness and failure of the past. A new life will begin for both of us, if you will only trust me, and forget the scruples of which you write—false scruples, believe me. As he had a wife living when he married you, and has taken another since, surely you cannot consider that you are bound by the law ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... fire, to turn our spinning-wheels—and,—ARE WE YET CLOTHED? Are not the streets of the capitals of Europe foul with sale of cast clouts and rotten rags? Is not the beauty of your sweet children left in wretchedness of disgrace, while, with better honour, nature clothes the brood of the bird in its nest, and the suckling of the wolf in her den? And does not every winter's snow robe what you have not robed, and shroud what you have not shrouded; and ...
— Sesame and Lilies • John Ruskin

... being unusually gloomy," said the Doctor; "true, I have been seeing pain and wretchedness recently, and so have you. Our trades, however, ought to have accustomed us to such by this time, ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... frame of mind. One day at the hour of high noon, the vast and terrible silence when all life seems suspended, a sudden glimpse into his own heart revealed shuddering abysses, inextinguishable desires, ineffaceable memories, accumulations of suffering and regret—all the wretchedness he had gone through, all the inevitable scars of his vices, all the results of his passions. He seemed to be witnessing the shipwreck of his whole life. A thousand voices cried to him for succour, imploring aid, cursing ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... raft of the Medusa. I still remember a certain pine cockchafer met for the first time. The plumes on her antennae, her pretty pattern of white spots on a dark brown ground were as a ray of sunshine in the gloomy wretchedness of the day. ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... life,—I should not have been a welcome visitant, with the brow and the language of such feelings. When afterwards the other face of your calamity was turned upon you, and showed itself in defeat and distress, I shunned you full as much. I felt sorely this variety in our wretchedness; and I did not wish to have the least appearance of insulting you with that show of superiority, which, though it may not be assumed, is generally suspected, in a time of calamity, from those whose previous warnings have been despised. ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... early summer festivities of the neighborhood had slipped by, with no inclusion of the Hayneses, she had fallen to brooding deeply,—to feeling more bitterly than ever the ignominy and wretchedness of their position. ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... silver mines of Colorado, was among the lucky ones. At the end of three years he was a rich man. What he had made the money for, he could not tell, except that the engrossment of the struggle had helped him to forget his wretchedness. Not that he ever did forget it. His wife and babies, from whose embraces he had been so suddenly torn, were always in his thoughts. Above all, he could not forget the look of horror in his wife's eyes in that last terrible scene. To see her again, and ...
— At Pinney's Ranch - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... of every phase of the love life, and such an understanding alone, can reveal it in its purity—in its power of upliftment. Force and fear have failed from the beginning of time. Their fruits are wrecks and wretchedness. Knowledge and freedom to choose or reject the sexual embrace, according as it is lovely or unlovely, and these alone, can solve the problem. These alone make possible between man and woman that indissoluble ...
— Woman and the New Race • Margaret Sanger

... torment, e.g., when I have undertaken, as three or four times I have, a school-boy copy of verses for Merchant Taylors' boys, at a guinea a copy, I have fretted over them, in perfect inability to do them, and have made my sister wretched with my wretchedness for a week together. The same, till by habit I have acquired a mechanical command, I have felt in making paragraphs. As to reviewing, in particular, my head is so whimsical a head, that I cannot, after reading another ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... sons, as well as daughters' husbands, would, she sorely feared, be commandeered to fight, in which case they might unknowingly be shooting their own relations over the border. It was the same tale of misery, anxiety, and wretchedness, everywhere, and the war was but a few weeks old. The population in that colony, whether Dutch or English, were so closely mixed together—their real interests so parallel—that it resolved itself locally into a veritable civil war. It was ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... good character. The man acknowledged his firm belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, which touched the governor's heart deeply. Does he not know that it has ever been the mission of the Supreme Being to serve as Impresario to Falsehood and Wretchedness? ...
— Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 1, March 1906 • Various

... Tarbert, on the Shannon, by the stage-coach, passing through several old, but uninteresting towns, and seeing a great deal of barrenness and wretchedness on our way. At Tarbert, we took a steamer, to ascend the river to Limerick, and as the weather that afternoon was clear and bright, we had one of the most delightful ...
— Stories and Legends of Travel and History, for Children • Grace Greenwood

... hell but the hulks and the convicts decorated by justice and the police with brandings and manacles, and driven on their course by that wretchedness from which they have no escape? Paradise is a fine house, sumptuous carriages, delightful women, and the prestige of rank. In this world there exist two worlds. I put you in the fairest of them, I remain myself in the foulest, and if you remember ...
— Vautrin • Honore de Balzac

... rasping thirst for something dried his tongue. The horse came on, and the boy, perfectly calm, as fatally went to meet him. There was no calculation of results, yet the lad knew that a horse's teeth and hoofs may be deadly. He knew only that he was not going forward to end all his wretchedness, as, last year, the shoemaker who drank had done with a shotgun, and young Corson, the thieving clerk, with poison. It occurred to the boy that he cared nothing about the teeth and hoofs of any horse, and nothing about what they ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... have been the work of a demon to create man with these wants, like so many empty vessels, without any provision to satisfy or fill them. Without those supplies our suffering would be great and our wretchedness unendurable. Is there no liability to mental suffering? Are there no spiritual wants consequent ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume 1, January, 1880 • Various

... were clasped tightly around it. Oh! my God!... While we were standing the comtesse opened her eyes: her first motion was to draw the child closer to her heart—then to look at us—then at the little one. She saw the whole. She had endured so much that this last stroke scarcely added to her wretchedness. She allowed me to take the child, and Agathe to conduct her to the couch and assist her upon it. She had held out to the point of absolute exhaustion, and when once she had yielded she was unable to ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... when I returned to the cabin before leaving the ship, I refrained from touching on the subject. I did not know at the time, nor did anyone else on board, I am afraid, in a position to speak to him, where alone he could seek for comfort and consolation in his wretchedness, for wretched he ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... has made another; for when people have seen the misfortune and misery that are found in the marriage state, and have not known that it is a safe estate, they have wished to do the best for their children, to help them to a happy life and freedom from wretchedness. So that St. Peter has foretold here nothing else but just that the world should become full of priests, monks, and nuns. Thus youth, and the best that are in the world, have run with the multitude to the devil. St. Peter says it, alas! only too truly, that many should ...
— The Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude Preached and Explained • Martin Luther

... their plans. They fronted the bar again on Peden's invitation to pour another drink. Two of them lifted from the floor the man whom Morgan had fought, and supported him in a weak-kneed advance upon the bar. They cheered him in his half-blind and bleeding wretchedness with promise of what that marvelous elixir, whisky, would do for him once he began to feel the quickening of its ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... notes in Thayer's biography. She seems to have called the composer "a tyrant," and he has much playfulness of allusion to the idea, and there is much about the wretchedness of his health. Amalie Sebald seems to have been of great solace to him, but, like all the rest, she married some ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1 • Rupert Hughes

... be deemed to be those of a sister. Still I, myself, though I had a grievous wound in my soul, {and} although there was a raging fire within, have done everything, as the Gods are my witnesses, that at last I might be cured; and long, in my wretchedness, have I struggled to escape the ruthless weapon of Cupid; and I have endured more hardships than thou wouldst believe ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... vouchsafed us." [290] When she saw the great silver tray, she marvelled and said to Alaeddin, "O my son, who is the generous, the bountiful one that hath sought out our hunger [291] and our poverty? Indeed, we are beholden to him. [292] Apparently the Sultan hath heard of our case and our wretchedness and hath sent us this tray." "O my mother," answered Alaeddin, "this is no time for questioning; rise, so we may eat, for ...
— Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp • John Payne

... up all hope—the hope that has sustained and given me life so long? Oh, think, Ellen, think of my misery, of the untold wretchedness into which you plunge me, and let your heart, your kind, generous ...
— Ellen Walton - The Villain and His Victims • Alvin Addison

... thou be the humble suppliant's friend, And bring him where his suit may be obtain'd? When wilt thou sort an hour great strifes to end? Or free that soul which wretchedness hath chain'd? Give physic to the sick, ease to the pain'd? The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee; But they ne'er meet ...
— The Rape of Lucrece • William Shakespeare [Clark edition]

... said it before, I think, [11] and I still say now and then to my confessor, that it requires greater courage to receive these graces than to endure the heaviest trials. When they come, I forget, as it were, all I have done, and there is nothing before me but a picture of my wretchedness, and my understanding can make no reflections; this, also, seems to me at ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... rations only two ounces of stale beef and a small lump of hard corn-bread, and their lives the forfeit, if they caught but one streak of God's blue sky through those filthy windows,—they have endured there all the horrors of the middle-passage. My soul sickened as I looked on the scene of their wretchedness. If the liberty we are fighting for were not worth even so terrible a price,—if it were not cheaply purchased even with the blood and agony of the many brave and true souls who have gone into that foul ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... are lower, people are not wasteful, and the necessities of life do not cost so much. The Chinaman goes to America to obtain the benefit of high wages, not to reduce wages. I have never seen such poverty and wretchedness in China as I have seen in London, or such vice and poverty as can be seen in any large American city. Mr. Geary scorns the treaties between his country and China, and laughs at our commercial relations. He says, "There is nothing in the Chinese ...
— As A Chinaman Saw Us - Passages from his Letters to a Friend at Home • Anonymous

... good of all its people along with that of my nearest and dearest of kin. But how to do it was a matter I could not arrange. I felt reluctant to ask either Wauna or her mother. The guileless frankness of Wauna's nature was an impassable barrier to the confidence of crimes and wretchedness. One glance of horror from her dark, sweet eyes, would have chilled me into painful ...
— Mizora: A Prophecy - A MSS. Found Among the Private Papers of the Princess Vera Zarovitch • Mary E. Bradley

... 11:27] yea, and faith too, by which the soul layeth hold upon Christ, if it be right, must be wrought by the exceeding greatness of his mighty power; the working of which faith, I perceive, poor Ignorance, thou art ignorant of. [1 Cor. 12:3, Eph. 1:18,19] Be awakened, then, see thine own wretchedness, and fly to the Lord Jesus; and by his righteousness, which is the righteousness of God, for he himself is God, thou shalt ...
— The Pilgrim's Progress - From this world to that which is to come. • John Bunyan

... the Russian political chaos. Think of the emigrant ships even now rolling upon the high seas, their dark, evil-smelling holds crammed with humanity, and the huddled sick children in them—fleeing from certain to uncertain wretchedness. Think of the dreadful tale of childish misery and suffering that goes on wherever there are not sane factory laws; how even in so civilized a part of the world as the United States of America (as Spargo's Bitter ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... pride and satisfaction this bright picture of our country's growth and prosperity, while only a closer scrutiny develops a somber shading. Upon more careful inspection we find the wealth and luxury of our cities mingled with poverty and wretchedness and unremunerative toil. A crowded and constantly increasing urban population suggests the impoverishment of rural sections and discontent with agricultural pursuits. The farmer's son, not satisfied with his father's simple and laborious life, joins ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... that destitution is the inevitable consequence of idleness and folly. Many perished miserably of want and sickness, and many others effected their escape to Van Dieman's Land, where they gave a melancholy account of the wretchedness of those who were unable to flee from the scene ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... shepherd go on using so much ointment? Because he does not suffer in consequence! For no displeasure visits one and no ill will, from spreading ointment over the sick; since one does nothing contrary to their will; they wanted ointment, and so ointment is given them. Oh, human wretchedness! Blind is the sick man who does not know his own need, and blind the shepherd-physician, who has regard to nothing but pleasing, and his own advantage—since, not to forfeit it, he refrains from using the knife of justice or the fire of ardent charity! But such men do ...
— Letters of Catherine Benincasa • Catherine Benincasa

... metaphysical passion for one princess or other,—the rustic Lucy Porter, or the haughty Molly Aston, or the sublimated methodistic Hill Boothby; and, lastly, the more charming Mrs. Thrale." Even in his advanced age, at the height of his celebrity, we hear his cries of lonely wretchedness. "I want every comfort; my life is very solitary and very cheerless. Let me know that I have yet a friend—let us be kind to one another." But the "kindness" of distant friends is like the polar sun—too far removed to warm ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... are shepherds, who start every morning at daylight, in different directions, each in charge of his flock; they do not return to the hut till sun-down, when they are tired, weary, and eager for supper and bed. Thus, day after day, and month after month, pass in solitary wretchedness, relieved only on the Saturday for a couple of hours, when a man with the week's rations arrives at the station. These men live all the year round on salt beef and bread, the latter baked by themselves: they have no change either of diet, of employment, or ...
— Trade and Travel in the Far East - or Recollections of twenty-one years passed in Java, - Singapore, Australia and China. • G. F. Davidson

... morning, I was resolute to declare my passion to Dora, and know my fate. Happiness or misery was now the question. There was no other question that I knew of in the world, and only Dora could give the answer to it. I passed three days in a luxury of wretchedness, torturing myself by putting every conceivable variety of discouraging construction on all that ever had taken place between Dora and me. At last, arrayed for the purpose at a vast expense, I went to Miss Mills's, fraught with ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... and deeds of a tender Saviour find any feeble echo and transcript in yours? As you traverse in thought the wastes of human wretchedness, does the spectacle give rise, not to the mere emotional feeling which weeps itself away in sentimental tears, but to an earnest desire to do something to mitigate the sufferings of woe-worn humanity? How vast and world-wide the claims on your compassion!—now near, now at a distance—the unmet ...
— The Mind of Jesus • John R. Macduff

... and unsubstantial affection like a soothing balm upon my sufferings. How little do you know of love, Elise; of that passion which desires every thing, which is satisfied with nothing less than extreme happiness, or, failing that, extreme wretchedness, and will accept no pitiful ...
— The Merchant of Berlin - An Historical Novel • L. Muhlbach

... the lamenting Elegiac, which in a kind heart would move rather pity than blame, who bewails with the great philosopher Heraclitus the weakness of mankind, and the wretchedness of the world: who surely is to be praised, either for compassionate accompanying just causes of lamentation, or for rightly painting out how weak be the passions of woefulness. Is it the bitter, but wholesome Iambic [Footnote: Originally used by the Greeks ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... real character had ever crossed her mind; she knew that they had met with some reverse of fortune,—for she had heard her father regret, for her sake, his altered estate. She knew this, but nothing more: her father's enemies, who would gladly have added to his wretchedness, by making his child look upon him with horror, could not find in their hearts, when they gazed on her innocent face, to make one so unoffending wretched. It is a lovely blindness in a child to have no discernment of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 344 (Supplementary Issue) • Various

... their return was full of ignominy and wretchedness, though their home had become a prison, the only exit from which was to be the scaffold, still, if posthumous renown can compensate for miseries endured in this life; if it be worth while to purchase, even by the most terrible and protracted ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... breathed, "isn't it sad that human beings have to live in such wretchedness and poverty? And you—how noble it is of you to think of them, to give your time and ...
— The Trimmed Lamp and Others • O Henry

... blood rushed to Nina's head, "Don't you love me more than to let me risk a life of wretchedness?" she exclaimed, but the look in her aunt's face brought from the girl an immediate apology, and presently the ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... when they bade adieu to their native land, having buried one or two children on the banks of the Mississippi. They had all had "ship fever," and a more wretched looking family I had never seen. But notwithstanding their squalid poverty and wretchedness we found them industrious, good people, and Protestants, which was an unusual circumstance among this class of Irish. Your grandfather, who, in his charities, never seemed to forget that God caused his sun ...
— A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless - In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren • Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless

... through life, and consequent misery in one or another shape is an active agent in effecting as much mischief amongst them as the diseases above alluded to produce in other countries. The mortality arising from a few diseases and wretchedness combined, seems sufficient to check anything like a progressive increase of their numbers. The great proportion of deaths to births that occurred during the period of our intercourse with them ...
— Journal of the Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage • William Edward Parry

... criminal class is not larger and more dangerous to person and property. Take a glance into the alleys of misery, into the ghettos of wrong where human beings beaten by other human beings stronger than they in the battle of life are penned in their destitution and wretchedness to live and die like poisoned rats in a hole, a prey to heat in summer and cold in winter and disease the year round, a prey to vice, a prey to the saloons which the white man thrusts upon them to steal away their last nickel and the remnant of their self respect. ...
— The Ultimate Criminal - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 17 • Archibald H. Grimke

... must be practised as a trade, at all events in our time. This is the age of trade. Of course if one refuses to be of one's time, and yet hasn't the means to live independently, what can result but breakdown and wretchedness? The fact of the matter is, you could do fairly good work, and work which would sell, if only you would bring yourself to look at things in a more practical way. It's what Mr Milvain ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... a new thrill of wretchedness to see that she wore by chance the very dress she had worn the day he had made the sketch—a pale, pure-looking gray, with a scarf of white lace loosely fastened at her throat. Next, he saw that there was a painful change in her, that she looked frail and worn, as if she had been ill. ...
— Lodusky • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... death for the sake of their riches, and of men who in pursuit of wealth have exposed themselves to so many dangers, that they have paid away their life as a penalty for their folly. (2) Examples are no less numerous of men, who have endured the utmost wretchedness for the sake of gaining or preserving their reputation. (3) Lastly, are innumerable cases of men, who have hastened their death through over-indulgence ...
— On the Improvement of the Understanding • Baruch Spinoza [Benedict de Spinoza]

... replied the pasha, in a tone of paternal pathos, "sore hath been the wretchedness and distress of your afflicted parent. I wish you had been here, then it could not have happened. I'll tell you all ...
— Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks - Book Number Fifteen in the Jack Harkaway Series • Bracebridge Hemyng

... opposition, though it proved perfectly different from what she wished and expected, though she felt it to be entirely wrong, formed on mistaken grounds, and that by requiring her longer continuance in London it deprived her of the only possible alleviation of her wretchedness, the personal sympathy of her mother, and doomed her to such society and such scenes as must prevent her ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... disappointed bitter-minded woman—envious, at times, even of you—into your loving and devoted friend. You have changed me from a miserable creature into a contented and hopeful one. You have taught me to forget that my childhood and youth were one long night of wretchedness and degradation. You have taught me to forgive the father who suffered my life to be what it was, and made no one poor effort to lift me out of the slough of despond to which he had sunk. I can say no more, Charlotte. There are things that cannot ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... Lady Aylmer had determined that an air of business should be assumed. Clara, as she was marched off into the back drawing-room followed by her lover with more sheep-like gait even than her own, felt strongly the absurdity and the wretchedness of her position. But she was determined to ...
— The Belton Estate • Anthony Trollope

... me. For I had been accustomed to the wider, airier spaces, and to the bickering rivulets which ran down most of the steeper streets of Plassenburg, and which made it one of the cleanest towns in the world. So that the ancient and unreformed filth and wretchedness of Thorn appealed to my senses as they had ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... there is no longer any one of us who any longer regards life in the role of a blase or critical spectator, but each one of us stands in the very midst of life, and, indeed, in the very midst of a higher life. God has of a sudden brought us out of the wretchedness of the day to a high place to which we have never before spiritually attained. But always where life emerges, a higher life or merely life itself, wherever there is a thirst for life, there is it set close around by death, as at every birth when something new comes to the light of day, and ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... was paying for her folly with a life-time of wretchedness. She was to marry a man she did not love; and her friends were powerless to ...
— The Automobile Girls At Washington • Laura Dent Crane

... off, in a sort of gloom and beyond the light of day and the movement of the street, I saw the figure of a man, stiff like a ramrod, moving with small steps, a slight girlish figure by his side. And the gloom was like the gloom of villainous slums, of misery, of wretchedness, of a starved and degraded existence. It was a relief that I could see only their shabby hopeless backs. He was an awful ghost. But indeed to call him a ghost was only a refinement of polite speech, and a manner of concealing one's terror of such things. Prisons are wonderful contrivances. Shut—open. ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... my mind reverted, with a sense of forlorn wretchedness which it is not in any words that I can find to describe, to my approaching return to the solitude and the despair of my lonely London home. Thoughts of my kind old mother, and of my sister, who had rejoiced with ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... afflictive spectacle of warring passions. This blind fatality, that capriciously sports with the rules and lives of mortals, tells me that the mountains will never again send forth the water of their springs to my thirst. Oh, that I might be freed and set at liberty from wretchedness! But I fear, I ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... D—— called at two o'clock, and we proceeded together to visit a lane of hovels on the opposite side of the village. The wretchedness of this little mud city of the dead and dying was of a deeper stamp than the one I saw yesterday. Here human beings and their clayey habitations seemed to be melting down together into the earth. I can find no language nor illustration ...
— A Journal of a Visit of Three Days to Skibbereen, and its Neighbourhood • Elihu Burritt

... think at nineteen. She did not blame Lady Russell, she did not blame herself for having been guided by her; but she felt that were any young person, in similar circumstances, to apply to her for counsel, they would never receive any of such certain immediate wretchedness, such uncertain future good. She was persuaded that under every disadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, all their probable fears, delays, and disappointments, she should ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... come back," she began again, after a pause in which the tumult of his feeling seemed to fill the air with violence, "but I had reached the end of wretchedness, I was tired and hungry, and nothing that happened really mattered. If you had told me to go away I don't think that I should have cared. I meant, in that case, to sell my coat for a bottle of brandy, and to put an end to it all while I had ...
— The Wheel of Life • Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow

... and freezes the worshipful instinct in their hearts is the {91} apparent Divine indifference, the silence of God, in the presence of so much human wretchedness. If one could only feel that He cared for and sympathised with His suffering creatures, it would be a help, like the sympathetic pressure of the hand from a friend, which does not lessen the actual calamity that may have befallen us, but makes it easier ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... crime was to be kind,[70] To render with thy precepts less The sum of human wretchedness, And strengthen Man with his own mind; But baffled as thou wert from high, Still in thy patient energy, 40 In the endurance, and repulse Of thine impenetrable Spirit, Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse, A mighty lesson we inherit: Thou art ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... being in a few minutes after Salaman and the others had finished their duties with all the assiduity of Hindu servants; and then as I sat in the handsome apartment arranged in its simple, rich, Eastern luxury, a feeling of wretchedness and misery came over me. I looked round at the rich carpets, soft cushions, and costly curtains; and then at my magnificent uniform, and began thinking of the old, old fable I had read as a child, of the jackdaw in borrowed plumes, and felt that I ...
— Gil the Gunner - The Youngest Officer in the East • George Manville Fenn

... paler now. His eyes were more meditative, and his expression was more sad. He had passed through an ordeal of wretchedness which had given him more than it had taken away. He had sunk from his modest elevation as pastoral king into the very slime-pits of Siddim; but there was left to him a dignified calm he had never before known, and that indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... have congregated to see this lump of mortality put into a hole in the ground. You all know the deceased—a worthless, drunken, good-for-nothing vagabond. He lived in disgrace and infamy, and died in wretchedness. You all despised him—you all know his brother Joe, who lives on the hill? He's not a bit better though he has scrap'd together a little property by cheating his neighbours. His end will be like that of this loathsome creature, ...
— Clotel; or, The President's Daughter • William Wells Brown

... of string, I might enumerate a long list of this world's miseries. Shoe-strings alone comprehend an amount of wretchedness, which is but feebly described in the tragical story of Jemmy String. Bonnet-strings and apron-strings, dickey-strings and watch-guards, curtain-cord, bed-cord, and cod-line, each and all have furnished enough discomfort to make out a long grumbling article. But I cannot linger to describe ...
— Autumn Leaves - Original Pieces in Prose and Verse • Various

... he must disclose the truth, I cannot conceive. Mad! The man is stark mad: for tell you he must, though he has in every way since your childhood fostered within you a sense of honor that will break in contempt upon him! Your attitude, I warn you, will work wretchedness to you both; you will accuse and flout him. Daniel," the man solemnly ...
— The Cruise of the Shining Light • Norman Duncan

... weakness, were forced to lie down upon the ground, were trodden upon by others, who pressed on, to reach the river. Some were pushed into the water and screamed aloud that they were about to drown, and when the dawn of the morning came, misery, wretchedness, and fear were to ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... her own room and shut herself up in darkness and in wretchedness, but in all that miserable night there came to her not one regret that she had reached her hand ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... to keep her carcase from the cold, So there was nothing of a piece about her. Her lower weeds were all o'er coarsely patched With different coloured rags, black, red, white, yellow, And seemed to speak variety of wretchedness." ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... you all I know about it.—Some six weeks ago, I woke suddenly one morning, very early—I think about three o'clock—with an overpowering sense of blackness and misery. Everything I thought of seemed to have a core of wretchedness in it. I fought with the feeling as well as I could, and got to sleep again. But the effect of it did not leave me next day. I said to myself: 'They say "morning thoughts are true." What if this ...
— Adela Cathcart, Vol. 1 • George MacDonald

... must attach to it. I offered him any sum of money—all that he could ask—for his pains, and he promised to comply with my request. The idea that I had been the victim of a trick, a fraud, never glanced across my mind. No, when my wretchedness permitted me to think at all, I suspected and accused no one but myself. I could imagine and believe that, inadvertently, I had committed some great error when my soul had been darkened by the daily and hourly anxieties which had followed it so long. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... said the porter in the dirty dressing-gown, who stood by. I could see at a glance that the manner of that porter towards me was greatly altered, and I began to feel comforted in my wretchedness. Perhaps a Christian from Friday Street, with plenty of money in his pockets, would stand in higher esteem at Suez than at Cairo. If so, that alone would go far to atone for the apparent wretchedness of the place. At Cairo I had not received ...
— George Walker At Suez • Anthony Trollope

... community, we must find some working programme that will make it easy for all the members of the group to observe health standards. A city government that spends taxes inefficiently can produce more sickness, wretchedness, incapacity in one year than pamphlets on health can offset in a generation. Failure to enforce health laws is a more serious menace to health and morals than drunkenness or tobacco cancer. Unclean ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... to dwell on such details,—but we are now approaching the close. In addition to most of those sad varieties of wretchedness which surround alike the grandest and humblest deathbeds, there was also in the scene now passing around the dying Byron such a degree of confusion and uncomfort as renders it doubly dreary to contemplate. There having been no person invested, since his illness, with authority ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... interested in any person born under Saturn, that is between the twenty-first of December and the twentieth of January, particularly about the seventh of January, you should certainly take time to consider carefully, for there is nothing but wretchedness and misunderstanding in such an alliance; there may be much that is attractive on the surface, but you will find a complete lack of harmony, of similarity of tastes and ambition that would leave you forever alone, and there ...
— An American Suffragette • Isaac N. Stevens

... wretchedness appeared on every hand; but the population swarmed, and habit seemed to have hardened them to the power of existing where it appeared to be a certainty that some pestilence must rise and ...
— In the Mahdi's Grasp • George Manville Fenn

... then, kiddie, and do take care!" Jim's voice was strained with anxiety and wretchedness. While Norah was full of hope, and, indeed, could scarcely realize that they might not find Dad soon, the boy had the memory of the fruitless search all the previous day to dispirit him. As he looked at the forbidding wall of green scrub, his ...
— Mates at Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... hardly ever heard of, and it is no wonder, when a great part of the community is plunged into such a condition (and we may fairly suppose that there is a gradually mounting scale, with every degree of wretchedness up to the wealth and splendour which glitter on the surface of society), that there should be so many who are ripe for any desperate scheme of revolution. At Sunderland they say there are houses with 150 inmates, who are huddled five and six in a bed. They are in the lowest state of poverty. The ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... enrolled in a mighty army, identified in principles and interests. Here was the principle of the Church—association for reciprocated strength; they were thus taught the inevitable result of the indulgence of the vice. The missionaries of temperance went through the country contrasting the wretchedness and the degradation and the filth of drunkenness with the domestic comfort, and the health, and the regular employment of those who were masters of themselves. So far as men believed this, and gave up ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... with an uneasy wind blowing PAR RAFALES off the sea (or 'EN RAFALES' should it be? or what?). As I got down near the beach a poor woman, oldish, and seemingly, lately at least, respectable, followed me and made signs. She was drenched to the skin, and looked wretched below wretchedness. You know, I did not like to look back at her; it seemed as if she might misunderstand and be terribly hurt and slighted; so I stood at the end of the street - there was no one else within sight in the wet - ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... miserable picture of the captives' life ashore. Nothing of course could equal the torment of the galley-slaves, but the wretchedness of the shore-slaves was bad enough. When they were landed they were driven to the Besist[a]n or slave-market, where they were put up to auction like the cattle which were also sold there; walked up and down by the auctioneer to show off their paces; and beaten if they were ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... civil war, by being able to operate upon the fears and feelings of the ignorant, deprived of all natural and proper guidance. It is a question, not only of duty, but of safety, for the rich and intelligent, whether they will suffer the lower orders to remain in their wretchedness and sullen dissatisfaction, sinking daily into still deeper degradation, and engendering still more bitter hatred; or whether they will accept their proper position as the organized guides and permanent social providence of the weak, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... Alice would then have married me, all the horror, all the wretchedness which has ensued might have been avoided! But I ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... most part so unhappy, have, however, nothing to do with the Pilgrims' Way. No memory of that remains at all amid all the dismal wretchedness of to-day, until one comes to the "Thomas a Becket" public-house at the corner of Albany Road. This was the site of ...
— England of My Heart—Spring • Edward Hutton

... Lloyd George in presenting the reform program of 1910. "It is for waging implacable war against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away we shall have advanced a great step toward the time when poverty, and the wretchedness and the human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as remote from the people of this country as the wolves which once infested ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... seeing him in so wretched a plight, with nothing but a blanket about his loins to cover his nakedness, could not be persuaded but that the fellow was some father who had given all away to his daughters and brought himself to that pass; for nothing, he thought, could bring a man to such wretchedness ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... the Arabs; and the progress of servitude and apostasy has reduced the Coptic nation to the despicable number of twenty-five or thirty thousand families; [148] a race of illiterate beggars, whose only consolation is derived from the superior wretchedness of the Greek patriarch and his ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... stark and naked wretchedness left me silent; then, as the lantern's rays fell on this young girl's rags, I ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... and lasting, and have as it were traversed time and space. They owe their duration, and the extent they occupy, much less to conquering and polished nations, than to those wandering and half-savage tribes, who, fleeing before a powerful enemy, carried along with them in their extreme wretchedness only their wives, their children, and ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... for everyone. And to fill the cup of wretchedness to overflowing, the rain, beginning with a drizzle, ended with a downpour. Consultations took place between men who had not spoken to one another for weeks. Fred offered to go on, at all events to Salt Lake City, ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... became more forced, the estrangement more marked, Ralston's wretchedness increased in proportion. He brooded miserably over the scene he had witnessed; troubled, aside from his own interest in Dora, that she should be misled by a man of Smith's moral calibre. While he had delighted in her unworldly, childlike ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... fire of the poetry, and the brilliancy of color and stage picture afforded by the setting in old Verona, it is no wonder that to-day no mouthing of the words, no {144} tawdriness of setting, and no wretchedness of acting can hinder the supreme appeal of this play to audiences all over the world. The chief characters are well contrasted by the dramatist. Romeo, affecting sadness, but in reality merry by nature, becomes grave when the realization of love comes upon him. Juliet, when love comes, ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... he repeated the Lord's Prayer, but she did not join; and then he added a broken, hesitating intercession for the mourners, which caused her to bury her face deeper in her hands, but her dull wretchedness altered not. ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... further bond of blood and even class relationship also bound the farmers and labourers together—the labourers of to-day were, in countless cases, the farmers of yesterday, whom the Great Clearances had reduced to the lowest form of servitude and who dragged out an existence of appalling wretchedness in sight of their former homes, now, alas, razed to the ground. My mind carries me back to the time when the agricultural labourer in Munster was working for four shillings a week, and trying to rear a family on it! I vowed then that ...
— Ireland Since Parnell • Daniel Desmond Sheehan

... and hear of such men as Mr. Sowerby, and are apt to think that they enjoy all that the world can give, and that they enjoy that all without payment either in care or labour; but I doubt that, with even the most callous of them, their periods of wretchedness must be frequent, and that wretchedness very intense. Salmon and lamb in February, and green pease and new potatoes in March, can hardly make a man happy, even though nobody pays for them; and the feeling that one is an antecedentem ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... her own apartments her plan was formed. Don Luis's tale had confirmed her suspicions as to the double cause of Marie's wretchedness; she had herself administered to her while in that dead faint—herself bent over her, lest the first words of returning consciousness should betray aught which the sufferer might wish concealed; but her care had been needless: no word passed those parched and ashy lips. The frame, indeed, ...
— The Vale of Cedars • Grace Aguilar

... plate, with an inscription to commemorate this extraordinary instance of true worth; which should make some people in Scotland blush, while, though mean themselves, they strut about under the protection of great alliance, conscious of the wretchedness of numbers who have lost by them, to whom they never think of making reparation, but indulge themselves and their families in most unsuitable ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... short to unfold; and I have neither time nor ability to present to your minds any thing like an adequate conception of the miseries of the heathen. That they are living and dying without the gospel, is enough to give every believer in the Bible an affecting sense of their wretchedness. ...
— Daughters of the Cross: or Woman's Mission • Daniel C. Eddy

... intervenient days, and, perhaps, weeks void of pain, and overflowing with comfort. So that in short, to return to the subject, human life, as far as I can perceive from experience or observation, is not that state of constant wretchedness which Johnson always insisted it was; which misrepresentation, (for such it surely is,) his Biographer has not corrected, I suppose, because, unhappily, he has himself a large portion of melancholy in his constitution, and fancied the portrait ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... have waited," Theo said to herself, with an unexpected, inconsistent feeling of wretchedness. "I would have stayed anywhere to have seen him only for a minute. He had no need to be so ready to go away." And then she found herself burning all over, as it were, in her shame at discovering how ...
— Theo - A Sprightly Love Story • Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett

... produced has been briefly noticed in what we have written in connection with Mr. Alexander H. Everett's reply to it, printed in London and Boston in 1822. The doctrine was a convenient one, for it relieved the directors of affairs from the charge of causing, or suffering, the poverty and wretchedness by ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... described, had brought him face to face with his sister Anna, whom he had never even heard of in all the years since her flight. He found her now, poverty- stricken, prematurely old, almost demented, and, though he had hated her cordially in days gone by, his pity was aroused by her wretchedness, and he took her to his home, clothed and fed her, and surrounded her with such comforts as ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow; the evil is not sufficiently brought to their doors to make them feel the precariousness with which all American property is possessed. But let our imaginations transport us a few moments to Boston; that seat of wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct us forever to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust. The inhabitants of that unfortunate city, who but a few months ago were in ease and affluence, have no other alternative than to stay and starve, or turn out to beg. Endangered by the fire ...
— America First - Patriotic Readings • Various

... fruitful country on the globe," he asked (and the question may be asked still), "enjoying peace for fourscore years, and not visited by plague or pestilence, produce so many recorded instances of the poverty and wretchedness and of the reiterated want and misery of the lower orders of the people? There is no such example in ancient ...
— Books Condemned to be Burnt • James Anson Farrer

... possessed a soul to burn over a woman's woes, and a woman's wrongs, it would have been scorched out long ago, Bernard; but let that pass. I came to you this night, not only to tell over my own wretchedness, a reviewal of which had risen up so forcibly before me, but I came to you anew as the spirit of the past, to call up in your breast the memory of what you have been, and to ask you if the future brings a change. And now, Bernard, on all your hopes of happiness, here or hereafter, ...
— The Brother Clerks - A Tale of New-Orleans • Xariffa

... and he opened those wild, fearful eyes. Oh! what a world of wretchedness and despair was in that glance! He knew her; and conquering, with a convulsive effort, the agony which was withering up the last drops of life, caught her to ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... Paine's miserable plight, yet he forgot the obligations of friendship; and notwithstanding frequent letters from Munro, the American ambassador at Paris, he supinely suffered the man he had once delighted to honor to languish in wretchedness, filth, and disease. George Washington did much for American Independence, but Thomas Paine did perhaps more, for his writings animated the oppressed Colonists with an enthusiasm for liberty without which the respectable generalship of Washington might have been exerted in vain. ...
— Arrows of Freethought • George W. Foote

... to-morrow night we trudge Up to the trenches, and my boots are rotten. Five miles of stodgy clay and freezing sludge, And everything but wretchedness forgotten. To-night he's in the pink; but soon he'll die. And still the war goes on; he ...
— Georgian Poetry 1916-17 • Various

... he not only violates probability, but even sacrifices the coherence of the piece. He is strong in his pictures of misfortune; but he often claims our compassion not for inward agony of the soul, nor for pain which the sufferer endures with manly fortitude, but for mere bodily wretchedness. He is fond of reducing his heroes to the condition of beggars, of making them suffer hunger and want, and bringing them on the stage with all the outward signs of it, and clad in rags and tatters, for which Aristophanes, in his Acharnians, has so ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black



Words linked to "Wretchedness" :   wretched, concentration camp, miserableness, living death, low quality, discomfort, uncomfortableness, misery, inferiority, woe



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