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Despair   /dɪspˈɛr/   Listen
Despair

noun
1.
A state in which all hope is lost or absent.  Synonym: desperation.  "They were rescued from despair at the last minute" , "Courage born of desperation"
2.
The feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well.  "One harsh word would send her into the depths of despair"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Despair" Quotes from Famous Books



... clean brine, he found them loose and rotten. This time he himself detected a faint acrid odor quite different from the usual clean, salty smell. Again he dipped to make sure the whole tub was ruined. Then he looked at Ellinwood in despair. ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... he presented his hand to Madame Henrietta with such marked deference, and at the same time with a nobleness of mien so intrepid, that a murmur of admiration rose from the English, whilst a groan of despair escaped from Buckingham's lips. Raoul, who loved, comprehended it all. He fixed upon his friend one of those profound looks which a bosom friend or mother can alone extend, either as protector or guardian, over the one who is about to stray from the right path. Towards two o'clock in ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... bursting from the rushes and running into the open space, and instantly beginning the performance. This is a tremendous screaming concert. The screams they utter have a certain resemblance to the human voice, exerted to its utmost pitch and expressive of extreme terror, frenzy, and despair. A long, piercing shriek, astonishing for its vehemence and power, is succeeded by a lower note, as if in the first the creature had well nigh exhausted itself: this double scream is repeated several times, and followed by other sounds, resembling, as they rise and fall, half smothered ...
— The Naturalist in La Plata • W. H. Hudson

... return to Iowa, and never again come east of the river. Neapope was an orator of great power, and he presented his plea with all the eloquence of which he was master. But it fell on ears that understood not its purport. I know of no more pathetic incident in all the long chapter of human woe and despair than this pitiful prayer of a perishing people for mercy and forgiveness, spoken in a tongue that carried no meaning to those who heard. Let us hope that if the petition had been understood it would have ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... hopes, what fears, what comfort, what anguish, what despair, in the roll of its coming or its parting wheels! In the spring, when the old people get the coughs which give them a few shakes and their lives drop in pieces like the ashes of a burned thread which have ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... had not yet sufficiently matured their plans to enable them to encounter successfully the republican army. The death of Cathelineau had had a great effect upon the peasants: those who were with him had returned home in sorrow and despair, and this feeling was general, even among those who had not been at Nantes. De Lescure and Henri, however, had not despaired; after having seen the body of his General consigned to the dust, Henri had returned to Clisson, and he and his cousin were again busy ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... right, Brutus, if you considered virtue as being head of a faction, and assassin of your benefactor; but if you had considered virtue as consisting only of doing good to those dependent on you, you would not have called it a phantom, and you would not have killed yourself in despair. ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... they had been plastered came away in great handfuls. He could hardly see, for the descending dust. He grasped blindly, desperately. He felt something firm! It was another palm branch that his fingers reached as he dug through the mud. He held on with the clutch of despair. ...
— Out of the Triangle • Mary E. Bamford

... conduits, and knew to admiration how the filthiness of all the amphitheatre was disposed of; but perceiving my inattention, and having just grace enough to remark that I chose one side of the street when he preferred the other, and sometimes trotted through despair in the kennel, he made me a pretty bow, I threw him half-a- crown, and seeing the ruins before me, traversed a gloomy arcade and emerged alone into the arena. A smooth turf covers its surface, from which a spacious row of gradines rises to a majestic elevation. Four arches, with their simple Doric ...
— Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents • William Beckford

... evocative of the state of mind, which is of all states of mind not impossible, the most difficult to that man, race or nation; because only the greatest obstacle that can be contemplated without despair rouses the will to full intensity. A powerful class by terror, rhetoric, and organised sentimentality, may drive their people to war, but the day draws near when they cannot keep them there; and how shall they face the pure nations of the East when the day comes to do it with but equal arms? I had ...
— Four Years • William Butler Yeats

... the Irish poor. There could be no doubt, as Mr. Stafford O'Brien reminded the house, that some of the best of landlords had been assassinated. There appeared to be a relentless thirst for blood among the Irish peasantry, prompted by fanaticism, famine, and despair, which was calculated to destroy the sympathy of the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... which they had taken from standing still so long in such a damp place—"not under the present circumstances," he repeated, wildly, making a fierce pass at the spectre with the skeleton, and then dropping the latter to the ground in nerveless despair. "To a single man, his umbrella is wife, mother, sister, venerable maiden aunt from the country—all in one. In losing mine, I've lost my whole family, and want to hear no more ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., Issue 31, October 29, 1870 • Various

... what's the difference. One won't have so much, and one will have more; one will take a longer spell of preaching, and half the quantity will be a dose to work another out clean, entire. I'm not boastful for myself, Brother Cross, but I do say, I'd give up in despair if I thought it took half so much to do me, as it would take for a person ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... rode on a Rocket and met the monstrous Blue Frog. When they arrived at Goldilocks' house they found that the Three Bears had been there before them and mussed everything up, much to Goldilocks' despair. "We must drive those bears out of the country!" said Pa Flyaway. Then they journeyed underground to the Yellow Palace, and oh! so many things happened ...
— The Bobbsey Twins on Blueberry Island • Laura Lee Hope

... Douay and Moranget, watching the transit from the edge of the canebrake, beheld their commander swept down the stream, and vanishing, as it were, in an instant. All that day they remained with their companions on the bank, lamenting in an abyss of despair for the loss of their guardian angel, for so Douay calls La Salle. [Footnote: "Ce fut une desolation extreme pour nous tous qui desesperions de revoir jamais nostre Ange tutelaire, le Sieur de la Salle... Tout le jour se passa en pleurs et en larmes."—Douay, in Le Clercq, ii. 315.] It was fast ...
— France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third • Francis Parkman

... an involuntary cry. Thrill on thrill shot through him. Delight and hope and fear and despair claimed him in swift, successive flashes. And then again the ruling passion of a rider held him—the sheer glory of a grand and unattainable horse. For Slone gave up Wildfire in that splendid moment. How had ...
— The Boy Scouts Book of Campfire Stories • Various

... becoming a new creature, must go on in the darkness of the spirit, while the body is up and abroad, and no one must know what is passing within. The spirit's leap from heaven to hell must be made while the smile is on the lips, and light words are upon the tongue. The struggles of shame, the pangs of despair, must be hidden in the depths of the prison-house. Every groan must be stifled before it is heard: and as for tears—they are a solace too gentle for the case. The agony is too ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... wept, and with her untressed hair Still wiped the feet she was so blest to touch; And he wiped off the soiling of despair From her sweet soul, because she loved ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... himself was so cast down by the loss of our ship that he seemed incapable of diverting his thoughts from the catastrophe which had overtaken us. I thus found our former positions reversed, Hartog being on the brink of the same hopeless despair which had obsessed me when Anna was taken from me, while upon me devolved ...
— Adventures in Southern Seas - A Tale of the Sixteenth Century • George Forbes

... contempt and indignation, but all stood silent. The officer turned towards the admiral, and on again looking round, perceived that the lad had fainted, and lay lifeless in the seaman's arms, who gazed upon the bloodless countenance of his charge with a look of anguish and despair. "Carry him below," said the lieutenant, "and let him skulk from his duty; this day must be a day of glory!" The poor fellow seemed unconscious that he was spoken to, but still continued to gaze upon the lad. The officer beckoned ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 10, No. 272, Saturday, September 8, 1827 • Various

... in Canada mal a la raquette. One morning at dawn he was waked by his chief master and ordered to get up, say his prayers, and eat his breakfast, for they must make a long march that day. The minister was in despair. "After prayer," he says, "I arose from my knees; but my feet were so tender, swollen, bruised, and full of pain that I could scarce stand upon them without holding on the wigwam. And when the Indians said, 'You must run to-day,' I answered I could not run. My master, ...
— A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I - France and England in North America • Francis Parkman

... roused and wakened passion, as a devotee in his devotions, without considering what was to come of it all. The blood was surging through his veins. He was too strong, his love was too new and wonderful to him, to leave any chance for despair. It was not that he did not consider himself dismissed. He felt that he had played a great stake foolishly, and lost. But the love was there, and it warmed and cheered his heart, like a fire in a great hall, ...
— The Bread-winners - A Social Study • John Hay

... knew, but not my now; I understood nor what I was, nor where; I knew what I had been: still on my brow I felt the touch of what no more was there! I was a fainting, dead, yet live Despair; A life that flouted life ...
— Lilith • George MacDonald

... day of new emotions for Arnold. He was conscious suddenly of a fierce wave of jealousy, of despair. She was going, and notwithstanding the half pathetic, half appealing smile with which she held out her hands, she was happy to go! Fenella saw his expression and laughed in ...
— The Lighted Way • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... over which straggled the twisted black stems of the vines. My driver gently urged on his old horse, and we proceeded through an infinite silence broken only at intervals by the plaintive cry of a bird, sad even unto death. I murmured this prayer in my heart: "My God, God of Mercy, save me from despair and after so many transgressions, let me not commit the one sin Thou dost not forgive." Then I saw the sun, red and rayless, blood-hued, descending on the horizon, as it were, the sacred Host, and remembering the divine Sacrifice of Calvary, I felt hope enter into ...
— Balthasar - And Other Works - 1909 • Anatole France

... and weird in the wind; Intangible, viewless, it speeds on its course, And forests and oceans must yield to its force. What art has constructed with patience and toil, The wind in one second of time can despoil. It carries destruction and death and despair, Yet no man can follow it into its lair And bind it or stay it—this thing without form. Ah! there comes the rain! we are caught in the storm. Put my coat on your shoulders and come with me where Yon rock makes a shelter—I often sit there To ...
— Three Women • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... out her tongue and lick her slimy nostrils, she plunged backwards as if a cannon had exploded, and scampered half-way up the hill to her fawn. The Norwegian turned his head and smiled with us, but would not yet despair of success. ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... reduced to a condition of absolute despair, for neither of the trio could think of any plan of rescue promising even the ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... only for a moment that I felt despair," said Robert. "It is certain that victory always comes to those who know how ...
— The Masters of the Peaks - A Story of the Great North Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... accelerated progress of a Union at last free and redeemed, without a tyrant or a slave, let it nerve your hearts and inspire your exertions now. If you do not desire the self-gratulations of the crowned despots of the world, and the despair and lamentation of their subject millions, see to it that this great experiment of self-government fail not now. If you would gladden the hearts of our friends in other lands, the Brights and Cobdens, the Gasparins and Laboulayes, liberal men, who love truth, justice, right, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... wren came flying along, and when it noticed the look of despair on Timtom's face the little creature perched on his shoulder ...
— The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People • L. Frank Baum

... over her mother, impressed her profoundly.... And she was proud of herself for having demonstrated her courage by preventing the solicitor from running away, and extraordinarily ashamed of her sentimental and brazen behaviour to the solicitor afterwards. These various thoughts mitigated her despair as she gazed at the sinking candle. ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... to despair of entering some day into communication with these unknown beings. The luminous points that have been observed are no signals, but high summits or light clouds illuminated by the rising or setting sun. But the idea of communication with them in the future is no more audacious ...
— Astronomy for Amateurs • Camille Flammarion

... immutable principles of justice had been so clearly discerned by the inflexible rectitude of the Roman mind, and so sagaciously applied by the wisdom of her great lawyers, that Christianity was content to acquiesce in these statutes, which she might despair, except in some respects, of rendering more equitable."—Milman, Latin Christianity, ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... found a torrid sun, and the thermometer at 93 in the shade, his courage failed him, and, with all his preconceived ideas overthrown by the burning experience of one day, despair seized on him, and his expressions of horror and astonishment were coupled with lamentations over the green fertility of Jersey. The colonel was obliged to report himself at head-quarters in his full uniform, which was evidently tight and hot; and after changing ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... grand corrobboree, arranged for amongst themselves by surrounding tribes, including the still considerable tribe of the River Goulburn. This was, as it were, one last aboriginal defiance, hurled in despair from the expiring native cause against the too-victorious colonial invasion. We of the town had heard of the proposed exhibition, and many, including myself, went out to see it. There were present seven hundred aborigines of all ages and both sexes. The performances ...
— Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne & Victoria • William Westgarth

... was capable of broad and boundless hopes. He was sometimes prone to deep despair. His nature was exquisitely tempered; too fine and polished a blade to be wielded among those hydra-heads by which he was, now surrounded; and for which the stunning sledgehammer of ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... accepted the easier explanation that she smiled because she was glad to be in his company; and this thought, coming on top of his mood of despair and general dissatisfaction with everything mundane, acted on him ...
— Something New • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... bear the form without the nature of women. Commencing with Lady Macbeth, the conception falls lower and lower, through Goneril and Regan, Cressida, Cleopatra, until in the climax of this utter despair, "Timon," there is no character that it would not be a profanity to call ...
— Elizabethan Demonology • Thomas Alfred Spalding

... after many years of fruitless toil, there came a terrific storm, with thunder and earthquake. In sheer horror and despair Tregeagle fled. Immediately the demons were on his track, chasing him so closely that he could not stay to dip his limpet-shell in the foaming water. Feeling that they were upon him, he rose with a cry of anguish, and fled across the pool, thus gaining a temporary ...
— The Cornwall Coast • Arthur L. Salmon

... smiled, and made a polite little gesture of assumed despair. Then his voice, very slow and cool, broke in on ...
— The Unspeakable Gentleman • John P. Marquand

... the American Red Cross sent representatives forward to inaugurate relief work for the 700,000 refugees, who were pouring southward from the Friuti and Veneto, homeless, hungry, possessing nothing but misfortune, spreading despair and panic every step of the journey. Their bodies must be cared for—that was evident; it would be easy for them to carry disease throughout Italy. But the disease of their minds was an even greater danger; if their demoralisation were not checked, ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... outside the gates, I went out with a lot more right on to the wild desert. But I wanted to be alone, and as soon as I could I wandered away up amongst the great stones, and sat down to think and rage against myself for feeling so happy when I wanted to be miserable and in despair about our fate. For it was as if something within me was mocking at my sufferings and trying to make me laugh and feel bright and joyous, for—Oh, how well I can remember it all up there! The sun was shining brightly, and the great block of stone upon which I sat down felt hot and so different to ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... believe that Christ is the ruler of the world, that they lose all hope of God's delivering them, and break out into mad rebellion. It is because, again, men do not believe that Christ is the ruler of the world, that, when their rebellion has failed, they sink into slavishness and dull despair, and bow their necks to the yoke of the first tyrant who arises; and try to make a covenant with death and hell. Better far for them, had they made a covenant with Christ, who is ready to deliver men from death and hell in this world, as well as ...
— Discipline and Other Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... looked down through thetransparent waters, checkered with sunshine and shade, into the vast chambers of the mighty deep, in which his happier days had sunk, and wherein they were lying still visible, like golden sands, and precious stones, and pearls; and, half in despair, half in hope, he grasped downward after them again, and drew back his hand, filled only with seaweed, and dripping with briny tears!—And between him and those golden sands, a radiant image floated, like the spirit in Dante's ...
— Hyperion • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... me, joys of heaven! Breathe through the summer air A balm—the long-lost leaven Dissolving death, despair! O little heart, To me thou art A sign ...
— Poems • Mary Baker Eddy

... by origin and ancestry from a rough, heather-clad country; he belongs to the moorland. In other words, his type is the mountaineer's. But a mountaineer's instinct in similar circumstances is—what? Why, to fly straight to his native mountains. In an agony of terror, in an access of despair, when all else fails, he strikes a bee-line for the hills he loves; rationally or irrationally, he seems to think he can hide there. Hugo Le Geyt, with his frank boyish nature, his great Devonian frame, is sure to have done so. I know his ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... food hath come to an end. Every man robbeth his neighbour. The people wish to walk about, but are unable to move. The baby waileth, the young man shuffleth along on his feet through weakness. The hearts of the old men are broken down with despair, their legs give way under them, they sink down exhausted on the ground, and they lay their hands on their bellies [in pain]. The officials are powerless and have no counsel to give, and when the public granaries, which ought to contain supplies, are opened, there cometh ...
— The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians • E. A. Wallis Budge

... the young girl softly, "very sad indeed; for, I thought you might be dead, or have married some one else, and that we might never meet again. But in spite of everything I couldn't quite despair. It seemed impossible that those who really loved each other ...
— Miscellanea • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... beginning. If you wish to straighten out a tangle of string, you know that it is worth your while to look patiently for one of the ends. If you make an aimless dash at it the result is confusion worse confounded, and by-and-by the tangle is thrown down in despair, its worst knots made by the hands that tried in a haphazard way to simplify it. Life is that tangle; and religion, if it does not loosen all the knots and straighten all the twists, at least shows us where the two ends are. They are with God and the soul. God deals with a man's soul. We cannot ...
— The Threshold Grace • Percy C. Ainsworth

... weapon than the knowledge of the people one should know, transfix me, silence me, transform me into a dull, bucolic boor. Penelope was annoyed. I knew that she was chagrined at my lack of savoir faire, for in one of the long pauses following an abrupt response of mine I caught a glance of mute despair. She seemed to accuse me of falling short of her expectations by my lamentable ...
— David Malcolm • Nelson Lloyd

... how their faces clouded over. The mere suggestion filled them with despair. Leave her beloved Rhode Island Reds, Peggy was thinking, just as Henrietta had hatched out twelve downy, fluffy balls? Why, they would be big chickens when they came back. Leave Lady Janet? was Alice's thought. No sea-bathing and boating could make up for the ...
— Peggy in Her Blue Frock • Eliza Orne White

... in a state of mind bordering on despair, I buried my face in my hands, and endeavoured to collect myself, and consider what, under the circumstances, should be ...
— The Gorilla Hunters • R.M. Ballantyne

... receive English Bullion in Exchange for its own Dross, which has so long passed current among us in Pieces abounding with all the Levities of its volatile Inhabitants.} The reigning Depravity of the Times has yet left Virtue many Votaries. Of their Protection you need not despair. May every head-strong Libertine whose Hands you reach, be reclaimed; and every tempted Virgin who reads you, imitate the Virtue, and meet the Reward of the high-meriting, tho' low-descended, PAMELA. ...
— Samuel Richardson's Introduction to Pamela • Samuel Richardson

... village. Moreover, there was a tiresome man, the widower of the victim, thirsting for vengeance, who sang the praises of his wife and brought his weeping son into court while he gave his evidence. The president and the public prosecutor were in despair. ...
— The Cult of Incompetence • Emile Faguet

... its tens of thousands. Even Richardson stumbled; and Heathcote, when his turn came, gave himself up for lost. The Doctor's impassive face betrayed no emotion, and gave no token, either for joy, or hope, or despair. He merely said "That will do" after each victim had performed; and even when Coote, after a mighty effort, rendered "O tempora! O mores!" as "Oh, the tempers of the Moors," he quietly said, "Thank you; now ...
— Follow My leader - The Boys of Templeton • Talbot Baines Reed

... examples, and regarding them as a fair sample of the whole. Such a view has no doubt been taken by many able men, who have attempted to define the ludicrous. An eminent German philosopher even said that he did not despair ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... the strength and rapidity of the current. He battled manfully, but the boat immediately began to tend towards the cataract with continually increasing rapidity. At length he came to realize the fate that certainly awaited him. His smile was succeeded by a look of despair. I can see even now the expression of terror and desperation, formed upon the poor fellow's face when he saw that, struggle as he might, there was no help or deliverance, I am sure at that time he would have welcomed me as a friend and savior, and gone ...
— The Erie Train Boy • Horatio Alger

... heavy blondes of the North, troubled him more than all these illusions of summer.—But promptly he returned to himself: what was he thinking of, since that regained land was to him an empty land forever? How could his infinite despair be changed by that tempting gracefulness of the girls, by that ironical gaiety of the sky, the human beings and the things?—No! He would go ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti

... almost like the cry that a hare gives when it finds the dog's fangs in its neck, and at the same moment, amid all the darkness of the night, a still blacker object seemed to start out of the gloom right ahead of them. The boy had no time to shout any warning beyond that cry of despair, for with a wild crash the boat struck on the rocks, rose and struck again, and was then dashed over by a heavy sea, both of its occupants being thrown into the fierce swirls of foam that were dashing ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... not moved. She did not move now, but sat the picture of hard, haughty despair—a despair that would gnaw body and soul, yet give no sigh. But the cavaliere was now too much absorbed by Enrica's sufferings to affect even to take much heed of ...
— The Italians • Frances Elliot

... certainly exceed, be it for what purpose soever of planting wood. Rather therefore we should take notice how many great wits and ingenious persons, who have leisure and faculty, are in pain for improvements of their heaths and barren Hills, cold and starving places, which causes them to be neglected and despair'd of; whilst they flatter their hopes and vain expectations with fructifying liquors, chymical menstruums, and such vast conceptions; in the mean time that one may shew them as heathy and hopeless grounds, and barren hills as any in England, that do now bear, ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... his greencoats laid the body of the leader whom they loved. "Never were heard such piteous cries at the death of one man as at Master Hampden's." With him indeed all seemed lost. But bitter as were their tears, a noble faith lifted these Puritans out of despair. As they bore him to his grave they sang, in the words of the ninetieth psalm, how fleeting in the sight of the Divine Eternity is the life of man. But as they turned away the yet nobler words of the forty-third psalm broke from their lips, as they prayed that the God who had smitten ...
— History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8) - Puritan England, 1642-1660; The Revolution, 1660-1683 • John Richard Green

... was in his eyes. So far he had not yet caught sight of his beloved, and slowly—very slowly—a ray of hope was filtering through the darkness of his despair. ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... Her frightened despair was pitiful; Lily was at her wits' end. "My soul and body!" she thought, "what am I going to do with her?" But what was all this business? Mrs. Curtis asking for Jacky—and Mr. Curtis not knowing it? What was all this funny ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... piece is only the sequel of one striving to depict the fall from unguided passion into neglect, despair, and death. It ought to show an hour too near those of pleasure for repentance, and too near death for hope. The translations are two out of many made from Horace, and given to assist an answer to the question—would it be possible to obtain remuneration for translations for such as those from ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... bank beside her and made lament. I cried like a young thing. I could n't help it. I was just about heart-broke. It was one of them lovely warm May days, and the wind was blowing and the colts jumping around in the pastures; but I felt bowed with despair. My Antonia, that had so much good in her, had come home disgraced. And that Lena Lingard, that was always a bad one, say what you will, had turned out so well, and was coming home here every summer in her silks and her satins, and doing so much for her ...
— My Antonia • Willa Sibert Cather

... of despair, however, he endured it all, sleeping in an attic at the roof of the house, eating what the cook gave him, accepting a few dollars a week, which he tried to save. His constitution was in no shape ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... glad when we smile,— For the heart, in a tempest of pain, May live in the guise Of a smile in the eyes As a rainbow may live in the rain; And the stormiest night of our woe May hang out a radiant star Whose light in the sky Of despair is a lie As black as ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... instant the key of the riddle was in my hands, and I saw that every third word, beginning with the first, would give a message which might well drive old Trevor to despair. ...
— Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... when Margaret realised this, she felt inclined to sit down in a stupor of despair. The heavy smoky air hung about her bedroom, which occupied the long narrow projection at the back of the house. The window, placed at the side of the oblong, looked to the blank wall of a similar projection, not above ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... when as usual she flew to the prison, she found him lying at the bottom of the cage, speechless and motionless. Frantically she tore at the cruel bars, beating them with her wings in an agony of despair. ...
— Parables from Flowers • Gertrude P. Dyer

... knew the delays of the frontier. None the less, Mr. Hazlett had borne in upon him all the time the feeling that he himself had been responsible for this disaster. Even as he set to work to organize search-parties he felt despair. ...
— The Young Alaskans • Emerson Hough

... fourth year of his mission, Williams suffered from a malady which seemed to him and his companion, Mr. Threlkeld, to necessitate his return home. The information was received by the islanders with something like despair. Old King Tamatoa came to him and said, "Viriamu, I have been thinking you are a strange man. JESUS did not take care of His body. He did not even shrink from death, and now you are afflicted you ...
— Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... wish for? if I am so occupied by business, and my attention is so much diverted to other subjects that I have not been able to watch for an opportunity of serving you? Point out to me what I can do for you, what you wish me to do. Why do you despair, before making a trial of me? Why are you in such haste to lose both your benefit and your friend? How can you tell whether I do not wish, or whether I do not know how to repay you: whether it be in intention or in opportunity that I am wanting? Make a trial of me." ...
— L. Annaeus Seneca On Benefits • Seneca

... is to hold in his own colony when he returns, and the stock he comes from, let me tell you, that he hath not means enough allowed him to support his station, and is likely to make the more depence from the narrowness of his income—from sheer despair breaking out of all bounds, and becoming extravagant, which is not his turn. But he likes to live as well as the rest of his company, and, between ourselves, has fell into some of the finist and most rakish ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... careless attitudes, but with fierce countenances, around a youthful prisoner, who forms the foreground figure, and is seated on a rock, with his languid limbs hanging over the precipice, which may be supposed to yawn beneath. It is impossible to describe the despair depicted in this figure: it is marked in his position, in the drooping of his head, which his nerveless arms seem with difficulty to support, and the little that may be seen of his face, over which, from his recumbent attitude, his hair falls in luxuriant profusion. All is alike ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects, and Curiosities of Art, (Vol. 2 of 3) • Shearjashub Spooner

... alone ... if there had been no man in the case to complicate matters and compromise the situation—in that first moment of despair Toni hated Leonard Dowson, loathed herself for imagining it would be possible to go away with him; and at the same time realized that whatever happened she would find it almost impossible to explain the man's ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... irreclaimable. There is always good ground to hope for the conversion of those unbelievers who retain a respect for virtue, if they are properly treated; and even those who are sunk in vice should not be abandoned in despair. Several of those who have returned to Christ during the last ten years, were men who had gone far in various forms of wickedness. And many of those converts from infidelity of whom we read in old religious ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... the note to which it all comes back is the monotone of a primitive life, like the day-long beat of camel bells. And more than all, it is the mood of Asia, so rarely penetrated, which is neither lightness or despair. ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... Glaucus was in despair, but it occurred to him to consult the enchantress Circe. Accordingly he repaired to her island—the same where afterwards Ulysses landed, as we shall see in one of our later stories. After mutual salutations, he said, "Goddess, I entreat ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... is, and he's getting better as fast as he can. What's more, he's a boy—in the depth of despair now, and in half-an-hour's time he'll be himself again, and ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... as mocks despair; And she that bore the promise of the world Within her sides, now hopeless, helmless, bare, At random o'er the wildering waters hurled; The reek of battle drifting slow a-lee Not sullener ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... exclaimed Gentz, in a tone of fervid tenderness, approaching Marianne, who went to meet him with a winning smile. "Do you know, dearest, that you have driven me to despair for a whole week? Not a word, not a message from you! Whenever I came to see you, I was turned away. Always the same terrible reply, 'Madame is not at home,' while I felt your nearness in every nerve and vein of mine, and while my throbbing heart was under the magic influence of ...
— LOUISA OF PRUSSIA AND HER TIMES • Louise Muhlbach

... remember it. In the miserable night he thought of it; in the dreary day, the wretched dawn, the ghostly, memory-haunted twilight. He did remember it. In agony, in sorrow, in remorse, in despair! 'Papa! Papa! Speak to me, dear Papa!' He heard the words again, and saw the face. He saw it fall upon the trembling hands, and heard the one prolonged low cry ...
— Dombey and Son • Charles Dickens

... examined before Bishop Bancroft, one of the Royal Commissioners. He believed his doom decided. He found himself treated as convicted before he was tried. A resignation of the Wardenship of the Stannaries had been extorted from him. 'He underwent,' Sir John Harington wrote, 'a downfall of despair as his greatest enemy could not have wished him so much harm as he would have done himself.' Sir John spoke of a period before 1618. He did not know how Ralegh's enemies could accumulate hate. Ralegh never put any faith in the equity of English criminal procedure. He was ...
— Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography • William Stebbing

... wickedness, without one sign of remorse or shame. [266] Dugdale had followed, driven mad, men said, by the Furies of an evil conscience, and with loud shrieks imploring those who stood round his bed to take away Lord Stafford. [267] Carstairs, too, was gone. His end had been all horror and despair; and, with his last breath, he had told his attendants to throw him into a ditch like a dog, for that he was not fit to sleep in a Christian burial ground. [268] But Oates and Dangerfield were still within the reach of the stern prince whom they had wronged. James, a short time before his accession, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... sat in her nightdress beside the window, her eagerness for the day allayed to an extent by her rising sense of panic. She tried to lay her despair. Unthinkable that this new day, dawning so pinkly over chimney pots, would not prove itself a friend in her great need. By eight-thirty, at the instance of a newspaper advertisement, she was the first applicant at the Acme Publishing Company, ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... "I should be in despair if you lost; but if you abstain from punting you will not lose, though you may let ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... conviction which I am sure nothing can shake. If you can share it the long mourning of your life will be at an end. For my own part I could never return to the old way of thinking without relapsing into unutterable despair. To do so would be virtually to give up faith in any immortality at all worth speaking of. For it is the long procession of our past selves, each with its own peculiar charm and incommunicable quality, slipping away from us as we pass on, and not the last self of all whom the ...
— Miss Ludington's Sister • Edward Bellamy

... day the Indians, seeming to despair of destroying the beleaguered party before succor might arrive, began to draw off, and on the fourth wholly disappeared. The men were by this time nearly famished for food. Even now there was nothing to be had except ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... such wills to do and bear, Assured in right, and mailed in prayer, Thou wilt not bow thee to despair, Carolina! Throw thy bold banner to the breeze! Front with thy ranks the threatening seas, Like thine own proud armorial trees, Carolina! Fling down thy gauntlet to the Huns, And roar the challenge from thy guns; Then leave the future ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... realized that he was lost. He called loudly for help, but as there was no one to hear his cries, he had at last thrown himself down on the ground in despair to wait ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Ozarks • Frank Gee Patchin

... the misuse of the words is found in the old story of the foreigner who fell into the water and cried out in terror and despair "I will ...
— Word Study and English Grammar - A Primer of Information about Words, Their Relations and Their Uses • Frederick W. Hamilton

... state of unconscious, and sometimes conscious degree of unfoldment, may be fortunate enough to obtain good results at the very first trial. If, therefore, nothing is perceived during the first few attempts, do not despair or become impatient, or imagine that you will never see anything. There is a royal road to crystal vision, but it is open only to the combined password of Calmness, Patience, and Perseverance. If at the first attempt to ride a bicycle, failure ...
— Clairvoyance and Occult Powers • Swami Panchadasi

... waiting for God's own time—her very words, Mat. Well, now her time has come, and I am all alone—all alone! Oh, mother—mother!" He threw himself down before the dead woman, and his form shook with emotion, but not a tear came to his eyes. Only that hard, stony look of hopeless despair. Mat crept up to him and took his head in her lap, smoothing ...
— The Fatal Glove • Clara Augusta Jones Trask

... sufferings have been greater than those of any of the other defendants. And this deponent also saith, that any further degradation must ruin his prospects in life for ever, and bring anguish and despair upon him, who has already suffered so severely from his attachment to this country; and he respectfully hopes, that his severe losses and ruined circumstances, his general exemplary conduct, his uninterrupted loyalty, and ...
— The Trial of Charles Random de Berenger, Sir Thomas Cochrane, • William Brodie Gurney

... of others which he apprehended, Douglas had voted for all the Crittenden amendments and resolutions, regardless of his personal predilections. "The prospects are gloomy," he wrote privately, "but I do not yet despair of the Union. We can never acknowledge the right of a State to secede and cut us off from the ocean and the world, without our consent. But in view of impending civil war with our brethren in nearly one-half of the States ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... Chevalier lived none starved, at least," the old man said, his head bowed in despair upon the top of his staff. "What is to become ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... floor. This terrified Mell, for that kitchen-floor was the idol of Mrs. Davis's heart. It was scrubbed every day, and kept as white as snow. Mell knew that her step-mother's eyes would be keen as Blue Beard's to detect a spot; and, with all the energy of despair, she rubbed and scoured with soap and hot water. It was all in vain. The ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... ever know what a moment of despair the Breton must have passed through when he realised the hopelessness ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... despair, and all sat and thought a great while. It was growing late in the day, and Mrs. Peterkin hadn't had her cup of coffee. At last Elizabeth Eliza said, "They say that the lady from Philadelphia, who is staying in town, is very wise. ...
— The Peterkin Papers • Lucretia P Hale

... to six when Peter was in despair and Alice Galleon had ordered the tea-things to be taken away Clare Rossiter rushed in. She stood a whirlwind of flying colours in the middle of the Studio now sinking into twilight. "Alice dear, I am most terribly sorry ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... towards that erring daughter? should he have closed the door of home and heart so fast, and kept it barred against her? was she not still his own flesh and blood? and could he justify to himself the iron sternness which had perhaps now driven her to despair? How could he hope for mercy who had shown neither mercy nor pity to one whose sinful disobedience and folly could not make her less his child, though doubtless a sadly misguided one? When morning came, Mr Huntingdon rose a wiser and a humbler man. He poured out his heart in prayer ...
— Amos Huntingdon • T.P. Wilson

... first looked up, and there was such an expression of abject and almost hopeless helplessness upon her face, that had Josephine not pitied her before, she must now have done so. That look said so plainly: "Can you indeed help me? Is it possible that I can ever be lifted out of this pit of despair?"—that the city girl accepted it instead of words, ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... the distance to the helpless lad with a practised eye, and groaned in despair. "They'll fall short by a dozen feet," he murmured hopelessly. "God forgive me, for bringing him ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... common. Their intellects were in a state of unstable equilibrium. As poets, they could excite the enthusiasm of the masses, but as political guides they were mere Jack-o'-Lanterns, leading to the deadly swamp of despair. Dostoievsky was in some respects the most interesting and also the most typical of the group. De Voguee met him in his old age, and the account he gives of his appearance is most graphic. His history could ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... and to maintain by force of arms so just a title, transmitted to him by his gallant ancestors: that Crecy, Poictiers, and Azincour were sufficient to instruct them in their superiority over the enemy; nor did he despair of adding new names to the glorious catalogue; that a king of France had been prisoner in London, and a king of England had been crowned at Paris; events which should animate them to an emulation of like glory ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... out the answer, the knell of his life, 'I have found thee, because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.' Ah, my friend! if that were all we had to say, it might well stiffen us into stony despair. Thank God—thank God! such an issue is not inevitable. Christ speaks to you. Christ is your Friend. He loves you, and He speaks to you now—speaks to you of your danger, but in order that you may never rush into it and be engulfed by it; speaks to you ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... mere boy, friendless and without work, in a great city, three thousand miles from home. If another American youth was ever lured into a baser trap, by a baser official, his name has never been recorded. Benjamin was at his wits' end—he knew not what to do. His feelings bordered upon despair. Had he not been a wonderful youth to rise superior to difficulties, he must have yielded ...
— From Boyhood to Manhood • William M. Thayer

... Baltimore depot, where I could see and not be observed. Presently, the train came rumbling in on time. When it came to a stop I watched with fear and trembling to see the passengers descend. I saw every car emptied, and there was no Mr. Lincoln. I was well-nigh in despair, and when about to leave I saw three persons slowly emerge from the last sleeping-car. I could not mistake the long, lank form of Mr. Lincoln, and my heart bounded with joy and gratitude. He had on a soft low-crowned hat, a muffler around his neck, and a short overcoat. Anyone who ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... love of such a woman was enough to pull any broken man together—to drag a man out of his grave. And he thought this with inward despair, which kept him silent as much almost as his astonishment. At last he managed to stammer out a ...
— Within the Tides • Joseph Conrad

... came, and then school was over. It was the long vacation. Winifred Inger went away to London. Ursula was left alone in Cossethay. A terrible, outcast, almost poisonous despair possessed her. It was no use doing anything, or being anything. She had no connection with other people. Her lot was isolated and deadly. There was nothing for her anywhere, but this black disintegration. Yet, within all the great attack ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... essayists, and, as yet, they are our best. In point of style, these essays are different from anything that could now be produced. Not only is the thinking different—the manner of setting forth the thinking is different also. We despair of reaching the thought, we despair equally of reaching the language. We can no more bring back their turns of sentence than we can bring back their tournaments. Montaigne, in his serious moods, has a curiously rich and intricate eloquence; and Bacon's sentence bends beneath ...
— Dreamthorp - A Book of Essays Written in the Country • Alexander Smith

... hard ice so speedily that all attempts to remove it from the deck are in vain. In a few hours the vessel may be changed into an unmanageable floating block of ice which the sailors, exhausted by hard labour, must in despair abandon to its fate. Such an icing down, though with a fortunate issue, befell the steamer Sofia in the month of October off Bear Island, during the Swedish Polar Expedition of ...
— The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II • A.E. Nordenskieold

... be informed in the other interview.' Then he said, as if in a burst of irrepressible despair, 'I—I leave it all incomplete! There is a spell upon me, I think!' And then added, almost as if ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... about it," old Principle went on, "and so do you, but the one I'm most sorry for is Ben Burkstone. I hear say he's fit to kill himself with despair!" ...
— His Big Opportunity • Amy Le Feuvre

... Beauty's,—she that with the living bloom Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light: There is enough of sorrowing, and quite Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear,— Enough of chilly droppings from her bowl; Enough of fear and shadowy despair, To frame her cloudy prison for ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... very devil himself pursued him, Billy turned and fled, retrieving his bicycle and whirled away noiselessly down the road, caring not where he was going, ready to hang himself, wild with despair and self-condemnation. ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... all this, Barty, and think of the despair you are bringing on one lost lonely soul who loves you as a mother loves her first-born, and has founded such hopes on you; dismiss this pretty little middle-class puritan from your thoughts ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... hours of five and six. Nine miles only lay before him, and that thought again revived him. He reached the water's edge, and hailed the ferryboat, which was then on the other side of the river. At that instant a loud shout smote his ear; it was the halloo of his pursuers. Despair was in his look. He shouted to the boatman, and bade him pull fast. The man obeyed; but he had to breast a strong stream, and had a lazy bark and heavy sculls to contend with. He had scarcely left the shore when, another shout was raised from the pursuers. The tramp of their ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... in gentlest manner / did his guests attend: The land around with stranger / was crowded, and with friend. They bade the sorely wounded / nurse with especial care: Whereby the knights high-hearted / 'neath all their wounds knew not despair. ...
— The Nibelungenlied - Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original • trans. by George Henry Needler

... ought to be thankful that we have a spot of dry land on which to put our feet," said Boxall. "As we have been preserved hitherto, we ought not to despair, or fear that we shall be allowed to perish. At daylight, when we shall ascertain our position better than we can do now, we may be able to judge what ...
— Saved from the Sea - The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures • W.H.G. Kingston

... attempts had been made to deepen and embank the natural streams, but with slender success. Hardly a single navigable canal had been even projected. The English of that day were in the habit of talking with mingled admiration and despair of the immense trench by which Lewis the Fourteenth had made a junction between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. They little thought that their country would, in the course of a few generations, be intersected, at the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... large copper caldron of milk and a cage of poultry. I was confounded, and tried to give a good baksheesh to the clerk, but he utterly declined. At Girgeh one Mishrehgi was waiting for me, and was in despair because he had only time to get a few hundred eggs, two turkeys, a heap of butter and a can of milk. At Keneh one Issa (Jesus) also lent a donkey, and sent me three boxes of delicious Mecca dates, which Omar thought stingy. Such attentions are agreeable here where ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... plunge into the hazardous experiment of a new and untried life, to be lived on a moral plane still almost inconceivable to him, whose sanctions and rewards are higher than his thoughts as heaven is higher than earth. While I despair of inducing him by my reasonings to make the smallest change in the least of his habits, I ask him, not with a light heart, but with a hopeful one, to submit his whole being to a change that is for him the making of his whole world anew. 'Credo quia impossis- ble,' I believe it can be done ...
— An Inevitable Awakening • ARTHUR JUDSON BROWN

... and inventive in proportion to its peril, and forgetting the very instinct of life in the longing for freedom, at last gets to fear nobody and nothing. After fruitless struggles it surrenders in despair, lies down, closes its eyes, and the next instant once more begins the ...
— The Day of Wrath • Maurus Jokai

... His night had been very bad ; all the fair promise of amendment was shaken; he had now some symptoms even dangerous to his life. O good heaven, what a day did this prove! I saw not a human face, save at dinner and then, what faces! gloom and despair in all, and silence to every species of intelligence. . . ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madam D'Arblay Volume 2 • Madame D'Arblay

... In despair she fled to the dressing room and stood there concealed by the curtains. In a few moments the conductor passed, and she peeped at his retreating figure. He stopped in the narrow passage by the window and studied ...
— Miss Mink's Soldier and Other Stories • Alice Hegan Rice

... would have done, but that the chance never came. And that was the doing of Heidrek himself, or of his crew. What madness of despair fell on those pirates I cannot say, but Asbiorn has it that they went berserk as one man at the last, as the wilder Vikings will, when the worst has to ...
— A Sea Queen's Sailing • Charles Whistler

... strangle you. But you were always a good lad, Harry, and I loved you, you know I did. And I felt she didn't belong to me: and the children don't. And I besotted myself, and gambled, and drank, and took to all sorts of devilries out of despair and fury. And now comes this Mohun, and she likes him, ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray



Words linked to "Despair" :   disheartenment, hope, surrender, desperate, despond, desperation, status, feeling, hopelessness, dismay, resignation, condition, discouragement, pessimism



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