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Wretch   Listen
noun
Wretch  n.  
1.
A miserable person; one profoundly unhappy. "The wretch that lies in woe." "Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?"
2.
One sunk in vice or degradation; a base, despicable person; a vile knave; as, a profligate wretch. Note: Wretch is sometimes used by way of slight or ironical pity or contempt, and sometimes to express tenderness; as we say, poor thing. "Poor wretch was never frighted so."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wretch" Quotes from Famous Books



... "Oh, you wretch!" she exclaimed. "To keep such news in your pocket all day! I'm going to tell Captain Doane never to give you any letters again, if you can't deliver ...
— Mary Ware's Promised Land • Annie Fellows Johnston

... the stupid wretch, 'then I'll say you're coming, and he may stretch the large canvas; for the skipper says he likes a wet jacket when he ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete • Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

... we ever know who Mr. Aram Balencourt really was? An agent of the 'Forty'? Well, perhaps so, but I can't help thinking that there was always a bigger man behind him. The same conclusion would apply to the case of that poor wretch Grenelli in the affair of the Russia and the box of dynamite. Some one with brains pulled the strings to make all ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... the man who exercises himself against such appearances. Stay, wretch, do not be carried away. Great is the combat, divine is the work; it is for kingship, for freedom, for happiness, for freedom from perturbation. Remember God, call on him as a helper and protector, as men at sea call on the Dioscuri in a storm. For what is a greater storm ...
— The Chief End of Man • George S. Merriam

... inaccuracy saved me from instant death; the blow fell short, the point of the razor grazing my throat. In a moment, I know not how, I found myself at the other side of the bed, uttering shriek after shriek; the wretch was, however, determined ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume III. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... officer appointed to dispense the public charity (the lawful charity; not that once preached upon a Mount), to call them in, and question them, and say to this one, 'Go to such a place,' to that one, 'Come next week;' to make a football of another wretch, and pass him here and there, from hand to hand, from house to house, until he wearied and lay down to die; or started up and robbed, and so became a higher sort of criminal, whose claims allowed of no delay. ...
— The Chimes • Charles Dickens

... dress," said Arthur. "I'm always wrong. I'm a miserable wretch, and nobody understands me. I sha'n't go to the ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... disgustedly, under his breath. "That impossible scoundrel! He has sold himself to those plotters, and now would betray me. The wretch!" ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... have spread the infamous slander! What dreadful treachery of some wretch or gossiping wench, who knows nothing about me! And how can she believe it! How in such a town as Copenhagen can it be a matter of doubt for five minutes, if a Superior Court Counsellor is married or not! Or maybe there is some other Counsellor ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors • Various

... "The wretch, the rascal, the scoundrel! If he ever dares to come to this house again, I'll slam the door in ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... answered Duncan with measureless contempt in his tone, "you are a miserable coward, a white-livered wretch, whose life wouldn't be worth saving if it were in danger. Go back to your bed! Go to sleep! or go to hell, damn you, for the cowardly whelp that ...
— A Captain in the Ranks - A Romance of Affairs • George Cary Eggleston

... so horrible as that has happened, Sidney," cried the Queen. "It has only delivered her into that wretch's power—which is quite horrible enough! But there's hope still. The Baron says Prince Mirliflor is quite near here—and he's sending him to rescue her. And a real prince like dear Mirliflor ought to be a match for that miserable Rubenfresser and ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... craftiness. He had known of women caught in traps of folly and passion and weakness and had learned how terror taught them to lie and shift and even show abnormal cleverness. Above all he knew exactly what the world would say if a poor wretch of a girl told a story like this of a youngster like Donal—when he was no longer on ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... of heavy Benson that they were in or inclining to the state; upon which an undercook and a dairymaid voluntarily threw up their places, averring that "they did not want no young men, but to have their sex spied after by an old wretch like that," indicating the ponderous butler, "was a little too much for a Christian woman," and then they were ungenerous enough to glance at Benson's well-known marital calamity, hinting that some men met their deserts. So intolerable did ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... because it sets forth in a definite shape a picture of the struggle in which so many perish, and because every individual life is implicated in it through memory. Ah! I, hapless wretch, should have been too happy to hear the sound of those heavenly voices I ...
— Gambara • Honore de Balzac

... immortal gods'. We do not, in this, contradict your Stoic; we, too, affirm that only the wise man is really happy. Happiness is as impossible for a mind distracted by passions, as for a city divided by contending factions. The terrors of death haunt the guilty wretch, 'who finds out too late that he has devoted himself to money or power or glory to no purpose'. But the wise man's life is unalloyed happiness. Rejoicing in a clear conscience, 'he remembers the past with gratitude, enjoys the blessings ...
— Cicero - Ancient Classics for English Readers • Rev. W. Lucas Collins

... being sat at the Sessions-House, the Keepers were sent for and Examin'd, and the Magistrates were in great Consternation, that so horrid a Wretch had escap'd their Justice. It being intended that he should have been brought down to the Court the last Day of the Sessions, and order'd for Execution in two or three Days after; if it appear'd that he was the Person Condemn'd for the breaking ...
— The History of the Remarkable Life of John Sheppard • Daniel Defoe

... I," said Harry, getting up, "Jump over and catch that old wretch. What made him run ...
— Hollowdell Grange - Holiday Hours in a Country Home • George Manville Fenn

... white fled like a man the speed of whose horse is his last resource. Already they could see the terror depicted on his face, but just as he was about twenty feet from the river, the lasso of an Indian caught him, and the unlucky wretch, thrown violently from his saddle fell upon ...
— Wood Rangers - The Trappers of Sonora • Mayne Reid

... way up and down, the same as a Poster Girl, and used to sport a Velvet Shroud with Black Beads on it, and could wield a Tooth-Pick and carry on a Conversation at the same time, he knew that sooner or later some Handsome Wretch with Money would try to ...
— More Fables • George Ade

... more harrowing one, to have him slip through your fingers, precipitate himself into mid-air, and drop four stories to the pavement, scattering his brains far and wide. There was not a vestige of hope for the poor wretch. ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... called loudly, "I came here to save these people and to defeat you, and I have succeeded. You cannot take this fort and you cannot frighten its men to surrender it. Renegade, murderer of your kind, wretch, liar, I know and these people know that if they were to surrender you would not keep your word if you could. How can any one believe a traitor? How can your Indian allies believe that the man who murders ...
— The Riflemen of the Ohio - A Story of the Early Days along "The Beautiful River" • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Madame Leo as well as her husband took a kindly interest in Chopin, showing this, for instance, by providing him with linen. And yet Leo, this man who does him all sorts of services, and whose smiling guest he is before and after, is spoken of by Chopin as if he were the most "despicable wretch imaginable"; and this for no other reason than that everything has not been done exactly as he wished it to be done. Unless we assume these revilings to be no more than explosions of momentary ill-humour, we must find Chopin convicted of duplicity and ingratitude. In the letters ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... Lancelot went to the Cross, and found his helm, his sword, and his horse taken away. And then he called himself a very wretch, and most unhappy of all knights. And there he said, My sin and my wickedness have brought me unto great dishonour. For when I sought worldly adventures for worldly desires I ever achieved them, and had the ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... most artistically conceived of all the tales, though its subject repels us; the wretchedness of life is shown in the persons of numerous guests through a succession of years, with the effect of a multiplicity of instances; yet at the end it is found that the worst wretch of all is the constant guest with the cold, unfeeling heart,—the climax of misery is not to have lived at all. The tale is carefully composed, especially in those points of keeping, balance, and contrast in which Hawthorne was expert, ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... of brain that ought to rise above keeping bees and take me higher than honey-combs. Yet look at hard truth. The clods round me get enough by their sweat to keep wives and feed children. I'm only a penniless, backboneless, hand-to-mouth wretch, living on the ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... and yet, what I have told you is the truth. It is the work of that miserable wretch and thief, Chupin. Ah, canaille! If I ever find him within reach of my arm he will ...
— The Honor of the Name • Emile Gaboriau

... my proofs as vain might be withstood! Ay me, poor soul, why is my cause so good? He's happy, that his love dares boldly credit; To whom his wench can say, "I never did it." 10 He's cruel, and too much his grief doth favour, That seeks the conquest by her loose behaviour. Poor wretch,[260] I saw when thou didst think I slumbered; Not drunk, your faults on the spilt wine I numbered. I saw your nodding eyebrows much to speak, Even from your cheeks, part of a voice did break. Not silent were thine eyes, the board with wine Was scribbled, and thy fingers writ ...
— The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Christopher Marlowe

... both sides. Before he was twenty he followed the army as a petty chapman, and amassed an excellent fortune by re-acquiring after a battle the very goods and trinkets which he had sold at an immense price before it. Such a wretch could do nothing but prosper, and in due tune the sutler's brat became a commissary-general. He made millions in a period of general starvation, and cleared at least a hundred thousand dollars by embezzling the shoe leather ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... the plank which had saved the life of Mrs. Jeffreys, Robert Seymour looked about him and listened. Now and again he heard a faint, choking scream uttered by some drowning wretch, and a few hundred yards away caught sight of a black object which he thought might be a boat. If so, he reflected that it must be full. Moreover, he could not overtake it. No; his only chance was to make for the shore. He was a strong swimmer, ...
— Benita, An African Romance • H. Rider Haggard

... single person for life, in conjunction with a council: by agitators: by major-generals: by a new kind of representatives from the three kingdoms: by the keepers of the liberties of England; with other schemes that have slipped out of my memory. Cromwell was dead; his son Richard, a weak, ignorant wretch, who gave up his monarchy much in the same manner with the two usurping kings of Brentford.[9] The people harassed with taxes and other oppressions; the King's party, then called the Cavaliers began to recover their spirits. The few nobility scattered through the kingdom, who lived in a ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Volume II • Jonathan Swift

... sir, if any change comes over my fortunes in the time it will take to cross the width of the quay. But I should like us to be quits for such a momentous service; that is, if you are not laughing at an unlucky wretch, so I wish that you may fall in love with an opera-dancer. You would understand the pleasures of intemperance then, and might perhaps grow lavish of the wealth that you have ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... text-book, a title, a will, a deed, a business letter? Far from it! He wrote poetry, if you please! The little wretch wrote poetry! That's what the artistic temperament leads a man to! Bah! I hate, I despise, I ...
— A Woman Named Smith • Marie Conway Oemler

... mysterious disappearance of the British royal crown, which somebody had swiped the same day that Ed kicked the bucket; and of course I had to trail along with him! Well, to cover up a "narsty" scandal, my unerring friend, Hemlock Holmes, detected the guilty wretch within two days, but the culprit was so highly placed in society that the cops couldn't do a thing to him. In fact, he was one of the dukes, and after King George, Ed's successor, had recovered the crown,—which was found in an old battered valise in a corner of the duke's garage,—and ...
— The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons • James Francis Thierry

... been a bolster, and bore him away. At first the men of the place wanted to hang him on the spot, but Gurnet claimed him as his prisoner, and would not allow this. He gave him his liberty, and the poor wretch maintained himself for many a day as a wandering minstrel. At last he managed to get on board of a Spanish vessel, and was never more heard of, but he left his guitar behind him. It was picked up on the shore, where he left it, probably, in his haste ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... always do move when they're pulled out. My leg ran, but I not being there it didn't know where to run to, so it merely flopped about aimlessly on the same spot, and the man watched it, clutching at his nose and smiling—smiling, the heartless wretch!—at my ...
— The Adventures of Maya the Bee • Waldemar Bonsels

... wretch," my uncle cried from as far off as he could see me. "Your boxes are not packed, and my papers are not arranged; where's the key of my carpet bag? and what have you ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... wretch was never one of the sailors on the BRITANNIA; he had stolen the name of Ayrton ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... "Wretch! dost thou dare to make such an appeal to me?" cried Lady Exeter rising. "Begone, instantly, I say. Thou hast no order whatever from me; or if thou fanciest so, I ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 1 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... was not of nature quick in deciphering such stories, could not fail to read. And then the twitching motion of the man's hands, and the restless shuffling of his feet, produced a nervous feeling that if some remedy were not applied quickly, some alleviation given to the misery of the suffering wretch, human power would be strained too far, and the man would break to pieces,—or else the mind of the man. Sir Marmaduke, during his journey in the cab, had resolved that, old as he was, he would take this ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... could distinguish the faint ticking of the watch in his pocket, the hiss of the breath between the giant's clinched teeth. Twice the fellow tried to utter something, his lips shaking as with the palsy, his ashen face the picture of terror. No wretch dragged shrieking to the scaffold could have formed a more pitiful sight, but there was no mercy in the eyes ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... wretch!" breathed Charlotte, between her teeth, as she seized the sketch-book and whirled the baby to her feet. "Oh! Is this the way you pay me for all I've done for ...
— The Second Violin • Grace S. Richmond

... for the purpose of removing the untractable chancellor, Camden, from his seat in the ministry. Lord Shelburne, however, expressed a conviction "that after the dismissal of the present worthy chancellor the seals would go a begging," and that "there would not be found in the kingdom a wretch so base and mean-spirited as to accept of them on the conditions on which ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... appear in every realistic aspect of most stringent agony and terror. The colossal forms of flesh with which the multitudes of saved and damned are equally endowed, befit that extremity of physical and mental anguish more than they suit the serenity of bliss eternal. There is a wretch, twined round with fiends, gazing straight before him as he sinks; one half of his face is buried in his hand, the other fixed in a stony spasm of despair, foreshadowing perpetuity of hell. Nothing could express with sublimity of a higher order the sense ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... night involved the sky, The Atlantic billows roared, When such a destined wretch as I, Washed headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... p. 221.).—Is not the word hunks, so common in people's mouths,—An old hunks, an old miser or miserable wretch, to be referred to the ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 206, October 8, 1853 • Various

... "Perennial! Wretch! If there is anything I am sensitive about, really sensitive about, it is my age! Mr. Dunn, I beseech you, save me from further insult! Dear 'Lily,' run away now. You are much too tired to dance, and besides there is Mrs. Craig-Urquhart waiting to talk your beloved Wagner-Tennyson ...
— Corporal Cameron • Ralph Connor

... know what a humbug you make me feel when you talk of 'my innocence' and 'unconsciousness' and 'lack of vanity,' and all the rest of it. I have been feeling more and more what a vain, deceitful, hypocritical little wretch I am ever since I knew you. I have been expecting you to find me out every day, and I ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... privation she bestow'd a frame, And dignified a nothing with a name; A wretch devoid of use, of sense, of grace, The insolvent tenant ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... poor old wretch what journeys upon the roads, master, and maybe I picks a crust here and gets a drink of water there, and the shelter of the pig-stye wall to rest the bones of ...
— Six Plays • Florence Henrietta Darwin

... friends before the Newgate drop, To see a culprit throttled, chanced to stop: "Alas!" cried one as round in air he spun, "That miserable wretch's race is run." "True," said the other drily, "to his cost, The race is run—but, by a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, July 24, 1841 • Various

... circumstances I have been witness of her unassailable good temper. I have seen her wear a new bonnet in a shower of rain. These clumsy hands of mine have spilled lobster-salad upon her dress. That little wretch of a brother of hers has pulled her back hair down. Her sister Sophonisba has abused her. Still has she been ...
— The Cockaynes in Paris - 'Gone abroad' • Blanchard Jerrold

... one of his ringing laughs—the fine, deep Ho, ho! that would drown all our effeminate modern gigglings, the sound of which lingers amongst the memories of my boyhood. "He well deserves it—he well deserves it—the wretch! Ho, ho!"—and he shouted with laughter, and threw himself into all the rough unceremonious humour of the ballad, finishing off by relating his own dire experience of the doings of Cumberland and his dragoons in the north. It seems ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume V. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... seen, Sir, (was his lofty reply); I hope I see things from a greater distance."' In the Garrick Corres (i. 473) is a piteous letter in bad French, written from St. Malo, by Bickerstaff to Garrick, endorsed by Garrick, 'From that poor wretch Bickerstaff: I could ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... wonder and no more, for though the police was so placed they could soon learn a lot they didn't know about the would-be murderer, the wretch himself escaped 'em that time. But a very interesting thing threw light, and when Teddy's cottage came to be hunted over, though not a stick offered to show who he might be, or where he might have sped, some fingerprints was took by the police and they got a good picture ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... Indian father," continued Radisson, "of the perils of the woods, of the abandonment of his squaws and children, of the risks of hunger and the peril of death by foes. All these you avoid by trading with us here. But although I am mightily angry, I will take pity on this wretch and let him still live. Go," addressing the brave with his weapon outstretched, "take this as my gift to you, and depart. When you meet your brothers, the English, tell them my name, and add that we are soon coming ...
— The Ontario Readers - Third Book • Ontario Ministry of Education

... proofs of the book and rewrite the prefatory memoir. In her irritation she wrote to Agnes. Agnes replied sympathetically, and Mrs. Failing, clever as she was, fell into the power of the younger woman. They discussed him at first as a wretch of a boy; then he got drunk and somehow it seemed more criminal. All that she needed now was a personal grievance, which Agnes casually supplied. Though vindictive, she was determined to treat him well, and thought with satisfaction ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... coursing his pallid cheeks, fell upon his person, where their moisture was distinctly visible; and from the bottom of his chest to his gorge, rose and receded, with almost every breath, a spasmodic action, as if a body, as large or larger than a billiard-ball, were choking him. The miserable wretch repeatedly struck his chest with the palm of his hand to abate this sensation, but it ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 441 - Volume 17, New Series, June 12, 1852 • Various

... sins which are due to hereditary and inborn taint, and to the sins which are due to clear physical causes, then the total of active sin is greatly reduced. Could one, for example, imagine that Providence, all-wise and all-merciful, as every creed proclaims, could punish the unfortunate wretch who hatches criminal thoughts behind the slanting brows of a criminal head? A doctor has but to glance at the cranium to predicate the crime. In its worst forms all crime, from Nero to Jack the Ripper, is the product of absolute lunacy, ...
— The Vital Message • Arthur Conan Doyle

... said," replied Doctor Danvers. "True it is that man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. I speak, however, of your servant, Merton—a most unhappy wretch." ...
— The Evil Guest • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... one of them I have seen. By his communications I find more depends on myself than I could have imagined, and more on the movements of M. de Vervillin. Do not be too sanguine—take time for your own decisions, and grant me time; for I feel like a wretch whose fate must soon be sealed. On no account engage, because you think this division near enough to sustain you, but at least keep off until you hear from me more positively, or we can meet. I find it equally hard to strike a blow against my rightful prince, ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... 'Spit, you wretch, on the blade of my knife; bewitch my knife's blade for me, and I shall change you into a ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... ready for them. Now, one volley as soon as they are together, boys, and then the blades. Bayonet every wretch who does not throw ...
— Blue Jackets - The Log of the Teaser • George Manville Fenn

... of fighting him. He asked no more. You have made him a hero. Idiot! And if it had chanced ... (I am sure you rushed at it like a madman as usual) ... if you had been wounded, killed perhaps!... You wretch! I should never have forgiven you ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... to his shameful lust The will of my most seeming virtuous queen: O, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there! From me, whose love was of that dignity, That it went hand in hand even with the vow I made to her in marriage; and to decline Upon a wretch,[108] whose natural gifts were poor To those of mine! But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air; Brief let me be.—Sleeping within mine orchard, My custom always in the afternoon, Upon my secure[109] ...
— Hamlet • William Shakespeare

... wretch?" shrieked his father's voice from the yard. "I suppose you want to make common cause with ...
— Dame Care • Hermann Sudermann

... evidently that, then, and we must have patience with the dear little girl. The husband must have been an unmitigated wretch to have left such a deep scar upon ...
— The Man and the Moment • Elinor Glyn

... one must be unsteady who goes to the races!" cried Rosamond. "You were so liberal about balls, I did expect one little good word for races; instead of which, you are declaring a poor wretch who goes to them capable of embezzling two thousand pounds, and I dare say ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Britain born, With horror paused to view the havoc done, Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn, Wiped his stern eye, then fiercer grasped his gun. Nor with less zeal shall Britain's peaceful son Exult the debt of sympathy to pay; Riches nor poverty the tax shall shun, Nor prince nor peer, the wealthy nor the gay, Nor the poor peasant's ...
— Some Poems by Sir Walter Scott • Sir Walter Scott

... "But the wretch shan't starve," said Kate. "My money, small as it is, will carry him over this bout. I have told him that he shall have it, and that I expect him to spend it. Moreover, I have no doubt that Aunt Greenow would lend ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... not his dog, for it stopped drinking, tucked its tail in, and cowered at the sound of his voice. Then it came from the water, and sat down on its base among the stones, and looked at him. A real dog was it? What a guy! What a thin wretch of a little black dog! It sat and stared—a mongrel who might once have been pretty. It stared at Jean Liotard with the pathetic gaze of a dog so thin and hungry that it earnestly desires to go to men and get fed once more, but has been so kicked and beaten that it dare not. It seemed ...
— Tatterdemalion • John Galsworthy

... "Poor wretch! She suffers like that, then, over a rascally fellow not worth a single tear. It's marvellous, Major, what women do see in men that they can go on loving them. Has she come out ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... remained; for, stretching forth the stump, Giles steadfastly averred that he felt an invisible thumb and fingers with as vivid a sensation as before the real ones were amputated. A maimed and miserable wretch he was; but one, nevertheless, whom the world could not trample on, and had no right to scorn, either in this or any previous stage of his misfortunes, since he had still kept up the courage and spirit of a man, asked nothing in charity, and with ...
— The Snow Image • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... his father and told him of Bradner's fate," returned Dick. "But we have got to keep our eyes wide open. We all know what a wretch Arnold Baxter is, and out in this wild country almost anything is liable ...
— The Rover Boys out West • Arthur M. Winfield

... of the nostrils had increased; but at the physician's last remark she could control herself no longer, and burst forth like a madwoman: "And you pretend to be my friend, pretend to be a fairminded man? You are the tool, the obedient echo of the infamous wretch who now stretches his robber hand toward my most precious possession! Ay, look at me as though my frank speech was rousing the greatest wrath in your cowardly soul! Where was the ocean-deep gulf when the perjured betrayer ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... fawning wretch! wouldst thou betray him too? Hence from my sight! I will not hear a traitor; 'Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us.— Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me: ...
— All for Love • John Dryden

... trained to seeing far into the darkest nights. From his corner, the door of the house was quite visible. There he would stay till the sun came up, if need be. He would wait for his brother! His brother? No, for that dog of a Tonet! When the wretch came out ... what a pity his knife wasn't handy! But he could kill him somehow, either strangle him, or perhaps pound his head in with a stone. Afterwards, he would go in and fix the woman, rip her open with the butcher-knife, or something of the sort. There was time to think of that. ...
— Mayflower (Flor de mayo) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... of some secret, awful vice that seizes upon a man, and makes him a pariah from genteel society. I would lay a guinea that many a lady who has just been kind enough to rend the above lines lays down the book, after this confession of mine that I am a smoker, and says, "Oh, the vulgar wretch!" and passes ...
— The Fitz-Boodle Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Corridon was produced "to prove the existence of the Fenian conspiracy." Little notice was taken of him. Mr. Crean asked him barely a trivial question or two. Mr. Martin and Mr. Sullivan, when asked if they desired to cross-examine him, replied silently by gestures of loathing; and the wretch left the table—crawled from it—like a crippled murderer from the scene ...
— The Wearing of the Green • A.M. Sullivan

... disgrace with all the family, and his mistress did not speak to him. The Count, who had become acquainted with Tonio during his first visit to Sorrento, could not repress a movement of horror at the appearance of the wretch. Far, however, from being angry, Tonio seemed glad to see him, and testified his pleasure by various affectionate signs. Gaetano, who was absent from the room, just then returned, and at the request of Signora Rovero sang several duets with Aminta. ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... congratulations to condolences,' returned Audrey a little wickedly; and then, as though to atone for her joke, she suddenly knelt down before her sister and put her arms round her. 'Dear Gage, I do feel such a wretch for having upset you like this. No wonder Percival owes me a grudge. Now, do say something nice to me before I go—there's a darling!' and, of course, Geraldine ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... and come and have dinner, otherwise I should have been quite alone. If there's one thing I cannot bear it's being alone in the evening. And to think that anybody chooses to be alone when he needn't! Look at that wretch there," and she pointed to Georgie, "who lives all by himself instead of marrying. Liking to be alone is the worst habit I know; much worse ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... all trace of her is lost," replied the poor wretch, kneeling in the darkness before the black shadow, which was more like a statue of ...
— The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5 - The Romance of a Mummy and Egypt • Theophile Gautier

... the pen and paper from his pocket, eagerly strode over to the poor wretch, and held ...
— The Bradys Beyond Their Depth - The Great Swamp Mystery • Anonymous

... wisdom? And if God, the all-knowing and all-powerful, created men as they are, strong and weak, wise and foolish, good, bad, and indifferent; there is no more injustice in Spurgeon's burning in Hell than in the damnation of the worst wretch ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (First Series) • George W. Foote

... definition I gave you, you sleepy-headed wretch, said Stephen, when I began to try to think out the matter for myself. Do you remember the night? Cranly lost his temper and began to talk ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... in the dirt, upsetting tables and chairs and raising a terrible uproar. The desperate wretch plunged his knife again and again into the body of the enraged spaniel; the latter only clinched his teeth tighter and endeavored to tear his enemy by main ...
— Mlle. Fouchette - A Novel of French Life • Charles Theodore Murray

... Herrada and eighteen conspirators left the house of Almagro's son with drawn swords in their hands and armed from top to toe. They ran towards the house of Pizarro, crying out, "Death to the tyrant! death to the infamous wretch!" They entered the palace, killed Francisco de Chaves, who had appeared in haste on hearing the noise, and gained the hall, where was Francisco Pizarro, with his brother Francisco-Martin, the doctor Juan Velasquez, and a dozen servants. These jumped out of the windows, ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... him?" She reached up to take the book he was holding out in his left hand, and the next instant his right arm was round her neck and he had kissed her full on the lips. "Oh, you wretch!" she cried, breaking free; and laughed, next moment, as he ...
— The Westcotes • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... shivering wretch, who had a prosperous look about him; and as they pulled him out of the train his tall hat fell off and rattled on the iron rails. No one stopped to pick it up; it was ...
— A Queen's Error • Henry Curties

... him, gasping with incredulous scorn. "Adapt his art? As he wants to? Unhappy wretch, what lingo are you talking? If you mean that it isn't every honest man ...
— The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... "Peace, thou wretch!" said Don Lope; "speak not a word, but immediately untie my horse, and as you expect to live, mind you make not noise enough to disturb even ...
— Gomez Arias - The Moors of the Alpujarras, A Spanish Historical Romance. • Joaquin Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio

... somewhat of a usurer, named M. Geborand, who had amassed two millions in the manufacture of coarse cloth, serges, and woollen galloons. Never in his whole life had M. Geborand bestowed alms on any poor wretch. After the delivery of that sermon, it was observed that he gave a sou every Sunday to the poor old beggar-women at the door of the cathedral. There were six of them to share it. One day the Bishop caught ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... and the good allowed to prevail in peace. The privacy of the great place, where she never met anyone she knew, the beauty of the music, the stateliness of the service offered every day in equal perfection to any poor wretch choosing to turn his back for an hour on the perplexities of life, all helped to hush her grievances to sleep and fill her heart with tenderness for those who were not happy, and for those who did not know they were unhappy, and for ...
— The Benefactress • Elizabeth Beauchamp

... days; Kings worshipp'd him, and minstrels sang his praise; But when Christ's doctrine through the dark North flam'd, His, and all evil spirits' might was tam'd. He now is but a raven; yet is still Full strong enough to work on thee his will: Lost is the wretch who in his power falls— Vainly he shrieks, in vain ...
— Romantic Ballads - translated from the Danish; and Miscellaneous Pieces • George Borrow

... frame, for he had in the last few days, taken leave of four motherless girls, pledges of love by a wife whom he had fondly loved, and of whom he had been suddenly bereaved. Well might he feel for this poor wretch, for he had known ...
— A Book For The Young • Sarah French

... opportunity he had long wished for, and that if they fired a musket they would all be cut to pieces. Moreover, to induce them to enter with the pirates, he had assured them that I had promised to enter myself. So it was a wonder I escaped so well, having such a base wretch for my ...
— The True Story Book • Andrew Lang

... Miss Betsy—"he in love with Mary. Oh, the wretch, the monster, the deceiver!"—and she falls down too, screeching away as loud as her mamma; for the silly creature fancied still that Altamont had a ...
— Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - The Yellowplush Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... wretch!" shrieked Syvert, and made a leap over two benches to where Truls was standing. It came so unexpectedly that Truls had no time to prepare for defense; so he merely stretched out the hand in which he held the violin to ward off the blow which he saw was coming; but Syvert ...
— Tales From Two Hemispheres • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... loathing himself, and life, and mankind, he rushed back from the city into the Mahomedan camp; and entering, with a hurried step, the tent of the Caliph, he tore the turban from his brow, and cried aloud—"Oh, Abubeker! behold a God-forsaken wretch. Think not it was the fear of death that led me to abjure my religion—the religion of my fathers—the only true faith. No; it was the idol of Love that stood between my heart and heaven, darkening the latter with its shadow; and had I remained as true to God as ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... being!" shrieked the abbot. "Thou mayst sacrifice her at thine own impious rites. But see, there is one poor wretch yet struggling with the foaming torrent. I may ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... such a man," the poet said, "in an old time which I almost forget. To-day he is quite dead. There is only a poor wretch who has been faithless in all things, who has not even served ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... come to an understanding. One word, sir: [Mary sits at the back of the Scene, the Men advance.] I have lived long in India;—but the flies, who gad thither, buzz in our ears, till we learn what they have blown upon in England. I have heard of the wretch, in whose house you meant to place ...
— John Bull - The Englishman's Fireside: A Comedy, in Five Acts • George Colman

... been eaten. He must be avenged by the punishment of the person who has committed the crime." Accordingly when a death has taken place, the medicine-man is sent for to discover the criminal. He pretends to be possessed by a spirit and in this state he names the wretch who has caused the death by sorcery. The accused has to submit to the poison ordeal by drinking a decoction of the red bark of the Erythrophloeum guiniense. If he vomits up the poison, he is innocent; but if he fails to do so, the infuriated ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... till, in form Of money, Pallas sets the captive free. Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware, Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken The caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft Lies perdu in a nook or gloomy cave, Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch With his unhallowed touch. So, (poets sing) Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn An everlasting foe, with watchful eye Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap, Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice Sure ruin. So her disembowell'd web Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads Obvious to vagrant ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... stab of dislike for the girl, for daring to put Brian on a level with herself—and me. I wanted to punish her somehow, wanted to make the little wretch pay for her impertinent suspicions. I pushed past her brusquely to stand between her and Brian. "Let's go into the hotel," I said. "It's more important just now to see what our rooms are like than to play with the ...
— Everyman's Land • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... half-stifled sigh she followed mademoiselle, and stepped into the room. It was empty. La Marmotte's heart almost stood still, and the candlestick she held all but fell from her trembling hand, as the poor wretch thought of the wrath that would overtake her if her charge escaped. But it was impossible! It could not be! And La Marmotte made another step forward, and as she looked she saw a white-robed figure kneeling at a prie-dieu, half concealed ...
— Orrain - A Romance • S. Levett-Yeats

... him severely. The priest laid his hand on his shoulder, and the ghost of a smile flickered across his pale countenance. Many a poor wretch had found that smile a herald of tragedy. Such it now appeared to the hapless owner ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... The wretch who had thus directed the ruthless vengeance of a revolutionary banditti, against the breasts of his fellow citizens, was, at this time, in Paris, soliciting, from the present government, from a total misconception of its nature, those remunerations which had been promised, ...
— The Stranger in France • John Carr

... I have some nasty work of this kind to perform. It is making a heartless wretch of me. A man can make money sometimes ...
— The Transgressors - Story of a Great Sin • Francis A. Adams

... such was her right? Was he to decline to enter in upon the joys of Paradise when Paradise should be thus opened to him? He would do his best, loyally and sincerely, with his whole heart. But he could not force her to make him a wretch, miserable for ...
— An Old Man's Love • Anthony Trollope

... cheeks had the freshness of the peach, and her lips were roses. Her neck was alabaster, and her eyes sparkled with animation, chastened with the most unrivalled gentleness and delicacy. Her stature, her forehead, her mouth—but ah, impious wretch, how canst thou pretend to trace her from charm to charm! Who can dissect unbounded excellence? Who can coolly and deliberately gaze upon the brightness of the meridian sun? I will say in one word, that her whole figure was enchanting, ...
— Italian Letters, Vols. I and II • William Godwin

... admired the genius of the man), perfumed with unguents, and clad in a flowing robe, came with a mincing and languid step. As soon as the Tyrant caught sight of him at the end of the train: "What effeminate wretch," said he, "is this, who presumes to come into my presence?" Those near him made answer: "This is Menander the Poet." Changed in an instant, he exclaimed: "A more agreeable looking ...
— The Fables of Phdrus - Literally translated into English prose with notes • Phaedrus

... delay so long. The old dread of seeing my sister's reproachful face has been strong enough to hold me back, when a little courage might have enabled me to help you. The burden has been all on you, and I have done nothing. O, what a wretch I must have been to sit idly by and see you suffer, and make ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... go on being in love, and was never in the least disturbed in his passion; and if he was not successful, at least the little wretch could have the pleasure of HINTING that he was, and looking particularly roguish when the Ravenswing was named, and assuring his friends at the club, that "upon his vort dere vas no trut IN ...
— Men's Wives • William Makepeace Thackeray

... du Roi' to an Irishman to review, and the wretch has disappointed me. I am afraid it is now too late, or I would do it myself. [Footnote: It was reviewed in the April number (1879), but neither by Reeve nor the Irishman.] Read M. de Lomenie's book, 'Les ...
— Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. - In Two Volumes. VOL. II. • John Knox Laughton

... gloomy, brightened up as if a sunbeam had suddenly burst upon it. "Oh, bless you, John—Uncle John; how good and how kind, and what a dear friend and brother you are! And I such a wretch, ready to quarrel with those I love best! But, John, let me keep quiet, let me keep still, don't make me rake up the past. He is such a baby, such a baby! There cannot be any question of telling him anything ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... by the Central Revolutionary Committee to assassinate the Grand Duke Peter Alexandrovitch as he drove up to the governor's house in his sleigh. The bomb burst ten feet away, killing Constantin Kochkarof himself. It may be that before death came he had time to hear Annouchka cry to him, "Wretch! You were told to kill the prince, not to assassinate his children." As it happened, Peter Alexandrovitch held on his knees the two little princesses, seven and eight years old. The Court had wished to recompense ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... favour of feverish evil and ceaseless suffering. If we believe that God is perfect love, it is inconceivable that He should make a creature capable of defying His utmost tenderness, unless He had said to Himself, "I will make a poor wretch who shall defy Me, and he shall suffer endlessly and mercilessly in consequence." The truth is that God's Omnipotence is limited by His Omnipotence; He could not, for instance, abolish Himself, nor create a power that should ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 80 "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost ...
— Selections From Poe • J. Montgomery Gambrill

... fair Freedom! impart The light of thy spirit to quicken each heart. Though the chains of oppression our free limbs ne'er bound, Bid us feel for the wretch round whose soul they are wound; Whose breast is corroded with anguish so deep That the eye of the slave is too blood-shot to weep; No balm from the fountain of nature will flow When the mind is degraded by fetter ...
— Enthusiasm and Other Poems • Susanna Moodie

... young;—to domestic fidelity, a recreant; to common honor, a traitor; to honesty, an outlaw; to religion, a hypocrite;—base in all that is worthy of man, and accomplished in whatever is disgraceful; and yet this wretch could go where he would; enter good men's dwellings, and purloin their votes. Men would curse him, yet obey him; hate him and assist him; warn their sons against him, and lead them to the polls for him. A public sentiment which produces ignominious ...
— Twelve Causes of Dishonesty • Henry Ward Beecher

... all else healing and restoring in its influence upon the troubled and anxious mind of man. The poet or the scientist who bows in adoration before the glory of God revealed in nature, prays in effect to that God and his soul is refreshed and renewed. The poor wretch who stands blindfolded before the firing squad, waiting the word that ends the life of a military spy, is near enough to God—and the whispered prayer upon his lips is cure for the wounds that ...
— The Untroubled Mind • Herbert J. Hall

... draught. My glance fell across in her direction; I perceived that she also had drunk at the very same moment and was setting down her glass. Our eyes met, and a malignant demon whispered in my ear, "Unhappy wretch, she does love you!" One of the guests now rose, and, in conformity with the custom of the North, proposed the health of the lady of the house. Our glasses rang in the midst of a tumult of joy. My heart was torn with rapture and despair; the wine burned like fire ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... for the land-lubber at sea. He is the veriest wretch the watery world over. And such was Bope Tarn; of all landlubbers, the most lubberly and most miserable. A forlorn, stunted, hook-visaged mortal he was too; one of those whom you know at a glance to have been tried hard and long in the ...
— Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas • Herman Melville

... old Tims! What a wretch I am! I couldn't help letting off steam on something—you don't know ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... common black scorpion, the patient suffers for two weeks. But when, about ten days later, we tried the experiment of the stone upon a poor coolie, just bitten by a cobra, it would not even stick to the wound, and the poor wretch shortly expired. I do not take upon myself to offer, either a defence, or an explanation of the virtues of the "stone." I simply state the facts and leave the future career of the story to its own fate. The sceptics may deal with it as they will. Yet I ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... salted trout, a little oil, and a crust of barley bread. "What's all this, woman?" exclaimed Perez, in a voice of thunder; and with glaring eyes and demoniacal fury he dashed the fish at her head, and the rest of his supper upon the floor. "Wretch! how durst you fatten upon olios and ragouts, and set trash like this before your husband?"—"My dear," replied Juana, meekly, "I am starving; nothing have I tasted since breakfast."—"Don't lie, you jade! Where's the wild-fowl and the Bologna ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 350, January 3, 1829 • Various

... put it under hydraulic pressure, which is now being done all over the country, under the new laws which force every wretch who enters a workhouse for a night's shelter to stay there two nights; under the cold-blooded cruelty which, in the guise of science, takes the miserable quarter of a pint of ale from the lips of the palsied and decrepit inmates; which puts the imbecile—even ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... tiller in his hands and gazing out ahead into the darkness. What was it that filled me with foreboding and terror as I looked at the boy? The scene of the morning recurred to my mind, and my halfhearted effort to prevent him from accompanying us. Selfish wretch that I had been! what would I not now give to have been resolute then? If anything were to happen to Charlie, how ...
— Parkhurst Boys - And Other Stories of School Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... are simply outrageous!" "Wretch!" "Shocking!" and a volley of like exclamations greeted this outburst. Mrs. Stannard rose from her chair and shook her ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... without their Desert, to be buried in Silence, but published abroad as the Angel admonished Tobias. I being constrained thro' the Oppression of the holy Church, by that most wicked, blasphemous, and not worthy to be named Wretch, Aistolphus, to fly for Refuge to that excellent and faithful Votary of St. Peter, Lord Pipin, the most Christian King, took my Journey into France; where I fell into a mortal Distemper and remained some Time in the District of Paris, in the venerable Monastery of St. Denis ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... Chaulieu! I was not executed; one who well knew my innocence saved my life. I may name him, for he is beyond the reach of the law now,—it was Claperon, the jailer, who loved Claudine, and had himself killed Alphonse de Bellefonds from jealousy. An unfortunate wretch had been several years in the jail for a murder committed during the frenzy of a fit of insanity. Long confinement had reduced him to idiocy. To save my life Claperon substituted the senseless being for me, on the scaffold, and he was executed in ...
— International Weekly Miscellany Vol. I. No. 3, July 15, 1850 • Various

... not be forgotten; his name was Mallett; he was a perfect specimen of the genuine usher. The monster wore a black coat and waistcoat; the residue of his costume was of that mysterious colour known by the name of pepper-and-salt. He was a pallid wretch with a pug nose, white teeth, and marked with the small-pox: long, greasy, black hair, and small black, beady eyes. This daemon watched the progress of the theatrical company with eyes gloating with vengeance. No attempt had been made to keep the fact of the rehearsal ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... to him with a smile upon her face—'he is no wretch. He is a sturdy little man, that shall yet live to make your ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on your knees, with your eyes buried in the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... It is done in the same manner as the above, with the difference that the executioner takes two hours and sometimes three before he gives the final coup de grace. Advancing and returning from his victim, sometimes just drawing blood, until the poor wretch faints from fright, and is brought to with cold water, only to re-undergo fresh sufferings, until at length the heart is reached, and death puts ...
— On the Equator • Harry de Windt

... fooled, laughed at, betrayed!" he screamed. "The wretch that holds the Recipe has been playing with us. 'Us' do I say? He might have played with you and been forgiven. You are but tools; you do not even belong to the inner brotherhood. But he has trifled with me; he has dared to make sport of me—Taltavull—whose ...
— The Recipe for Diamonds • Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne

... old hag who lived in his neighbourhood, consulted a conjuror about the matter, and he was told that his suspicions were correct, that his losses were brought about by this old woman, and, added the conjuror, if you wish it, I can wreak vengeance on the wretch for what she has done to your cattle. The injured farmer was not averse to punishing the woman, but he did not wish her punishment to be over severe, and this he told the conjuror, but said he, "I should like her to be deprived of the power to injure anyone in future." This was accomplished, ...
— Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales • Elias Owen

... belle would pass, whom my friend, of course, saluted. As, by a strange coincidence, this occurred several times in the course of the week, and as my young friend's conversational powers invariably flagged after the lady had passed, I am forced to believe that the deceitful young wretch actually used me as a conventional background to display the graces of his figure to the passing fair. When I detected the trick, of course I made a point of keeping my friend, by strategic movements, with his back toward the young lady, while I bowed to her myself. Since then, I understand ...
— Urban Sketches • Bret Harte

... there was a chorus of laughter when the young wretch exhibited my battered pencil, bought in Princes Street yesterday, its gay Gordon tints sadly disfigured by the destroying tooth, not of Time, but of a bard in ...
— Penelope's Progress - Being Such Extracts from the Commonplace Book of Penelope Hamilton As Relate to Her Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... to him on the platform as if an hour passed while he, who had played with a city father, stood, clothed with shame, before this commanding young woman. Had she ever looked upon a more abject wretch? and Carmichael photographed himself with merciless accuracy, from his hair that he had not thrown back to an impress of dust which one knee had taken from the platform, and he registered a resolution that he would never be again boastfully indifferent to the loss of a button on his coat. She ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren



Words linked to "Wretch" :   poor devil, victim, thankless wretch, reprobate



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