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Dismal   /dˈɪzməl/   Listen
Dismal

adjective
1.
Causing dejection.  Synonyms: blue, dark, dingy, disconsolate, drab, drear, dreary, gloomy, grim, sorry.  "The dark days of the war" , "A week of rainy depressing weather" , "A disconsolate winter landscape" , "The first dismal dispiriting days of November" , "A dark gloomy day" , "Grim rainy weather"






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"Dismal" Quotes from Famous Books



... into day, the burnished and serried files of the Moorish cavalry. Muza came the last, closing the array. Upon his dark and stern countenance there spoke not the ardent enthusiasm of the sanguine king. It was locked and rigid; and the anxieties of the last dismal weeks had thinned his cheeks, and ploughed deep lines around the firm lips and iron jaw which bespoke the obstinate and unconquerable resolution ...
— Leila, Complete - The Siege of Granada • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... a Hudson's Bay man, throwing lantern-light across the dismal low roof as I fell sprawling into the room. "That'll cool the young hot-head," and all the French soldiers laughed ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... to be the undertaker at my funeral," said Fred, who could not help thinking that that dismal function might have been performed by this shark or some other the day he ...
— The Rushton Boys at Treasure Cove - Or, The Missing Chest of Gold • Spencer Davenport

... of robbers in Sierra Nevada. The professed converts were goaded by cruel treatment into repeated insurrections. It was a fierce war of races and religions. The frightful sufferings of the Moors, under the pressure of this double fanaticism, form a long and gloomy chapter of Spanish history. The dismal tale continues until the cruel expulsion from the kingdom of nearly a million of this unhappy people by Philip III., ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... more housework. You need the exercise, Hannah would enjoy the rest, and John would find his wife again. Go out more, keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather. Then I'd try to take an interest in whatever John likes—talk with him, let him read to you, exchange ideas, and help each other in that way. Don't shut yourself up in a bandbox because ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... dismal loneliness. Then came her vexing thoughts again; And quick, as if she broke duress Of heavy weariness or pain, She sought ...
— The Mistress of the Manse • J. G. Holland

... which rippled, curdling as she stepped into it, and which, as she advanced, darkened with the slime raised by her feet. She was bearing in her arms the semblance of a sick child, which struggled convulsively and filled the air with dismal wails. These cries seemed to be answered by a multitude of other children, some bloated like toads, others mere skeletons lying upon the bank, or floating upon the thick brown waters of the pond. And all seemed to address their cries to her, as if she were the cause of their weeping; ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... fire has burnt out, the Chase looks very black and dismal. But the roots and underground stems of both the Heather and the Gorse are still alive. Fresh shoots will grow, and soon the Gorse will be golden in the spring, the Heather purple in the summer, ...
— Wildflowers of the Farm • Arthur Owens Cooke

... poor Hubert's rooms, with their refurbished furnishings covered with white linen, looked cold and almost terrifying. A long window was open, and the velvet curtain swayed as though it shielded some dismal figure. But, when he had crossed the room and drawn the curtain aside, it was to see a bit of fairyland, the roof moonlit and transformed by growing things into a garden. ...
— Long Live the King • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... caused the imagination to conjure up all manner of weird and unearthly fancies concerning them. Walpole, for instance, writing of Berkeley Castle, says: "The room shown for the murder of Edward II., and the shrieks of an agonising king, I verily believe to be genuine. It is a dismal chamber, almost at the top of the house, quite detached, and to be approached only by a kind of footbridge, and from that descends a large flight of steps that terminates on strong gates, exactly a situation for a corps de garde." And speaking of Edward's imprisonment here, may be mentioned ...
— Strange Pages from Family Papers • T. F. Thiselton Dyer

... who end their conversation with you by wearily suggesting that you go down to the basement to find what you seek, do not receive a meager seven dollars a week as a reward for their efforts. Neither are they all obliged to climb five weary flights of stairs to reach the dismal little court room which is their home, and there are several who need not walk thirty-three blocks to save carfare, only to spend wretched evenings washing out handkerchiefs and stockings in the cracked little washbowl, while one ear is cocked ...
— Buttered Side Down • Edna Ferber

... been sounded. She darted from the verandah across the path and snatched the baby from her brother's arms; then, running back to the verandah, her chain clanked again and again, and she rent the air with a dismal wail— ...
— An Australian Lassie • Lilian Turner

... ground there; it's filled with large grave rats as big as kittens, and the springs of black water there go through the chinks of the rocks and flow into all the wells, and fairly pyson the folks; it's a dismal place, I tell you; I wonder the air from it don't turn all the silver in the Governor's house of a brass colour—and folks say he has four cart loads of it—it's so everlastin' bad; it's near about as ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... of the boy between every lash. This inhuman act, so unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman, we all resented, and retiring to the gun-room in a body, gave three deep and heavy groans in chorus. The effect was dismal; it was heard in the ward-room, and the first lieutenant sent down to desire we should be quiet; on which we immediately gave three more, which sent him in a rage to the quarter-deck, where we were all summoned, and the reason of the noise demanded. ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... at the extreme end of the street,— dark, dismal, quite awe-inspiring on a night like this. A narrow lane stretched from the hotel to the sanctuary and beyond. There is nothing at hand to show whether it is a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Baptist ...
— The Flyers • George Barr McCutcheon

... care and effort. Alice never dreamed of growing impatient in her mother's service. She did not wait to be asked to help her, but watched for opportunities, and so proved a great blessing and treasure in the lowly cottage home, that would have been very dismal and sad without her sunny, ...
— Little Alice's Palace - or, The Sunny Heart • Anonymous

... altogether, there is very little to show that they imagined any happy state for them after death, not even as a reward for a righteous life, nor, on the other hand, looked to a future state for punishment of wrongs committed in this world, but promiscuously consigned their dead to the ARALI, a most dismal region which is called the "support of chaos," or, in phrase no less vague and full of mysterious awe, "the Great Land" (Ki-gal), "the Great City" (Urugal), "the spacious dwelling," "where they wander in the dark,"—a region ruled by a female divinity called by different ...
— Chaldea - From the Earliest Times to the Rise of Assyria • Znade A. Ragozin

... river sailing is this Alaskan expedition. Here is a whole tangle of rivers full of strange tides, mysterious currents, and sweet surprises. Moreover, we can get lost if we want to—no one can get lost in a river. We can rush in where pilots fear to tread, strike sunken rocks, toss among dismal eddies, or plunge into whirlpools. We can rake overhanging boughs with our yard-arms if we want to—but we don't want to. In 1875 the United States steamer Saranac went down in Seymour Narrows, and her fate was sudden death. The United States steamer Suwanee met with a like misfortune on ...
— Over the Rocky Mountains to Alaska • Charles Warren Stoddard

... was let to some dismal people until my father died and my mother took it over. I'm sorry I can't get sentimental about it, as if it were an ancestral hall, Mr. Spooner. I want to get rid of the place, because I ...
— The Rough Road • William John Locke

... as instant to his eyes as if it had been but yesterday. That insistent bell brought the scene surging back to him: the dismal day; the drizzle; the few mourners; little David decked out in black, his fair hair contrasting with his gloomy clothes, his face swollen with weeping; the Dale hushed, it seemed in death, save for the tolling of the bell; and ...
— Bob, Son of Battle • Alfred Ollivant

... the garrison—diversions not infrequently hilarious enough. Now food abounds and superabounds; henceforth neither drought nor deluge can work their evil will; insect foes, as well as may be, are kept at bay; there is room in plenty instead of dismal overcrowding. The grateful plant repays the care bestowed upon it by bursting into a sportiveness unsuspected, and indeed impossible, amidst the alarms and frays incessant in the wilderness. It departs from parental habits in most astonishing fashion, puts forth ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - The Naturalist as Interpreter and Seer • Various

... for some time through such dismal streets, we dboucher on the grande place; and before us lies the palace dedicated to all the glories of France. In the midst of the great lonely plain this famous residence of King Louis looks low and mean—Honored ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... more dismal than the sunless canons which in Chicago are called streets; and the luckless being who is concerned there with retail trade is condemned to pass the greater part of his life in unrelieved ugliness. Things, however, are rather better in the "office" quarter; ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... room was no longer the smoky, dismal, miserable place which it was formerly. It was neatly papered; it was swept clean; there was a cheerful fire, which burnt quite clearly: the mulatto woman was cleanly dressed, and, rising from her work, she clasped her hands together with an emotion of joyful gratitude, ...
— Tales And Novels, Volume 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... couples be dancing as to render such caution impossible, stop at once, and do not go on until the room has become somewhat cleared. In a few minutes others will have paused to rest, and you can then continue. Your partner will be grateful that your consideration has preserved her from the dismal plight in which we have seen some ladies emerge from this dance—their coiffeurs disordered, their dresses torn, and their cheeks crimson with fatigue and mortification, while their indignant glances plainly showed the anger they did not care to express in words, and which ...
— Routledge's Manual of Etiquette • George Routledge

... the experience of an American—it is somewhat remarkable, that, while we stood gazing at this kitchen, I was haunted and perplexed by an idea that somewhere or other I had seen just this strange spectacle before. The height, the blackness, the dismal void, before my eyes, seemed as familiar as the decorous neatness of my grandmother's kitchen; only my unaccountable memory of the scene was lighted up with an image of lurid fires blazing all round the dim interior circuit ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 48, October, 1861 • Various

... literature—never read them or think of them. A line or two linger in the memory; a few telling strokes of occasional and felicitous energy are quoted, but this is all. As wholes, these exaggerated stories were worthless; they taught nothing, and, therefore, they are forgotten. If nowadays a dismal poet were, like Byron, to lament the fact of his birth, and to hint that he was too good for the world, the Saturday Review would say that 'they doubted if he was too good; that a sulky poet was a questionable ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... was at home. He was engaged for the present with another patient, but if Charlotte liked to wait he would see her in her turn. Certainly she would wait. She gave her card to the man who admitted her, and was shown into a room, very dark and dismal, where three or four patients were already enduring a time of suspense waiting for their interviews. Charlotte, knowing nothing of illness, knew, if possible, still less of doctors' rooms. A sense ...
— How It All Came Round • L. T. Meade

... not as dismal as you think. If Bertha did worry him he would be quite different. Or if she'd leave him alone, and let him arrange his life as he pleases. But she doesn't dare lose her hold of him on account of the money, and so when HE isn't jealous ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... Glenuskie?' cried Ralf Percy. 'Look up; I verily thought you were sped by Death in bodily shape; but 'twas all an abominable grisly pageant got up by some dismal caitiffs.' ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... as we got out of the sweet-scented air, we came into another that smelt of asphaltus, pitch, and sulphur burning together, with a most intolerable stench, as of burned carcases: the whole element above us was dark and dismal, distilling a kind of pitchy dew upon our heads; we heard the sound of stripes, and the ...
— Trips to the Moon • Lucian

... sitting down alone in the old familiar house which had ceased to be his, taking a calm if somewhat dismal survey of affairs. The pendulum of the clock bumped every now and then against one side of the case in which it swung, as the muffled drum to his worldly march. Looking out of the window he could perceive ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... good night and went thoughtfully down the dark stairs, a strange sense of peace upon him. Curiously enough, while he felt that he had left the Presence up in that little dismal room, it yet seemed to be moving beside him, touching his soul, breathing upon him! He was so engrossed with this thought that it never occurred to him that he had given the old woman every cent he had ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... comedy of our August migration; the only change being that instead of Dinard we went to the West Coast of Scotland to stay with some of Barbara's relatives. One gleam of joy irradiated that grey and dismal sojourn—the news that Jaffery, his mission in Crim Tartary being accomplished, would be home for Christmas. Our host and hostess were sporting folk with red, weatherbeaten faces and a mania (which they expected ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... the dismal outlook, Winter had passed without actual disaster to the Confederate arms and now that Spring had come the plantation home of the Herbert Carys, twenty miles below Richmond, had never had a fairer setting. White-pillared and stately the old Colonial mansion stood on one of the low, emerald ...
— The Littlest Rebel • Edward Peple

... river's brim, Where Charon plies the ceaseless oar, Two mighty Shadows, dusk and dim, Stood lingering on the dismal shore. Hoarse came the rugged Boatman's call, While echoing caves enforced the cry— And as they severed life's last thrall, Each Spirit spoke one parting sigh. "Farewell to earth! I leave a name, Written in fire, ...
— Poems • Sam G. Goodrich

... This caress of the king, however harmless in itself, had in it for her something dismal and dreadful. It was the involuntary, instinctive touch of the headsman, who examines the neck of his victim, and searches on it for the place where he will make the stroke. Thus had Anne Boleyn once put her tender white hands about her slender neck, ...
— Henry VIII And His Court • Louise Muhlbach

... heavily-trodden path between two rocks. They plodded along it until, rounding a crag, they perceived immediately before them a yawning cave. Although the singer was out of sight, the noise made by him was now almost overwhelming and so dismal that the children were on the point of joining ...
— The Flamp, The Ameliorator, and The Schoolboy's Apprentice • E. V. Lucas

... near God in peace and love without fulfilling certain mental conditions—that he would not have her just as she was now, filled her with an undefined but terribly real misery, only the more distressing that it was vague with the vagueness of the dismal negation from ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... remained in this state; at that period I did not even know what time meant. Sometimes, but very rarely, my father summoned me and my mother to the terrace of the palace; these were hours of recreation for me, as I never saw anything in the dismal cavern but the gloomy countenances of the slaves and Selim's fiery lance. My father was endeavoring to pierce with his eager looks the remotest verge of the horizon, examining attentively every black speck which appeared on the lake, while my mother, reclining by his side, ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... was in great discontent at this match: he easily foresaw the dismal consequences to himself and his successors from such an increase of dominion united to the crown of England: he knew what impressions might be made in future times to the shaking of his throne by an aspiring and warlike king, ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... laurels. He wished to die, for he could not survive the destruction of his country. But first he must arrange his affairs, make his will, and bid adieu to his friends. The king opened the door hastily, and desired that a light should be brought—it was no easy thing to procure in this dismal, deserted village. The adjutant succeeded at last, however, in getting a few small tallow candles, and placing them in old bottles, in the absence of candlesticks of any description, he carried them to the king. Frederick ...
— Frederick The Great and His Family • L. Muhlbach

... had once more commenced to well up from the dark depths, and in a most agonizing fashion too. Even Rod felt a thrill, although he could give a pretty good guess concerning the nature of the poor unfortunate who was the contributing cause for those dismal groans. ...
— The Big Five Motorcycle Boys on the Battle Line - Or, With the Allies in France • Ralph Marlow

... arrest, charged with the most heinous offence of which an officer could be guilty, it is no wonder that Calhoun's heart sank within him on that dismal journey to Tullahoma. ...
— Raiding with Morgan • Byron A. Dunn

... Homer. But the Thebais is a professedly mythological epic, and Statius commands a light touch and brilliant colours. The reader merely groans when the heavy-handed Silius introduces his wondrously engraven shield,[610] his funeral games,[611] his Amazon,[612] his dismal catalogues,[613] his Nekuia.[614] In the latter episode, he even introduces the Vergilian Sibyl of Cumae; it is a redeeming feature that Scipio does not make a 'personally conducted tour' through the nether world; such a direct challenge to the Sixth Aeneid was perhaps impossible for so true ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... any wonder that with this vicious dressage of intelligence and will the native, of old logical and consistent—as the analysis of his past and of his language demonstrates—should now be a mass of dismal contradictions? That continual struggle between reason and duty, between his organism and his new ideals, that civil war which disturbs the peace of his conscience all his life, has the result, of paralyzing all his energies, and aided by the severity of the climate, ...
— The Indolence of the Filipino • Jose Rizal

... Through the gloom of the weeks preceding his inauguration he held his even way. Perhaps in the more terrible crises through which he was afterwards called to pass, a firmer nerve was required, but not so rare a combination of qualities as he had shown in the dismal months with ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysteric Passions, Vulgarly Call'd the Hypo in Men and Vapours in Women (1711). The mental causes are noted as well in an anonymous pamphlet in the British Museum, A Treatise on the Dismal Effects of Low-Spiritedness (1750) and are echoed in many similar early and mid-eighteenth century works. Some medical writers of the age, like Nicholas Robinson, had reservations about the external mental bases of the hyp and preferred ...
— Hypochondriasis - A Practical Treatise (1766) • John Hill

... dismal loft, That mournful sound in sleep would hear, And smiles would play upon her lips, Because in dreams her friend ...
— My Dog Tray • Unknown

... in the middle of that horrible ocean. I will not renew my thanks, though I never can thank you enough for that affectionate inspiration of following me on that watery waste, with tokens of your remembrance, and cheering that most dismal of all conditions with such an ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... like a print, clear enough to distinguish tree from boulder and sky from water, yet not clear enough to show the texture of anything. The third stage was that in which colours began to appear, yet flat and dismal, holding, it seemed, no light, yet reflecting it; and all in an extraordinary cold clearness. Nature seemed herself, yet struck to dumbness. No breeze stirred the twigs overhead or the undergrowth through which they rode. Once, as the two, riding ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... decomposition of the vegetation during long ages must have produced beds like the peat-deposits of America and Great Britain. In the Dismal Swamp of Virginia there is said to be a mass of vegetable matter 40 feet in thickness, and on the banks of the Shannon in Ireland is a peat-bog 3 miles broad and 50 feet deep. When conditions were so much more favourable for these deposits, beds 400 feet in thickness may easily have been produced. ...
— Lectures on Popular and Scientific Subjects • John Sutherland Sinclair, Earl of Caithness

... homeward, Hastens to his golden portals, Head awry and visage wrinkled, Crooked cap upon his forehead, Since as ransom he had promised Ilmarinen, magic artist, Thus to save his life from torture On the distant fields of Northland In the dismal Sariola. When his stallion he had halted On the Osmo-field and meadow, Quickly rising in his snow-sledge, The magician heard one knocking, Breaking coal within the smithy, Beating with a heavy hammer. Wainamoinen, famous minstrel, Entering the smithy straightway, Found ...
— The Kalevala (complete) • John Martin Crawford, trans.

... made these niceties constitutional. It was almost as difficult for Miss Mattie to say "I'll fix up your bed right there on the sofa" as it would have been for Red to pick a man's pocket, yet, when she thought of his instant and open generosity and what a dismal return therefor it would be to thrust him out for reasons which she divined would have no meaning for him, she heroically resolved to throw custom to the winds, ...
— Red Saunders • Henry Wallace Phillips

... the left I could discern a light or two, piercing the gloom of the sky; and I knew they shone from the wind-mills of Montmartre. In every other direction lay darkness; desolation swept by the night wind; silence broken only by the dismal howling of far-off watch-dogs. I might have been ten miles from Paris: even as I was a thousand miles from the man who had risen so happily ...
— In Kings' Byways • Stanley J. Weyman

... bewildered by the strangeness of his situation, did not at first perceive that he was left alone. Surprised, and chilled by the sudden silence of the chamber, he rose, withdrew his hands from his face, and again he saw that countenance so mute and solemn. He cast his gaze round the dismal room for Arthur; he called his name—no answer came; a superstitious tremor seized upon him; his limbs shook; he sank once more on his seat, and closed his eyes: muttering, for the first time, perhaps, since his childhood, words of penitence and prayer. ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... doom'd me to examine in my lov'd one's Little-go? "O Love and Duty, sisters twain, in diverse ways ye pull; "I dare not 'pass,' I scarce can 'pluck:' my cup of woe is full. "O that I ever should have lived this dismal day to see"! He knit his brow, and nerved his hand, and wrote ...
— Sagittulae, Random Verses • E. W. Bowling

... cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-colored houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, doctor, when one has no field upon which to ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... day out we ran into a storm that lasted three days and nights. The dismal curtains of the sky were drawn and we could hear the sullen tone of the advancing storm as onward we plowed through the ever-growing foam-crested waves. The second day the sea became awesome, and breathlessly we watched each mountain wave that swept past leaving us still unharmed. Great ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... and partly in respect of my own misfortunes, which you are going to read about. For I have often thought that January (which is mostly twelfth-cake and holiday time) is like the first four or five years of a little boy's life; then comes dismal February, and the working-days with it, when chaps begin to look out for themselves, after the Christmas and the New Year's heyday and merrymaking are over, which our infancy may well be said to be. Well can I recollect that bitter first of February, when I first ...
— The Fatal Boots • William Makepeace Thackeray

... dottrell, and scarce any golden plovers (of which we have great store generally) but vast lonely birds, that cried at night, and moved the whole air with their pinions; yet no man ever saw them. It was dismal as well as dangerous now for any man to go fowling (which of late I loved much in the winter) because the fog would come down so thick that the pan of the gun was reeking, and the fowl out of sight ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... even in the first dismal days of his life to stay peacefully within-doors. On the Sunday following his birth he was carried to the meeting-house to be baptized. When we consider the chill and gloom of those unheated, freezing churches, growing colder and damper and deadlier with every wintry blast—we wonder that ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... his beard and floundered ahead like a bear. Jack Cockrell passed the word to the chief that the gold was awaiting them. Like shadows the Yemassees drew near the creek and then, full-lunged, terrific, their war-whoop echoed through the dismal Cherokee swamp. Nimble Jack Cockrell was not far behind them, his heart pumping ...
— Blackbeard: Buccaneer • Ralph D. Paine

... hate any thing so dismal! Every body that did read it had melancholy faces for a week. 'Cecilia' is as pathetic as I can bear, and more sometimes; yet, in the midst of the sorrow, there is a spirit in the writing, a fire in the whole composition, that keep off that heavy depression given by Richardson. ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... flapping weakly to a warmer clime. They might stay a little, some of them, deceived by the hanging peat-smoke into the notion that somewhere here were warmth and comfort; but the cold searched them to the core, and such as did not die on the roadside took up their dismal voyaging anew. ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... "The servant from his pathway turns aside, And through bye-roads and solitary goes; Purposely lighting on a stream, whose tide From Apennine into our river flows; Where, both of farm and busy city wide, A holt, and dark and dismal greenwood grows. Silent appeared the gloomy place, and one Fitting the cruel deed ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... that are celebrating their mysteries. They pay well and he had to sing dismal hymns for them behind a curtain; the wildest stuff, in which he does not follow a word, and that I do ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... such a blast through all the swish and sweat, Through rattle and rumpus and raps, and the kicks and cuffs that they get, Through the chatter and tread, and the rudder's wash, and the dismal clank Of the shameful chain which forever binds the slave ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... apertures in the wall (windows no longer) were large enough, they threw out tables, chests of drawers, beds, mirrors, pictures, and flung them whole into the fire; while every fresh addition to the blazing masses was received with shouts, and howls, and yells, which added new and dismal terrors to the conflagration. Those who had axes and had spent their fury on the movables, chopped and tore down the doors and window frames, broke up the flooring, hewed away the rafters, and buried ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... should seem to be A very dismal place; Your "auld acquaintance" all at once Is altered in the face; Their discords sting through Burns and Moore, Like hedgehogs ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... a dismal letter from Harte, last week; he tells me that he is at nurse with a sister in Berkshire; that he has got a confirmed jaundice, besides twenty other distempers. The true cause of these complaints I take to be the same that so greatly disordered, ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... in this place of refuge, and so he retreated to the north, to some estates he had there, in the remote Highlands. A detachment of forces was sent in pursuit of him. Now there are, north of Scotland, some groups of dismal islands, the summits of submerged mountains and rocks, rising in dark and sublime, but gloomy grandeur, from the midst of cold and tempestuous seas. Bothwell, finding himself pursued, undertook to escape by ship to these islands. His pursuers, ...
— Mary Queen of Scots, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... land. To meet the difficulty of a false oath, while he is walking over his neighbor's land, he puts a little dust from his own field into his shoes. As both sides are acquainted with the trick, the dismal farce of swearing is usually soon abandoned, in favor of ...
— The Story of the Malakand Field Force • Sir Winston S. Churchill

... furthermore, to be the compensating justice of Nature, the treasures of the earth are always hidden in the most unattractive, dismal, and dreary spots. At least all the mining places I ever visited are so located, and Bisbee is no exception. To get away from the cramped little village and its unsavoury restaurant, I established my first camp four miles south ...
— Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) • Carl Lumholtz

... generous gondolier, and we go to the Hall—a dismal, bleak place, ghastly with the memories of last year's opulence and plenty, and here Giuseppe's fare is swelled by the stranger's mite. But here Giuseppe tells me of the "Relief Boat" which leaves for the flooded ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... a business is a comparatively new industry in America. It is true that the first attempts at growing this fruit were made to found an industry, but these were complete and dismal failures, and the start in growing grapes in America eventually came as a pleasing hobby. In evolving from a hobby into vineyard culture on a large scale, the business side of the industry long lagged. At present, with increasing competition, manifold ...
— Manual of American Grape-Growing • U. P. Hedrick

... upon the solitudes of Green Street, along which he now dragged himself dreamily enough, ever extracting consolations from lugubrious cadences mournfully intoned. Very silent was the neighborhood. Very dismal the night. Very dreary and damp was Mr. Smithers; for a vile fog wrapped itself around him, filling his body with moist misery, and his mind with anticipated rheumatic horrors. Still he surged heavily along, tired Nature with tuneful charms ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... he had left me, everything seemed so strange, every one seemed so dull, every place seemed so desolate, that I felt as if I had been transported into some dismal scene, where I knew no one, and where there was no one likely to care about me in the slightest degree. My father went about his avocations in a different spirit to what he had so long been used to exhibit; it was evident he missed Heinrich as much as I did, and the villagers ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Frederick Marryat

... hung over the camp, an air of expectant waiting. The sick men tossed upon their beds bewailing their inability to be up and doing, and calling feverishly for "news!" But no news came; nothing to break the dismal monotony. ...
— A Little Dusky Hero • Harriet T. Comstock

... cried Rinkitink, as he lay back in the shade. "I find it a decided relief to be away from that dismal ...
— Rinkitink in Oz • L. Frank Baum

... were yet far away. Indeed, it was not until all was over and a day too late that Cabell came up. A tragic sight confronted him; but his own march had been so dismal, so inauspicious that everything unfortunate that had happened seemed but a part of one huge catastrophe. He had come by the "old Pacific mail route, the bridges of which, in some places, were still standing in the uninhabited prairies."[815] ...
— The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War • Annie Heloise Abel

... passed—a sad dismal winter for the royal family, and for Marie Antoinette in particular! None of those festivities, those diversions, those simple and innocent joys, which are wont to adorn the life of a woman and of ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... old lady and her three daughters who sat on the camp-stools by the step-ladder; the same fat old lady, bedizened with finery, and the same three young ladies, with strong features and dismal dresses, which the traveler encounters all over the Continent of Europe. The old lady was in a state of chronic agony lest the young ladies should be forcibly seized and carried away by some daring youth of the male sex; and the young ladies ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... wantonness of woe, O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear! To plunder'd Want's half-shelter'd hovel go, Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear Moan haply in a dying mother's ear: 5 Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood O'er the rank church-yard with sear elm-leaves strew'd, Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part Was slaughter'd, where o'er his uncoffin'd limbs The flocking flesh-birds scream'd! Then, while thy heart 10 Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, Know ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... pursuers wax fainter and fainter. In about half an hour he reached a small lake or tarn, as it is called in the north, which appeared to be the source of the stream. Here he had breathing time; but he was chilled with wet, and altogether in a dismal condition. He more than once thought he heard the voices of men and dogs in the blast; but their search was in vain, for about daybreak he reached a place of ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XX. No. 557., Saturday, July 14, 1832 • Various

... deep feeling on the matter, and Lionel, who had acted the voice and the curtsey, laughed too, and then perhaps ashamed of making fun of such an affair, added, "It is the best news I have heard this long time. What, and that is what she has been so dismal about these last few ...
— The Two Guardians • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... class, were occupied in travaux forces—not indeed of a very hard description. These were employed in baking tortillas for the prisoners. Dirty, ragged, and miserable-looking creatures there were in these dismal vaults, which looked like purgatory, and smelt like—Heaven knows what! But, as I have frequently had occasion to observe in Mexico, the sense of smell is a doubtful blessing. Another large hall near this, which ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... the sweet flow of the water from the mouth of the white horse, which in general went on all night long. Suddenly came an awful sound—like a howl also, but such as never left the throat of dog. Again and again at intervals it came, with others like it but not the same, torturing the dark with a dismal fear. Dorothy had never heard the cry of a wild beast, but the suggestion that these might be such cries, and the recollection that she had heard such beasts were in Raglan Castle, came together to her mind. She was so weary, however, that worse noises than these ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... but in the presence of thousands of congregated fiends, who, having been apprised of the new plan about to be presented for peopling the Commonwealth of Hell with recruits from earth, had come up in all directions from their dismal abodes, to hear those plans reported, and witness the awarding of the prize for the one judged most worthy of adoption. Lucifer then mounted his throne, commanded silence, and ordered the competitors to advance and present, in succession, such plans as ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... interpretation, and the new methods of hermeneutics, and polychrome Bibles; and they laugh at the idea of the world's creation in six days; and altogether, they disturb and disquiet the dreams of the staid and stately veterans of the Famine years, and make them forecast a dismal future for Ireland when German metaphysics and coffee will first impair, and then destroy, the sacred traditions of Irish faith. And yet, these young priests inherit the best elements of the grand inheritance that ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... savage landholders. Manhattan's twenty-two thousand acres of rock, lake and rolling table land, rising at places to a height of one hundred and thirty-eight feet, were covered with sombre forests, grassy knolls and dismal swamps. The trees were lofty; and old, decayed and withered limbs contrasted with the younger growth of branches; and wild flowers wasted their sweetness among the dead leaves and uncut herbage at their roots. The wanton grapevine swung carelessly from the topmost boughs of the oak and the sycamore; ...
— Opening Ceremonies of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, May 24, 1883 • William C. Kingsley

... and a head that shook sadly in sympathy with him, Mrs. Finch's face underwent a most extraordinary transformation when she turned my way next. To my astonishment, her dim eyes actually sparkled; a broad smile of irrepressible contentment showed itself cunningly to me, in place of the dismal expression which had welcomed Oscar. Holding up the baby in triumph, the lady of the rectory whispered these words in my ear:—"What do you think he has done since ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... beast still. A week-old baby gives no more sign of intelligence, of love, or ambition, or hope, or fear, or passion, or purpose, than a week-old monkey, and is not half so frisky and funny. In fact, it is a puling, scowling, wretched, dismal, desperate-looking animal. It is only as it grows old that the beast gives way and the angel-wings bud, and all along through infancy and childhood the beast gives way and gives way and the angel-wings bud and bud; and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... left echoed an even stranger one—yet one I recognised at once as having mingled with my dreams; a woman's voice pitched at first in a long monotonous wail and then undulating in semitones above and below the keynote—a voice which seemed to call from miles away—a sound as dismal as ever ...
— Two Sides of the Face - Midwinter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... are frequently visible in Canada, but are most brilliant in the colder regions near the North Pole, where they serve to give light during the dark season to those dismal countries from which the sun is so many months absent. The light of the Aurora Borealis is so soft and beautiful, that any object can be distinctly seen; though in those cold countries there are few human beings to be benefited by this beautiful ...
— In The Forest • Catharine Parr Traill

... hands {804} A goblet wreath'd with ivy, fill'd it high With the grape's purple juice, and quaff'd it off Untemper'd, till the glowing wine inflamed him; Then binding round his head a myrtle wreath, Howls dismal discord:—two unpleasing strains We heard, his harsh notes who in nought revered Th' afflictions of Admetus, and the voice Of sorrow through the family that wept Our mistress. Yet our tearful eyes we showed not, Admetus so commanded, to ...
— Story of Orestes - A Condensation of the Trilogy • Richard G. Moulton

... Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said, "Do ...
— The Best Nonsense Verses • Various

... message had arrived saying that the town had been heavily shelled during the night, and that there were a number of children and of wounded there, who ought if possible to be removed to some less dangerous situation. So we started off to see what we could do for them. It was a dismal morning, and the rain was coming down in a steady drizzle which continued all day long, but fortunately we had a closed car, and we were protected from the elements. The road to Ypres is a broad ...
— A Surgeon in Belgium • Henry Sessions Souttar

... miles over the plain, they came amongst those knolls at the mouth of the valley, and Sir Aymeris led Birdalone up to the top of one of the highest of them, and thence they could look into that dale and see how it winded away up toward the mountains, like to a dismal street; for not only was it but little grassed, but withal there was neither tree nor bush therein. Moreover, scattered all about the bottom of the dale were great stones, which looked as if they had once been set in some kind ...
— The Water of the Wondrous Isles • William Morris

... should be buried in wicker-work baskets, with fern-leaves for shrouds, so that the poor clay might the more easily return to mother earth. Those who favor cremation suffer again a still more frantic disesteem; and yet every one deplores the present gloomy apparatus and dismal observances of our ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... dead with grief, at the news he received from Rome, in sight of the audience, otherwise he has not much business on the stage, and the play ought rather to have taken the name of Bassane's Jealousy, and the dismal Effects thereof, the Murder of his new Bride Clorina, and ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... say so, my dear, but you can't keep on making delightful idiots go down with the public. That was what I was thinking when you came in and found me looking so dismal. I had stopped in the middle of a most exciting scene because I had discovered that I was poking fun at ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... through the aisles of the forest—sounds elsewhere suggestive of night and darkness. Now and then, light shone upon the path—the light that indicates an opening in the forest; but it was not that of a friendly clearing. Only the break caused by some dismal lagoon, amidst whose dank stagnant waters even the cypress cannot grow—the habitat of black water-snakes and mud-turtles—of cranes, herons, and Qua-birds. Hundreds of these I saw perched upon the rotting half-submerged ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... of adventure in an unknown land was indeed enticing. In a few brief words he recalled my dismal forebodings of the life in an underground office in London, and contrasted it with a free existence in a fertile and abundant land, where I should be the guest and perhaps an official of its ruler. He urged me most strongly to go as his ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... fragrantly on the hearth of the small closet adjoining the Queen's chamber, suffusing it with a sense of comfort, the greater by contrast with the cheerlessness out of doors, where an easterly wind swept down from Arthur's Seat and moaned its dismal ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... on his southern journey, with twenty warriors to aid in the work which was now apparently nearing completion. Inspired by patriotic zeal, he passed from tribe to tribe, incessantly active. Through dismal swamps and across wide plains he made his way, and in his light canoe shot many a dangerous rapid. He laboured diligently among the Indians to make them sensible of their wrongs and induce them to sink their petty tribal jealousies in a ...
— Tecumseh - A Chronicle of the Last Great Leader of His People; Vol. - 17 of Chronicles of Canada • Ethel T. Raymond

... 'What a dismal failure it has been, though it began so well!' said Bessie, as she and the other juveniles went upstairs ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... Then the hills Rose bald and rugged o'er the wild abyss; The waters found their places; and the sun, The bright-haired warder of the golden morn, Parting the curtains of reposing night, Rung his first challenge to the dismal shades, That shrunk back, awed, into Cimmerean gloom; And the young moon glode through the startled void With ...
— Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics • Charles Sangster

... men would arrive with wounded, would ask in a whisper that was inhuman and isolating whether there were room on my carts. Then the body would be lifted up; there would be muttered directions, the wounded man would cry, then the other wounded would also cry—after that, there would be the dismal silence again, silence broken only by the shrapnel and the heavy plopping smothers of the rain. But it was myself upon whom my eyes were fixed, myself, a miserable figure, the rain dripping from me, slipping down my neck, squelching under my boots. And as I ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole

... the war, I despair of myself. There is not one gleam of light in all the sad landscape, and the abyss seems waiting at my feet to swallow me up with everything that I cherish. It is no use saying to this demon of the darkness that I know he is a humbug, a mere Dismal Jemmy of the brain, who sits there croaking like a night owl or a tenth-rate journalist. My Dismal Jemmy is not to be exorcised by argument. He can only be driven out ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... midnight to renew their outcries. But those in the Gangrene wards seemed to be denied even this scanty blessing. Apparently they never slept, for their shrieks never ceased. A multitude of whip-poor-wills in the woods around us began their usual dismal cry, which had never seemed so unearthly and full of dreadful ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... and perhaps best of all, as giving weight to any suggestions that I may make, across the dismal mud swamp that I often trod with such an aching heart and faltering steps came to meet me God's best and highest, with outstretched hands of help and encouragement. It was the highly-cultivated and thoughtful ...
— The Power of Womanhood, or Mothers and Sons - A Book For Parents, And Those In Loco Parentis • Ellice Hopkins

... dismal place he trudged along, with his knees shaking, but with a brave heart, until he came to a great pine, which evidently had been struck by lightning, for it stood up white and tall, lifting its bare arms to the sky, like some specter giant crying ...
— The Magic Soap Bubble • David Cory

... quick wit put him up to a plan to serve the poor girl. Early in the morning he took his pack and went through the village up to the Rev. Mr. Horton's. There, under pretence of asking for kettles to mend, he told the most dismal tale to the housemaid. At breakfast-time this was reported to Mrs. Horton. Distress at such a time was sufficient to engage any lady's attention. Mrs. Horton was a frail, tender woman, but earnest in works of charity. The ponies were ...
— The Toilers of the Field • Richard Jefferies

... severity of this first blow that I pleaded an engagement, presented my offerings (how dreadfully inappropriate they seemed!), and hurried away to a lecture on materia medica at the Ecole Pratique; that being a good, congenial, dismal entertainment for ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... it was on Stelton's tongue to blurt out what had happened two days previous, but an instinctive knowledge that Larkin would profit by the information restrained him, and he continued riding on in silence, a prey to dismal thoughts ...
— The Free Range • Francis William Sullivan

... I cared for my trunk—my life was the subject that interested me at the time. Outside, too, the doors and blinds rattled, the tiller-chain chattered and wailed and sobbed like a woman in distress, and above all other sounds rose the dismal fog horn, for a pall of mist ...
— In Nesting Time • Olive Thorne Miller

... an eggshell from which the yolk had been sucked. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston suffered alike, and worthy ship owners had to leave off counting their losses upon their fingers and take to the slate to keep the dismal record. ...
— Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates • Howard I. Pyle

... Mr. Clarkson emitted a dismal groan, and clapping his hand over his mouth strove to make it pass muster as a yawn. It was evident that the malicious Mr. Smithson was deriving considerable pleasure from his discomfiture—the pleasure natural to the father of seven over the troubles of a comfortable bachelor. ...
— Ship's Company, The Entire Collection • W.W. Jacobs

... walls, flanked by more than fifty towers, any preconceived ideas that one may have had of what it might be like will be dispelled in air. It is the most stupendously theatrical thing yet on top of earth, unless it be the sad and dismal Pompeii or poor rent ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... was growing so weak that Yeo gave him more cordial. After a pause Caranby resumed with a last effort, and very swiftly, as though he thought his strength would fail him before he reached the end of his dismal story. ...
— The Secret Passage • Fergus Hume

... comprehensive in relation to history, to summarise and represent in epic characters the traditional experience of an heroic age, is not the proper virtue of every kind of poetry, though it is proper to the Homeric kind. The freedom that belongs to the Iliad and the Odyssey is also shared by many a dismal and interminable poem of the Middle Ages. That foreign or literary subjects impose certain limitations, and interfere with the direct use of matter of experience in poetry, is nothing against them. The Anglo-Saxon Judith, which ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... doubt that, when they had gone, the buildings in which they had slept, the villages which they had seen, the wayside herders and flocks, would vanish like theatrical scenery, and the country present the dismal aspect ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... show a bad taste; for though the other daughters were as ugly as their hideous ma, Mary Shum was a pretty little pink, modest creatur, with glossy black hair and tender blue eyes, and a neck as white as plaster of Parish. She wore a dismal old black gownd, which had grown too short for her, and too tight; but it only served to show her pretty angles and feet, and bewchus figger. Master, though he had looked rather low for the gal of his art, had certainly ...
— Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - The Yellowplush Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... guests wore raincoats, too—we met a few on the way—with dull-colored suits underneath, and tailored hats. There wasn't a single bright, frivolous thing about that tea. Even the house was dismal—rows of black walnut bookcases with busts of great men on top, steel engravings framed in oak on the walls, and a Boston fern or two in red pots sitting about on plates. When I looked up from my weak tea, served in a common stock-pattern willow cup, and saw Lucy ...
— The Fifth Wheel - A Novel • Olive Higgins Prouty

... in a damp and dismal cave across a slimy moor and whenever any one dies unshriven, he is sent for, and he comes after dark, his face shrouded, and prays and moans all night beside the corpse, eating all he possibly can of the food which has been placed about it, and what he can't consume on the spot he takes away ...
— Jane Journeys On • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... poor and dismal life they led there, Snjolfur and his wife. They were both used to hard work, but they had had no experience of privation and constant care for the morrow. Most days it meant putting to sea if they were to eat, and it was not every ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... lulls, however, in this dismal state of affairs. Sometimes the rain ceased; the sun burst forth in irresistible splendour, and the whole country began to steam like a caldron. A cart, too, succeeded now and then in struggling up with a load of fresh provisions; reviving a few sinking spirits for a time, and almost making ...
— The Golden Dream - Adventures in the Far West • R.M. Ballantyne

... tugs waved dismal farewell. A chill wind had begun to harp through the cordage of the little schooner; the moan—far flung, mystic, a voice from nowhere—that presages the tempest crooned ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... see, the further I went into the history of this voyage, the more dismal it became. One miserable account, when examined, only brought up another. I saw no end to inquiry. The great question was, what was I to do? I thought the best thing would be to get the captain ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... into this dismal country with a face of mingled repulsion and interest, which showed that the scene was new to him. At intervals he drew from his pocket a bulky letter to which he referred, and on the margins of which he scribbled ...
— The Valley of Fear • Arthur Conan Doyle



Words linked to "Dismal" :   depressing, uncheerful, cheerless



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