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Distressing   /dɪstrˈɛsɪŋ/   Listen
Distressing

adjective
1.
Causing distress or worry or anxiety.  Synonyms: distressful, disturbing, perturbing, troubling, worrisome, worrying.  "Lived in heroic if something distressful isolation" , "A disturbing amount of crime" , "A revelation that was most perturbing" , "A new and troubling thought" , "In a particularly worrisome predicament" , "A worrying situation" , "A worrying time"
2.
Bad; unfortunate.  Synonyms: deplorable, lamentable, pitiful, sad, sorry.  "A lamentable decision" , "Her clothes were in sad shape" , "A sorry state of affairs"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Distressing" Quotes from Famous Books



... my own fellow townswomen, Miss Mary E. McDowell," said Miss Addams, "who has had what I may call a distressing life in the stockyards district of Chicago for many years, and she will tell you what she thinks of the franchise for women." Miss McDowell said ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... camps of Martiniques, a sort of wild, untamed creature, who spoke a distressing imitation of French which even he did not for a moment claim to be such, but frankly dubbed patois. Restless-eyed black men who answered to their names only at the question "Cummun t'appelle?" and give their age ...
— Zone Policeman 88 - A Close Range Study of the Panama Canal and its Workers • Harry A. Franck

... battlefield of life. Since its foundation 115,677 has been spent in 4,332 grants to distressed authors. All book-lovers will, we doubt not, seek to help forward this noble work, and will endeavour to prevent, as far as possible, any more distressing cases of literary martyrdom, which have so often stained the sad pages of ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... was ill at this time. Her life was despaired of and tidings from her were few and most distressing, but the Doctor maintained a quiet and calm ...
— Priestley in America - 1794-1804 • Edgar F. Smith

... upon the whole, to travel in the bed of the river itself, and thus avoid the frequent necessity for crossing with so much labour and delay: the sandy bed was heavy for the wheels, and therefore distressing to the animals, and one or two rocky masses obliged us to work out of it, to get round them. The whole day was consumed in proceeding thus about 51/2 miles, and in an easterly direction. The closing in of the valley ...
— Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia • Thomas Mitchell

... began to hesitate. He felt it hard to resist the instinct of carnage. And was it right to do so? Which of the felons whom he had cut of prematurely could pretend that a court of appeal would have reversed his sentence? But the consequences were distressing. A new set of characters in every act brought with it the necessity of a new plot; for people could not succeed to the arrears of old actions, or inherit ancient motives, like a landed estate. Five crops, in fact, must be taken off the ground in each separate tragedy, ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... grates harshly on the sense. Of the ordinary "cow-music" I am a great admirer, and take as much pleasure in it as in the cries and melody of birds and the sound of the wind in trees; but this performance of cattle excited by the smell of blood is most distressing to hear. ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... great anxiety of her official friends that she should not outlive her powers: her influence generally was so great that to them the thought of this was distressing. They were always very solicitous about her health, writing to her frequently to say that she should take life more easily, "Take care of yourself, Ma—as much as you can." "Don't be so ridiculously unselfish." "Learn ...
— Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary • W. P. Livingstone

... harsh, stern, rigorous, exact, cruel; serious, sedate, grave, austere, sober; distressing, afflictive, sharp, acute, violent, intense; inexorable, stern, exacting, peremptory, unrelenting, unmerciful; plain, austere, unembellished, unadorned; methodical, strict, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... those good souls who saw no harm in the vilest of creatures; faults were hidden by her veil of sympathy. When distressing reverses or abject despair visited any one, Mrs. Allison's affability and indescribable tenderness smoothed over the troubled situation and brought forth a gleam of gladness. Quiet, kindly, magnanimous, tolerant, she could touch hearts to the depths in a manner ...
— The Loyalist - A Story of the American Revolution • James Francis Barrett

... high-spirited and they're always full of beans. Hard as nails, too," he added. "You'll never kill him. Tell me." He brandished the horn which he held in his right hand. "Don't you think this sounds the best?" With an effort he produced a most distressing sound. "Or this?" Putting the other to his lips, he emitted a ...
— Berry And Co. • Dornford Yates

... was spoken of as if he had been three months instead of three days away. It was like going back a century or two into primitive life, to go into "the district," where civilisation did not prevail to any very distressing extent, and where people in general spoke their minds freely. But even when he came out of No. 10, where the poor woman still kept on living, Mr Wentworth was made aware of his private troubles; for on the opposite side of the way, where there was ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... value. But in addition to the materials mentioned above, there is present in cocoa and chocolate some tannin and stimulating materials. The large percentage of fat existing in chocolate may produce distressing effects when taken in addition to a full meal. If, however, the use of these beverages causes no ill effects, they may be classed among the nutritious foods and are much preferable to tea and coffee especially for girls ...
— School and Home Cooking • Carlotta C. Greer

... on the 1st of October; on the 3d the King's mind gave way, though his bodily suffering lasted longer than that of Bunsen. Little more is to be said of the last years of Bunsen's life. The difficulty of breathing, from which he suffered, became often very distressing, and he was obliged to seek relief by travel in Switzerland, or by spending the winter at Cannes. He recovered from time to time, so as to be able to work hard at the "Biblework," and even to make short excursions to Paris or Berlin. In the last year of his life he executed ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... Garrett, I insist; besides, my watch tells me I have but very little time left in which to get my things together and take the train. No—not another word—it would be more distressing to you than you imagine, perhaps. Now there is just one thing I want to say. I feel that I am really indirectly responsible for this illness of yours, and I think I ought to defray the expense which ...
— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary - Part 2: More Ghost Stories • Montague Rhodes James

... support than the direst certainty. The strokes of the unfortunate miners continued to reply to theirs, which added to their agitation, from the fear of not being able to afford them effectual help. They almost thought that in such a painful moment their situation was more distressing than those they sought to save, as the latter were, at ...
— Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea • James O. Brayman

... was a rather disappointing affair since Beatrice had to remodel her wedding gown in order to wear it. That fact alone was distressing. And at the eleventh hour Steve was called out of town, which left Beatrice in the hands of her angel-duck brigade, who all felt it their duty to paint Steve ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... be distressing to feel herself the least attractive, the least noticed among her companions, and on such an occasion. I cannot conceive how I could bear to form part of such a spectacle; but if I were in her place, I suppose I should be hurt and humbled at finding that nobody cared to ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... motive of mercy, being something pertaining to misery, is, in the first way, anything contrary to the will's natural appetite, namely corruptive or distressing evils, the contrary of which man desires naturally, wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 8) that "pity is sorrow for a visible evil, whether corruptive or distressing." Secondly, such like evils are yet more provocative of pity if they are contrary to deliberate ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... to go in, but were again driven back by the distressing fumes. The fire was eating down, now. There was a hole burned in the roof, and by the leaping tongues of flame Tom could see his aeroplane. It was almost in ...
— Tom Swift and his Sky Racer - or, The Quickest Flight on Record • Victor Appleton

... over each mile we heard more distressing tales from those leaving. Men called us fools to be going toward the doomed town. Thousands were traveling away; we were the only ones going ...
— San Francisco During the Eventful Days of April, 1906 • James B. Stetson

... direction there was more chance of being picked up by a French vessel. Would their strength and provisions hold out? Of this there was serious doubt. Late in the year as it was, the heat and glare were as distressing by day as was the cold by night, and the continued exertion of rowing produced thirst, which made it very difficult to husband the water in the skins. Tam and Fareek were both tough, and inured to heat and privation; but Arthur, scarce yet ...
— A Modern Telemachus • Charlotte M. Yonge

... changes or an intermixture of different things, and is always thought of as agreeable. Vicissitude is sharp, sudden, or violent change, always thought of as surprising and often as disturbing or distressing; as, the vicissitudes of politics. Transition is change by passing from one place or state to another, especially in a natural, regular, or orderly way; as, the transition from spring to ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... person unwilling to forgive an insult, Arjuna of keen speech and prowess, and possessed of energy, betraying great fierceness and licking the corners of his mouth, said these words of grave import, smiling the while: "Oh, how painful, how distressing! I grieve to see this great agitation of thy heart, since having achieved such a superhuman feat, thou art bent upon forsaking this great prosperity. Having slain thy foes, and having acquired the sovereignty of the earth which has been won through observance ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... of a tragedy which he exhibited on the stage at Athens; and after he had been for a short time listened to with complacency, when amid all its fine language the tragedy became more and more distressing, it was condemned by the indignation of the people, who thought that it was insulting to produce this as the subject of a dramatic poem, and that it had been prompted not by a wish to console, but only to remind them to their own disgrace of the sufferings which that beautiful ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... observed that the Buchers cared nothing about all this. Young men, as we have seen, were expected to go on larks. No one spoke of the distressing occurrence. There was no disagreeable testimony that he had made great trouble. No looks of reproach attacked him. His Puritan habits had been, in fact, very curious to the parents. They felt now that he was a youth whom they could ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... distressing news. Mary fancied she had told them a good story, and that with a few others like it she could satisfy their curiosity and keep them at home until the brief summer would have passed. Not so, however, thought the children. They saw their advantage and were resolved to keep ...
— Algonquin Indian Tales • Egerton R. Young

... of my character consists in a careless indifference to public opinion, and to the attacks of those who influence it; that praise and admiration have become yearly less and less desirable, except as marks of sympathy; nay that it is difficult and distressing to me to think with any interest even about the sale and profit of my works, important as, in my present circumstances, such considerations must needs be. Yet it never occurred to me to believe or fancy, that the quantum of intellectual power bestowed on me by nature or education was in any way ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... but if they have sent me far from you, I don't know for what purpose, at least I must make some little use of my pen, to prevent all communication from being cut off between your excellency and myself. I have written lately to you my distressing, ridiculous, foolish, and, indeed, nameless situation. I am sent, with a great noise, at the head of an army for doing great things; the whole continent, France and Europe herself, and what is the worse, the British army, are in great expectations. How far they will be deceived, how ...
— Memoirs, Correspondence and Manuscripts of General Lafayette • Lafayette

... BARTHWICK. Most distressing! The more I see of it, the more important this question of the condition of the people seems to become. I shall certainly make a point of taking up the cudgels in the House. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... address itself to the weak-minded and ignorant, to be supported by sophistry and imposture, and to contradict reason and exalt mere irrational faith; a religion which impresses on the serious mind very distressing views of the guilt and consequences of sin, sets upon the minute acts of the day, one by one, their definite value for praise or blame, and thus casts a grave shadow over the future; a religion which holds up to admiration the surrender of wealth, and disables serious persons from enjoying ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 • Various

... may come to hate horses and mules, particularly mules, in this country. Our travelling is above all a matter of surface. Distance counts and weather counts, but surface counts for more than either. See how fast we came across the Seward Peninsula in the most distressing weather imaginable! A well-used dog trail becomes so hard and smooth that it offers scarce any resistance to the passage of the sled, and for walking or running over in moccasins or mukluks is the most perfect surface imaginable. The more it is used the better it becomes. But put a horse on ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... great favourite in the service, and for a time his melancholy end cast a gloom over the little community at the Bell Rock. The circumstances of the case were also peculiarly distressing in reference to the boy's mother, for her husband had been for three years past confined in a French prison, and her son had been the chief support of the family. In order in some measure to make up to the poor woman for the loss of the monthly aliment ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... into a flux, of which thirty persons died. From the continuance of calms and contrary winds, and the mortality among the people, the whole company became amazed, and believed they should never be able to get out from their present distressing situation; insomuch, that they solicited the general to return to Calicut, or some other part of India, and submit to what God might appoint, rather than to die on the sea of these terrible diseases, for ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... was very distressing, you know, to see poor Pa so low and hear him say such terrible things, and I couldn't help crying myself. But I told him that I DID mean it with all my heart and that I hoped our house would be a place for him to come and find some comfort in of an ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... sake, count, for heaven's sake, chevalier," said Monsieur, "do you not see how you are distressing me?" ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... of the North Pole. The common house fly was probably at one time peculiar to the Eastern Continent, but it followed the footsteps of the Pilgrim Fathers, and is now as great a nuisance in the United Slates and the Dominion as in any part of Europe. It is curious, but distressing, to note the tendency of evils to become international. We have communicated to America the house-fly and the Hessian fly, the "cabbage-white," the small pox, and the cholera. She, in return, has given us the Phylloxera, a few ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 303 - October 22, 1881 • Various

... which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes, that the lightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far, that we should never again see their religious disputes ...
— The True George Washington [10th Ed.] • Paul Leicester Ford

... sir," sighed Burgsdorf, "would that I did not know, for it is a most sorrowful knowledge to an old soldier and in a most distressing condition is the ...
— The Youth of the Great Elector • L. Muhlbach

... and distressing enough, and Kendrick, although he did not take the threat of self-destruction very seriously—somehow he could scarcely fancy George Kent in the role of a suicide—was sincerely sorry for the boy. He ...
— Fair Harbor • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... convey the distressing intelligence that M. Gordkin is suffering from a complete nervous breakdown. His temperature has never been below 117 for the last week, and his pulse varies from 240 to 260. The doctors take a serious view of his case, and all his engagements have ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 25, 1914 • Various

... the consciousness of sounding her name. He now felt a strangely distressing qualm from a new thought. The letter could of course be no other than anonymous, or the inquiry would not ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... so he was to be in her company. All the same, his instinct pulled him by the sleeve. Hazily he reflected that to retrace such steps as you have taken along the path of Love is a bad business, and that the farther you have elected to venture, so much the more distressing must be your return. And he would have to return. In the absence of a miracle, that journey could not be avoided. For an instant the spectre of Reckoning leaned out of the future.... Then Patch flushed a stray pig, and Valerie laughed joyously, ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... America as soon as possible. I feel this sad affair has thoroughly spoilt your visit to Paris; and speaking as a man who has children himself, I am sure it has not been well, either for Miss Daisy or for your son, to have become absorbed, as they could hardly help becoming, in this distressing business." ...
— The End of Her Honeymoon • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... of the city were under water from the overflow of the Potomac, which was backed up by the influx of the Atlantic into Chesapeake Bay, and the most distressing scenes were enacted there, people fleeing in the utmost disorder toward higher ground, carrying their children and some of their household goods, and uttering doleful cries. Many, thinking that the best way to escape, embarked in frail boats on the ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... Your arrival has already been notified to us by the avant-courier of the fashionable intelligence, so that we are well aware," here laughing lightly, "of the distinctive right you have to a hearty welcome in Naples. I am only sorry that any distressing news should have darkened the occasion of your return here after so long an absence. Permit me to express the hope that it may at least be the only cloud for you ...
— Vendetta - A Story of One Forgotten • Marie Corelli

... remain tranquil during the absence of the nurse. He very soon fell into a dream, which began quietly enough, but in the course of the sudden transitions which dreams are in the habit of undergoing became successively anxious, distressing, terrifying. His earlier and later experiences came up before him, fragmentary, incoherent, chaotic even, but vivid as reality. He was at the bottom of a coal-mine in one of those long, narrow galleries, or rather worm-holes, in which human beings pass a large part of their lives, like ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... that this is an impossibility, and every now and again society will have to submit to be shocked by the revelation of a palpable miscarriage of justice. At the same time it is important to take every possible precaution against the occurrence of such distressing accidents. This can only be effected by placing the administration of the law in all its departments, from the policeman to the Home Secretary, in the hands of thoroughly competent officials who have not only their heart, but what is equally important, their head in the work. When this is done, ...
— Crime and Its Causes • William Douglas Morrison

... out his watch. It was now nearly half-past ten o'clock. His manner was nervous, verging on to excitement. In almost any other case he would have said that it was not possible for him to go. But the exigency and the peculiarly distressing circumstances attending upon this made it next to impossible for ...
— Danger - or Wounded in the House of a Friend • T. S. Arthur

... itself could have dared to number, to counteract the general homeliness of her face and figure. To complete the picture, it was easy to remark, from the Princess's negligence in dress and the timidity of her manner, that she had an unusual and distressing consciousness of her own plainness of appearance, and did not dare to make any of those attempts to mend by manners or by art what nature had left amiss, or in any other way to exert a power of ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... carefully to the cry and complaints of the people, and as he does so he feels sure they are not raised without cause. There is undoubtedly great and distressing poverty in the city, and he finds that this may be traced ...
— The King's Cup-Bearer • Amy Catherine Walton

... but FEELS, "God's will be done," is mailed against every weakness; and the whole historic array of martyrs, missionaries, and religious reformers is there to prove the tranquil-mindedness, under naturally agitating or distressing circumstances, which ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... according to his promise; distressing reports were circulated among the troops; and the royalists, having waited for him almost a fortnight, disbanded in spite of the fears and entreaties of their commander. At last, on the eighteenth day, the King arrived ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... enough, but the conversation was considerably worse. Whatever else Garnet was, he was an English gentleman, as his letters testify; and Sir William Wade was not. He was, on the contrary, one of those distressing people who pride themselves on being outspoken, and calling a spade a spade, which they do in the most vulgar and disagreeable manner. He favoured the prisoner with his unvarnished opinion of the Society to which he belonged, and with ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... habit that Fraulein had, to weep silently at unexpected moments, and say her feelings were hurt. This was so distressing that the children were always anxious to avoid it if possible. She stood looking on now with a pleased smile, grasping her camp-stool, and understanding very little of the chatter going on round her. Fraulein was very ...
— A Pair of Clogs • Amy Walton

... Calhoun, "disregarding the sound dictates of reason and experience, we, in peace, neglect our military establishment, we must, with a powerful and skilful enemy, be exposed to the most distressing calamities." ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... not threaten him; but I told him the distressing truth, that I am very much afraid I shall fail if compelled to attempt a solo in public, for I know the audience at Mrs. Brompton's will be critical, ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... that rots itself in case on Lethe's wharf," who found nothing curious and provocative about these Sirens and Centaurs and Lemures and Larvae and Cabiri and Phorkyads! I can myself endure very pleasantly even the society of those "Blessed Boys" which some have found so distressing. As for the Devil, in the end, making "indecent overtures" to the little Heavenly Butterflies, who pelt him with roses—even that does not confuse my mind or distract my senses. It is the "other side of the Moon"—the under-mask of the ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... sentimentality to the absurd, and he was rather pleased with himself for being able thus to correlate the general past and the particular present. What he did not suspect was the existence of circumstances which made the death of Mr Shushions in the workhouse the most distressing tragedy that could by any possibility ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... intelligent men looked upon it as something extremely remarkable; were in dread of it; and said, as it proved to be, that it was an omen of important events which had not yet taken place. And the priest Andres, on Whit Sunday, made a long and excellent speech, and turned the conclusion of it to the distressing situation of the townspeople; telling them to muster courage, and not lay waste their excellent town by deserting it, but rather to take the utmost care in all things, and use the greatest foresight against all dangers, as of fire or the enemy, and to pray to God ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... departments of work. Inventions looking toward the saving of labor have closely followed each other for so many years that their object is about accomplished, and all the pain and sorrow accompanying daily toil are things of the dead past. Even our animals are relieved from distressing labor and share with us the blessings of an advanced civilization, every heavy weight being raised and every burdensome load being drawn by an arm of steel or aluminum, which neither tires nor feels. We do not need to pity a machine. Why should flesh and blood, whether of dumb beasts ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... no friends?'—'I had—but, by God's blessing, Have not been troubled with them lately. Now I have answer'd all your questions without pressing, And you an equal courtesy should show.' 'Alas!' said Juan, ''t were a tale distressing, And long besides.'—'Oh! if 't is really so, You 're right on both accounts to hold your tongue; A sad tale saddens doubly, when 't ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... you're right—I hope it is absurd, my dear young lady," he said. "Your cousin, you say? Dear me, that's most distressing—most distressing, upon my word! However, you will understand I had nothing to ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Mountains - or Bessie King's Strange Adventure • Jane L. Stewart

... listened to both speakers, and agreed with both alternately, experiencing more and more that distressing condition of mental chaos, in which he found himself of two absolutely contradictory and diametrically ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... especially when they are in distress and wish man to help them. And they often combine to help one another. I was on a sheep ranch in western Texas once when one of the sheep came bleating up to the camp late in the afternoon. She uttered the most distressing calls. A friend, whom I was visiting, assured me that something unusual was wrong. Together we followed the sheep back to where she had been feeding in the pasture, she going forward in short spurts ...
— The Human Side of Animals • Royal Dixon

... Wose, Amen," she said, but she meant, not God, but her friend. He, her friend, had never sent her anything before, and now that Rose had come straight from him, she must have a great deal to tell her about him. Nothing puzzled her more than the distressing fact that she wondered sometimes whether her friend was ever really coming again, whether any of the wonderful things that were happening on every side of her wouldn't suddenly one fine morning vanish altogether, and leave her to a dreary world of nurse, bread and milk, and the Romans ...
— The Golden Scarecrow • Hugh Walpole

... have been found embedded in the Egyptian mummies. It begins its life in a water snail, transfers itself through the mouth and skin to the body of any human being it can, and there makes hay of his or her internal arrangements in a peculiarly distressing manner. All Egyptians are bilharziotic and seem to thrive on it; but we were strictly forbidden in our own interests to give the little beast an entree. Behind the line were salt marshes and sand. East of the Canal were two or three palm trees, a little mosque and a couple ...
— The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918 • F.L. Morrison

... above her head, and a Portrait of Mrs. F. Lucas, were also shown; but Greek Girls playing at Ball is not only the most important, but is also a picture that shows the mannerism of Lord Leighton's treatment of drapery at its finest. Elsewhere the undulating snaky coils may be somewhat distressing, here they float in the air and help the suggestion of movement. The landscape at the back is also both typical and beautiful. An Elegy was the fifth of the artist's contributions to the ...
— Frederic Lord Leighton - An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work • Ernest Rhys

... learn. Only to-day I made official report that nothing whatever could be discovered about him. Certainly he is nowhere in Romero, and it is my personal belief that the poor fellow was either drowned in the river or made way with for his money. Probably the truth will never be known. It is a distressing event, but I assure you my soldiers do not kill American citizens. It is our boast that Federal territory is safe; one can come or go at will in any part of Mexico that is under Potosista control. I sincerely hope that we have heard the last of this ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... is my great misfortune to be obliged to inform you of events not less afflicting to the people of the United States than distressing to my own feelings and the feelings of all those ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Lincoln - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 6: Abraham Lincoln • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... not paying you all this money as a simple attendant for papa. I could get two at the price. The fact is papa has an unfortunate faculty for getting involved in street disputes. On account of his prominence a certain publicity is attached to it. Very distressing to the family. I shall expect you to keep him out of such troubles. You will have to be firm. He is very obstinate. But I authorise you to take any measures, any measures to save him ...
— The Deaves Affair • Hulbert Footner

... once more proof was given, if, indeed, further evidence was required, that our Government was strong enough to quietly and peacefully endure a sudden change of rulers and of administration, no matter how distressing and odious the cause. ...
— Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. VIII.: James A. Garfield • James D. Richardson

... appeared to have undertaken the painful role of spokesman, while Lindsay, mute and impatient, fidgeted with the hilt of his long sword, "it is distressing to me to have to undeceive you on this point: it is not your mercy that I come to ask; it is, on the contrary, the pardon of the Secret Council that I come to ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... had come prepared to spend the night, but his throat tickled and he had a distressing habit of snoring, therefore he deemed it the part of caution to depart before he dropped off into the land of dreams. He effected ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... cavernously hollow, he looked like a man in the last stages of consumption. Little life as Sundry Buyers showed, Nancy showed even less life. And these were bosuns!—bosuns of the fine American sailing-ship Elsinore! Never had any illusion of mine taken a more distressing cropper. ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... amis de Bonaparte sans etre ses esclaves.' He apologised for this language, and said I must not consider it as coming from a Prussian Minister, but from a man who unbosomed himself to his friend.... I have only omitted the distressing picture of M. de Hardenberg's agitation during this conversation. He bewailed the fate of Prussia, and complained of the hardships he had undergone for the last three months, and of the want of firmness and resolution ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... soon he hit a prodigious swipe, well over cover-point's head,—or rather, in the direction where cover-point would have been. "Ye're awfu' bad in the whuns," said the orphan boy; and, indeed, BULGER'S next strokes were played in distressing circumstances. The spikes of the gorse ran into his person—he could only see a small part of the ball, and, in a few minutes, he had made a useful clearing of about ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, November 19, 1892 • Various

... trunk, with a visage which had become elongated to a really distressing degree, Sir Asinus was sighing, and casting a ...
— The Youth of Jefferson - A Chronicle of College Scrapes at Williamsburg, in Virginia, A.D. 1764 • Anonymous

... of march, next on the other side of the Euphrates, were toilsome and distressing in the extreme; through a plain covered with deep snow (in some places six feet deep), and at times in the face of a north wind so intolerably chilling and piercing, that at length one of the prophets urged the necessity of offering ...
— The Two Great Retreats of History • George Grote

... children, and infirm persons, as the city was likely soon to be "the scene of a bloody conflict." He stated that when the Rose and Phoenix sailed past, "the shrieks and cries of these poor creatures, running every way with their children, was truly distressing." Pastor Shewkirk says: "This affair caused a great fright in the city. Women and children, and some with their bundles, came from the lower parts and walked to the Bowery, which was ...
— The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn • Henry P. Johnston

... attendant called in said that he might linger thus for some time, but that, even if he recovered his intellect, which was more than doubtful, he would never be able to resume his profession. I could not leave Louise in circumstances so distressing,—I remained. The little money Duval had brought from Paris was now exhausted; and when the day on which he had been in the habit of receiving his quarter's pension came round, Louise was unable even to conjecture ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... "Dollie, a distressing story has reached me. It concerns your former life, but I know you must have repented, or you would not be doing hard, honest work for your living. Surely there are many you know and would like to help lead better lives. It ...
— Fifteen Years With The Outcast • Mrs. Florence (Mother) Roberts

... in it, I hope.' He laughed a little. 'The difference isn't distressing, but just enough to be taken into account. At forty, or near it, a man who is happily married gets used to his slippers and his pipe—especially if comfort, and all the rest of it, have come after half a lifetime of homelessness. I might often say to myself that I was wasting ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... number of clerks, shopmen, &c., who daily arrive in Australia, there is a worse chance of their gaining a livelihood than if they had remained at home. With this description of labour the colonial market is largely overstocked; and it is distressing to notice the number of young men incapable of severe manual labour, who, with delicate health, and probably still more delicately filled purses, swarm the towns in search of employment, and are exposed to heavy expenses which they can earn nothing to meet. Such men have rarely been ...
— A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53. • Mrs. Charles (Ellen) Clacey

... prolong the pain of my disclosures by longer withholding the distressing truth that breakfast next morning was a failure too? To begin with, I couldn't get any of those lovely crisp crescent rolls that accord so rhythmically with orange marmalade and strawberry jam. I couldn't ...
— Eating in Two or Three Languages • Irvin S. Cobb

... said Sir Chichester sadly. "Well he might be!" He looked up and caught Harry's eye. "They say, Luttrell, that breaking a habit is only distressing during the first few days. With each refusal of the mind to yield, the temptation diminishes in strength. I believe that to be ...
— The Summons • A.E.W. Mason

... reminds me that one distressing phase of early rising is the incongruous and unpleasant contact of the preceding night. The social yesterday is not fairly over before nine A. M. to-day, and there is always a humorous, sometimes a pathetic, lapping ...
— Drift from Two Shores • Bret Harte

... of what has happened," counseled Dr. Thornton, "the young gentlemen will do well to leave nothing of value in their coats in the locker rooms. And while nothing distressing, has yet happened in the young ladies basement, I trust they will govern themselves by what has happened on ...
— The High School Freshmen - Dick & Co.'s First Year Pranks and Sports • H. Irving Hancock

... more unsteady in her voice as she went on. She was trying hard to keep calm, but she was evidently feeling so acutely, so violently, that it was distressing to, have to watch her. I was so sorry. I wanted to put my arms round her and tell her not to mind so much, that of course I'd go, but if only she wouldn't mind so much whatever it was. Then at last she began to lose her hold on herself, and got up and walked ...
— Christine • Alice Cholmondeley

... of the army was equally distressing. Drastic drafting had long since taken into the army all the able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Boys from fourteen to eighteen, and old men from forty-five to sixty, were also ...
— History of the United States, Volume 4 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... as I jumped up and shook myself all over, "I will not have this distressing experience for nothing; I will make good use of it; I cannot recall the past, but I will act differently for the future;" and down I lay again to make plans for the future. Coming events cast no shadows before, either in the glass or in my dreams. I knew nothing about what I might, ...
— Cat and Dog - Memoirs of Puss and the Captain • Julia Charlotte Maitland

... way through the pressing, distressing multitudes, following Ahmed Bey into the Mosque, while the Army Officer mounts a platform in the court and dispenses to the crowd there of his Turkish blatherskite. We stand in the Mosque near the heavy tapestried ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... gazed at him with parted lips, and pressing her handkerchief to her eyes began silently to cry. The sudden spectacle, in this condition, of a self-controlled woman of the world was infinitely distressing to Hodder, whose sympathies were even more sensitive than (in her attempt to play upon them) she had suspected. . . She was aware that he had got to his feet, and was standing beside her, speaking with ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... looking down on the road tonight, from a hill perhaps two hundred yards away, we saw distinctly a column of soldiers in dark blue uniforms, marching across country, and just behind them the ground seemed to writhe and wriggle in a distressing manner. For a moment we could not imagine what was happening, when soon a company of men in khaki began to evolve itself from the landscape. Does that not prove the inestimable value of earth-colored clothes? For as close as they were to us, we ...
— Lige on the Line of March - An American Girl's Experiences When the Germans Came Through Belgium • Glenna Lindsley Bigelow

... from the original seven volumes into one volume of one hundred and seventy-six closely printed pages, with several full-page copper-plate illustrations. The plot, however, gains rather than loses in this condensed form. The principal distressing situations follow so fast one upon the other that the intensity of the various episodes in the affecting history is increased by the total absence of all the "moving" letters found in the original work. The "lordly husband and father," "the imperious son," "the ...
— Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book • Rosalie V. Halsey

... pressed the white maternal breasts, and had played with the kisses of the fond maternal lips,—it was scarcely conceivable; and a delicate-minded matron, like Mrs. Gingerford, may well be excused for not entertaining any such distressing fancy. ...
— Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... still escaped this somehow, yet they were brought into straits by the assessments, and as they were terribly destitute of money they too were in a way deprived of everything. Moreover, the following device, distressing to hear but most distressing in practice, was put into operation. Whoever of them wished was allowed by abandoning his property afterward to make a requisition for one-third of it, which meant getting nothing and also having trouble. For when they were being openly and violently despoiled of two-thirds, ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. III • Cassius Dio

... This was rather distressing, as her real business with her guardians made it proper her conference with them should be undisturbed: and Albany was not a man with whom a hint that she was engaged could be risked: but she had made no preparation to guard against interruption, as her little ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... Miss Jillgall. It pleased me to find that they were talking in a friendly way when I joined them. A quarrel between Helena and my husband that is to be—no, my husband that shall be—would have been too distressing, too unnatural I might ...
— The Legacy of Cain • Wilkie Collins

... an outrage on common human feeling; if he fall into disaster, it is merely what he deserves. Neither is it admissible to represent the misfortunes of a thoroughly good man, for that is merely painful and distressing; and least of all is it tolerable gratuitously to introduce mere baseness, or madness, or other aberrations from human nature. The true tragic hero is a man of high place and birth who having a nature not ignoble has fallen into sin and pays ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... rapid view of the destroyed ramparts of the town and returned to the hospital, where there were men whose limbs had been amputated, many wounded, many afflicted with ophthalmia, whose lamentations were distressing, and some infected with the plague. The beds of the last description of patients were to the right on entering the first ward. I walked by the General's side, and I assert that I never saw him touch any one of the infected. And why should he have done so? They were in the ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... Captain Martin, of the Impetueux, whose feelings as a man, as well as his zeal as an officer, were on this distressing occasion so conspicuous.—It is the desire of the officers and crew of the Venerable in this place to express the high sense they have of the obligations they are under to his personal exertions, as well as those of the officers and boats' crews whom he employed in this difficult ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... dispelled them and made them irrelevant and uninteresting. So long as one believed that life span unprogressively from generation to generation, that generation followed generation unchangingly for ever, the enormous preponderance of sexual needs and emotions in life was a distressing and inexplicable fact—it was a mystery, it was sin, it was the work of the devil. One asked, why does man build houses that others may live therein; plant trees whose fruit he will never see? And all the toil and ambition, the stress and hope of existence, seemed, ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... that the one who is smiling is happy and every happy person helps to make every one else happy. Yet we all understand that happiness does not mean smiling all the time. There is truly nothing more distressing than a giggler or one who is forever grimacing. "True happiness," says one of our most cheerful writers, "means the joyous sparkle in the eye and the little, smiling lines in the face that are so quickly and easily distinguished from the ...
— The Girl Wanted • Nixon Waterman

... rendered unfit for action the design of giving battle was reluctantly abandoned by Washington and a retreat commenced. It was continued all the day and great part of the night, through a cold and most distressing rain and very deep roads. A few hours before day (September 17th), the troops halted at the Yellow Springs, where their arms and ammunition were examined, and the alarming fact was disclosed that scarcely ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... smile spoke volumes, though his natural reserve prevented his addressing Edward, while the young and lively members of the party seemed to find abundant amusement in the anecdotes and adventures he narrated. Arthur Myrvin gazed earnestly at him, and for a time banished his own distressing thoughts in the endeavour to trace in the fine manly youth before him some likeness to the handsome, yet violent and mischievous boy he had first and last seen in ...
— The Mother's Recompense, Volume II. - A Sequel to Home Influence in Two Volumes • Grace Aguilar

... Truth to tell, she had felt many doubts as to the reception of her fineries, but the mental vision of Elma's tasteless home-made garments, against the background of the beautiful old Manor, had been distressing enough to overcome her scruples. She dimpled as she read, and laughed triumphantly. Things were going well; excellently well, and those dresses ought to exercise a distinctly hurrying effect. Four or five days—maybe a week. "My!" soliloquised ...
— Flaming June • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... between us. There came an illness, an operation, and he rose from it ailing, suffering, dwarfed and altogether changed. Of all the dark shadows upon life I think that change through illness and organic decay in the thoughts and spirits of those who are dear and close to us is the most evil and distressing and inexplicable. Suddenly he was a changeling, a being querulous and pitiful, ...
— The Passionate Friends • Herbert George Wells

... however, urged Mme. Verdurin to let the pianist play, not because he supposed her to be malingering when she spoke of the distressing effects that music always had upon her, for he recognised the existence of certain neurasthenic states—but from his habit, common to many doctors, of at once relaxing the strict letter of a prescription as soon as it appeared to jeopardise, what seemed to him ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... for him of the eagle. He has indeed the strong wing and the swiftness of the king of birds. And yet the works of few really great painters—and among the really great we place Ferrari—leave upon the mind a more distressing sense of imperfection. Extraordinary fertility of fancy, vehement dramatic passion, sincere study of nature, and great command of technical resources are here (as elsewhere in Ferrari's frescos) neutralized by an incurable defect of ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... intelligence they brought, and the seasonable refreshment they bore to the sick, were joyfully welcomed by the whole community; and the spirits of the settlers rose at the prospect of securing Indian friends and allies, who might, under their present distressing circumstances, afford them such essential help and security. The necessity for such aid had lately become more urgent than ever, for a party of their untiring enemies, the Nausetts, had very recently invaded the enclosure within which lay the loved remains of all who bad perished since their arrival ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... kindness, but quickly fell into great distress on being unprepared for eternity. It would break a heart of stone to hear her: 'Oh! dear sir, what shall I do?' ... Oh! the horrors of that night. It was one of the most distressing I ever knew. She wouldn't close her eyes for fear of dying. In the morning was a little more resigned, fell asleep, awoke refreshed, but still in darkness. 'Oh! dear father,' she would say, 'I have dreadfully apostatized ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 4, April, 1886 • Various

... that she had heard? There was his mother, probably trying to restrain her voice, for it came up now just loud enough to make it most distressing to try to catch the words, which sounded like something pitying. 'Ay, ay—just like his poor father; when they be decliny, it will come out one ways or another; and says I to Mother, I'll go over and cheer poor Cousin King up a ...
— Friarswood Post-Office • Charlotte M. Yonge

... poison of most snakes and many other noxious animals affects only the circulating system, and may therefore be swallowed with impunity, the poison of the bee acts powerfully, not only upon the circulating system, but upon the organs of digestion. The most distressing head-aches are ...
— Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee - A Bee Keeper's Manual • L. L. Langstroth

... had a most distressing scene at Amelia's this morning. She insisted on knowing what he thought of her, and then burst out bitter complaints and lamentations, charging it to husband that she had this disease, declaring that she could not, and would not die, and insisting that ...
— Stepping Heavenward • Mrs. E. Prentiss

... and lay out the Country, and the other player choose from which side he would come. And to-day we play over such landscapes in a cork-carpeted schoolroom, from which the proper occupants are no longer evicted but remain to take an increasingly responsible and less and less audible and distressing ...
— Little Wars; a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books • H. G. Wells

... is relapsing into paganism is, as we have seen, the sincere conviction of many earnest Christians. Why this should be so, they cannot understand. In their desire to account for so distressing a phenomenon, they will have recourse to any explanation, however far-fetched and fantastic, rather than acknowledge that it is the Scripture lesson in the elementary school which is paganising the masses. If the Churches could have their way, they ...
— What Is and What Might Be - A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular • Edmond Holmes

... my Elpidias, since you are aware of this sad truth, have you not asked yourself what is the most distressing ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... good for the cause. My voice faltered 190 a little, for I was somewhat agitated; though not so much on my own account as for the uneasiness that so kind and friendly a man would feel from the thought that he had been the occasion of distressing me. At length I brought out these words: 'I must now confess, sir! that I am author of that poem. It 195 was written some years ago. I do not attempt to justify my past self, young as I then was; but as little as I would now write a similar poem, so far ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... not, however, expose myself to the risk of being irritated by the sight of my willing but mechanical hostess scraping the white ashes from the embers, parcelling out these into little heaps of fire upon the hearth, throwing salt into the swinging pot with a hand the colour of which may be distressing to the imagination, then tasting the soup: all this, and much more, I leave her to accomplish in the gathering darkness of the kitchen, and, sparing her the pain of lighting lamp or candle while there is ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... and through, the chapter on Healing and Teaching,(8) and was so deeply interested that I began reading that blessed chapter over again,—when I found I was cured of my dyspepsia, that I could use my strength in lifting without feeling the old distressing pain in my side, and also that the pain in the kidneys only came on at night, waking me out of sleep. Then I began my first conscious treatments: of course I followed no formula, and I needed none. A cry for help, knowing it would be answered; precious texts from the Bible, which had ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... Now, feeling the barrier between them, he fancied that perhaps it might be removed more easily by such another discussion. And this notion of his was not any proof of want of subtlety on his part. Without knowing why, Hermione felt a lack of self-confidence, a distressing, an almost unnatural humbleness to-day. He partially divined the feeling. Possibly it sprang from their difference of opinion on the propriety of Vere's reading his books. He thought it might be so. ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... seen his approaching financial downfall, and have helped him in every way we could to avert it, he would not relinquish his plans while there was yet time. Do not ask me to go into any further details. It is really most distressing. Your father's attorneys will understand the matter fully when the ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... delicate animal, and is subject to a variety of ailments. A common disease is a swelling in the throat, which in bad cases prevents it from feeding. Another complaint resembles gout in the legs, which swell to a distressing size, and give exquisite pain, especially when touched. This attack is frequently occasioned by allowing elephants, after a long march under a hot sun, to wade belly-deep in cool water in order to graze upon ...
— Wild Beasts and their Ways • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... not, for the sake of my bibi!" said Mrs. Creighton. "It is the prettiest little hat I have had these three years; it would be distressing to have it spoilt before it has ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... Harriet Then gave a sad recital of a trial And a divorce; and (but reluctantly) Told of a terrible suspicion, born Of a remark, dropped by a servant once, Concerning her unlikeness to her father: But never could she wring a confirmation Of the distressing story from her mother. "Tell her," said I, "you mean to leave your sister A handsome legacy." She promised this. Then saying I would call the following day, I hurried off to see poor ...
— The Woman Who Dared • Epes Sargent

... the early difficulties; and another, more distressing in its way, was my discovery of the fact that it was apparently impossible for me to think consecutively, or to write when I had thought, in a room which was my wife's living place. It was strange that I should never have given a thought before ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... and on the same day he forwarded a letter to Messrs. Ricardo. "I wrote to you a few days ago," he said, "from Malta, and, as the packet sailed with a fair wind, you will receive that letter very shortly. You will thereby perceive the distressing suspense in which I have been held, and the inconvenience to which I have been exposed, by remaining on board this small vessel for a period of five months, during all the heat of a Mediterranean summer, without exercise or ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. • Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

... fellows, his friend Mr. Scott[1285], who accompanied him from Newcastle to Edinburgh, was gone to the country. We put up at the Angel inn, and passed the evening by ourselves in easy and familiar conversation. Talking of constitutional melancholy, he observed, 'A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them.' BOSWELL. 'May not he think them down, Sir?' JOHNSON. 'No, Sir. To attempt to think them down is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed-chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... the story that my lips could not utter in Spanish, for she smiled upon me sweetly, arose, and put her hand upon my shoulder. My arm encircled her waist and I began to waltz. Unfortunately my companion did not follow, but began to hop up and down in a manner most distressing. Supposing the attack to be only temporary, I paused and, much to my relief, she soon showed signs of recovery; and in the course of time she came to a standstill looking up into my face in an inquiring sort of ...
— An Epoch in History • P. H. Eley

... 1868. His disease, aneurism of the aorta, had progressed rapidly; and the tumor pressing on the pneumo-gastric nerves and trachea, caused frequent spasms of the bronchial tubes which were exceedingly distressing. ...
— Christopher Carson • John S. C. Abbott



Words linked to "Distressing" :   heavy, bad



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