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Go to pieces   /goʊ tu pˈisəz/   Listen
Go to pieces

verb
1.
Lose one's emotional or mental composure.  Synonym: fall apart.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Go to pieces" Quotes from Famous Books



... as he lifted his glass. "Time for everything but work, Crowther. She has developed beastly loose morals in her old age. Some day there'll come a nasty bust up, and she may pull herself together and do things again, or she may go to pieces. I wonder which." ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... she said. "I know that Cal Warren would rather see the Three Bar go to pieces from its own pressure, fighting from the inside to grow, than to see it whittled down from the ...
— The Settling of the Sage • Hal G. Evarts

... sympathetic smile), the Upper River was not the Lower River, you know. (That really did seem remarkably true, and we became alarmed.) The Upper River, mind you, was terriffic. Why, those frail ribs and that impossible planking would go to pieces on the first rock—like an egshell! Of course, we were free to do as we pleased—they would not discourage us for the world. And the engine! Gracious! Such a boat would never stand the vibration of a four-horse, high-speed engine ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... and nothing else. By gad! it has unstrung the whole garrison, I believe. You never saw our people fall off so in their shooting. Of course we expected Jerrold to go to pieces, but ...
— From the Ranks • Charles King

... forced to go to war; that they had seen the folly of it, and the misery of it, and would devote themselves thereafter to the delightful pursuits of peace. Gradually the fighting ships of the ironclad class were allowed to go to pieces; gradually even the larger ships of the wooden sailing class fell into disrepair; gradually the idea of war faded from the minds even of naval officers; gradually squadrons and fleets, as such, were broken ...
— The Navy as a Fighting Machine • Bradley A. Fiske

... to pieces. This, in you, would be mere ill-breeding and ill-temper. In Tintoret it was one of the necessary conditions of his intense sensibility; had he been capable, then, of keeping his temper, he could never have done his greatest works. Let the trees go to pieces, by all means; it is quite right they should; he ...
— The Two Paths • John Ruskin

... days, unknown to him, he was not sailing in a false direction. No, he could not find fault with himself on that point. The sun, even though he could not perceive it in the fogs, always rose before him to set behind him. But, then, that land, had it disappeared? That America, on which his vessel would go to pieces, perhaps, where was it, if it was not there? Be it the Southern Continent or the Northern Continent—for anything way possible in that chaos—the "Pilgrim" could not miss either one or the other. What had happened since the beginning of this ...
— Dick Sand - A Captain at Fifteen • Jules Verne

... Frank breathed these words on the long gust of his outgoing breath. "Now, don't go to pieces. Remember, ...
— Angel Island • Inez Haynes Gillmore

... began the latter slowly, "the Apostles, the angels, and the Saviour are most beautiful too. But there is one thing troubling me. That slender pillar cannot support that heavy vault much longer; it will soon totter and fall down, and all will go to pieces." ...
— Legends of the Rhine • Wilhelm Ruland

... not dragged her down, Mr. O'Day. Of that you may be sure. A woman of her class doesn't go to pieces in a year. When she reaches the end of her means she will either seek work or she will go to one of the institutions to wait until she can hear from her people at home. I ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... at last began to be felt that the Union would go to pieces and the Federalists be to blame. Accordingly, on the 36th ballot, five Federalists from South Carolina, four from Maryland, one from Vermont, and one from Delaware—Mr. Bayard, grandfather to President Cleveland's first Secretary of State—did not vote, enabling the republican members ...
— History of the United States, Volume 2 (of 6) • E. Benjamin Andrews

... disgrace, from all would come this shameful confession: "I loved evil and hated the law of God." Not one could confess to passionate, enthusiastic devotion to the divine laws. But every tree not rooted goes down before the storm, and every ship unanchored midst the rocks will go to pieces when the wind rises. Would that we could to-day cause the laws of God to stand forth as sharply defined as mountain peaks before the eyes of all young men; would that we could also kindle in each a passionate love and loyal ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... a man. She has so many varieties of headache,—sometimes as if Jael were driving the nail that killed Sisera into her temples,—sometimes letting her work with half her brain while the other half throbs as if it would go to pieces,—sometimes tightening round the brows as if her cap-band were Luke's iron crown,—and then her neuralgias, and her back-aches, and her fits of depression, in which she thinks she is nothing and less than nothing, and those paroxysms which men speak slightingly of as hysterical,—convulsions, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... would scarcely have recognized him, and distinguished from the rest by a ball and chain attached to wrist and ankle; "and yet we bear it for her sake and for Freedom's. Who of us regrets that we did not stay at home in inglorious ease, and leave our grand old ship of state to founder and go to pieces amid the rocks ...
— Elsie's Womanhood • Martha Finley

... more circlings of the clock-hands were measured off before the break came. I lost count of the time by days and was no longer able to think clearly. In perfect physical condition when I was arrested, I began to go to pieces, both mentally and physically, under the strain of suspense. Then insomnia came to add its terrors; I could neither eat nor sleep. I had an ominous foreboding of what the total loss of appetite meant, and kept telling myself ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde

... the white hose lacked reinforcements, so that they began to grow thin from top to toe. Martha feared that they would go to pieces in one irremediable catastrophe, like the one-hoss shay. Evidently Eddie's job did not warrant unnecessary expenditures. Then the holes began to appear. Martha tucked them grimly under the glittering needle of the Klinger darner and mender but ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... the victorious Confederacy was sulking in his tent on the field of Manassas, playing this pitiful farce about the date of a commission, and allowing his army to go to pieces, George B. McClellan with tireless energy and matchless genius as an organizer was whipping into shape Lincoln's new levy of five hundred ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... else won't," grumbled Giraffe. "The blame old tub is just about ready to go to pieces on us, the first chance she gets; and ...
— The, Boy Scouts on Sturgeon Island - or Marooned Among the Game-fish Poachers • Herbert Carter

... should see to it," said Grey. "Elect Fremont, my boy, and the Union will go to pieces. Does the North suppose we will endure a sectional President? No, sir, it would mean secession—the death-knell of the Union. Sir, we may be driven to more practical arguments by the scurrilous speeches of the abolitionists. It is an attack on property, ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... gallant style. The telega in which we were seated—a four-wheeled skeleton cart—did not submit to the ill-treatment so silently. It creaked out its remonstrances and entreaties, and at the more difficult spots threatened to go to pieces; but its owner understood its character and capabilities, and paid no attention to its ominous threats. Once, indeed, a wheel came off, but it was soon fished out of the mud and replaced, and ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... Helen and Richard went into the house, where Curlypate had already gone, and where they found her on tiptoe, with her short little fingers in the sugar-bowl, trying in vain to find a lump that would not go to pieces in the vigorous squeeze that she gave in her desire to make sure ...
— Queer Stories for Boys and Girls • Edward Eggleston

... glorious country was built up by political parties; second, parties can't hold together if their workers don't get the offices when they win; third, if the parties go to pieces, the government they built up must go to pieces, too; fourth, then ...
— Plunkitt of Tammany Hall • George Washington Plunkitt

... be riddled by one destructive internal change after another. In such a case the secondary stage of the disease may pass with half a dozen red spots on the body and no constitutional symptoms, and the patient go to pieces a few years later with locomotor ataxia or general paralysis of the insane. On the other hand, a patient may have a stormy time in the secondary period and have abundant reason to realize he has syphilis, and under only moderate treatment recover entirely. Still another will have a bad infection ...
— The Third Great Plague - A Discussion of Syphilis for Everyday People • John H. Stokes

... other than moss and low growing shrubs. One of my first discoveries was this cavern with its subterranean stream of water, and two openings, one of which gives easy access to the sea. Knowing that our ship must, sooner or later, go to pieces, and desirous of saving what property I might, I rigged up a derrick at the mouth of the cavern, and, with the aid of my brave wife, transferred everything movable from the ...
— Under the Great Bear • Kirk Munroe

... things running for the year. Old Man Wisner and the old lady was there, and Old Man Wright and Jimmie and Bonnie Bell and me—me that was foreman now and, like enough, earning it, the way things had been let go to pieces. ...
— The Man Next Door • Emerson Hough

... died! My first impulse was to admire his will. But, now that I've come to know you, I see that if he had lived to get acquainted with you he'd have made a very; different disposition of the family property. As it is, it's bound to go to pieces. No board ever managed anything successfully. It's always a man—one man. In this case it ought to be you. But the time will come—soon, probably—when your view will conflict with that of the ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

... he'll go to pieces in the afternoon," said Thomas. He turned to a servant and added, "Mr Simpson won't have ...
— The Holiday Round • A. A. Milne

... hasn't happened to her that's addled her," David explained. "It's these highly charged, hypersensitive young women that go to pieces under the modern pressure. They're the ones that need licking into shape by all ...
— Turn About Eleanor • Ethel M. Kelley

... strength and life-value of each generation increase. On the contrary, it will diminish. There is the Nemesis of your slave philosophy. Your society of slaves—of, by, and for, slaves—must inevitably weaken and go to pieces as the life which composes it weakens ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... nothin'! No boat c'd live in that surf f'r a moment. The schooner'll go to pieces mighty soon, I'm feared. It's turrible! turrible! to stan' by an' watch yer ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1904 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... Government will go to pieces; if the Socialist Revolutionaries could only stand aside and wait, the Government would fall into their hands. But if we wait a week the country will be so disorganised that the German imperialists will be victorious. That is why we began our revolt with only two regiments of soldiers promising ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... Is there, that's founder'd many a gallant ship. If they should fail to double that with skill, Their bark will go to pieces on the rocks, That hide their jagged peaks below the lake. The best of pilots, boy, they have on board. If man could save them, Tell is just the man, But he is manacled ...
— Wilhelm Tell - Title: William Tell • Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

... could see the forms of her crew as they clung to the rigging, frantically waving their arms and sending up shrieks of despair and loud cries for help. Truly there was urgent need for help, for the sea broke over the vessel so furiously that it was evident she must soon go to pieces. ...
— The Thorogood Family • R.M. Ballantyne

... is very distasteful to many officers of the army; and the croakers and politicians would almost be willing to see the government go to pieces, to get rid of the President and his cabinet. Some of the members of Congress are anxious to get away, and the Examiner twits them for their cowardice. They ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... carry your trunk into your hall with the air of convicts doing forced labor for a tyrannical jailer. If the spirit in which they discharge their duties—and they are specimens of a large class—were to make its way into our kitchens, society would go to pieces. ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... it." Billy Louise held herself rigidly back from any emotional expression. She could not afford to "go to pieces" now. She tried to think just what a trained nurse would do, in such a case. Her hospital experience would be of some use here, she told herself. She remembered reading somewhere that no experience is valueless, if one only applies the ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... spot; you certainly will." Julia felt anxious, for her mother showed signs of going into hysterics. But she put her foot out and shook her head in a way that said that all her friends might die and all the world might go to pieces before she would yield. Mrs. Anderson had one forlorn hope. She determined to order that forward. Leaving Julia alone, she ...
— The End Of The World - A Love Story • Edward Eggleston

... that slavery from which it was all but impossible that they should disentangle themselves, may probably be true. But so have all political parties among all free nations much to bear from political opponents, and yet other free nations do not go to pieces. Had it been possible that the slaveowners and slave properties should have been scattered in parts through all the States and not congregated in the South, the slave party would have maintained itself as ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... girl shaking her dark head. "I feel rather heartsick about it myself. If only Dick wouldn't go to pieces so! That's what worries me, because we may have many failures before the alfalfa catches and he is going to have ...
— The Forbidden Trail • Honore Willsie

... draught of milk, the man rose up and saluted me, and explained his errand. In the course of my ramble I had had hardly anything but this man in mind, and I had been planning to make use of him. When I met him all my plans seemed to go to pieces. I shall have to confess before I have done with it that I am the poorest plotter in the world. Give me something downright to do, and I will try to do it; but in dodges and evasions and pretences I have little skill indeed. I took the note from the man's hand and promised that Brunow should ...
— In Direst Peril • David Christie Murray

... used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... did not sometimes put on the brake, it would go to pieces through its own action. Introduced into the Committee as professor of political blood-letting, Marat, stubbornly following out a fixed idea, cuts down deep, much below the designated line; warrants of arrest were already out against thirty deputies, Brissot's papers were rummaged, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... worrying about poor Tad Warren's wife, bunch of us got together and made up a purse for her. Nothing more pathetic than these poor little women that poke down the cocktails to keep excited and then go to pieces. ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... Admiral leaped, undertaking the charge of sounding all round the ship; but even at a boat's length from her no bottom was found to which a cable could reach. She appeared fixed hard and fast, and should any sea get up she must inevitably quickly go to pieces. ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... "Devilish queer that you should get so excited all at once. No, it's something else. I've trained you too well for you to go to pieces like this over nothing. What ...
— Ronicky Doone • Max Brand

... very wonderful, and very—terrible, Honor," she said. "I never imagined you could be as terrible as that." Then her lips quivered, and she caught at the girl's skirt, drawing her nearer. "You must go on helping me, or everything will go to pieces." ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... that the laborer is worthy of his hire,' she said, brightly. It's queer how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there had never been anything like it, and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation would start up and knock the whole ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... be involved in a common ruin, a little stone out of the mountain would roll down on the feet of clay and break them, and then the great image, golden head, and silver breast, and brazen body, and iron legs, would all go to pieces—they rested on an infirm footing, ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... bread-winner. With every blow of his hammer the home grew, so he hammered away cheerfully. They were poor, but that was nothing in comparison with the fact that if he were taken away now, things would go to pieces. He was the children's Providence; it was always "Father's going to," or "Father said so." In their eyes he was infallible. Ellen too began to come to him with her troubles; she no longer kept them to herself, but recognized that he had the ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... thing;" retorted Mrs. Spruce; "Don't ye think it! For there's nothin' like a man, passon or no passon, for makin' rumples of every bit of clothes he touches, even his own coats and weskits, and I wouldn't let ye lay hands on any o' these things to save my life. Why, they'd go to pieces at the mere sight of yer fingers, they're so flimsy! What I thought ye might do, was to be a witness to us while we sorted them all. It's a great thing to have a man o' God as a witness to the likes ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... the boat, thinking it would be better to go to a big talk completely unarmed. They were lying on the rail but he didn't pick them up. Four shots didn't matter. They could not matter if the world of his creation were to go to pieces. He said nothing of that to Mrs. Travers but busied himself in giving her the means to alter her personal appearance. It was then that the sea-chest in the deckhouse was opened for the first time before the ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... her. The bright face was high and resolute. She was not aware of the danger, but from that look on her face he did not think she would go to pieces when he ...
— Pearl of Pearl Island • John Oxenham

... circumstances in which he lives, as there is between all the parts of nature to each other. The goods of the physical world are only to be realized by ingenuity and industrious exertion; behold, accordingly, an intellect full of device, and a fabric of the faculties which would go to pieces or destroy itself if it were not kept in constant occupation. Nature presents to us much that is sublime and beautiful: behold faculties which delight in contemplating these properties of hers, and in rising upon them, as upon wings, to the presence ...
— Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation • Robert Chambers

... or Portugal, laden with fruit and wine. Make haste, sir, if you want to see her! It's thought, down on the beach, she'll go to pieces every moment.' ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... they were near the land by the sound of the surf. The captain was not on board, and the mate was in command, though his leg had been broken while holding the tiller. They could not hear each other's voices, and could scarcely cling to the deck. There seemed every chance that the ship would go to pieces before daylight. At last one of the crew, named William Martin, a Scotchman, thinking, as he afterwards told me, of his wife and three children, and of the others on board who had families,—and that something must be ...
— Oldport Days • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... 'em th' is in steel; They run your soul thru an' you never feel, 110 But crawl about an' seem to think you're livin', Poor shells o' men, nut wuth the Lord's forgivin', Tell you come bunt ag'in a real live feet, An' go to pieces when you'd ough' to ect! Thet kin' o' begnet's wut we're crossin' now, An' no man, fit to nevvigate a scow, 'ould stan' expectin' help from Kingdom Come, While t'other side druv ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... When I saw all those mothers and wives and sisters and sweethearts on the curb to-day, watching their boys march by, it hit me hard. I was alone. Nobody. So please don't be cross with me. I'm on the ragged edge. Silly, I know. But we women often go to pieces over nothing, without any logical reason. Ready to face murder and battle and sudden death; and then to blow up, as you men say it, over nothing. I had to move, go somewhere, do something; so I came here. But I came on—what do you call it?—official business. ...
— The Drums Of Jeopardy • Harold MacGrath

... will come, do what you will, and the best boat ever built would go to pieces on those Akimiski rocks," Katherine said, trying to cheer him ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... sigh for her,' which Byron in one of the most human of all his very human moods, has so touchingly described. He felt that she was far too young for him, and that the boat of his shaky fortunes was not meant to carry a bright and beautiful young woman in it—a boat that might go to pieces on a rock at any moment after it had tried to put to sea; and which must, nevertheless, try to put to sea. Then again he had been irritated by paragraphs in the society papers coupling his name more or less conjecturally with that of Helena Langley. 'All this must come to an ...
— The Dictator • Justin McCarthy

... right, but which in reality is full of blemishes and weaknesses, covered up with paint and varnish. Glue starts at joints, chairs and bedsteads break down at the slightest provocation, castors come off, handles pull out, many things "go to pieces" altogether, even ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... of battle was one of the heaviest Deck's battalion had ever received, and for several minutes it looked as if the four companies must go to pieces. But the gallant major rallied his forces, and the Confederates were hemmed in so closely that they could neither advance nor retreat. Sabre blows fell thick and fast, striking fire in a dozen spots at once, and fully a dozen horses and riders went down in ...
— An Undivided Union • Oliver Optic

... shoulders, as though to stone his hearers with his point of view. His face grew paler, his fine eyes finer, his lips ironical. Almost painful was this combination of the "strong" man and the student who was bound to go to pieces if you hit ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... with us, sir!" said Procope to the count. "I have done everything that man could do; but our case is desperate. Nothing short of a miracle can save us now. Within an hour we must go to pieces upon yonder rocks." ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... first time in his life Graham saw his father weaken, the pitiful, ashamed weakness of a strong man. His voice broke, his face twitched. The boy drew himself up; they couldn't both go to pieces. He could not know that Clayton had worked all that night in that hell with the conviction that in some way his own son was responsible; that he knew already what Graham was about ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... water poured down through the opening upon my devoted head, and as I clung to the handrail with the grip of a drowning man the schooner struck a third time, with such terrific violence that I fully expected the hull to go to pieces about my ears. But no, the stanchly built little hooker still held together, although I knew that her bottom must be stove in like a cracked egg-shell; and presently, when I felt that I could not hold my breath for another second, I found my head once more above water, and saw dimly, close ...
— Turned Adrift • Harry Collingwood

... perilous. For the extrinsic goodness of the table is at war with the intrinsic; that is, the employment of the table wears it out. In doing its work and fitting into the large relationships for which tables exist, its inner organization becomes disjointed. In time it will go to pieces. We can, however, imagine a magic table, which might be consolidated by all it does. At first it was a little weak, but by upholding the glass of water it grew stronger. As I laid the book on it, its joints acquired a tenacity which they lacked before; and only after ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... it wasn't so bad. The first scare was over. He did not go to pieces. On the contrary he felt so excited and strong that he almost told the old thing behind him to take off his brush and let himself be pulled. But he was afraid of the cross old car. So he ventured timidly: "Isn't this great? I should like to go flying ...
— Here and Now Story Book - Two- to seven-year-olds • Lucy Sprague Mitchell

... takin' no count of the feelin's of the men—an' of mine an' yours.... I'll bet you my hoss thet in a day or so this gang will go to pieces." ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... see," said Maxime to himself, "if they could only see!... their whole society would go to pieces,... but they will always be blind, they do not ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... they shut the door behind them for the last time, "it's funny that we hardly ever thought of that old woman, and yet, the minute she dies, we sort of go to pieces. We didn't even know she'd got a husband. Her name was Jennifer. I saw it ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... Potts. I gave out,—am always giving out," Isabelle continued with that confiding frankness that always pleased men. "I'm like so many women these days,—no good, nerves! If you are a doctor, please tell me why we should all go to pieces ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... sent away as soon as the quarantine is over. It's—it's perfectly right. I expected it. Things would soon go to pieces if the nurses took to—took ...
— Love Stories • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... I do that somebody has to take the throne seat after—after your Aunt Mary dies—I mean, after Holiest Mother is translated to eternity. Ask her, beg her, for some advice. We can't let the great undertaking go to pieces—" ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... letters from people in Canada and from others in Florida who have suffered nervous breakdowns. In California some go to pieces. I have had many letters from people living there who have broken down. People also break down in Colorado and in New York; in fact, in every state in the Union. Climate does not seem to make any difference so ...
— How to Eat - A Cure for "Nerves" • Thomas Clark Hinkle

... than attempts," he said quietly. "It's in you to do something really big. And you must do it. If not, you'll go to pieces. You don't ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... loveliest bride, and hers had been the prettiest wedding they'd ever seen, and the most good things to eat, and Laddie and the Princess went with them. When the last one was gone, and only the relatives from Ohio were left, mother pitched on the bed, gripped her hands and cried as if she'd go to pieces, and father cried too, and all of us, even Mrs. Freshett, who stayed to wash up the dishes. She was so tickled to be there, and see, and help, that mother had hard work to keep her from washing the linen that same night. She did finish ...
— Laddie • Gene Stratton Porter

... is utterly false, yet a glance or two from those dark eyes of hers can make a fool of you! A woman made a fool of me once, but I learned my lesson; you have failed to learn yours. If you are determined to go to pieces on the rock that broke up Adam, do so! But don't involve me in the wreck, Petrie, for that might mean a yellow emperor of the world, and ...
— The Devil Doctor • Sax Rohmer

... off the land; hundreds have become impoverished loafers, landless hangers-on of the town population. In his own interests he should recruit his Republic with new blood—and the sands are running out. I say this irrespective of agitation about Uitlanders. The fabric will go to pieces of its own accord unless something is done.... A moderate franchise reform and municipal privileges would go far to satisfy any reasonable people, while a maintenance of the oath ought to be sufficient safeguard against the swamping ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... "Then don't go to pieces, my boy," said the head of the school, not unkindly. "You're supposed to be a Greek athlete and not Venus rising from the sea or a jelly at ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... comes in. The French know there's a sort of diplomatic credo at the London Foreign Office to the general effect that England and France have got to stand together or Europe will go to pieces. The French are realists. They bank on that. They tread on British corns, out here, all they want to, while they toss bouquets, backed by airplanes, across ...
— Jimgrim and Allah's Peace • Talbot Mundy

... last year, so they can't kick much if they lose it now. They've never had a man to touch Saunders in this club since it began. I doubt if there's another amateur like him in this country. He's a man to be proud of, although he seemed to go to pieces to-night. They'll all be down on him to-morrow if they lose their money, although he don't make anything one way or another. I believe it's the high betting that's made him so anxious ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... boat was lifted high in air by a wave, to be cast back into the dark depths; the shallop quivered like a fragile leaf, the plaything of the north wind in the autumn; the hull creaked, it seemed ready to go to pieces. Fearful shrieks went up, ...
— Christ in Flanders • Honore de Balzac

... was not fixed, but was supposed to be proportional to the value of the peasant's land and dwelling. In practice the tax-collectors often took as much as they could get. and a shrewd peasant would let his house go to pieces and pretend to be utterly destitute in order that the assessors might not increase the valuation ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... soldiers for their leader, and their sympathy with his difficulties. The troops all wore alpargatas—a species of sandal, of which the sole is of plaited hemp. These are admirably adapted for long marches in dry weather, but the wet destroys them, and they go to pieces directly. Of these sandals, as of every other description of equipment, there was sometimes great difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply. One day that it rained heavily, Zumalacarregui was going to pass, with several battalions, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various

... silt of some one weakness, the eddies of a suspicious temper depositing their one impalpable layer after another, may build up a shoal on which an heroic life and an otherwise magnanimous nature may bilge and go to pieces. All this we may learn, and much more, and Shakespeare was no doubt well aware of all this and more; but I do not believe that he wrote his plays with any such didactic purpose. He knew human nature too well ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... on shore and will go to pieces before daylight, but I will not desert you, my boy," he said. "As I came aft I made out a rock close aboard of us, and as the masts are sure to go over we may manage to gain it if we take the proper time. ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... queer has come over Kedsty since this morning. He isn't the Kedsty you knew yesterday or for the last ten years. He's nervous, and I miss my guess if he isn't constantly on the watch for some one. And he's afraid of me. I know it. He's afraid of me because I saw him go to pieces when he met that girl. Fort Simpson is simply a frame-up to get me away for a time. He tried to smooth the edge off the thing by promising me an inspectorship within the year. That was this afternoon, just before ...
— The Valley of Silent Men • James Oliver Curwood

... not for the third of the tonal relations, melodies would lack unity and system and go to pieces under the stress of rival forces. This third relation may be call finality; [Footnote: The explanation of this is obscure; there is no unanimity among the specialists in musical theory.] it belongs among ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... continued to look with dumb fascination at Andrew with swift side glances, Andrew finished his second cup. He bit off the end of his cigar, asked for his check, and paid it, and then felt his nerves crumble and go to pieces. ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... exclaimed the alarmed waterman. "A Holland galliot would go to pieces, if you should run her in among those stepping-stones, with this breeze! No honest boatman loves to see a man stowed in a cruiser's hold, like a thief caged in his prison; but when it comes to breaking the nose of the Milk-Maid, it is asking too much of her ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... him short. "I know that's true! Ye're only tryin' to save my feelin's. I know ye're better than me! I've tried hard to hold me head up, I've tried a long time not to let meself go to pieces. I've even tried to keep cheerful, telling meself I'd not want to be like Mrs. Zamboni, forever complainin'. But 'tis no use tellin' yourself lies! I been up to the church, and heard the Reverend Spragg tell the people that the rich and poor are the same in the ...
— King Coal - A Novel • Upton Sinclair

... witness was nearing the point of mental and physical strain at which men go to pieces, and the vigil which they have held above their secrets becomes open to surprise, hung to him with his worriment of questions, scarcely granting ...
— The Bondboy • George W. (George Washington) Ogden

... a thing would be quixotic. Society doesn't rest upon any such basis. It can't; it would go to pieces, if ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... just in advance of the centre, and take care that the attack on the rear was not interfered with. Collingwood was given a free hand as to how he did his work. Nelson reminded the captains that in the smoke and confusion of battle set plans were likely to go to pieces, and signals to be unseen, and he left a wide discretion to every one, noting that no captain could do wrong if he laid his ship alongside of the nearest of the enemy. The actual battle was very unlike the diagram in the memorandum, which showed the ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... came with the intention to fight for the sacred principle of freedom, and without any further views whatever of career and aggrandizement. In this respect Americans are not just towards these foreigners, and the great men at headquarters will prefer to see all go to pieces than to use the capacity of foreigners, above all in the artillery and for the ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... "She'd go to pieces before she ever travelled this far." The glimmer of hope in Bruce's eyes had died. "Either the needle won't locate her or she's drifted into the channel. If that's the case ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... an' she had n' e'er a compass, an' she had n' e'er a helm, an' she had n' no hold, an' she had n' no cabin. I could n' sail her, nor I could n' steer her, nor I could n' anchor her, nor bring her to, but she would go, wind or calm, an' she'd never come to port, but out in th' ocean she'd go to pieces! I sid 't was so, an' I must take it, an' do my best wi' it. 'T was jest a great, white, frozen raft, driftun bodily away, wi' storm blowun over, an' current runnun under, an' snow comun down so ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... he said, "always go to pieces after they've been hard up for a while and finally get grub. Then they feed up and get strong again. It's the grub comin' all of a sudden that makes you weak. Your mind feelin' easier, you feel ...
— The Lure of the Labrador Wild • Dillon Wallace

... heel of Achilles, for capitalistic production. Its very basis is the necessity of constant expansion, and this constant expansion now becomes impossible. It ends in a deadlock. Every year England is brought nearer face to face with the question: either the country must go to pieces, or capitalist production must. ...
— The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844 - with a Preface written in 1892 • Frederick Engels

... thoughtful man among us feels that a great danger to our faith to-day comes from the force with which that current swings us round, and threatens to make some of us drag our anchors, and drift, and strike and go to pieces on the sands. For one man who is led by the sheer force of reason to yield to the intellectual grounds on which modern unbelief reposes, there are twenty who simply catch the infection in the atmosphere. They find that their early convictions have ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... myself,' said the other, laughing, 'that I am more in my place; but of this I am sure, that if we were as mealy-mouthed with our Croats and Slovacks as you are with your Fenians, Austria would soon go to pieces.' ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... was in London!" thought Letty to herself, "spending piles of money, running shamefully into debt, and letting the house go to pieces. Why, the linen hasn't been darned ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... found a joint in it? Was there, among her delicate discriminations, any equivalent to his own rules? Might not her taste for the best and rarest be the very instrument of her undoing; and if something that wasn't "trash" came her way, would she hesitate a second to go to pieces for it? ...
— The Glimpses of the Moon • Edith Wharton

... am seventy, my hair white and crows' feet around my eyes, they tell me I'm growing old. That's not I, that's the house in which I live; I'm on the inside; the house may go to pieces but I shall live on ...
— Wit, Humor, Reason, Rhetoric, Prose, Poetry and Story Woven into Eight Popular Lectures • George W. Bain

... morals were too edifying those years. But they were as good as the men I went with and I kept myself in hand. I saw men go to pieces with drink—and I didn't drink. I saw men go to pieces over women—and I kept away from that kind of woman. A man has to have women in his life no matter how much you talk about it—but I took the kind with the price-tag because when you paid them you were ...
— Young People's Pride • Stephen Vincent Benet

... of happy omens, have combined to strengthen me in the belief, in the assurance, that Ottilie will one day be mine. The glass with our initials cut upon it, which was thrown into the air when the foundation-stone was laid, did not go to pieces; it was caught, and I have it again in my possession. After many miserable hours of uncertainty, spent in this place, I said to myself, 'I will put myself in the place of this glass, and it shall be an omen whether our union be possible or not. I will go; I will seek for death; not like a ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... lad. My head would be like to go to pieces if I were to sit half the hours that you do ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... placing ourselves so that our children will be all right, your brother must go and do his best to ruin it all! You see how necessary it is for you to be on the spot. We may be able to break the engagement off before it is too late. Leave the mine to take care of itself, or go to pieces if need be. One mine more or less won't make any difference to us. Besides, you must think of your children! Your brother, too; he's sure ...
— The Smart Set - Correspondence & Conversations • Clyde Fitch

... well reach the shore. There are scarce three feet of water here, and except where one or two deeps pass across it there is no more anywhere between this and the land. It will not be rough very far. Now, be off at once; the boat will go to pieces before many minutes. I and the two men will take to the mainmast, but I want ...
— By England's Aid or The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604) • G.A. Henty

... Hakmesser [23] Is there, that's foundered many a gallant ship. If they should fail to double that with skill, Their bark will go to pieces on the rocks That hide their jagged peaks below the lake. They have on board the very best of pilots; If any man can save them, Tell is he; But he is ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... no mind to see the stern go to pieces and take this with it," he said, setting the load at his feet. "The tide has not reached its height yet, and she will be roughly handled. We had best get ashore while we can. We may do it ...
— A Sea Queen's Sailing • Charles Whistler

... my fault," said Mark. "I expect I go to pieces in examinations, or perhaps I'm not ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... old, like all the rest of us," her husband interposed. "He is growing old quite fast, indeed. I believe, however, that bachelors usually go to pieces suddenly. Their breaking-up comes more abruptly than ours. He really ...
— Strong as Death • Guy de Maupassant

... would it make if it all went to the devil," one of them philosophizes—"I should like to see the earth go to pieces suddenly, provided that I should perish the last, after having seen the others die.... I'm an ex-man, am I not? I am a pariah, then, estranged from all bonds and duties.... I can ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... only comprehend and direct the larger issues, but must be able to carry along smoothly all the easily entangling threads of detail; he must not only have a capable brain, but he must have the untiring nervous energy that can "hold out" through any crisis. Such men may go to pieces after incredible effort, but they are on the way to success first. Danger only quickens the sure leap ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... is so frail a structure, that, were it brought rudely in contact either with the bottom or the bank, it would be very much damaged, or might go to pieces altogether. Hence the care with which it is handled. It is dangerous, also, to stand upright in it, as it is so "crank" that it would easily turn over, and spill both canoe-men and cargo into the water. The voyageurs, therefore, when once they have ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... Constantinople to secure it to her. But it cannot be too frankly said at the outset that any attempt to settle Europe on the basis of the present hemming in of a consolidated Germany and German Austria by a hostile combination of Russia and the extreme states against it, would go to pieces by its own inherent absurdity, just as it has already exploded most destructively by its own instability. Until Russia becomes a federation of several separate democratic States, and the Tsar is either promoted to the honourable position ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... that they could hear the shrieks and cries of our shipmates. The captain swore at them as fools for saying so, declaring that their voices must long since have been silenced by the breakers. Every instant it seemed that the brig must go to pieces, and that we should be carried away to share their fate. Suddenly, however, I felt the brig move. The topsails were let fall and sheeted home, and we once more glided forward. In another hour we were safely at anchor in a sheltered bay within the ...
— Tales of the Sea - And of our Jack Tars • W.H.G. Kingston

... that's a comfort." It has, moreover, a dejected, injured air, as if it brooded solemnly on the wrong done to it by taking away its original name and calling it Bowdoin; but as if, being a very conservative street, it was resolved to keep a cautious silence on the subject, lest the Union should go to pieces. Sometimes it wears a profound and mysterious look, as if it could tell something if it had a mind to, but thought it best not. Something of the ghost of its father—it was the only child he ever had!—walking there all the night, pausing at the corners to ...
— Little Classics, Volume 8 (of 18) - Mystery • Various

... fear this splendid universalism is another essential. God being "not far from any one of us" cannot be far from me. He who gives to all men life and breath and all things will not possibly deny me the things I require most urgently. Our whole civilisation may go to pieces; the job by which I earn a living may cease to be a job; the money I have invested may become of no more value than Russian bonds; the children whom I hoped I had provided for may have to face life empty-handed; ...
— The Conquest of Fear • Basil King

... care it does not!" cried Steve, smiling. "She would go to pieces on rocks, but you and the captain will ...
— Steve Young • George Manville Fenn

... afternoon and driving out with a two-horse team, an' keeping two hired girls constant, besides a man to work in her flower garden and another for the barn. But of course she supposed they were really rich and could afford it. He never let on to her, after things begun to go to pieces; and folks blamed her for it, afterwards. Her heart was weak, and he knew it, all along. And then I suppose he thought mebbe things would take a turn.... Yes; the paper in this room was white with little wreaths of pink roses tied up with blue ribbons all over ...
— An Alabaster Box • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Florence Morse Kingsley

... that the revolution of July, in the minds of some persons purely political, would prove to be a moral revolution. The social class to which she belonged, not being able, during its unhoped-for triumph in the fifteen years of the Restoration to reconstruct itself, was about to go to pieces, bit by bit, under the battering-ram of the bourgeoisie. She heard the famous words of Monsieur Laine: 'Kings are departing!' This conviction, I believe was not without its influence on her conduct. She took an intellectual part in the new doctrines, which swarmed, during ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... damage in a trice. If my daughter smashes all the crockery, Andrew the carpenter glues it together at once. So you see that this man is really the very pillar of my edifice; and if any thing should happen to him, we should straightway go to pieces." ...
— Rico And Wiseli - Rico And Stineli, And How Wiseli Was Provided For • Johanna Spyri

... a very strong man," he said, as if speaking to himself. "But there's a flaw in his armour just above the heart; and I believe that if any real harm comes to that wife of his, he'll go to pieces, like a wheel with the ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... wonderful. Something has rubbed him the wrong way; I know that set of his jaw, and it always means that he will be inspired to do his best. Queer thing; isn't it? If I were angry or hurt, I should go to pieces completely; but it brings Thayer to his ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... and the end of the bridge. He prayed for strength to keep on as he glanced again over his shoulder. The boy had thrown himself face down on the ice and Jerry saw with a sinking heart that already the cake had diminished in size. If it struck one of the stone pillars of the bridge it would go to pieces without a doubt, and it would be a hard task for the strongest swimmer to battle his way ...
— The New Boy at Hilltop • Ralph Henry Barbour

... for him to earn as much as he really needs—that is to say without having to think daily and hourly about money. I don't over-estimate what money can do, but it is foolish to under-estimate what the want of it can do. I have seen more fine natures go to pieces under the stress of poverty than under any other stress that I know. Money is perfectly powerless as a shield against many troubles—and on the other hand it can save a man from innumerable little wretchednesses and horrors which destroy the ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... refused to obey her helm. The lashings had given way, and the larboard, waist, and quarter boats were all swept from the davits, the frames sprung, and every timber in the good ship's hull worked, and strained, and complained, like a frail thing that must soon go to pieces. Every order, however, was obeyed promptly and cheerfully, for both officers and crew felt that their lives, as well as the saving of the ship, depended on the way in which each ...
— The Von Toodleburgs - Or, The History of a Very Distinguished Family • F. Colburn Adams

... thought. "This is a patchwork affair, made of gunny-sacks and hay-wire. I'm holding it together by main strength and awkwardness, and even at that it's apt to go to pieces any minute." ...
— Triplanetary • Edward Elmer Smith

... our situation, but vastly increased danger. For our ship, surrounded as she was with rocks and shoals, though she might have lain quiet enough while the sea was calm, now before the fury of the waves kept continually striking, and I could see that the fear of every man was that she would shortly go to pieces. ...
— Marjorie • Justin Huntly McCarthy



Words linked to "Go to pieces" :   snap, lose it, break down



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