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Helpless   /hˈɛlpləs/   Listen
Helpless

adjective
1.
Lacking in or deprived of strength or power.  Synonym: incapacitated.  "Helpless with laughter"
2.
Unable to function; without help.  Synonym: lost.
3.
Unable to manage independently.



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"Helpless" Quotes from Famous Books



... his. He gave a quick glance at the door, and saw with relief that the key was in the lock, and that the bolt prevented anybody coming in unexpectedly. Then he gazed once more at the body of his friend, which lay in such a helpless-looking attitude upon the floor. He looked at the body with a feeling of mild curiosity, and wondered what there was about the lines of the figure on the floor that so certainly betokened death rather than sleep, even though the face was turned away from him. ...
— In a Steamer Chair And Other Stories • Robert Barr

... it, screaming with laughter, but when they caught up to the rolling ball and discovered their well-known, mischievous Zip rolled up so tight he was helpless, they clapped their hands with delight. He looked so crestfallen and funny that they forgave him on the spot for the loss of their candy. How they did shout with laughter as they were trying to get the ...
— Zip, the Adventures of a Frisky Fox Terrier • Frances Trego Montgomery

... despairing jerk at the black ribbon of his glasses, leaned back in his chair, helpless with perplexity. Why on earth did she give him back his money? He could not follow her mental processes. He said as much to Mrs. Richie the next time he went to see her. He went to see her quite often in those days. For the convenience of David and Elizabeth, a doorway had been cut in the ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... to ask,' he said, turning towards where Barnaby stood looking on, 'that one who has the gift of sight, would lay this out for me in bread to keep me on my way? Heaven's blessing on the young feet that will bestir themselves in aid of one so helpless as ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... not believe it. When he was about fourteen, and riding in a stage-coach on the way to Moosehead Lake, two other boys in the coach began tormenting him. When he tried to fight them off, he found himself helpless. Either of them could handle him, could hit him and prevent him from hitting back. He decided that it was a matter of self-respect for a boy to know how to protect himself and he learned ...
— Theodore Roosevelt • Edmund Lester Pearson

... have no right to interfere. Again, it is not wrong to desire peace and quiet, and to wish for mental and spiritual and physical repose; but it is decidedly wrong to stand by with your hands in your pockets when an innocent or helpless one is being assaulted by ruffians; to sit quiet and do nothing when your neighbour's house is on fire; to shirk an unpleasant duty and leave some one else to do it; or to lie a-bed when you should be up and ...
— The Story of the Rock • R.M. Ballantyne

... that weary task! I wonder if any of my readers ever went quite alone, friendless, almost helpless, into the great, modern Babylon, to look for a situation; if so, they will know how to pity me. I spent many pounds in advertisements; I haunted the agency offices; I answered every advertisement I read—it seemed ...
— Coralie • Charlotte M. Braeme

... greeted with renewed glee by her assailants. They were now roused to the highest point of frenzy: the crowd of brutes would in the nex moment have torn the helpless girl from her place of refuge and dragged her into the mire, an outraged prey, for the satisfaction of ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... run the British blockade; and both times the failure of the British to intercept them had resulted in heavy loss of life on the coast, where the German warships had shelled unfortified towns—against all rules of civilized warfare—killing thousands of helpless men, ...
— The Boy Allies at Jutland • Robert L. Drake

... environed with slavish Hessian guards, a people of a strange language * * * and at other times by merciless Britons, whose mode of communicating ideas being unintelligible in this country served only to tantalize and insult the helpless and perishing; but above all the hellish delight and triumph of the tories over them, as they were dying by hundreds. This was too much for me to bear as a spectator; for I saw the tories exulting over the dead bodies of their ...
— American Prisoners of the Revolution • Danske Dandridge

... Chesterton, divinely swearing, chanting, gloriously contradicting, rolled lustily through the wide, sunny spaces of His Own Mind; and Bernard Shaw (all civilization trooping by), the eternal boy, on the eternal curbstone of the world, threw stones; and the Bishop of Birmingham preached a fine, helpless sermon.... ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... Emperour is now returned to Aix. The felon Guene, all in his iron chains Is in that town, before the King's Palace; Those serfs have bound him, fast upon his stake, In deer-hide thongs his hands they've helpless made, With clubs and whips they trounce him well and baste: He has deserved not any better fate; In bitter grief ...
— The Song of Roland • Anonymous

... gradual softening of the brain. The failure of his mental powers was kept secret as long as possible, but in November, 1866, he yielded to the entreaties of his wife and children, knocked off work for ever, and went home to die. His last few months were passed in helpless weakness, and he only occasionally recognised those around him. The end came on January 20, 1867, ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... their fire till within a hundred and twenty yards, and wasting no cartridges, the English ships continued through the entire forenoon to pour upon them one continuous rain of shot. They were driven together, and became entangled in a confused and helpless mass. ...
— Ten Great Events in History • James Johonnot

... helpless in the hands of such a villain. She had tried to kill him when he had first threatened and then attacked her in The Yellow Room. She had, unfortunately, failed, and felt herself condemned to be for ever at the mercy of this unscrupulous wretch who ...
— The Mystery of the Yellow Room • Gaston Leroux

... thought, she sobbed, that when she had a son who was a smith's foreman, she would not stand quite helpless in the world. ...
— One of Life's Slaves • Jonas Lauritz Idemil Lie

... is stricken pale; for a brief moment Her arms hang helpless by her sides; and then, Shaking her locks about her flaming cheeks, Dashes her sword like lightning in his throat, And sends him ...
— Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies • Philip H. Goepp

... in holding him if she were only awake. But she's only a dear little child—and about as helpless. She has very little subtlety. I'm afraid she'll follow the instincts of her training. She'll be too proud to do anything herself to attract her husband, once his attentions to her seem to drop off. She'll just become cold and ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... the lips of those who, in the extremity of despair, exhausted by their sufferings, become, with a sigh of relief, like little children. Amid the shadows of the alcove his eyes shone; and even his body, helpless in the wheel chair, quivered ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... child, knew not the solemn words, And suddenly yielded to a troublous wailing, As helpless as the cry of frightened birds Whose untried wings for ...
— Dreams and Days: Poems • George Parsons Lathrop

... Colman, and put to shame the flights of Baron Munchausen. Not that Tom Wilson was a romancer; oh no! He was the very prose of prose, a man in a mist, who seemed afraid of moving about for fear of knocking his head against a tree, and finding a halter suspended to its branches—a man as helpless and ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... wounds, but I have seen nothing in any way comparable, in horror and pitifulness, to the victims of this abominable system. To describe their condition in detail would be little short of offensive, those groups of hopeless, helpless sufferers who lingered only until death came and kindly put them out of their misery and pain. But by this time, two forces had come into active operation, dire alarm in Spain and wrath and indignation in the United States. Weyler had failed as Martinez Campos, when leaving the island, ...
— Cuba, Old and New • Albert Gardner Robinson

... mirth, whose eyes have grown dim, whose lips tremblingly plead, "Lead, kindly light." "Lead, kindly light." The words are whispered by the old, whose tired feet are unable to move, whose palsied hands are helpless, whose head is bowed by the weight of years, whose eyes are sightless, from whose trembling lips are scarcely heard the ...
— Wise or Otherwise • Lydia Leavitt

... receive an income because they are owners. They may be very young or very old, able-bodied or helpless. Their livelihood comes to them not because of anything they do, but because of the ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... the Coliseum to make a spectacle for spectators more cruel than the beasts, were entreated by their doubting companions not to endanger their lives. But, kneeling in the center of the arena, they prayed and sang until they were devoured. How helpless they seemed, and measured by every human rule, how hopeless was their cause! And yet within a few decades the power which they invoked proved mightier than the legions of the emperor and the faith in which they died ...
— In His Image • William Jennings Bryan

... few dugouts and rickety huts—we who had the keys of St. Peter and the gifts of the apostolic age? Do you mind the sackings and burnings at Adam-Ondi-Ahman? Do you mind the wife of Joseph's brother, Don Carlos, she that was made by the soldiers to wade Grand River with two helpless babes in her arms? They would not even let her warm herself, before she started, at the flames of her own hut they had fired. And, laddie, you mind Haun's mill. Ah, the bloody day!—you were there, and one other, the sister, happy, beautiful as her in ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... of Moses teaches us that LITTLE FOLKS ARE VERY HELPLESS. There he is in that basket. He cannot care for himself. He is in the power of the king's daughter. If she liked she could have had him killed, for it was plain to be seen that he was one of the Hebrew children. ...
— Broken Bread - from an Evangelist's Wallet • Thomas Champness

... gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child-pilgrimage was ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... the man hesitated and seemed embarrassed. He looked uneasily about with a helpless inquiring glance, as ...
— When A Man's A Man • Harold Bell Wright

... this. It has a gripping, manly pathos that makes a direct appeal. The physical vigor of the rider, over-tried but sound, saves it from mere sentiment. An Indian brave, utterly exhausted, his strong endurance worn through by the long, hard ride, storm-spent, bowed in the abandon of helpless exhaustion, upon a horse as weary as he, has come to the end of the trail, beyond which there is no clear path. It is easy to apply the message of this statue to the tragedy of the American Indian's ...
— The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition • Stella G. S. Perry

... that life is vital to it," does not help us. Nor does Thoreau who says not that "life is art," but that "life is an art," which of course is a different thing than the foregoing. Tolstoi is even more helpless to himself and to us. For he eliminates further. From his definition of art we may learn little more than that a kick in the back is a work of art, and Beethoven's 9th Symphony is not. Experiences are passed on from one man to another. Abel knew that. ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... peccary are preyed upon by the jaguar; but this tyrant of the wilds approaches them with more caution and far less confidence, than when he makes his onslaught on the helpless chiguires; and not unfrequently in conflicts with the peccary, the jaguar comes off only second best. Of this fact our travellers had ample proofs—having frequently witnessed, while ascending the Napo, encounters between the peccaries and the jaguars. One of these encounters ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... determined and fearful than formerly. Several times I have thought I must come again to you but each time I have started again to fight it out for myself, but now, as I am gaining, I can better estimate the great help your influence was to me at a juncture when everything seemed so hopeless and helpless." ...
— Psychotherapy • Hugo Muensterberg

... services, by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving the peace of the world. Fit to hold our own against the strong nations of the earth, our voice for peace will carry to the ends of the earth. Unprepared, and therefore unfit, we must sit dumb and helpless to defend ourselves, protect others, or preserve peace. The first step—in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come—is to teach our men ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... us be thankful to the kind old fairy who gave me this wonderful cap and spectacles, for without them I should doubtless have been as helpless ...
— The Enchanted Island • Fannie Louise Apjohn

... feverish lips. The sailors ceased rowing and sat grimly waiting, openly reproaching their leader for not following their advice, others demanding more food, all waxing dangerous as privation and pain brought out the animal instincts lurking in them. Emil did his best, but mortal man was helpless there, and he could only turn his haggard face from the pitiless sky, that dropped no rain for their thirst, to the boundless sea where no sail appeared to gladden their longing eyes. All day he tried to cheer and comfort them, ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... was in the camp induced them to seek refuge in a cave, and hardly had my father entered it with his troops when the treacherous marabout betrayed his hiding-place to the enemy. They stationed themselves before the opening and fired in on the helpless Arabs, who were caught like ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... what it meant!" He bent fiercely toward her. "I know. I've heard a lot about that whelp's sly conduct. No bigger blackguard ever laid a trap for a helpless girl. Oh no, I won't do nothin'. I wouldn't touch 'im. When I meet 'im I'll take off my hat an' bow low an' hope his lordship is well. I'm just a mountain dirt-eater, I am. Nobody ever heard of a Drake killin' snakes. A Drake will let one coil itse'f round his baby an' not take it off. We are ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... lips together, and glanced at his sister with an air of helpless vexation. Had it just occurred to him that the pretty doll whom he had chosen to be the partner of his life was a little wanting in the departments of ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... trivial wrong done to that plump, baby-faced, flirting Dona Rosita, crushed him by its unconscious but degrading obliteration of Joan and himself more than the most violent denunciation. Dazed and bewildered, yet with the instinct of a helpless man, he clung only to that part of Blandford's story which indicated that he had come there for Rosita, and not to separate him from Joan, and even turned to his former friend with a half-embarrassed gesture of apology as ...
— The Argonauts of North Liberty • Bret Harte

... of flippers, it drove at them. The three humans—Sallorsen, Lawson and one other, Ken knew they must be—were clasped together, and the long, lithe, muscular body smote them squarely, sent them whirling and helpless in different directions in the sea-gloom. One of them was driven down by the force of the blow, and that one the sealman chose to finish first. It lashed at him, its strong teeth bared to rip the sea-suit, concentrating ...
— Under Arctic Ice • H.G. Winter

... their foot to the ground for weeks; and I shall only want a dressing-gown, you know, to lie on the sofa in." With that, Mrs. Ellison placed her hand tenderly on Kitty's head, like a mother wondering what will become of a helpless child during her disability; in fact she was mentally weighing the advantages of her wardrobe, which Kitty would now fully enjoy, against the loss of the friendly strategy which she would now lack. Helpless to decide the matter, ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... compelled to assert our rights by offensive war. How is it to be carried on? Of what is the army to be composed? If this Government can not call on its arms-bearing population otherwise than as militia, and if the militia can only be called forth to repel invasion, we should be utterly helpless to vindicate our honor or protect our rights. War has been well styled 'the terrible litigation of nations.' Have we so formed our Government that in this litigation we must never be plaintiffs? Surely this can not have been the intention of the ...
— The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government • Jefferson Davis

... Highness forgotten all history? Know you not that God gives many signs to His people, and speaks in wonders? Yet, when did men, till now, say that these signs were of the devil alone, and persecute and destroy helpless women by reason of them? Speak, gracious Duke—speak, ye noble lords—have ye not tortured, and burned, and put to death weak and innocent women without number for these things, and must ye needs ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V2 • William Mienhold

... means of conveyance,—without tents, money, or a day's provision, with as much of their household stuff as they could carry in their hands. Sick men and women were carried upon their beds—weary mothers, with helpless babes dying in the arms, hurried away—all fleeing, they scarcely knew or cared whither, so it was from their enemies, whom they feared more than the waves of the Mississippi, or the heat, and hunger and lingering life and ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... suddenly lulled—not the least breath to fill the sails, not a wave broke against the motionless vessel: an awful calm succeeded; and what is more terrible upon this scene of continual agitation than a calm unwonted and too often fatal? The dead heat of the tropics was felt in all its power by the helpless voyagers; they languished and fainted with a continual thirst; and, horrible to relate, the water was failing, for they had thrown so much overboard, that they were limited to a very small allowance—a cupful ...
— Tales for Young and Old • Various

... vain to inquire. Perhaps the future will vindicate the wisdom of the generous course of the government. Thus far it has seemed like folly. The South has shown a persistent vindictiveness unequaled in the history of any people, a cruelty toward the helpless victims of their hate that is shameful to the last degree. The cowardly assassination of political opponents, the brutal murder of black men, women, and children, has been defended openly or covertly by pulpit, press, and platform. If any disapprove, ...
— In The Ranks - From the Wilderness to Appomattox Court House • R. E. McBride

... me," I replied. "I do not want your protection; I need it not; I am not a Chinese; I do not worship your senseless, helpless idols. I worship GOD; He is my FATHER; I trust in Him. I know well what you are, and what your intentions are, and shall keep my eye on you, and shall ...
— A Retrospect • James Hudson Taylor

... ruined condition of the French monarchy, and only hoped that the ruin might not overtake her daughter. The mischief was not so much that the privileged classes were blind as that they were selfish, stubborn, helpless, and reckless. The point is not very important in itself, but it is characteristic of a very questionable way of reading human history. Sir Henry Maine's readiness to treat revolutions as due to erroneous abstract ideas naturally inclines him to take too narrow a view both ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... came over to milk White-Face, and Seth insisted that he be allowed to try his hand at the work, claiming that if Aunt Hannah was to be a helpless invalid during a full month, as Mrs. Dean had predicted, it was absolutely necessary he be able ...
— Aunt Hannah and Seth • James Otis

... one feels, when he lays himself down at night, that he will in all probability be attacked before daybreak; for the disease is a pestilence that walketh in darkness, and seizes the greatest number of its victims at the most helpless hour of the night. Fifteen hundred were seized in a day, and fifteen thousand at least have already perished, although the official accounts will not ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... Despair not, daughter! These men are just and brave. If they feel thy wrongs they will expiate them with blood. Be not astonished, friends! He who tramples upon Genoa may easily overcome a helpless female. ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... I am very far from admitting, or in having exaggerated its power, which is in itself probable, I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations." At the end of the chapter he touches upon the objection as to man's helpless and defenceless condition. Against this he urges ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... in Queen's College, Galway, he left Ireland in 1866 to accept the chair of Political Economy in University College, London. In that year, through an attack of inflammatory rheumatism, he fell under the power of a painful and growing malady which rendered him physically helpless, and portended certain death in the near future. The three years before his death, while working only in hopeless pain, was the period of his greatest literary activity. He collected his "Essays in Political Economy, Theoretical and Applied" (1873), in which he traced with great ability the effect ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • John Stuart Mill

... and wished much to invite them both to stay; but I was totally helpless ; and could only look, as I felt, ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... wish the girl could be taken from under the letter of it. A child may have been born, and it may have been conveyed away while the mother was insensible, or it may have perished for want of that relief which the poor creature herself—helpless, terrified, distracted, despairing, and exhausted—may have been unable to afford to it. And yet it is certain, if the woman is found guilty under the statute, execution will follow. The crime has been too common, ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... I have no father. Oh!" with a sudden start. Her eyes met his in a helpless stare. "I never thought. My home was at Bazelhurst Castle—their home. I can't go there. Good heavens, what ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... is likely to be found in hysterical persons. They will, if aroused, often fall off again into a helpless state, and continue to do so for some time to come. It is dangerous to ...
— Complete Hypnotism: Mesmerism, Mind-Reading and Spiritualism • A. Alpheus

... this fresh appeal, one of the silent masks pinioned his arms; and in a moment the eyes of the helpless ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... that the church of itself, without its watchmen, is a weak, feeble, and very helpless thing. What can the lady or mistress do to defend herself against thieves and sturdy villains, if there be none but she at home? It is said, when the shepherd is smitten, the sheep shall be scattered. What could the ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... forget thine every woe, For even the wit of the wise is eaten away by care. What shall thought-taking profit a helpless, powerless slave? Leave it and be at peace in joy ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume I • Anonymous

... anything of one and eightpence and two shillings, the waiter went out to try if anybody else could; merely casting a helpless backward glance at Bullfinch, in acknowledgement of his pathetic entreaties for our soup-tureen. After a pause, during which Mr. Indignation Cocker read a newspaper and coughed defiant coughs, Bullfinch arose to get the tureen, ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... experiences in running rapids in a canoe. Then it is all swiftness and dexterity, for your craft is light, and, in expert hands, easily dirigible with one clever turn of the wrist. With a ten-ton scow the conditions change and you feel correspondingly more helpless. ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... I prefer that laughter shall take me unawares. Only so can it master and dissolve me. And in this respect, at any rate, I am not peculiar. In music halls and such places, you may hear loud laughter, but—not see silent laughter, not see strong men weak, helpless, suffering, gradually convalescent, dangerously relapsing. Laughter at its greatest and best is ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... scoundrel of that name, who has murdered a few helpless people, and who is the terror of old women; but whether or not you're the man, is more than I can say," answered the major in a ...
— Paddy Finn • W. H. G. Kingston

... yer gropin' fingers touched my hand, As helpless as a snow-flake in the air, Yer didn't know, yer couldn't understand, ('Cause yer was new t' this cold-hearted land), That life ain't fair! Yer didn't know if I was good, 'r bad, 'R much ter see— Y' only knew that I belonged, an' ...
— Cross Roads • Margaret E. Sangster

... lower toward the alabaster crests of distant mountain peaks. The peace of the scene suggested nothing of the turbulent thought a-riot behind her wide, dark eyes. What must be done? What could she do—a woman? She felt helpless—so helpless. ...
— The Forfeit • Ridgwell Cullum

... a forced march of fifty-six miles the horsemen reached Birmingham on the evening of that same day (Sunday); but two days more elapsed before drunken blackmailers ceased to molest Hagley, Halesowen, and other villages. Few persons lost their lives, except about a dozen of the pillagers who lay helpless with drink in the cellars of houses which their more zealous comrades had given ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... you here," she continued, her full voice gathering passion, "because you are helpless and an outcast. And because I had taken you before, ignorantly, I feel bound to defend you as you never defended me. But I am not bound to do more, and you ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... had been odd when she begged Angelo to smoke because of old times. A dreadful idea opened a door in Mary's mind and leered at her, with the wicked eyes of a face seen in a nightmare, vague, yet growing larger and drawing inevitably near. She felt helpless and frozen as in a nightmare too; for she could do nothing to rescue Marie, if need arose. To stop Idina somehow might be possible, yet surely that would do more harm than good. To show fear would be to acknowledge cause for fear. ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... resembled a row of huge brown teeth. Methuselah was a many-wrinkled turtle. When he contracted, imbedding head in shoulders and legs in body, revealing all his claws and showing wicked little eyes near the point of his nose, his helpless rage stirred all the Indian; he was the most deliciously devilish thing that Gougou ...
— The Cursed Patois - From "Mackinac And Lake Stories", 1899 • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... that they were PIRATES were now confirmed; and when I saw them, without temptation or provocation, cruelly torturing one whom shipwreck had thrown among them, a penniless sailor, reduced by sickness to an almost helpless condition, and entreating with all the tenderness of a penitent that they would not cut him off in the blossom of his sins, and before he had reached the meridian of life—reminding them of the wife ...
— Narrative of the shipwreck of the brig Betsey, of Wiscasset, Maine, and murder of five of her crew, by pirates, • Daniel Collins

... has wings. Well, so had this admirable chicken, a bird that was grown for the use of the table, produced like a vegetable. A dear bird that was never allowed to run about and weary itself as our helpless English chicken is; it lived to get fat without acquiring any useless knowledge or desire of life; it became a capon in tender years, and then a pipe was introduced into its mouth and it was fed by machinery until it could hardly walk, until it could ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... China's distress caused by the war with England and France, Muravieff demanded the cession of the Amoor Valley. The Chinese were helpless. On the 28th of May, 1858, a treaty was signed at Aigun, giving to Russia the left bank of the Amoor down to the Ussuri, and both banks below that confluent, besides the right to navigate the Sungari and Ussuri rivers. Russia gave absolutely nothing in return. Meanwhile ...
— The Story of Russia • R. Van Bergen

... couple of men caught him by the arms, jerked him up and held him, dragging back his arms, which Allstone came forward to bind; but seeing the young man helpless before him, he could not resist the temptation offered ...
— In the King's Name - The Cruise of the "Kestrel" • George Manville Fenn

... compared with the laughter of the girl. It went through him like the flash and point of Le Balafr's long sword. He was helpless before that sound of mirth. He wanted to hold up his hands and cower away from her and from her dancing eyes. So he stood, ponderous, tortured, and the three pairs of clear eyes watched him and enjoyed his torture. Better, far better, that dark castle ...
— Bull Hunter • Max Brand

... retain. I will subject myself to all the sufferings she endured. From the day I leave Govindpur I will go on foot, live upon rice, sleep beneath a tree or in a hut. What further expiation? Whenever I see a helpless woman I will serve her to the utmost of my power. Of the wealth I reserve to myself I will take only enough to sustain life; the rest I will devote to the service of helpless women. Even of that portion of my wealth that I give to Satish, I will direct ...
— The Poison Tree - A Tale of Hindu Life in Bengal • Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

... miles along the line between Kearney and Julesburg, and even beyond. At Washington and the great cities of the East, therefore, there was no anxiety as to the possible fate of those little garrisons, with their helpless charge of women and children away up in the heart of the Sioux country. But at Laramie and Frayne and Emory, the nearest frontier posts; at Cheyenne, Omaha and Gate City the anxiety was great. When John Folsom said the Indians meant a war of extermination ...
— Warrior Gap - A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68. • Charles King

... not bound your feet with our entreating arms. Your doors are open. Your horse stands saddled at the gate. If we have tried to bar your passage it was but with our songs. Did we ever try to hold you back it was but with our eyes. Traveller, we are helpless to keep you. We have ...
— The Gardener • Rabindranath Tagore

... a very opposite mood, when struggling with the consciousness of her own helpless situation, the same susceptible ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... unaware of its cause, proceeds to bleed her, and he seals her fate. Although one system is thus convulsively labouring, it is because others are suddenly and perfectly exhausted; and by abstraction of the vital current he reduces this last hold of life to the helpless condition of the rest. There is not a more common or fatal ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... the cow, also, in eating the placenta, looks to me like a vestige of her former wild instincts,—the instinct to remove everything that would give the wild beasts a clew or a scent, and so attract them to her helpless young. ...
— Birds and Poets • John Burroughs

... delighted at her husband's praise and my approval, smiled lovingly at him, and took a pretty baby from the nurse's arms and offered it her alabaster breast. This is the privilege of a nursing mother; nature tells her that by doing so she does nothing against modesty. Her bosom, feeding the helpless, arouses no other feelings than those of respect. I confess, however, that the sight might have produced a tenderer sentiment in me; it was exquisitely beautiful, and I am sure that if Raphael had beheld it his Madonna would have ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... know that the very worst animal, the tiger, is a better husband and father than many men? Or that the ferocity of the tigress is prompted entirely by her maternal instinct—and that in every case of unusual ferocity yet recorded it was afterward found that there was a helpless cub somewhere near? Hence in subsequent books I shall enter more fully into the causes of animal instincts and characteristics—their loves and their ...
— The Wonders of the Jungle - Book One • Prince Sarath Ghosh

... brutishness of those who so insistently sought his life? The fighting blood rose in him with returning strength. If they had left him a weapon, even the small knife they had taken from his pocket, he would still make an effort to settle a last score or two. But now he was helpless. ...
— The Danger Trail • James Oliver Curwood

... German's suspicion of a wounded Russian. The story is finely told, but I cannot reproduce it all here. The Russian is in pain and thirst, the wounded German hesitates between suspicion and pity, but pity gets the upper hand, and he crawls with his water bottle to the Russian. Later, as he lies helpless, his fears are aroused by seeing the Russian fumble with something in his breast. Is it a revolver? The wounded German, overstrained with suffering, waits in terror, but the Russian dies before his hand can bring out what it sought. When the stretcher bearers come the German asks the leader ...
— The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship • Harold Picton

... had been dragged through the tops of the overturned carriages fled away with white faces into the darkness of the fields. Men, too, with panic-stricken eyes, sat down on the grass, helpless and useless. Some resolute souls, roused to activity, were pulling at the carriages to set them right. Men from the station came with lanterns, and rescued the injured, and put them to lie out ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... when the fierce fever burned itself out, and Dora lay weak and helpless as a little child. She recovered slowly, but she was never the same again. Her youth, hope, love, and happiness were all dead. No smile or dimple, no pretty blush, came to the changed face; the old coy ...
— Dora Thorne • Charlotte M. Braeme

... neigh of pain the animal leaped forward. For a moment there was a tangle of striking hoofs and wriggling coils of the foiled reptile, while Charley leaning over in his saddle struck with the butt-end of his riding whip at the writhing coils. Though it seemed an eternity to the helpless watchers it was really only a few seconds ere the pony sprang away from its loathsome enemy and Charley with difficulty reined him in a few paces away. The snake with a broken neck lay lifeless on the ground, ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... he was not to make any better provision for you," he said, pitifully. "He didn't want you to think it was because he cared any the less for you. But—soon after I married Ida—well, I realized how helpless she would be, especially after Evelyn was born, and I had my life insured for her benefit. A few years after I tried to get a second policy for your benefit, but it was too late. Father hasn't been well for quite a ...
— By the Light of the Soul - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... could control her voice and her deep emotion she talked on her one theme—the power of God to help the helpless. But she BELIEVED, and she FELT what she said. Soon the tears ran over from her upturned eyes, and ...
— Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers • Arthur Brisbane

... assented, deferentially. "Mrs. Light is equally helpless. She would leave Rome to-morrow, but Christina will not budge. An order from the Pope would do nothing. A bull in council ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... ladder, and sighed in helpless resignation. She had not yet descended from her perch, so that her face was almost on a level with Hector's own. The hazel eyes had lost their mocking gleam, and the peaked brows were furrowed with distress; it was a very forlorn and disconsolate but withal charming little Peggy who faltered ...
— More About Peggy • Mrs G. de Horne Vaizey

... they robbed their fellow-citizens. How the plebs, comprising the small tradesmen and free artizans, were utterly unable to assert their own opinions or rights. How the slave population, though their condition was much improved, constituted a mere dead weight of helpless brutality. ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... in the deep chair with his hands behind his head. "It's not too hard to imagine Marthasa's great-great-grandfather running down vessels in space and pillaging helpless cities on other planets. The veneer of civilization on ...
— Cubs of the Wolf • Raymond F. Jones

... flight we had picked up a fisherman—snatched him out of his helpless punt as we luffed in a smother of spray, and dragged him aboard, like an enormous frog, at the end of the jib sheet—and it was he who now stood at the wheel of our little schooner and took her careening in through the tickle of Harbor Woe. There, in a desolate, ...
— Northern Trails, Book I. • William J. Long

... possibility of being overmatched by her wiles and her daring, if at the approach of pure death she should start up at bay transformed to a terrible beast, and achieve a savage glut at the last. He looked with horror and pity on the harmless, helpless folk, so unwitting of outrage to their comfort and security. The dreadful Thing in their midst, that was veiled from their knowledge by womanly beauty, was a centre of pleasant interest. There, before him, signally impressive, was poor old Trella, weakest and feeblest of all, in fond nearness. ...
— The Were-Wolf • Clemence Housman

... mouths of speakers in Thucydides; but we are concerned at present with Plato's description of him, and not with the historical reality. The inequality of the contest adds greatly to the humour of the scene. The pompous and empty Sophist is utterly helpless in the hands of the great master of dialectic, who knows how to touch all the springs of vanity and weakness in him. He is greatly irritated by the irony of Socrates, but his noisy and imbecile rage only lays him more and more open to the thrusts of his assailant. His determination to cram down ...
— The Republic • Plato

... their kind assistance terminate there. They and the gentlemen connected with them cheerfully opened their ample stores of clothes and provisions, which they liberally dispensed to the naked and famished sufferers; they surrendered their beds to the helpless women and children, and seemed, in short, during the whole of our passage to England, to take no other delight than in ministering to all ...
— The Loss of the Kent, East Indiaman, in the Bay of Biscay - Narrated in a Letter to a Friend • Duncan McGregor

... that he wanted her to think well of him worried him. Why he should have cared what this bedraggled, bankrupt little creature thought he did not fathom, perhaps it was just that she looked so helpless and so old that his heart smote him. Awkward as a boy he stared out through the bedrizzled windowpane ...
— Little Miss By-The-Day • Lucille Van Slyke

... of opulence direct his gilt chariot out of Birmingham, who first approached her an helpless orphan in rags. I have known the chief magistrate of fifty thousand people, fall from his phaeton, and humbly ask ...
— An History of Birmingham (1783) • William Hutton

... automatic close beside him in the melee as Milton remembered at last through the red haze of his fury the weapon he carried, but before either Randall or Lanier could reach their own weapons a new wave of crocodilian forms had poured onto them that by sheer pressing weight held them helpless, ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various

... into violent sobbing again, and Elizabeth could only hold her tight and say over and over in helpless woe, "Oh, Eppie, my poor Eppie." For of the two girls clinging together in the damp little hovel, perhaps the more fortunate one was experiencing a greater depth of despair. A very chaos of darkness had descended upon Elizabeth's soul. She was taking her ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... can," said Mr. Leonard gently. He felt himself very helpless and inefficient before this awful terror and frenzy. He had seen sad death-beds—troubled death-beds—ay, and despairing death-beds, but never anything like this. "God!" Naomi's voice shrilled terribly as she uttered the name. "I can't go to God for help. Oh, I'm ...
— Chronicles of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... then bored it against the wall as it crawled helplessly toward a corner of the shed. This was the "beef-eater" in reduced circumstances! The gallant little cow had nearly killed him, and was giving him the finishing strokes. The blacksmith perceived the leopard's helpless state, and, boldly opening the door, he discharged his pistol, and the next moment was bolting as hard as he could run, with the warlike cow after him. She was regularly "up," and was ready for anything or anybody. However, she was at length pacified, ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... no reply. They were as helpless as caged birds, and could only follow her silently, as she loaded them with bundles, and, herself carrying the organ and the monkey, led the way across the gang-plank to the dock. Staggering under their burdens, ...
— The Italian Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... man looked and felt so helpless as at this moment. His words, and still more his look, vexed and surprised ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864 • Various

... most gently nurtured, This maiden rose to be A heroine undaunted On the lone isle of the sea, And Leon was a hero, Who risked fame, fortune, life, To be the sworn defender Of helpless maid and wife. ...
— Home Lyrics • Hannah. S. Battersby



Words linked to "Helpless" :   hopeless, helplessness, dependent, lost, powerless



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