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Ill luck   /ɪl lək/   Listen
Ill luck

noun
1.
An unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes.  Synonyms: bad luck, misfortune, tough luck.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Ill luck" Quotes from Famous Books



... "What is the use of making her angry just as you are going to Rome, where she has the most power? All sorts of ill luck will befall you. Make up with her before you start, or you may get the fever in the marshes and die, and then who will take ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... eased him into his chair. "Your son is here, and the man who has brought nothing but ill luck will leave you. I tried to soften this, but couldn't," Witherspoon's head shook as he looked up at him. "Wait a moment, and I will call him. ...
— The Colossus - A Novel • Opie Read

... letter. I have gone through all Ovid's poems. I admire him; but I was tired to death before I got to the end. I amused myself one evening with turning over the Metamorphoses, to see if I could find any passage of ten lines which could, by possibility, have been written by Virgil. Whether I was in ill luck or no I cannot tell; but I hunted for half an hour without the smallest success. At last I chanced to light on a little passage more Virgilian, to my thinking, than Virgil himself. Tell me what you say ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... Lord, who at first smiled, shook his head, and placed the untasted winecup before him, began presently, as if it were in absence of mind, to sip a little of the contents, and in doing so, fortunately recollected that it would be ill luck did he not drink a draught to the health of the gallant lad who had joined them this day. The pledge was filled, and answered, as may well be supposed, with many a joyous shout, when the old leader proceeded to acquaint them that he had possessed Master Oliver ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... dogged by ill luck from the first. An epidemic fever raging in England at the time of her departure, was introduced on board, it was thought, by infected clothing. The sick bay, and indeed, the officers' cabins, too, were crammed with stores intended for the return voyage of the ...
— Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora - Despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the 'Bounty' in the - South Seas, 1790-1791 • Edward Edwards

... duty it became to enforce it were simply spies and tyrants, resistance to whom was innate virtue. He was forever ignoring or violating some written or unwritten law of the Academy; was frequently being caught in the act, and was invariably ready to attribute the resultant report to ill luck which pursued no one else, or to a deliberate persecution which followed him forever. Every six months he had been on the verge of dismissal, and now, a fortnight from the final examination, with a margin of only six demerit to run on, Mr. Billy McKay had just been read ...
— Starlight Ranch - and Other Stories of Army Life on the Frontier • Charles King

... Husbandmen, were all, either Mildew'd, or Blasted, or some Misfortune still arriv'd to him; his Coach-Horses would fight and kill one another, his Barns sometimes be fir'd; so that it became a Proverb all over the Country, if any ill Luck had arriv'd to any body, they would say, 'They had Monsieur BEROONE'S Luck.' All these Reflections did but add to his Melancholy, and he grew at last to be in some want, insomuch, that Isabella, who had by her frequent Letters, and submissive Supplications, ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume V • Aphra Behn

... restful, healthy sleep. If they had been more resentful of their ill luck and lost labor, it would have come less easily and have been less natural. In their talks of strange things they had learned that one great secret of strength and unflagging courage is to know how to ...
— The Lost Prince • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... him at all," she said, "to give you the like o' that? Didn't he know the green was unlucky? Sure, 'tis unlucky for him it'll be, and you'll never marry him. My dream'll come true, and you'll be saved in time, Miss Bawn. The ill luck is for him, not ...
— The Story of Bawn • Katharine Tynan

... bless our native soil, Far from these acres keep ill luck away! No withered ears the reaper's task to spoil! Nor swift wolf on our laggard ...
— The Elegies of Tibullus • Tibullus

... When Lieutenant Banner receives orders he at once puts his cap on, pushes it to the back of his head and passes a weary hand across a worried brow. When he has confused himself to the top of his bent he searches round for other victims. On this Sunday night ill luck directed his footsteps to my billet; seeing me in bed, he became positively aghast, though I firmly believe he was inwardly delighted to discover so depressing ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 2, 1914 • Various

... the purport of my thought, Lord of the Universe, shape Thou my lot. Let each ill thought that in my heart may be, Mould circumstance and bring ill luck ...
— Poems of Experience • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... you as many adorers, and fear Philander appears grown old in love, and worn out with sorrow and care, unfit for the soft play of the young and delicate Sylvia; new lovers have new vows and new presents, and your fickle sex stoop to the lavish prostrate. Ill luck—unkind fate has rifled me, and of a shining fortune left me even to the charity of a stingy world; and I have now no compliment to maintain the esteem in so great a soul as that of Sylvia, but that old repeated one, of ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... save my marvellous ill luck. This tale points a moral, Baron Ned. If one belongs to the devil, one should stand by one's master. Hell is swifter in revenge ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... elicit Roland's laughter, but Charlemagne checks the resulting quarrel by delivering message and emblems of office to Ganelon. To the dismay of all present, he, however, drops the glove his master hands him, an accident viewed as an omen of ill luck. Then, making speedy preparations and pathetically committing wife and son to the care of his countrymen, Ganelon starts out, fully ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... reckoning is made, this is as much as I can possibly afford." Giovanni, who had been listening awhile unseen by them, suddenly broke in and said: "O my father, I have sought and loved that girl and not their money. Ill luck to those who seek to fill their pockets by the dowry of their wife! As you have boasted that I am a fellow of such parts, do you not think that I shall be able to provide for my wife and satisfy her needs, even if I receive something ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... mighty report If they hear no noise, they think men sleep If to philosophise be, as 'tis defined, to doubt Ignorance does not offend me, but the foppery of it Impotencies that so unseasonably surprise the lover Ill luck is good for something Imagine the mighty will not abase themselves so much as to live Imitating other men's natures, thou layest aside thy own Immoderate either seeking or evading glory or reputation Impose them upon me as infallible Impostures: very strangeness ...
— Quotes and Images From The Works of Michel De Montaigne • Michel De Montaigne

... a mischief! Were they seven Strings the lyre possessed? Oh, and afterwards eleven, Thank you! Well, sir—who had guessed Such ill luck in store?—it happed 35 One of those same seven ...
— Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning • Robert Browning

... to fight for money and then to lose it by a single spot upon the die, but such is the fate of him who plays, and a philosopher will swallow his ill luck and take to fighting for more. The Brandons could have done this easily enough, especially Charles, who was an offhand philosopher, rather fond of a good-humored fight, had it not been that in the course of play one evening the secret of Judson's winning had been disclosed by a discovery ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... it. From that time on, Vandover's only pleasure was gambling. Night and day he sat over the cards, the passion growing upon him as he continued to lose, for his ill luck was extraordinary. It was a veritable mania, a wild blind frenzy that knew no limit. At first he had contented himself with a game in which twenty or thirty dollars was as much as he could win or lose at a sitting, but soon this palled upon him; he was obliged to raise the stakes continually ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... residing near Newbury, who was very fond of fox-hunting, ordered his gardener to set a trap for some vermin that infested his garden. As ill luck would have it, a fox was found in the morning with his leg broken, instead of a plant-eating rabbit. The gardener took Reynard to the doctor, when he exclaimed, "Why did you not call me up in the night, that I might have set the ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... about it, Vjera," answered the Cossack. "That is the reason why I am here. I was with them when it happened and I ran off to get Fischelowitz. As ill luck would ...
— A Cigarette-Maker's Romance • F. Marion Crawford

... roughs went ashore to refresh their thirsty throats at a low grog-shop. Having fired up, they soon returned to the bank of the canal, and, as ill luck would have it, in the darkness of the night caught a gleam of my little white boat resting so peacefully upon the foul water of the canal, made dark and heavy by the city's drainage. Then followed verbal shots, with various demonstrations, for half ...
— Four Months in a Sneak-Box • Nathaniel H. Bishop

... chum hadn't used to be so pale and thin-chested or his mouth so ladylike and pretty. A good face, though; straight and clean, with honest eyes and a likable smile. Lack of will, perhaps, or a persistent run of ill luck. Letty had always kept him stiffened up in the old days. Dick recalled one of his father's phrases to the effect that Dave Gilman would spin on a very small biscuit, and wondered ...
— The Romance of a Christmas Card • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... out, Mr. Barker," said the landlady, kindly. "I have a hard time to get along myself, and it makes me sympathize with them that has had ill luck." ...
— Sam's Chance - And How He Improved It • Horatio Alger

... health of a more irritable man. Cobbett's epithet, 'parson Malthus,' strikes the keynote. He was pictured as a Christian priest denouncing charity, and proclaiming the necessity of vice and misery. He had the ill luck to be the centre upon which the antipathies of Jacobin and anti-Jacobin converged. Cobbett's language was rougher than Southey's; but the poet-laureate and the author of 'two-penny trash' were equally vehement in sentiment. Malthus, on the other hand, was accepted by the political ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... set out on a moose trail, but, as ill luck followed us in the way of a heavy snowstorm, we gave up the chase and continued on our way. It was hard going and we stopped often. Once we halted to rest beside a number of otter tracks. Otters leave a surprisingly big trail for animals of their size. A good imitation could be made ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... standing this way, unless she thinks the wind will shift, and she wishes to get a good offing from Cape de Verde. Or else she may be one of the picarooning craft which we have heard of on this coast, although it has never been my ill luck ...
— The Two Supercargoes - Adventures in Savage Africa • W.H.G. Kingston

... Fairscribe, "there is ill luck in averring till one is sure of his facts. I will look back on a file of newspapers, and to-morrow you shall hear from me. Come, help yourself—I have seen ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... telling of tales. Sometimes it was accompanied by Christmas candles, but in the cottages the only light was from the ruddy blaze of the great wood fire. The Yule-clog was to burn all night; if it went out, it was considered a sign of ill luck. ...
— Old Christmas From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving • Washington Irving

... "It was ill luck," Mauriri said. "Of all nights this one night was selected by the white devils to go fishing. It was dark as we came through the passage. They were in boats and canoes. Always do they have their rifles with ...
— A Son Of The Sun • Jack London

... was at its height now, clear balmy days and cloudless nights. Their progress was steady for some time, uninterrupted by ill luck of any kind. When they halted for the midday meal it was like a great picnic in the soft warm sunshine, and when evening came the Jayhawkers rollicked around their fires or gathered where one of their number had tuned ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... show that I indeed might have reason to be uneasy at my ill luck in again losing some days at a place at whose bare coast, exposed to the winds of the Polar Sea, there was little of scientific interest to employ ourselves with, little at least in comparison with what one could do in a few days, ...
— The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II • A.E. Nordenskieold

... inauspicious, infelicitous, unbefitting, unpropitious, unfortunate, unfavorable; unsuited &c 24; inexpedient &c 647. unpunctual &c (late) 133; too late for; premature &c (early) 132; too soon for; wise after the event, monday morning quarterbacking, twenty-twenty hindsight. Adv. inopportunely &c adj.; as ill luck would have it, in an evil hour, the time having gone by, a day after the fair. Phr. after death the doctor, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... I don't answer for nothing. A nice bit of supper do make a difference in 'im, and as ill luck will 'ave it, I've nothing but a rasher, whereas if I only 'ad a bit of steak 'e'd brighten up the moment he clapt eyes on ...
— Esther Waters • George Moore

... soon after Job's return, he sat in his bachelor quarters, brooding over his ill luck, as he called it. So intense was his disappointment that he began to doubt his fitness for the calling he had entered, and to think seriously of resigning. True, he had been credited with two or three successful investigations, but this last undertaking could hardly be called ...
— The Mystery of Monastery Farm • H. R. Naylor

... come forth to gratify the eyes of the gazers, and mayhap shower down such bounty as the elder mendicants averred had been given when Prince Edward (the saints defend him!) had been weighed at five years old, and, to avert ill luck, the counterbalance of pure gold had been thrown among the poor to purchase ...
— The Prince and the Page • Charlotte M. Yonge

... "that I should ever fall to such a depth of selfishness as to invite any person who would satisfy my taste, my demands, to share my life! I mayn't amount to very much, but at least I have never used my personal ill luck to trade on a woman's generosity and pity. What I have had from women, I've paid for, in hard cash. In that respect my conscience is clear. It has been a bargain, fair and square and above board, and all my debts are settled in full. ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... what they were doing trespassing upon the premises. At the top of the tunnel a horrible surprise awaited them. The door through which they had entered was shut and bolted. At first they could hardly believe their ill luck. They groped for the handle in the darkness, and pushed and pulled and turned and tugged, but all in vain. They even thumped on the door and called, hoping to attract the attention of a gardener, but there was no reply. They were hopelessly locked ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... a look at your plaidie. It's been lying there in the kist, and I've not seen a sight of it since I was a lad. It's the Campbell plaid, ye ken, and I mind once when I was a lad I was on my way home from the kirk and a hare crossed my path. It's ill luck for a hare to cross your path, and fine I proved it. I clean forgot it was the Sabbath and louped the dyke after him. My kiltie caught on a stone, and there I was hanging upside down. My father loosed me, but my kiltie ...
— The Scotch Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... ill luck, the Spartan warrior seized his foe by the horsehair crest of his helmet, and began to drag him towards the Grecian lines; but at this point Venus came to the aid of her favorite. Standing unseen beside him, she broke the helmet strap under his chin, and thus released him from the grasp of ...
— The Story of Troy • Michael Clarke

... little of his personal history and less of that of his family, because an Indian considers it unbecoming to speak much of his own life, and it brings ill luck to speak of the dead. He could not pronounce the name of his father without calling him from the land of spirits, and this he could only do for some very important reason. But he knew the full history of his tribe ...
— Hunting with the Bow and Arrow • Saxton Pope

... greatly agitated. "Let me never hear you mention that name again! It has been our bane! Forget you have ever been so unfortunate as to encounter this young man; and if ill luck should ever drive him across your path again, remember you do not—you ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... law," said the clock tinker, "an' small credit to thee. But the law o' thine own discovery,—the law that is for thyself an' no other,—hast thou ne'er thought of it? Ill luck is the penalty o' law-breaking. Therefore study the law that is for thyself. Already I have discovered one for thee, an' it is, 'I have not limberness enough in me bones, so I must put them in no unnecessary peril.' Listen, I'll ...
— Darrel of the Blessed Isles • Irving Bacheller

... to be the genius of the family. It was his ill luck to have strong appetites and a weak stomach; and, as one is not altogether fit for the battle of life who is engaged in a perpetual contention with his dinner, Hippias forsook his prospects at the Bar, and, in the embraces of dyspepsia, compiled his ponderous work on ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... one another. "Or perhaps the train ran over his head when he didn't know it." They could think of no other reason for Freddie's queer actions. Always before he had seemed too kind-hearted to rejoice over another person's ill luck. ...
— The Tale of Freddie Firefly • Arthur Scott Bailey

... was a matter of ill luck, rather than a personal matter between the vampire and me. Therefore, as a direct result of this and like experiences, I have learned to make proper allowances for the whims of the Fates. I have learned that it is their pleasure to deluge me with rainstorms at ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... bones of game slain in the chase to be broken, or left carelessly about the encampment. They were collected in heaps, or thrown into the water. Mrs. Eastman observes that even yet the Dakotas deem it an omen of ill luck in the hunt, if the dogs gnaw the bones or a woman inadvertently steps over them; and the Chipeway interpreter, John Tanner, speaks of the same fear among that tribe. The Yurucares of Bolivia carried it to such an inconvenient extent, that ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... just go mad if ever such ill luck happened to yees as to be taken to heaven in the ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... faithful servants of the Emperor, as M. the Constable could be of the King his master. Thereupon our men by night hoisted up two great cannons, with the help of the Swiss soldiers and the lansquenets; but as ill luck would have it, when the cannons were in position, a gunner stupidly set fire to a bag full of gunpowder, whereby he was burned, with ten or twelve soldiers; and the flame of the powder discovered our artillery, so that all night ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... my companion to hasten now and show his amiable humour, and he willingly obeyed; but ill luck would have it that, as he opened the door leading from the kitchen on one side, Hindley opened it on the other. They met, and the master, irritated at seeing him clean and cheerful, or, perhaps, eager to keep his promise to Mrs. Linton, shoved him back with a sudden thrust, and angrily ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... enjoyed great popularity among their tenants. He was gentle but of indomitable firmness; and while stern to the idle and unthrifty, he did not press heavily on those who might be behindhand with their rent, owing to ill luck or misfortune, ...
— George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy • George Willis Cooke

... hypocrisy—powerful, insolent, bold-faced knaves; and after their robbing me of the inheritance of my old, rich uncle, which one of those crafty padres contrived to make the old devotee give them on his death-bed, I had dry eyes for their ill luck. But, I suppose," added he, "you know their creed?" I acknowledged my ignorance. "Well, you shall hear it. It is incomparably true; though, whether written for them by Moratin or Calderon, I leave to the antiquarians." He then chanted it in the style of the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... down from the bed, so desperate at my ill luck that I hardly cared whether anybody heard me or not. Quite a little cloud of dust rose at my feet as they ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... he fell out o' ae dwam into another, and ne'er spak a word mair, unless it something we you'dna mak out, about a dipped candle being gude eneugh to see to dee wi'. He cou'd ne'er bide to see a molded ane, and there was ane, by ill luck, on ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... proverb? "He who bears a jewel in his bosom bears poison." Hardly had the ronin heard these words of the priest than an evil heart arose within him, and he thought to himself, "Man's life, from the womb to the grave, is made up of good and of ill luck. Here am I, nearly forty years old, a wanderer, without a calling, or even a hope of advancement in the world. To be sure, it seems a shame; yet if I could steal the money this priest is boasting about, I could live at ease for the rest of my days;" and so he began casting about ...
— Stories by English Authors: Orient • Various

... encounters with the farmers, as on the Neperan, near Tarrytown, where the Cowboys chased a woman to death, but were afterward cut to pieces by the enraged neighbors. Hers is but one of the many ghosts that haunt the neutral ground, and the croaking of the birds of ill luck that nest at Raven rock is blended with the cries of her dim figure. Still, graceless as these fellows were, they affected a loyalty to their respective sides, and were usually willing to fight each other when they met, especially ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... singly—to the reckless. The first mischance breeds the second, apparently by ill luck, but in reality through the influence of irritant nerves. Thus descended Nemesis upon Miss Kathleen Pierce. Not that Miss Pierce was of a misgiving temperament: she had too calm and superb a conviction of her own incontrovertible privilege in every department of life for that. ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... But by ill luck this difficulty occurred at a time when the Emperor Rodolph was yet alive, and a spectator of this scene, and who might easily have been tempted to employ against his brother the same weapons which the latter had successfully directed against him — namely, an ...
— The History of the Thirty Years' War • Friedrich Schiller, Translated by Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, M.A.

... at cards, these amiable children were always partners; and it was remarkable, that in the latter of these diversions, Natura was never uneasy at losing his money to Delia, nor resented any little railleries she treated him with on account of his ill luck, or want of skill in the game, as he had been accustomed to do whenever he received the like from any of his companions.—So forcibly does the difference of sex operate, even before ...
— Life's Progress Through The Passions - Or, The Adventures of Natura • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... matter to muster hands enough even to unload or load a ship, with labourer's wages up to a pound a day; and the men who are willing to work even at that figure are either the few long-headed ones who prefer a moderate certainty to the chance of ill luck at the gold-fields, or such poor delicate chaps as can't stand the hardships of camp life. But, as to sailors, bless you, sir, there ain't one to be had for love or money. Even those who deserted from the Sophie Ellesmere haven't been up there long enough yet to get tired ...
— The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" • Harry Collingwood

... Parsons was out, so she left it with the housemaid, who promised faithfully to give it to her when she returned, with Isobel's message as to writing the address on the sealed envelope. In order that she might not forget, the maid placed it on a table by the back door. By ill luck, however, presently through that door, came, not Mrs. Parsons, but the Rev. Mr. Knight. He saw the letter addressed to Godfrey Knight, Esq., and, though he half pretended to himself that he did not, at once recognized ...
— Love Eternal • H. Rider Haggard

... rises into distinction, necessarily becomes a politician. It was the misfortune of Sir John Jervis, and it was his only misfortune, that he was a politician before he had risen into distinction. Having had the ill luck to profess himself a Whig, at a period when he could scarcely have known the nature of the connexion, he unhappily adhered to it long after Whiggism had ceased to possess either public utility or national respect. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLII. Vol. LV. April, 1844 • Various

... Man could easily have distanced his middle-aged pursuer under ordinary circumstances, but the position in which Wicksteed's body was found suggests that he had the ill luck to drive his quarry into a corner between a drift of stinging nettles and the gravel pit. To those who appreciate the extraordinary irascibility of the Invisible Man, the rest of the encounter will ...
— The Invisible Man • H. G. Wells

... desire. The passion for play raged in him without measure, and had not been tamed by ruinous losses. His hereditary fortune was ample. He had long filled lucrative posts, and had neglected no art which could make them more lucrative: but his ill luck at the hazard table was such that his estates were daily becoming more and more encumbered. In the hope of extricating himself from his embarrassments, he betrayed to Barillon all the schemes adverse to France which had been meditated in the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... cavalry, he carried the whole of the old port of Ostend. Leaving a Walloon officer, in whom he had confidence, to guard the position already gained, he went back in person for reinforcements. During his advance, the same ill luck attended his enterprise which had blasted Hohenlo's achievement at Bois-le-Duc. The soldiers he left behind him deserted their posts for the sake of rifling the town. The officer in command, instead of keeping them to their duty, joined in the ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... Ned, "you know we've never in all our adventures found a Boy Scout that really brought us ill luck. Sometimes they've caused us a lot of ...
— Boy Scouts in the North Sea - The Mystery of a Sub • G. Harvey Ralphson

... I think, that I had written a play on returning from Paris. They liked it; but I don't want them to play it in the spring, and the end of the winter is filled up, unless the play they are rehearsing fails. As I do not know how to WISH my colleagues ill luck, I am in no hurry and my manuscript is on the shelf. I have the time. I am writing my little annual novel, when I have one or two hours a day to get to work on it; I am not sorry to be prevented from thinking of it. That develops it. Always before going to ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... they have such a pride about always giving things to women, and taking care of them. I believe a nice American man would break stones in the street rather than take money from a woman—even his wife. I mean while he could work. Of course if he was ill or had ill luck or anything like that, he wouldn't be so proud as not to take it from the person who loved him most and wanted to help him. You do sometimes hear of a man who won't work and lets his wife support him, but it's very seldom, and they are always ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... quitting the directions of Prudence, and following the blind guidance of a predominant passion; in short, for all the ordinary phenomena which are imputed to Fortune; whom, perhaps, men accuse with no less absurdity in life, than a bad player complains of ill luck at the game ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... cleared—an omission for which, it is to be hoped, someone has been held responsible. The Boer ponies, used to the succulent grasses of the veld, could make nothing of the rank Karoo, and had so fallen away that an enormous advantage should have rested with the pursuers had ill luck and bad management not combined to enable the invaders to renew their mobility at the very moment when Plumer's horses were dropping ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... that I would not return to camp without the deer, I started for the scene of my former ill luck. I was delighted to find, that by following Nat's instructions, I was able to move over the ground much easier than the night before. Still, it was pretty hard work. But I persevered; and upon reaching the proper place, sounded my call— once, ...
— The Young Trail Hunters • Samuel Woodworth Cozzens

... Prague loudly bewailed Sheldon's ill luck, and declared he would never forgive himself for having advised the young man to embark in the cursed speculations. But Sheldon begged him not to be unnecessarily distressed, as it was no fault of his that the schemes proved abortive; and the good ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... Ill luck had often seemed to dog the footsteps of his house and even his journey home was not without a mishap; nothing serious, as things turned out, but still something that might have been vastly so. His train was in a wreck, rather a nasty one, but Nigel himself had come ...
— The Riddle of the Frozen Flame • Mary E. Hanshew

... boyar-house just in front of the terem where women live; the arrow of the second Tsarevitch flew to the red porch of a rich merchant, and on the porch there stood a sweet girl, the merchant's daughter. The youngest, the brave Tsarevitch Ivan, had the ill luck to send his arrow into the midst of a swamp, where it was ...
— Folk Tales from the Russian • Various

... as if of late there was a perfect conspiracy against him. Anxiety, ill luck, and disappointment on every side, with not a single silver lining to the cloud, which, black and ominous, had suddenly begun to ...
— A Little Garrison - A Realistic Novel of German Army Life of To-day • Fritz von der Kyrburg

... my ill luck," grumbled Dick. "Trevanion of Exeter came over to our place, and of course the mater pressed him to stay for luncheon, and then nothing would do but a ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... master was not at all unkind about it. He listened to their explanation, and consoled them for their ill luck. ...
— Tom Fairfield's Pluck and Luck • Allen Chapman

... him to ride on, and he thought it best to do so. The sisters proceeded in silence, Hester's tears flowing faster and faster. Instead of walking through Deerbrook, she took a back road homewards, and drew down her veil. As ill luck would have it, however, they met Sophia Grey and her sisters, and Sophia would stop. She was about to turn back with them, when she saw that something was the matter, and then she checked herself awkwardly, and wished her cousins ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... dishonest gains. A man never has good luck who has a bad wife. I never knew an early-rising, hard-working, prudent man, careful of his earnings and strictly honest, who complained of his bad luck. A good character, good habits, and iron industry are impregnable to the assaults of the ill luck that fools are dreaming of. But when I see a tatterdemalion creeping out of a grocery late in the forenoon with his hands stuck into his pockets, the rim of his hat turned up, and the crown knocked in, I know he has had bad luck,—for ...
— How to Succeed - or, Stepping-Stones to Fame and Fortune • Orison Swett Marden

... some sharp fighting forced Owen, the prince of North Wales, to become his man, restored the defensive works of the district, and protected the Marcher lords in their occupation. The Christmas court was held at Lincoln; but warned perhaps by the recent ill luck of Stephen in defying the local superstition, Henry did not attempt to wear his crown in the city. Crown wearing and ceremony in general were distasteful to him, and at the next Easter festival at Worcester, together with the queen, ...
— The History of England From the Norman Conquest - to the Death of John (1066-1216) • George Burton Adams

... actually crying. The sight of a Methodist preacher brought up old times. He told me his story. He had come to California hoping to make a fortune in a hurry, but had only ill luck from the start. His prospectings were always failures, his partners cheated him, his health broke down, his courage gave way, and—he faltered a little, and then spoke it out—he took to whisky, and then the ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... truth, one of those gentlemen who have the ill luck to give to whatever name they bear a prompt celebrity; and for this reason he had changed his more ...
— Wood Rangers - The Trappers of Sonora • Mayne Reid

... as the children were laughing, he thought he might laugh too, and not liking sitting still when all were running and jumping round him, he slid down from his high seat and joined the group that had fled to that end of the room from Edward. As ill luck would have it, Edward turned in that direction somewhat suddenly, and there was a loud cry of one and all to run, and instantly all did run, Reuben too obeying the call, and setting off as fast as his little legs ...
— Brotherly Love - Shewing That As Merely Human It May Not Always Be Depended Upon • Mrs. Sherwood

... bets were to be doubled and when they were to abide the chance of another count. The loser at the game, even after all that he had with him was gone, was sometimes permitted to continue the game on his promise to pay. If ill luck still pursued him the winner could refuse him credit and decline to play for stakes ...
— Indian Games • Andrew McFarland Davis

... we gave him. Fifty heavy florins! More than enough for a beginning. If I may advise you, count on the two and the five when fixed numbers are to be thrown or hit. Why? Because you must turn your ill luck in love to advantage: and those from whom it comes are the two beautiful Ortlieb Es, as Nuremberg folk call the ladies Els and Eva. That makes the two. But E is the fifth letter in the alphabet, so I should choose the five. If Biberli did ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... to wringing my clothing and dry-charging my revolver, and we were away. A brisk canter of a half-hour under the arches of the trees brought us to the river, where it was our ill luck to find a boat and three soldiers of our brigade. These men had been for several hours concealed in the brush patiently watching the opposite bank in the amiable hope of getting a shot at some unwary ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... cluster of stars, doubtless the Pleiades; and by the position of this constellation the Dyaks can judge good and bad fortune. If this cluster of stars be high in the heavens, success will attend the Dyak; when it sinks below the horizon, ill luck follows; fruit and crops will not ripen; war and famine are dreaded. Probably originally this was but a simple and natural division of the seasons, which has ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... Christian missionaries. Li Faa, educated, who could read and write English and Hawaiian and a fair measure of Chinese, claimed to believe in nothing, although in her secret heart she feared the kahunas (Hawaiian witch-doctors), who she was certain could charm away ill luck or pray one to death. Li Faa would never come into Ah Kim's house, as he thoroughly knew, and kow-tow to his mother and be slave to her in the immemorial Chinese way. Li Faa, from the Chinese angle, was a new woman, a feminist, who rode horseback astride, disported immodestly ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... go down alone, and watch in the library in the dark. I lay down on my bed in my clothes to wait, and then—I had been up most of the night before with Denis; I was dead beat with acting and dancing—by ill luck I fell asleep. When I woke up I found to my horror that it was close on four o'clock. I instantly slipped off my shoes, and crept out of my room and down the stairs. I could not get to the library from the hall, as the stage ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... from where he was lying. "A plague of such ill luck!" quoth he. "Here have we abided all day, and no bird worth the shooting, so to speak, hath come within reach of our bolt. Had I gone forth on an innocent errand, I had met a dozen stout priests or a score of pursy money-lenders. But it is ever thus: the dun deer are never so scarce as when one ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... and servants ever see him there. We have a saying at Hootawa, that servants will not stay unless they are able to see Sir Rupert the first month after their arrival. Only members of the family are able to see him in the Long Gallery, and, of course, we never know whether he betokens good or ill luck. The last time he appeared there, papa was so nervous that he sold out of Consols, which went down an eighth the day after. We were all very much relieved. But he invested the money in some concern called "The Imperial Federation Stylograph Pen Company," and ...
— Masques & Phases • Robert Ross

... might be imitated: a stick thrown or pointed toward an enemy, it was believed, would cause a spear to enter his body;[1538] a hostile glance of the eye, indicating desire to inflict injury, might carry ill luck.[1539] In such cases the fundamental conceptions are the sympathy that comes from unity and the activity of the pervasive mana. These conceptions are visible in procedures in which action on a part of the human body, or on an image or picture of it, was supposed ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... swaines, ill luck shall long betide To every bridegroome, and to every bride: No sacrifice, no vow shall still mine Ire, Till Claius blood both quench and kindle fire. The wise shall misconceive me, and the wit Scornd and neglected shall my meaning ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... towards making a selection out of the great mass of gods goes hand in hand with the multiplication of spirits that might, as occasion presented itself, be invoked. In general, the larger affairs of life were consigned into the hands of the gods; the petty annoyances—accidents, pains, ill luck, and the like—were put down to the account of the spirits. The gods were, on the whole, favorably disposed towards man. They were angry at times, they sent punishments, but they could be appeased. ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... sunny side of forty. They were ready to converse on any subject, but if left to themselves they would choose topics proper to their calling-ships and shipwrecks, maritime usages of various countries, of laws of insurance, of sea-rights, of feats of seamanship, of luck and ill luck, and here and there a little politics of the old-fashioned, elementary sort. They boasted themselves and their country not a little, and criticised everybody else, and John Bull especially, very severely often, but almost always very acutely, too. They ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... wince and pointed a skinny finger at the boat. The fate of the two seamen did not trouble him greatly. Those who lived by violence should rightly expect to die by it. The sea was their gaming table and it was their ill luck if the dice were cogged. Just then Bill Saxby stifled an ejaculation. He, too, had discovered the freightage in the cock-boat, the heavy burden which made ...
— Blackbeard: Buccaneer • Ralph D. Paine

... We then got dinner, for which we honorably paid the poor woman his wife. And now comes my woeful story. While, after dinner, I was busily employed in catechising my prisoner, how should the devil be employed, but in tempting my men with the distilled juice of the apple? Having, by some ill luck, found out that there was a barrel of it in the house, they hastened to the poor landlady, who not only gave them a full dose for the present, but filled their bottles ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... illness with ourselves, and as unquestionably indicating something wrong with the individual who misbehaves, is nevertheless held to be the result of either pre-natal or post-natal misfortune. I should add that under certain circumstances poverty and ill luck are ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... found Kirk alone in the studio, as ill luck would have it. In the absence of Ruth he ventured to speak more freely than he would ...
— The Coming of Bill • P. G. Wodehouse

... and wanted something to eat. The girl opened the cupboard and brought him some food, and in her love forgot to shut the cupboard-door again; She seated herself at the table by her lover, and they chattered away together. While she sat so contentedly there, thinking of no ill luck, the cat came creeping in, found the cupboard open, took the hand and heart and eyes of the three army-surgeons, and ran off with them. When the soldier had done eating, and the girl was taking away the things and going to shut the cupboard she saw that the plate which the innkeeper had given ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... elm-bordered, sweeping driveway, leading from gate to old colonial residence. Its thick-grassed fields and running water made it just the place for a man who tempered his passion for racing with common sense. And it would pass from Porter's hands right enough—Crane knew that. Porter might call it ill luck, but he, Crane the Banker, knew it was the lack of something, the ...
— Thoroughbreds • W. A. Fraser

... therefore, asked Barebone any questions. More especially is it considered, in seafaring communities, impolite to make inquiry into your neighbour's misfortune. If a man have the ill luck to lose his ship, he may well go through the rest of his life without hearing the mention of her name. It was understood in Farlingford that Loo Barebone had resigned his post on "The Last Hope" in order to claim a heritage in France. He had returned home, and was living quietly at Maidens Grave ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... they'd bring it in murder," groaned Honor. "Oh, the ill luck of it, that it should have been Miss Farrar! And the dictionary came down with such a frightful bang! I can never look ...
— The New Girl at St. Chad's - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... sight may yet prove true, Nor bode of ill to him or you. When did my gifted dream beguile? Think of the stranger at the isle, And think upon the harpings slow That presaged this approaching woe! Sooth was my prophecy of fear; Believe it when it augurs cheer. Would we had left this dismal spot! Ill luck still haunts a fairy spot! Of such a wondrous tale I know— Dear lady, change that look of woe, My harp was wont thy grief ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... according to the proverb,—a rotten branch will be found in every tree. My father's greatest misfortune evidently was that he had such ill luck in producing sons that at last he produced one incapable of acting, and without any resemblance to our race, and whom in truth I never would have called brother, if it were not that it would have been to my ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... reality and as a type of their future. Hal and Mary were truly married, and through the ensuing years their lives ran on together merged as one. When we stopped to think over the years since his boyhood, to remember the comparatively few advantages he had enjoyed, the ill luck of my father in his early years, and his tired, discouraged way which followed,—it was hard to realize the facts as they were. Grandma Northrop often prophesied ...
— The Harvest of Years • Martha Lewis Beckwith Ewell

... secure the appointment for him if possible. It will be a great piece of luck for somebody that Buller should have died exactly when he did. William Bathurst may perhaps lose the place from his not dying earlier, or the new Government may lose the patronage because he did not die later; but it is ill luck for me, who shall probably have more trouble because he ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... appeared that "Mr Jonas", after walking worthily in his father's footsteps for two years, had become infected with the gambling craze, and, first losing all his own money, had finally laid hands upon as much of his clients' property as he could obtain access to, until, his ill luck still pursuing him, he had lost that also, and then had sought to evade the consequences of his misdeeds by blowing out his brains with two shots from a revolver. This final act of folly had been perpetrated two days before the account of it in the papers had fallen under ...
— The Adventures of Dick Maitland - A Tale of Unknown Africa • Harry Collingwood

... you come to know that name?" he asked; adding quickly, "But that isn't my name either. If you want to know it, Michael Dillon is my name; and since I am to have the ill luck to be compelled to serve his Majesty afloat, I intend to show that it's one no ...
— The Missing Ship - The Log of the "Ouzel" Galley • W. H. G. Kingston

... repeating to him his plans. But now the chapter of accidents, which have spoiled so many well-laid plots, began. In sending this letter he directed it "via Nuernberg," but in his haste or agitation forgot to insert Berlin. By ill luck there was a cousin of Katte's, of the same name, at Erlangen, some twelve miles off. The letter was delivered to and read by him. He saw the importance of its contents, and, moved by an impulse of loyalty, sent it by express ...
— Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality, German • Charles Morris

... book-writing, of which more presently; became the inspirer, model and butt of Blackwood's Magazine; constantly threatened to quarrel with it for traducing him, and once did so; loved Edinburgh convivialities more well than wisely; had the very ill luck to survive Scott and to commit the folly of writing a pamphlet (more silly than anything else) on the "domestic manners" of that great man, which estranged Lockhart, hitherto his fast friend; paid a visit ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... started at every passing cloud. They slid rather than walked down the spur, that their figures might be lost in the dark mass of the mountain. At two hundred feet below the summit, John Mangles and his sailors reached the dangerous ridge that had been so obstinately defended by the natives. If by ill luck the Maories, more cunning than the fugitives, had only pretended to retreat; if they were not really duped by the volcanic phenomenon, this was the spot where their presence would be betrayed. ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... necessary phenomenon (as the clouds with the moon, for instance) occasion coincidences, which, when they are attended by any advantage or injury, and are at the same time incapable of being calculated or foreseen by human prudence, form good or ill luck. On a hot sunshiny afternoon came on a sudden storm and spoiled the farmer's hay; and this is called ill luck. We will suppose the same event to take place when meteorology shall have been perfected into a science, provided ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... interview with the general manager had to be postponed; and the enthusiast was chafing at his ill luck when he went to his hotel—chafing and saying hard words, for the waiting had been long, and now that the psychologic moment had arrived, ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... Hinksey, who know the Fyfield elm in May, and have "trailed their fingers in the stripling Thames" at Bablockhithe,—may be granted. But in the name of Bandusia and of Gargarus, what offence can these things give to any worthy wight who by his ill luck has not seen them with eyes? The objection is so apt to suggest a suspicion, as illiberal almost as itself, that one had better not ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... Naimes' brave heart what agony! Once more the Pagan raised his arm to strike, But now King Carle cries:—"Coward, wretch! This blow Brings thee ill luck!"—And valiantly the King Rushed on, crushed 'gainst his heart the buckler, rent The hauberk's top; dead-struck the heathen King Falls on the ground ... ...
— La Chanson de Roland • Lon Gautier

... him fairly regularly, when he wrote letters urging her for his sake to be brave, and telling of the many shocks he had received from the persistent ill luck which he was seeking to overcome. If he had known how eagerly she awaited the familiar writing, how she read and re-read, times without number, every line he wrote, how she treasured the letters, sleeping with them under her pillow at night, he would have surely written with more ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... doubts about this. Those who represent themselves as born to ill luck can usually trace the ill luck to errors or shortcomings of their own. There are doubtless inequalities of fortune, but not as great as many like to represent. Of two boys who start alike one may succeed, and the other ...
— Driven From Home - Carl Crawford's Experience • Horatio Alger



Words linked to "Ill luck" :   toilet, lot, destiny, hardship, weakness, adversity, luck, circumstances, fortune, gutter, portion, hard knocks, good luck, hard cheese, sewer, good fortune, fate



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