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Failing   /fˈeɪlɪŋ/   Listen
Failing

adjective
1.
Below acceptable in performance.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Failing" Quotes from Famous Books



... remarkable; quite remarkable. You, perhaps, do not go deep enough in searching for the cause of our misfortunes. It is not bad management or the hard winter, or Mr. Brown, even—and I blame myself bitterly for failing to read aright the 'handwriting on the wall,' to quote scripture, which I seldom do. If you have ever read history, William, you must know—even if you have not read history you should know from observation—how irresistible is the march of progress; ...
— The Long Shadow • B. M. Bower

... the criminal law that he has, it is said, forgotten that there is a civil law, and defaulted on the payment of betting debts. His creditor, in the sum of $1,085, is Robert G. Irving, a bookmaker, who has tried to collect the debt since last fall, and failing has resorted to ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... in which wireless telephony and telegraphy are taken up by local public authorities having power to forbid any one playing "dog in the manger," by preventing useful work by others while failing to promote it himself, the simpler system of wireless telephone call will be practicable. With the advance of municipalisation, and of intelligent collectivism generally, enterprises of public utility will be guarded from mere ...
— Twentieth Century Inventions - A Forecast • George Sutherland

... time when it was expected of him, and after some correspondence the Resident of the nearest district was sent to see him. After—in true oriental fashion—promising to give him audience, and then failing to do so—keeping the Resident waiting a week—he finally sent a message refusing to meet him. Then troops were sent. But their departure was not effected without a commencement of that bickering which marked the whole subsequent ...
— From Jungle to Java - The Trivial Impressions of a Short Excursion to Netherlands India • Arthur Keyser

... replied the priest, looking with regret at the failing light, and beginning to gather his brushes. "I will counsel her, but I fear it will do little good. If the maid is sick at heart, and we attempt to guide her thoughts, we may but drive the trouble deeper in. It is the same with ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... "My strength is failing. I can not describe the details of my ruin. Enough that the mine broke down utterly, and I as chief stockholder was responsible for all. I had to sell out every thing. The stock was worthless. The Hall and the estates all went. ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... word, and his benumbed faculties began to work. He stopped and scanned the trio closely. They were clothed in dainty muslin, three as sweet young girls as one would ever meet. But Patty and Conny, even in the failing light, were still noticeably brunette—it takes boiling water to get out ...
— Just Patty • Jean Webster

... prevail constantly over the other. In a mean nature the double view often makes an untruthful individual; in one possessing honourable instincts it frequently leads to unhappiness. Affectation then becomes aspiration and the man's failure to impose on others is forgotten in his misery at failing to ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... with you!" cackled Mrs. Evans, trying hard not to laugh, but failing in the attempt. "If I was in service I didn't throw no ...
— Under Padlock and Seal • Charles Harold Avery

... in 1565-66) in his Third Book, Knox boasts of his own initiation of the appeal to England, which included a scheme for the marriage of the Earl of Arran, son of the Hamilton chief, Chatelherault, to Queen Elizabeth. Failing issue of Queen Mary, Arran was heir to the Scottish throne, and if he married the Queen of England, the rightful Queen of Scotland would not be likely to wear her crown. The contemplated match was apt to involve a change of dynasty. The lure of the crown for his descendants ...
— John Knox and the Reformation • Andrew Lang

... who was a physician was also a wizard. He peeped and muttered, or, more subtly, provided enchanted philters in which simples had been dissolved. These devices failing, there was a series of incantations, the Ritual of the Whispered Charm, in which the most potent conjuration was the incommunicable name. To that all things yielded, even the gods.[28] But like the Shem of the Jews, it was probably never ...
— The Lords of the Ghostland - A History of the Ideal • Edgar Saltus

... rapidity of his movements he carried no tents or superfluous baggage, and the poor Egyptians, clad still in the linen of their summer uniforms, perished in hundreds by cold alone, and even the beasts of burden left their bodies in quantities by the way, forage and shelter for man and beast alike failing. The volunteers held the pass of St. Irene, by which alone from the west the approach to Omalos was practicable; but, ill provided for the rigor of the season, they grew negligent, and, after two weeks of waiting, Mustapha made a ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II • William James Stillman

... bloodshed. From there he marched to Cheruscis and crossing the Visurgis proceeded as far as the Albis, pillaging the entire district. This Albis rises in the Vandaliscan mountains and empties in a great flood into the ocean this side of the Arctic Sea. Drusus undertook to cross it, but failing in the attempt set up trophies and withdrew. For a woman taller than mankind confronted him and said: "Whither are thou hastening, insatiable Drusus? It is not fated that thou shalt see all this region. Depart. For thee the end of labor and of life is already at hand." ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. 4 • Cassius Dio

... greatest importance. We find even large trading cities like Kermanshah, Yezd, Shiraz and Birjand devoid of British Consuls. Undoubtedly we should wish a priority of right to construct roads and railways in Southern Persia—in the event of the Persians failing to construct these themselves—to be recognised, and it seems quite sensible and fair to let Persia give a similar advantage to Russia in Northern Persia. Nothing but a friendly understanding between England and Russia, which should clearly define the respective spheres of influence, will ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... in January, 1849, I called to see Aunt Judy for the last time. Superannuated, and rapidly failing, she had been installed by my father in a comfortable room in the house of a sort of cousin of hers, a worthy and "well-to-do" woman of color, where she might be cheered by the visits of the more respectable people of her own class,—darkies of substantial character and of the first families, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... night nor by day. The foot-pavements of the Rue du Faubourg St. Denis, too, were always muddy, be the weather what it might; and the gutters were always full of stagnant pools. An ever-changing, never-failing stream of rustics from the country, workpeople from the factories of the banlieu, grisettes, commercial travellers, porters, commissionaires, and gamins of all ages here flowed to and fro. Itinerant venders ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... exertion requiring all her resolution, and to keep them open during those first hours of returning life a physical impossibility. She knew that she was not alone, for gentle hands ministered to her, and she was constantly aware of some one who watched her tirelessly, with never-failing attention. But she felt not the smallest interest regarding this faithful companion, being too weary to care whether she lived or fell away for ever down those unending steeps up which some unseen influence seemed magnetically to ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... having prevailed upon the captain to send a boat up the river with her, she returned alone to the mission-house. The wisdom of her decision was proved in a short time by the safe return of Mr. Judson. Later, when failing health necessitated a change of climate, Mrs. Judson showed herself as well adapted to moving gracefully in cultivated and refined society as she was to contending with adversity and ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... talking nonsense and tell me how you really happened to be here. It's too good to be true." Grace beamed fondly on her tall, humorous classmate who had been a never-failing source of amusement to the ...
— Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus • Jessie Graham Flower

... the three makers of Gold Shoes; and, when they could be had from him, not a shoe nor hose was bought of any of the cordwainers in the town. But when the cordwainers perceived that their gains were failing (for as Manawyddan shaped the work, so Pryderi stitched it), they came together and took counsel, and agreed ...
— The Mabinogion • Lady Charlotte Guest

... we sit idly down and say The night hath come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come; we are not quite Cut off from labor by the failing light; Something remains for us to do or dare; Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear; Not Oedipus Coloneus, or Greek Ode, Or tales of pilgrims that one morning rode Out of the gateway of the Tabard inn, But other something, would we but begin; For age is opportunity no less ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... Document, Kaiser Karl had formally settled, and fixed according to the power he has, in the shape of what they call a Pragmatic Sanction, or unalterable Ordinance in his Imperial House, "That, failing Heirs-male, his Daughters, his Eldest Daughter, should succeed him; failing Daughters, his Nieces; and in short, that Heirs-female ranking from their kinship to Kaiser Karl, and not to any prior Kaiser, should be as ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume V. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... April. Oh, I can't help it!" exclaimed Ellen, failing in the effort to control herself; she clasped Alice as if she feared even then the separating hand. Alice bent her head down, and ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... not yet a confirmed fakir, or rooted out if he is an inveterate fakir." There is surely enough, for those who have eyes to see, that is dramatic and exciting in actual life without depending upon fictitious news. Chesterton berates the contemporary press for failing to give us the thrill of reality. It "offends as being not sensational or violent enough; . . . does not merely fail to exaggerate life-it positively underrates it. With the whole world full of big and dubious institutions, with the whole wickedness of civilization ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... what you mean," said Betty, trying to look dignified and failing utterly, while Mollie and Amy continued to stare their amazement. They had forgotten completely that night spent under the hospitable roof of Mrs. Barnes, and even her son's engaging personality had faded from their minds. There had been so many things to think about and ...
— The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point - Or a Wreck and a Rescue • Laura Lee Hope

... was transmitted to Commodore Paulding, for his guidance, by the Secretary of the Navy, and he was required to regard the instruction contained in it as addressed to himself. Commodore Chatard was suspended for failing to arrest Walker within the port of San Juan. Commodore Paulding arrived at San Juan on the 6th day of December. Walker and his men were in sight on shore, at Punta Arenas, opposite San Juan. This point, though within the limits of Nicaragua, has ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... overlie it. This made itself perceptible even to the toughened and unimpressionable nerves of Inspector Dunbar. As he mounted the five steps leading up to the door, glancing meanwhile at the lowered blinds at the windows, he wondered if, failing these evidences and his own private knowledge of the facts, he should have recognized that the hand of tragedy had placed its mark upon this house. But when the door was opened by a white-faced servant, he told himself that he ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... her limbs almost giving way; and, as Raoul received the ring from the king's hand, he, too, felt his strength and courage failing him. He addressed a few respectful words to the king, a passing compliment to Miss Stewart, and looked for Buckingham to bid him adieu. The king profited by this moment to disappear. Raoul found the duke engaged in ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... extensively evaded, admitting English wares of all sorts in great quantities. But in no long time the blockade tightened. Moreover, comparatively little cotton was raised which could in any event have been exported. Credit failing, imports, if any, had to be paid for in money. This, of course, was soon spent, and then importation ceased. Privateers destroyed but ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XII • John Lord

... thoughtful, sad-eyed man. Your father, perhaps, planted the trees, or reared them from the seed, and you yourself have pruned and grafted them, and worked among them, till every separate tree has a peculiar history and meaning in your mind. Then there is the never-failing crop of birds,—robins, goldfinches, kingbirds, cedar-birds, hairbirds, orioles, starlings,—all nesting and breeding in its branches, and fitly described by Wilson Flagg as "Birds of the Garden and Orchard." Whether the pippin and sweet bough ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... in the pillow, Close, close, to the fast failing breath; A little arm clasps his neck closely, A voice growing husky ...
— Debris - Selections from Poems • Madge Morris

... hard to say, with such a terrible report about, and no letters," faltered the old man, his courage failing him. ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... he knew that he did no more than trifle with them. He had found himself driven to attempt to escape from them back into public life; but had failed, and had been inexpressibly dismayed in the failure. While failing, he had promised himself that he would rush at his work on his return to privacy and to quiet; but he was still as the shivering coward, who stands upon the brink, and cannot plunge in among the bathers. And then there was sadness beyond this, and even deeper than this. Why should he ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... a very gentlemanlike failing; while brigandage was only what Sheil used to euphemise as 'the wild justice' of noble spirits, too impatient for the sluggard steps of slow redress, and too proud not to ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... had noticed how her mistress had been failing, had noticed it long ago, in fact almost at the time when she had begun the X-ray treatment. She had seemed to improve once when she went away for a few days, but that was at the start, and directly after ...
— The Silent Bullet • Arthur B. Reeve

... I had secured an exchange, it seemed to be always for the worse. Some two months before at Kara Bounar, I had been affected by a touch of dysentery and this assailing me anew when my journey was only half through, made progress dreadfully difficult. But in the failing light of Friday evening the great rock on which Philipopolis is built came into sight and I could afford to make the last stage of my journey at a foot pace, with the certainty that I held a good nine hours in hand. I rode to the Roumelia Khan, the hostel at which I ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... Failing signs of Maga Jhaere or her men, I proposed to ride behind Beirut Dagh in search of Will, and to get his quick Yankee wit employed on ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... give to his men the example of Republican spirit and devotion. Suvaroff himself, with Kray, the conqueror of Mantua, began the attack: the onset of a second Austrian corps, at the moment when the strength of the Russians was failing, decided the day. Joubert did not live to witness the close of a defeat which cost ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... in a codicil to the will of 1498, made at Valladolid on May 19, 1506; the principal portion is said, however, to have been signed at Segovia on August 25, 1506. By this the old will is confirmed; the mayorazgo is bequeathed to his son Diego and his heirs male; failing these to Hernando, his second son, and failing these to the heirs male of Bartholomew. Only in the event of the extinction of the male line, direct or collateral, is it to descend to the females of the family; and those into whose hands it may fall are never to diminish ...
— Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia • Various

... along the bank to prevent the Germans fording the river: and in consequence of all this they had less food and more mouths to eat it. To the ignorant the lowness of the river seemed in itself an evil omen, as though the ancient bulwarks of the empire were now failing them. In peace they would have called it bad luck or the course of nature: now it was 'fate' and ...
— Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... Felix to add, 'It came so much more heavily on her than on any of us, care and work and years of seeing my father's health failing; and in the last week of his life she had a fall, that brought on ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... terrify me; therefore the heavens be pleased to grant to thee at all she-conflicts a stiff-standing fortune. Well then, as thou hast said, so will I do; I will, in good faith, marry,—in that point there shall be no failing, I promise thee,—and shall have always by me pretty girls clothed with the name of my wife's waiting-maids, that, lying under thy wings, thou mayest be ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... Virgin, that in Heaven she lodges them under her Petticoats: Such as making broken Eggs whole; and of People, who had their Heads cut off, walking with their Heads in their Hands, which were sometimes set on again: Such as Failing for a hundred Years; and raising Cows, Calves, and Birds from the Dead, after they had been chopt to Pieces and eaten, and putting on their Heads after they had been pull'd or cut off; and turning a Pound of Butter into a Bell; and making ...
— A Discourse Concerning Ridicule and Irony in Writing (1729) • Anthony Collins

... of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms. Nigeria pulled out of its IMF program in April 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the Paris Club. In the last year the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking ...
— The 2007 CIA World Factbook • United States

... desires to marry. But it must be pointed out that homosexuality is undoubtedly in many cases inherited. Often, it is true, the children turn out fairly well, but, in many cases, they bear witness that they belong to a neurotic and failing stock;[261] Hirschfeld goes so far as to say that it is always so, and concludes that from the eugenic standpoint the marriage of a homosexual person is always very risky. In a large number of cases such marriages prove ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... the matter, and from the prosperity which has attended his constabulary career, it may well be believed that he has a life interest in keeping his counsel. Indeed as it is nearly ten years since Mr. Reid buried the poor tramp, it is possible that Mr. Gall's memory may be already failing in regard to events which occurred at so remote ...
— A Tale of a Lonely Parish • F. Marion Crawford

... of the poultry yard as well as the house and the kitchen and the new maid. But in the midst of all her duties she contrived to give a good deal of her time to her dearly loved Mademoiselle, for Mademoiselle was failing, and those who loved her best knew that not for very much longer would they have the joy ...
— The Carroll Girls • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... nozzle. Attaining the line of the southeastern or Lesser Antilles, often known as the Windward Islands, a part of this current slips through the interspaces between these isles and enters the Gulf of Mexico. Another portion, failing to find sufficient room through these passages, skirts the Antilles on their eastern and northern sides, passes by and among the Bahama Islands, there to rejoin the part of the stream which entered the Caribbean. This Caribbean ...
— Outlines of the Earth's History - A Popular Study in Physiography • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... at some of that author's wisdom," returned Mrs. Bloomfield, "but I soon found it was learning backwards. There is a never-failing rule, by which it is easy to arrive at a traveller's worth, in a negative ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... a shilly-shally thing, of mere milk and water, which could not last, and was only good as a step to something better. That when we reflected, that he had endeavored in the convention, to make an English constitution of it, and when failing in that, we saw all his measures tending to bring it to the same thing, it was natural for us to be jealous; and particularly, when we saw that these measures had established corruption in the legislature, where there was a ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... the other, and then dragged the lieutenant out from under his horse, receiving, as he did so, a sword-cut on his head, but the thick turban he wore saved it from injury. The enemy passed on to the native troop of horse artillery, in the hopes of getting them to join; but, failing this, galloped out ...
— Our Soldiers - Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... notion of the impersonation of the principle of evil we are doubtless indebted for the whole dark legacy of witchcraft and possession. Failing in our efforts to solve the problem of the origin of evil, we fall back upon the idea of a malignant being,—the antagonism of good. Of this mysterious and dreadful personification we find ourselves constrained to speak with a degree of that awe and reverence which ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... winter, but may enumerate the principal together. Of animals fit for food are musk-oxen, bears, reindeer, hares, foxes, &c. Of fish, there is considerable variety, salmon and trout being the chief and never-failing supply. Of birds, there are ducks, geese, cranes, ptarmigan, grouse, plovers, partridges, sand-larks, shear-waters, gannets, gulls, mollemokes, dovekies, and a score of other species. We personally know that the flesh of bears, reindeer, and some of the other ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... sweep our wasted fields, I would not rather Take to my heart and cherish than these vipers. Dost thou forget, my lord, how of old time, In the brave days of good Sauromatus, These venomous townsmen, shamelessly allied With the barbarian hosts, brought us to ruin; Or, with the failing force of Caesar leagued, By subtle devilish enginery of war, Robbed Bosphorus of its own, when, but for them, Byzantium were our prey, and all its might, And we Rome's masters? Nay; I swear to thee, I would rather see the Prince dead at my feet, I would ...
— Gycia - A Tragedy in Five Acts • Lewis Morris

... I would not speak slightingly of them, but they do try one's patience; here is the wind failing, and we all ready to hoist sail," returned the captain with another growl, a glance at the sky, and a frown at his vessel, everything about which betokened readiness for instant departure. The crew—partly composed of slaves—were ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... genius is given. You muse. Heaven permits these rude words to strike home! Guy Darrell, it is not too late! Heaven's warnings are always in time. Reflect, with the one narrow object was fostered and fed the one master failing of Pride. To us as Christians, or as reasoners, it is not in this world that every duty is to find its special meed; yet by that same mystical LAW which makes Science of Sorrow, rewards are but often the normal effect of duties sublimely fulfilled. Out ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the most loathsome crime in the world would certainly cause the subject, we should be forced to admit that Lucretia Borgia possessed a power of dissimulation which passed all human bounds. Nothing, however, charmed the Ferrarese so much as the never failing, graceful joyousness of Alfonso's young wife. Any woman of feeling can decide correctly whether—if Lucretia were guilty of the crimes with which she was charged—she could have appeared as she did, and whether the countenance which we behold in the portrait of the bride of Alfonso d'Este in ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... enough to discourage any sensitive man and Grant felt it keenly, but he did not entirely despair of accomplishing his end. He tried to gain an interview with General Fremont who was stationed in a neighboring state and, failing in this, sought out McClellan, his comrade in the Mexican War, who had been made a major-general and was then in the vicinity of Covington, Kentucky, where Grant had gone to visit his parents. But McClellan either would not or could not see him. Indeed, he had ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... but simply fancied that little Polly was growing up to be a very charming woman. He had known her since her first visit and had always liked the child; this winter he had been interested in the success of her plans and had done what he could to help them, but he never thought of failing in love with Polly till that night. Then he began to feel that he had not fully appreciated his young friend; that she was such a bright and lovable girl, it was a pity she should not always be gay and pretty, and enjoy herself; that she would ...
— An Old-fashioned Girl • Louisa May Alcott

... disquieting idea. A strong conviction to the contrary, I see, amounts to nothing. This man, doubtless, had a strong conviction to the contrary—probably expressed an amused interest in any one talking to himself as he passed him in the street. And the fact that my friends have never told me of the failing goes for nothing also. They may think I like to talk to myself. More probably, they may know that I do not like to hear of my failings. I must watch myself. But, no, that won't do. I might as well say I would watch my dreams and keep them in check. How can the conscious state ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... had been full of enthusiasm for the future, and how, little by little, achieving nothing, he had resigned himself to failure. Now he was dead. His death had been as futile as his life. He died ingloriously, of a stupid disease, failing once more, even at the end, to accomplish anything. It was just the same now as ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... intellectual weakness or vacillation of purpose. Even when there could be no doubt that in view of changed conditions it was wise to change a policy, which he had openly adopted or approved, he clung to it with peculiar tenacity refusing or merely failing to modify it. Mr. Wilson's mind once made up seemed to become inflexible. It appeared to grow impervious to arguments and even to facts. It lacked the elasticity and receptivity which have always been characteristic of sound judgment and right ...
— The Peace Negotiations • Robert Lansing

... before Jerrie went again to the Park House, and then Tom came for her, saying Maude was failing very fast. The shock which had come upon her so suddenly with regard to Jerrie's birth and the suspicions resting upon Harold had shortened the life nearing its close, and the moment Jerrie entered the room she knew the worst, and with a storm of sobs and tears ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... fragrant cup! Never-failing friend of the volunteer! His solace in fatigue, and his strength in battle. ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... prevailed. I was sure the troops had confidence in me, for heretofore we had been successful; and as at other times they had seen me present at the slightest sign of trouble or distress, I felt that I ought to try now to restore their broken ranks, or, failing in that, to share their fate because of what they had ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... wantonness. Compare the character of the separate lines in these two examples carefully, and be assured that wherever this redundant and luxurious curvature shows itself in ornamentation, it is a sign of jaded energy and failing invention. Do not confuse it with fulness or richness. Wealth is not necessarily wantonness: a Gothic moulding may be buried half a foot deep in thorns and leaves, and yet will be chaste in every line; and a late Renaissance moulding may be utterly barren and poverty-stricken, and yet will ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... indulgence died from John Egerton's face at the mention of Donald's name. The young man with the easy air of equality had been taking liberties! "I am sorry to disappoint you, Mr. McBess," he said stiffly, making the fatal error of failing to detect McBeth in Catchach's lisp, "I am neither Highland Scotch nor can I ...
— Duncan Polite - The Watchman of Glenoro • Marian Keith

... road. I was in knickerbockers and khaki shirt; Mifflin in greasy gray flannels and subfusc Norfolk. Our only claims to gentility were our monocles. Always take a monocle on a vagabond tour: it is a never-failing source of amusement and passport of gentility. No matter how ragged you are, if you can screw a pane in your eye you can awe the yokel or ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... in her hives while investigating to learn the cause of their rapid depletion. She had noticed that the colonies were greatly reduced in number of bees, and upon close observation found that the diseased or failing colonies were covered with the mites. So small are these pests that a score of them can take possession of a single bee and not be crowded for room either. The lady states that the bees roll and scratch in their vain ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 417 • Various

... sweetest. It discomposes me. 'Nothing is extraordinary,' as that good creature Dr. Sampson says. He must have thought it would answer, in one way or another, to have a gentlewoman at the head of his table; and I was not penniless, bien entendu. Failing in this, he found a plain little Thing, with a gloomy temper, and no accomplishments nor graces; but her father could settle twenty thousand pounds. He married her directly: and that is a trait. ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... hands; he was taught the latest dance step from London and learned the most elegant of court bows. In those days the turn of a wrist and the flip of a lace ruffle were not considered inconsequential. It was here he acquired that never-failing interest in the "newest taste and the ...
— Seaport in Virginia - George Washington's Alexandria • Gay Montague Moore

... you," said Mr. Bingle, doing his best to pull himself together and failing completely. "As I was saying, Mr. ...
— Mr. Bingle • George Barr McCutcheon

... way towards its mouth it enters a depression, which ancient dykes help to transform into a lake; it flows thence, almost parallel to the sea-coast, as far as the 36th degree of latitude. There it meets the last spurs of the Amanos, but, failing to cut its way through them, it turns abruptly to the west, and then to the south, falling into the Mediterranean after having received an increase to its volume from the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 4 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... apparitions, and partly fainted, their heart failing them: for a sudden fear, and not looked ...
— Donal Grant • George MacDonald

... Densher felt somehow that, as a thing of value accidentally picked up, it would retain an interest of curiosity. The three stood for a little together in an awkwardness to which he was conscious of contributing his share; Kate failing to ask Lord Mark to be seated, but letting him know that he would find Mrs. Lowder, with some others, on ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... closet until yesterday, when I folded it to pack. You see, I—I've had to give up the road on account of my unhappy failing." ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... impossible for him to remain in any city where there was a representative of his Britannic Majesty. Indeed, it was scarcely safe for him to be known out of America. He had quitted that country shortly after the struggle was over, chiefly from considerations for his health. His energies had been fast failing him; and a retired life and change of climate had been recommended by his physicians. His own feelings induced him to visit Italy, where he had once intended to pass his life, and where he now repaired to await death. Assuming a feigned name, and living ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... mother called her sons before her, and said, "Now, my sons, as you see my strength is failing me, I want each of you to go into the world to seek his fortune. After nine years, come back home and show me what you have learned to do." The three brothers consented, and resolved to leave ...
— Filipino Popular Tales • Dean S. Fansler

... operations, always with the same punctual regularity; and all this would go on just the same when Claudet was no longer there. There would only be one lad the less in the village streets, one hunter failing to answer the call when they were surrounding the woods of Charbonniere. This dim perception of how small a space man occupies on the earth, and of the ease with which he is forgotten, aided Claudet unconsciously in his effort to be resigned, and he determined to enter the house. As he opened ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... and collected the necessary cash. Gilgan was to be given money personally. He was to have the undivided if secret support of all the high Republican elements in the city. His business was to win at almost any cost. And as a reward he was to have the Republican support for Congress, or, failing that, the practical Republican leadership in ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... watch to-day and this day next year bring me your leaves." So the man and the hare departed and each sat under a tree to see a leaf fall but they watched and watched in vain until on the last day of the year a korkot leaf fell and the man joyfully picked it up and took it to Thakur; and the hare failing to see a leaf fall bit off a leaf with its teeth and took it to Thakur. Then Thakur examined the two leaves and said to the hare, "This leaf did not fall of itself; see, the tip of the stalk is quite different from the stalk of the leaf ...
— Folklore of the Santal Parganas • Cecil Henry Bompas

... both hands. "It was the way you said it," she murmured painfully and then straightened herself. "Of course nothing Zebedee would do could be anything but good. I beg his pardon." And in a failing voice, she explained again, "It was ...
— Moor Fires • E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

... might show a disposition to rise,[1241] or to instigate them to action by the promise of Philip's support. Neither Margaret nor Chantonnay, however, could fulfil the monarch's desires. The former thought that Philip had thrown away the golden opportunity by failing to interfere while the question of Catharine's and Navarre's claims to the administration was in dispute, and when the number of sectaries was much smaller than at present; and by the time Courteville reached Poissy, where Chantonnay was ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... landed proprietors have expressed nothing unfriendly to the project, but, if any thing, the reverse, at this moment of national difficulties and distress, highly to their credit and understanding;—and since the all-wise hand of Providence hath permitted an unceasing demand in one place, and a never-failing supply in another, at distances perhaps the most suitable and interesting for a work of this kind; {vi}—and, considering the necessity which the commerce of this district so evidently requires in an improved mode of transporting, ...
— Report of the Knaresbrough Rail-way Committee • Knaresbrough Rail-way Committee

... fish that live in them. Captain Scott found the South Pole, only to discover that another man had been there first. When, on his return from the disappointing quest, the pitiless cold, the endless blizzards, the failing food, had worn down the strength of the little company and in their tent amid the boundless desolation they waited for the end while the life flames burned low, Captain Scott wrote: "I do not regret this journey. . . . We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and ...
— Christianity and Progress • Harry Emerson Fosdick

... that he had until his death a large and devoted following, he lived all his life in a condition of genteel poverty. His single weakness was, I believe, an utter inability to appreciate the exchange value of dollars and cents; and this failing grew upon him so rapidly in his declining years that Mrs. Clay, his widowed sister, who kept his house, was at last obliged to "put up pickles" for the market in order to keep a roof over her ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... gave orders to have her runabout brought around. It was a long drive from Brent Rock, but Eva's fast speedster covered the ground quickly. Twice policemen tried to stop her and, failing, probably took the number of her car. Nothing could deter her. And, as the cool evening wind lashed her face, faith in Locke revived and the suspicion came that she might be rushing into danger. But no thought of herself entered her mind as she stepped on the ...
— The Master Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey

... the Court that condemned him. So far from it, that he always acknowledged the justice of his sentence, seemed grieved only for the greatness of his sin and the affliction of the punishment of it would bring upon his relations, who had hitherto always born the best of characters, though by his failing they were now like to be stigmatised with the most infamous crimes. However, since his grief came now too late, he resolved as much as he was able to keep such thoughts out of his head, and apply himself to what more nearly concerned ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... admirers was the late Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II., who, after a visit to the Jetties, first tried to persuade Eads to go to Brazil to do some very important work for him, and who then, failing that, sent him a personal letter asking him to recommend an engineer. And he engaged the one ...
— James B. Eads • Louis How

... absence, that he might offer himself a candidate for the consulship. Metellus, though eminently distinguished by virtue, honor, and other qualities valued by the good, had yet a haughty and disdainful spirit, the common failing of the nobility. He was at first, therefore, astonished at so extraordinary an application, expressed surprise at Marius's views, and advised him, as if in friendship, "not to indulge such unreasonable expectations, ...
— Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jurgurthine War • Sallust

... satisfaction that you coveted, a satisfaction that your self-love imperiously demanded; or it is because it prescribed an act that cost an effort, and you loved yourself too much to make that effort. Examine every failing, little or great, and you will trace them back to the same source. If we thought more of God and less of ourselves we would never sin. The sinner lives for himself first, and for ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... tried to extricate herself from the motor rug that had been tucked all too securely about her, and failing in that, endeavored to reach into her pocket with her gloved hand, and became hopelessly entangled in a mass of fur, chiffon scarf and. ...
— Raspberry Jam • Carolyn Wells

... began to row, all looking at the stroke-oarsman, but failing entirely to keep time with him. The oars thumped against each other, crossed each other, and made all manner of confusion. Some could not get into the water, and others could not get out; and Joseph's oar, which somehow or other came out too suddenly, while he was pulling hard upon it, ...
— Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels; Vermont • Jacob Abbott

... the stream, is always to be found a group of Baalbekians bibbing arak and swaying languidly to the mellow strains of the lute and the monotonous melancholy of Arabic song. Among such, one occasionally meets with a native who, failing as peddler or merchant in America, returns to his native town, and, utilising the chips of English he picked up in the streets of the New-World cities, becomes a dragoman and guide to ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... was neglected in conversation; Meg and Conrad looked after the prompt replenishing of plates, though the alert little waiters, Felix and Felicie, anticipated every want, and were as sprightly as two crickets, while Dorothea provoked frequent laughter by a random fire of unexpected remarks, never failing, for instance, to offer ice-water during every "still minute"; and, indeed, once that young lady did a thing that might have proved quite terrible had the old lady Saxony, who sat opposite, been ...
— Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... whose property was sold in 1793 as belonging to an emigrant, though at the time he was shut up here as a prisoner, suspected of aristocracy. He has since for some years been a water-carrier; but his strength failing, he supported himself lately entirely by begging. The value of the dress of one of Bonaparte's running footmen might have been sufficient to relieve him for the probably short remainder of his days. But it is more easy and agreeable in this country to bury undeserved want ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... with each other, and forming friendships in juvenile years, be enabled to free themselves in a proper degree from those local prejudices and habitual jealousies which have just been mentioned, and which, when carried to excess, are never-failing sources of disquietude to the public mind, and pregnant of mischievous consequences to this country. Under ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... into something approaching coherence. He stared down over the bay and the sunlit waters mocked him with their dancing ripples sliding lightheartedly one after the other toward the shore. The view that he looked upon had been until this morning a never-failing source of pleasure, now it moved him to nothing but the recollection of the hackneyed line in the old hymn—"where only man is vile," and he was vile—with all power of compensation taken from him. To some was given the chance ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... Spaulding, "there was no harm. It was not the words you spoke, but the tone in which they were spoken, that attracted my attention; as if you were glad to be able to point out somebody to whom the reproof could be applied. This failing is a common one, and our Savior may have had it in view, when he said to his followers, on the mount, 'Cast out the beam from thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.' My object now, my dear children, is to caution ...
— Our Gift • Teachers of the School Street Universalist Sunday School, Boston

... rarely, on Mason bees already in the perfect state. These grubs are sickly and appear to be ailing; the provisions are too solid and do not lend themselves to the delicate suckling of the worms. Who can these laggards be but animalcules that have roamed too long in the walls of the nest? Failing to make their entrance at the proper time, they no longer find viands to suit them. The primary larva of the Sitaris continues from the autumn to the following spring. Even so the initial form of the Anthrax might ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... the school of arms, and bring with them the true soldierly spirit from which great deeds spring. What can be effected by the spirit of a nation we have learnt from the history of the War of Liberation, that never-failing source of patriotic sentiment, which should form the backbone and centre of history-teaching in the national and ...
— Germany and the Next War • Friedrich von Bernhardi

... the never-failing relics of an Acadian settlement, yet remain on the roadside; these, with the dykes and Great Prairie itself, are the only memorials of a once happy people. The sun was just sinking behind the Gasperau mountain ...
— Acadia - or, A Month with the Blue Noses • Frederic S. Cozzens

... better references than those with which I happen to be acquainted, and others quite as useful; but I can hardly imagine anyone, whatever his degree of information, unless he happens to be a specialist in the particular field, failing to gain something of value from any ...
— The Mind in the Making - The Relation of Intelligence to Social Reform • James Harvey Robinson

... while at all times promoting his feeling of responsibility toward the group. These twin ends are convergent and interdependent for the exact converse of the reason that it is impossible for any man to feel happy and successful if he is in the middle of a failing institution. War, and all training operations in preparation for it, have become more than ever a problem of creating diversity of action out of unity of thought. Its modern technological aspects not only require a much keener intelligence ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... event even the professor was anxious to leave the place, so that early next morning the party resumed their journey, intending to make a short stay at the next village. Failing to reach it that night, however, they were compelled to encamp in the woods. Fortunately they came upon a hill which, although not very high, was sufficiently so, with the aid of watch-fires, to protect them from tigers. From the summit, which ...
— Blown to Bits - or, The Lonely Man of Rakata • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... his own conscience, aroused by the sense that he was evading a responsibility which it was his solemn, his immediate duty to undertake. But no sting of conscience, no ill treatment at home, and no self-reproaches for failing in his duty of confession as a good Catholic, were powerful enough in their influence over Gabriel to make him disclose the secret, under the oppression of which his very life was wasting away. He knew that if he once revealed it, whether his father was ultimately ...
— After Dark • Wilkie Collins

... discouraged, my young friends, by failing in your first attempts. Learn to persevere. Keep at it. That's ...
— The Nursery, April 1873, Vol. XIII. - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest People • Various

... observe that three miles to his right flank a flying column of Northern horse with a detachment of Ghoorkhas and British troops had been pushed round, as fast as the failing light allowed, to cut across the entire rear of the Southern Army, to break, as it were, all the ribs of the fan where they converged by striking at the transport, reserve ammunition, and artillery supplies. ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... we went; and Ireland was a kindly home, for 't was near him, and I might see him. Not as I would—oh, never that! but as a friend, provided 't was with caution. For as he now mounted in the Church, and his ambition strengthened on him (and sure Wolsey himself did not more suffer from that failing of noble minds), caution grew to be his main thought; for he said the adventure of our coming looked so like a frolic that censure might hold as if there were a secret history in such a removal; but this would soon blow over ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... console her, but there were very few whom she would now consent to see. Even though confident no bodily harm would befall her husband or her niece, Mrs. Hay was evidently sore disturbed about something. Failing to see her, Major Flint sent for the bartender and clerk, and bade them say where these truculent, semi-savage bacchanals got their whiskey, and both men promptly and confidently declared it wasn't at the store. Neither of them ...
— A Daughter of the Sioux - A Tale of the Indian frontier • Charles King

... restraining hand upon me, and my associates in labor were more inclined to applaud my zeal than to curb it. Thus it had been left to the casual remark of a nameless printer and an instance of my own failing powers to break the spell that ...
— A Day Of Fate • E. P. Roe

... non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse; women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Bahrain is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to show evidence of increased efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly efforts that enforce laws against trafficking in persons, and that prevent the punishment of victims of trafficking; during 2007, Bahrain passed a comprehensive law prohibiting all forms of ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... coarse and clumsy, saying she might knock her down, but that this proved nothing. She spoke jestingly enough not to offend, but her manner betrayed the irritation of an intelligent woman who at an advanced age found herself for the first time failing to understand. What she didn't understand was the kind of social product thus presented to her by Gabriel Nash; and this suggested to Sherringham that the jeune Anglaise was perhaps indeed rare, a new type, as Madame Carre must have ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... whispering to Oldbuck, "it was Seymour made the remark to the Prince, not the Princo to Seymour. But this is a specimen of our friend's accuracy, poor gentleman: He trusts too much to his memory! of late years—failing ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... in his palm, trying to free herself from his pitiless staring. Failing that, she began to sob angrily without any tears in ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... here in the hedges, And leave to the lark the skies." So he stayed in the crowded hedges, And lived through the summer long, Only a common sparrow— One of a common throng. "What is the use of trying? Pouring o'er book and slate, I fail, and shall keep on failing, For men are created great. 'Tis folly to think that study For so many hours a day Is going to make out of boys and girls, Wise women and men alway. So what is the use of trying? A common lot shall be mine; ...
— Nestlings - A Collection of Poems • Ella Fraser Weller

... surmise, when the community became more thoroughly amalgamated and inwardly united, that this usage was departed from and the selection of the senators was left entirely to the free judgment of the king, so that he was only regarded as failing in his duty when he omitted to fill ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... leave anything valuable lying around while I'm in camp. It works on my mind, I guess. Ugh! ain't I glad you saw me do it? How tough we'd feel if none of us could give a guess where the blessed little things had gone. Here, put 'em away again, Max. It sure ain't safe for a feller with my failing to be handling ...
— In Camp on the Big Sunflower • Lawrence J. Leslie

... and Tom had a long talk, first in private. Tom acknowledged that he had serious thoughts of stowing himself away in Jack's chest, not to come out till the ship was well at sea when he could not be landed; or, failing that plan, to run off and enter as a powder-monkey or cabin-boy under a feigned tame. Go he would he had determined, in some way or other, for if not, he should certainly fall into a decline, or at all events pine away till he ...
— The Three Lieutenants • W.H.G. Kingston

... its habitual quality. His weary body had risen into fresh strength for this utterance. His face assumed a great majesty. Men and women alike wept to hear him speak so—wept for the dark days ahead, wept for a great man failing in a struggle in which he was yet holding to cherished ideals, now being blown and scattered by the storm of the new era. They saw him surrounded on all sides by enemies. The South hated him. The northern Democrats with southern ideas hated him. The fanatics hated him. The Republican ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... the present tense, yet as I write these things exist no longer. The red drawing-room is closed, the dwelling on the Rue de Clichy is deserted. Victor Hugo is in Guernsey, and from that far retreat come sinister rumors respecting his failing health. These are denied by his friends, but are stoutly supported by his enemies. Which of them speak the truth? That is hard to tell. It may be that this grand career, long and lustrous as a summer day, has reached its evening hour at last. Perchance we shall see no more the massive head ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... English prisoners enough in France for his ransom; and failing that, I would have invaded England and brought him out ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc Volume 2 • Mark Twain

... provisioned by the Prince of Orange; and there were 2,000 soldiers on board. On the 25th of July the Prince was off Yarmouth, where a landing of the soldiers was attempted with a view to relieve Colchester. That failing, he removed to the mouth of the Thames, to obstruct the commerce of the Londoners, and make prizes of their ships. Precisely at the time when the Westmorland and Lancashire people were grieving over the ravages of the invading Scots, the Londoners ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... could trust to accomplish the errand effectively without blundering. But it seemed impossible to set Tushin face to face with the rival who had robbed him of his desires. Yet she saw no alternative. No delay was possible; to-morrow would bring another letter, and then, failing an answer, ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... Somewhat encouraged, though failing to detect any signs of active life in the heavily shuttered windows frowning upon me from either side, I ran up the steps and rang the bell which pulled as hard as if no hand had touched ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... "You'll be failing in your last examinations, Walter, if you don't watch what you're doing," cautioned his mother. "And should you do that, little profit would it be that you are hired out to Mr. Crowninshield for the summer. In the fall you'd have to stay behind your class, and think of the ...
— Walter and the Wireless • Sara Ware Bassett

... on the Scutarenes will be called upon to decide whether they prefer, like those other predominantly Albanian towns, to remain in Yugoslavia or whether they wish to throw in their lot with a free Albania, and in that case their town would become the capital of the country. Failing Scutari, the capital would most probably be Oroshi, which is now the capital of ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2 • Henry Baerlein

... blow, the cloak did fly Like streamer long and gay, Till, loop and button failing both, At last it ...
— R. Caldecott's First Collection of Pictures and Songs • Various

... this, my memories of his work are vague. My estimate of Henry James might have been summed up thus: On the credit side:—He is a truly marvellous craftsman. By which I mean that he constructs with exquisite, never-failing skill, and that he writes like an angel. Even at his most mannered and his most exasperating, he conveys his meaning with more precision and clarity than perhaps any other living writer. He is never, never clumsy, nor dubious, even in the minutest details. Also he is a ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... of the family failing, or, perhaps, because it was the only thing he feared, Thurston had been an abstemious man. Now, however, he emptied one stiff tumbler at a gulp, and the soda frothed in the second, when he noticed a curious smile, for just ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... failing and the doctor told him that he had better not try to talk any more. But Christopher smiled in that quaint brave way that I knew so well and lifted his thin white ...
— Possessed • Cleveland Moffett



Words linked to "Failing" :   failure, fatigue, flaw, unsatisfactory, flunk, insufficiency, inadequacy, passing, imperfection, imperfectness, fail



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