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Happy chance   /hˈæpi tʃæns/   Listen
Happy chance

noun
1.
An unexpected piece of good luck.  Synonyms: break, good luck.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Happy chance" Quotes from Famous Books



... crowd. The glad news spread like lightning through London, and the pent-up hearts of the citizens poured themselves out in a torrent of exultation. Above the human cries, the long-silent church-bells clashed again into life; first began St. Paul's, where happy chance had saved them from destruction; then, one by one, every peal which had been spared caught up the sound; and through the summer evening and the summer night, and all the next day, the metal tongues from tower and steeple gave voice to England's gladness. The lords, surrounded by ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... wrote—that he was serving the love of another, and basely scheming to deliver her to him—there was no refuge in flight; recollection would go with him to the ends of the earth—better death. Not yet—not yet—he would argue. Heaven might send him a happy chance. So the weeks melted into months, and he kept the weary way hoping against reason, conspiring, betraying, ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... nothing for me to do but trust to happy chance and the guide- book, and set out; and as a stray swallow is the precursor of myriads, so no sooner had I got an inkling of one marvel than I was destined to hear of half ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... No happy chance—nay, no happy thought—no perfect knowledge—will ever take the place of that mighty unconsciousness. I have often had to repeat that Turner, in the ordinary sense of the words, neither knew nor thought so much ...
— Modern Painters, Volume IV (of V) • John Ruskin

... to thee, brother, that thou hast fulfilled thy promise. And now, that we may profit by this happy chance, enter my abode. Let us quaff a glass ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... another figure, he appears to be electrified, and here his monstrous anatomy is depicted with ludicrous attempts at detail. No one could tell me by whom or when this cartoon was painted, and the painting itself is so little appreciated that I might never have seen or heard of it but for a happy chance. ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... a state of positive exultation, leaving me to congratulate myself upon the happy chance which had led me to his door. One does not discover a true artist every day, capable of approaching his task in a proper spirit of reverence and enthusiasm; and I had hardly expected, after my previous failures, ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... and his lineal descendant, Sir John Russell, was Speaker of the House of Commons in the days of Henry VI. The real founder, however, of the fortunes of the family was the third John Russell who is known to history. He was the son of the Speaker, and came to honour and affluence by a happy chance. Stress of weather drove Philip, Archduke of Austria and, in right of his wife, King of Castile, during a voyage from Flanders to Spain in the year 1506, to take refuge at Weymouth. Sir Thomas Trenchard, ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... rose to their natural height as I struck into the highroad again, and beheld across the level plain the smoke, chimneys, and church spires of a large manufacturing town. There I saw the welcome promise of a coach—the happy chance of making my journey to Crickgelly easy and ...
— A Rogue's Life • Wilkie Collins

... him at the concert—I was sure it could be no other. I came in on purpose to find him, and here he is waiting for me. Is not it a happy chance?' ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... look after me, and our fine friend Mr. Jefferson to bear me company in the evenings, as often as he can? And with James Stuart, who is like a son—and with your letters arriving with every foreign mail? Dismiss these fears, my dear, and take your happy chance to see something of the Old World. Many a delightful evening will we have together next winter, you and I, over the photographs you will bring back, while you discourse to me ...
— Under the Country Sky • Grace S. Richmond

... evolution reveals a constantly diminishing reproductive activity and a constantly increasing expenditure of care on the offspring thus diminished in number.[141] Fish spawn their ova by the million, and it is a happy chance if they become fertilized, a highly unlikely chance that more than a very small proportion will ever attain maturity. Among the mammals, however, the female may produce but half a dozen or fewer offspring at a time, but she ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... at the same instant; and as he did so I recognised our former enemy, the fetish-man or witch-doctor of Daphne's village. I was by this time within arm's-length of him, and, quick as light, he made a lunge at me. By a happy chance I succeeded in parrying the stroke with the blow-pipe which I held in my left hand, and then, springing in upon him, I dealt him so tremendous a blow with my heavy, knotted, hard-wood club that his skull crashed ...
— The Congo Rovers - A Story of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... precautions of warfare. High up on the face of a steep line of hill the Boer riflemen lay hid, and from a short range their fire scourged our exposed flank. The men appear to have been chiefly colonial rebels, and not Boers of the backveld, and to that happy chance it may be that the comparative harmlessness of their fire was due. Even now, in spite of the surprise, the situation might have been saved had the bewildered troops and their harried officers known exactly what to do. It is easy to be wise after the event, but it appears now that the only course ...
— The Great Boer War • Arthur Conan Doyle

... adventure of the night before, and addressing each other as Dead Shot and Hawk Eye. From their quaint backwoods speech I gathered that Dead Shot, the taller lad, had the day before been captured by a band of hostile redskins who would have burned him at the stake but for the happy chance that the chieftain's daughter had become enamoured of ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... impression is that of bright, elastic, confident power. It was by no means, however, a first work, nor was the poet unknown in his own home. But the "Metrical Essay" introduced him to a larger public, while the fugitive pieces already known were the assurance that the more important poem was not a happy chance, but the development of a quality already proved. Seven years before, in 1829, the year he graduated at Harvard, Holmes began to contribute to The Collegian, a college magazine. Two years later, in 1831, appeared ...
— Literary and Social Essays • George William Curtis

... despair, he attempted to kill himself. "I was," said he, "as ill as I could be, and I continued to live to sell apples. . . ." He afterward became a gate-keeper and later retailed kvass in the streets. A happy chance brought him to the notice of a lawyer, who interested himself in him, directed his reading and organized his instruction. But his restless disposition drew him back to his wandering life; he traveled over Russia in every direction and tried his hand at ...
— Twenty-six and One and Other Stories • Maksim Gorky

... was slow to make itself heard. But Judy, though she must have been apprised of Miss Bart's return, had not even recognized it by the formal note of condolence which her friend's bereavement demanded. Any advance on Lily's side might have been perilous: there was nothing to do but to trust to the happy chance of an accidental meeting, and Lily knew that, even so late in the season, there was always a hope of running across her friends in their frequent ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... and caps" were appreciated as proper to the genius of the place, and the writer of Casa Guidi Windows had the happiness of seeing her hero, M. le President, "in a cocked hat, and with a train of cavalry, passing like a rocket along the boulevards to an occasional yell from the Red." By a happy chance they lighted in Paris upon Tennyson, now Poet-laureate, whom Mrs. Browning had hitherto known only through his poems; he was in the friendliest mood, and urged that they should make use of his house and servants during their stay in England, an offer which was not refused, though ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... conveyed a confirmation of what her conduct towards me in my new capacity always led me to conjecture, namely, that my guardian star had ordained it so that the real character and principles of my honoured and honourable mate had, by some happy chance, reached the royal ear "before the news of our union. The dear king's graciousness :to M. d'Arblay upon the Terrace, when the commander-in-chief, just then returned from the Continent, was by his side, made it impossible not to suggest this : and ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 3 • Madame D'Arblay

... me to be frank. There was this other side to my problem that I could not bring myself to be sure the Colonel's escape had come merely by happy chance. He was no party to contriving it, of that I never doubted, but it did look like a contrivance. We had been at the "Rising Sun" for six hours or more. Stone, the nearest head-quarters of Cumberland's forces, was only nine miles south of it, yet no attempt had ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... on Shin Shira and the little fellow was becoming exhausted, when, by a happy chance, at that very moment he began to disappear, and before the bull could reach him ...
— The Mysterious Shin Shira • George Edward Farrow

... employed by Louis XVIII., and found more than one opportunity of giving him proofs of great political honesty and sincere attachment. One evening, when the King had nothing better to do, he recalled Monsieur de Fontaine's witticism at the Tuileries. The old Vendeen did not let such a happy chance slip; he told his history with so much vivacity that a king, who never forgot anything, might remember it at a convenient season. The royal amateur of literature also observed the elegant style given to some notes which the discreet gentleman had been invited to recast. This ...
— The Ball at Sceaux • Honore de Balzac

... the first time since then that I had come into this part of Paris. Did the mother continue grateful? Had the children met again, and had the happy chance of their first meeting lowered between them that barrier which may mark the different ranks of men, but should not ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... trench upon the realm of modern discovery. I have taken up the lost scent of preceding travellers. It is a happy chance, my friends, for we shall be enabled to link the toils of Captains Burton and Speke with the explorations of Dr. Barth. We have left the Englishmen behind us, and now have caught up with the Hamburger. It will not be long, either, before ...
— Five Weeks in a Balloon • Jules Verne

... Mr Crawley was away at Hoggle End, reading to the brickmakers, or turning the mangles of their wives, or teaching them theology, or politics, or history, after his fashion. In these days he spent, perhaps, the happiest hours of his life down at Hoggle End. I say that his absence was a happy chance, because, had he been at home, he would certainly have said something, or done something, to offend Lady Lufton. He would either have refused to see her, or when seeing her he would have bade her hold her peace and not interfere with matters which did not concern her, or,—more ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... Now follow cheerful to the trembling town; Press but an entrance, and presume it won. Fear is no more, for fierce Mezentius lies, As the first fruits of war, a sacrifice. Turnus shall fall extended on the plain, And, in this omen, is already slain. Prepar'd in arms, pursue your happy chance; That none unwarn'd may plead his ignorance, And I, at Heav'n's appointed hour, may find Your warlike ensigns waving in the wind. Meantime the rites and fun'ral pomps prepare, Due to your dead companions ...
— The Aeneid • Virgil

... accomplished to entitle him to take that seat. This ceremony being ended, Tristram received the congratulations of all his companions. Sir Launcelot and Guenever took the occasion to speak to him of the fair Isoude, and to express their wish that some happy chance might bring her ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... look of uneasy triumph and satisfaction made John smile. She was not half so sure as she tried to look; but, all the same, had a little pride, a little pleasure in her own management, and in the happy chance of the Marshalls being in London, which was a thing that could not have been planned, an intervention of Providence. He could not refuse to smile—partly with her, partly at her simplicity—but, all the same, he shook ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... reticence of Judge Enderby with a fervor which would have caused that aged jurist the keenest delight. Then he made one more despairing call upon the reserve forces of memory. In vain. Still, he mustn't let her see that. Play up and trust to happy chance! ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... could repair with rest All the sufferings I endured. And, besides, I thought with dread On the angry disposition Of the king: for his ambition When has it or bowed the head, Or with patience heard related The sad tragedies of fate? Hopeless and disconsolate In this solitude I've waited, Till some happy chance might rise When no longer I should grieve, And the king would give me leave To ...
— The Purgatory of St. Patrick • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... furnish the whole array of a great ecclesiastical function like this—the lights burning, flowers everywhere, gathered amid the last handfuls of the harvest by the peasant-women, who came to present their children for the happy chance ...
— Gaston de Latour: an unfinished romance • Walter Horatio Pater

... bring her home, under his coat By stealth (or else that termagant, the cook, Had drowned it in the water-butt, nor deemed The water worse to drink). So did he quell First his own plague, but bettered others, too. Now, in those days, Marchaunt Adventurers Shared with their prentices the happy chance Of each new venture. Each might have his stake, Little or great, upon the glowing tides Of high romance that washed the wharfs of Thames; And every lad in London had his groat Or splendid shilling on some fair ship ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... this happy chance, less from vanity than policy I made M. de Calsabigi read the letter, and I was pleased to see him opening his eyes ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... in the weed-covered pool bordering the road did not shed its seed; the dogs were sleeping by the wayside; nature was full of sweet pensiveness. Kunda, guessing the road, went with doubtful steps to the front of the Datta house; she had no design in going, except that she might by a happy chance see Nagendra. Her return to his house might come about; let it occur when it would, what harm was there in the meantime in trying to see him secretly? While she remained shut up in Hira's house she had no chance of doing so. Now, as she walked, she thought, ...
— The Poison Tree - A Tale of Hindu Life in Bengal • Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

... Forgues that the department of Villa Rica is perhaps the only part of the country which may give an idea of what Paraguay was before the war. The men, it is true, were killed off, as were the men of the other departments, but by a happy chance the women and children were spared that terrible flight to the Cordilleras whereby thousands of their sex and age perished. His hostess relates to him her experiences during that fearful period. After the occupation of Asuncion by the Brazilians, and their advance as far as Paraguari, Lopez gave ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... Olive Chancellor's house, looking up and down the street and hesitating. He had told Mrs. Luna that he should like nothing better than to make another journey to Boston; and it was not simply because he liked it that he had come. I was on the point of saying that a happy chance had favoured him, but it occurs to me that one is under no obligation to call chances by nattering epithets when they have been waited for so long. At any rate, the darkest hour is before the dawn; and a few days after that melancholy evening I have described, which Ransom spent ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... appear at his ease, even essayed a few words of congratulation on the happy chance that brought the Mercury to their relief, but the imperious young lady ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... A happy chance brings me across your path, just when I am about to entertain Autolycus and his father at a feast. The splendour of the entertainment shall be much enhanced, I need not tell you, if my hall (13) should happily be graced by worthies like yourselves, who have attained to purity of soul, (14) rather ...
— The Symposium • Xenophon

... face, still badly swollen from the bites of the mosquitoes, showed all the signs of utter exhaustion. The sergeant could see, despite the darkness, that it was almost the face of the dead, and he knew that happy chance had brought him in the moment of ...
— The Rock of Chickamauga • Joseph A. Altsheler

... part in real life. Some of them we remember as vividly as any actual experience. These belong to the imperfect sleep. But others we do not remember, because they are given to us in that perfect sleep in which the soul is liberated, and goes visiting. Yet sometimes we get a trace of them, by a happy chance, and often their influence remains with us in that spiritual refreshment with which we awake from profound slumber. This is the meaning of that verse in the old psalm: "He giveth ...
— The Valley of Vision • Henry Van Dyke

... that he could not find you an employer without admitting a third person into his plot. That he was most unwilling to do. He changed his appearance as far as he could, and trusted that the likeness, which you could not fail to observe, would be put down to a family resemblance. But for the happy chance of the gold stuffing your suspicions would ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 27, March 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various



Words linked to "Happy chance" :   stroke, accident, chance event, fortuity



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