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Blunder   Listen
verb
Blunder  v. i.  (past & past part. blundered; pres. part. blundering)  
1.
To make a gross error or mistake; as, to blunder in writing or preparing a medical prescription.
2.
To move in an awkward, clumsy manner; to flounder and stumble. "I was never distinguished for address, and have often even blundered in making my bow." "Yet knows not how to find the uncertain place, And blunders on, and staggers every pace."
To blunder on.
(a)
To continue blundering.
(b)
To find or reach as if by an accident involving more or less stupidity, applied to something desirable; as, to blunder on a useful discovery.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Blunder" Quotes from Famous Books



... created a difficulty. What's a thousand-guinea carpet to a man who likes this sort of thing? Nothing. Yet as amici curiae, we would have thought that that Tottenham Road carpet might have been kept out of Court. Wasn't that a Blunder, MAPLE? ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, August 9, 1890. • Various

... her," exclaimed Publius annoyed. "But you might—it seems to me—be rather more zealous in helping me to preserve her from the misfortune which threatens her through your own blunder. We cannot bring her here, but I think that I have thought of ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... "Wretched blunder of a wretched woman, I say now. But at that time I could not suspect what a terrible doom I had brought down in that hour upon ourselves, my children, perhaps the whole world; so I remained under the thrall of these petty fears and thoughts ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... soldiers, he let fall a word which was thought very ominous in the army; for "I am going," he said, "to break down the bridge, that none of you may return;" and whereas he ought, when he had perceived his blunder, to have corrected himself, and explained his meaning, seeing the men alarmed at the expression, he would not do it out of mere stubbornness. And when at the last general sacrifice the priest gave him the ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... I never said a word; I hardly moved, but simply allowed her to depart. I could not help realising that this was henceforth to be the intolerable character of the conjugal relations I had resumed eight years before. I told her peremptorily to keep quiet and not be guilty of any blunder either in judgment or in act, and tried to make her realise to what a serious state of affairs this foolish occurrence had brought us. She really seemed to understand what I meant, and promised to keep quiet and not to give way to her absurd jealousy. Unfortunately the poor creature ...
— My Life, Volume II • Richard Wagner

... V., iv. 1, Pistol accosts the king with "Che vous la?" according to the first folio. Modern editors correct the intentional blunder. ...
— A Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. III • Various

... the inhabitants will not appear much less so. Ascend, then, with me the hall steps, that I may introduce you to my Lord and his visitants. But have a care how you proceed; be mindful to go there in broad daylight, and with your eyes about you. For, should you make any blunder,—should you go to the right of the hall steps, you are laid hold of by a bear; and should you go to the left, your case is still worse, for you run full against a wolf!—Nor, when you have attained the door, is your danger over; for ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. I. (of VI.) - With his Letters and Journals. • Thomas Moore

... I had once more settled down in my solitude, and came to think over what had happened, I felt the self-condemnation of a criminal without being able to accuse myself of a crime. I believe with Miss Arbour that it is madness for a young man who finds out he has made a blunder, not to set it right; no matter what the wrench may be. But that Ellen was a victim I do not deny. If any sin, however, was committed against her, it was committed long before our separation. It was nine-tenths mistake ...
— The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... for Dickens; and the amusing blunder which he perpetrated in "The Battle of Life," in allowing the lady to elope with the wrong man, and the "horror and agony" of the author in consequence thereof, have been set forth in Forster's "Life." The mistake was discovered ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... good one," replied his mother, "but I could not swear all that Shanks would have had me, John—No, I could not swear that, for Dr. Paulding had nothing to do with it, and if he were to repeat it all over to me a thousand times, I am sure that I should make a blunder, even if I consented to tell such a falsehood. My father and good Mrs. Danby used always to say that the mutual consent made a marriage, and a good one too. Now your father's own letter shows that he consented to it, and God knows I did. But these lawyers will not let well alone, ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... then he loses his darts to Ganymede; then Jupiter sends him a summons by Mercury. Then Chloe goes a-hunting, with an ivory quiver graceful at her side; Diana mistakes her for one of her nymphs, and Cupid laughs at the blunder. All this is, surely, despicable; and even when he tries to act the lover, without the help of gods or goddesses, his thoughts are unaffecting or remote. He talks not "like a man of ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... right, Watson,' said he. 'We have got our case—one of the most remarkable in our collection. But, dear me, how slow-witted I have been, and how nearly I have committed the blunder of my lifetime! Now, I think that, with a few missing links, my chain is ...
— Victorian Short Stories of Troubled Marriages • Rudyard Kipling, Ella D'Arcy, Arthur Morrison, Arthur Conan Doyle,

... humour with yourself for a blunder that might happen to any man—it was as much my good luck as a good hand would have been, and so ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... that the Duke of Albany would succeed in changing this decision of the king of France who, willing as he was to buy the support of the Medici in Italy, would only grant them his second son, the Duc d'Orleans. This petty blunder lost Italy to France, and did not prevent ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... Bolkonski. "I confess I do not understand: perhaps there are diplomatic subtleties here beyond my feeble intelligence, but I can't make it out. Mack loses a whole army, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Archduke Karl give no signs of life and make blunder after blunder. Kutuzov alone at last gains a real victory, destroying the spell of the invincibility of the French, and the Minister of War does not even ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... fact. You must give me time to become accustomed to a whole heap of things: if we were to do anything suddenly now, we might blunder into some great mistake, perhaps irretrievable. I must train myself by degrees for another kind of life altogether; and I am going to surprise you, Keith—I am indeed. If papa takes me to the Highlands next year, you won't recognize me at all. I am ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... poet can blunder so flagrantly in his diagnosis of love, we cannot wonder that minor writers should often be erratic. For instance, in The Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... not so much an accomplishment as a state or condition of the mind in which it seeks earnestly for the highest and purest truth.... If we often blunder and fail for want of perfect wisdom and clear light, have we not the inward assurance that our aspiration has not been all in vain, that it has brought us a little nearer to the Supreme Intellect whose effulgence draws us while it dazzles?"—The ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... appeared on Bogle's face told Brick he had done a foolish thing. His dread of consequences led him to commit another blunder. He turned and dashed at full ...
— The Camp in the Snow - Besiedged by Danger • William Murray Graydon

... it is tastefully done in a quiet color. While it would not be acceptable for formal social correspondence, it does very well on more intimate letters and saves the necessity of writing each time the home address. It is best to use printed letterheads, rather than commit the blunder now so common, among those who do not habitually use engraved paper, of omitting the address from the letter. This, in case the letter is misdirected, and travels to the Dead-Letter Office, prevents effectually its restoration ...
— The Etiquette of To-day • Edith B. Ordway

... antagonists, the belligerent fellow did not think of looking upon the ground. He made the blunder of Captain John Smith, of the Jamestown Colony, who, in retreating from Powhatan's warriors, became mired, with the eventual result of making Pocahontas famous, and securing an infinite number of namesakes of the ...
— The Cave in the Mountain • Lieut. R. H. Jayne

... once taken off by the agent's clerk to the bank to bring back pound-notes for it, while the agent quietly proceeded to fill out the regular form of receipt for a full year's rent, eighteen pounds. Denis noted what he supposed of course to be the agent's blunder, but like an astute person held his peace. The clerk came back with the notes. Denis took up his receipt, and the agent quietly began handing him note ...
— Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (2 of 2) (1888) • William Henry Hurlbert

... me well enough, only you like to make me blunder where you can talk," said my wife, putting her hand in mine. "But I will try. Sometimes, after thinking about something for a long time, you come to a conclusion about it, and you think you have settled it plain and clear to yourself, ...
— The Seaboard Parish Vol. 3 • George MacDonald

... merriment being shared by Nellie and Mrs Gilmour, the latter not sorry for the old sailor's "putting his foot in it" by a very similar blunder to that for which he had laughed at her shortly before; while, as for Dick, the struggles he made to hide the broad grin which would show on his face were quite comical and ...
— Bob Strong's Holidays - Adrift in the Channel • John Conroy Hutcheson

... quarters, and ventures on a remark on Sanskrit grammar. It is the only passage in all his writings, as far as I remember, where, instead of indulging in mere sheet lightning, he comes down upon me with a crashing thunderbolt, and points out a real grammatical blunder. ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... snow-balling; Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees; Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder, "O look at the trees!" they cried, "O look at the trees!" With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder, Following along the white deserted way, A country company long dispersed asunder: When now already the sun, in pale display Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day. For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow; ...
— Poems of To-Day: an Anthology • Various

... and looks toward the house. Yes, it is handsome, grand. Youth and age together did not make any blunder of it. There is the tower, that was to be his study and library and place of resort generally. What crude dreams he had in those days! Science and poesy, art and history, were all a sad jumble in his brain, and now he has found his ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... an unpardonable blunder," he replied. "What? Give you a letter of introduction? and when the police come, I suppose, I must forget the circumstance? No, indeed. Talk ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... all objected to its cost, "Cela mangera beaucoup d'argent," was the invariable reply. And in this point of view the government has committed what it would think much worse than any crime,—a very damaging blunder. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... held the mastery of the sea. But the advance from such a union to the formation of the European alliance against France on which he was bent was a step that still had to be made. Already indeed his action in England had told decisively on the contest. The blunder of Lewis in choosing Germany instead of Holland for his point of attack had been all but atoned for by the brilliant successes with which he opened the war. The whole country west of the Rhine fell at once into his hands; his armies ...
— History of the English People, Volume VII (of 8) - The Revolution, 1683-1760; Modern England, 1760-1767 • John Richard Green

... but whether it's so or not I like our straightforward English and American way best. We may blunder along for a while and lose at first, but to be open and honest is ...
— The Hunters of the Hills • Joseph Altsheler

... intimated that another career than the army had better be sought. I have met many officers, and the impression made upon me is an exceedingly favorable one. I do not believe that in case of war now the blunder of those in command would have to be atoned for by the superior fighting qualities of the rank and file, as was notoriously the case during the Crimean War. The promotion of General Wolseley means business. The Duke of Cambridge, because he is a royal duke, is ...
— Round the World • Andrew Carnegie

... officer seems to notice them. Abbot's thoughts are evidently far away, and he makes no reply. The surgeon who sanctions his return to field duty yet a while would, to all appearances, be guilty of a professional blunder. The lieutenant's face is pale and thin; his hand looks very fragile and fearfully white in contrast with the bronze of his cheek. He leans his head upon his hand as he gazes away into the distance, and the colonel stands attentively regarding him. He recalls ...
— A War-Time Wooing - A Story • Charles King

... above everything else, my friend. And try to grasp the fact, also, that the system we are now trying to change was a natural outgrowth of other conditions. It was not a wicked invention, nor was it a foolish blunder. It was a necessary and a right step in human evolution. But now it has in turn become unsuitable to the needs of the people and it must give place to something else. When a man suffers from such a disease as appendicitis, he does not talk about the "wickedness" of the vermiform appendix. ...
— The Common Sense of Socialism - A Series of Letters Addressed to Jonathan Edwards, of Pittsburg • John Spargo

... can rest on no other or sounder basis than which is presented to us in the psychology of primitive man. Each stage of theistic belief grows out of the proceeding stage, and if it can be shown that the beginning of this evolution arose in a huge blunder, I quite fail to see how any subsequent development can convert this unmistakable blunder into ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... peculations, but called him his "bed of down." His knowledge of human nature was however derived from a contemplation mainly of its weaknesses, and was therefore one-sided. He was often deceived, and made many a fatal blunder, shrewd politician though he was. He involved himself often in enterprises which could not be honorable or profitable, and which inflicted damage on his greatest interests. He often offended men who might have been useful friends, and converted ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... purpose of eliciting the very best patronage of their respective cities. The Brooklyn Club have excelled in this respect in the American Association by constructing their grounds for a similar class of patrons. But all of the clubs have not followed this example, the majority committing the blunder of considering only the tastes and requirements of the hoodlum class apparently in catering for patronage. This is a great financial mistake. Experience has shown conclusively that it pays best to cater solely for the ...
— Spalding's Baseball Guide and Official League Book for 1889 • edited by Henry Chadwick

... like Aunt Agatha to blunder into the wrong camp. And surely it was like Philip to win her favor ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... professed loyalty to their sovereign, and one of whom, Egmont, had performed distinguished services for his country and king, was profound. A wave of mingled rage and sorrow swept over the land. It was not only an act of cruel injustice, but even as an act of policy a blunder of the first magnitude, which was sure to bring, as it did bring, retribution ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... more embarrassed, until overcome with the apprehension that she had failed in her object, and that the lives of her father and Hurry would be the forfeit of some blunder of her own, she burst into tears. From that moment the manner of Hist lost all its irony and cool indifference, and she became the fond caressing friend again. Throwing her arms around the afflicted girl, she attempted to soothe her ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... and down with agitated steps.) Is it for this that I have sacrificed my nights—that I have mowed down mountains and filled up chasms? For this that I have turned rebel against all the instincts of humanity? To have this vagabond outcast blunder in at last, and destroy all my cunningly devised fabric. But gently! gently! What remains to be done is but child's play. Have I not already waded up to my very ears in mortal sin? Seeing how far the shore lies behind me, it would ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... acre. A mistake is often made in mentioning this plant. The newspapers, in quoting prices from Mark Lane, call it Cinquefoil, a very different plant, (Potentilla) of rather a noxious quality. See Gleanings on Works of Agriculture and Gardening, p. 88, where a curious blunder occurs of this kind. ...
— The Botanist's Companion, Vol. II • William Salisbury

... B.C. After a while the enemies of Socrates accused him of being a wicked man who persuaded young men to be wicked. He was tried by an Athenian court, which made the terrible blunder of finding him guilty and condemning him to death. According to the Athenian custom he was obliged to drink a cup of poisonous hemlock. This he did, after talking to his friends cheerily about how a good man ...
— Introductory American History • Henry Eldridge Bourne and Elbert Jay Benton

... with long lashes, the haunts of tender shadows; her mouth of gracious lips unsmiling, a little triste. Compunctions smote him; with his crude and clumsy banter he had contrived to tune her thoughts to sadness. He would have given worlds to undo that blunder; to show her that he had meant neither a rudeness nor a wish to desecrate her reticence, but only an indirect assurance of gratitude to her for suffering him and willingness to serve her within ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... continued the count, "ought to practise discretion, shrewdness, caution from the start; he should be incapable of such a blunder as taking a peer of France for ...
— A Start in Life • Honore de Balzac

... hats or chapeaux, as large as coach-wheels. 'Thinks I to myself,' the continental wars are over, England has recalled her fleets, and the streets of London are swarming with admirals of the white and blue, off duty. What a blunder! They were a pack of fat, lazy footmen! My respect for what I supposed were the heroes of 'England's wooden walls' was turned into contempt for men who could debase themselves by strutting about in the livery of those whom ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... the wall by the elevator at the hotel, when whom should we meet but "Auntie," the patrician relative of the Gilded Youth. She recognized us in our civilian clothes, and it fell to me to make the fool blunder of complicating our formal greetings with gaiety. Auntie's troubled face would have caught Henry's quick sensitive eyes. But Auntie's voice brushed aside the levity of ...
— The Martial Adventures of Henry and Me • William Allen White

... with any message you may have to send," replied Hsiao Hung with a laugh. "I'll readily go and deliver it. Should I not do so faithfully, and blunder in fulfilling your business, my lady, you may visit me with any punishment your ladyship may please, and ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... indeed. What a blunder it was to let them slip through their fingers, when they might have seized them with two or three hundred ...
— Saint Bartholomew's Eve - A Tale of the Huguenot WarS • G. A. Henty

... night, and was repulsed by the soldiers quartered in his village. The alarm was given, and the Spaniards were all put on the alert. The cacique fled to Guarionex for protection, but the chieftain, enraged at his fatal blunder, put him ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... military examination, he was shot, and buried in a grave that had been dug for him before the sentence was pronounced. Of this act of Napoleon, it was said by Fouche, "It was worse than a crime: it was a blunder." The young prince was really innocent. He was a victim of the natural, but violent, wrath of Napoleon, who wanted to strike a blow that his enemies would feel. The event opened the way for him—as it was perhaps intended that it should—to the object of his ambition, ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... uphill work at first. It was found that Adams could blunder on pretty well with the small words, but made sad havoc among the long ones. Still his condition was pronounced hopeful. As to Sally, she seemed to take up the letters at the first sitting, and even began to form some correct notion of the power of syllables. After ...
— The Lonely Island - The Refuge of the Mutineers • R.M. Ballantyne

... was the total disappearance of a valuable uncle; here was a time of inexplicable conduct on the part of a nephew who had been in bad blood with the old man any time these seven years; what a chance for a judicial blunder! "But no," thought Morris, "they cannot, they dare not, make it murder. Not that. But honestly, and speaking as a man to a man, I don't see any other crime in the calendar (except arson) that I don't seem somehow to have committed. And yet I'm a perfectly respectable man, and wished ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... They lead me about and show me the things they are interested in. Of course the little ones cannot spell on their fingers; but I manage to read their lips. If I do not succeed they resort to dumb show. Sometimes I make a mistake and do the wrong thing. A burst of childish laughter greets my blunder, and the pantomime begins all over again. I often tell them stories or teach them a game, and the winged hours depart and leave ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... notion out of your mind, and don't ever meddle with it again. Tilbury set that trap for you. Don't you know it's a trap? He is on the watch, and fully expecting you to blunder into it. Well, he is going to be disappointed—at least while I am ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... to go and study both sets, with a view to finding a flaw in Somerset's which might have been passed over unnoticed by the committee of architects, owing to their absence from the actual site. But not a blunder ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... that Bows on his part spoke, and told his version of the story, whereof Arthur and little Fan were the hero and heroine; how they had met by no contrivance of the former, but by a blunder of the old Irishman, now in bed with a broken shin—how Pen had acted with manliness and self-control in the business—how Mrs. Bolton was an idiot; and he related the conversation which he, Bows, had had with Pen, and the sentiments uttered by the young man. Perhaps Bows's story caused some ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... I must steadily caution you. All kinds of colour are equally illegitimate, if you think they will allow you to alter at your pleasure, or blunder at your ease. There is no vehicle or method of colour which admits of alteration or repentance; you must be right at once, or never; and you might as well hope to catch a rifle bullet in your hand, and put it straight, when it was going wrong, as to recover a tint once ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... exclaimed, hastening to make the best of his blunder, "I owe you every apology. It arose from some talk I heard passing around in the prison. Be assured, I neither did nor ...
— The Free Lances - A Romance of the Mexican Valley • Mayne Reid

... nearly. And, what is a wiser and better thing, Can keep the living from ever needing Such an unnatural, strange proceeding, By showing conclusively and clearly That death is a stupid blunder merely, And not a necessity of our lives. My being here is accidental; The storm, that against your casement drives, In the little village below waylaid me. And there I heard, with a secret delight, Of your ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... been patiently watching me ever since. I never saw the kill, for I was accustomed to the mare's fretting, and I never marked her absence, for my consciousness of her was only of something tawny, and the lion filled that part. If I could blunder thus, gentlemen, in a land where men's senses are keen, why should we busy preoccupied ...
— The Thirty-nine Steps • John Buchan

... "You mean it's for him you most suffer?" And then as the Princess, after a look, but turned away, moving about the room—which made the question somehow seem a blunder—"I ask," she continued, "because I think everything, everything we now speak of, may be for him, really may be MADE for him, quite as if ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... invective were twenty new enemies whom Napoleon sent into the provinces, and who would bring a new hostile army—public opinion—into the field against him. Many hoped that the emperor, perceiving his blunder, would call back the deputies by some pleasant word, in order to bring about a reconciliation between him and those who, whatever the emperor might say, represented in the throne-hall the ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... amused at Joan's naive way of referring to her advice as if it had been a valuable present to a hostile leader who was saved by it from making a censurable blunder of omission, and then he went on to admire how ingeniously she had deceived that man and yet had not told him anything that was not the truth. This ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Volume 1 (of 2) • Mark Twain

... BLUNDER.—Don't shrink from contact with anything but bad morals. Men who affect your unhealthy minds with antipathy, will prove themselves very frequently to be your best friends and most delightful companions. Because a man seems uncongenial to you, who are squeamish and ...
— Searchlights on Health - The Science of Eugenics • B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols

... terrible blunder. Instead of keeping to the simple duty allotted to him, he went off after five large vessels, which he saw standing apart, and gave them chase for some distance. Finding them innocent Easterlings, or merchantmen of the Hanse Towns, he ran hastily back, to discover that ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... or victory Was his device, "and there was no mistake," Except his last; and then he did but die, A blunder which the wisest men will make. Aloft, where mighty floods the mountains break, To stand, the target of the thousand eyes, And down into the coil and water-quake, To leap, like Maia's offspring, from the skies— For ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... wisdom and modesty which did her credit, discovered that there would have been great indelicacy in the Duchess of Angouleme granting a private interview to a man. A female messenger ought to have been sent; and she soon found one to repair the first blunder. ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... and can do things that transcend Man's boasted powers. We all know that—or should do so—for the moment may arrive when we find ourselves dependent on the judgment of a dog. To fail to recognise it then is to create difficulties and to blunder badly, causing the most tractable of our friends to look up with a puzzled expression in their eyes, and the more head-strong and outspoken to go ahead, with this sentence, flung back over the shoulder—"You fools, ...
— 'Murphy' - A Message to Dog Lovers • Major Gambier-Parry

... it!" ejaculated Diego. "Hombre! But I have been too close to matters religious and political in this country all my life not to know that Don Wenceslas has this time committed the blunder of being a bit too eager. Had he waited a few months longer, and then pulled the string—Dios y diablo! there would have been such a fracas as to turn the Cordilleras bottom up! Now all that is set back ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... hand on Graham's shoulder. Abruptly Graham realised the enormity of his blunder in coming to the Council House. He turned towards the curtains that separated the hall from the ante-chamber. The clutching hand of Asano intervened. In another moment Lincoln had ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... making a blunder was unendurable to Mrs. Perkin, and she was most unwilling to believe she had done so; but, even if she had, to show that she knew it would only be to render it the more difficult to recover her pride of place. An involuntary twinkle about the corners of Mary's mouth made ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... it, though, often afterward, men of clerkly attainments took me aside and kindly pointed out what they conceived to be a blunder. I have dwelt, perhaps tediously, upon this swap; my excuses are—first, that, having made few such good bargains during the days of my vanity, the memory is a pleasant one; and, second, that the horse will necessarily play a ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... Brandon, is the worst," Richter answered with keen bitterness. "We knew he was against us, but thought this something of a joke. Well, it seems we were mistaken. These English are obstinate; often without imagination or forethought, they blunder on, and chance, that favors simpletons, is sometimes with them. But remember, that if your father meets with misfortunes, you ...
— Brandon of the Engineers • Harold Bindloss

... I blunder. I have been taking for granted all this while that of course we could not write to you till you had written to us! Else how several times I could have written! could have sent you some Lines of Hafiz or Jami or Nizami that I thought wanted Comment of ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald - in two volumes, Vol. 1 • Edward FitzGerald

... being publicly shown. Then, amid tense silence, he gave the word of command—Quick, March!—while every officer felt his trigger. To the immense relief of all concerned the men stepped off, marched straight between the flags and back to quarters, tamed. The criminal War Office blunder was rectified and peace was restored in ...
— The Father of British Canada: A Chronicle of Carleton • William Wood

... services, no doubt," said Brigitte; "but it seems to me that we have not been ungrateful to him. Besides, it was he who made the blunder, and I think it rather odd he should now wish to leave ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... the station that Venice finally surrendered, but not until she had exhausted the means of defence and life. At that time, few men in America but were in the habit of denouncing the French President for his indifference to the Italian cause. He was charged with having been guilty of a blunder and a crime. His consent to the expedition to Rome aggravated his offence, for it was an act of intervention on the wrong side. But the passage of ten years enables us to be more just to him than it was possible for us to be in 1849. He was not firm in his seat. He was but a temporary chief of the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... talking now, but look alive, and I'll keep his sister off if need be. Mind, don't make a blunder! Get hold of the money and bring it here, and ...
— Redemption and Two Other Plays • Leo Tolstoy et al

... the gentle, persistent tone of one who is patient with the unreasonableness of a frightened child. His determination to win success never faltered, rather it hardened with opposition into adamant; but he was beginning to realize his blunder. He had overwhelmed her; had brought about an upheaval of her world so violent that, in her bewilderment, her dread of chaos, she instinctively laid hold on the old supports and clung to them with desperation. She must have time to think, ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... something was amiss, Mr. Kenby made a pretext to accompany Bagley a part of his way, with the design of leaving him in a better humor. In magnifying his newly discovered Bagley, Mr. Kenby committed the blunder of taking too little account of Turl; and thus Turl found himself suddenly alone ...
— The Mystery of Murray Davenport - A Story of New York at the Present Day • Robert Neilson Stephens

... can learn as well as you, and a good deal better, for I like business, and you don't. You forget that I was always father's right-hand man after I was a dozen years old, and that you have let me invest my money and some of your own, and I haven't made a blunder yet." ...
— Deephaven and Selected Stories & Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... 'em, and I shan't hurt much; and as for him, he must take his chance with the rest on us. He's got his wits back again, and don't zeem like to go wool-gathering again; and, if he's sharp, he'll speak up and make that t'other man understand it's all a blunder about him being sent off along o' we. But there, he wants to go his own fashion, zo he must. But if I was him I should kick up a dust before we start, and have myself zent back ...
— Nic Revel - A White Slave's Adventures in Alligator Land • George Manville Fenn

... recounting of these cold wanderings, of days and nights with nothing but snow and rain, and always the hounds of fear on every hand, that I had forgotten to exercise my mind upon the blunder and the shame of Argile's defeat at Inverlochy. So far is this from the fact that M'Iver and I on many available occasions disputed—as old men at the trade of arms will do—the reasons of a reverse so much unexpected, so little to be condoned, considering the ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... ordinary form of punishment for a grave offence against custom: violence is rare, and when resorted to is intended (except in [96] some extraordinary cases presently to be noticed) as a mere correction, the punishment of a blunder. In certain rough communities, blunders endangering life are immediately punished by physical chastisement,—not in anger, but on traditional principle. Once I witnessed at a fishing-settlement, a chastisement of this kind. Men were killing tunny in the surf; the work was bloody ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... possibly her own inclination might set in the same direction; or, again, she might wish to renew her early engagement with the emperor himself. The same uncertainty had been felt at Brussels; the Bishop of Arras, therefore, had charged Renard to feel his way carefully and make no blunder. If the queen inclined to the emperor, he might speak of Philip as more eligible; if she fancied Courtenay, it would be useless to interfere—she would only resent his opposition.[87] Renard obeyed his instructions, ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... thought they had picked the winning side, such as the man who candidly wrote from New Brunswick in 1788, 'I have made one great mistake in politics, for which reason I never intend to make so great a blunder again.' Many espoused the cause because they were natives of the British Isles, and had not become thoroughly saturated with American ideas: of the claimants for compensation before the Royal Commissioners after the war almost two-thirds were persons who had been ...
— The United Empire Loyalists - A Chronicle of the Great Migration - Volume 13 (of 32) in the series Chronicles of Canada • W. Stewart Wallace

... blunder," Gifford said, his face stinging from the cut about friendship. "I never seem to know how to tell the truth without giving offense—but—but, Lois, you know I think you are the best ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... Bob. At this point Betty and Nita joined it, and they had the exquisite pleasure of seeing Bob blush so red that there was no need for a candle this time, then turn very white, and clinging to the chairman's arm insist that there must be some blunder—it couldn't be she that they wanted. Finally, assured that the honor had indeed fallen to her, she broke into a war- whoop which shook the house to its foundation and brought the matron on the ...
— Betty Wales, Sophomore • Margaret Warde

... there was a colonel, a very brave man, and a capital soldier, who, on one occasion, had made some slight military slip or blunder. This drew on him the king's displeasure, and was never forgotten. So his pension or half-pay allowance was made the very lowest his rank would permit; for these allowances were regulated ...
— Amos Huntingdon • T.P. Wilson

... the American novelist and artist, F. Hopkinson Smith, in his book, Dickens's London, fell into a similar blunder. Indeed, his book contains some glaring mistakes, owing, no doubt, to the fact, which he admits, that he gathered his information from any Tom, Dick or Harry he came in contact with during his wanderings. ...
— The Inns and Taverns of "Pickwick" - With Some Observations on their Other Associations • B.W. Matz

... not run by votes. Do you think it is? It is governed by influence. It is governed by the ambitions and the enterprises which control votes. The young woman that thinks she is going to vote for the sake of holding an office is making an awful blunder. ...
— Acres of Diamonds • Russell H. Conwell

... in a heap;" she had heard many a love-tale, but never one with so manly a note. Shrewd, sensitive Mistress Betty was bewildered and confounded, and in her hurry she made a capital blunder. She dismissed him summarily, saw how white he grew, and heard how he stopped to ask if there were no possible alternative, no period of probation to endure, no achievement to be performed by him. She waved him off the faster because she became affrighted ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... would be but the delaying of their final enslavement to The Master, whose apparent impersonality made him the more terrible as he remained mysterious. So far they seemed like struggling flies in some colossal web, freeing themselves from one snaring spot to blunder helplessly into another. ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 • Various

... told me. 'He looked close down at the shawls, as if he were short-sighted, though he could see as far as any man. "I beg your pardon, ladies," said he, "you're right. I am quite wrong. What a stupid blunder to make! And yet they did deceive me. Here, Johnson, take these shawls away. How could you be so stupid? I will fetch the thing you want myself, ladies." So I went with him. He chose out three or four shawls, of the nicest patterns, from the very same lot, marked in the ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... to herself, "I have made a grievous blunder; it may be I have ruined Cornelius, the tulip, and myself. I have given the alarm, and perhaps awakened suspicion. I am but a woman; these men may league themselves against me, and then I shall be lost. If I am lost that matters nothing,—but ...
— The Black Tulip • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... temporary measures adopted to stem the tide of invasion and to crush revolts; but they were regarded as signs of a permanently terrorist policy, and their removal greatly strengthened the new consular rule. The blunder of nearly all the revolutionary governments had been in continuing severe laws after the need for them had ceased to be pressing. Bonaparte, with infinite tact, discerned this truth, and, as will shortly appear, set himself to found his government on the support of ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... fatal blunder, the blunder of a people who had been so blinded by materialism that they do not seem to have so much as the consciousness that there is such a thing as moral strength on earth. No one who had followed with intelligent understanding the career of President Wilson could have doubted ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... act agreeably to circumstances, but avoid drawing ourselves into a false movement, which, if cavalry had command of the rivers, would give the enemy the advantage of us. His lordship plays so well, that no blunder can be hoped from him to recover a ...
— Memoirs, Correspondence and Manuscripts of General Lafayette • Lafayette

... Sir Edward's mind about his Minister to Mexico as far as I could. Now that the other matter is settled and while Carden is behaving, I go at it. Two years ago Mr. Knox made a bad blunder in protesting against Carden's "anti-Americanism" in Cuba. Mr. Knox sent Mr. Reid no definite facts nor even accusations to base a protest on. The result was a failure—a bad failure. I have again asked Mr. Bryan for all the definite reports he has heard about Carden. ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... all the papers in the case with praiseworthy frankness. He would even have extended his sympathy, except that his first efforts in this direction had not been received in the spirit he thought they should have been. If Buckner's statement was correct, there had been a cruel blunder on the part of Eleanor's counsel; yet unless he was certain of his ground, Gorham could not comprehend his daring to place himself in so dangerous a position. Already the machinery was in motion to settle ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... the spirit of unionism then prevailing in the General Synod. Indeed, several years later (1852, 1856), H. I. Schmidt, who had signed the letter, expressed his belief in the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord's Supper, and Dr. Morris declared the letter "the greatest blunder" ever committed by the General Synod. The General Synod as such, however, has never criticized, renounced, or withdrawn the letter. Moreover, in 1848, at New York, the letter, in a way, received official recognition by the General Synod. (19. 20. 50.) ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... constituencies—that it is well you should have patience enough to listen to a speech about India; because it is no secret to anybody who understands, that if the Government were to make a certain kind of bad blunder in India—which I do not at all expect them to make—there would be short work for a long time to come, with many of those schemes, upon which you have set your heart. Do not dream, if any mishap of a certain kind were to come to pass in ...
— Indian speeches (1907-1909) • John Morley (AKA Viscount Morley)

... in the simplest form—Has the movement of alliterative verse got the initial or the final beat? In the middle of the 18th century Bishop Percy decided this question with sufficient accuracy, though he mixed up his statement with a blunder which it is not easy to account for. He points out how the poets began to introduce rhyme into alliterative verse, until at length rhyme came to predominate over alliteration, and "thus was this kind of metre at length swallowed up and lost ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Jimmy Kinsella, came towards them from the boat He was bent on being particularly polite to Miss Rutherford, feeling that he ought to atone for his unfortunate blunder with the boat He took off ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... its interest after the battle of Leutzen, when the Swedish hero laid down his life in defense of his Protestant brethren, so the Theban contest with Sparta has no great significance after the battle of Mantinea. The only great blunder which Epaminondas made was to encourage his countrymen to compete with Athens for the sovereignty of the seas. That sovereignty was the natural empire of Athens, even as the empire of the land was the glory of Sparta. If these two powers had been contented with their own peculiar sphere, ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... of which he considered himself the victim. But the moment was not favourable for putting his projects in train. The murder of Capelan, which its perpetrator intended for a mere crime, proved a huge blunder. The numerous enemies of Tepeleni, silent under the administration of the late pacha, whose resentment they had cause to fear, soon made common cause under the new one, for whose support they had hopes. Ali saw the danger, sought and found the means to obviate it. He succeeded in ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - ALI PACHA • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... rush high in the gully under, And the lightnings lash at the shrinking trees, Or the cattle down from the ranges blunder As the fires drive by on the summer breeze. Still the feeble horse at the right hour wanders To the lonely ring, though the whistle's dumb, And with hanging head by the bow he ponders Where the whim boy's gone — why the shifts ...
— An Anthology of Australian Verse • Bertram Stevens

... doubt—a blunder that—And yet Perchance a blunder that may work as well As better forethought. Having no suspicion So will he carry none where his not going Were of itself suspicious. But of those Within, who side ...
— Life Is A Dream • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... happened the French expected a flotilla of provision boats, and after a little further dialogue, in which the cool Highlander completely deceived the French sentries, the British were allowed to slip past in the darkness. The tiny cove was safely reached, the boats stole silently up without a blunder, twenty-four volunteers from the Light Infantry leaped from their boat and led the way in single file up the path, that ran like a thread along the face of the cliff. Wolfe sat eagerly listening in his boat below. Suddenly ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... too deeply compromised to recede, had put himself at the head of the revolution, and enraged against the Creoles, who had, for the most part, managed to draw their heads out of the noose, commenced with his Indians a war of extermination that spared neither Spaniards nor Creoles. This terrible blunder on the part of the soldier-priest, of itself decided the fate of the outbreak. The Creoles were compelled to unite with the very Spaniards whose downfall they had been plotting; and it was mainly through their co-operation that the three ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... How the boldness of many a metaphor would be transformed into sheer impudence! How the profundities would clear up, leaving only darkness behind! They were so mysterious—and now, throw all the light of heaven upon them, and there is nothing there but a blunder or ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... mysterious about Fogg's actions, yet Ralph accepted the theory of the conductor that the station man had made a careless blunder or ...
— Ralph on the Overland Express - The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer • Allen Chapman

... next to bring ourselves to realize vividly and keenly that the conceptions, thus disentangled and framed, are in fact, whether they be true or false, at the very heart of the social philosophy of the world; we have in the third place to detect the fundamental character of the blunder involved in them—to see clearly and coldly wherein they are wrong and why they are ruinous; we have, finally, to trace, if we can, their deadly effects both in the course of human history and in the present status of our ...
— Manhood of Humanity. • Alfred Korzybski

... was merry: I was reckless, and my companions were full of glee. Even the ennuye skipped up and down the room like a school-boy: I never shall forget Richard's happy and relieved expression, when I laughed aloud at somebody's amusing blunder. ...
— Richard Vandermarck • Miriam Coles Harris

... aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes?] The reading of the quarto was right, but in some other copy the harshness of the transposition was softened, and the passage stood thus: Since no man knows aught of what he leaves. For knows was printed in the later copies has, by a slight blunder ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... reasonable to suppose that errors of judgment must have occurred. Even had they not, differences of opinion between the Executive, bound by an oath to the strict performance of his duties, and writers and debaters must have arisen. It is not necessarily evidence of blunder on the part of the Executive because there are these differences of views. Mistakes have been made, as all can see and I admit, but it seems to me oftener in the selections made of the assistants appointed to aid in carrying out ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Ulysses S. Grant • Ulysses S. Grant

... appanage of slavery. It is now a part of admitted history, that this dull but determined Missouri senator approached Judge Douglas, then chairman of the Committee on Territories, and, by some incomprehensible influence, induced that distinguished senator to commit the flagrant and terrible blunder of reporting the Kansas-Nebraska bill, with a clause repealing the Missouri Compromise, and thus throwing open Kansas to the occupation of slavery. That error was grievously atoned for in the subsequent hard fate of Judge Douglas, who was cast off and ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... reply, of the mere laconic No which was all that, in his heart of hearts, he had ever expected, that rankled in him longest; but even that mortification had passed, as far as he knew, into the limbo of extinct regrets. For her present superb air of having no recollection of his blunder he had nothing but commendation. It was as becoming to the spirited grace of its wearer as a royal mantle to a queen. Carrying it as she did, with an easy, preoccupied affability that enabled her to look round him and over him and through him, to greet him ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... right flank during the operations that were to succeed the mine explosion, but when I reached General Meade's headquarters I found that lamentable failure had attended the assault made when the enemy's works were blown up in the morning. Blunder after blunder had rendered the assault abortive, and all the opportunities opened by our expedition to the north side were irretrievably lost, so General Meade at once arrested ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... so much interest to her; and though she probably told the General, he never afterwards alluded to the episode. Indeed, Cecil's labours at Scutari were rather a tabooed subject, as Harry speedily discovered when one day he attempted to blunder out ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... be more instructive than vague generalities. About seven years ago a gentleman was engaged by one of our colleges to take charge of a new department until a permanent appointee might be found. The resident faculty committed one blunder after another. It added the new study outright without adjusting it to the previous studies. It also fixed upon Saturday as the day for beginning. Thus, the students were prejudiced against their new instructor before they had ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, April, 1876. • Various

... his 3rd volume of Antiquitica, for in his copy of Aga's plan, he placed a large keep tower just at the foot of an artificial mount—an anomaly in fortification. The same punster who described fortification as two twenty fications, would call this a Grose blunder. ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, - Vol. 12, Issue 328, August 23, 1828 • Various

... this classical blunder of so many eminent annotators is, that these words are not to be found in the usual college and school editions of Euripides. The edition from which the above correct extract is made is in ten volumes, published at Padua in 1743-53, with an Italian translation ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 191, June 25, 1853 • Various

... not have turned them out of hand fast enough. The enlightened few, in these countries, were as a drop in the bucket to the unenlightened many; and although no doubt there were numbers of the former who were well—meaning men, yet they were one and all guilty of that prime political blunder, in common with our Whig friends at home, of expecting a set of semi—barbarians to see the beauty of, and to conform to, their newfangled codes of free institutions, for which they were as ready as I am to die at this present ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott



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