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Fail   Listen
verb
Fail  v. i.  (past & past part. failed; pres. part. failing)  
1.
To be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence; to cease to be furnished in the usual or expected manner, or to be altogether cut off from supply; to be lacking; as, streams fail; crops fail. "As the waters fail from the sea." "Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign."
2.
To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; used with of. "If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size."
3.
To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink. "When earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail."
4.
To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails.
5.
To perish; to die; used of a person. (Obs.) "Had the king in his last sickness failed."
6.
To be found wanting with respect to an action or a duty to be performed, a result to be secured, etc.; to miss; not to fulfill expectation. "Take heed now that ye fail not to do this." "Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale."
7.
To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired; to be baffled or frusrated. "Our envious foe hath failed."
8.
To err in judgment; to be mistaken. "Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not."
9.
To become unable to meet one's engagements; especially, to be unable to pay one's debts or discharge one's business obligation; to become bankrupt or insolvent; as, many credit unions failed in the late 1980's.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fail" Quotes from Famous Books



... at the calm placidity with which Wethermill had talked, his arm in his, while the load of so dark a crime to be committed within the hour lay upon his mind. Each minute he must have been thinking, with a swift spasm of the heart, "Should such a precaution fail—should such or such an unforeseen thing intervene," yet there had been never a sign of disturbance, never a ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... were golden. In this connection it were well to recall the really brilliant epigram of the Abbe de Saint-Real, that 'On s'ennuie presque toujours avec ceux que l'on ennuie.' For not even a lover can fail to be bored at last by the constant lassitude of assent expressing itself in twin sentiments to his own. 'Coquetting with an echo,' Carlyle called it. For, tho it may make a man feel mentally masterful at first, it makes him feel mentally maudlin at last; and, ...
— Conversation - What to Say and How to Say it • Mary Greer Conklin

... Aminta, here's another, and probably her last, chance of sharing the marquisate gone. Who can fail to pity her, except old Time! And I 'm sure she likes her husband well enough. She ought: no woman ever had such a servant. But the captain has not been known to fight without her sanction, and the inference is—'Alas! woe! Fair Amy is doomed to be the fighting captain's bride to the end of the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... his ability. Upon his return he found that four of them had done their part and done it well, but one had only partially done his. Consequently, there was a neglected spot—a dropped stitch— which constantly showed itself. If we fail to do the work in life that God in his wisdom has assigned us, there will be in the Father's great plan a blank space, a neglected part, that will show through all eternity. Is your life or mine going to be the dropped stitch in the great web of human life? ...
— How to Live a Holy Life • C. E. Orr

... submarine boats now owned by the Navy?" asked David Pollard, a bit feverishly. He was not afraid of their present rather dangerous position, but was frightfully nervous over the thought of any good showing this craft born in his brain might fail to make. "This is thirty feet lower than any submarine record ...
— The Submarine Boys' Trial Trip - "Making Good" as Young Experts • Victor G. Durham

... advantage of, if you would have the best success with your crop. As good seed is necessary in any crop, so it is with onions. Test your seed before risking your entire crop, as by the time you plant once and fail, and procure seed and plant again, it will be too late to make a good crop. I always take advantage of the first chance in March to sow my onion seed. We usually have a few warm days sometime about the middle of the month when this work can be done. ...
— Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 4, January 26, 1884 - A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside • Various

... assembly, the Saracens advanced in three divisions along the high road of Constantinople: Motassem himself commanded the centre, and the vanguard was given to his son Abbas, who, in the trial of the first adventures, might succeed with the more glory, or fail with the least reproach. In the revenge of his injury, the caliph prepared to retaliate a similar affront. The father of Theophilus was a native of Amorium [92] in Phrygia: the original seat of the Imperial house had been adorned with privileges and monuments; ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... sure. But you must never think that, about my being alone. I am never alone; almost never—at least, not so very often, even lonely. I live with a whole life-full of blessed memories. Besides, I have Aunt Marcia. She needs me more and more, and by and by, when her marvellous strength begins to fail,—for it must fail,—she will need me constantly. I can never, never feel ...
— Mrs. Tree • Laura E. Richards

... the poet fail to recall the affrays in the upper boxes, when some quarrelsome rake was often pinned to the wainscoat by the sword of his insulted rival. Below, at the door, the Flemish horses and the heavy gilded coach, lighted by flambeaux, are waiting ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... some of the charming secrets of their lives. Meanwhile a dancing and singing host collects around one's head. I call up my philosophy; I resolve not to care, though I shall be devoured. My philosophy stands the strain; I do not care; but my nerves basely fail me, and after a few moments, and a dozen stings here and there, I spring involuntarily to my feet, wildly flourish my wisp of leaves, and of course put to instant flight the actors ...
— Little Brothers of the Air • Olive Thorne Miller

... means of continually destroying and continually creating; and this perpetual destruction and renovation feeds the speculative market, and prevents, and will prevent, till that fund of confiscation begins to fail, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... wounded man, with her head resting on her hand, and thinking of her goats on the mountain. Then she had heard a slight sound in the court, which any one else would not have noticed; but she not only perceived it, but knew with perfect certainty with whom it originated. She could never fail to recognize Hermas' foot-step, and it had an irresistible effect upon her. She raised her head quickly from her hand, and her elbow from the knee on which it was resting, sprang to her feet, and went out into the yard. She was hidden by the mill-stones, but she could see Hermas ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... be quick," she concluded, after hearing all. "We have only an hour here, till eight; I must be home by then without fail, so that they may not find out that I came and sat here with you; but I've come on business. I have a great deal to say to you. But you have bowled me over considerably with your news. As to Hippolyte, I think his pistol was bound not to go ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... taking the words from them—through such an assembly the Lady of the Peach-Tree (who else, pray?) walked to the table. A soft grey light from without filled the room; there was no need of a lamp, nor did any eye then on watch fail to see all that followed. Bread and wine were served by Stefano on bent knee; bread and wine (but sparingly) did the Lady eat from cup and platter. That cup, that platter, encased in gold leaves ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... they reached the weir. "But so long as mother is strong enough for her tiring life, so long as I live, we shall earn enough, perhaps, between us to keep Lucien until success comes. My courage will never fail," said Eve, brightening. "There is no hardship in work when we work for one we love; it is not drudgery. It makes me happy to think that I toil so much, if indeed it is toil, for him. Oh, do not be in the least afraid, we ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... frequently fail in solving mathematical problems when the mind is prostrated by continued and excessive effort to obtain a solution. Not unfrequently after a night's rest the problem is quickly solved, and the pupil thinks he "dreamed it out." The true explanation is rest invigorated the exhausted ...
— A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition) • Calvin Cutter

... afraid of it, 'twill be glorious if thou art not; for 'tis a wonderful thing to see the rise and fall of sun and moon, and witness storms that seldom fail to lend their fearfulness to the voyagers ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... that have been treated of in the preceding essays are sometimes found to work well so long as they work upon abstractions; but so soon as they are required to work upon the daily Life, they fail of reaching so high a point of excellence as we think we had reason to anticipate. This results from the want of either discrimination, courage, or earnestness; and the inner nature cannot be thoroughly trained until these faculties are so developed by its ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... move it, and they too often destroy it; if fair and gentle, they guide it into the Harbour; if contrary and furious, they overset it in the Waves: In the same manner is the Mind assisted or endangered by the Passions; Reason must then take the Place of Pilot, and can never fail of securing her Charge if she be not wanting to her self: The Strength of the Passions will never be accepted as an Excuse for complying with them, they were designed for Subjection, and if a Man suffers ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... syllable from home, proved, at times, exceedingly depressing to these first settlers in Minnesota. I record, with pleasure, what has been often told me, that in that trying time the courage of the ladies of the party did not fail them, and that their cheerful way of taking things as they came and making the best of them, was a constant blessing and source of strength to that ...
— 'Three Score Years and Ten' - Life-Long Memories of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and Other - Parts of the West • Charlotte Ouisconsin Van Cleve

... out of college at eighteen. There are several different college courses, but one or other must be followed and a satisfactory examination passed at the end—perhaps ten per cent. fail—and the Rule requires that the candidate for the samurai must ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... fail, alas! To keep life's clouds away, At least 'twill make them lighter pass, Or gild them if they stay. And even if Care at moments flings A discord o'er life's happy strain, Let Love but gently touch the strings, 'Twill all ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... going to ask you to give me that one chance in a million. If you fail, I shall not be here to complain. If you succeed,—well, you will ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... that he really loved her husband; he cared less for her conversation, which she had fancied necessary to his existence, than for her "roast beef and plumb pudden," which he now devours too "dirtily for endurance." She was fully resolved to go, and yet she could not bear that her going should fail to torture the friend whom for eighteen years she had loved and cherished ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... neatness, taste and refinement, both in his mind and in his whole style of living, it is the man who is surrounded by a heathen population. Here, then, the rule contended for fails. Travel round the world, and how often will it fail? ...
— Thoughts on Missions • Sheldon Dibble

... Bayley smiled indulgently as he could not help reading the card thrust into the flowers. "She will receive my flowers at intervals all the way over, if the steward doesn't fail me," he reflected with satisfaction, "while this boy's will fade in ...
— Five Little Peppers Midway • Margaret Sidney

... I have said, to the tales they tell over there, it will be heard how I was said to have kept that gate against all the host of Mercia, not to say Offa himself; for, like our own gleemen, the Welsh bards do not fail to make the most of a story. But how much thereof to believe those who have read my own tale will know. I suppose they are obliged to make too much of a matter, so that about the ...
— A King's Comrade - A Story of Old Hereford • Charles Whistler

... was naturally passionate, did not fail on this occasion to display his anger. He went forthwith to his sister- in-law's tent, and said to the eunuch, "Wretch, have you the impudence to abuse the trust I repose in you?" Shubbaunee, though sufficiently convicted by Agib's testimony, denied ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1 • Anon.

... Blosser," the older man was saying as Bob unfolded his paper, "it's the niftiest little proposition I ever saw mapped out. We can't fail. Best of all, it's within the law—I've been reading up on the Oklahoma statutes. There's been a lot of new legislation rushed through since the oil boom struck the State, and we can't get into trouble. What ...
— Betty Gordon in the Land of Oil - The Farm That Was Worth a Fortune • Alice B. Emerson

... statistical details, the work cannot fail to be intensely interesting to the general reader. Lofty, hopeful, rational, and yet progressive in its tone, it is calculated to do great good, not only through the useful information and instructive generalizations ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... did not despair. He was not a hero of romance whose soul raised him above the fear of sudden death—no, he was only a true-hearted British tar, whose frame was very strong, whose nerves were tightly strung and used to danger. He had made up his mind to save his life if he could; if he should fail—what then? He never thought of "what then," because, in regard to terrestrial matters, he had not been accustomed to cast his thoughts so far in ...
— Shifting Winds - A Tough Yarn • R.M. Ballantyne

... fail? The engagement usually depends on the interview; and the interview cannot, as a rule, be obtained without the impressive letter. Consequently, the ...
— Business Correspondence • Anonymous

... snow; they drop off the queer little oblong bags as they go and thus the smooth small nuts inside are planted. The oaks, hickories, walnuts, butternuts, hazelnuts, trust their fruits to the feet of passersby and to the squirrels and blue jays which fail to find many of their buried acorns and nuts. The big three-valved balloons of the bladdernut can sail either in the air, on the water, or over the frozen snow. The pretty clusters of the wild yam, seen climbing over the hazelbrush in the rich winter woods, have two ways ...
— Some Winter Days in Iowa • Frederick John Lazell

... and it particularly struck him that they were to be marked altogether in Waymarsh's quarter. This added to his own sense of having gone far with her-gave him an early illustration of a much shorter course. There was a certitude he immediately grasped—a conviction that Waymarsh would quite fail, as it were, and on whatever degree of acquaintances ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... you taking? while you live here, you mustn't feel homesick; and if there's anything you would like to eat, or to play with, mind you come and tell me! or should the waiting maids or the matrons fail in their duties, don't forget also to report them ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... each man had made in his day; some looking well to their bows, drawing a string betwixt the fingers to see that there was no fray upon it, or inspecting arrows, shutting one eye and peering down a shaft to see that it was not warped, but straight and true, for neither bow nor shaft should fail at such a time and for such a prize. And never was such a company of yeomen as were gathered at Nottingham Town that day, for the very best archers of merry England had come to this shooting match. There was Gill o' the Red Cap, ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... one to see that the real place of an object is poorly estimated with one eye. Seated before a desk, pen in hand, suddenly close one eye, and, at the same time, stretch out the arm in order to dip the pen in the inkstand; you will fail nine times out of ten. It is not in one day that the effects of binocular vision have been established, for the ancients made many observations on the subject. It was in 1593 that the celebrated Italian ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 795, March 28, 1891 • Various

... the lakes, Windermere, Coniston; and the mountains, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, and Saddleback; but at one time he spoke a name that I couldn't understand, and forgetting that I was in England and not in America, I asked him to spell it. He replied, 'Theys call it so always.' He did not fail, however, to ask questions like a Yankee, if he couldn't spell like one. 'Which way be ye coming?'—'From America.'—'Ye'll be going to Scotland like?'—'Yes.'—'Ye'll be spending much money before ye are ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... derniere mode, Mrs. Tompkins is content and in her gayest spirits; two large hampers containing choice wines and dishes to tempt the palate of an epicure had been sent down by earliest train in case the cellar and larder at Haughton should fail. ...
— A Heart-Song of To-day • Annie Gregg Savigny

... known better than to turn my white skirt yesterday," she sighed. "I never knew it to fail bringing bad luck. I vow I'll never do ...
— Ladies-In-Waiting • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... do you see, though that is a painful confession to have to make to a pupil; but in this case it does not distress me, and you are welcome to hunt the world through for a master, who in this matter does know anything. I could make a hundred other comparisons, but theywould all fail in some point or other. Shall I tell you where this one fails? In an orchestra there is always a musician by the side of the instrument. Now with us we see the instrument well enough, but we cannot see ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... best to begin with a few flowers and to learn all that one can about these. Annuals will scarcely ever fail if carefully sown in good soil. In making your choice, choose so that you will have flowers from spring to autumn. Perennial plants are the most satisfactory of all to grow; for once planted they need only a very little attention and increase in size each year. Bulbs produce some of the most ...
— What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... the absence of any central authority, the only sanction behind the code of rules established by custom or defined in treaties, known as "international law," is the capacity of the powers to hold each other in check. Were this to fail, nothing could prevent any state sufficiently powerful from ignoring the law and acting solely according to its ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... has never been seen in these regions before; it may have come over from the east, or from Sardinia, where it still breeds. I ventured to suggest that they should lose no time in securing a native porcupine, an interesting beast concerning which I never fail to enquire on my rambles. They used to be encountered in the Crati valley; two were shot near Corigliano a few years ago, and another not far from Cotronei on the Neto; they still occur in the forests near the "Pagliarelle" ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... turn to take up her's and prove her rearing by repaying to her mother the conscious love which intelligence and a good heart dictates. This given, Mrs. Makebelieve could smile happily again, for her arms would be empty only for a little time. The continuity of nature does not fail saving for extraordinary instances. She sees to it that a breast and an arm shall not very long be unoccupied, and, consequently, as Mrs. Makebelieve sat contemplating that futurity which is nothing more ...
— Mary, Mary • James Stephens

... if a younger man had spoken those words I would have hurled him by the throat from yonder window. Be careful of your words, old man, else even your hoary hairs may fail to ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... you won't win! There'll be others in for the exam., you bet! You'll probably fail, and come whining home like a whipped puppy with its tail between ...
— The Luckiest Girl in the School • Angela Brazil

... late, leisurely judgment of simple people: and the others merry folk, whose eyes twinkle, whose money flies, who will sooner laugh than plan, who seem to inherit rightfully the happiness that the others plot for, and fail to come by with all their schemes. In the man who was to provide the entertainment Rodriguez recognised ...
— Don Rodriguez - Chronicles of Shadow Valley • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, Dunsany

... existing federal statute which provides for the mediation, conciliation, and arbitration of such controversies as the present by adding to it a provision that in case the methods of accommodation now provided for should fail, a full public investigation of the merits of every such dispute shall be instituted and completed before a strike or lockout ...
— President Wilson's Addresses • Woodrow Wilson

... felt for the attorney—all these things conspired to convince Father John that McGovery had too surely overheard a conversation, which, if repeated to Keegan, might probably, considering how many had been present at it, give him a desperate hold over young Macdermot, which he would not fail to use, either by frightening him into measures destructive to the property, or by proceeding criminally against him. Father John was not only greatly grieved that such a meeting should have been held, with reference ...
— The Macdermots of Ballycloran • Anthony Trollope

... in your hands. Push the mining in No. 2 to the utmost and get the richest of the mother-lode panned as speedily as possible. A hundredweight of gold would mean much. Should I fail to return, and should conditions seem to warrant the abandoning of camp, send the plane out to look for me. If they fail to locate me, take no chances. Clear the ice with the schooner as quickly as you can. I shall be all right. I came to this place from Vladivostok once by reindeer, and went ...
— Panther Eye • Roy J. Snell

... venerated her; and it is her name the country bears. She it is who sends thunder and lightning, who destroys the crops when she is vexed, for they childishly believe, that Dobaiba becomes angry when they fail to offer sacrifices in her honour. There are deceivers who, under the pretence of religion, inculate this belief among the natives, hoping thereby to increase the number of gifts offered by the latter to the goddess, and thus augment their ...
— De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) - The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera • Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt

... only forces which he could understand. Of commerce and the arts he was as ignorant as when he left his Thracian home. The whole vast Empire was to him a huge machine for producing the money by which the legions were to be rewarded. Should he fail to get that money, his fellow soldiers would bear him a grudge. To watch their interests they had raised him upon their shields that night. If city funds had to be plundered or temples desecrated, still the money must be ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... words; but the man did look upon it as a war and nothing else. What he had had the audacity to propose to me had been treason, not thieving. It had a glamour for him which, he supposed, a Separationist (as I had the reputation of being) could not fail to see. He was thinking of enlarging his activity, of getting really in touch with the Mexican Junta of rebels. As he had said, he needed a gentleman ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... War Department fail to show that there was a colonel of the Twenty-sixth Indiana Regiment named Richard O'Neal, but it does appear that Richard Neal was lieutenant-colonel of said regiment; that he was mustered in August 31, 1861, and resigned June ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... people term PECULIAR, when they fail to understand the poetical vagaries of genius," I replied. "He is ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... refusing the possibility that another woman could serve him, as she had served him with pain, with suffering. She was like a queen who does not love her throne supremely but will not abdicate, who would rather fail in her appointed place than see ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... for its return. No sound came from the sleeping countryside to tell of the horror which was loose. In no way could I judge how far off it was, what it was doing, or when it might be back. But not a second time should my nerve fail me, not a second time should it pass unchallenged. I swore it between my clenched teeth as I laid my cocked rifle ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... mite of wisdom that I could throw into the mass of knowledge! or how am I sure that my sagest deductions may be safe guides for the opinions of others? But in writing to amuse, if I fail the only evil is in my own disappointment. If, however, I can by any lucky chance, in these days of evil, rub out one wrinkle from the brow of care or beguile the heavy heart of one moment of sorrow; if I can now and then penetrate through the gathering film of misanthropy, prompt a benevolent ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... had been restored to him. "I greatly fear that there is soon to be another explosion, and it may be His will that we shall perish, but comfort yourself with the certainty that no hair of your dear head can fall without His permission—and in any event He will not fail us." ...
— Blown to Bits - The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago • R.M. Ballantyne

... earth; and when this state of things has been preceded by sultry weather, and a steady west, south, or south-west wind is blowing at the time, the collector need not fear the result, for he can hardly fail to ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... sayings I heard in Worcestershire a few months back, and upon which my informant placed the greatest reliance. The first is, "If the moon changes on a Sunday, there will be a flood before the month is out." My authority asserted that through a number of years he has never known this fail. The month in which the change on a Sunday has occurred has been fine until the last day, when the flood came. The other saying is, "Look at the weathercock on St. Thomas's day at twelve o'clock, and see which way the wind is, and there it will stick for the ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 187, May 28, 1853 • Various

... I fail, therefore, to feel any apprehension as to our literature becoming Europeanized, because whatever is American in it must lie deeper than anything European can penetrate. More than that, I believe and hope that our novelists will deal with Europe a great deal more, and a great deal more intelligently, ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... deadly leaden shower amongst them. In the winter, when the water is covered with rubble ice, the fowler of the Delaware paints his canoe entirely white, lies flat in the bottom of it, and floats with the broken ice; from which the aquatic inhabitants fail to distinguish it. So floats the canoe till he within it understands, by the quacking, and fluttering, and whirring of wings, that he is in the midst of a flock, when he is up in a moment with the murderous piece, and dying quacks and ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... were so few points outstanding likely to embroil any two of the Great Powers in conflict—so few national ambitions struggling for appeasement. It is easy not to realise this unless one studies the field in detail: easy to fail to see how near is the attainment ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... illustrate the dangers of the path, for the purpose of deepening the impression of improvement. Phantasies of extraordinary abilities, special powers; contrasts to the anxiety of examinations; all these in the case of the wanderer mark the change from apprehension to fulfillment. We must not fail to recognize the element of desire for honor; it will be yet described. In view of myth motives reported by Stucken, the entire wall episode is to be conceived as a magic flight; the people that fall off ...
— Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts • Herbert Silberer

... shoulder with his cane, crying, "Hold, hold." At the same moment the silver head of the cane fell off, and rolled on the floor. It was an accident which might have happened at any time; but in this superstitions age it could not fail to be taken for an omen. Both his friends and enemies interpreted it as a presage of his ...
— The History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans - to the Accession of King George the Fifth - Volume 8 • John Lingard and Hilaire Belloc

... D. G. Brinton, the principle involved is, either that the gods are supposed to comprehend what men fail to understand; or else that the verbal charm represents "the god expressing himself through human organs, but in a speech unknown to human ears."[39:1] Reginald Scott expressed a popular modern idea of the force of certain words and characters, ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... on the north side won't do to call sunlight into a room upon a posed figure. The fault of many pictures is that the proprieties just here are violated. Some of the lowest toned interiors of Israels are satisfactory when judged from the standpoint of light, while out of door attempts in high key fail to suggest the fact of a sun in nature. The fault is that the exact degree of illumination which the subject demands is ...
— Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures • Henry Rankin Poore

... Spain is in all its most essential and intimate characteristics the same as that of England; represents on the one side the same overwhelming sense of the tragic conflicts of life, the same sense of the greatness, the splendour of human nature, which is most triumphant when most it seems to fail; and on the other side at least something of that exquisite, that almost unimaginable grace of the romantic comedy, of the world of Portia and Viola and Beatrice and Miranda. I do not think that the unity of the great art of Europe, the comparative insignificance of merely national ...
— The Unity of Civilization • Various

... moral development and the purest resolve of an honest nature afforded her many pleas, and at length she believed she had finally put it down. She had argued that, from the opinions themselves of Faber, the thing could not consistently fail to be as no thing to him. Even were she mistaken in this conclusion, it would be to wrong his large nature, his generous love, his unselfish regard, his tender pitifulness, to fail of putting her silent trust in him. Besides, had she not read in the newspapers the utterance ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... cord is made to assume the variable positions which anatomists report it to have in respect to the neighbouring muscles. But when we view nature as she is, and not as fashioned by the scalpel, we never fail to find an ...
— Surgical Anatomy • Joseph Maclise

... of a predominant sense of right. Fortunately his instinct taught him to see in the constitution of the republic the fairest field for the display of his peculiar talents; the orator and the pleader could not fail to love the arena on which the greatest triumph of his genius had been or were yet, as he hoped, to be acquired. And Cicero indeed was not less ambitious than Caeesar or Pompeius, Antonius or Octavius. To the pursuit ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... before five. She brought a novel of Gissing's, in order apparently that they might without fail talk about Gissing. Hilda was agreeable; she would talk about Gissing, or about anything, tipped on the edge of her bed—Alicia had surmounted that degree of intimacy at a bound by the declaration that she could no longer endure the blue umbrellas—and clasping one knee, with an uncertain ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... originally and naturally agreeable or disagreeable, from which the others derive their associated powers; and it would be, I fancy, to little purpose to look for the cause of our passions in association, until we fail of it in the ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... our own sweet will. His forte was "moral influence" and "sympathetic intellectual communion" by talking; and oh, heaven! what a talker he was! He was then an incipient Transcendentalist, and he did not fail to discover in me the seeds of the same plant. He declared that I had a marvellous imagination, and encouraged my passion for reading anything and everything to the very utmost. It is a fact that at nine years of age his disquisitions on and readings ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... to attempt an account of the services rendered by Mr. Richardson to the sciences of geography and ethnography during his useful career. At some future period, no doubt, this task will be performed; and it will not fail to be added, that he was always impelled by a higher motive than the mere satisfaction of curiosity or ambition. A profound conviction that something might be done towards ameliorating the condition of the African nations, if we were only better ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 • James Richardson

... looked like the end, and none of us, even the sanguine Chief, was sure that the next day would not be the last. But the last day did not come until the last day of need had passed, and never from beginning to end did a single commune of all the five thousand of Occupied Belgium and France fail of its daily bread. It was poor bread sometimes, even for war bread, and there were many tomorrows that promised to be breadless, but no one of ...
— Herbert Hoover - The Man and His Work • Vernon Kellogg

... the characteristics of the parent race were as prominent in the Civil War as they had been in the Revolution. In 1861-65, the side that stood on the defensive, unless hopelessly outnumbered, was almost invariably successful, just as it had been in 1776-82. "My men," said Jackson, "sometimes fail to drive the enemy from his position, but to hold one, never!" The Federal generals might have made the same assertion with almost equal truth. Porter had indeed been defeated at Gaines' Mill, ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... went to his shack to bid good-by to his four-footed pal. Job, instantly, comprehending that he was to be left behind, whimpered and nozzled so piteously that Ambrose's heart began to fail. ...
— The Fur Bringers - A Story of the Canadian Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... take him to a hospital. Find where, then notify me. Remember, this is your business, and woe to you if you fail. Where is it?" One of the men extended an object wrapped ...
— The Drums Of Jeopardy • Harold MacGrath

... would not be able to walk very far at once. Her feet were tender, and her shoes were thin. Bambo knew she should have to be carried the greater part of the way, and his great anxiety was lest his fund of strength, which had gradually grown so sadly small, should fail him before he had completed his self-imposed task. What would become of the little ones if he were forced to lie down under the friendly shelter of some wayside hedge, utterly unable to drag himself another step? Would Joe and Moll find them ...
— Two Little Travellers - A Story for Girls • Frances Browne Arthur

... or silence, and leave himself and his congenial associates free to drink and sell as much liquor as they chose. Thus Satan may sometimes appear to his servants as a very good master when they serve him faithfully, and accomplish his designs, but when they fail to carry out some of his cherished plans and find themselves in danger and trouble, as a result of their zeal in his service, then he proves a very poor sort of comforter. Better far to serve a Master who will not forsake His followers in ...
— The Story of a Dark Plot - or Tyranny on the Frontier • A.L.O. C. and W.W. Smith

... you more fitly when something more, and greatly more, than a capful of light odes can call your genius father. All who wish you well hope this for you. All desire to see you bring forth the work you meditate, to acclaim you Stephaneforos. I heartily wish you may not fail them. O no, Vincent Lenehan said, laying a hand on the shoulder near him. Have no fear. He could not leave his mother an orphan. The young man's face grew dark. All could see how hard it was for him to be reminded of his promise and ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The years 1994-2000 witnessed solid increases in real output, low inflation rates, and a drop in unemployment ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... are found stuck all over the place. If a village is particularly blessed, they have a captive eagle anchored to a roof. And this bird is carefully fed and watered in order that its supply of feathers may not fail. ...
— I Married a Ranger • Dama Margaret Smith

... is, by itself, little more impressive, than that it is 3,000; we want something more before we can mentally compare Mont Blanc and Snowdon. Indeed, the same people who guess of a mountain's height at a number of feet much exceeding the reality, show, when they are cross-examined, that they fail to appreciate in any tolerable degree the real meaning of the figures. An old lady one day, about 11 A.M., proposed to walk from the Aeggischhorn to the Jungfrau-Joch, and to return for luncheon—the distance being a good twelve hours' journey for trained mountaineers. Every detail ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... not probable, that a man who, at his own request, was sent to discover the Southern Continent should take the same rout thro' these Seas as others had done before who had the same thing in View; by so doing he must be Morally certain of not finding what he was in search of, and of course must fail as they had done. Be this as it may, it is a point that cannot be clear'd up from the published accounts of the Voyage, which, so far from taking proper notice of their Longitude, have not even mentioned the Latitude of several of the Islands they discover'd, so that I ...
— Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World • James Cook

... undergrowth. In vain Brick made desperate spurts. In vain he twisted to right and left. He knew that he must soon be overtaken. He shuddered to think of what would happen then. He need hope for no mercy. Strength began to fail him. There was a throbbing ...
— The Camp in the Snow - Besiedged by Danger • William Murray Graydon

... after date, fought at Flodden against both their better wit and will, rather than gainsay their king—and who, in more recent times, protected him whom they regarded as their rightful prince, at the risk of life and fortune, were not likely to fail in advancing what royalty had loved, especially when it was deemed so essential to their happiness. The poetic spirit entered in and arose out of the heart of the people. The song and air produced in the court, represented the ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... their affections towards them. Accordingly we find, that by benefits or injuries we produce their love or hatred; and that by feeding and cherishing any animal, we quickly acquire his affections; as by beating and abusing him we never fail to draw on us his enmity ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... therefore, Hornigold unfolded Morgan's plan, which they embraced with alacrity, promising each to do his share. Velsers was too stupidly drunk to be told anything, but they knew they could count upon him without fail. ...
— Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer - A Romance of the Spanish Main • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... black, coolly sipping. "Our church has always armed the brute population against the genius and intellect of a country, provided that same intellect and genius were not willing to become its instruments and eulogists; and provided we once obtain a firm hold here again, we would not fail to do so. We would occasionally stuff the beastly rabble with horseflesh and bitter ale, and then halloo them on against all those who ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... past and future—a pageant as it were, robed in cloth of gold and purple, and laurel-crowned, swept by him; and the glory of being preeminent among his fellow-men flashed upon his soul. If he should fail—. A cold damp settled on his brow at the thought, for in that event all his time had been thrown away, and there was no possibility of his meeting his various engagements. It was not one Hoffman but many that beset him, although Hoffman was truly ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 8, 1850 • Various

... "To-morrow, without fail, I will see what I can do, and I have good hopes of doing you a considerable service and of rendering you well content with the ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... say by thee the guesting laws were made; Make thou this day to Tyrian folk, and folk come forth from Troy, A happy day, and may our sons remember this our joy! Mirth-giver Bacchus, fail thou not from midst our mirth! be kind, O Juno! and ye Tyrian folk, be glad this bond ...
— The AEneids of Virgil - Done into English Verse • Virgil

... the inn, in case my mounted messenger should fail to stop you on the road. The plan will go on, but without us. We move only when success is certain. Make your arrangements accordingly. Our friends will be annoyed, but they can hardly draw back. I leave you to supply a reason for your absence. A broken ...
— My Sword's My Fortune - A Story of Old France • Herbert Hayens

... times. Let us be thankful that he aimed at nothing less. Perhaps his wife kept a girls' school; or he may have had a large family of fat, good-natured daughters, whose little ways he had studied attentively; at all events the work is full of spontaneous incident, and cannot fail to become more and more interesting as the age it renders falls farther back into the past. It is to be regretted that many artists, better known men, have not been satisfied with the humbler ambitions of this most amiable and interesting sculptor. If he has left ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... their coffers and their purses. How, if the man be only poor, there's nothing that can stop a cit In Yankeeland, while here with us the case is just the opposite. How honest British working-men who fail to fill their larder Should sail for peace and plenty by the very next Cunarder. And how, in short, if Britishers want freedom gilt with millions, They can't do wrong to ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., September 20, 1890 • Various

... aware of a tall man coming towards me, stooping, as if with age, while the length of his stride indicated a more vigorous period. He passed without lifting his head, but, in the partial view of the wan and furrowed countenance, I could not fail to recognize Charley's father. Such a worn unhappiness was there depicted that the indignation which still lingered in my bosom went out in compassion. If his sufferings might but teach him that to brand the truth of the kingdom with the private mark ...
— Wilfrid Cumbermede • George MacDonald

... have blasted many an honoured name; I have taken virtue and given shame; I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste, That has made his future a barren waste. Far greater than any king am I, Or than any army beneath the sky. I have made the arm of the driver fail, And sent the train from the iron rail. I have made good ships go down at sea, And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me. Fame, strength, wealth, genius before me fall; And my might and power are over all! Ho, ho! pale brother," ...
— Maurine and Other Poems • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... the very bottom Of the Silurian series, in beds which are by some authorities referred to the Cambrian formation, where the signs of life begin to fail us—even there, among the few and scanty animal remains which are discoverable, we find species of molluscous animals which are so closely allied to existing forms that, at one time, they were grouped under the same generic name. I refer to the well known Lingula of ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... supposing I do not gain the aid of Savarin, or five at least of the list you give, which I see at a glance contains names the most a la mode in this kind of writing, more than one of them of high social rank, whom it is difficult for me even to approach,—if, I say, I fail?" ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... I wish to assure you once more that I have done all in my power to avert war. Now that it has been forced on me, I trust your country will not fail to support France and Russia. God ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) - Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers • Various

... great popularity, Mandeville's Book could not fail to strike with its similarity with other books of travels, with Friar Odoric's among others. This similarity has been the cause that occasionally the Franciscan Friar was given as a companion to the Knight of St. Albans, for instance, in the manuscripts ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo, Volume 2 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... in God! he'll guide thee When arms of flesh shall fail; With every good provide thee, And make his grace prevail. Where danger most is found, There he his power discloseth; And 'neath his arm, Free from all harm, The trusting soul reposeth. Trust thou in God, though sorrow Thine earthly ...
— Town and Country, or, Life at Home and Abroad • John S. Adams

... being coupled together here, as well as by the similarity of their names. These names mean luxurious, or delicate, and no doubt expressed the ideal for their daughters which the parents had had, and possibly indicate the kind of life from which these two women had come. We can scarcely fail to note the contrast between the meaning of their names and the Christian lives they had lived. Two dainty women, probably belonging to a class in which a delicate withdrawal from effort and toil was thought ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... thank you for your very kind proposal, Mr. Murray, I'll make no promises; let the boys choose for themselves. Bertie, of course, must obtain his Uncle Gregory's permission, as he promised, without fail, to be back at the office on Monday morning. I will not ever stand in the way of the boys' pleasure or profit, but I think it is truer kindness to have them go along quietly on the paths they have chosen. Bertie is happy and contented ...
— Little Folks (October 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... was that of being too virtuous? If it be so, let me copy him, and fail like him. The fault will then ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley

... and another by special messenger. The third is deposited with the judge of the United States District Court in whose district the electors meet, to be called for if necessary. The purpose of these precautions is to make sure that the vote of the state may not be lost, but shall without fail reach ...
— Studies in Civics • James T. McCleary

... about two hundred and fifty yards away. Hastily I raised the full sight on the rifle, which was marked for two hundred yards, lifted it, and waited, praying to God as I did so that my skill might not fail me. ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... harmony of the birds and the ripplings of the stream, the Musician was endeavouring, like an Arcadian shepherd with his pipe, to make the woods resound with the notes of his fiddle, surrounded by some of his fellow-prisoners, who did not fail to applaud his skill and reward his kindness, by supplying him with rosin, as they termed it, which was by handing him the heavy-wet as often as they found his elbow at rest. In one place was to be seen a Butcher, who upon his capture ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... concluded, that being only occasionally and ambitiously dressed, she was not familiarized to her own ornaments. There are so many competitors for the fame of cleanliness, that it is not hard to gain information of those that fail, from those that desire to excel: I quickly found that Nitella passed her time between finery and dirt; and was always in a wrapper, night-cap, and slippers, when she was not decorated ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, In Nine Volumes - Volume the Third: The Rambler, Vol. II • Samuel Johnson

... majestically down the hill. As they neared the schoolhouse Bailey's courage began to fail. Miss Dawes was a boarder at his house, and he feared consequences should Keturah ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... present."[126] When the mental equipment and the enthusiasm of scholars who are devoting their time to the problems of kinematic synthesis are considered, however, it is difficult to see how important new ideas can fail ...
— Kinematics of Mechanisms from the Time of Watt • Eugene S. Ferguson

... long and sad, for working at the shop with my companions is much more cheerful, and I can accomplish more. I am therefore obliged to stay up very late; and I sleep but little, as my godmother always suffers more at night and, consequently needs more care. Sometimes I fail to hear her first call, I sleep so soundly; then she scolds me, which is only natural when ...
— A Cardinal Sin • Eugene Sue

... the natives several important tracts of land; and the prejudice against the Commission seems to be abating as fast as it arose. I should not omit to say that, in the eagerness of the original advocate, there was much that was amiable; nor must I fail to point out how much there was of blindness. Fired by the ardour of pursuit, he seems to have regarded his immediate clients as the only natives extant and the epitome and emblem of the Samoan race. Thus, in the case that was the most exclaimed against as ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... them here, and it was hours afterward when Isabelle's thought came back to these words and dwelt on them. 'The real thing!' Of course, that was what it was to be, her marriage,—the woman's symbol of the Perfect, not merely Success (though with John they could not fail of worldly success), nor humdrum content—but, as Alice said, the real thing,—a state of passionate and complete union. Something in those misty brown eyes, something in the warm, deep voice of ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... judicious enemies, who were anxious that Caesar should assume it. The prophecy was quoted from the books of the Sibyl, that Rome might conquer the Parthians if she put herself under the command of a king; otherwise she must fail. On the strength of this Caesar was saluted by the title of King as he was returning one day from Alba to the Capitol. The populace made their indignation manifest, and he replied, "I am no king, only Caesar;" but it was ...
— Roman life in the days of Cicero • Alfred J[ohn] Church

... got to convince Fredericks' friends—the unbalanced fringe—that we are supermen, that we have no limits, that no matter what they try against us they're bound to fail." ...
— Sight Gag • Laurence Mark Janifer

... after a person has been under shell and rifle fire for a few days he ceases to be nervous. Nerves are for those who stay at home. At first the heart action quickens a little with the sound of the explosions and the crack of the Mauser bullets, but after a while the nerves fail to respond and the action of the heart becomes slow and the beats below normal. The explosion of a "Jack Johnson" in the next room will not give you a tremor. Why should it? Jock will say, "If you are going to be kilt, you will ...
— The Red Watch - With the First Canadian Division in Flanders • J. A. Currie

... those above cited is worthy of notice. "As to what concerns married people," says he, "having the year before them, they ought never to compel, or so much as offer at the feat, if they do not find themselves very ready. And it is better indecently to fail of handling the nuptial sheets, and of paying the ceremony due to the wedding night, when man perceives himself full of agitation and trembling, expecting another opportunity at a better and more private leisure, ...
— Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction • John Davenport

... man, yet not for the worthiness of his belief, but for His worthiness Who is believed." So we may say, God doth count the believing man worthy, yet not for any personal worthiness, but for the worthiness which is wrought by grace. We must, however, not fail to notice that the believer is responsible for his use of grace, and that the very thought of God counting us worthy has included in it the thought of scrutiny ...
— The Prayers of St. Paul • W. H. Griffith Thomas

... afraid Alwyn is ill," she observed; but Olivia assured her that it was only a temporary break-down. "We have such good news of Mr. Gaythorne that he cannot fail to be cheered, but of course he is fretting about the loss of his mother and sister. It was such a shock, you see, and, as my husband says, we must give him time to pull himself together. But you do not look very well yourself, Greta; you ...
— Doctor Luttrell's First Patient • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... fail to be full of stirring incidents; indeed, I very much question whether any experience comes up to it for interest and excitement. I am not speaking of the ding-dong trench warfare which has characterized the campaign on the Western front for so many months past, but refer ...
— With The Immortal Seventh Division • E. J. Kennedy and the Lord Bishop of Winchester

... fort from the unknown river. How did the Chipewyans obtain these pelts from the Eskimo? What was the real reason of the Indian eagerness to conduct the white man to the "Far-Off-Metal River"? The white man was not taken into the confidence of the Indian council; but he could not fail to ...
— Pathfinders of the West • A. C. Laut

... face disgustedly. It was hard to communicate with the district leader by means of a headband. There was a repellent characteristic about the man's mental emanations, and he seemed to fail to comprehend nuances of meaning. Similes, he ignored completely. Thoughts had to be completely and clearly detailed, then phrased into normal, basic wordage before he would acknowledge them. None of the short-cuts ...
— Final Weapon • Everett B. Cole

... that no one could fail to see, or, having seen, forget, was the extraordinary width between the eyes. It was commonly said that he had the power of seeing people behind his back. And so doubtless he had, but the thing was no miracle. It was a consequence of the position of his eyes, ...
— Mad Shepherds - and Other Human Studies • L. P. Jacks

... opportunity to say to Mrs. Finsworth that I feared she found Mr. Short occasionally a little embarrassing. To my surprise she said: "Oh! he is privileged you know." I did not know as a matter of fact, and so I bowed apologetically. I fail to see why ...
— The Diary of a Nobody • George Grossmith and Weedon Grossmith

... an outrage to you," said the young man swiftly, politely, and thoroughly undevastated. "But, really, it is only our duty. Our duty to our papers, and to the great reading public. And when newspaper men are doing their duty they must necessarily fail, to their great personal regret, in the observance of some ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott



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