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Stumble   Listen
verb
Stumble  v. i.  (past & past part. stumbled; pres. part. stumbling)  
1.
To trip in walking or in moving in any way with the legs; to strike the foot so as to fall, or to endanger a fall; to stagger because of a false step. "There stumble steeds strong and down go all." "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know at what they stumble."
2.
To walk in an unsteady or clumsy manner. "He stumbled up the dark avenue."
3.
To fall into a crime or an error; to err. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion og stumbling in him."
4.
To strike or happen (upon a person or thing) without design; to fall or light by chance; with on, upon, or against. "Ovid stumbled, by some inadvertency, upon Livia in a bath." "Forth as she waddled in the brake, A gray goose stumbled on a snake."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Stumble" Quotes from Famous Books



... "we stumble upon still another of the multiple tribulations of the clockmaker. If a big clock is expected to do any very fine work the latitude of the place in which it is to be put must be taken into consideration. For example, experiment has proved that the length of a pendulum vibrating ...
— Christopher and the Clockmakers • Sara Ware Bassett

... it will be observed, to ridicule absurdity. It is easy to pull down what has been ill built; but if we leave the ruins for others to stumble over, we do little good to society. Parents may reasonably say, if you take away from our children the books they have, give them better. They are not yet to be had, but if a demand for them be once excited, they will soon appear. ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... differed in Octavius. That it typified progress, and helped more than any other feature of the village to bring it up to date, no one indeed disputed. One might move about a great deal, in truth, and hear no other view expressed. But then again one might stumble into conversation with one small storekeeper after another, and learn that they united in resenting the existence of "Thurston's," as rival farmers might join to curse a protracted drought. Each had his special ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... of fear that I might stumble and kill him. It was all I could do to insist on his being carried down in an arm-chair by ...
— Reminiscences of Tolstoy - By His Son • Ilya Tolstoy

... life with more circumspection, and make no step till they think themselves secure from the hazard of a precipice, when neither pleasure nor profit can tempt them from the beaten path; who refuse to climb lest they should fall, or to run lest they should stumble, and move slowly forward without any compliance with those passions by which the heady and ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, In Nine Volumes - Volume the Third: The Rambler, Vol. II • Samuel Johnson

... horseman chooses his horse's ground and his pace for him. "To avoid a falling leaf a horse will put his foot over a precipice. When a horse has made a stumble, or is in difficulties at a fence, you cannot leave him too much at liberty, or be too quiet with him." Don't believe the nonsense people talk about holding a horse ...
— A New Illustrated Edition of J. S. Rarey's Art of Taming Horses • J. S. Rarey

... hired to do the deed. That was why I would take no wages, for I was already well paid; besides, it was thought that thou wouldst then certainly engage my services. I was to accidentally shoot thee while hunting. What more easy than to stumble and for my gun to explode? But when I knew thee, then I could not kill thee thus. I tried to provoke thee that night, knowing thee to be a violent-tempered man; I provoked thee into insulting me. I hoped thou wouldst have struck ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... he said, "little do the innocent lambs of the flock know of the dangers and conflicts through which the shepherds must pass who keep the Lord's fold. We have the labors of angels laid upon us, and we are but men. Often we stumble, often we faint, and Satan takes advantage of our weakness. I cannot confer with you now as I would; but, my child, listen to my directions. Shun this young man; let nothing ever lead you to listen ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... in, and your very coat, waistcoat, and shoulders expressive of what we should take together when the performance was over! I would give something (not so much, but still a good round sum) if you could only stumble into that very dark and dusty theatre in the daytime (at any minute between twelve and three), and see me with my coat off, the stage manager and universal director, urging impracticable ladies and impossible gentlemen on to the very confines of insanity, ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 3 (of 3), 1836-1870 • Charles Dickens

... encouraging my daughter to kill herself," the older woman charged Farrel. "Kay, you tomboy, do not jump that gate again! Suppose that horse should stumble and throw you." ...
— The Pride of Palomar • Peter B. Kyne

... the old gentleman in surprise; "come in, my dear sir; did you stumble against the door? I hope ...
— The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands • R.M. Ballantyne

... smiling; "and which is my present? You had better point it out, lest I should stumble upon it and learn the ...
— Elsie Dinsmore • Martha Finley

... with me, and I'll take care of you," she said. "There is the step. Don't stumble. Here, steady yourself with the umbrella. We are almost there now." Her voice was cold and hard; but the words were those she might have used to Archibald had she been leading him in ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... worrying about Westy, because something is always delaying that fellow, and I even hoped that he wouldn't stumble over any more good turns, until this day's work was over. If Westy fell out of a ten-story building, he'd do a good turn on the way down—that's the ...
— Roy Blakeley • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... were out of hearing before he crept into the open. Across the face of the slope he cut obliquely, working always toward higher ground. His lips were drawn back so that the tobacco-stained teeth showed in a snarl of savage rage. It would go ill with any of the posse if they should stumble on him. He would have no more mercy than ...
— The Fighting Edge • William MacLeod Raine

... that they might blunder into destroying the delicate fabric of the romance altogether. Hence Jane kept her own council, speculating with amusement as to how long it would be before his two solicitous but blinded relatives should stumble ...
— The Wall Between • Sara Ware Bassett

... in the dense darkness of the forest with no gleam of light to guide him on his way, and his feet were constantly snared in the knotted roots of the trees intersecting the path. So must he stumble along a dark and rugged track through the rest of his years. There was no cheering gleam beckoning him to a happy future. But though it was thorny and obscure it was not an ignoble path, and it might ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... young maples, and ferny groups—it would crush them by and by, poor trusting things—then it would stumble against a rock or pile of loose stones, wake up and repeat the strain it had learned at its mother's breast, far up ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... truly affirm, has, in some shape or other, animated all forms of religion! that these brightest specimens of 'spiritual religion' in the ancient world somehow missed what many of the lowest savages have managed to stumble upon!" ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... to ask again, with Marie Antoinette, why the people who are starving for bread do not eat cake. The fact is that to keep within one's income to-day, either financially or vitally, is an aristocratic luxury that is absolutely denied to the many. Most men—the rich as well as the poor—stumble through life three parts dead. The ruling class, if it had the will and the skill, might awaken itself to fullness of life. But only a comparatively few of the others could, because the world is conducted on a principle ...
— The Joyful Heart • Robert Haven Schauffler

... so, as they were ignorant of Christ and His commandments, and placed their hope of salvation on outward forms and superstitious observances, which were the invention of Satan, who wished to keep them in darkness that at last they might stumble into the pit which he had dug for them. I said repeatedly that the Pope, whom they revered, was an arch deceiver, and the head minister of Satan here on earth, and that the monks and friars, whose absence they so deplored, and to whom they had been accustomed to confess themselves, were his subordinate ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... laugh as soft and sure as her own Hugh took Clara into his arms. A few minutes later they went up stairs and twice Hugh stumbled on the stairway. It did not matter. His long awkward body was a thing outside himself. It might stumble and fall many times but the new thing he had found, the thing inside himself that responded to the thing inside the shell that was Clara his wife, did not stumble. It flew like a bird out of darkness into the light. At the moment he thought the ...
— Poor White • Sherwood Anderson

... being about to report the woonders of Island doe presently stumble, as it were, vpon the thresholde, to the great inconuenience of them both. For that which they heere affirme of mount Hecla, although it hath some shew of trueth: notwithstanding concerning the ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries - of the English Nation, v. 1, Northern Europe • Richard Hakluyt

... staring me in the face I doubted, and my heart was cast down. Now the light is given me by which I see the way through the labyrinth! It is our Father's beautiful garden in which we are. I have learned that all is intended for order and beauty, but as children we cannot yet walk so as not to stumble. Natural science has explained a thousand mysteries. Social science—understand the word; not schemes, plans or guessing, but genuine science, as far from guess or scheme as astronomy or chemistry is—will reveal to us as many ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... lives are incomplete, Standing in these walls of Time, Broken stairways, where the feet Stumble ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For • Various

... saunter uncertainly around the room, pausing finally at the desk and staring down at its blotter, his back turned to his companion. A more neutral observer than the other, he thought he could see a question arising that had not yet occurred to the less-unprejudiced detective. But Creighton would stumble upon it eventually—far better ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... guttural tones. What they were saying she could not distinguish, but somehow she understood that Peter had come even sooner than Lolla had feared, and the gypsy girl, at the risk of angering him, was trying to warn her, so that she might not descend the trail and so stumble right ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at Long Lake - Bessie King in Summer Camp • Jane L. Stewart

... no, Wren! What for?" returned the post commander, obviously nettled. "I fancy he'll not thank you for even searching his quarters. You may stumble over his big museum in the dark and smash things. No, let him alone. If he isn't here for dinner, ...
— An Apache Princess - A Tale of the Indian Frontier • Charles King

... reins on his neck. I then set myself to observe; and I aver, that in riding above 100,000 miles I scarce ever remember my horse (except two, that would fall head over heels anyway) to fall, or make a considerable stumble, while I rode with a slack rein. To fancy, therefore, that a tight rein prevents stumbling, ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... me, and saw that each was as disturbed as myself. A full quarter of an hour had passed since the time set for the attack, and still there was no signal from Garcia. The strain was becoming intolerable. At any moment some servant, rising earlier than his fellows, might stumble upon us, and in his surprise sound the alarm. Already in the trail behind us a number of natives, on their way to market, had been halted by our men, who were silently waving them back into the forest. The town was beginning to stir, ...
— Captain Macklin • Richard Harding Davis

... almost without exception, and yet some of the pictures were done cleverly enough. There is very little talent in this world, and what there is, it seems to me, is pretty well known and acknowledged. We don't often stumble upon geniuses ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... larger trees or stones, and wound around them, where a road would have led to their removal. The path also became rougher, from stones which protruded in many places, or from long roots stretching across, which in the darkness made the horses stumble incessantly. These it was impossible to avoid. In addition to these, there were miry places, where the horses sank deep, and could only extricate themselves ...
— The Lily and the Cross - A Tale of Acadia • James De Mille

... bidding. So hard did she work, that in a few days she was able to make the horse-shoes. Early one morning she set out for the hill of poison. On her hands and feet she went, but even with the horse-shoes on she had to be very careful not to stumble, lest some poisoned thorns should enter into her flesh, and she should die. But when at last she was over, it was only to hear that her husband was to be married that day to the daughter ...
— The Lilac Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... the face with an eye that was single and therefore at once forgiving and fearless. The man who has no mote in his own eye cannot be knocked down by the beam in his neighbour's; while he who is busy with the mote in his neighbour's may stumble to destruction over the ...
— A Rough Shaking • George MacDonald

... point, he admitted that Anjou had gained little honor by his recent course; and that it would be a mistake on their part to stumble a second time over the same stone. He foresaw, nevertheless, that the Duke—irritated as he was by the loss of so many of his nobles, and by the downfall of all his hopes in the Netherlands—would be likely to inflict great injuries upon their ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... point of almost telescopic calamity: a stingy, transient vista of village lights; a brief, narrow, hill-bordered road that looked for all the world like the aisle of a toy-shop, flanked on either side by high-reaching shelves where miniature house-lights twinkled cunningly; a sudden stumble of hoofs into a less-traveled snow-path, and then, absolutely unavoidable, absolutely unescapable, an old, white colonial house with its great solemn elm trees stretching out their long arms protectingly all around and about it after the ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... struggle, with bloodshot eyes, with foaming, gnashing mouths. They attack and kill one another and try to mangle each other. I leap to my feet. I race out into the night and tread on quaking flesh, step on hard heads, and stumble over weapons and helmets. Something is clutching at my feet like hands, so that I race away like a hunted deer with the hounds at his heels—and ever over more bodies—breathless... out of one field into another. Horror is crooning over my head. Horror is crooning ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... the other side of the way, where he seemed on the point of fleeing, leaving his master to his fate. I thought it would be a shame if the badgered deputy had to stumble home in the dark, so I growled out ...
— Helmet of Navarre • Bertha Runkle

... right enough, if the horses don't happen to stumble. That off-leader isn't over sure-footed—did you see that? (Culch. shudders.) But what's the joke ...
— Punch, or The London Charivari, Volume 101, October 31, 1891 • Various

... assistance," he said, "that I'm telling you this, first, because I know you will be interested, but, secondly, because I want to put you on the lookout. You have shown yourselves such sensible, clever fellows that, if you keep your ears open, who knows but what you will stumble on something of importance. I believe the man or men behind the plot may live in the 'Millionaire ...
— The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards • Gerald Breckenridge

... then, did they stumble in order that they should fall? Far be it! But by their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. (12)But if their fall is the riches of the world, and their diminution the riches of the Gentiles, how much ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... of all moments is gone! It is gone, and you can not find it! Those words that came as a trumpet-clash, burning your very flesh—that melody that melted your whole being to tears—they are gone—you can not find them! You search and you search—but you can not find them. And so you stumble on, in despair and agony; and still you dare not rest. You dare not ever rest in this until the thing is done—done and over—until you have nailed it fast. So you go back again, though perhaps you are so tired ...
— The Journal of Arthur Stirling - "The Valley of the Shadow" • Upton Sinclair

... grey fog made the lamps of the town look! Did they disturb the pony? What a stumble! Ha! there's a shoe off. Be it known that it was Harold's own fault; he had not looked at the shoes for many a morning, as he knew it was his ...
— Friarswood Post-Office • Charlotte M. Yonge

... acquainted with the road, but towards the close of our journey we could hear the river running near us for miles in the pitch darkness, and although my brother walked bravely on in front, I knew he was afraid of the water, and no doubt in fear that he might stumble into it in the dark. We were walking in Indian file, for there was no room to walk abreast in safety, while in places we had absolutely to grope ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... open the window, for fear I'd waken the crathurs. It was very dark and throublesome to find the door; but at last I did get it, and I groped my way out, and went down as asy as I could. I felt quite sober, and I counted the steps one after another, as I was going down, that I might not stumble at ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume I. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... to a man, evidently exhausted, who could no more than stumble along and who blocked the trail. This, and one other, were the only played-out men they encountered, for they were very near to the head of the stampede. Nor did they learn till afterwards the horrors of that night. Exhausted ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... be not proud, For the Lord hath spoken! Give glory to the Lord your God Before it grows dark, And before your feet stumble— On the mountains of dusk. While ye look for light, He turns it to gloom And sets ...
— Jeremiah • George Adam Smith

... fuddling-cap. You must not tell publicly, how you sweated with carrying those verses, which may detain the eyes and ears of Caesar. Solicited with much entreaty, do your best. Finally, get you gone, farewell: take care you do not stumble, ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... dearest friends. Consider the amorous and lascivious, in the height of their fury they dare violate a Vestal. For custom is very powerful to draw the temper of the body to anything that is suitable to it; and he that is apt to fall will stumble at everything that lies in his way. So it is no wonder that those that have raised in themselves an envious and bewitching habit, if according to the peculiarity of their passion they are carried on to suitable effects; for when ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... pleasantly said the priest, recognizing her nationality; and taking her to a little door he conducted her up a stone staircase, at the top of which he showed her the long blind story over the aisle arches which led round to where the light was. Cautioning her not to stumble over the uneven floor, he left her and descended. His words had signified that ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... prudency itself, what more kind and amiable than it, when thou shalt truly consider with thyself, what it is through all the proper objects of thy rational intellectual faculty currently to go on without any fall or stumble? As for the things of the world, their true nature is in a manner so involved with obscurity, that unto many philosophers, and those no mean ones, they seemed altogether incomprehensible, and the Stoics themselves, ...
— Meditations • Marcus Aurelius

... negroes call to each other, laugh with spontaneous, childlike humor. The wharf officers, the brokers, pass with intense faces. It is hot. Sweat drips from black faces and from white. Whips crack. Mules trot and stumble over the loose and resounding boards. Heavy wheels rumble. And the life of gambling, drinking, pleasure, crawls about the French quarter, along Canal Street, on Royal Street. The bell in the Cathedral rings. I catch the whiff of flowers. Gulls ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... sleepless—my drawing sitting gibbering on my chest. I knew how fearfully I should stumble—that is why I wanted to do more drawings earlier. I have been working on the thing this morning, and I believe I improved it slightly. What I want now is a cloak—the simplest you have (perhaps the green one?), which I think would ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... A stumble of the horse threw him, and as he lay on the ground, unable to move, one of the servants of the company came up and broke the lance across Don Quixote's ribs. It was not until a countryman came by that the Don was extricated, ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... groaned through his gritted teeth, some malignant god made him misstep, stumble. He fell between the hard furrows, bruising his face and hands. After a moment he rose, but rose to sink back again with keen pain shooting through an ankle. He had turned it. For an instant he sat motionless, taking breath, then ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... him betides, He mett an Ant, which he bestrides, And post thereon away he rides, Which with his haste doth stumble; And came full ouer on her snowte, Her heels so threw the dirt about, For she by no meanes could get out, But ouer ...
— Minor Poems of Michael Drayton • Michael Drayton

... from friendship, or pity from philanthropy, or sympathy both in joy and grief from genuine goodwill. And if those err who wish to banish love because of erotic madness, neither are they right who blame all desire because of love of money, but they act like people who refuse to run because they might stumble, or to throw because they might throw wide of the mark, or object to sing altogether because they might make a false note. For as in sounds music does not create melody by the banishment of sharps and flats, and as in bodies the art of the physician procures ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... so quickly that the other members of the gang, awakened from deep slumber, had only time to stumble to their feet before it was over. The Sky Pilot, ignoring the screaming Charlie, thought only of the loot which had vanished with the ...
— The Oakdale Affair • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... round upon Turks, clowns, Indians, the tinselled, sequined, beaded, ragged flutter of the room, then from the coloured and composite clothing of a footballer, clown or jockey grinned the round face and owlish eyes of little Duval, who flew to her at once to whisper compliments and stumble on the swelling fortress of her white skirt. She realised dimly from him that her dress was as beautiful as she had hoped it might be, but what was the use of its beauty if Julien should be missing? And, looking over Duval's head, she tried ...
— The Happy Foreigner • Enid Bagnold

... the three men had, on the previous day, complained of a peculiar smarting of the eyes, but little did they think at the time of what it portended. As they proceeded the smarting sensation increased, till at length David Saunders began to stumble, and exclaimed that all was dark. His words struck dismay into the hearts of his companions, for both Andrew and Foubister had for some time found a difficulty in seeing objects before them, and in a short time the latter cried out that he too was blind. ...
— Archibald Hughson - An Arctic Story • W.H.G. Kingston

... dealing the cards about the table in the reverse direction, pausing until each man had shown his card. Nearly every one hesitated; and sometimes you would see a player's fingers stumble more than once before he could turn over the momentous slip of pasteboard. As the Prince's turn drew nearer, he was conscious of a growing and almost suffocating excitement; but he had somewhat of the gambler's nature, and recognised almost with astonishment ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... way of sinners is as darkness, they know not at what they stumble," and "Dodd" was destined to "take a header" forthwith. The jerks on the reins drew the spigot from its place, and the first he knew it was dangling in the air over the end of the barrel. He leaned over, fully to observe this fact, and saw the cider shooting out in an amber stream and flooding ...
— The Evolution of Dodd • William Hawley Smith

... threshold force her in. The custom of lifting the bride over the threshold, probably to avert an ill-omened stumble, has prevailed among the most diverse races. For the anointing of the doorposts Brand quotes Langley's translation of Polydore Vergil: "The bryde anoynted the poostes of the doores with swynes' grease, because she thought by that ...
— The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2 • Robert Herrick

... will freely wade, by their writings, in the deepest mysteries of monarchy and politick government. Whereupon it cannot otherwise fall out but that when men go out of their element and meddle with things above their capacity, themselves shall not only go astray and stumble in darkness, but will mislead also divers others with themselves into many mistakings and errors; the proof whereof we have lately had by a book written by Dr. Cowel, called ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... which is worth the time she spends. Still, I think singing is of more practical use than instrumental music, and the power to play simple things well which is so rare is in most cases more to the purpose than to stumble through Beethoven ...
— Girls and Women • Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}

... his regalia, being marched down the hill between two business-like-looking persons, who were unmistakably officers of police. He walked dejectedly and had lost all his bravado. There was no blinking the fact that in my absence he had managed somehow to stumble into the hands of the guardians of the law and was now in process of being transported ...
— The Confessions of Artemas Quibble • Arthur Train

... little meaning as a duel between two rival gamebirds in a cockpit. We know, and it will some day dawn on the Germans, that this War has a deeper meaning than that. We are not nationalist; we are too deeply experienced in politics to stumble into that trap. We have had a better and longer political education than has come to Germany in her short and feverish national life. It is often said that the Germans are better educated than we are, and in a sense ...
— England and the War • Walter Raleigh

... multiply, at once the pleasure, the reverence, and the intelligence with which you read: and, believe me, it is wiser and holier, by the fire of your own faith to kindle the ashes of expired religions, than to let your soul shiver and stumble among their graves, through the ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... hair and bathed her face; then, yielding to her impatience, she again softly opened the door of her chamber and ventured to cross the vast workroom, noiselessly and on tiptoe. The shutters were still closed, but she could see clearly enough not to stumble against the furniture. When she was at the other end before the door of the doctor's room, she bent forward, holding her breath. Was he already up? What could he be doing? She heard him plainly, walking about with short steps, dressing himself, no doubt. She never entered this chamber in ...
— Doctor Pascal • Emile Zola

... hast; to wit, that it is for thy sinning against him, and that thou mightest be turned to him? If so, thy summer is not quite ended; thy harvest is not yet quite over and gone. Take heed, stand out no longer, lest he cause darkness, and lest thy feet stumble upon the dark mountains; and lest, while you look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... over the calm serene mockery of Hermes' smile the grey nets of the spiders' webs had been woven to and fro, across and across, with the lacing of a million threads, as Fate weaves round the limbs and covers the eyes of mortals as they stumble blindly from their birthplace to their grave. All things, the damp and the dust, the frost and the scorch, the newts and the rats, the fret of the flooded waters, and the stealing sure inroad of the mosses that everywhere grew from the dews and the fogs, had taken and eaten, in hunger or ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... pretend to direct their thoughts in all these different ways. What right have I to curse them, I who stumble in my own path? When they have disappeared, I shall, perhaps, learn more. This one rushed away too quickly; I had not time to reply to him. Just now it is as if I had in my intellect more space and more ...
— The Temptation of St. Antony - or A Revelation of the Soul • Gustave Flaubert

... these points, you are one of those who really want a country home and will eventually find one. Those who only think they do will stumble over some detail and then settle back with a plaintive, "We would love to move to the country if we could only find a place like yours." Castles in the air have everything, for imagination builds them; but those planted four square ...
— If You're Going to Live in the Country • Thomas H. Ormsbee and Richmond Huntley

... benefit of you two," he added, addressing the brothers, "I will say that when you are riding a trail, and especially a mountain trail, always let your pony have plenty of rein. It's easier for him. He won't be so likely to stumble and fall, and a pony can generally keep a ...
— Comrades of the Saddle - The Young Rough Riders of the Plains • Frank V. Webster

... unsuccessful, would lay the fault on ourselves, and remember that there is no cause of perturbation and inconstancy but wrong principles, I pledge myself to you that we should make some proficiency. But we set out in a very different way from the very beginning. In infancy, for example, if we happen to stumble, our nurse does not chide us, but beats the stone. Why, what harm has the stone done? Was it to move out of its place for the folly of your child? Again, if we do not find something to eat when we come out ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece • Various

... upward very steady, save that I did stumble oft, and did go through six great hours. And truly it did seem that I went in an utter dark, because that I had been awhile ...
— The Night Land • William Hope Hodgson

... woman had the reputation of a witch all over the country, that her lips were observed to be always in motion, and that there was not a switch about her house which her neighbours did not believe had carried her several hundreds of miles. If she chanced to stumble, they always found sticks or straws that lay in the figure of a cross before her. If she made any mistake at church, and cried Amen in a wrong place, they never failed to conclude that she was saying her prayers backwards. There was not a maid in the parish that ...
— The Coverley Papers • Various

... stepped at a walking pace, it was like being lulled to sleep in a nurse's arms; when he trotted, it was like rocking at sea; when he galloped, he outstripped the wind! Never out of breath, perfectly sound in his wind. Sinews of steel: for him to stumble was a thing never recorded! To take a ditch or a fence was nothing to him—and what a clever beast! At his master's voice he would run with his head in the air; if you told him to stand still and walked away from him, he would not stir; directly you turned back, a faint neigh to ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... one great danger was that one of the men might stumble and fall, and then the yellow devil would be upon him in a moment and the joy of the kill would be too ...
— Tarzan of the Apes • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... each other, and may be separately considered, and may exist separately, and have no Deed of tiny thing to support their existence. After what manner, therefore, do they belong to self; and how are they connected with it? For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep; ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... courage into Tilda, she scarcely knew why, and henceforth she followed more confidently. With a stumble or two, but no serious mishap, they groped their way down the coombe, and coming to the ledge, saw the beach spread at their feet in the moonlight and out on the water the dark boat heaving gently, a little beyond the edge of the waves' ripple. The tide had receded since their last ...
— True Tilda • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... it, love, since thou and I By all the seeming pride are drawn more nigh? Lo, love, our toil-girthed garden of desire, How of its changeless sweetness may we tire, While round about the storm is in the boughs And careless change amid the turmoil ploughs The rugged fields we needs must stumble o'er, Till the grain ripens that ...
— Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough • William Morris

... creatures still crawled on, shivering, till the snow, gathering like balls under their feet, or the fragment of some broken article, a branch of a tree, or the body of one of their comrades, caused them to stumble and fall. There they groaned in vain; the snow soon covered them; slight hillocks marked the spot where they lay: such was their only grave! The road was studded with these undulations, like a cemetery: ...
— History of the Expedition to Russia - Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812 • Count Philip de Segur

... easily obtained than the ratifications. Execution was surrounded with insurmountable difficulties which in negotiation had been lightly skipped over at the stroke of a pen. At the very first step, that of military evacuation, there was a stumble. Maurice and Spinola were expected to withdraw their forces, and to undertake to bring in no troops in the future, and to make no invasion ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... perilous alternatives; either to shut the door altogether and set his portmanteau out upon the wayside, a wonder to all beholders; or to leave the door ajar, so that any thievish tramp or holiday schoolboy might stray in and stumble on the grisly secret. To the last, as the least desperate, his mind inclined; but he must first insure himself that he was unobserved. He peered out, and down the long road; it lay dead empty. He went to the corner of the by-road that comes by way of Dean; there ...
— Tales and Fantasies • Robert Louis Stevenson

... his strong hand and I try to shake myself, and I stumble curiously, although lying down. A clamor booms in my temples and then thunders like the guns in my ears; it overflows me,—I ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... down some way farther off from the fire than usual, and Fenton, pretending to stumble as he passed, threw himself down by his side. Their guards, taking no notice of this, allowed them to remain where they were, while they set themselves to cooking part of a deer they had shot during the day. The Indians, ...
— The Settlers - A Tale of Virginia • William H. G. Kingston

... And this our slave!— Up, work, look sharp about it!" Bounding a foot and fast retiring from her, I stoop for stones strewn thick about the sand, Aim them, fling them, And, as my idle arm resumes the knack, Score a hit and laugh To see her stumble hurt, behind the pine trunks. "Unless you work, I throw again, To it and steady at it. Mark me, drab, we Camilli Mean what we say." Stone after stone still flies, But aimed to knock chips from the pine-boles now; For she is busy gathering sticks, increasing Her distance as she may. ...
— Miscellany of Poetry - 1919 • Various

... startled you and your friends," began the man. "I had no idea of sneaking into your workshop, but I had just arrived here, and seeing the doors open I went in. I heard no one about, and I wandered to the back of the place. There I happened to stumble over ...
— Tom Swift and his Submarine Boat - or, Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure • Victor Appleton

... the beds, allow the little girl to hand you the pillows; and, even should you stumble over her and them, sometimes, you will do well to maintain the pious pretence that she lightens your work by assisting in tucking in the covers, and in gathering up soiled articles of clothing and putting them in the clothes-bag or hamper. She ...
— The Secret of a Happy Home (1896) • Marion Harland

... of objectivity which enable me to write. But even they threaten to betray me. For as I write doubts dance like macabre figures among my words. The very sentences seem to stretch themselves into ridiculous postures. And I must almost close my eyes and stumble blindly ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... my boy, his eyes aglow, and his arms raised, rushes toward the bed. His curls, escaping from the nightcap covering his head, float on his forehead. His long, loose night-shirt, catching his little feet, increases his impatience, and causes him to stumble ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... are mostly frame, unplastered, but "papered" inside with flour-sacks sewed together, and the handsomer the "brand" upon the sacks is, the neater the house looks. Occasionally, you stumble on a stone house. On account of the dryness of the country, the shingles on the houses warp till they look like short joints of stove pipe ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... to do, then? Stand by and look on? Not exactly. Yet we may look on other people doing their work while we do ours. They are already beginning, as I have said, to stumble about with attempts at State Socialism. Let them make their experiments and blunders, and prepare the way for us by so doing. And our own business? Well, we- -sect or party, or group of self-seekers, madmen, and poets, which you will—are at least the only set of people ...
— Signs of Change • William Morris

... etc., or, as it runs in English: "Good morning, my darling wife! I hope that you slept well, that you were undisturbed, that you will not rise too early, that you will not catch cold, nor stoop too much, nor overstrain yourself, nor scold your servants, nor stumble over the threshold of the adjoining room. Spare yourself all household worries till I come back. May no evil befall you! I shall be home ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1 • Rupert Hughes

... day-time, when a settled rain drives them within doors, are worse horrors than it is worth while (without a practical object in view) to admit into one's imagination. No wonder that they creep forth from the foul mystery of their interiors, stumble down from their garrets, or scramble up out of their cellars, on the upper step of which you may see the grimy housewife, before the shower is ended, letting the rain-drops gutter down her visage; while her children (an impish progeny of cavernous ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... this any longer," at length he exclaimed, and shooting out of bed, walked up and down the room, scratching and fuming as if he had just escaped from an ant's nest. Infuriated by the irritation of the flea-bites, he could not do otherwise than stumble over everything that came in his way; and the long nails of his naked toes coming in contact with my ear, soon set me on my ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... the very same day that he had received them, Caesar contrived to stumble, and twist his foot as he was returning to his room. When the hour of dinner came he tried to go down, but declared that walking hurt him so much, that he should be obliged to give it up, so the governor paid him a visit instead, ...
— The True Story Book • Andrew Lang

... peculiarities. Entering his house, you find nothing in the place where you expected it. "Don Quixote," with, all its windmills mixed up with "Dr. Dick on the Sacraments," Mark Twain's "Jumping Frog," and "Charnock on the Attributes." Passing across the room, you stumble against the manuscript of his last lecture, or put your foot in a piece of pie that has fallen off the end of the writing table. You mistake his essay on the "Copernican System" for blotting paper. Many of his books ...
— Around The Tea-Table • T. De Witt Talmage

... hooded figures swung down High School Street together, talking and laughing in low voices. The smallest of the six appeared to stumble over her feet, and once tumbled in the road. Her friends gayly helped her up, when it was disclosed that she wore a pair of boy's shoes much ...
— Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School - The Merry Doings of the Oakdale Freshmen Girls • Jessie Graham Flower

... on. He suddenly found himself moving with greater caution, and he knew he was dreading the moment when some foolish stumble of his should bring her back to that life which he feared yet longed to behold. He longed for the delight of watching the play of emotions upon her lovely features, to hear her speak and laugh, and to watch her smile. He feared, for he knew that with her ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... the echo. The concussion of the air starts a loose part of the roof overhead and a portion falls in. The little company is shut up in the earth with little chance of ever seeing the light again. They have lights, however, and stumble across some tools, and by dint of many hours' hard labor they are at length able to communicate with their friends outside, who are at last able to rescue them. The author, throughout the story, dwells much upon ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Vol. II, No. 6, March, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... hundred feet from the embankment his shoes touched grass. Then he came to the edge of a ploughed field. Here he felt that he must proceed with even greater caution, for now most of the train noises had ceased and he feared to slip or stumble, and thus make a noise that might be carried on the still night air to the ears of the ...
— Uncle Sam's Boys with Pershing's Troops - Dick Prescott at Grips with the Boche • H. Irving Hancock

... mountains. Under my footsteps the gravel felt soft, but, once I had got outside the iron gate, I found myself on ground as hard as stone. The mud formed by recent rains and the ruts hollowed by streams of convoys had frozen, and the road was a maze of furrows and inequalities which made me stumble ...
— In the Field (1914-1915) - The Impressions of an Officer of Light Cavalry • Marcel Dupont

... of the Great Lakes. The boys run across some Canadian smugglers and stumble on the secret of a ...
— Fred Fenton on the Track - or, The Athletes of Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... than a weak and contemptible Amusement, wanting Energy of Thought, or Propriety of Expression. Yet we may run into Error, by an injudicious Affectation of attaining Perfection, as Men, who are gazing upward, when they shou'd be looking to their Footsteps, stumble frequently against Posts, while they ...
— 'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation • Aaron Hill

... it was tiger or not, it would neither be safe for him to raise an alarm, nor start to rush back to the bivouac—though this was not twenty yards from the spot. By making an attempt to retreat, he might draw the animal after him, or stumble upon it—not knowing its direction. It was to ascertain its whereabouts that he had stopped and stood listening. That once known, he might keep his place, or lake ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... leads through a thicket. The horses stumble frequently, for the stones are loose, and the footing consequently uncertain. Crouch has a fall, and ere he can remount the lady is gone. It is useless to hurry after her, and he is proceeding slowly, when Grip, who is a little in advance, growls fiercely, ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... the corner of a sofa, and concealed it with the cover. This was a great relief. I almost began to feel like the injured party—more like a captive than a robber; and I groped my way through the room, with a sort of vague idea that I might perhaps stumble upon some trap-door, or sliding-panel, which would lead into the open air, or, at worst, into a secret chamber, where I should be safe for any given number of years from my persecutors. But there was nothing of the kind in this stern, prosaic ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 461 - Volume 18, New Series, October 30, 1852 • Various

... the voice, and the tender, trustful feeling that breathed through the prayer awakened in Ranald's heart emotions and longings he had never known before, and he rose from his knees feeling how wicked and how cruel a thing it would be to cause one of these little ones to stumble. ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... did babble about this one thing! The box, the box, and nothing but the box! It seemed as if the box were bewitched, and as if the cottage were not big enough to hold it, without Pandora's continually stumbling over it, and making Epimetheus stumble over it likewise, and bruising ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... the care and protection of God, yet he feels that his own strength is not sufficient; that he may err and stumble in the path he has chosen. He does not ask that all should be clear, nor that he should see the long course of his life, but is content ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... problem as he found it, and came north to stumble over others, less picturesque but nearer. He squandered two or three months on Paris. From the first he had avoided Paris, and had wanted no French influence in his education. He disapproved of France ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... time betwixt. So in our lives; allow I entered mine Another way than you: 't is possible I ended just by knocking head against That plaguy low-hung branch yourself began By getting bump from; as at last you too May stumble o'er that stump which first of all Bade me walk circumspectly. Head and feet Are vulnerable both, and I, foot-sure, Forgot that ducking down saves brow from bruise. I, early old, played young man four years since And failed confoundedly: so, hate alike ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... are so binding, its teachings so direct, its discipline so perfect, that one cannot stray away blindly. The obedient child who would be pained not to do the Father's will is kept in the straight and narrow way, the light is held steadily before his eyes; if he stumble or turn aside he is brought back, and if he become restive and the 'fetters,' grateful to the loving child, bind too galling he throws them off, more willing to be lost than bear self-denial for the present. For myself, Hubert, I ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... pleasure must consume a vast amount of nervous force, but it makes her very refreshing to people as blases as Paul and I are. My first feeling about her is very much what yours was. Personally, there seems to be all the stuff in her of which an actress is made; will she some day stumble upon the discovery of how to bring her own individual flame and force to bear upon her art? I should think it not unlikely, and, altogether, I feel as though I should take a more hopeful view of her intellectually than you do. You see, my dear Eustace, you men never realise how clever ...
— Miss Bretherton • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... of readers stumble at the threshold. In so vast a mansion there were sure to be back stairs and kitchen offices where no one would delight to linger; but it was at least unhappy that the vestibule should be so badly lighted; and until, in the seventeenth chapter, d'Artagnan sets off to seek his friends, ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... night to the protection of male attire,—a good enough Shaksperian device,—but how remarkable that a woman wandering crazily in the dark, and already sufficiently disguised, should borrow a tell-tale cloak and a worse than useless sword from a corpse that she happens to stumble upon! No wonder that Schiller in revising for the stage decided to let Leonora live rather than provide for her death by such a stagy tour de force. In the stage version, however, she does not reappear ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... is in her house and garden, and mistress of the creatures, even of the small butterfly with painted wings, there, sir, I hunt no animal. Nor will my dogs chase any animal there. That is what I meant when I said that if an animal should stumble against their legs, they would lift up their noses and pass on without seeing it. For in that wood there is one law, the law that Rima imposes, and outside of it a ...
— Green Mansions - A Romance of the Tropical Forest • W. H. Hudson

... blue-warm blue of horizon and sea. The steps by which these ways descend towards the bay are black with age, and slightly mossed close to the wall on either side: they have an alarming steepness,—one might easily stumble from the upper into the lower street. Looking towards the water through these openings from the Grande Rue, you will notice that the sea-line cuts across the blue space just at the level of the upper story of the house ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... you in a spot so vital that you die in a few minutes. You throw up your hands, you stagger against the mantel-shelf, you tear open your collar and then grope at nothing; you press your hands on your wound and take two reeling steps forward; you call feebly for help and stumble against the sofa which you fall upon, and finally, still groping wildly, you roll off on the floor, where you kick out once or twice; your clinched hand comes down with a thud on the ...
— McClure's Magazine, March, 1896, Vol. VI., No. 4. • Various

... of these old Indian signs. He was anxious to find them, and delighted when he did find them. "Here are the signs," he would say, "we are on the right trail." But we were not on the right trail. The right trail—the Nascaupee route—was miles to the northward. We eventually did stumble upon a trail to Michikamau, but it was another one—a very old one—and we found it ...
— The Lure of the Labrador Wild • Dillon Wallace

... younger and more active than the aged Solomon. He was weak and rheumatic; he was also timid and easily confused. If the water had overtaken him anywhere, he might easily fall a prey. In his efforts to escape, he would soon become so terrified that his limbs would be paralyzed. He might then stumble over the rocks, and break some of his bones, or he might be intrapped in some recess of the cliffs, from which escape might ...
— Lost in the Fog • James De Mille

... again; but as she went the fog grew thicker and thicker, and Terry soon became aware that it was freezing hard. The pony began to stumble, and several times he nearly fell, for Terry found it hard to hold him up with her little frost-bitten fingers. She worked bravely, but felt that the road was indeed downhill, and all the more difficult ...
— Terry - Or, She ought to have been a Boy • Rosa Mulholland

... work subjects: namely, if I stumble on any general remark, and if I find it confirmed in any other very distinct class, then I try to find out whether it is true,—if it has any bearing on my work. The following, perhaps, may be important to me. Dr. Wight remarks ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... but one must have vision as well so that one can look right ahead and not stumble over retained old prejudices; people so often want a thing and yet have not will enough to eliminate qualities in themselves which must obviously prevent their obtaining ...
— The Price of Things • Elinor Glyn

... wood buried in the bogs of Wolmer Forest is not yet all exhausted, for the peat-cutters now and then stumble upon a log. I have just seen a piece which was sent by a labourer of Oak Hanger to a carpenter of this village; this was the butt-end of a small oak, about five feet long, and about five inches in diameter. It ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 2 • Gilbert White



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