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Distressful

adjective
1.
Causing distress or worry or anxiety.  Synonyms: distressing, disturbing, perturbing, troubling, worrisome, worrying.  "Lived in heroic if something distressful isolation" , "A disturbing amount of crime" , "A revelation that was most perturbing" , "A new and troubling thought" , "In a particularly worrisome predicament" , "A worrying situation" , "A worrying time"



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"Distressful" Quotes from Famous Books



... theatrical costumier. Green velvet and gold lace, topped by cocked hats that had despoiled the ostrich to make a human biped vainly ridiculous, adorned Ginirals and Cornels that had no rigiments belongun' to 'um at all at all! and had come over from the Distressful Country to make a bould bid for glory, with the experience of warfare acquired while lurking behind hedges with shot-guns, in waiting for persons in disfavour with the ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... lay still, with the thick driving-robe beneath him, and though the color was creeping back into his face, his eyes were shut, and he was apparently quite unconscious of her presence. For the first time she was aware of a distressful faintness, which, as she had come suddenly out of the stinging frost into the little overheated room that reeked with tobacco smoke and a stale smell of cooking, was not astonishing. She mastered ...
— Masters of the Wheat-Lands • Harold Bindloss

... that I appeared better they were encouraged to keep on, under the impression that I was strong enough now to stand it. Ah," continued he, "they did not know they were almost killing me; for I became restless; and being very weak every nerve and fiber in my body seemed to be excited into a state of distressful commotion, from which I did not fairly recover during the next three days. When you came again you gave very strict orders not to allow more than one attendant in the room at a time, aside from the nurse; and after that I began to ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... might be and what is in human life. Look at the world—life's most sumptuous stage—and look at life! The one, splendid, exquisite, varied, generous, rich beyond description; the other, poor, thin, dull, monotonous, niggard, distressful—is that necessary?" ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... front gate stood the brother-in-law's widow, full of gestures and distressful smiles as she leaned out with nervously folded arms and looked up and down the street. "Manouvrier? he is ad the fire since a whole hour. He will break his heart if dat fire ketch to dat 'ouse here. He cannot know 'ow 'tis in danger! Ah! sen' him word? I sen' him fo' five time'—he sen' back ...
— Strong Hearts • George W. Cable

... crowd were hastening on, bearing with them the melancholy evidence of the truth of what they had just heard. It came on still—it stopt—it was at their own door it stopt. The old man could not speak, but his wife rushed forward with a distressful shriek. The truth was soon all known. They had no child. They had only a dead body to weep over—to lay in the grave. Is it necessary to say more? A few days passed. They were the bitterest days the bereaved parents had ever known; but they ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume VI • Various

... book that possessed peculiar attractions. For hours would he hang over its distressful pages, and many were the leaves blotted by his tears. Yet those tears relieved him not. Still, from time to time, would he recur to the book, as if tempted by a fascination he could not resist, striving to find, if possible, ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... with a distressful blush. Rossitur coloured with anger. Mr. Carleton's smile had a ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... to me, and perhaps the most distressful one I ever spent. I endured agonies of remorse for sins which I knew I had committed, and for others which I was not certain about, yet was sure that they had been set down against me in a book by an angel who was wiser ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... corps came to Hinges, the inhabitants were exalted. The small boys came out in puttees and the women put ribbons in their hair. Now, if you pronounce Hinges in the French fashion, you give forth an exclamation of distressful pain. The name cannot be shouted from a motor-cycle. It has its difficulties even for the student of French. So we all called it, plainly and bluntly, Hinges, as though it were connected to a door. ...
— Adventures of a Despatch Rider • W. H. L. Watson

... sits on, nor the tide of pomp That beats upon the high shore of this world,— No, not all these, thrice gorgeous ceremony, Not all these, laid in bed majestical, Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave Who, with a body fill'd and vacant mind Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread. ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... the business difficulties of his later life. Penrod, with the huge weapon beneath his jacket, insecurely supported by an elbow and by a waistband which he instantly began to distrust, experienced distressful sensations similar to those of the owner of too heavily insured property carrying a gasoline can under his overcoat and detained for conversation by a policeman. And if, in the coming years it was to be Penrod's lot to find himself in that precise situation, no doubt he would be the better prepared ...
— Penrod and Sam • Booth Tarkington

... fightin' at Murfreesboro, it was a continual roar. The tin pans in the cubbord (cupboard) rattle all time. It was distressful. The house shakin' all time. All our houses jar. The earth quivered. It sound like the judgment. Nobody felt good. Both sides foragin' one bad as the other, hungry, gittin' everything you put way to live on. That's "war". I found out all bout what it was. Lady it ain't ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume II, Arkansas Narratives, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... followed his entrance, gentlemen, we have already seen. Your time being precious, I have but made use of the silence which poor Mr. Plowman found so distressful. ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... by Mr. Lupton:[101] that is what he saw when he had landed, and ran back directly to the pier to see what had become of the brig. The weather had got still worse, the fishwomen were being blown about in a distressful manner on the pier head, and some more fishing boats were running in with all speed. Then there is the "Fortrouge," Calais: that is what he saw after he had been home to Dessein's, and dined, and went out again in the evening to walk on the sands, the tide being down. ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... on which Earl Grey's ministry took high moral ground, was a redress of another of the ancient wrongs of Ireland. The Church of England was by law established in that most distressful country, and the people, though mostly Roman Catholics, were under the necessity of paying tithes for the support of a church which they detested, and which indeed, in a large part of the island, had no existence except for ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... head slowly—a distressful gesture. Yet all the time he had somehow the air of a ...
— The Vanished Messenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... wrong with him, and due partly to shock and his own activity in the dream, and partly perhaps to the noise of the footsteps and of the conversation of those who came running toward him to inquire into the cause of his distressful cries, he awoke. ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... was equally mild, and "seeing, too, that it was of a yellow colour," he took half a pipe of it, "filling the lower half of the bowl," for some unexplained reason, "with salt." He was soon, however, compelled to resign it "in consequence of a giddiness and distressful feeling" in his eyes, which, as he had drunk but a single glass of ale, he knew must have been the effect of the tobacco. Deeming himself recovered after a short interval, he sallied forth to fulfil the evening's engagement; but the symptoms returned with ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... the distressful situation we had left behind us on that August Sunday following the disastrous battle of Camden was but little changed. General Gates, with the scantiest following, had hastened first to Salisbury and later to Hillsborough, ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... saga, set in the beautiful valley of a romantic river, Cork is one of the pleasantest places within the four shores of "the most distressful country." It is the capital of the rich Province of Munster, "the wheat of Ireland," says a Gaelic proverb, and while it preserves the characteristics of an old Irish town, here, too, the traveller, familiar with the quaint cities of the Continent, will meet with ...
— The Sunny Side of Ireland - How to see it by the Great Southern and Western Railway • John O'Mahony and R. Lloyd Praeger

... joyful yet distressful scene with saying to Leontes that she had a statue newly finished by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, which was such a perfect resemblance of the queen that would his Majesty be pleased to go to her house and look upon it, be would ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... anasarca came on, and soon afterwards an ascites. Now his urine was small in quantity and much saturated, the dysuria was more dreadful than ever; his breath would not allow him to lie in bed, nor would the dysuria permit him to sleep; in this distressful situation, after having used other medicines to little purpose, I directed an infusion of Digitalis to be given. When the quantity of urine became more plentiful, the pain from his stone grew easier; in a few days the dropsy and asthma disappeared, and he soon regained his usual ...
— An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses - With Practical Remarks on Dropsy and Other Diseases • William Withering

... with simpler confidence upon the unchanging Ground of all human sympathy. You will, I hope, take all these experiences without grumbling as a real and necessary stage in your education; remembering that if you find yourself repining at the distressful circumstances in which you are placed, you may be dishonouring Him who has placed you where you are. I do not, of course, mean that such reflection will make you condone and excuse the lukewarmness of others, but you will grasp ...
— Letters to His Friends • Forbes Robinson

... indigent family of aged parents, children, and other relations, who subsisted wholly on the income arising from his place. The ladies, as well as Sandford, knew him well, and they all, almost at once, asked, "What was the matter?" for his looks told them something distressful ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... or Wars of the Cross, had roused Europe from a state of most distressful bondage. Ignorance and barbarism were shot with gleams of spiritual light even after the vast armies were sent forth to wrest the possession of Jerusalem from the infidels. Shameful stories of the treatment of pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre had moved the hearts ...
— Heroes of Modern Europe • Alice Birkhead

... beats upon the high shore of this world, No, not all these, thrice-gorgeous ceremony, Not all these, laid in bed majestical, Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave; Who, with a body fili'd, and vacant mind, Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread, Never sees horrid night, the child of hell: But, like a lacquey, from the rise to set, Sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and all night Sleeps in Elysium; next day, after dawn, Doth rise, and help Hyperion to his horse; And follows so ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... fainting earth Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge, The pine is bending his proud top, and now Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes! Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves! The deep distressful silence of the scene Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds And universal motion. He is come, Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs, And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs, And sound of swaying branches, ...
— Poems • William Cullen Bryant

... to Ida the next day. It was a strange and distressful wooing; but she could not deny that, in a way unknown to herself till now, she had loved Vibbard from the beginning, more than his friend. In her semi-engagement with Silverthorn, she had probably been loving Vibbard through his friend. But when the strong man, who had gained a place in ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... and she would spend the evening with her mother. She and Arthur went together as far as the cross-paths in the arbor, and there, in parting, he clasped and kissed her with a sudden frenzy that only added one more distressful misgiving to the many that now haunted ...
— Bylow Hill • George Washington Cable

... shiny boots. On his head he bore a huge dome of fluffy bearskin, just the thing for a fashionable muff; oppressive in the heat, no doubt, but imparting additional grandeur to his mien. There he stood, emblematic of splendour, and on each side of him were encamped distressful little families, grasping spades and buckets and seated on their corded luggage, unable to move because of the railway strike, while behind him flared a huge advertisement that said, "The Sea is Calling you." Along the kerbstone ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... at one of the persons before me, and then at the other, and then at both together, as a father would look, indicating his distressful parental feelings under such ...
— Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes • Garrick Mallery

... but here is a young man of fashion, of a practical turn, and loving adventure, who records in after years the teaching after his own fashion, and in a perfectly independent way, as the noblest of training. His youth, however, was spent in the distressful later years of the Peloponnesian War, which ended in fearful gloom and disaster for his native city. Intimate, apparently, with the great historian Thucydides, whose unfinished work he seems to have edited, ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... all timorousness again, beat her hands lightly together, in a distressful flurry. "No, he's there," she whispered, and glanced anxiously about her. Then she came nearer. "I heard Gallito and Bob talking about him only yesterday and Bob said there was some mischief brewing among Jose's pals down on the coast, and Gallito ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... movement of the head, an effort to show reproving dignity, while in fact taken by surprise, her nerves in distressful panic, she had scarce the power to control herself, none ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... that scoundrel, Billy Chase, is no longer in the land of the living. And I must compliment you upon your good-nature and sound judgment in carrying back his natives to Bouka. I wish there were more trading captains like you in the distressful ...
— Edward Barry - South Sea Pearler • Louis Becke

... all those inexplicable diseases, opprobria medicinae, so pusillanimously submitted to by civilized humanity and its physicians,—chicken-pox, measles, whooping-cough, mumps. I complain, indeed, of no diseases, but of their treatment. But let me not delay longer than is needful amid such distressful recollections. Three hateful decoctions were known to me by the phonetics, Lixipro, Lixaslutis, and Lixusmatic. I don't know what they were, and I don't want to know. Devil's elixirs were they all. Rubbub ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... sentimental enthusiast, who worships all great men indifferently, [and who] finds himself in a distressful position when his gods fall out among themselves. His case [Sir Walter wittily adds] is not much unlike that of Terah, the father of Abraham, who (if the legend be true) was a dealer in idols among the Chaldees, ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... had known a Limousin, a big, strapping, merry fellow, whose brawny arms he envied. Then, on coming back to the Rue Tourlaque, with his legs faint and his head empty, he gave his picture much the same distressful, frightened glance as one casts at a corpse in a mortuary, until fresh hope of resuscitating it, of endowing it with life, brought a flush to his face ...
— His Masterpiece • Emile Zola

... as we descended the Museum steps and got into Eleanor's hansom, to her vivid summing-up of the case. I guessed beforehand that the lady we were about to visit had lapsed by the most distressful degrees from opulence to a "hall-bedroom"; that her grandfather, if he had not been Minister to France, had signed the Declaration of Independence; that the Rembrandt was an heirloom, sole remnant of disbanded treasures; that for years ...
— Crucial Instances • Edith Wharton

... logic kills me quite, A noisy man is always in the right; I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair, Fix on the wainscot a distressful stare; And when I hope his blunders are all out, Reply discreetly, ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... inexpensive sort, and there came into being all over the land the type of the family house squeezed by the price of land to four stories high, 16 to 20 feet wide, built in long rows and blocks. The "ugly sixties" bred not only distressful village "villas," but unpleasant city houses of this type, which are to-day a real menace to wholesome living. Many such blocks may be found in any of our older cities, casting a depressing influence upon all who come in sight of them, and ...
— The Cost of Shelter • Ellen H. Richards

... in 1759, woefully beaten in 1760; now, a victor again, he helped to drive back a force, some of whose members had been his companions in those earlier campaigns. That night the relieved British slept secure in Quebec, while the bedraggled American force was making its distressful way ...
— A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs - The Story of a Hundred Years, 1761-1861 • George M. Wrong

... my grasping hands I lock, And fast beneath, in wooly curls inwove, There cling implicit, and confide in Jove. When rosy morning glimmer'd o'er the dales, He drove to pasture all the lusty males: The ewes still folded, with distended thighs Unmilk'd lay bleating in distressful cries. But heedless of those cares, with anguish stung, He felt their fleeces as they pass'd along (Fool that he was.) and let them safely go, All ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer, translated by Alexander Pope

... predisposed to scrophula, how frequently we see the inoculated Small-pox, rouse into activity that distressful malady. This circumstance does not seem to depend on the manner in which the distemper has shewn itself, for it has as frequently happened among those who have had it mildly, as when it has ...
— An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae • Edward Jenner

... minutes together when she descended to them. Yet she saw the girl's heart brimming, either with some word spoken to her or for joy of an unmaidenly confession. During dinner they talked, without distressful pauses. Whatever said, whatever done, was manifestly another drop in Nesta's foolish happy cup. Could it be all because Dartrey Fenellan countenanced her acquaintance with that woman? The ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... as women, and so parted; for poor Ned could not stay to see his comrade die. For a little while there was no sound in the room but the drip of water from a pump or two, and John's distressful gasps, as he slowly breathed his life away. I thought him nearly gone, and had laid down the fan, believing its help no longer needed, when suddenly he rose up in his bed, and cried out, with a bitter cry, that broke the silence, sharply startling every one with its agonized ...
— Incidents of the War: Humorous, Pathetic, and Descriptive • Alf Burnett

... drag the letter from his pocket and hand it her to read; to tell her the whole distressful story: but he dared not. He longed for her, and yet he dared not tell her so. He half drew the letter from his pocket, but thrust it back again. Tell this innocent girl the whole ugly story? It could not be done. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... figure of a slaughtered lamb on a stone in the gable. Another lamb—a living lamb—was being killed by the butcher of Ballajora as Philip went by the shambles. The helpless creature, with its inverted head swung downwards from the block, looked at him with its piteous eyes, and gave forth that distressful cry which is the last wild appeal of the stricken animal when it sees death near, and has ceased ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... ended happily to the principal persons, however serious or distressful through its intermediate incidents, in their opinion constituted a comedy. This idea of a comedy continued long amongst us, and plays were written, which, by changing the catastrophe, were ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... his arms together, like a laborer in the winter when his hands are frozen, and exclaimed with distressful emotion: "Yes, I have spoken, and I cannot regret having done so; but what I foresaw has come to pass: The greatest happiness that ever sweetened my daily life is gone out of it! To love Plato is a noble ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... resignedly. Her eyebrows and lashes were carefully darkened so as to sweeten the lines of her face, and a dimple had been made in one cheek by the aid of an orange stick. She was the picture of delicate femininity appealingly distressful, and yet ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... her, so charming, so pink and white in her black mourning gown. He was always fearing that she must feel bored during the long hours when he left her at home, alone with the servant. To him solitude was so distressful, so full of the wife whom he mourned, and whom he accused himself of ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... this distressful situation, to the house of Mr. Flail, and walked into the farm yard just at the time the cows were being milked. She, who for a long time had tasted nothing but bits of broken bread, and had no drink besides water she had scooped up in her hands, looked at the quantity of fresh milk with ...
— The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse • Dorothy Kilner

... came now, loud, deep, and distressful. There was a new baby—but no mother for Polly ...
— Polly - A New-Fashioned Girl • L. T. Meade

... after having surveyed nature as a philosopher, had examined "men's business and bosoms" as a statesman; yet failed so much in the conduct of domestick affairs, that, in the most lucrative post to which a great and wealthy kingdom could advance him, he felt all the miseries of distressful poverty, and committed all the crimes to which poverty incites. Such were at once his negligence and rapacity, that, as it is said, he would gain by unworthy practices that money, which, when so acquired, his servants might ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... interest, when he had brought himself to a dilemma in his affairs, by vainly proceeding upon his own head, and was afterwards afraid to look his governing servant and counsellor in the face; what a copious and distressful harangue have I seen him make with his looks (while the house has been in one continued roar for several minutes) before he could prevail with his courage to speak a word to him! Then might you have, at once, read in his face ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... his vision received something of my outline, though he would fix his eyes either to left or right of me, as though he was not able to see if he looked straight; and this and his mournful cackle and his nodding head, bowed form, propped hands, and diminished face made him as distressful and melancholy a picture of Time as ever mortal man viewed. He broke off in his rambling to ask for more brandy, taking it for granted that I was still in the cook-room, for I never spoke, and I filled a can for him and as before held it to his mouth, ...
— The Frozen Pirate • W. Clark Russell

... wanted for resisting arrest and assaulting the minions of the law; hounded by a vengeful and determined posse; unacquainted with his whereabouts, ignorant of any way of escape from that hollow square, round whose sides window after excitable window was lighting up in his honour; all in all, as distressful a figure of a fugitive from justice as ever was on land ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... him. And when she thought of his setting forth so boldly, so bravely, to tread the wide water, to tempt the hot sun, the foreign exposure, the perpetual dangers of heathen countries, for her unworthy sake, all that was tenderest, most grateful, in her now first wakened nature, rose up in distressful tumult, and agitated the depths that are in ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... Le Jeune's distressful experiment with a band of wandering Algonquins had convinced the Jesuits that their schemes of mission-conquest could not bear much fruit if they were confined to the vagrant tribes of the north. Farther west in the peninsula of the ...
— Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France • Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan

... not, Henry mastered it, and went on to the distressful strokes his youth had suffered, and then to Desdemona's ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... to our programme, for Interlachen to-day,—with great regret, for the peace and sweetness of this place are wonderful and the people are good; and though there is much drinking and quarrelling among the younger men, there appears to be neither distressful poverty, nor deliberate crime: so that there is more of the sense I need, and long for, of fellowship with human creatures, than in any place I have been at for years. I believe they don't so much as lock the house-doors at night; and the faces of the older peasantry are really very beautiful. ...
— The Life of John Ruskin • W. G. Collingwood

... the world has ever enjoyed of which it can be said that it was given an immediate and enthusiastic reception. The way of the inventor is hard. He can sometimes raise capital to help him in working out his crude conceptions, but even then it is frequently done at a distressful cost of personal surrender. When the result is achieved the invention makes its appeal on the score of economy of material or of effort; and then "labor" often awaits with crushing and tyrannical spirit to smash the apparatus or forbid its very use. Where both capital and labor are agreed ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... beautifully wild scenery of Kilravock—the venerable grandeur of the castle—the spreading woods—the winding river, gladly leaving his unsightly, heathy source, and lingering with apparent delight as he passes the fairy walk at the bottom of the garden;—your late distressful anxieties—your present enjoyments—your dear little angel, the pride of your hopes;—my aged friend, venerable in worth and years, whose loyalty and other virtues will strongly entitle her to the support of the Almighty Spirit here, ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... was over to our joint satisfaction, she had to return to the distressful main theme of our talk. She harked back to Sir Anthony, touched on his splendid behaviour, recalled, with a little dismay, the hitherto unnoted fact that, after the ceremony he had held himself aloof from those that thronged round Boyce. ...
— The Red Planet • William J. Locke

... enter at all upon the subject. After the melancholy two months that I have passed, and in my situation, you will not wonder I shun a conversation which could not be bounded by a letter—a letter that would grow into a panegyric, or a piece of moral; improper for me to write upon, and too distressful for us both!—a death is only to be felt, never to be talked over by those ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume I • Horace Walpole

... approached quite openly with no companions but a brace of negroes. He had suffered many indignities before we arrived, and he confessed to me that, though he had endured many a buffeting in the first years of his life at sea, he had never spent so distressful a couple of hours as those when the buccaneers ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... at the young fairy with an almost distressful expression; but at the same moment a flash, half hidden between her thick, short eyelashes, shot like an incendiary spark at Lucien, who, in a magnificent dressing-gown thrown open over a fine Holland linen shirt and red trousers, with a fez on his head, beneath which his fair hair fell ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... and lay still for a minute or two, while his senses came slowly back to him. The first thing of which he was definitely conscious was a physical discomfort that rendered the least movement painful. He felt sore all over, and there was a distressful ache in one hip and shoulder, which he fancied was the result of falling on the log, or perhaps of having been hurled against the boulders by the rapids through which he had reached the bank. His physical condition did not trouble him seriously, for he had grown more or less accustomed to muscular ...
— The Greater Power • Harold Bindloss

... face grew a trifle scornful. "You will do your best," she said. "The thought of one of these half-civilized axemen living at Carnaby is almost distressful to me. In fact, I feel a curious dislike to the man even before ...
— Alton of Somasco • Harold Bindloss

... a great quietude, a grateful stillness, slumberous and restful; yet, little by little, upon this all-pervading silence, a sound crept, soft, but distressful to one who fain would sleep; a sound that grew, a sharp noise and querulous. And now, in the blackness, a glimmer, a furtive gleam, a faint glow that grew brighter and yet more bright, hurtful to eyes long used to deeps of gloom; but, with the noise, ever this light grew—from ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... answered in English, "because I know. Your position's this." He sat down in his rocking chair, crossed his legs, and looked at me as if he expected me to show signs of astonishment at his knowing so much. "You're in a hole. You must leave this island of Jamaica—surely it's as distressful as my own dear land—and you can't go home, because the runners would be after you. You're 'wanted' here as well as there, and you've ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... Garstin was rather a distressful youth by the time the shanty was reached, for the pace had been hot, and he had been impeded by the fatal greatcoat and muffler. After divesting himself of these he stood still and breathed hard in front of a cheerful coke fire, while Trevannion unrolled the plans and pinned them ...
— Adventures in Many Lands • Various

... pityingly of him sometimes, for he was a bright, promising youth, she says, when one distressful circumstance crushed his hopes and ruined his usefulness; but I do not think she desires his return, for he left his native shores cursing her as ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... been sitting stranded in this distressful mood on his post for some minutes when a Capuchin friar stepped up and ...
— The Merrie Tales Of Jacques Tournebroche - 1909 • Anatole France

... the disastrous stroke. Cf. "Othello," i, 3, 157: "some distressful stroke that ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... forth by a privy door, whereat he had entered; then, setting her on horseback, he took to the road with all his men, as softliest he might, and returned to his own dominions. However (for that he had a wife) he carried the lady, who was the most distressful of women, not to Athens, but to a very goodly place he had by the sea, a little without the city, and there entertained her in secret, causing honourably furnish her with all ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... regiments to protect his loyal subjects in their persons and properties, and to assist the civil magistrates in the execution of the laws; that he trusted the discipline and order of the troops would render their stay in no shape distressful to His Majesty's dutiful subjects; and that he hoped the future behavior of the people would justify the best construction of past actions, and afford him a sufficient foundation to represent to His Majesty the propriety of withdrawing ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... as I do not, it is of no use giving her smooth words, as O'Connell told me, and I must be silent.' It was not in his nature, however, to sit still with folded hands. He held his peace, but quietly crossed the Channel to study the problem on the spot. It was his first visit to the distressful country for many years, and he wished Moore to accompany him as guide, philosopher, and friend. He assured the poet that he would allow him to be as patriotic as he pleased about 'the first flower of the earth and first gem of ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... willing to be friends." He laughed into her eyes. "Why so distressful? Don't you like ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... preserve one anecdote of that felicity of temper—that undisturbed good-humour which never abandoned Cibber in his most distressful moments. When he brought out, in 1724, his Caesar in Egypt, at a great expense, and "a beggarly account of empty boxes" was the result, it raised some altercations between the poet and his brother managers, the bard still ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... about one and watch every bite he takes, with greedy looks, and swallow unconsciously every time he swallows, as if they half fancied the precious morsel went down their own throats —hurry up the caravan!—I never shall enjoy a meal in this distressful country. To think of eating three times every day under such circumstances for three weeks yet—it is worse punishment than riding all day in the sun. There are sixteen starving babies from one to six years old in the party, and their legs are no larger ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the axe that I had dropped, he followed the trail. Large red stains at intervals showed that the animal had stopped frequently to grovel on the snow. About half a mile from the knoll, Mr. Edwards came upon the beast, in a fir thicket, making distressful sounds, and quite helpless to defend itself. A blow on the head from the poll of the axe finished the creature; and, taking it by the tail, Mr. Edwards dragged it to the house. The carcass was lying in the dooryard ...
— A Busy Year at the Old Squire's • Charles Asbury Stephens

... seemed to wake suddenly from the distressful dream in which he had been plunged. "Yes, I will drive you over to the stage, Vesta," he said. "God help me! it is all I can do. I have an operation to perform at noon. It is a case of life and death, and I have ...
— Melody - The Story of a Child • Laura E. Richards

... of them who had been appointed to sail round Euboea experienced the very same night, but against them it raged much more fiercely, inasmuch as it fell upon them while they were making their course in the open sea. And the end of it proved distressful 11 to them; for when the storm and the rain together came upon them as they sailed, being then off the "Hollows" of Euboea, 12 they were borne by the wind not knowing by what way they were carried, and were cast away upon the rocks. And all this was being brought about ...
— The History Of Herodotus - Volume 2 (of 2) • Herodotus

... and too frequent tales of man's impurity and ingratitude; and tortured herself by her own apparition, the merited victim of his harshness, his neglect, or his desertion. And when she had at the same time both shocked and alarmed her fancy by these distressful and degrading images, exhausted by these imaginary vexations, and eager for consolation in her dark despondency, she may have recurred to the yet innocent cause of her sorrow and apprehension, and perhaps accused herself of cruelty and injustice for ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... evening he spoke no word; but the flush seemed to have settled in his face for good and all. He milked some cows, but forgot to bring the pails up. Two of his precious cows he left unmilked till their distressful lowing caused the farmer's wife to go down and see. There he was standing against a gate moving his brown neck from side to side like an animal in pain, oblivious seemingly of ...
— Tatterdemalion • John Galsworthy

... her from the nest of rooms that were the storm quarters of her hostelry, now converted by a sudden malevolence on the part of fate into a temporary hospital. As she took the last flight she could hear Gaspard's stertorous breathing coming at the regular intervals of distressful slumber, and through that an ominous murmur of grave and low-voiced conference, such as one hears in the chambers of the dead. The convulsive application of a powder puff to the tip of her burning nose—her whole face was aflame with exertion and excitement—was ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... the futility of trying to obtain further admissions from a woman in her distressful state of mind. The fear that had seized her would prove a padlock on her lips. So he permitted her to lean heavily on his arm while she passed through the door and descended the steps to the street. Then, ...
— The Substitute Prisoner • Max Marcin

... comic had there been any there to laugh at them. Just as suddenly the girl swung into a rollicking dance-step, abandoning her tender mood with a burst of happy laughter; but Tim Carrol, a young new chum; fresh from 'the most distressful country,' sprang to the counter beside her, and, clasping Aurora and her fiddle in a generous hug, kissed the girl on ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... mention of the word "funds," Roland, who had become thoroughly bored with the lecture on Paranoyan history, sat up and took notice. He had an instinctive feeling that he was about to be called upon for a subscription to the cause of the distressful country's freedom. Especially ...
— A Man of Means • P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill

... to private feelings and opinions, and, somehow, feeling as if he were a trusted and confidential friend though he was an absolute stranger—such is the wonderful influence of Power in self-possessed repose, over Weakness in distressful uncertainty! ...
— Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished - A Tale of City Arab Life and Adventure • R.M. Ballantyne

... said Merry in a distressful tone; "but I suppose," she added, "as you say so, it is the case. Only, I ought to tell you that what really ...
— The School Queens • L. T. Meade

... quiet presence, a man and a boy from that distressful outer world had entered. They moved with effort and difficulty into its untrodden depths. Uninvited and unasked, they sought its hidden and invisible centre, the mysterious heart of it which the younger of the adventurers could only describe by ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... yourself of the truth of this observation, if you will attend to what passes, when you read a distressful tale alone; before the tears overflow your eyes, you will invariably feel a titillation at that extremity of the lacrymal duct, which terminates in the nostril, then the compression of the eyes succeeds, and ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... my moonward start was sufficient. I shut out the sight of the moon from my eyes, and in a state of mind that was, I now recall, incredibly free from anxiety or any distressful quality, I sat down to begin a vigil in that little speck of matter in infinite space that would last until I should strike the earth. The heater had made the sphere tolerably warm, the air had been refreshed by the oxygen, ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... there is some joke in this, surely. A man of common parts knows not how to take such gentleman as you. But, Sir, if there be any truth in the story, what is he? Some Jew or miserly citizen, I suppose, that may have presumed on the lady's distressful circumstances; and your lively wit points ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... other novels in view. The precipitate flight of Cherubina, "dressed in a long-skirted red coat stiff with tarnished lace, a satin petticoat, satin shoes and no stockings," and with hair streaming like a meteor, described in Letter XX, is clearly a cruel mockery of Cecilia's distressful plight in Miss Burney's novel. Even Scott is not immune from Barrett's barbed arrows, and Byron is glanced at in the bogus antique language of "Eftsoones." Barrett, indeed, jeers at the mediaeval revival in its various manifestations and even at "Romanticism" generally, not merely at the new ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... recompense her for the loss of her society; and that on no terms could she prevail on herself to continue in a house where she must see that wretched Simon, who had been a vile instrument in reducing her friend to that distressful situation. This gleam of comfort was a very seasonable relief to Miss Melvyn's dejected spirits, and gave some ...
— A Description of Millenium Hall • Sarah Scott

... perpetrated on Walter Hine, had the opposite effect to that which Skinner expected. Chayne, instead of turning his back upon so distasteful a company, frequented it in the resolve to take Sylvia out of its grasp. It did not need a lover to see that she slept little of nights and passed distressful days. She had fled from her mother's friends at Chamonix, only to find herself helpless amongst a worse gang in her father's house. Very well. She must be released. He had proposed to take her away then and ...
— Running Water • A. E. W. Mason

... to believe that what the novelist terms her "distressful narrative" succeeded in its appeal to the Martha Buskbodys of the generation, for even Goethe's Charlotte took a heartfelt interest in the fortunes of Miss Jenny.[18] It was indeed so far calculated to stir the sensibilities that ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher



Words linked to "Distressful" :   heavy



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