Phrases with "desperate"

Jack London I was still a tyro so far as concerned knowing how to behave in desperate circumstances. The Iron Heel by Jack London [1908]

Robert Louis Stevenson My heart now beat very hard, for I saw some desperate matter was in act. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

Marjorie Bowen Would to God ye had told me then it was a mere Maytime’s amusement! It might have saved a broken heart!” He came a desperate step towards her. The Rake’s Progress by Marjorie Bowen [1912]

G. K. Chesterton Indeed, it would even seem that his own daughter thought so, from her desperate efforts to steer the poor old gentleman away from the topic. The Return of Don Quixote by G. K. Chesterton [1927]

Certainly the science which most interested Bacon, the science which he found, as he thought, in so desperate a condition, and to which he gave so great an impulse, was physical science. Bacon by R. W. Church [1884]

George Meredith Countess Fanny’s desperate passion for a man of the age of Kirby struck them as out of nature. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

I was just desperate to go fishing with the gang. Coming up for Air by George Orwell

You — a member of a starving proletariat — never! You — a desperate socialist or anarchist — which is it?” “Anarchist,” stated Mr Verloc in a deadened tone. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

I thought to myself that his step-father had not done him much service in taking him from a profitable post for the vain business of endeavouring to buoy up a desperate speculation. Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century by George Paston [1902]

George Meredith I should have thanked, but despised the intelligence of one who framed my excuses for my father, just as the squire, by abusing him, would have made me a desperate partisan in a minute. The Adventures of Harry Richmond by George Meredith [1871]

The gopas encouraged mine; he made a desperate effort, but fell short and rolled over backwards into the Shayok with his rider under him. Among the Tibetans by Isabella L. Bird [1894]

George Meredith Again they were desperate gleaners, hopping, skipping, bleeding, amid a whizz of scythe-blades, for small wisps of booty. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Rudyard Kipling The desperate thrust of disgust which she bestowed upon him sent him staggering face-down into the kennel, where a policeman showed interest in his welfare. Many Inventions by Rudyard Kipling [1893]

Thomas Hardy Instantly the shutters flew together with a slam, and were barred with desperate quickness by Cytherea on the inside. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy [1871]

Thomas Wolfe He grew almost desperate as he tried to explain it to her, because he couldn’t seem to make her understand what he was driving at. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Henry James This imagination of Fleda’s was a faculty that easily embraced all the heights and depths and extremities of things; that made a single mouthful, in particular, of any tragic or desperate necessity. The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James [1897]

In sheer desperation I dismounted and picked up a small wooden utensil from one of the wurleys, thinking if I could only get a drink I should summon up pluck for the last desperate plunge. Australia Twice Traversed by Ernest Giles

David saw her white hand pressed with desperate force on the table until the blue veins stood out. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

His wife went out charing, and by desperate efforts managed to send him a shilling a week for pocket-money. Coming up for Air by George Orwell

No good in trying to shirk it, Todhetley.” “I will not go on,” said Tod, as he tossed back his hair from his hot brow with a desperate hand. Seeing Life by Ellen Wood [1871]

A second later he leapt into the air, and then a desperate battle ensued. The Beautiful White Devil by Guy Boothby [1897]

They well knew that the governor would make every effort to rescue them from their desperate condition. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco

The man had tried to kidnap Prince John and had been foiled by Alison. He must be desperate with all his plans in confusion, a mad dog ready to tear whatever enemy he could get his fangs into. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Wilkie Collins After what he had said to Emily, it occurred to her that Alban might be meditating some desperate project, with the hope of recovering his lost place in her favor. I Say No by Wilkie Collins [1884]

A desperate man will do desperate deeds; and it has been your fate, Lady Eversleigh, to cross the path of such a man. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

F. Scott Fitzgerald With the mouth the sculptor had taken desperate chances — it was the cupid’s bow of a magazine cover, yet it shared the distinction of the rest. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Charles Dudley Warner The bent of Irving’s spirit was fixed in his youth, and he escaped the desperate realism of this generation, which has no outcome, and is likely to produce little that is noble. Washington Irving by Charles Dudley Warner

Louisa May Alcott I’ll listen,” said Jo, with a desperate sort of patience. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

As he was in such a desperate frame of mind, and as the orders to keep him in solitary confinement prevented the governor giving him a companion, it was decided to put a straight waistcoat on him. Monsieur Lecoq by Émile Gaboriau

The desperate words were spoken, but that was all. Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey [1928]

John Galsworthy This simplicity in his sister’s case only made him the more desperate about the difficulty in his own. In Chancery by John Galsworthy

G. K. Chesterton Three seconds after he had alighted in his socks on the other side, MacIan alighted beside him, also in his socks and also carrying clothes and sword in a desperate bundle. The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Robert Louis Stevenson It was large and very dark and soft, with an expression of dumb endurance, as if it had often looked on desperate circumstances and never looked on them without resolution. The Amateur Emigrant by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ann Radcliffe He turned his sword, and facing his enemy, discovered a soldier of Malcolm’s who attacked him with a desperate courage. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe [1789]

Sir Walter Scott One officer of the Covenanters alone, trained in the Italian wars, made a desperate defence upon the right wing. A Legend of Montrose by Sir Walter Scott [1819]

I had a sort of desperate faith that you would be able to vindicate papa. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

Robert Louis Stevenson I passed the time of day with one that looked less desperate than his fellows, and asked him of the sailing of the brig. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Edgar Allan Poe In fact, we made it a matter of desperate speculation — the risk of life standing instead of labor, and courage answering for capital. Tales of Science by Edgar Allan Poe

Olaf Stapledon Paul, watching from day to day the desperate struggle of his protégé, was overawed by the sense of a momentous biological tragedy. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

And when a fit of desperate obstinacy takes possession of a woman without rhyme or reason, you cannot shake it. Verena Fontaine’s Rebellion by Ellen Wood [1880]

But desperate though he was, and with all the advantage of weight and strength upon his side, he found the young lieutenant a more formidable adversary than he had anticipated. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

The whole fabric of the future had been shattered by her father’s desperate act. Eleanor's Victory by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1863]

Juventus is a big thing, a bigger thing than the world knows, but it’s desperate serious, and it won’t understand pranks. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

George Gissing He could not defend himself in choice phrases; in a sort of desperate carelessness he flung out the first retort that offered itself. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

That resolution inspired him with a desperate kind of courage. John Marchmont’s Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1862]

Guy de Maupassant I rose up abruptly, and I saw kneeling on top of him Porquita, my maid, clinging like a wild cat to him with desperate energy, tearing off his beard, his moustache, and the skin of his face. A Wife’s Confession (Confessions d'une femme) by Guy de Maupassant [1882]

Henry Handel Richardson But what was HE doing here? What had brought him to such a place? Wild to solve the riddle, he made another desperate attempt to fix his thoughts. Ultima Thule by Henry Handel Richardson

Wilkie Collins Mrs. Noel Vanstone is not the woman to submit, without a desperate resistance, to the total overthrow of all her schemes and all her hopes. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

I therefore determined upon a desperate step — a step which Reginald Eversleigh would never forgive, were he to become aware of it. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Robert Louis Stevenson Before ten I had an offer of twenty-five francs; and before noon, after a desperate engagement, I sold her, saddle and all, for five-and-thirty. Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ralph Waldo Emerson He was flung into the marsh at Arcola. The Austrians were between him and his troops, in the melee, and he was brought off with desperate efforts. Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1850]

Nevertheless with a sort of desperate hope he tugged at the bell. Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

It spoke, too, of desperate things, mysteries of horror long shut to the world. Prester John by John Buchan

Rafael Sabatini He had lost some twelve thousand Christian slaves — the fruit of many a desperate raid by land and water. The Plague of Ghosts by Rafael Sabatini

James Hogg It was a desperate and terrible engagement. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg [1824]

It was the time and the place where a desultory love might come by chance, and linger awhile, not where a desperate love, brought to bay, would wage one of his pitched battles. The Pitfall by Mary Cholmondeley [1912]

The whistles incessantly cut the air, their alarming, desperate shrieks aroused a consciousness of danger in the woman. Mother by Maksim Gorky

George Meredith He had won a desperate battle, but what had he won? What had the world given him in return for his efforts to gain it? Just a shirt, it might be said: simple scanty clothing, no warmth. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]

Rudyard Kipling Then came fear of darkness and desperate attempts to reach the light again. The Light That Failed by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

George Meredith He saw the abyss she had aided him in escaping; and it was refreshful to look abroad after his desperate impulse. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

She hated the sight of him, but he wouldn’t take no, and being a powerful man—rich and well-born and all the rest of it—she had a desperate time. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

In this perplexity, Cortes proposed an expedient, which none but the most daring spirit, in the most desperate extremity, would have conceived. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Henry Adams The idea suited Adams’s desperate frame of mind. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

It found her despairing: it left her desperate — two different states. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte [1849]

H. G. Wells One evening I made a desperate resolve to let myself go, and scrawled my heart out to him as it seemed that night, a strange, long letter. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

George Gissing With desperate beseechings, with every argument of passion, no matter how it debased him, he strove frantically to subdue her to his purpose. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Sir Walter Scott You must know that this country is particularly favourable to the commerce of a set of desperate men from the Isle of Man, which is nearly opposite. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott [1815]

If I get over, you may be sure I’ll get to General Mitchinson. If not, send somebody else by Loisy. There’s desperate need for hurry, and you see yourself it’s the only way. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

And think of the power of those words of hers over that gloomy, desperate man. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge [1853]

I understand now that there are touches of desperate pathos--but never could he have meditated self-destruction while writing that note. Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century by George Paston [1902]

Elsie made a desperate rally to become the self-possessed hostess again. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

But then — “It is a great deal,” said he, succeeding by desperate efforts in hiding his emotion; “it is enormous. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

Jules Verne Louis was seized with a desperate rage. A Winter Amid the Ice by Jules Verne [1874]

Mrs. Dodd received the blow with a kind of desperate resignation. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

Guy de Maupassan Then she called out for them with desperate obstinacy and with repeated moans. Little Louise Roqué by Guy de Maupassan

After the first moment he had turned his head away from the door and set his teeth in a desperate effort to look unconcerned. Burmese Days by George Orwell

Edith Wharton But the phrases had the desperate ring of the broken words he had jerked out that evening in the library. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton [1929]

But this extreme writer has been also the active inspirer of secret societies, the mysterious unknown Number One of desperate conspiracies suspected and unsuspected, matured or baffled. A Set of Six by Joseph Conrad [1908]

Only after a desperate struggle, had he managed to escape by the very skin of his teeth. His Prey was Man by Arthur Gask [1942]

Olaf Stapledon At the same time the Tibetan land forces put up a desperate defence upon the frontier. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

G. K. Chesterton He bent them back with spear and spade, With desperate dyke and wall, With foemen leaning on his shield And roaring on him when he reeled; And no help came at all. The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton [1911]

Edith Wharton She felt a desperate longing to escape into the outer air, where people toiled and loved, and living sympathies went hand in hand. Crucial Instances by Edith Wharton [1901]

Wilkie Collins He determined to apply a desperate remedy: to let the refractory eldest son run through his career in freedom, abroad, until he had well wearied himself, and could return home a sobered man. Basil by Wilkie Collins [1852]

Guy de Maupassant I seized the chain and tensed my muscles in a desperate effort. On the River (Sur l’Eau) by Guy de Maupassant [1888]

Wilkie Collins Her husband had disowned and deserted her; she was at the end of her resources; she was desperate enough to attempt any thing. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

We can’t make her happy whatever we do; and why shouldn’t I—— No, that won’t do! I reached that point before!” She broke again into her desperate laugh. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

Maria Edgeworth Moriarty now stepping up privately, besought Mr. Connal’s “honour, for Heaven and earth’s sake, to recollect, if he did not know it, what a desperate good shot Mr. Harry notoriously was always. Ormond by Maria Edgeworth

To render this plan of vengeance intelligible to French readers, I should explain that at Milan, in a land widely remote from our own, people are still made desperate by love. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

He had incurred the enmity of a desperate man. Castle Gay by John Buchan [1930]

A secret agent who throws his secrecy to the winds from desire of vengeance, and flaunts his achievements before the public eye, becomes the mark for desperate and bloodthirsty indignations. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad [1907]

He sought opportunities for speaking, drove about the town, and in many places succeeded in gaining the reputation of a desperate Liberal, which flattered him greatly. An Unpleasant Predicament by Fyodor Dostoyevsky [1861]

But Bacon thought that he had reformed Chancery. He had also done a great deal to bring some kind of order, or at least hopefulness of order, into the King’s desperate finances. Bacon by R. W. Church [1884]

Arnold Bennett She had breathed a long sigh of relief, and from a desperate self-defender had become a woman. These Twain by Arnold Bennett [1916]

John Donne There is then a middle kind of hearts, not so perfect as to be given but that the very giving mends them; not so desperate as not to be accepted but that the very accepting dignifies them. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and severall steps in my Sicknes by John Donne

Arthur Morrison Good-day!” “No, stop!” yelled the desperate Cater. “Don’t go. The Dorrington Deed-Box by Arthur Morrison

George Gissing Manning himself with a desperate effort he stepped to the parlour door and called Mr. Tollady’s name. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Thomas Wolfe The suddenness of it sent waves of desperate fear moving in ever-widening circles throughout America. Millions of people in the far-off hamlets, towns, and cities did not know what to make of it. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Dare, not to be behind-hand, took to swinging little girls with desperate and heated good-nature. Sir Charles Danvers by Mary Cholmondeley [1889]

Anna Katherine Green It had a meaning — a dark and desperate meaning. Dark Hollow by Anna Katherine Green

Edith Wharton He was so desperately in earnest, poor youth, and his earnestness was of so different a quality from Bertha’s, though hers too was desperate enough. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton [1905]

Only a desperate resolution and an extreme terror made me drag one foot after the other. Prester John by John Buchan

Thomas Hardy I am thinking of a desperate step — of calling on the woman Charmond. I am going to appeal to her, since Grace will not. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

Arthur Conan Doyle Then the mass of people parted and a man was borne out kicking and striking, and after a desperate resistance was precipitated down the stairs. Crabbe’s Practice by Arthur Conan Doyle

E. Phillips Oppenheim He was now only a couple of yards away and Cheshire, who was not wholly ignorant of such matters, knew that he was face to face with a desperate and clever man. The Spymaster by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1938]

Washington Irving At the time that Philip effected his escape from Pocasset, his fortunes were in a desperate condition. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon by Washington Irving

But still the situation was about as desperate as it well could be. The Lust of Hate by Guy Boothby [1898]

Wilkie Collins It was enough for him that his desperate guess of the evening before, had hit the mark on the morning after. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

Marjorie Bowen He acted on such sudden desperate impulses, as in the matter of his marriage. The Rake’s Progress by Marjorie Bowen [1912]

Wilkie Collins Report described him to me as having made considerable sums of money in that way, for a man in his position; serving firms, you know, with a bad name, and running all sorts of desperate risks. Miss or Mrs? by Wilkie Collins [1871]

Olaf Stapledon In desperate haste he reviewed his whole life, his whole experience of existence. Last Men in London by Olaf Stapledon

Virginia Woolf Mr. Joyce’s indecency in Ulysses seems to me the conscious and calculated indecency of a desperate man who feels that in order to breathe he must break the windows. Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown by Virginia Woolf [1924]

Something desperate had surged up in Janey’s heart, and she had refused to give the promise. Notwithstanding by Mary Cholmondeley [1913]

Theodore Dreiser Things are not nearly as desperate as you think. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

He’s what you might call a desperate character. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Anthony Trollope But still, he was Barry’s fool; and, like other fools, a desperate annoyance to his master. The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope

Walter Scott All without and within the kingdom is adverse to encountering a hopeless struggle, and you alone, sir, seem willing to undertake a desperate enterprise. Redgauntlet by Walter Scott [1824]

Instantly his face of an old soldier, with its noble and calm outlines, became decomposed before my eyes by the corruption of stealthy cunning, of an abominable caution and of desperate fear. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

Sir Walter Scott A desperate courage, founded on the belief that my death was near, made me resolve to make my way in despite of him. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott [1829]

Others of his men quickly came up, and the clash of arms reaching the ears of the Spaniards who had gone in pursuit, they returned, and, after a desperate conflict, forced the enemy from the city. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

George Meredith And he was not one of those who do penance for that sweating indolence in the fits of desperate panic. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

George Meredith You raise your eyes, Clotilde! Well, when I was much younger I found this lady in desperate ill-fortune, and she honoured me with her confidence. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

Henry Handel Richardson Or if she did move, and speak—for she, too, had hours of a desperate garrulity—then one was content, as well. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

Then Dierich made a desperate effort, and gained two yards; but in a few seconds Gerard had stolen them quietly back. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

Bronislaw Malinowski Only a man deeply in love, or impelled by some other desperate reason, attempts to elope with a female or to capture one. The Family among the Australian Aborigines by Bronislaw Malinowski [1913]

Richard Burton The desperate old feud between the “Juwwa,” and the “Barra,”— the town and the suburbs — has been put down with the greatest difficulty. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

Ann Radcliffe The means of retreating were desperate — to proceed was equally so. The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe [1791]

E. Phillips Oppenheim I’ve noticed that at Monte when I came across him in the Rooms. He would never have come to me for money if he hadn’t been in desperate straits. Harvey Garrard's Crime by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1926]

H. Rider Haggard Here he was, committed to a strange and desperate enterprise. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

But shouldst thou in desperate madness destroy thy life, then were we shent indeed. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison [1922]

H.P. Lovecraft Then the flaming thing burst into sight at a point where the Curwen farm ought to lie, and the human cries of desperate and frightened men were heard. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft [1927]

W. H. Hudson All my desperate courage had now left me; I was completely at Rosaura’s mercy, and no doubt she would wreak some dreadful vengeance on me. El Ombú by W. H. Hudson [1902]

She had meant making a desperate plea for Drayton’s life, and if that failed she had meant to die with him. The Heads of Cerberus by Francis Stevens

And they’re desperate men, so they won’t stick at much to bring it about. Castle Gay by John Buchan [1930]

But to crawl up that couloir with a sick heart and a desperate impulse to hurry was the worst sort of nightmare. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

George Gissing There were hours when Adela’s soul was like a bird of the woods cage-pent: it dashed itself against the bars of fate, and in anguish conceived the most desperate attempts for freedom. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

H. G. Wells I was not attacking the world by all this effort and self-control; I was making my desperate get-away from the shop and the street. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

The career thus thrown open had all the fascinations of a desperate hazard, on which the adventurer staked all his hopes of fortune, fame, and life itself. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

George Meredith It was past as soon as seen, but it gave her a desperate sensation of speed. The House on the Beach by George Meredith [1877]

Walter Scott By a desperate effort I raised myself in the cart, and attained a sitting posture, which served only to show me the extent of my danger. Redgauntlet by Walter Scott [1824]

Henry Handel Richardson After a desperate quarter of an hour, he rose to take leave. Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson

H. G. Wells Didn’t you feel it?” “I felt everything,” said Bert. “I didn’t notice any particular smash —” “They must have been pretty desperate if they meant it. The War in the Air by H. G. Wells [1908]

They turn round to consult; you can almost hear the man’s heart beat, as he bites the stalk of rosemary, with a desperate effort to appear composed. Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens [1836]

I was so well acquainted with that desperate tedium which precipitated one into cruel pranks. In the World by Maksim Gorky

The impression seems to be that you’re a desperate man. The Secret of the Garden by Arthur Gask [1924]

There crept into the camp one day another helpless derelict in desperate straits, Jeerabuldara, a woman of about 40 years of age, but a repulsive sight, dying of disease. The Passing of the Aborigines by Daisy Bates [1938]

It was up to me to make good my assurance to Wake, and presently I was off to Masterton. There in that shambles of La Bruyere, while the light faded, there was a desperate and most bloody struggle. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

John Galsworthy A desperate struggle was going on within her. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy

Walter Scott He now saw the necessity of taking a desperate resolution. Redgauntlet by Walter Scott [1824]

Caroline Lamb She felt that mortal passion domineered over reason; and, after one desperate struggle for mastery, had conquered and destroyed her. Glenarvon by Caroline Lamb [1816]

William Makepeace Thackeray A desperate combat ensued in the first place, in a hay-loft, whence the pretender was ejected with immense loss. The History of the Next French Revolution by William Makepeace Thackeray

George Meredith That which weighs heavily in youth, and commits us to desperate action, will be a trifle under older eyes, to blunter senses, a more enlightened understanding. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

The man was suddenly in desperate fear, and he had lost his head. The Dark Highway by Arthur Gask [1928]

A desperate hand-to-hand fight then ensued. The Life of Sir Richard Burton by Thomas Wrigh

Wilkie Collins She forgot the fervent embrace and the daring kisses — she was desperate at the bare idea of losing him. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

H. G. Wells After a moment of desperate self-control, she decided to leave the room. Babes In The Darkling Woods by H. G. Wells [1940]

Mark Twain They fought with desperate valor, but to no purpose; the odds of heat and numbers, and consuming thirst, were too great against them. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

George Gissing He was a wretched and a penitent man; a few days ago he had confessed everything to his wife, and besought her to pardon him; at present he was making desperate efforts to recover an honest footing. The Riding-whip by George Gissing

We’re desperate folk and we’re not going to stick at trifles. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Margaret Oliphant Intense restrained passion, anxiety of the most desperate kind, a wild will which would pause at nothing, all blended with and left room for this unfailing perception of any ludicrous possibility. Salem Chapel by Margaret Oliphant [1862]

Sinclair Lewis Of young men new to a city, too poor for theaters, desperate in furnished rooms. Cass Timberlane by Sinclair Lewis

Gustave Flauber Hanno was so fatigued, so desperate — the loss of the elephants in particular overwhelmed him — that he demanded poison from Demonades in order to put an end to it all. Salammbo by Gustave Flauber

George Meredith His errand would not bear examination, it seemed such a desperate long shot. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith [1885]

Walter Scott To remove it by force, while a desperate and well armed man had the advantage of the steps above them, might cost many lives. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

Arnold Bennett Far from that, he was, so it appeared to him, standing between them, desperate and determined, and acting instinctively and conventionally. These Twain by Arnold Bennett [1916]

A desperate struggle ensued, as the Aztec fought with the fury of a tiger driven to bay by the huntsmen. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Arthur Conan Doyle This is a desperate man, who sticks at nothing. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1927]

But in contemplating this desperate step Valentine had to consider the reputation as well as the safety of his future wife. Charlotte’s Inheritance by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Guy de Maupassan Then all at once he got between the shafts, bending his huge frame, and with a desperate effort dragged it along like an ox, panting as he went. The History of a Heart by Guy de Maupassan

Wilkie Collins But few words sufficed to tell Laura and Marian how my desperate venture had ended, and what the next event in our lives was likely to be. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

Nathaniel Hawthorne Over and over again, the tempter of souls had thrust this idea upon Hester’s contemplation, and laughed at the passionate an desperate joy with which she seized, and then strove to cast it from her. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1850]

Margaret Oliphant I was wae for Duncan; but still, Miss Oona, things is no desperate so lang as you keep safe your ain coo. The Wizard's Son by Margaret Oliphant [1882]

George Gissing Emily read his thoughts perfectly; they helped her to a desperate composure. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Such a scheme, considering the enormous disparity of numbers, might seem desperate even for Spaniards. But success had given them such confidence, that they hardly condescended to calculate chances. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco

Thomas Wolfe Then, suddenly, his jaw muscles tightened, he stuck out his under lip in desperate resolve, and he bolted across the pavement, hurled himself against the door, and disappeared inside. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

A desperate struggle took place, at the end of which the convict, overpowered by numbers, was borne senseless to the cells, gagged, and chained to the ring-bolt on the bare flags. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Thomas Wolfe The ordeal of passing by her father, and of speaking to him, was obviously a desperate one; she glided past as if she almost hoped to escape notice. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

John Galsworthy Old Jolyon, in whom a desperate honesty welled up at times, would allude to his ancestors as: “Yeomen — I suppose very small beer. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy

Walter Scott Two more bitter yells, accompanied each with a desperate contortion of the countenance, and squeeze of the hands, concluded, in less than five minutes, the dreadful strife. Count Robert of Paris by Walter Scott [1832]

F. Scott Fitzgerald The boy who had passed her window yesterday afternoon was capable of anything — love, drama, or even that desperate recklessness that she loved best of all. Taps at Reveille by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1935]

Charles Kingsley Till that is at least restored, you are in my power, Grace! Remember that!” She thrust him away with so sudden and desperate a spasm, that he was forced to let her go. Two Years Ago by Charles Kingsley

Besides, I am sure that he will come in time, for he has never failed——” There was a desperate finality about the quiet tones and the weary face with the shadow of a smile on it. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

Robert Louis Stevenson The treadmill turns; and, with a kind of desperate cheerfulness, I mount the idle stair. Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson

Edith Wharton Her arms had dropped along the table, and she sat with her face abandoned to his gaze as if in the recklessness of a desperate peril. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton [1920]

Abraham Merri And suddenly I had a desperate longing for the Gobi. I don’t know why, but its barren and burning, wind-swept and sand-swept body was more desirable than any woman’s. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

Daniel Defoe At last I resolved on a desperate course, and told my mother my resolution, viz. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe [1683]

Ann Radcliffe The Countess endeavoured to resign herself to the event with a kind of desperate fortitude. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe [1789]

George Gissing Do you think in earnest of voyaging to the Bosporus?’ ‘I should only choose a hazard so desperate were it the sole chance that remained of recovering Veranilda.’ ‘Wait, then, yet awhile. Veranilda by George Gissing [1903]

F. Scott Fitzgerald The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last — the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Theodore Dreiser Jennie heard with a desperate ache the description of a route which she and Lester had taken more than once, slowly and melodiously emphasised. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

H. Rider Haggard My father alone knows of this plot, and because of his love for me he suffers me to try it, desperate as it seems. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Arthur Conan Doyle But with a desperate effort I shook it off. Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle [1923]

They are men of desperate character and are probably all armed. The House with the High Wall by Arthur Gask [1948]

William Hope Hodgson And lo! even as I harked unto the howling of the Humpt Men, the sound did grow more faint and far off; for the Maid worked very desperate with the pole. The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

Jack London This is admirably instanced, just now, by the return and disbandment of the soldiers from South Africa. They find themselves, by tens of thousands, in desperate straits in the army of the unemployed. The People of the Abyss by Jack London [1903]

He made harangues to his soldiers to rouse them to a spirit of desperate resistance. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

He had felt the need of action, of a desperate physical struggle, of killing and crushing. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Walter Scott Step back to the rear till I force the door — there may be danger, if despair induce them to make a desperate sally. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

G. K. Chesterton We are not buffoons, but very desperate men at war with a vast conspiracy. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

T. E. Lawrence The first rush on Medina had been a desperate business. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

A little stream ran through the plain, at which the Spaniards watered their horses; 12 and the animals, having recovered wind, De Soto and his men made a desperate charge on their assailants. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco